A Very Warm Welcome to St Andrew’s Catholic Church, Tenterden


“We wish all visitors to this website and to the parish church, every peace and joy. We are a lively, richly diverse and very welcoming parish of the Catholic Archdiocese of Southwark. We extend pastoral care to those living in and around the Tenterden area, including the rural areas within a 6-mile radius. Please come and join in our celebrations or for some quiet time in the midst of this busy world.”

Fr John Hine, Parish Priest


Latest Newsletter

16 Sep 2017 | 09:30 am
The Parish Newsletter for week beginning 17th September 2017 is now available on line. To download it follow the link below Newsletter for week commencing 17th September 2017
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Fr. John Writes: 

I am away for ten days on the final bit of my annual vacation (staying with my close friends Clive and Kathy Jones in Co. Cork, returning on the 28th September). Please see the newsletter for details of Services during the weekdays in my absence.

Fr Jim Fleming, a Columban Missionary Priest will celebrate our Masses on the 23rd/24th Sept. He is coming for the annual Mission Appeal, and kindly offered to celebrate the Weekend Masses so that I could get a break. He ministered in Pakistan for 20 years and in the Philippines for 5 years, and is currently involved in this country in interfaith dialogue and Migrant/Asylum support.   I am sure you will welcome him (and get a break from me!).

Please continue to pray for Angela Drummond Brady (very weak), for Kevin Thornton (in hospital –broken collarbone), and for Elena’s daughter.

Our Holy Father Pope Francis wrote a letter some time ago to all of us entitled “Love & Joy”, and it has stirred up a lot of interest around the world. On Saturday the 30th September there is a meeting for adults in the Kent Area of our diocese at West Malling 10am – 1pm so that we can explore and discuss the Pope’s views on love in the family. Have chat with some fellow parishioners and see if a small group of you could take part in this. I am sure it will be worthwhile. Booking is essential – see the notice in the Church porch.

The time of Christmas Night Mass 2017

Up to now, we have always celebrated our first Christmas Mass at midnight.

A suggestion was made that we should review this arrangement.

So I initiated a consultation among all parishioners, and the following points were raised:

  • A number of people questioned whether our Christmas programme is not falling rather heavily on those involved in the liturgy and the music.
  • One or two had strong objections abandoning Midnight Mass, based mainly on the fact that all their lives it had been the most important part of Christmas for them. I can understand this – it has been just so for me.
  • Over the month, more and more responses reached me from those who favoured some change.
  • It was pointed out to me that the numbers attending midnight Mass were not as many as they once were. Last year the congregations at 8.30 am and 10.30 am Masses were larger than the Midnight Mass. Parishioners who had once been strongly committed to the annual Midnight Mass identified various reasons why, sadly, it was no longer feasible for them.
  • Some identified the issue of stress for those involved in Liturgy – sacristans, choir, clergy, etc. This is very particular to this year because of the near conjunction of Sunday and Christmas day. This only happens very occasionally.   However, it does bring to our attention the underlying issue of making best use of our human resources.
  • We are not the only parish facing this issue. Many parishes have already abandoned Mass at midnight in favour of a different time for the above reasons.

As I reflected on all of this, I was acutely aware of the very understandable emotional appeal of night-time Mass at Christmas.

I reread the Gospel accounts of Jesus’ birth at Bethlehem. Nowhere does it say Jesus was born at midnight, or even at night time. However it does say that the angels announcing the Good News to the shepherds did so in the night-time.

So it is logical to presume the birth was at night time. But also, the official liturgical book of our Roman Rite does not actually specify ‘midnight’ Mass, but ‘Mass during the night’.

Consequently I have come to the decision that this year we will celebrate our Nativity Mass at 10pm (i.e. ‘during the night’) rather than at midnight.

Our Confirmation candidates start their preparation for reception of this Sacrament this coming Saturday (9th Sept)  so I would ask you to pray for them.

It is a really important step in their journey as Catholics and they will be working hard – but I hope we will also enjoy the process.

If anyone has not yet applied to join this group THIS IS YOUR LAST CHANCE!

Please book your place on the Ecumenical Visit to Canterbury Cathedral on Wednesday 11th October with Deacon Jolyon

Please note also:

Suicide Alertness for Everyone (safeTALK)

This is a suicide alertness programme that teaches participants to recognise people who may have thoughts of suicide and connect them to intervention resources.

Delivered in a three-hour session, safeTALK helps participants to:

  • Be aware that opportunities to help a person with thoughts of suicide are sometimes missed, dismissed
  • Recognise when someone might be having thoughts of suicide
  • Feel confident in listening to the personʼs feelings and talk with them in an honest and direct way
  • Know what are the local suicide intervention resources
  • Act quickly to connect a person with thoughts of suicide to someone trained in suicide intervention.

SafeTALK is facilitated by an experienced trainer and incorporates discussion, practical guidance, video clips and interactive learning.

A safeTALK session – aimed specifically at creating awareness of young people who may have thoughts of suicide – will be held in St Mildred’s Church, Tenterden, on Tuesday 19th September, from 6.30pm until 9.30pm.

You will need to book a place, which you can do by contacting The Reverend Canon Lindsay Hammond (01580 761591 / tentvic@gmail.com). There are a maximum of 30 places available.

Luther Quincentenary Choral Evensong

15th October 2017 from 15:15 to 16:00 in the Quire of Canterbury Cathedral, supported by Churches Together in Kent.

This service is in the middle of a series of five talks commemorating the origins of the Reformation and focusing on the five central themes that were the subject of intense and passionate debate

  • Jesus
  • the Bible
  • Justification by Faith,
  • God
  • Creeds.

The talks at St Peter’s Methodist Church in Canterbury will be chaired by the Bishop of Dover, the Rt. Revd. Trevor Wilmott and will all start at 19.45 hrs.

Wednesday 27 September: Jesus: How can we understand that he is the Saviour of the world? Rt. Revd. Michael Nazir-Ali, President of OXTRAD and former Bishop of Rochester.

Wednesday 4 October: The Bible: Can it still be read as the unique truth about God? Ms. Veronica Zundel, non-fictional writer, poet and devotional writer.

Wednesday 11 October: Justification by faith: What it might mean today? Fr Tom Herbst OFM, writer and theologian.

Wednesday 18 October: God: Has he changed in the 500 years since Luther? The Revd. the Lord Griffiths, Superintendent Minister, Wesley’s Chapel, London.

Wednesday 25 October: Creeds: Is it possible to say them without denying one’s intellect. Professor Frances Young, Emeritus Professor of Theology, Birmingham University.



Fr John’s Thought of the Week