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Church letter

July 2024

Click for the church letter from June 2024

The village gathers

The village came together at the ‘Benenden Fete in support of St George’s Church’ on Saturday 15 June, and showed great community spirit. If you came along, thank you for being there. If you didn’t manage to get to it, you missed a great gathering!

Two days before, the weather forecast for the day was pretty awful; rain (most of the day and for set-up day); a risk of thunder and lightning; and 40-45mph winds for the four-hour duration of the fete. The ‘gazebo village’ would not have survived that; and we didn’t fancy having to retrieve wayward gazebos from the bottom of The Green. We had two options: cancel or adapt ... and we weren’t going to cancel! So, a different layout and format of the fete was created; moving most stalls into the church or churchyard. Regrettably some things had to be cancelled due to the reduced space. After a huge amount of rejigging, we went ahead.

6am Saturday, we woke to a beautiful morning. By 9am the clouds came up; 10am it was raining; 11am the winds started to pick up and it continued to rain. But the new gazebo village created in the lee of the church stood firm; as did the stalwart stall holders. The afternoon remained windy, but the rain stopped and the sun came out. At times it was a little cosy due to the smaller space, but we did it; the village gathered and had a wonderful time together. So huge “thanks” to the fete committee; to all the stall holders (not just for the day, but your efforts in the weeks and months beforehand); to all those who helped set-up and/or de-rig; and to you if you came along and made the community event such a success.

As well as the wonderful community atmosphere, the fete was also successful financially - despite the reduced footfall because of the weather. Takings were down on last year, but we still raised just over £12,000 for the church funds; incredible. This is a wonderful reflection of the generous spirit of our community. Some of the monies raised will go towards the running of your parish church, and some will be given by St George’s to various charities. Last year we gave £8,000 to support 15 local, national or international charities. Details of the charities we will support this year will be publicised in the magazine later in the year.

Whilst speaking of the great community spirit, I want to make you aware of the efforts of one Year 6 pupil from Benenden Primary School. Beatrix Plewes wrote to me asking if she could have a stall at the fete to sell cuddly toys for the ‘Children ring the bell’ charity - a children’s cancer charity. She raised an amazing £205 on the day. Well done, Bea; and thank you for thinking of other children and wanting to help them.

The village gathered and we had a great time. We should be grateful for the great community in which we live, and not take it for granted. Thank you all.

Revd David Commander, Rector and Area Dean

Events

Summer Tea

Sun 14th Jul, 2pm

Enjoy a cup of tea/coffee and some cake
Click for details

Parish Council Meeting

Mon 15th Jul, 7pm

Come and see what's happening
Click for details

Mobile Library in Benenden village

Tue 16th Jul, 10am

Pick up the fortnight's reading
Click for details

Mobile Library at the hospital

Tue 16th Jul, 10:40am

Pick up the fortnight's reading
Click for details

Iden Green and Benenden WI

Tue 16th Jul, 2pm

Flower arranging with Rachel Freeman
Click for details

Benenden Bowls Club

Thu 18th Jul, 6:30pm

Practice night
Click for details

Cornhole tossing at St George's Club

Sat 20th Jul, 8:15pm

Come and try your luck
Click for details

Open Gardens in aid of Hospice in the Weald

Sun 21st Jul, 12:30pm

Tickets can be bought on the day
Click for details

Summer Tea

Sun 21st Jul, 2pm

Enjoy a cup of tea/coffee and some cake
Click for details

Merry and Bright Club

Tue 23rd Jul, 2pm

Croquet afternoon at The Coachhouse
Click for details

Benenden Bowls Club

Thu 25th Jul, 6:30pm

Practice night
Click for details

See full list of events