A belated, 'Merry Christmas' from Hythe Salvation Army! Yesterday was a busy day which started with our Christmas Day Meeting and was followed by Christmas Dinner with all the trimmings, quizzes, games, carol singing and entertainment for 42 guests all pulled off by a small army of volunteers. Thanks to everyone who has helped make Christmas at Hythe Salvation Army such a success this year.
Last Outdoor Carolling Engagement Of The Year
A bout of sickness and work/family commitments meant that the band was depleted for its final outdoor engagement of the year- but nonetheless the people of Hythe were generous and as encouraging as ever.
Thank you so much for your kind support of The Salvation Army this festive period- you've quite literally bought Christmas Dinners, toys and food for those in need!
Carol service in Appledore
Every year on the Monday before Christmas, a coach picks up our band to go and lead an outdoor carol service in Appledore. Here are some pictures from this year's trip!
Carols at the Castle
We had a fantastic evening yesterday with hundreds of others as we lead "Carols at the Castle" in the spectacular surroundings of Lympne Castle who had worked very hard to put together all the logistics of a superb event to raise money for the local community! The band accompanied hearty singing, the Saltwood Handbell Ringers provided a special festive touch and Lt. Callum delivered a gospel message about the "extra-ordinary lengths" involved at Christmas- not least the extra ordinary length that God went to in sending his son Jesus so that people could know true joy, love and peace.
Thanks to all those who made last night such a success!
We had a brilliant "Wrapping Party" today as we packaged up dozens (and dozens!!) of presents for families in the local area this Christmas. Thanks so much to the generosity of the people of Hythe for making this all possible!
The hall was full to overflowing for our Messy Nativity this afternoon! A bumper crowd came out for an afternoon of Christmassy Crafts and play, singing and stories followed by a festive themed tea.
Eric Retires From The Band
During our worship this morning Lt. Callum presented Eric Godden with a certificate of appreciation, recognising the 25 years of service that Eric has given to Salvation Army Bands. Happy retirement Eric!
Carolling In Hythe High Street
Some of the band were out playing carols in Hythe High Street today- take a look at this fantastic sketch by John Sinclaire-Thomas!
Carolling With South Kent Community Church
For the past two evenings we've joined with our very good friends from South Kent Community Church to sing Christmas carols in 8 different nursing and residential homes in Hythe. A blessing to us indeed!
Despite the drizzle we had a wonderful time yesterday at our annual Christmas Celebration in partnership with the FHODS at the Tower Theatre. Our band and community choir participated, as did the Ashford Sinfonia and there was also an 'on-the-spot' bespoke piano composition made up of songs shouted out by the audience from Wesley Carroll. Lt. Berri brought the Christmas Message considering how God can give us everlasting joy. All in all a great evening of singing, music and laughing.
We express our thanks to all those who worked so hard to make the evening a success, to those so gave so generously in the Christmas Appeal at to a bumper crowd for great carol singing!
Carol Singing On Saltwood Green
The band had a fantastic evening leading carol singing on Saltwood Green this evening with a bumper crowd, mild weather and the same old jokes!
First Weekend Of Carrolling
We've had a busy, but exciting, first weekend of December. It all started on Friday, when the band took up their place under the Town Hall for the annual Hythe High Street Late Night Shopping. The band played carols to shoppers, as well as accompanying a short carol service organised by the Mayor of Hythe, Cllr Paul Peacock and attended by other mayors from across the local area.
On Saturday, the band played for shoppers in Sainsbury's and even tried out a new bandmaster and bass player (see photos!)
Finally, on Sunday, the children and young people of our Church lead us in an "Out of this world" Carol Service which featured some Star Wars characters. They were absolutely excellent and really helped us to explore different things that the Christmas story means.
There are plenty of opportunities throughout December to hear the band or join in one of our services. This week the band are at Saltwood Green on Tuesday at 7:30pm. Next Sunday, our festive family worship will be at 10:15 am and our community Christmas Celebration will take place at 6:00pm at the Tower Theatre Folkestone, featuring the band, songsters, Community Choir, Steve Hawkins and the Ashford Sinfonia. This event is ticketed and all of the free tickets were allocated over a month ago, but this week we have had a small number of returns- get in touch quickly if you want them!
Last Youth Group Before Christmas
As it was the last session before Christmas, this evening the youth group had great fun with a grand designs gingerbread house challenge. Just like the icing that held the houses together (or not..!) they then considered how Jesus holds it all together!
Carol Leads Us In Worship
Thank you to everyone for their support this morning, especially those who took part, the prayerful time led by Carol, the testimonies, the inspired choice of music from the band and songsters that caused a major diversion to the meeting, and as always every Sunday the inspirational piano playing of Wesley, which encourages such great singing from the congregation. AND an extra special thanks to Ashley who always arrives early and helps set the band up and today the IT.- Richard.
Shepway Community Choir's First Rehersal
Our Shepway Community Choir are having a great first rehearsal of the season ready for our Christmas Celebration at the Tower Theatre on 10th December. Feels funny singing Christmas songs on a day as sunny as today!
End of Summer
The Youth Connect group marked the official end of summer by having chips and a fire on the beach complete with marshmallows and card games!
Harvest Weekend 15th - 17th
At the start of our harvest weekend the youth connect group had a special challenge! Each team was given £5.00 and had to go food shopping with awards given to the team who could rustle up 1) the most meals, 2) the healthiest meal and 3) the most exciting meal. It was a great opportunity to reflect on the work of our foodbank and to pray for those who use it.
It's been a great weekend as we have celebrated Harvest as a Church family. On Saturday we had a Quiz Night and Harvest Supper which was very competitive but great fun. Then, this morning, Lt. Berri lead our family worship which explored the story of Ruth, Boaz and Naomi from the Old Testament. We thought about the ways in which God has been compassionate to us and how we, in turn, should show compassion even when it is difficult or it feels like we don't have to. We also brought our Harvest altar service offerings along with food donations to restock our much depleted and needed foodbank. All in all, a great weekend with much food for thought (and enjoyment!)
Do you really know what goes on at your corps?
What about rescuing 8 foreign young people from an elderly ladies back garden on a Saturday evening? Not your corps? Well it is Hythe ....
On Saturday the Lt. Callum McKenna, Salvation Army - Hythe receives a phone call from the leader of 8 Germans who had booked accommodation but had been let down. They went to the big church and as they were camping they were told to go to West Hythe "because there are farmers there with fields". So they end up in an "elderly ladies" back garden" accompanied with torrential rain - everything soaked. Salvation Army to the rescue! I was asked to help transport some from the back garden to our hall where they had hot drinks etc. In the meantime our Captain took all their wet clothes home and dried them in their tumble drier. I know the Elderly Lady and because of this she acted more friendly towards them and allowed them to sleep in an outhouse which is brick built and dry. Later on the evening we took them back to the elderly lady. Is that the end of the story? No!...
The Elderly ladies back garden is in fact a small field, with a slight slope away from the house and having been told by the Elderly Lady to keep away from her house all their tents were pitched in very very wet patch!!! Anyway after a chat with the the Elderly Lady allowed them to put their tents nearer to the house on higher ground.
Callum & I went home safe in the knowledge that what ever else might happen the young people would at least be dry.
Nothing happened on Sunday, well not as far as the 8 German students were concerned, we still had our great time of worship and fellowship at the corps.
Move forward to Monday. Telephone call from the Elderly Lady one of the youngsters was feeling ill and could I take them to the walk in centre? Apart from the one feeling unwell the rest according to the Elderly Lady were feeling much better as she had made them a "BEAUTIFUL STEW" on Sunday evening (and now one was ill !!!!!) Callum in the meantime was at a meeting with Hythe Town Council about 2 men who have been sleeping in the Town Hall Undercroft for several days/nights. I was actually out delivering Big Collection packs when I got the call, so said I would be with them in about 20 minutes.
I then get a call to tell me that the young folk had left and were heading for the "The Castle" public house in Saltwood where they had been offered a couple of rooms at £30 a room. How on earth they got from a back garden to The Castle I'll never know. Anyway the Elderly Lady suggested that I go and meet them and direct them to Saltwood because they didn't know where it was.
Another phone call this time from Callum whose meeting was finished and while walking to meet Berri he met these young people, and he was able to point them in the right direction.
After lunch Callum popped up to The Castle, and the young folk were feeling much better including the one who was ill !! So Callum came away grateful that he had been able to help, and that the Stew probably did do them some good.
Today Tuesday I believe they are heading for Deal. I think they got a good deal at the Hythe Salvation Army.
Sunday 10th September 2017
Our worship this morning was led by Majors Julia and Robert Jepson from our regional office who encouraged us to think about how we can be spiritually healthy as individuals and as a church.
TREK TO TRANSFORM - Friday 28th August 2017
Next Easter, some of our Youth Group are heading off to Kenya as part of their 'Transformers' Programme where they will have the opportunity to see and join in with some of The Salvation Army's work as well as think about how they can play their part in transforming their local community. Preparations for their trip are well underway and they, along with lots of others from Hythe Salvation Army, are busy raising funds for the trip and to support The Salvation Army's incredible work in Kenya.
Sunday 9th July 2017
Our meeting was led by Majors Robert and Julia Jepson, South East DHQ. and the introduced the "fit for Mission" programme, with a variety of illustrations etc that kept the congregation (a packed hall) engaged and interested including testing the aeronautical engineering skills of the congregation (see video below)
Summer Concert - Saturday 8th July 2017
Summer Concert with the Shepway Community Choir and soloists, Emilie Margott, euphonium and trombone, and Wesley Carroll, piano.
The event raised £320 towards the cost of our young people 's visit to Kenya next Easter.
The choir excelled in a wide range of musical styles, Circle Of Life, Can You Feel The Love Tonight, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Ain't No Mountain High Enough.
Emilie played "Grandfather Clock" with great panache and contrasted with a soulful rendition of Joy Webb's "There will be God" which was greeted with a reverent silence. Later in the programme Emilie displayed her virtuosity in playing the trombone solo "Ochils".
Wesley who is also the choir's Musical Director and pianist and also accompanied Emilie and provided two brilliant solos, both his own arrangements of a selection of well know piano solos. Just how many notes can two hands play?
Inspirational Testimony - 25th June
We had an inspiring time of worship together this morning which included a challenging testimony from Jane and some ladders as we considered the story of Zacchaeus.
Emergency Response - 24th June
Last week members of the Hythe SA Family Joan Crossland-Page, Hilary and Andy Maguire went to support some of the incredible work being undertaken by the emergency services and The Salvation Army at the Grenfell Tower site.
Civic Sunday & Corps Garden Party - 18th June
This morning we were challenged and encouraged by our Family Worship as Berri lead us around the theme of "Lost and Found" and some of the youth group contributed a drama.
Also this morning, Richard represented The Salvation Army at the Annual Civic Service at the Parish Church where he read to the mayor William Booth's "I'll Fight Speech" as a challenge for his mayoral term.
Then this afternoon we made the most of the glorious sunshine and gathered at the Quarters for a garden party- much fun, sun and laugher enjoyed by all!
Youth Connect Group - 16th June
The Youth Connect Group made the most of the glorious weather this evening by having a BBQ and garden games- much fun and laughter all round!
Visit of the AUS Territorial Youth Band
What a weekend it's been as we have hosted the AUS Territorial Youth Band, and their special guest singer Sylvie Paladino, at the start of their 10 day UK tour.
After arriving late on Friday evening, the band fought off jet lag for some early morning rehearsals and marching practice before heading off down a sun kissed canal bank to form up ready for the morning's events. The band marched down the High Street where crowds came out of shops to see the band as they played "God's Children" (Himes) before eventually making their way to the Town Hall where the Mayor and Mayoress, Councillors Paul and Wendy Peacock, greeted the band. After the Civic Reception, which included the exchanging of the Hythe Town Seal with a photograph of the Band from its executive officer Captain Matt Reeve, the band gave a short open air concert.
After a carvery lunch and some well deserved free time, the band went to the Tower Theatre to prepare for the evening's festival to a near capacity crowd. This included sound checking and warming up with the very special guest star of the weekend - Sylvie Paladino. Sylvie is a sought after musical theatre performer all around the world and her works include starring roles in the West End production of Les Mis and Cats, Chess, Mamma Mia, and Hair amongst others. We were so fortunate to have Sylvie with us for the weekend of ministry.
The programme for the festival was varied and included works commissioned especially for the tour including "Semper Fidelis" (M. Cordner), "Enough for Me" (S. Creamer) and "Everything" (B. Hogg). The evening was skilfully compered by the band's very creative leader Ken Waterworth and Sylvie, who shared her testimony throughout in word and in song. A particularly powerful moment was when Sylvie sang, in her words, "a love song to God" in the form of Norman Hutchins' "Jesus I Love You" accompanied sensitively by Brandon Waterworth on the Vibraphone. The culmination of the programme were some challenging words from Captain Matt and a massed item featuring Sylvie and vocals and playing from the band in Len Ballantine's arrangement of "Amazing Grace".
On Sunday morning, the band set the tone as people squeezed into the hall for a standing room only worship meeting. Members of the band inspired the congregation with their contributions of prayers, testimony and a creative children's story (that didn't quite go to plan!) Captain Matt delivered a powerful message, in a humour way, from 2 Corinthians 12 and Sylvie Sang "I give you my heart". In all that the group did, they showed us far more than just musical excellence as they constantly witnessed to the message and meaning behind the music.
Photo Credits - Collette and Matt Poore & The AUS Territorial Youth Band.
Lt Callum McKenna and Bandmaster Richard Carroll were privileged to attend a reception in the parlour of the Right Worshipful Mayor of New Romney, Councillor Patricia Rolfe as she presented cheques to her four chosen local charities. Lt. Callum gratefully received the cheque for £1,000 and Richard discovered New Romney's historic Moot Horn...and, of course, he had to have a blow!
Henry's Dedication Saturday 29th and Sunday 30th April
Our special guests for the weekend were Lieutenants Louisa and Stephen Hollingsworth who came to conduct the dedication service of Henry, the son of our corps officers Berri and Callum on Saturday. They led an inspiring meeting on the theme of "Living Sacrifice" from Romans 12:1-2.
Easter Sunday was the jewel in our Easter Crown as we celebrated that Jesus is risen and thought about the difference the resurrection makes in our lives "Because He Lives..."
Towards the start of the meeting some of the children were invited to come to the front to open a mystery package which it was promised that some Easter treats would be inside. They were disappointed when they opened the box to find that what they were expecting wasn't there and it was explained that this was similar to the surprise of the women who went to the tomb in the first Easter. However, the women soon discovered that their disappointment was turned to surprise as something even better had happened...and the children were pleased to find a £5 note tucked away in the lid of the box! The children then helped with the Bible reading by holding up exclamation marks every time they wanted to congregation to gasp in surprise at something remarkable from the story (see video!)
Lt. Callum brought the message which explored Matthew 28:1-10 and thought about "Because he lives...the past is redeemed, the present is transformed and the future starts now!"
As is tradition, the congregation piled onto the canal bank for the final song, Thine is the Glory, to proclaim the Easter Story and as a reminder that the Resurrection sends us into our community.
Last Supper and Good Friday
We've had a significant 24 hours as we have reflected on the last 24 hours of Jesus's life. Last night we had a meditative service based on The Lord's Supper. This morning we joined with other Churches from Hythe and Saltwood in processing through the High Street before having an open air service in the town square. Afterwards, we met with members of South Kent Community Church for a joint service called "Places of the Passion" which helped us to consider some of the significant places in the passion story, and our place in the story today.
Sunday 9th April
We had an inspiring and uplifting time together this morning as we celebrated Palm Sunday and the start of Holy Week. The celebrations started outside as the band played and the congregation waved palms to help greet Flossy the Donkey who was marching through the town up to the Parish Church. Afterwards, we packed inside for worship which included contributions from the band and songsters, prayers from the congregation, the young people and a brilliant testimony from Grace Carroll who has been away at Easter Camp this week. Following the message, many took up the challenge to take a Palm cross to give away to someone who needed encouragement and who they were going to share their faith with in the week ahead. All in all, a great morning!
Sunday 2nd April
Meeting led by Divisional Commander Major Mark Herbert
We were blessed this morning as we met for worship under the leadership of the Divisional Commander Major Mark Herbert who is responsible for The Salvation Army's work across Kent and Sussex. Mark helped us to explore the nature of the Church from the book of Ephesians.
Sunday 26th March 2017
Mother's Day Celebration & Youth Prizegiving
Fantastic morning in Church for our family celebration which included recognition of all the amazing female role models in our Church family as well as prize giving for the children and youth.
Saturday 11th March 2017
South East Fellowship Band and Soloist Wesley Carroll
Thank you to the members of the SEFB for a very enjoyable concert last evening, including our two soloists, Ed Neeve and Bailey Kite, very well played guys. The programme also featured our outstanding guest soloist, Songster Leader Wes Carroll, piano. I know Wesley is my son but his performance was excellent. The bands programme was varied in content and style, from traditional marches, swing and SA classics, including Eric Ball's Pilgrim Way, and Dean Goffin's Light of the World. A collection, was taken to assist a group of Hythe Salvation Army teenagers to visit Kenya to help and observe some of the Salvation Army's work in that country and raised over £500. Thank you everyone.
Friday 3rd March 2017
We had a great time at youth group tonight making pancakes and thinking about Lent.
Sunday 29th January 2017
Church Health Check-Up - "Costly Calling" and Presentation of Silver Stars
We had another brilliant time of worship and fellowship this morning, as we welcomed Phil & Hannah Haines from South Kent Community Church to open the Word. We also presented Patricia and Roy Whitewood with 'Silver Stars' in recognition of their Son, Carl, becoming a Salvation Army Officer last July. Roy and Patricia also became members of "The Order of Favourite Mugs" as a mark of their retirement from serving the Teas and Coffees at the end of the meeting!
Sunday 22nd January 2017
Church Health Check-Up - "Living Laws of Love"
Matthew 22:34-40; John 13:1-5 & 34-35.
Had a great morning at Church this morning thinking about loving one another in an overflowing and genuine kind of way. I was especially challenged by the words of this song and
thought I'd share them as I don't think I've sung them too many times before.
Let Love Be Real (Tune: Londonderry Air)
Let love be real, in giving and receiving,
Without the need to manage and to own;
A haven free from posing and pretending,
Where every weakness may be safely known.
Give me your hand, along the desert pathway,
Give me your love wherever we may go:
As God loves us, so let us love each other,
With no demands, just open hands and space to grow.
Let love be real, not grasping or confining,
That strange embrace that holds yet sets us free;
That helps us face the risk of truly living,
And makes us brave to be what we might be.
Give me your strength when all my words are weakness,
Give me your love in spite of all you know:
As God loves us, so let us love each other,
With no demands, just open hands and space to grow.
Let love be real, with no manipulation,
No secret wish to harness or control;
Let us accept each other's incompleteness,
And share the joy of learning to be whole.
Give me your hope through dreams and disappointments,
Give me your trust when all my failings show:
As God loves us, so let us love each other,
With no demands, just open hands and space to grow.