Mobile phone base station – PCC decides

The PCC has decided to proceed with the proposal for a mobile phone aerial for in the church tower. It could not turn down this badly needed source of income without being in breach of its legal duties in the absence of sufficiently substantial reasons. Some parishioners generously tried to raise alternative income to compensate the PCC if it were to turn down the proposal but did not receive sufficient support from the village.

The next step is for the PCC to get a faculty (permission) from the Consistory Court of the diocese and if it obtains that it will enter into a contract with the operator. It will probably take several weeks for the faculty to be granted even if there are no objections.

This will not bring quite as much advantage to the village as had been hoped. There is only room in the tower for antennae for one operator which will be O2 and the services (such as Tesco Mobile) using its network. Also the upper part of the village (incl. Brewers Road and Pear Tree Lane) is unlikely to receive a signal as it is above the level of the church tower.

Mobile Phone Aerial in Church Tower

Shorne has always had very poor mobile phone coverage. Now, we understand, operators are required by law to fill in the gaps in their coverage. Two of them have selected our church tower as the most suitable site for an internal aerial covering Shorne. The Parochial Church Council is in the final stages of negotiations about this.

The present position is that the PCC has settled details of the installation with the operators’ agent and the diocesan authorities subject to making a final decision and the grant of a faculty (formal permission from the diocesan consistory court). No planning permission or listed building consent is needed.

Before the PCC takes a formal decision whether to apply for a faculty and enter into a formal agreement with the operators’ agent it wants parishioners to have the opportunity to find out more about the proposals and have an opportunity to comment on them.

It has therefore arranged a drop-in session in the church between 4 and 7 p.m. on Thursday the 17th August. Parishioners are invited to call in between these hours and meet a representative of the operators’ agent (who will be able to describe the proposals, try and answer any questions) and a member of the PCC will be there to take away any concerns expressed.

After that, and assuming the PCC decides to go ahead, it will apply for a faculty. To save time a formal notice of intention to apply for a faculty will soon be fixed to the church door but the application will not be submitted unless and until the PCC has made that decision.

Information can also be obtained from Andrew Moffat (PCC Secretary) Three Elms, Woodlands Lane, Shorne, DA12 3HH (01474) 822280

High Five Club

For several years we have supported the High Five Club. This is a small charity based in Kent which helps  impoverished communities in wildlife areas of Africa. Its priorities are poverty reduction, education, health & nutrition, environmental and sustainable livelihoods. The leading lights in the charity are husband and wife team Dr Cheryl Mvula MBE and Manny Mvula. You can find out more on its web site. Below is more about what the charity is doing and events to support it.

Cake Bake & Fun Morning

Dennis Usher’s 6 year old grandson Jack will be baking some cakes and selling them to raise money for the High Five Club on Saturday 3rd June starting at 10.00am. Apart from cakes and drinks to wash them down there will be fun and games for everyone to enjoy. Jack’s cousin Isabel (12 years old) will be helping Jack, and if anyone wishes to contribute any cakes they will be much appreciated.

Please come and support Jack, Isabel and the work of the High Five Club while enjoying a piece of cake and having some fun. There will be an update in the May magazine and on the church notice sheets.

Supporting schools

The school in Zambia as it is now

High Five Club is raising money to construct 2 classrooms for a remote, rural school in  Zambia. The school is for 80+ 5-7 year olds and currently consists of 2 mud-walled rooms with a leaky thatch roof. The kids sit on mounds of earth as chairs, and their desks are also made out of compacted mud. £8,000 could provide 2 brick-built classrooms along with desks, chairs and a blackboard.

Providing fresh water

As access to clean water is the number one priority in rural Africa, the High Five Club has made
water provision in wildlife areas of Zambia one of its core deliverables. We are expanding our
reach year by year to bring safe, clean water to thousands of people in villages across the Luangwa
Valley. In line with our self-help ‘hand up’ approach to development, High Five Club provides the
funds to pay for the labour (all of our wells are hand dug using specialist local well diggers),
cement, metal chains, windresses (winding mechanism), lids for the wells and buckets, and the villagers themselves hand-make the bricks and collect the river sand needed to construct the walls
that line the wells. In this way ownership of the wells by the community is assured.

Download file to find out more (a pdf file so you will need Adobe Reader).


Our New Vicar’s Service of Institution

On the 5th January the church was full to welcome our new Vicar, Revd. Ted Hurst. He was ‘instituted’ into the post by the Bishop of Rochester the Rt Revd James Langstaff and is now  working part time as vicar and part time as a hospital chaplain at Darent Valley Hospital.

The procession forms
The procession to start the service
The Bishop & Churchwardens in the procession
Ted makes declaration of faith
Ted takes oath of allegiance
The Bishop's sermon
Kath, Angela & Mark present water, bread & wine
Julie presents the electoral roll
Maggie presents oil of healing
Ted responds to Bishop's questions
Inigo asks a question
The congregation offers its support
The Bishop anoints Ted
Ted is presented with the keys of the church
Ted tolls a bell symbolising taking office


The Vicar’s Service of Institution

On the evening of Thursday 5th January, this year; we saw our beautiful and ancient parish church full to the rafters for the institution service of our new Vicar, the Rev. Ted Hurst.  The service was led by the Right Reverend James Langstaff, Bishop of Rochester and the Venerable Simon Burton-Jones, Archdeacon of Rochester; supported by Rev. Sue Brewer, Area Dean, Gravesend.

So many people came to support Ted; coming from, his previous parishes of Gillingham and Rainham, Ted’s own family and close friends, local Clergy and Lay Readers from the Gravesend Deanery, Clergy who have helped us during our year without a vicar, Greta Goatley the Mayor of Gravesham and Parish Council representatives, Caroline Conroy the head teacher of our Church of England Primary School and so many of our own parish family.

The service was formal but light and everyone taking part enjoyed a wonderfully moving experience.  We must thank those who spent many hours preparing  for the evening; especially: Jane Watson, choir leader and the choir; along with the choir members from Ted’s previous parishes, who came to support our choir; Andrew Dunne, organist, who although not our own organist, spent his own free time to help us with preparing our music; Hilary Moore and her team of flower arrangers, for decorating the church so beautifully;  Andrew Moffat, our retired churchwarden, for his tireless help with the invitations and expertise on planning the event; and a very big thank you to the family who made an anonymous donation, to cover the cost of the reception in the Village Hall; and of course thank you to Gloria Ashby, Ashby Caterers, for the lovely spread.

We warmly thank everyone who took part or attended the event for their support and wish Ted and his wife, Silvie happiness in their new home and a long and fruitful ministry here in Shorne – please keep them in your prayers in the coming months as they begin their new lives amongst us.

Photographs of the event can be found on our web page:

Jaqui Olid and Sandra Cackett, churchwardens

Our New Vicar

The Parochial Church Council (in conjunction with the Cathedral as patron) is pleased to announce that the next vicar of St Peter and St Paul, Shorne will be the Reverend Ted Hurst, who is currently Team Curate in the South Gillingham Team Ministry.  He will work half time in the parish and continue his other job half time as Chaplain to the KMPT NHS Trust.  The service to make Ted the new vicar will be on Thursday 5th January – see the calendar for more information; he will start working in the parish after that. 

Andrew, Sylvie, Colin, Ted & Karl

Andrew, Sylvie, Colin, Ted & Karl

Ted Hurst has been married to Sylvie for 39 years, They have three grown up sons, Colin 38, Andrew 36  and Karl 30.  Colin is married to Sarah and they have one son Henry and another son due in January [Charlie].

Ted has been actively involved in ministry for about 30 years. He has worked for different churches as Children’s, Youth and Families worker. Ted worked for about 12 years as the Children’s Officer for the Diocese of Canterbury. He has also worked as chaplain in hospitals and the prison service.

Ted was Ordained in 2011 and served his curacy in the Parish of South Gillingham. Ted and Sylvie will be moving to Shorne just before Christmas and should be installed as vicar in early January.

Ted and Sylvie are very excited about coming to Shorne, and ask that you pray for them as they move from Rainham and take up this new ministry in Shorne.

The HG Wells connection


We were recently contacted by a John Wells from japan who is a great grandson of the writer H.G. Wells. He was researching his family history and had found that the grandfather of H.G. Wells, Joseph Wells, was buried in Shorne churchyard. The grave is included (section D no. 154) in the survey of memorials that is on this site.

Last month Mr Wells, with his wife Tomoyo and son Ken, visited the churchyard to see the grave. They and the grave are shown in the accompanying photographs (see above and below). They were visiting England to attend a commemoration of the 150th anniversary of H.G. Wells’ birth, held in Woking on the 21st September, when a statue of him. was unveiled.  Woking is where he and his wife Jane lived while writing War of the Worlds, etc, and was first acclaimed as a writer.

Joseph Wells (who was born in Ireland) and his father Edward before him were head gardeners at the Redleaf Estate near Penshurst. This was a significan garden at the time and received a very enthusiastic write up in the Gardener’s Magazine of July 1839 by J.C. Loudon the famous Scottish garden designer and botanist who founded that magazine. While there Joseph raised the first dwarf dahlias.

The owner of the estate, by coincidence a William Wells who was not related to our Wells, died in 1847 and it was probably soon after that Joseph moved to Shorne as he was recorded as living there with his wife Mary and daughters Elizabeth (a milliner aged 18) and Hannah (a scholar aged 14) in the 1851 census. The reason for moving to Shorne is not known, nor anything about his life there or in which house he lived. Although the 1851 census does not give addresses it appears from the entry’s context that their home may have been near Pipes Place. In his will, made while living in Shorne, he described himself as a farmer.

Joseph died in Denton in 1859 and the inscription on his gravestone reads:


The grave, which is covered by a stone slab and appears to be lined with brick, is opposite the north-east corner of the church by the grass path; it is not easily recognised as the inscription is on the back of the headstone, facing the church.

According to the gravestone Mary lived just over another two years but she is not shown in the 1861 census which was taken in April of that year even though she died the following October. Nor is there a record of her burial that year in the church’s burial register. One explanation is that she had moved from the parish before her death and is buried elsewhere. However the burial register for Shorne shows the burial of a Mary Wells on 31st October 1860 and letters of administration to her estate give her death as the 24th October 1860 so it is probable that the gravestone appears to give the wrong year for her death.

There was a William Wells and his family living in Thong recorded in the censuses of 1841 to 1871. William was shown as an agricultural labourer and then a bricklayer. Could there be a connection between these families and could that be the reason for Joseph moving to Shorne? It could easily be a coincidence.

Joseph’s son by his first marriage, also Joseph and father of H.G. Wells, was gardener at Uppark a large estate now owned by the National Trust. It was there he met his wife. He was also a professional player in the Kent county cricket team and was the first cricketer to take four wickets in four balls in a first class cricket match.

I am grateful to Ian Craig for the information from the censuses.

Andrew Moffat

Click on photos for a larger image


Harvest Service with School

Shorne Primary School’s year 2 class took a large part in preparing this Year’s harvest service and they took part in the service. The Head teacher Caroline Conroy and year two’s teacher Mrs Doerr are shown in one of the photos below.

The congregation heard a talk by Manny & Cheryl Mvula about the High Five Club which they run to help impoverished communities in wildlife areas in Africa.

After the service, which was led by our lay reader Dennis Usher, the annual conker championship was held (see the champion below!) and that was followed by lunch in the church.

The church had been beautifully decorated by Shorne’s flower arrangers and you can see some of their displays below.

Click on a photo to see a larger version





Church Open Day and “Ride & Stride”

The church was buzzing with conversation at the open day. We had about 40 visitors most of whom had afternoon tea and nearly thirty of them joined one of the conducted tours of the church to hear about the history of the building and its contents and also some of the people whose memorials ate there.

One of the visitors, from London, was a descendent of the Revd Caleb Perfect who was vicar at Shorne for 37 years in the 18th century. We also had a visit from the Bishop of Dover, the Rt Revd Trevor Wilmott and his wife Margaret. He is the patron of the Ride & Stride and was visiting some of the churches open for the event. They are shown in two of the photographs below, in one with Maureen and Peter Morten.

We were visited by 14 cyclists and walkers taking part in that event, the same as last year. It does not seem a lot but is typical for this area. Maureen and Peter Morten took part for us and visited 20 churches. Sponsorship was disappointing with only eight sponsors from the village. Although Maureen and Peter raised over £300 that was largely due to one large donation from outside. Nevertheless it is a valuable addition to the money raised by many others around the county for the repair of historic churches and half will be for our church.

We are grateful to those who gave up time to welcome visitors and help with the teas as well as Maureen and Peter for doing the hard work.

A Mobile Phone Aerial in the Church Tower?

Shorne has always had very poor mobile phone coverage. Now, we understand, operators are required by law to fill in the gaps in their coverage. One of them has selected our church tower as the most suitable site for an internal aerial covering Shorne. The Parochial Church Council is in the early stages of negotiations about this.

The present position is that outline proposals have been produced and some informal consultations have taken place. The operator’s agents are now embarking on the processes required to satisfy the public authorities, principally the local planning authority and the Diocese.

The PCC has so far refrained from any public consultation until more detailed proposals are available. As the proposals are now in the public domain it is making this preliminary announcement. After the consultations with the authorities have been completed we should have detailed proposals for public consultation when a further announcement will be made.

The final step will be a formal application to the Consistory Court of the Diocese for a faculty which is a form of permission required for alterations etc. to consecrated property. It replaces listed building consent but takes into account much wider considerations. Public notice of this will be given and all parishioners will be entitled to make representations and objections.

Enquiries should be made to Andrew Moffat at or 822280. Please email him if you would like to be on our emailing list for receiving notifications about this.