St John the Baptist Church at Penshurst plays host to many important community celebrations and events including weddings, baptisms, memorials and exhibitions. If you would like to book the church for your event, please contact Mrs Margaret Atkins at email@example.com
Friday 14th December 2018
Friday 14th December 2018
7pm start (with optional ‘meet and greet’ from 6pm)
For those of you who were lucky enough to hear Mary-Jess’ concert last December, you will be delighted to hear that she is to return on Friday 14th December for another concert in Penshurst Church.
Mary-Jess: the English, Chinese speaking, soprano who paints in sound the colour of human emotions and touches hearts across the world.
Whilst studying Mandarin Chinese in China, Mary-Jess won ‘The Chinese X Factor’, a TV singing contest with a live viewing audience of over 70 million people. Shortly after, she released her debut album ‘Shine’ with Decca, which won numerous awards.
Mary-Jess was chosen to sing the Downton Abbey theme song for the Official Soundtrack albums, bringing the number of albums she has featured on to 14 so far, not including her three critically acclaimed album releases. She has performed with Sir Tim Rice, Blake and Don Black, toured with Russell Watson and The Kings of Popera: G4, sung to Royalty in Windsor Castle and she was asked to sing ‘Abide With Me’ at the FA Cup Final in front of a live audience of 90,000 people and a worldwide TV audience of 300 million people.
After performing at The GREAT Festival of Creativity in Shanghai, Mary-Jess was invited to Number 10 Downing Street where she was asked to represent UK music as an ambassador for The GREAT Britain Campaign in 144 countries around the world.
Mary-Jess will be joined by Oscar Smith, renowned for his amazing use of harmonics and a choir assembled by Oscar from his widespread musical contacts in Kent and Sussex.
Sunday 11th November 2018
4-11 November : Armistice Centenary Week in the church
featuring the re-installation of the original There But Not There, the silhouettes of Penshurst’s 50 WW1 fallen by Martin Barraud
All welcome to each event – all FREE entry
Sunday 4: 12 noon Reinstallation of There But Not There by Martin Barraud with pupils of Penshurst Primary School
Friday 9: 7.30 pm A centenary war scrapbook – bring & tell your own family stories, letters, poems of WW1
Also featuring music, drama and a conversation with artist Martin Barraud about the origins and national spread of There But Not There
Sunday 11: 10.45 a.m. Remembrance Sunday Service including the Roll of Honour and Two Minute Silence
6.00 p.m. Special Candlelit Armistice Evensong
including the world première of anthem ‘They Are the dead – There But Not There’,
sung by the Penshurst choir, composed by Penshurst organist Robert Hessey, to words arranged by Penshurst historian David Lough
Evensong will finish by 6.45 pm, in time for everyone present to attend the 7.00 p.m. Beacon lighting outside the Village Hall and then the event that follows inside.
There But Not There will be open inside the church every day from dawn to dusk between its installation on 4 November and dusk on Saturday 17 November. If you visit, you are asked to consider a donation, to be shared between Remembered, the charity established by taking the silhouettes nation-wide to raise money for military charities, and Penshurst church.
Tuesday 18th September 2018
The Last Rector of Penshurst? An important update
Last year Penshurst News warned that Rev. Tom Holme might prove the ‘Last Rector of Penshurst’ after a run of rectors lasting nearly 900 years and broken only by the Civil War. Now that risk is a step closer.
Technically it is a certainty – any future priest dedicated to Penshurst and Fordcombe will be called a ‘vicar’ because the church no longer awards a freehold of tenure which goes with the title ‘rector’.
The archdeacon of Tonbridge (on behalf of the diocese of Rochester) has produced a report on the future of the rural parishes near Tonbridge – including Penshurst and Fordcombe which already share a priest. The report is open for consultation until the end of September.
It concludes that, because of a shortage of new priests coming forward for training and because of the church’s need for more representation in new and growing towns, it should reorganise rural parishes into larger groupings served by a team of priests, helped by lay representatives. This will mean a small reduction in the number of fully-trained priests required to serve the area.
The archdeacon’s report offers three options for the future of Penshurst and Fordcombe after Tom Holme retires, due to happen in 2020. Each option involves us joining forces with next-door parishes and being looked after by a team. The PCC is asked to say by 30 September which of these options it prefers:
Join with the Chiddingstones
- Join with Leigh
- Join with the Chiddingstones and Leigh
For option B the report leaves open the possibility that no priest would live in Penshurst and that the rectory would be rented out.
We will hold a meeting in Penshurst church to discuss the PCC’s response at 8 p.m. Tuesday 18 September – open to all members of the church’s electoral roll plus anyone else who makes donations to the church’s running. Please do come and make your voice heard – and alert anyone else who you think should know.
At the end of the meeting we will ask you to complete a short survey to help guide the PCC’s response. If you cannot come but would like to complete the survey anyway, please download this and scan back to Margaret Atkins, church administrator on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Thank you, Penshurst PCC