St Martin's, Brasted

Photo Gallery

It's intended to build up a gallery of St Martin's-based photos here — please feel free to send in any suitable material for display.

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Harvest Flower Festival 2015

The weekend of 26-27 September saw a new venture at St Martin's. Many people had produced beautiful floral masterpieces, each with a theme, for the church. These added to the traditional harvest decorations, which are always quite special here. The sheaves down the aisle and across behind the pews were of a special Edgar wheat (which goes to Warburtons). Some humour was introduced by "scarecrows", one of whom quite clearly took part in the services.

Messy Church 2

The second Messy Church was held at St Martin's on 31 August 2014. The main theme was Joseph and his dreamcoat, and there was the chance for some of the youngsters to have a go on a model church bell (not too heavy — it was made of paper!), with the youngest participants being as young as 18 months and two years. The next event will be at 3 pm on Sunday 30 November when we'll gather again for more fun, games and informal worship and refreshments. The theme hasn't been finalised yet, but in view of the date a red-coated bewhiskered old gentleman is likely to be involved. All will be very welcome.

Messy Church

The first Messy Church to be held at St Martin's, on 29 June 2014, was wonderful! Eighteen children and their families enjoyed an afternoon of crafts, games, Bible stories and singing, ending with a party tea to celebrate the birthday of the Church, remembered at Pentecost. The next event will be at 3 pm on Sunday 31 August when we shall gather for more fun, games and informal worship and refreshments. All will be very welcome.


Some photos of the event appear below (thanks Terry Hope)

Grandmas go the end of the earth for Anna

The Grandmas are now safely back in Blighty having completed their second pilgrimage in as many years. Judith's story appears below. Please support Judith and Carole in their efforts — to read more of their story or to make a donation to Anna’s fund for Great Ormond Street, visit Alternatively, cheques, payable to GOSHCC, and on the reverse write "For the Anna Lewis Brighter Future Fund, Ref no. 40978630" can be sent to Judith Seaward, Brasted House, Brasted, Westerham TN16 1JA.

Judith writes:

We walked to the end of the earth in memory of Anna and got back in one piece and here's the evidence — Carole and me arriving at the very last Camino post, at Finisterre lighthouse, right on schedule on 31 May. We are also proud to have earned Fisterana, the certificate given at the pilgrim office in the town to those who can produce a pilgrim "passport" that has been stamped at intervals along the way as proof of having come on foot.

at final camino

If the photo gives the impression that our walk proceeded in unbroken sunshine, I can tell you that there were times when it was so impressively wet, with visibility down to inches, that there would have been no point in getting the cameras out, even if we could! There were challenges of all kinds along the way, and the steep and tough bits — both up and down — had a knack of turning up towards the end of every day, just when we were more than ready to get our boots off, but we had some wonderful experiences to keep us going.

One big difference from the Camino Frances, the main and most traditional walk which we did last year, was that last year all paths led to Santiago so everyone was walking in the same direction. This time, some people were heading for Finisterre and/or Muxia while others were heading back, so we nearly wore our voices out exchanging the traditional "Buen Camino" greeting with those coming towards us. We also saw a bit more of Galicia than we had bargained for, because following waymarks in reverse, as we did towards the end, was more complicated than we expected. But we wouldn't really have wanted to miss the unintentional detours with their bonus beautiful views, or the encounters with other lost walkers of many nationalities and wonderful locals who showed us the way and offered all kinds of help and hospitality. And of course getting lost also helped us to clock up a few extra kilometers, so our 230 this time added to the 240 we did in 2013 bring us close to 500.

So thank you everyone — for encouragement, prayers, good wishes and donations on both our Just Giving pages. We are so grateful. and of course so are Jess and David, for every contribution which brings them closer to their target to support the mitochondrial research team at GOSH.

Their fund is on about £7.5K total for the two walks — roughly £6.3K last year and £1.2K this. They hope to hit £10K total with next year's Winchester to Canterbury effort.

Open Day 2013

Following a very successful open day at St Martin's in 2012 it was decided to hold another one in 2013. Below is a selection of photos of some of the attractions in church on Bank Holiday Monday, 6 May.

Santiago here we come

During the second week of April 2013 Judith Seaward and her friend Carole Kenwright walked the final 200 km of the Camino de Santiago, the pilgrimage route which starts in France and ends at the shrine of St James in Santiago de Compostela. Their route was from Ponferrada, over the mountains into Galicia and on to Santiago, taking about ten days.

They approached this massive project in memory of Judith's granddaughter Anna who died of Alpers' disease nearly a year earlier, aged 14 months, and also through sponsorship to help her parents Jess and David to reach the fundraising target they have set themselves of £85,000. This money will enable the mitochondrial research team at Great Ormond Street Hospital to buy the equipment needed to make diagnosis of conditions such as Anna's achievable through blood tests rather than the lengthy, invasive and distressing procedures she went through. On return Judith sent us this brief summary and some photos:

I'm not altogether organised yet with photos as my companion Carole has lots more which may be better but I've attached some to pick from. The pilgrim's path was mostly rural — just occasionally near a road which had appeared more recently than it — and we were up and down through vegetation which changed from pines and heather at the start to endless eucalyptus as we neared Santiago. The highest points were O'Cebreiro at the top of the pass into Galicia, about 4000 feet and lucky us, we walked it on our hottest day, to be followed by the more traditional clouds to walk through the following morning. But morning mist always gave way to sun later on which also melted off the frost on the ground.

After ten amazing days and 240 km (150 miles) up and down the mountains of Galicia here we are back, feeling very happy that we walked every step and managed only one small blister between us (well, all mine really). Any aches and pains at the end of a long day always seemed to disappear overnight, and a new morning would find us hitting the path around 8.00am. If it was more strenuous than we had expected this was probably due to the fact that the weather was much better than expected, so we actually found ourselves walking in heat and all the waterproofs we were carrying were redundant. But the rewards for toiling up rocky and steep paths were breathtaking views, idyllic little villages, spring flowers and the constant sound of a cuckoo. All the local people we met were welcoming and helpful, and we made good friends among the fellow pilgrims of many nationalities along the way, so the arrival in Santiago was happy, emotional and quite overwhelming.

And here we are back, gradually coming down to earth and delighted that our fundraising has passed the £5000 mark [the final figure came to a wonderful £6188 — congratulations from webmaster], thanks to all of you who have been so generous. If I ever felt like giving up it was the thought of such wonderful support and all the people who trusted me to do it that kept me going — that and the thought of how this money, added to what others have raised, will help the mitochondrial research team at GOSH to make real progress in their efforts to get to grips with cruel illnesses such as Anna's.

So thank you all so much, and beware: when we get organised we have a lot of photos between us and lots to tell!

Sophie ordained

Sophie's ordination

Sophie Sutherland was ordained Deacon by Bishop James Langstaff at Rochester Cathedral on Saturday 8 September. The photo on the right shows the seven ordinands that day with Bishop James. They are, left to right: Rachel Wilson, Sharon Copestake, Stephen Broadie, Bishop James, Stephen Boon, Simon Taylor, Sophie and Julie Bowen. The photo was taken by Louise Whiffen, and we're grateful to Rochester Link for allowing us to publish it.

Sophie is serving her curacy at St Botolph's, Chevening.

Confirmation July 2012

Below are a couple of photos taken in church in July 2012. Several young members of the congregation were confirmed on 29 June and on 19 July we congratulated them on taking this step on their journey of faith. After the service that Sunday we celebrated the new commitment they have made to follow the way of Jesus. The photos show the quartet and their celebratory cake.