COVID-19 Pandemic – What we are doing?
Services in church are due to resume on Sunday 6th December. The main services, we will continue to enable you to follow these online via Zoom. Please see our Services page for details (Click here). Funerals can be arranged, please contact Alex for details.
Smarden church is open daily during day for private prayer. Biddenden is currently closed due to subsidence.
All Saints Biddenden – Subsidence of the North wall
We are very sorry that All Saints church is closed for general visiting and private prayer due to subsidence of the north wall.
When the church is open again we look forward to welcoming you. If you are planning to attend in person, there are a few important things to bear in mind under the current guidelines:
- Please do not come to church if you or anyone in your household has any symptoms, if you are waiting for the results of a test or if you have been told to isolate.
- All those in church must wear a face covering at all times, unless you are exempt under government guidelines – please make sure you bring your own as there will be none available to use. There will be exceptions for some people involved in the service and at certain times, eg Communion, and more information will be provided for you in church. More information from the Church of England on face coverings and their safe use is provided here.
- Social distancing and hand washing are the best preventative actions we can all take so please sanitise your hands on entering and leaving and respect all floor markings and seating instructions.
- We need to avoid people congregating for any length of time so please do not arrive before 9.45 (you will not be able to get in before that even if you do!)
- There will be service booklets, which have not been used for at least 72 hours, for you to collect on the way in – please wait for the person in front (if there is one) to move forward.
- Seating will need to be managed very carefully depending on how many couples, households and individuals are at the service – please follow the directions of the churchwardens, however frustrating that may be!
- There will be no collection during the service but there will be a plate on the way in if you would like to leave something as well as instructions on how to donate online.
- Further information on what will be happening during the service and other ‘do’s and don’t’s’ will be provided in church.
Details of the most up to date Church of England Coronavirus guidelines, click here. We would love you to keep in touch with you. Please join our church email list. To sign up please click here. We look forward to welcoming you either in church or online. Updated 4th November 2020
Last Updated on November 24, 2020 by Alex Bienfait
Rector of Smarden Church and Biddenden Church:
The Rev’d Alex Bienfait
At one of our Visioning days, held a few years ago, someone expressed the ambition for our churches, that we could be a “church without walls.” in other words that we are accessible, visible and active in the community.
Another powerful image that emerged, is of a church gathered around a camp fire with a rich mouth watering stew on offer. So in other words that we are church that feeds and sustains us. But the image of a church community gathered around a camp fire is also helpful in expressing the ambition that as we come together for worship, and to be encouraged in faith around the “fire”, that we minister and support each other.
I hope you find us a warm accessible community, and that you will be fed and sustained your faith, and in this community realise your gifts to use for God’s Kingdom.
Want to know more about Alex, join us at one of our services or see our Who’s Who page.
Rev’d Alexander Bienfait, Priest-in-Charge of Smarden and Biddendenrector@sbcofe.org
Tom Hay, Smarden Churchwarden
01233 770286 or 07768 616809
Edward Demery, Smarden Churchwarden
01233 770579 or 07515 770102
Ann Courtness, Biddenden Churchwarden
01622 891190 or 07753 673787