A Farmers’ Market is normally held at the church every Thursday between 9.00 and 11.00. You can buy local produce including breads, meat, vegetables, mushrooms, smoked fish, pickles, cheeses and fruit. During lockdown the market operated on a click and collect basis, but following the relaxation of the lockdown rules, the market is once again open in the Church and churchyard, although the Church coffee stall remains closed for the present. Further details are on the News page.
The church organises the Market as a service to the local community.
At the Kent Life Food and Drinks Awards dinner in October 2018, Shipbourne Farmers’ Market was named the Best Farmers’ Market in Kent
For more information ring Bob Taylor 01732 833976
St Giles and Shipbourne Newsletter
The Newsletter contains information about the church and the local community. It is produced by the church and delivered free to every house in the parish. Further copies are available in the church and can also be viewed online from the home page. Mrs Lindsay Miles is the editor of the Newsletter; any items of news or adverts should be sent to her at [email protected]. Her telephone number is 01732 810439. Advertisements for the Newsletter should be sent to Tish Gourmelon (phone 07966 035492). During the Covid-19 pandemic the Newsletter has been published solely on line and can be found on the ‘Parish Council 2020’ page of this website. It is expected that the Newsletter will again be printed and distributed around the parish, when the lockdown has been eased further.
The Harvest Supper is held each year for the joint benefice at the end of September or in early October. It is hoped that it will be possible to hold a Harvest Supper in 2021: the date will be shown on the future events page when it known.
See the News page for a report on the Harvest Supper held in 2019.
St Giles Fair
The church organises a traditional fete each year on August Bank Holiday Monday. It is held in the Village Hall and on the Green outside the Village Hall. The St Giles’ Fair was last held on Bank Holiday Monday, 26 August 2019; a report appears on the News page. Because of Covid, the Fair did not take place in 2020 and will not be held in 2021. It is hoped that the Fair will be held again in August 2022.
Our link with All Saints’ Chatham
The benefice has a link with the church of All Saints’ in Chatham and its Community Project, a registered charity which operates at the Magpie Centre, close to All Saints’ in Chatham. The Centre now has 12 full or part time staff, and provides a wide range of services for local residents, including a cafe; advisors who provide help with benefits and passports as well as help with CV writing, IT and other skills for the workplace; weekly groups such as craft, and knit-and-natter, exercise and walking groups; fortnightly lunch clubs; after school clubs during term time; a support group for those experiencing depression and anxiety; and the Magpie Growers tend a local allotment. All the groups seek to reduce isolation and loneliness. The Centre gives out food bank vouchers, utilities assistance and where possible, help to source furniture.
St Giles and Plaxtol Church are now supporting the Project, by providing financial support, donating food or offering voluntary support at the Centre. The Administrator at the Centre, Diane Hatcher writes:
“Your lovely donations of food have helped enormously. We have families who arrive hungry, who have not eaten for a day or two and, because the nearest food bank does not open every day, we use your donations to help give them something to eat. We also have a Pay-It-Forward scheme here, where people donate into this scheme and when someone arrive hungry but having no money, the café will give them something to eat. The two systems together work well. Any donations of clothes or small items, we willingly give to those in need. Donations of money can be used in other areas. We hear many different stories, and deal with a wide range of crises and challenging circumstances.
I hope this shows how your support of food, small items and money helps us to help so many others. Many thanks and wishes to you all.”
The Benefice collected food and household goods over the fourth weekend of each month when Community Bread Basket meetings took place in Plaxtol Church. There were boxes in both Shipbourne and Plaxtol churches throughout these weekends, so that people could leave any donations. Community Bread Basket breakfasts were suspended when lockdown restrictions were introduced. It is hoped that Community Bread Basket meetings will resume and Carol Crossley and Viv Packer are looking for volunteers to help with organising the monthly meetings.