Autumn Programme 2019

Sunday 1st September (with the Rev Tom Ravetz)

10.00 a.m. The Act of Consecration of Man

11.00 a.m.  Coffee & refreshments

11.30 a.m. *Talk* :

Prayer and Meditation: 

Two Approaches to the Spirit.

(1.00 p.m.  Craft & books, see opposite page)

Saturday 12th October (with the Rev Luke Barr)

10.00 am The Act of Consecration of Man

11.00 am Refreshments

11.30 am Conversation

Saturday 9th November 

7.30 – 9.00 p.m. An evening to remember those who have died

-With music, time to share a poem or a thought, or light a candle and reflect together. 

Sunday 10th November (with the Rev Tom Ravetz)

09.15 a.m. The Sunday Service for Children 

10.00 a.m. The Act of Consecration of Man

11.00 a.m. Coffee & refreshments

Drawing Worskhop for children & adults

Last week in September we held a workshop, drawing on the theme of Michaelmas.  After a demonstration of techniques and a few ideas everyone got going with pastels and coloured paper, producing a great variety of saint and dragon images. Children mostly managed to keep the pastels on the paper although their skin colour seems to have changed by the end of the session!

Letter from Willem Boonstoppel

Canterbury, 29th June 2016

Dear members and friends,

Change your hearts and minds!
That’s what St John tells us to do. We all know that’s more easily said than done. Especially in the summertime, when we are distracted by all the impressions and experiences the outer world is providing. We might lose ourselves, pulled out too much under the influence of good things, like our summer holiday, and on the other side there are many troublesome developments in the world around us that might push us too far into ourselves, confuse us, make it hard to concentrate on our spiritual work.
As far as congregational life in Canterbury is concerned, the past few months have been a period of transition. Of re-adjusting, getting re-acquainted. Roger has left the stage, leaving his life’s work in the hands of a newly ordained and in many ways unexperienced priest. For that is what I am.
As the angel of the congregation had to find out who ‘this new face on the block’ was, and had to look for ways of accepting me, and working with me, so did the members and friends of the congregation. And I think that we have made good progress, we are finding our way of doing things. Sometimes different, sometimes the same as it has been before. But in order to get used to the new situation, we all had to start changing our hearts and minds at least a little bit. Otherwise it is not possible to walk into the future together.
What is the future without children? At the St John’s weekend, we managed to celebrate a children’s service in our church, the first one since my induction in March. It was a joyous occasion, and one that really gave hope for the future. We decided to put a children’s service on the programme once a month. Here I found a good example of my own struggle to change heart and mind. Coming from the idea that it has no use to plan a children’s service if there are no children, I now want to spread the thought that the children will come if we have the service on the programme. I invite you all to work with me here! Together we can also make the upcoming Children’s Festival in the time of Michaelmas to a successful event.
On the Saturdays that I am in Canterbury I would like to have a gospel study group, after the morning service and coffee, working with the Gospel of St Luke. We will develop our own way of working with the gospel, starting out with reading, contemplating and discussing it, but we might even get to the point where we can express ourselves creatively in various other ways.
In September we will invite the friends from Forest Row to come over and see how wonderful our church is, and how strong a congregation we are. After the service (starts at 11am!) we will meet each other at a bring and share lunch, before we explore the centre of Canterbury and the –also quite impressive- Cathedral. It will be a good opportunity to change some hearts and minds, and show that the Christian Community is alive and well in Kent.
As your new congregational priest, I am claiming the right to be enthusiastic and hopeful about the future. I am also hoping on meeting every one that I could not meet until now, either by encountering you at one of the services or talks, or by invitation for a personal visit. Please feel free to contact me by phone or email as well and I hope I can do the same with all of you.
Wishing you a wonderful summer, and the courage and good spirit to find a balance between extremes, to walk the path that St John has prepared for us.

Willem Boonstoppel

2016 Finance Report




Dear Members and Friends,

Let us first introduce ourselves, your new Finance Group: we are Richard Baker, Fiona Chapman and Pauline Thomas, with attendance of our priest, Willem Boonstoppel when needed.

Our first task was to review the situation with the change of priest. We first looked at the changes that were taking shape over the six months leading up to the change of priest, then drew up a budget to cover the payments we knew would have to be maintained – heating, utilities, maintenance, and the really big one, insurance – for the church building , house and their contents. After that we discussed with the Lenker, Tom Ravetz, our possible contributions to Forest Row and General Fund. It was very clear to all that we could not meet the expectations both had of us.

Some of you may wonder why we should start paying to Forest Row. This is because it is important that we support the work that Willem is doing in Canterbury. All of his living and professional expenses are carried by the Forest Row congregation to which Canterbury is now affiliated. And a reminder too, that the General Fund is what allows all the central activities of The Christian Community to be carried out, including the lenker’s expenses, synods and other central expenses.

We have now agreed to contribute £350 per month to Forest Row and £120 a month to General Fund. Over time, we hope more or less to double the amount we pay to Forest Row, especially as Willem gets into his stride here! This would be a more realistic reflection of the cost of carrying him, given that a lot of his time and energy is focussed on Canterbury.

However, to do this, we need to look to an increase in the amount we can each contribute. So can we make our annual appeal to everyone to consider when last they raised their contribution, or how they make a contribution, whether made via Standing Order or via the collection bowl.

It is especially helpful to us to have regular Standing Orders as this make budgets more firmly based. But the Collection Bowl, or one off gifts, are also vital parts of balancing our finances.

At this point can we also give our usual reminder that the contributions for coffee cover more than the drink and biscuits consumed – they also cover domestic supplies – and so far we have avoided having to employ a cleaner or gardener though it is a small band who carry the bulk of both activities – why not volunteer for some happy activity with congenial friends ironing/ flower arranging/ cleaning /weeding/grass cutting etc. – see Christina’s lists, shortly to be reactivated for this and other opportunities. And remember to put something in the refreshments bowl, please. Too often there is one lonely pound or two as no-one has thought to take it round……

On the plus side we can now report that the water ingress problems we reported last year have now been solved so we are grateful to Michael Roberts for his work on that.

We should also like to report an amazing gift from the Council of Management – the upgrading of our very damp cellar room. After their visit last year they offered to make this a dry space for us, work to be overseen by Michael Roberts. The builders have just completed the work this month. So on your next visit, make sure to include a viewing of this new space which will be most useful initially as office and storage space for files and records that are currently kept in various people’s houses. The Council of Management paid the bulk of the costs of around £16,000 for this and the water problems, while we contributed around £4,500, a sum left over from contingencies in the overall building project. A carpet has still to be bought for the floor – offers of help to choose and order this to David Chapman.

So now we have completely exhausted the building funds and all future work will have to be budgeted in our Blue category, along with Insurance, most of the Utilities and stipend for our priest – and it is in this part of our finances, fuelled by regular congregational donations that we struggle most. (Insurance came up trumps when our alarm system was vandalised – probably some prank by merry students, refunding all but the £100 excess of the costs of replacement parts – so that vast expenditure £2 -£3,000 per year did pay out something when needed…)

The house at 55 keeps paying for itself, its loans and necessary maintenance and a little more than its own share of the insurance – though this year the tenants have not been as easily managed as in previous years, but we hope for better times when the tenancy changes in the summer.

Once again we will enclose a Standing Order Form with this letter but for those who only receive a digital copy a call can get one sent – to Pauline on 01303 891163, or you may pick one up at the church.

We should like to thank you for support in the past and look forward to a successful year of further development.


With good wishes,


Richard Baker

Fiona Chapman

Pauline Thomas