Supporting Westerham and Further Afield

We support people locally...

We are committed to enabling as many people as possible to worship at our church and to become part of our parish community at St. Mary the Virgin. We aim to benefit Westerham by offering a variety of church services and by enabling people to live out their faith as part of our parish community. As a parish church, we support people at key moments in their lives by preparing them for, and taking weddings baptisms and funerals. Our services and worship put faith into practice through prayer and scripture, music and sacrament.

During the last 18 months, restrictions due to the pandemic have limited what we can do; however during 'normal times' we are very active:

Being the only Anglican church in Westerham we offer a variety of worship services, including traditional language ‘said’ services, choral morning services, occasional evensong services and ‘Messy Church’.

As well as systematic Bible-based teaching in the Sunday services, there are housegroups who meet to discuss our faith. Church members support Churchill Church of England Primary School as governors and lead a weekly act of Collective Worship.

Throughout the year there are particular services that draw many from the community into the church, including for the bereaved (Light Up A Life) and Remembrance Day. The church is open every day for private prayer as well as for tourists (free of charge); prayer requests can be left on the ‘prayer board’ and are included in the prayers in Sunday morning services. The clergy meet and pray with individuals on an informal basis as requested. The governors of Churchill school and the clergy offer pastoral support to staff and pupils.

The Pastoral Care Team offers spiritual support, prayer and to distribute communion to those from our congregations who are unable to attend church services due to ill health.

We also care for the large churchyard.

Release the pressure - a new helpline from Kent County Council

Mental well-being remains a huge concern at this time.   We've been made aware of a new phone line available through Kent County Council, offering 24/7 access to a highly trained and experienced team, to provide expert support no matter what a person is going through.   People are encouraged not to suffer in silence and to text the word Kent to 85258 or call the number 0800 107 0160, for free confidential support.   A link can be found here

In Westerham, the church is a key supporter of the Foodbank.   The collection point in the church is available on Sunday mornings when the building is open for church service(s); the collection points at The Co-op, Wolfe Garage and Waitrose Biggin Hill are available at other times.   And if you know anyone in need of the Food Bank’s help and support at this difficult time, or you need this support yourself, then please contact the foodbank at 01959 562147 or 01959 562058 or via email [email protected]

Supporting Children - Hosey Trust Grants

The "Westerham Church of England Boys and Westerham Church of England Girls School Trust" (Hosey Trust) is a fund set up in 1987 for the benefit of children who have been through Westerham Church of England Schools, i.e. Hosey School and Westerham School.   The proceeds of the sale of Hosey School were invested and the interest accumulated is made available for the benefit of these pupils; they can apply for financial assistance for their studies for the sort of things that are not normally provided by the school, college or Local Education Authority.   This must be accompanied by relevant receipts.   The Trustees are the Vicar (currently vacant), Churchwardens (Christina Cusick and David Booker) and two co-opted members (Judy Duffield and John Warde) and a clerk (Carol Davis), who meet twice a year in April and October to consider applications. The grants vary depending on the number of students who apply each session. They are not means-tested and are available to all former Westerham Schools’ pupils up to the age of 25.

Applications to the Hosey Trust Clerk, c/o St Mary's Church Office.

Please see attached the 2017 annual report for more details.

and further afield...

We also have strong links with Christian Charities both here in the UK and overseas:

Operation Christmas Child is one of the projects of Samaritan’s Purse, an international Christian relief organisation that is bringing tangible help and hope to people in countries devastated by war, poverty, famine, disease and natural disaster. Each year shoeboxes filled with gifts for children who would otherwise receive no Christmas presents are brought to Church both from Churchill CofE primary school and from the congregation and are taken by the charity to recipients, generally in eastern Europe.   Visit the site

CMS takes the Christian message throughout the world. Our special link is with its mission in Lima Peru, where we support Rev’d Pat Blanchard whose ministry lies in the heart of one of the ‘favellas’ – the poor slum areas.   Visit the site   See our web page for more information about Pat.

We give the cash portion of the offering at Remembrance Day to The Poppy Appeal, and from our Christingle service to The Children’s Society and have supported TEARFund at harvest. 

Hosey_Annual_report_2017, PDF