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Church letter

April 2024

Click for the church letter from March 2024

The Lord is Risen! He is risen indeed Alleluia!

April, and spring has well and truly sprung. What a beautiful time of year. What a beautiful part of God’s creation we live in; I hope we do not ever take it for granted.

You should be receiving this edition of the magazine just before Easter Sunday, which this year falls on 31 March. Easter Sunday is the day of joy and celebration and real hope within the Christian faith. We have journeyed together from Ash Wednesday all the way through the weeks of Lent. (If you’ve been coming to the Lent Course on the revelations of Julian of Norwich, you will have grappled with the graphic accounts of her revelations, which do not make for easy listening.) We have travelled through Holy Week: through Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter Eve; and finally, we arrive at the joy of Easter Sunday. Celebrating Christ’s resurrection. And we do so with the wonder and joy of a Sunrise Service. (I’m really grateful I’m a lark not an owl, though, because this year the clocks also go forward on Easter Sunday).

So, at this time in the church year, I am continuing with the theme of last month’s letter; with joy and hope rather than gloom, as we remember and celebrate the resurrection of Christ. This joy and hope and love is beautifully expressed by the poet and priest, Malcolm Guite. This is a sonnet, the 15th, from his book ‘Sounding the Seasons’, published by Canterbury Press. In it he captures the intimacy of the moment of encounter with the risen Christ.

A Sonnet for Easter Dawn

He blesses every love which weeps and grieves

And now he blesses hers who stood and wept

And would not be consoled, or leave her love’s

Last touching place, but watched as low light crept

Up from the east. A sound behind her stirs

A scatter of bright birdsong through the air.

She turns, but cannot focus through her tears,

Or recognise the Gardener standing there.

She hardly hears his gentle question “Why,

Why are you weeping?”, or sees the play of light

That brightens as she chokes out her reply

“They took my love away, my day is night”

And then she hears her name, she hears Love say

The Word that turns her night, and ours, to Day.

May you hear Love speaking to you. May Love turn your Night to Day. May you be able to respond with joy this Easter Sunday to the words: The Lord is Risen! He is risen indeed Alleluia!

Happy Easter.

Revd David Commander, Rector and Area Dean


Village lunch

Tue 16th Apr, 12:30pm

Come and lunch with local friends
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Iden Green and Benenden WI

Tue 16th Apr, 2pm

Bringing Up Baby the Victorian Wayl
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Benenden gardening club

Tue 16th Apr, 6:30pm

Spring show and plant sale
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Benenden Bowls Club

Thu 18th Apr, 6:30pm

Practice night
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Benenden School concerts in Centenary Hall

Sat 20th Apr, 7pm

Ronnie Scott’s Jazz Club: A Jazz Portrai
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Quiz night at St George's Club

Sat 20th Apr, 8:15pm

Come and try your luck
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Mobile Library in Benenden village

Tue 23rd Apr, 10am

Pick up the fortnight's reading
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Mobile Library at the hospital

Tue 23rd Apr, 10:40am

Pick up the fortnight's reading
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Merry and Bright Club

Tue 23rd Apr, 2pm

Visit to Cranbrook Museum
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Benenden Bowls Club

Thu 25th Apr, 6:30pm

Practice night
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Summer BBQ at St George's Club

Sat 27th Apr, 8:15pm

Come and join in
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See full list of events