Dear Friends,

We hope that you are all keeping well. Once again Covid-19 regulations have been changed, and the numbers allowed to meet together are limited to 6. However, for the time being Church Services are exempt from this restriction.

World Church News

With Churches closed because of the coronavirus, the usual Easter Offering Services were cancelled. In 2019 the fund for World Mission received about £370,000 from Easter Offerings and a similar amount was expected this year. Despite this setback, The World Mission Fund donated over £500,000 to global partners in Peru, Brazil, The Gambia as well as other countries for humanitarian relief during the pandemic.

We are now asked to make a belated ‘Easter Offering’ to top up the fund. Donations from The Drive last year amounted to about £200, with a total of just over £2000 from our Circuit. The service on Sunday 27th September will be led by Valerie Ruddle and will focus on the work of our Mission Partners, and the need to support the Black Lives Matter movement. If you would like to contribute please send a cheque payable to The Drive Methodist Church or alternatively make a direct payment to The Drive bank account Sort code 40-40-32 Account number 41027174 making reference to Easter Offering in your payment.

Alpha Course

Alpha is now on line with Zoom. You are invited to join Otford’s second Alpha course on line which begins on Tuesday 29th September at 8pm. If you would like to explore the Christian faith from the comfort of your own home while making friends with others from anywhere in the world, you can register on the Otford Methodist Church website. Do consider inviting your friends to look at the website and encourage them to join.

The memorial service for Greta England will be held at The Drive on Friday 25th September at 2-30pm. In view of the Covid-19 restrictions, numbers are limited and attendance is by invitation only. We will however be thinking of Greta and her family on that day.

Heather Brown’s ashes were interred on 11th August at St. Mary’s Chiddingstone, Having lived near there for some time and having been heavily involved in flower arranging for various events and weddings, including their daughter Jess’s, for nearly 20 years Ken thought it a most appropriate resting place.

On 2nd September Marjorie Dean-Smith’s ashes were also interred by the family at Sevenoaks Cemetery on a lovely summer’s day in a very peaceful setting alongside her husband. Although Marjorie moved away some time ago to Market Drayton to be near family, various members have kept in touch over the years.

Dermot received a letter from the family of Yvonne Davies and I thought it appropriate to share some of the comments.

‘We can never thank the members of your church sufficiently for the many kindnesses you showed to Yvonne throughout her long struggle with dementia. Increasingly, as the disease took hold, it became difficult for people to communicate with her and many simply gave up the attempt, shutting her off even more from the world. At the church, you always had time to make conversation with Mum and welcome her. In the final months before lockdown, her attendance at the Church was one of the few markers in her week that enabled her to know which day it was. Even at the very end of her life Mum’s faith remained and in her time of fear and need, she asked the carers to say The Lord’s Prayer with her to comfort her. As infrequent visitors, we were also made very welcome when we accompanied Mum to services, which was greatly appreciated’.

We have received generous donations for Church funds from family and friends and will be giving careful consideration as to how they can best be used in memory of Yvonne.

We are pleased to report that Robert Bright has been given the ‘all clear’ following his recent operation. Susan Richardson did not undergo her anticipated procedure recently but awaits a further consultation. We continue to think of Audrey and Trevor Harvey’s granddaughter Hanna and Lizzie Turner’s grandson Alexander as they both undergo treatment for cancer. Our prayers are with them all at this time.

We repeat again that if you have any news or information you would like to share, please do let us know.

We hope you will continue to stay safe and keep well.

Our prayers and best wishes to you all.

John and Grace Archer

Senior Stewards               14th September 2020