Christmas dates in Riverhead for your diaries – and a chance to vote in the Community Awards Scheme

COMMUNITY AWARDS: Do you know a resident or group from Riverhead Parish who has made a difference in the community and deserves an award? Nominations are now open for the Kent Association of Local Councils (KALC) Community Awards Scheme, which seeks to recognise those who give service to the community. The award will be presented at the Riverhead Annual Parish Meeting on Thursday 23 April. Nominations are open until 31 December. For more details see the Riverhead Parish Council website or contact the Parish Clerk – see details towards the end of this column.

CHRISTMAS TREE FEST: The 2019 Festival of Christmas Trees at St Mary’s Church was the biggest ever, with over 80 decorated trees of all shapes and sizes on display, some of them quite quirky. As always, it was a magnificent sight. The church was very busy with visitors all weekend and more than 200 people were present for the final ‘Carol Service among the Trees’ on Sunday afternoon, including retired Bishop Brian of Tonbridge plus, apparently, two dogs.

More than £950 was raised in voluntary donations which will be shared between the St Mary’s Church and Hospice in the Weald.  Thanks go to all the societies, schools, businesses, families and individuals who contributed a tree and also to the various ensembles who provided lovely musical interludes: Kippington Church Music Group, Hilden Brass and choirs from Solefields School and of course St Mary’s Church.

A special thanks go to the organising team: Christine Smith, Ronnie Todd, Margaret Nicholas, Margaret Holman and Diane Williams and also everyone else who provided refreshments and ran the various stalls.
FESTIVE WINDOWS: Every year, Riverhead Parish Council invites shops and other businesses in Riverhead to enter the village Christmas Window Competition. Once again the judge this year was Riverhead District Councillor Kim Bayley who found it very difficult to decide which was best.

In the end this year’s winner was Oakwood Beauty in The Square with runners-up Batchelors Butchers, also in The Square, and VIP Fashion Boutique in White Hart Parade. The winner received a hamper of Christmas goodies, the runners-up a bottle prosecco each and everyone who participated was given a pack of mince pies. Thanks go to Riverhead Parish Council for organising the eveny and to everyone who took part. Do go and have a look at the windows.

PARKLAND ELVES: Anyone who has walked through the Riverhead Parkland recently may have noticed that Christmas Elves have been hanging baubles and decorations on some of the trees. Do feel free to add your own if you have any to spare (but if you want them back do remember to take them home again by 6 January -Twelfth Night – as the Elves will then return to remove them!

CHRISTMAS AT ST MARY’S: Sunday 22 December sees a traditional evening service of Nine Lessons and Carols at 7pm with readings by candlelight and singing led by the church choir. This will be followed by mulled wine and mince pies.

On Christmas Eve there will be two Christingle services in the afternoon. At 2.30pm there will be a quieter crib service especially suitable for younger children and at 4pm there is a traditional Christingle service for children and families.

At 11.30pm there will be a special Midnight Communion. On Christmas Day Holy Communion (BCP) will be celebrated at 8am and then at 9.30am there will be a Family Christmas Service. Everyone is always welcome. For more information about events and activities at St Mary’s see www.stmaryriverhead.co.uk

PARISH COUNCIL CONTACTS: The Parish Clerk has an office at the Village Hall which is open to visitors Mondays and Thursdays 9.30am – 12.30pm. Messages are picked up frequently at other times. You can phone Riverhead Parish Council on: 01732 461278 or email: clerk@riverheadparishcouncil.org.uk

The Riverhead Parish Council website is at www.riverheadpc.kentparishes.gov.uk and you can also keep up to date with local events by following ‘Riverhead Parish Council’ on Facebook and Twitter @RiverheadParish. The Village Hall and Committee Room are available to hire for parties and meetings.

MERRY CHRISTMAS: Here’s wishing everyone in Riverhead a very Merry Christmas. Do keep the news coming in 2020 – my contact details can be found below.

The Riverhead village news is compiled by Maggie Miles. If you have any news or events you would like her to consider for the My Sevenoaks Community village column you can email it to her at: maggiejmiles@gmail.com

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