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.
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’. The vicar leads a service of Morning Prayer most days.
As well as systematic Bible-based teaching in the Sunday services, there is a discipleship group "3rd Sunday", meeting monthly 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 vicar meets and prays with individuals on an informal basis as requested. The governors of Churchill school and the vicar 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.
In Westerham, the church is a key supporter of the Foodbank, with a collection point in the church.
We also care for the large churchyard.
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 therefrom is made available for the benefit of the said pupils towards their further education. They can apply for grants towards books, uniforms, etc or any other essential equipment for their course. This must be accompanied by relevant receipts. The Trustees are the Vicar, Churchwardens and two co-opted members and a secretary, 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 have close connections with Rev’d Pat Blanchard whose ministry lies in the heart of one of the ‘favellas’ – the poor slum areas. We support through our continued contact with Pat. Visit the site
Tearfund is a leading Christian relief and development agency which believes in Fair Trade, Justice and an end to global poverty. As a church we are supporting, along with our local Primary School the Tearfund Project to bring clean water to communities in the Kigezi region of SW Uganda and have so far raised £10,000 for this project. A group of 7 from our congregation have visited Uganda to see the project at first hand and we were pleased to welcome the Bishop of Kigezi to Westerham when we learned of the progress our support has enabled. Our cash collection at harvest is given to Tearfund. Visit the site
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.