Christmas Day Praise & Meal
To round off the Christmas season it was once again our great pleasure and privilege to host a Christmas Day Meal: including a 4-course
dinner, live musical entertainment, and a packed tea to go home with. The guests were locals who simply wanted and/or needed to be with us and enjoy each others
company on this day, and everyone added to the friendly atmosphere. The meal was preceded by a service of Christmas Praise with a message on the importance of
Jesus' incarnation. Captains Karen and Phil would like to use this space to emphasise their extreme gratitude to the small army of volunteers who helped in so many
ways to make this day special....thank you!
Christmas Carolling at the Rare Breeds Centre
While most of the country stayed at home watching news reports about the snow and ice which was hampering travel...we took the band off to the Rare
Breeds Centre to lead a Carol Service in an open barn! Those who braved the weather sang the carols superbly, laughed graciously at the jokes, and clapped accordingly
as all ages had a go at playing the timbrel.
Town and Community Christmas Carol Service
A full hall enjoyed an evening of fine music, traditional carols, and a Christmas message all wrapped within a warm atmosphere of fun and fellowship. The evening was
led by Bandmaster Richard Carroll, and came to a climax as the songsters sang 'Come to the Cradle' with children creating a nativity scene before Captain Phil spoke of
the need to identify who the baby Jesus is and His relevance to our lives, followed by Wes Carroll sensitively playing through a Christmas Piano Meditation 'Who is He?'
In a collection, over £260 was raised for The Salvation Army's work in developing countries where education is desperately needed.
Christmas Carolling for the Late Night Shoppers
As per the every year over the last couple of decades the band from The Salvation Army played carols while the Chamber of Commerce encouraged shops in the High Street
to keep their doors open during unusual hours. Members from the Churches Together in Hythe and Saltwood also came and sang some carols as a witness.
Toddlers and KidZone Christmas Carol Services
Two delightful Christmas carol services in one day made full use of our church hall as the morning service featured our Parent and Toddler groups, led by Captain
Karen, followed in the afternoon by our youth leader Wendy bringing us the KidZone (Sunday School) service. Both events were examples of how simple and yet profound the
Christmas story really is...accessible in its fullness to both toddler and adult alike. The morning service included a real life baby Jesus in the manger (as
per tradition!) as well as a story told by Bertie the sheep, while the afternoon event included various musical contributions as well as a traditional Nativity play.
The Kidzone supporters also raised £80 for The Salvation Army's work in developing countries where education is desperately needed.
Christmas Carolling begins with residential community homes...
The Christmas season has arrived when the band start travelling across the community to play carols with evenings of fun, laughter, music, singing, and the
all-important Christmas message. This video demonstrates our efforts to make use of this wonderful season as it shows photos from our visits to Terry's Place
(Pym House), Captain's Court, and Homepeak House. Bandmaster Richard Carroll leads the events with his usual skill and good humour, backed up by the band-team, but the
events also rely on the fantastic reception we have received at these venues. We pray that the message we bring will find a resting place within the hearts of all who
hear, so that this may indeed be a truly meaningful Christmas.
Songs of Praise At Canterbury Salvation Army
Once again our church and its music sections travelled to take its Songs of Praise to a sister church...this time to Canterbury Salvation Army. In addition to the
brass band, the songsters, and the growing Shepway Community Gospel Choir, we shared in songs and testimony as young Tallis Kite was enrolled as a Junior Soldier of The
Salvation Army - professing his faith and promising to try his best to walk closely with Jesus. The band and songsters from Canterbury Corps united with ours on two
occasions and a message was delivered once more given glory to God through our music , Word, and songs of praise.
Christmas Sale & Coffee Morning
Home made cakes, face-painting, new quality goods, children's toys and a warm, friendly environment enticed our town folk into the annual Christmas Coffee Morning
and Sale which has raised over £1000. A large amount of this was raised through donations (financial and/or stock) made from our own High Street shops. The atmosphere
within the sale was typically buoyant, with hot refreshments available along with good humour and the usual dose of teamwork!
On this day we remembered again those who have provided for us through their sacrifice. May we continue to thank God for them, for those who strive for our freedom
and security today, and for future generations who will also get involved as peacemakers through our armed forces. Ultimately, may this day of Remembrance cause us to
well on the greatest act of self-sacrifice, given by God Himself, as the Prince of Peace was rejected, killed, and then rose again victorious. Jesus, the Prince of Peace
alone gives true peace of mind. All who trust in Him have the assurance of salvation, and the promise of an eternity of peace with Him in heaven.
Parent & Toddler Celebration of 25 Years!
October 2009 marks the 25th Anniversary of our Parent & Toddler groups, and we're celebrating... Our 2 toddler groups have been partying during this week with a
special cake being made twice by Brenda Russell while Captain Karen Layton leads the groups in singing and play activities. The toddler groups have become famous for
their friendly atmosphere, good quality toys, singing times, as well as the important social skills which get learnt in this environment. Over the years, of course,
many parents and guardians have benefited from these groups too, as they have been able to learn and share different parenting skills too. The group started in
Sept 1984, by the corps officers at the time,Captain Jaquces & Mrs Yvonne Rouffet and Carol Dowsett (who is still an active member of our church!) It was an instant
success with a second day added about 1 year later as first group continued to be so busy. Carol continued to run the group for over 6 years, and it has always been
known for its friendly, happy, family atmosphere. Molly Underwood then ran the group for around 10 years and was like everyone's 'granny'. Since 2003 the current Corps
Officer, Captain Karen Layton, has been running the groups which are extremely popular (Mon & Tue 9:30 - 11:30am).
On this time of celebration she commented:
"It's an amazing achievement to have been serving the community in this way for such a long time - and we intend to keep it going! Our group is a lovely place to be, it's fun, friendly and happy, we love to celebrate birthdays and we are well known for our chocolate biscuits at snack time!" The celebrations continue and we are going to celebrate our 25th Anniversary within a special church service, which (appropriately) will be on 25th October 10am, at The Salvation Army, Hythe. Anyone who has ever been to our group, whether Mum, Dad, Granny, Granddad, carer, child, or now a grown up child perhaps with kids of their own, are more than welcome to come along and share in the celebration service which will be light, with good singing, and refreshments afterward with plenty of cake and chocolate biscuits!!
Songs of Praise. Marking the end of our Annual Appeal
A service filled with songs, music, tambourines, and the Shepway Community Gospel Choir marked the close of our Annual Appeal - a fortnight when we go collecting
funds door to door to help The Salvation Army continue its vital social work in the United Kingdom and Republic of Ireland. Joy once again permeated throughout the
evening, and the revamped Gospel Choir, after just one rehearsal, began its new lease of life with two toe-tapping numbers that have made some of the listeners enquire
as to joining! The whole evening was led by Richard Carroll as one of celebration and thanks to our small army of volunteers who helped to make the Appeal
such a success, whilst giving all the praise and glory to God for His continuous provision.
Boys to Men?
After nearly 2 years of running a Salvation Army Football Club, which started with just one 13 year old boy, we have reached the stage where we are able to enter a
full squad into the Kent Church League of Mens Football on Saturdays...quite an achievement. Consequently, we now have two football groups running, one for 10-15yrs and
one for 15+yrs. In preparation for the start of the season our new team played a friendly match against Guildhall FC, a secular Sunday league team, which enabled us to
learn valuable lessons as well as enjoy the occasion.
Music Ministry from the Bandstand
Our annual music ministry on the Oakland's bandstand is an event many look forward to, and as the crowds gathered they were
not to be disappointed.
In addition to some devotional pieces, triumphant marches, toe-tapping numbers, and solo items, this year we brought even more variety as Wes Carroll took to the piano to capture the audience and Wendy Margott and Alyson Found mesmerised the crowd with their timbrel display.
Among the music was a Bible thought presented by Captain Phil Layton, which introduced a beautiful arrangement of the tunes 'Deep Harmony' and 'Abide with me', entitled 'Reflections in Praise'.
Composed by Wes, it formed the climax of the afternoon as all were challenged to make the words their own:
'Peace, perfect peace God gives to me
Through faith in Christ at Calvary
One day His face I'll gladly see
Praise Him through all eternity'
The whole afternoon (2 hours) was led by Bandmaster Richard Carroll in a light and friendly way, demonstrating that there is joy in the Christian faith we proclaim at The Salvation Army!
Our Annual Church BBQ
As per tradition, an afternoon of fun, friendship, and food followed a morning of worship together at our church, where each Sunday you always receive a warm welcome, good music, great singing, and a Bible message.
This video provides a glimpse into the scenery as Richard Carroll takes charge of 'the kitchen' while others either help, chat, or play with the children. You'll also see a reminder of an incident toward the
end of the day when a 5 year old's ball went into the canal, and was retrieved by a brave member of our football club. The Songs "It's just a Perfect Day" accompanies photos of our annual BBQ alongside the
canal in Hythe.
Thank you Roy and Patricia!
After several decades of selling The Salvation Army's weekly Christian newspaper, 'The War Cry', Roy and Patricia have decided that it is time to retire from their very effective
ministry due to the demands of age.
In a sincere moment of gratitude on behalf of our church, they were called to the front within our morning service in order to be publically thanked and presented with a certificate and card.
Roy and Patricia are typical Salvationists. Lovable, very friendly, Christ-centred, and always willing to help, and they continue to worship with us and carry on various other avenues of ministry within our mission to this community.
All aboard the Hythe Venetian Fete Float!
Every two years in Hythe there is a Venetian Fete wherein a carnival is held along the Royal Military Canal, and various clubs, businesses, societies and other groups may contribute a
float to be led up and down the canal in front of several thousand onlookers.
This year, the Churches Together in Hythe and Saltwood entered a float, designed with an illuminated cross in the centre, with models of each church beautifully painted around the sides.
On board were some of our KidZone members (and parents) who were a great witness to the joy within our Christian faith, the growth within The Salvation Army, and the life within the Churches Together.
Captains' Cream Tea
As our friendly Wednesday Club drew to a close for a brief break throughout August, the annual tradition of a Cream Tea in the garden of Captains Karen and Phil was maintained
for a 7th consecutive year.
Delicious home-made scones brought in by Patricia Whitewood, which were enjoyed among the great company, some classical music, and a couple of cups of tea!
We are very grateful to Hythe Age Concern who allow us use of their minibus, and together with the fine weather the afternoon went perfectly.
The Club, which is very relaxed and full of fun and trivia, is open to anybody each Wednesday between 2:30 and 3:40pm in our hall, and re-starts on September 9th.
London to Paris 3-Day Cycle Challenge
Captain Phil Layton and Wes Carroll take on the 2009 challenge of cycling from London to Paris, via Calais, in just 3 days. It's an epic adventure, with terrible weather conditions,
but plenty of humour along the way.
This was a fundraising event for The Salvation Army, Hythe, made successful by the generous support of our church members and groups, local friends, family and businesses, and the company of
Gemma Found (navigator/camera/brains)
Eric Godden (transporter/fixer)
and Richard Carroll (driver/entertainer)
Our sincere thanks also goes to Gareth Huyton for the cycling advice and training tips he gave us in preparation.
Click this link to watch the video
Visit from The Hague Salvation Army
A letter of thanks from Bandmaster Richard Carroll (event organiser):
The words "Thank you" seem so inadequate.
Before you came our Captain said it would be a significant and important event in the history of Hythe Corps and he was absolutely right, but not just for the corps but for the town of Hythe.
The Lord truly blessed us all and answered so many acts of faith, it is almost too much to comprehend.
The friendship, fellowship, musicality and spirituality, was tremendous and I know that we will still be talking about and remembering this weekend with fond memories for many many years.
Please let your folk know just how much we enjoyed hosting your visit.
I also need to thank you for your generosity which assisted greatly in making the weekend the success it was.
Last night after you had gone, we had to convert the hall into a Parent Toddler Group ready for this morning. Perhaps we should have got all the toys out for your "YP" band members!!! Then when I got home I put on my excellent new slippers and relaxed.
Thank you for being so flexible and accommodating, and for occasionally laughing at my jokes!
God bless you all,
and I hope we can arrange for
Hythe to visit The Hague next year.
The latest member of our church to decide to become a salvationist is Brenda, who has been coming to our services for over 2 years but has been linked to The Salvation Army since 1972
when she lived in Leeds.
Anyone can come to our church, and we have members of our spiritual family here who come from various Christian traditions and denominations. Some folk come who simply enjoy the worship here at Hythe, while others decide to formalise their membership by becoming Adherents.
By becoming a salvationist, Brenda is agreeing to live her life according to Salvation Army principles and practices, and is required to sign 'A Soldier's Covenant' which is a confirmation of her Christian beliefs and a promise to God that she will try to live a life pleasing to Him.
During her enrolment and preparation classes Brenda shared her life story which has had many ups and downs, but she has firmly placed her trust in Jesus Christ as her Saviour, and loves being a part of the fellowship within our church.
Total Praise At Lewisham
The fanfare opening of the march "Golden Jubilee" (Onward Christian Soldiers/Stand Up for Jesus) heralded the start of a God glorifying 'Songs of Praise' event at Lewisham Salvation
Army, South London, featuring our own church Band & Songsters, and supported by many of our own church members...
Further musical items of praise included the band medley "Scripture sing-along", and excellent singing from the songsters with "Total Praise" and "If you would be strong" resounding around the hall.
A beautiful arrangement of "Amazing grace" preceded a
poignant message from Captain Phil Layton which identified the peace and praise we enjoy now and for eternity because of the gift of salvation through faith alone in Jesus Christ. This was followed by a perfectly apt arrangement of the hymn tunes 'Abide with me' and 'Deep Harmony', to which the following words were associated:
'Peace, perfect peace, God gives to me,
Through faith in Christ at Calvary
One day His face I'll gladly see
Praise Him through all eternity'
The arrangement, entitled 'Reflections in Praise', was met with prayerful silence encapsulating the peace and praise being testified to that evening.
It was one of two pieces presented that evening which were written by Wesley Carroll, the other being "Teach Me" (how to love Thee) which was similarly effective.
The congregation concluded their evening of Total Praise through
hymns old and new with great enthusiasm as we sang
"At the cross" and "Praise God I'm saved".
Both churches received encouragement from this event, both enjoyed each other's fellowship, and the desire to be with our Lewisham friends was reciprocated by the hospitality given.
But above all, the event was truly one of Total Praise to God!
Easter 2009 Good Friday & Resurrection Sunday
The climax of the Easter season began with the Churches Together in Hythe joining for a procession along the High Street culminating in an outdoor worship service. The Salvation Army
provided a lone drummer to beat out the steps along the procession, while our brass band played some hymn tunes at the Town Square to gather people in and to welcome the cross which had been carried and was then
put up before us.
The outdoor service was effective as an act of worship and it is hoped that it will serve as a witness too.
Around 40 folk then came back to our own hall for refreshments before Captain Phil led an indoor service with the theme 'Murder He Wrote'...an Agatha Christie style 'who dunnit' in which we considered who was responsible for the murder of Jesus.
This service reached its climax with a multimedia presentation entitled 'We are the reason', but in the benediction we encouraged each other to remember that it was only Friday, and we must always remember that Sunday's coming!
On the Resurrection Sunday our focused switched from thanking Jesus for providing our salvation, to praising Him also for promising our future resurrection. The Rapture was examined briefly as our resurrection belief that Jesus could return imminently, and that we have a home being prepared in heaven right now!
During the service the whole church left its building and crossed over to the Royal Military Canal bank where we sang 'Christ the Lord is risen today!', accompanied by the brass band in an act of public testimony. With fine weather encouraging us, we also left our main door swide open for the rest of the service, in the hope that our heart-felt singing might be heard by passers-by.
Welcome Sergeant Retires
Our church is a very welcoming one,
where a warm and friendly greeting awaits you.
Mrs Beatrice Lawman has been a part of that vital ministry by being the church Welcome Sergeant for over 21 years, greeting folk as they came through the doors and passing out songbooks, Bibles, or newsletters too.
As Beatrice has encountered long periods of ill health, she has decided to retire from this role, but her example has been spread as other members of the church happily carry on this friendship ministry.
It's Mothers Day!
Every now and again we like to maintain certain traditions within our church, and Mothering Sunday is one of those occasions!
Music followed while gifts of flowers were taken to Mums by their children, accompanied by hugs and kisses, and also a special few minutes of reflection as we remembered with gratitude those Mums who have either died or are too far away to be with on this day.
Capt. Karen provided the gospel message including a challenge for each individual to discover their identity as a child of God, which also highlighted our togetherness as a spiritual family.
7th Annual United Hythe Bands Concert also featuring our church singing group & guest soloist Fred Aberg
"Praise" was very much in evidence when our brass band shared with the Hythe Town Concert band in the 7th annual concert, organised by Bandmaster Richard Carroll.
The guest soloist was Songster Leader Fred Aberg, from our sister church in Folkestone, who thrilled the packed parish church with his cornet, flugel horn and trumpet solos.
This year our own songsters were also invited to take part and they added a terrific new dimension through their vocal strength and evident passion for the words they sang.
Following the song "Total Praise", Captain Phil Layton proclaimed a Gospel invitation linked to the theme which also introduced our band's principal piece of the evening, "Reflections in Praise" written by Songster leader Wesley Carroll. At the conclusion you could have heard a pin drop as the Holy Spirit took hold of the moment.
The second half of the programme featured the Hythe Town Concert Band in a programme of toe-tapping film scores and classical transcriptions. Even in this secular half of the concert, Fred Aberg's choice of 'Blessed Assurance' was particularly poignant.
The Right Worshipful Mayor of Hythe and Speaker for the Confederation of Cinque Ports, Councillor Alan Ewart-James, said, "The 2009 season of St. Leonard's Church concerts opened with a spectacular band concert given by the Hythe Band of The Salvation Army and the Hythe Town Concert Band. The Salvation Army Band along with their Songsters really raised the roof and the big band sound of the Hythe Town Concert Band filled the church with such wonderful melodies that it made me realise how lucky we are to have such musical talent in our town.
2 More Adherents at Hythe Salvation Army
Once again our church was in a celebration mode as we welcomed two new Adherents (members of our congregation who have decided to formalise their membership,
professing their Christian faith as well as identifying with The Salvation Army's Mission Statement).
Nancy Shaxted (pictured) and Maureen Smith are two of the many friendly people you'd meet if you came along to one of our services!
Tournament Winners & Runners-Up
At the first football tournament of the year, members of our own Salvation Army Football Club split to make two teams which performed very well indeed.
As a result, the tournament final had the two teams facing each other and, after a tense draw, the game had to be decided on penalties!
Once again we are very proud of our youngsters who represent us with pure football and fair play.
Annual Prizegiving and Awards for KidZone and Football Club
'Football Crazy' was the theme of this special annual service in which we celebrated the youngsters who are involved at our church through the KidZone (Sunday School) and Football Club.
The youth presented items through song, dance, prayers, and instruments and in between times were presented Christian books, CDs and DVDs to encourage their development and remind them that they are valued as a part of our spiritual family.
The main talk was divided into two halves as the basics of Christianity were compared to a football match, after which the footballers received certificate awards for consistent sportsmanship, fair play, and pure football.
Following the service the KidZone members had more fun as they played games and decorated cakes, while the footballers did their thing in the local park, before we all joined together again for a meal.