The Romney Marsh Benefice
The Romney Marsh Benefice comprises fourteen churches including;
- St Eanswyth at Brenzett
- St Augustine at Brookland
- All Saints, Burmarsh
- St Peter and St Paul, Dymchurch
- St Thomas Beckett, Fairfield
- St Peter's, Greatstone
- St Georges, Ivychurch
- All Saints' at Lydd
- St Peter and St Paul, Newchurch
- St Nicholas, New Romney
- St Clements, Old Romney
- St Dunstan at Snargate
- St Mary the Virgin, St Mary-in-the-Marsh
- All Saints, St Mary's Bay
Regular and varied Sunday and midweek services, covering different styles of worship, are held within the Benefice as we worship and share God's love.
We are working to be a prominent and life giving presence within our communities.
Team Rector’s Report
Reverend Chris Hodgkins
2022 has been a year of watching and praying. It was my first full year in post and, much like a gardener, I wanted to see what grew in which season and what needed to be pruned or weeded out before new things could be planted and nurtured.
Our work with schools has been by far the biggest area of growth. Reverend Jacky has brought together a team of people who are interested in schools work and, whilst there have been some set backs, I am confident that the Spirit is moving in our schools. The highlight for me was our Confirmation service which saw 10 children from St Nicholas C of E Primary Academy stand and make their declaration of faith before being confirmed by Bishop Rose. Three of the children were also baptised by her. It was a joyful service and since then we have had our first School Communion Service.
Jacky and I met with Ben Hatfield, Diocesan Children and Young People’s Ministry Advisor, to explore how we can take our work with young people further. Three strands emerged from this meeting ‘Relational Hubs’, ‘Kick’ and ‘Weald Family Hub’. Each one has its pros and cons and our next step is to discern what will work for us. This will be a big project which will take time and resources we may not have now but we can explore funding opportunities as they arise.
There are a number of emerging ‘plants’ that need to be encouraged across the benefice. We have a Ministry Leadership Team consisting of clergy and laity, this is a great source of support, prayer, knowledge and advice for me and will be of benefit to us all as we grow together. There is the schools’ team we have talked about and there is a need for a pastoral group to ensure every community across the benefice is able to access pastoral care when needed.
Looking to the year ahead, I am sure this will be a season of growth. I have no doubt that it will be difficult, especially as we say goodbye to Reverend Chris Maclean who has been a great source of support to Lydd and a good friend to me, and there will have to be some cutting and pruning. Those of you who are better gardeners than me will know that pruning leads to new shoots and fruit, as we read in John 15. John 15 tells how God is the gardener and Jesus is the vine, those branches that do not bear fruit must be cut away but those that do bear fruit are pruned so that can be even more fruitful. How we do this will be explored together and I am looking forward to seeing what fruits I will be writing about this time next year.
Jesus said “You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go and bear fruit, fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”
John 15. 16-17
We have all been chosen by God to bear fruit in His name, the first of these fruits is Love. As we look behind at what has been and look forward together at what might be let us not lose sight of our love for God and for one another.
Reverend Chris Hodgkins