St Lawrence Church Bidborough

St Lawrence Church, Bidborough

Know God, Show His Love, Grow His Church

Southborough Team

800th Anniversary

Vicar's View - August / September 2018

Bidborough Church

Ignoring, for a few minutes, new Met Office warnings to stay out of the sun, I went out just now and sat on one of the benches in the churchyard for a while. It was indeed blisteringly hot, with a warm breeze coming up the valley, and the cheerful sound of schoolchildren spilling out into the rec at the end of the day. Tomorrow there will be end of term celebrations and water-fights, which, with temperatures over 30 degrees, will I imagine will be welcomed by young and old alike.

This morning, in the relative cool of our ancient church, we held one of my favourite annual events - the ‘Year 6 Leavers’ service’. Thirty boys and girls, twenty or thirty parents, and three boxes of tissues. After a few minutes of basic origami, sheets of A4 had become school buildings, then aeroplanes that were gleefully thrown and flown around the church, and then, with a few judicious tears, and to the surprise of most of the children, they became . . . dot, dot, dots. I’m not going to tell you what - I don’t want to spoil the surprise for next year’s leavers.

We ended the service by singing a song called ‘Indescribable’, which speaks of the wonder of the Creator, and which includes the line - ‘every creature unique in the song that it sings’. I quipped that each child was a ‘unique creature’ - for indeed they are. I always find the last couple of minutes of the service incredibly moving, as I close with a few unscripted words before saying a final prayer of blessing. What will the future hold for these 11-year olds, many of whom will live well into the 21st century? The world will have probably changed beyond our imagining by then, and, for the first time ever, so, it is likely, will humankind itself. The three-pronged nascence of artificial intelligence, nano-biotechnological enhancement, and genetic manipulation may, some scientific commentators claim, usher the end of Homo Sapiens as we know ourselves to be, and the beginning of a new species. And that will likely happen well within the next hundred years.

For now, these youngsters’ concerns revolve around whether they will be able to find their way around, and find friends in, their new ‘big’schools, whilst their parents may worry about them finding jobs one day and being able to afford anywhere to live. It’s a long time since I was at primary school, and it has taken me nearly half a century to slowly learn that what matters most, perhaps, is to live in the moment that God has given us now. As I sat on the bench, under the beating sun, listening to the sounds of the children and thinking about those Year 6’s whom I had prayed for by name earlier in the day, I rejoiced in their uniqueness and their beloved-ness of God their Creator. They have been blessed to spend time in our wonderful local school, in which they have been taught, and cared for, and loved. Today we sent them on their way, with the hope and prayer that they will be confident in themselves and in the knowledge that God is always with them - and in the words of the school vision statement - that they would have ‘faith in their future’. May they indeed, and may they, and we, ‘rejoice in the day the Lord has given’, every day along the way.

Stephen Hills

Previous Views

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Rochester Link
May 2018

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Thursday 4:00-5:00pm in the small village hall.

Crisis Recovery

The Day Centre would be happy to receive donations of second-hand clean clothes and shoes for their guests (particularly men’s clothing). If you can help please get in touch with Alan Richards on 528916.


There is a Traidcraft stall in Church on the first Sunday of every month. Please support this worthwhile project.

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