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Usual office Hours
Monday: 10.00 - 13.00
Tuesday: 14.00 - 17.00
Wednesday: 10.00 - 16.30
Thursday: Closed
Friday: Closed

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Registered Office:
Kent Workplace Mission,
c/o Larkfield Methodist Church,
New Hythe Lane, Larkfield, Aylesford, Kent,
ME20 6PN

A Thought from KWM

A series of thoughts and reflections from the Chaplains and Trustees of KWM

Wednesday 9th September 2020

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David Slater, KWM Trustee

September is known across much of the church as ‘Creation-tide’, a phrase taken originally from the Orthodox Church, concentrating our thoughts towards God as Creator and Sustainer of all life. It is the period of celebrating the Harvest, whether in rural areas where they still have wheat sheaves to bring to church (if they get there before the combine harvester), or in urban areas where the donations are more likely to be tins for the Foodbank. Thanksgiving should be an important aspect of all our worship, especially at this period of great disruption, and we should be encouraging those to whom we minister to be thankful for the good things in their lives, even if there has been recent hardship.

The other aspect of Creation-tide is care for the environment, whether as care for God’s Acre, Eco-church or the fifth of the Five Marks of Mission – to care for Creation. Workplace Chaplains, especially in Industrial areas, can sometimes find it hard to remember this aspect of the church’s mission; especially when surrounded by those working with high food-miles, throwaway fashion or carbon-heavy transport. Concentrating on God the Carer is good for us, and those to whom we minister.

But the other big factor in my ministry, at least in most years, is the start of the period of Remembrance.
It begins with Merchant Navy Day on 3rd September at the memorial on Dover seafront, Battle of Britain Sunday on 15th September, special services for various military units, the Torch of Remembrance at the Port of Dover, the 100th anniversary of the arrival of the Unknown Soldier in Dover, and then the usual Remembrance services on or around 11th November.

I started early this year joining a group doing woodland maintenance last week in the Herald of Free Enterprise wood, commemorating the 193 killed in the Zeebrugge disaster. It will be strange this year as formal parades of standards and large numbers (many over 70) standing shoulder to shoulder are not possible, but I am already seeing many veterans quite bereft at losing a regular and significant part of their year. Apart from the fund-raising aspect many veterans enjoy selling poppies to be able to talk of their experiences – and that will not happen this year. As chaplains we need to be alongside all those in loss, whether they lost colleagues 80 years ago, or more recently in Bosnia or Afghanistan. There are those worried that losing events this year may set a precedent and they may not return. It is by Remembering, and being alongside those remembering, that we can build our Chaplaincy outreach.

And so, as we come into autumn, we may be Remembering the summer; or better times, maybe easier times;
but we should also be in a period of Caring and Thanksgiving.

David Slater
[email protected]

-Chaplain to the Port of Dover & the Channel Tunnel
-Joint Lead - Kent Emergency Chaplains Scheme
-Trustee, Secretary & Joint Lead Chaplain - Kent Workplace Mission
-Acting Secretary - Church of St Mary-in-Castro, Dover Castle