Pew News July 2021

Minister’s Letter

After all these long months of lockdown, I am sure it is tempting to launch into whatever activity takes our fancy, be it cycling, gliding, team sport or simply getting out to be with other people.   Human beings are not designed to sit quietly at home, with no interaction with the outside world.


Maybe these past months have contributed to our becoming more and more aware of the importance of the environment in which we all live.  The Church has not been slow to engage with all of this.  The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, heads up the “Green Church Showcase” initiative and is actively encouraging churches to tackle energy use inside their buildings, including the installation of solar panels on south facing roofs.  The way we care for our churchyards, including provision of a wild area to encourage insects is all part of this.  These live issues are of course also something which we, as residents of these lovely villages, take to heart in relation to our own homes and gardens. 


Her Majesty the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee next year is to be marked by an initiative to be known as the Queen’s Green Canopy.  As we walk through our shady woodlands at this time of year, we are struck by the canopy of leafy branches above us.  To compensate for the loss of so many trees in recent years, we are all encouraged to plant a tree from this coming October, ready for next year, which will mark 70 years since Her Majesty ascended to the throne. This July might be a good moment to work out just where your tree might be planted.


It may be that you, like me, enjoy walking the many footpaths which lead from one village to another.  Earlier this summer, we decided to explore a little further afield.  Having acquired the book, “Pilgrim Pathways, 1-2 day walks on Britain’s sacred ways”, (, we went on a mini pilgrimage from Cheddar, via Wells to Glastonbury, climbing through some wonderful countryside.  When we arrived at Glastonbury, we visited the ruins of the Abbey and there we saw the Glastonbury thorn tree.  This thorn tree flowers twice a year in the winter and spring.  Legend has it that it is a cutting from trees descended from the thorn tree which grew from Joseph of Arimathea’s staff which he pushed into the ground when he visited Glastonbury. Whether the legend is true or not, there is no doubt that the existence of this lovely tree made us pause; we simply reflected how the cells of the tree carry both its history and its future. 


Trees have always had special significance for human beings.  The prophet Isaiah wrote wonderful words of joy which have been set to music.  In thankfulness to God, he wrote “You will go out with joy and be led forth in peace, the mountains and hills will burst into song before you, and all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”  (Isaiah 55,v12).  Maybe planting a tree for the Queen’s Green Canopy might be a way for us to give thanks too.

Revd. Marian Bond    



John BRASIER  (Pluckley)




John and Eden were married at St. Nicholas, Pluckley on Saturday 26th June 2021.



May God strengthen them in their married life together






Mavis Evelyn SMITH 


Mavis died on Friday 30th April 2021 aged 85. 

Her funeral took place at

St. Peter and St. Paul, Charing,

followed by burial in Charing Cemetery,

on Wednesday 9th June 2021


Susan Wendy SIMKINS


Susan died on Saturday 1st  May 2021 aged 75. 

Her funeral took place at

St. James the Great, Egerton,

followed by burial in the churchyard,

on Thursday

20th May 2021


Jan Frederik BRAS


Jan died on Wednesday 12th  May 2021 aged 98. 

His graveside funeral and burial took place at

St. Margaret, Hothfield on Friday 11th June 2021.



May God enfold Mavis, Susan and Jan

in his tender love and care.

pilgrims charing.JPG

This message has come directly from the organisers and core pilgrims, and it isn’t exclusively for the people of Charing!  As I write they have now reached Berkshire on their amazing journey. 

I plan to walk from Charing to Godmersham and would be delighted to hear from anyone who is interested in that, or any other leg of the route. 

You may like to welcome them when they arrive in Charing or wave them off the next morning.

Please get in touch if you’d like to know more.


Christine Maddrell

01233 840453

Sandra Marsh, our new Rector


Who else do you know who has been a Police Officer, two of whose children were born during thunderstorms and who likes to keep hens?


Sandra was born in a tiny fishing village called Portavogie, the eastern-most settlement in in Northern Ireland, the second of five children. Her father was a ‘Captain of Tugboats’ in Belfast Lough and several of her extended family were involved in seafaring – fishing or Navy. Sadly, four of her close family were lost through different drowning incidents – including her father when she was just ten years old.

Mother was not well following her father’s death, so Sandra became mother to her family, organising siblings for school, and undertaking the shopping, cooking and cleaning.

She enjoyed school, becoming a Prefect, and was an outstanding Netball player, going on to represent Ireland. She also achieved the Duke of Edinburgh’s Gold Award.

Needing to leave school after GCSEs to start paid-for work, and wanting to join the Police Force, she joined the Civil Service at 16 as a stepping stone towards the time when, at 18 she could apply to become a police officer.

As a young officer she worked in many difficult areas, encountered terrorism first-hand and became adept at dealing with people from all walks of life and religious backgrounds. She recalls how it felt to be in an armoured car with tyres ablaze, or of being aware that wheelie bins could be boobytrapped. She soon learned to become acquainted with ‘Father Murphy’, the local Catholic Priest, because the threat of reporting bad behaviour to him was more of a deterrent than a police report!

During this time, she spent some time volunteering in Ballycastle with ‘Corrymeela’, a reconciliation movement whose motto is: ‘Because together is better’, working alongside young people from both sides of the sectarian divide - helping them to live in peace together. This, along with her early life experiences, has shaped her love of working with young people.

After 4 years as a Police Officer, Sandra was detailed as Personal Protection Officer to the wife of a Senior Civil Servant who had been posted to Northern Ireland. She met another member of the team who had been posted there from Whitehall, Simon, and they seemed to be attracted to one another, fell in love and subsequently married.

Simon was recalled to England and they settled in Marden. Three children came along – two of whom were born during thunderstorms!  After a while at home raising the children, she became a Fraud Officer with The Department of Social Security, in contact with disadvantaged people.

Simon was posted to Northern Ireland again for a short term, so while there she took the opportunity of taking a History Degree at Queens University, Belfast.

Returning to live in Cranbrook this time, she became a governor of Cranbrook Primary School and gradually became involved in education, joining the teaching staff at Tonbridge School for Girls, then moving to Benenden School where she was a sixth-form tutor and then as an Assistant Head at Buckswood International School.

Her tasks included producing the teaching timetable, and it became obvious that Religious Education lessons were just dumped onto anyone who had a spare slot; it seemed a missed opportunity to help students to have a serious thought about the subject. So she started running R.E. lessons herself, leading to the GCSE exam – which were surprisingly popular with pupils of all faiths. Her school-teaching activities spanned eight years.

One day, unable to attend the Annual Parish Meeting in Cranbrook Church, she was voted into the post of Churchwarden in absentia, and became more involved in Church matters. Gradually feeling she wanted something more from religious faith, she agreed to take a post as ‘Lay Chair’ in the Diocese, but didn’t find quite what she was looking for, until her local Vicar suggested she should consider being ordained.

In 2016, after several daunting but successful interviews, she was accepted and attended St Augustine’s College of Theology at West Malling. After completing her course, she was appointed Curate in the Eastry and Woodnesborough Benefice in East Kent near Sandwich and Deal.

Despite early family experiences, she likes swimming (though never in the sea), gardening and keeping hens. Husband Simon is the Chairman of the Kent and East Sussex Railways, some 50 years after he first volunteered in their souvenir shop.

Sandra will be living in Charing and says: “I look forward to being part of the Community and making everybody welcome – I believe the Church isn’t the building, it is the people at the heart of the Community.”

Services in July                                                                    Readings for July




Sunday 4th                                           Fifth Sunday after Trinity                      Fifth Sunday after Trinity

9.00 Morning Prayer Common Worship                  via Zoom

8.00 BCP Holy Communion                                   Westwell                                     Psalm  123

9.30 The Eucharist                                                Charing                                     Ezekiel 2. 1 - 5

9.30 Family Service                                               Egerton                                     2 Corinthians 12. 2 - 10

11.00 The Eucharist                                             Hothfield                                    Mark 6. 1 - 13

11.00 via Zoom -Cornerstone: All Age Worship        via Zoom

11.00 The Eucharist                                              Pluckley


Sunday 11th                                        Sixth Sunday after Trinity                    Sixth Sunday after Trinity

9.00 Morning Prayer Common Worship                  via Zoom

9.30 BCP Holy Communion (said)              Charing                                                  Psalm 85. 8 - end

9.30 Morning Worship                                         Charing Heath                             Amos 7. 7 - 15            

11.00 Matins                                                       Hothfield                                    Ephesians 1. 3 - 14

11.00 Cornerstones: All Age Worship                    via Zoom                                     Mark 6. 14 - 29

11.00    BCP Matins                                            Pluckley                                      

11.00 Iona Eucharist                                             Westwell                                   



Sunday 18th                                            Seventh Sunday after Trinity               Seventh Sunday after Trinity

9.00 Morning Prayer Common Worship                  via Zoom

9.30 The Eucharist                                               Charing                                      Psalm 23

9.30 The Eucharist                                               Egerton                                      Jeremiah 23. 1 - 6

11.00 Cornerstone: All-Age Worship                      via Zoom                                     Ephesians 2. 11 - end                               

11.00 The Eucharist                                             Pluckley                                      Mark 6. 30 – 34, 53 - end

11.00 Family Service                                             Westwell                                  


Sunday 25th                                             Eighth Sunday after Trinity/              Eighth Sunday after Trinity

                                                                 St. James the Apostle

9.00 Morning Prayer Common Worship                  via Zoom

9.30 Informal Morning Praise                                 Charing                                     Psalm 145. 10 - 19

9.30 Open Doors Eucharist                                   Charing Heath                            2 Kings 4. 42 - end

9.30 BCP Matins                                      Egerton                                                 Ephesians 3. 14 - end

11.00 Family Worship                                         Hothfield                                    John 6. 1 - 21

11.00 Cornerstone All-Age Worship                      via Zoom                                   

11.00 Iona Eucharist                                             Pluckley                                  (Readings for St. James the Apostle)

11.00 The Eucharist                                             Westwell                                   Psalm 126

                                                                                                                        Jeremiah 45. 1 – 5

                                                                                                                        Acts 11. 27 – 12. 2 or

                                                                                                                        2 Corinthians 4. 7 – 15

                                                                                                                        Matthew 20. 20 - 28

Mid-Week Communion Service

10.00 Iona Eucharist (Friday 2nd)                Westwell