Little Stour Benefice

Littlebourne, Wingham and Ickham, Stodmarsh & Wickhambreaux

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Our Vicar

Rev Lesley

Bishop Rose and Archdeacon Will are pleased to announce that the Revd Doctor Lesley Hardy was Licensed as Priest in Charge of the Little Stour Benefice on Tuesday 1st August at St Mary the Virgin church, Wingham.

Lesley will work three days per week plus Sundays and with her husband Will will live in the Vicarage in Littlebourne. If you are looking for spiritual guidance or need help, please click here to email her

If it is to do with an individual church, please look at the Our five churches page to allow you to contact the relevant church wardens. 

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My December thoughts 

December: I Wonder as I wander

I wonder as I wander, out under the sky, how Jesus the Savior did come for to die for poor ordinary people like you and like I; I wonder as I wander, out under the sky If Jesus had wanted for any wee thing, a star in the sky, or a bird on the wing, or all of God's angels in heaven for to sing, he surely could have it, cause he was the King.

In the summer of 1933, during the height of the Great Depression, the American folklorist John Jacon Niles was visiting a small town in the Appalachian Mountains of America.

Resting in the town square he heard from a distance a poor child singing a song about Christmas. The melody and words made such an impression on him that Niles wrote down the words and later added a musical arrangement to create to create that, most lovely and haunting Christmas carol, ‘I wonder as I wander.’ At its centre is a question ‘how it can possibly be that God who created all things, the stars, the birds, the angels, chooses also to be, for us, a vulnerable, baby?’

The answer, I think, is something we know even if we don’t realise it. It is written into all of the images and traditions of Christmas that we know: the mother and child, kings with gifts, shepherds and lambs; all of the preparations and rehearsals, the family visits, the wrapping and buying and busyness of December and, of course, Father Christmas himself! 

These all have one thing in common -our understanding of what it is to love those we cherish, especially the small ones of the world and to show that love, in time, fondness and thoughtfulness. 

So here it is - God, who loves us and wants us to love him and to be able to show that love. At this time of year it is easy for us if we want because we can imagine Him in a way that comes easily to us– as we love and adore our own; because we understand what it is to love someone who needs us and because, although as the carol says ‘he could have anything’- he chooses to be with us.

Merry Christmas -Rev Lesley

PS if you want to know more about this story and some other traditions of Christmas traditions, please join me for our ZOOM ADVENT sessions by emailing me at