There's a lot going on in this busy festive month! See the Christmas services page on the banner above as we #FolllowTheStar this Advent and Christmas around the Stour Downs. Don't forget to pick up your free #FollowTheStar booklet.

Tune in to Radio Ashford (107.1) on Monday, 10thDecember at 8am, as Rev Chris is presenting one of the Advent talks. 


Every Monday afternoon in Advent, at Smeeth Rectory, from 2.30-4pm, we have ‘Advent for All’. Run by Rev Chris, these meetings give us the opportunity to reflect, and chat (while enjoying refreshments), on our journey through Advent. As the title says, this is Advent for All, so everyone is welcome. 


Focusing on services, Mersham starts early with a Christingle service on 2nd Dec, and if you enjoy carols, you can sing your way round the Parish at carol services at Mersham on 15th, Brabourne on 16th, Stowting on 22nd, Sellindge on 23rd and Monks Horton on 24th. Little is more evocative of the warmth and joy of Christmas than carols, so do come along, and please don’t forget that carols are usually followed by warming refreshments which need to be eaten and drunk.


In the midst of carol singing and preparations for Christmas there is a quiet, informal service at Mersham on 21stDec. for those who have been bereaved, either recently or in the past, to help with their loss at this time of year. 


For those who love the Christmas story there are Crib Services at Mersham and Smeeth on 24th. And on Christmas night, at Communion services at Mersham, Sellindge and Smeeth, the joy, peace and warmth of fellowship that Christmas brings is palpable. If you aren’t a ‘night bird’ then there are Christmas Day services at Brabourne, Mersham and Stowting which allow an hour’s blissful peace and relaxation while the Christmas dinner cooks.


We are constantly reminded that Christmas is a time of loneliness when people can feel marginalised and isolated. There is no need for this in Stour Downs where our churches are welcoming and inclusive. If you would like a lift to any service or event, please don’t hesitate to let us know- please call the Parish office on 01303 470791. And if you know of anyone who might be lonely, please contact the Parish office, so Rev Chris can arrange a visit.

Turning to social events in the Diary, these are in abundance in Stour Downs Parish this December, right from the start of the month. On Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd Mersham has its Christmas Tree Fair in the church which promises to be both festive and fun with mince pies, cake, light lunches, craft stalls and books. Mersham has its final Craft Morning of the year on 5thand there’s a Christmas Coffee Morning in aid of Smeeth Church on Friday 7that Keen’s Meadow, West Brabourne, courtesy of Maggie and David Smith.  In addition to there being an abundance of goodies to buy, this is the place to catch up with friends and find suitable material for quiet reading in the peaceful days that follow Christmas. By the evening of 7th you should be invigorated and ready for First Friday at Brabourne when it’s the First Friday Christmas Party, hosted by Julia and Donna. 


By 14th you may be starting to flag so a quiet afternoon at Knit and Natter is an excellent place to recharge batteries ready for the final fortnight to Christmas. And after it’s all over, relax at Fridays@3 on 28th with a Sing-song of carols and old songs followed by a lovely tea over which you can reflect on Christmas with friends. This is an action packed calendar where no one need be lonely or left out. 

Have a look at the Parish diary for all the goings on this December...

We wish you a very happy Christmas