Fr Pawel Sobol

I was born in 1986 in South-eastern Poland. I finished Seminary in Przemysl and I was ordained to the priesthood in 2011. I have served as an Assistant Priest in Besko and Kanczuga (both in Poland). In 2015 I came to England to serve also as an Assistant Priest in St Bede’s Parish in Clapham Park, London and from September 2017 in St Francis’ Parish in Maidstone. On 1st September 2020 I joined to the community of our Parish of St Simon Stock in Walderslade. I entrust my ministry and the entire parish to the protection of Our Lady Mary – Mother of God and to the intercession of our patron St. Simon Stock.

Rev Deacon Martin Smith

I was born in 1968 and grew up in the Blackheath / Kidbrooke area of South-East London. Denise and I were married in St William of York, Forest Hill in 1992 and moved to Walderslade to start our life together. We have lived in the parish since then. We have 2 sons, Chris and Joe. Chris is currently working as a Physics Technician in St Simon Stock School in Maidstone, and Joe is studying Maths and Physics at the University of Royal Holloway in Egham, Surrey.

I have been working for the Environment Agency since the beginning of 2009, as a site regulator, working mostly with paper mills and chemical manufacturing sites. Before this, I worked for 22 years making colour pigments for printing inks and paints, (where I met Denise).

Over the years I have been involved with lots of activities in the parish, including running the Confirmation program. In 2016, I was accepted on the Formation program for the Permanent Diaconate. I was ordained, along with three others, on 6th July 2019 at St George’s Cathedral by Archbishop Peter Smith. I have the honour of being the last Permanent Deacon ordained by Archbishop Peter.

Rev Deacon John Newman R.I.P.

Deacon John was born on the 8th June 1943, in Woolwich, just as the hospital received a direct hit on the Labour Ward, causing a bit of consternation and lots of damage, he was immediately baptised by the midwifery sister and registrar. Two days later the hospital had the unfortunate luck of being hit again, this time destroying the labour theatre and half the ward. Had both a catholic education at primary and secondary schools.

On leaving school was given an apprenticeship as an Engineering Cadet with Royal Mail Lines, however after four years engineering practice with Vickers Armstrong at Barrow, and at sea, decided to transfer to the Royal Navy.In 1966 met a nursing cadet, it so happened on 14th Feb, in June of that year thet got engaged, however two days later John flew to Singapore for an 18-month commission. He and Janice finally got married in June 1969 at Our Lady of the Angles, Erith. After a brief honeymoon they moved to Portsmouth, and 6 months later moved to Chatham. After a couple of months Jan decided that while John was serving in the West Indies, she would train as a midwife.

In 1997 John entered formation training at Wonersh Seminary and was Ordained by the then Auxiliary Bishop for Kent Bishop John, he had the pleasure of being his first ordained for the Diaconate, in 2001. Whilst being in formation he was also working for the Egyptian Government, acting as a Consultant in Water Treatment (Project Nile) flying in and out of Egypt once a month to continue with his studies for the Diaconate.

Since being ordained his ministry took him to do many things, one of them being a Police Chaplain looking after the Operations Dept of Kent Police, and a Chaplain to the Knights of St. Columba.

It is with much sadness that we inform you of the death of Deacon John Newman who died this morning 8th July 2021 in Medway Maritime Hospital, Gillingham.

May he rest in peace and rise in glory.