At Pathways we often have visitors, and we realised recently that many people do not know that the cross on our logo is actually a real place which is a significant landmark for our community.
The 58m high chalk cross is situated on the Pilgrim's Way, on the slopes of the ridge above the A20. It is an eye-catching design cut into the hillside, forming a striking image against the green fields surrounding it.
In 1922 a collection was held to build a memorial for the 42 men who died during the first world war. The cross was designed by Mr C.H.Groom, headmaster of the village school. There was also a granite stone with the names of the men, which was moved to the churchyard in 1977. The eye catching cross was a problem during the second world war, and was filled in during that time to prevent the Luftwafte using it to navigate.
The cross now serves as a memorial to those who died in both the first and second world wars.
For us as a church, it is wonderful to have such a striking reminder of Jesus directly above the community centre where we meet. It makes for great photos, and is a fantastic place to meet and pray over the community. On a clear day, from the top of the cross, it is possible to see across Kent as far as the south downs.
As well as remembering those who died in the war, we look to the cross to remind ourselves that Jesus Himself died for our community.
Jesus gave His life as the ultimate sacrifice so that we could all have lives filled with freedom and purpose. Jesus is the head of the church, and we would not exist if He hadn't called us to be here. It is His life and presence with us that gives us hope for our community.
Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends. John 15:13
Recently a few of us joined with others from our community to clean the cross and pull out the weeds that constantly attempt to grow on it. It was hard work in the hot sun, but it seems a small sacrifice for us compared to everything it stands for. Afterwards it was gleaming white in the summer sun. This is a reminder that 'weeds' can so easily creep into our lives and we can forget what is really important.
Let us look to the chalk cross as a reminder to always keep Jesus at the centre of our church and our lives. Let us regularly allow Him to search our hearts and remove the weeds of sin and distractions from our life so that we can shine brightly for Him.
By Jenny Needham
By Karen Brook-Child
The Lenham Family Festival came and went!
God has given each of you a gift from his great variety of spiritual gifts. Use them well to serve one another. 1 Peter 4:10
This was our aim: to serve others in our community, to show them what it is to be family and to point the way to Jesus.
Those of us who could paint nails, did so. Those who could massage hands and feet, did so. Others looked after people, offering advice or pointing the way. The student's fed people as did the lovely Ibi and her family. Others of us organised, offered competition and painted children's faces. Jenny and Holly ministered in song. All of the profits raised went to the local primary school and the Katie Piper Foundation.
I had the privilege of massaging hands and feet and one of the most touching moments was when two ladies came to Louise and I and we massaged their feet as they sat together and listened to Jenny and Holly. They loved the attention and felt very relaxed. It is an honour to serve our older generations in this way; giving them time as they have doubtless given up time for others on their long journeys through life. Another highlight for me was teaching a young daughter how to massage her Mum's hands and feet.
Jesus washed the disciple's feet once, so John tells us (John13:1-17). What an expression of servant love for another. Many people have an aversion to feet. Feet can be dirty and smelly. Feet hold us up when we want to fall, feet carry us when we are weary and our feet can become damaged as we get older, causing us pain and discomfort. How wonderful it is to bring comfort to sore feet, tired feet and feet that have carried a soul for many years. It is so good to learn these things, following the example of our Lord, Jesus.