Church and Community Groups

Homemakers (formerly called St Luke's Young Wives) are still a cog of St Luke's. Our meetings are every Thursday commencing at 2-4pm with various speakers, bring and buys, quizes, jumble sales, coffee and chats, occasional visits and weekends away. We are a friendly group so why not pop along and join us?

Senior Fitness Group


Do you feel the need for some gentle exercise, a nice cup of tea and good company. Then join us at St Lukes church hall in City Way Rochester every Tuesday and Thursday at 2pm. For more details contact Angie on 01634 325747 or Mobile: 07826 049396. The exercise programme comprises of suppleness, balance, poise, coordination, stamina, muscle strengthening and cardiovascula exercises, all done to pleasant music, with a nice cup of tea afterwords.

Every Friday between 10.30am and 1.30pm.  Bring a packed lunch.  Hot drinks supplied.


Latest From Stuart Tranter as at 8th August 2022

BBC SE Report – Borstal

The BBC are planning to run a piece on local environmental and planning concerns this Monday 8th. It will be on BBC Radio Kent, BBC TV (SE Today) and on line. The TV programme will be at 6:30pm and probably 1:30pm. This relates to the use of land near Brambletree Cottages, and many large lorries along the Esplanade and through the village. Kelly Tolhurst and I have been pushing for more action and publicity for a very long time. I cannot discuss many details for legal reasons, but do call me 07798 885332 if you want to know more. Anyone with new concerns or information relating to alleged disposal of waste there can call the Environment Agency incident hotline: 0800 807060. I have also had several reports of intimidation and threats; if this happens to you please write down details asap and report confidentially to the police via 101. If there is an immediate threat call 999.


Borstal Buses

Thank you to the many people who responded to me as requested regarding the very poor bus service for the village, and recent cuts to this service. It has been immensely helpful, and I am discussing with council officers here and in KCC. Please bear in mind the council DO NOT run these services and subsidising them is incredibly expensive for taxpayers. But for those who use the service it is very important. We have to be consistent with policies across Medway and have affordable answers. This will not be easy, but I am determined to follow this up and will keep you informed.


Car Park Changes Rochester

Corporation Street, Blue Boar Lane and Cathedral Garage car parks will be changing from Pay and display to Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR). This will start soon for October completion. There will be 5 methods of payment including cash. There will be a short free ‘grace’ period at the Corporation Street car park to collect passengers. Residents and businesses directly affected have been contacted by officers. Fees and timings are unchanged. If you have questions or concerns let me know.


Watts Meadow friends’ group

They will be meeting at 10:30am at the King Street steps on Sunday to do some cutting back and litter picking. If you would like to join this active and friendly group, just turn up. Indeed, there are many similar groups across Rochester looking after special buildings, gardens and spaces. Let me know if you would like to get involved near where you live.


Foord Almshouses Maidstone vacancies

There are some 1 and 2 bedroom vacancies for Medway people aged 65 or over with limited income. If interested contact JO GUISE 01634 844138


Shorts Way/Borstal Street junction improvements

This is the improvement I arranged as requested by Borstal residents. The works will start on 26 September 2022 and last until 24 October 2022. During the works, it will be necessary to have some closures in place, with a signed diversion route. Advance warning will be in place and information provided to local residents and businesses. I will provide more details when available.


Esplanade Speeding

This was delayed following comments by some residents, but will at long last go ahead this year following some modifications to proposals. It will include some changes to parking, additional signs and bays designed to make it more difficult for traffic to reach higher speeds. I do not believe any solution will be perfect, but I have agreed this small change on the basis it is a start. Further changes may be made in the light of experience later. The underlying problem is not road design, but bad driving and enforcement.


Food and drink Festival Rochester 16-18 September

The event in the Rochester Castle gardens is being organised by Zoom Events


Pilgrim School

The new school at Rochester Riverside is delayed until next year due to a sub-contractor going out of business. I am hoping for a January opening although it could be later. To manage this, approx. 30-40 additional children will go to the sister school in Borstal, using portable buildings. The buildings will be delivered on 19th August and will inevitably cause some inconvenience to residents on that day. Please be patient. They will arrive on the back of 7 trucks in sections , craned into position from the area outside of the school entrance. This will involve an emergency temporary parking restrictions to one side of Warwick Crescent, and the road closure outside of the school to enable the crane to lift the units onto the site. Every delivery will be carefully managed, including ensuring access for emergency vehicles.


Bridge Trust FREE Exhibition at Rochester Cathedral 1-29 August

The world’s longest interlocking brick bridge forms the centrepiece of a summer of free activities  at Rochester Cathedral. (It looks like Legotm to me). Look up the cathedral web site for details. The popular bridge-themed Adventure Golf course has returned to the cathedral gardens.


Medway Pride 20 August 2022 Rochester Castle Gardens

For details

There will be some road closures in the city centre on the day, so please be prepared for diversions. Email me if you would like more details. High street deliveries or collections will not be possible when the road is closed.


The Vines Park footpaths

I am pleased to say the footpaths in the park will be resurfaced with work starting from 10th August for up to 2 weeks. We hope to minimise disruption. The work is being done during school holidays to minimise the impact on Kings School.


Children’s summer activities and ideas

There is far too much going on to list here, but do see and/or call in at the Rochester Library for details.


Maidstone Road Traffic safety

This is one of many roads where residents are concerned about safety. I often discuss this and other roads with highways safety officers and it is under frequent review, especially when there is an incident but at the moment no significant changes are planned. I am always happy to discuss in detail any place and the criteria for expenditure.


Jcn Maidstone Road/Priestfields

I arranged additional bollards to prevent parking near the corner. I am aware of the truck parked near the junction, but officers do not consider it a significant hazard. I am always reluctant to reduce parking areas, unless essential for safety reasons.


Other planned changes

Following requests from you the following is being investigated or is agreed:

  • Parking outside Maidstone Road shops opposite cemetery to be reduced to 2 hours.
  • Parking outside shops Maidstone Road/Jcn Valley View to be reduced to 2 hours.
  • Double yellow lines in Cordelia Crescent to protect access to garages (corner protection only)
  • Additional double yellow lines Trevale Road to protect jcn with Cloudesley Close and nearby garage access, especially during school terms.

Contact me for more details on any of these.


Hathaway Court

I am currently trying to get an update on when the agreed parking changes will be implemented. Also, I notice the painting of the railings is not completed, so I have asked for an update; the manager dealing with it has moved on and I suspect it was overlooked.


The Close/Gordon Terrace/Bishops Square

Residents here often enquire about ‘residents only’ (Controlled Parking Zones – CPZ) parking in these areas. With Rochester High Street thriving I am wondering if there is a case to extend CPZ beyond Watts Avenue. But if we do so, I need to consider other legitimate parking needs such as those working in schools as well as the potential ‘knock on’ impact to other areas. Also, it means there is a cost to residents for permits. These are difficult decisions, but your views are welcomed.



There was a rumour circulating that our graffiti removal machine was broken and was not being fixed so this service had stopped. That is not true! If you see any graffiti please report here but we need permission to remove from private property. It also depends on access.


Rochester High Street ASB late at night

I have been discussing anti-social behaviour with the police, and their response. I am assured the police have increased presence in the area. I am also aware of many premises having had windows broken, but the police seemed to be unaware of the extent of this problem. PLEASE report incidents to them, then CCTV can be checked – if we are lucky, they will be filmed. It helps the police build evidence and identify culprits, even though individual cases may not be solved.


Illegal tents

I am aware and have dealt with many cases in recent months. Some individuals have complex needs, but anyone in genuine need is offered help. Others are simply moved on. Let me know if concerned.


Busking in the High Street

If you live or work in the High Street and there is unwelcome amplified busking at night please call 01634 304400, explain the problem and tell the operator it is on the “proactive noise list”. We will endeavour to get an environmental officer to attend. I hope to see the first draft of a new busking policy soon, to help control this but without stopping enjoyable street entertainment.


Chatham Docks and the Local Plan

If you are concerned about Peel Ports attempting to close our commercial docks and would like to see the exciting alternative plan for business growth, or interested in Medway’s plans for growth in general, or worried about too much housing in the wrong places and you are part of a business group or other organisation who would like to know more do get in touch. I can sometimes address groups on these topics, or arrange presentations and discussions as appropriate.

Rochester South and Horsted Prayer Bulletin Summer 2022

“Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie we who have fled to take hold of the hope set before us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.” Hebrews 6:17-19 NIV


Herewith the latest edition of the Rochester South and Horsted prayer bulletin which includes within its boundary St. Stephen’s (Maidstone Road), St. Luke’s (City Way), Apostolic Faith Mission (who meet at St. Luke’s), RCCG Friends Parish (who meet at DECC, Barberry Avenue) and Berachah (Neville Road) churches and covers part of the Pip & Jim’s, St. Simon Stock, St. Michael’s, St. John Fisher and St. Justus parishes. Please do pray in agreement with Christians from across the ward and beyond for our churches and congregations and for God to impact miraculously the folk and life of Rochester South and Horsted throughout these coming months.


  • Church Summer Outreach and Families: Please pray for the summer initiatives in all our ward churches and the Chequer Tree Summer Camps run by The Family Trust. Pray for the many volunteers, for the children who will attend and their families and that for many of these dear folk, it will be a (fun-filled!) step forward in their journey to faith. Remember too those families who are struggling through the current cost-of-living crisis and the increased pressure the holiday periods bring; that the local church ministries and other charitable groups will be effective in supporting those most in need.


  • Medway House Of Prayer (MHOP): The monthly fourth Thursday prayer meetings break for August but will be back on Thur 22 Sep meeting at 7.30 pm in person at The Emmaus Christian Centre, Clover Street, Chatham, ME4 4DT. If you are unable to join, please consider praying at some point on this day for our local communities. The MHOP prayer room is now open for bookings at Emmaus. MHOP also hosts weekly Wednesday lunchtime meetings from 12.30 – 1.30 pm as well as fortnightly Saturday morning meetings from 7.30 – 9.00 am (please see: for full details, some meetings are still online by zoom).


  • Crime: The Medway Neighbourhood Watch Association and the police have advised of the following incidents in the ward (only most recent twelve shown due to space). Please pray for all affected by them and the police as they search for the offenders; that those responsible come to a knowledge of the Lord and cease their criminal lifestyle and for protection of all homes and vehicles in the ward:


31 Jul: Rosebery Road: Damage to wing mirror of vehicle

26 Jul: Maidstone Road: Theft of vehicle

18 Jul: Woodhurst: Property break-in.

11 Jul: Ajax Road: Theft of fuel tank from vehicle

08 Jul: Highview Drive: Theft of vehicle from pub car park

01 Jul:  Dale Street: Damage to parked vehicle

29 Jun: Watson Avenue: Theft of garden equipment

23 Jun: Palm Drive: Damage to parked vehicle

22 Jun: The Ridgeway: Property break-in

14 Jun: Quickthorn Crescent: Garage break-in and theft

12 Jun: Harptree Drive: Damage to garden equipment

10 Jun: Pilots View: Attempted break-in


 The following prayers for all those returning to our local schools are taken from the CARE daily Prayer Diary that is available for free from .


“Lord we lift to You every child, young person, teacher and all others who work in our schools at the beginning of this new academic year. Please protect and bless them. In Christ’s name. Amen”


“Father, we pray for children and teenagers who are anxious about this new year because they are dealing with difficult personal and family situations, mental health issues and worries about catching up with the lessons they missed because of Covid. In Jesus’ name. Amen”


The local press provides an interesting snapshot of life in the ward and we feature below abridged versions of stories and reports published in the Medway Messenger. Please pray and intercede as the Lord leads for the people involved and the wider situations that these stories are representative of (e.g. employment, family, schools, crime, planning etc.).


  • Pub is hit by second arson: (Aug 4 pg 2) “A car fire outside a pub, which was targeted by arsonists three months ago, is thought to have been started deliberately. The vehicle was destroyed by the fire in the car park of the Tiger Moth Pub, Highview Drive.”


  • Teen cyclist hurt in crash: (Jul 13 pg 10) “A teenage cyclist is in a serious condition in hospital after being involved in a crash involving a car at the junction of Athelstan Road with Maidstone Road.”


  • High-tech park looks to have attracted business: (Jul 13 pg 2) “Millions of pounds could be borrowed to develop a business park after a mystery company expressed an interest in establishing itself there. Medway Council could borrow the money to develop part of Innovation Park Medway which has been tipped to provide up to 3,000 high-skilled jobs in the technology and science fields.”


  • Six arrested over fight at property: (Jul 6 pg 6) “Four people have been charged following a fight. Police were called to a report of a brawl involving a group in Anchor Road. S.W., C.B. and J.D. of Stock Close were charged with violent disorder and causing grievous bodily harm with intent.”


  • Failing surgery must improve: (Jul 6 pg 7) “Staff at a doctor’s surgery which has been placed in special measures have been told to take prompt action and make urgent changes. City Way Medical Practice has been deemed to be inadequate after an inspection by the CQC.”


Please feel free to circulate this bulletin. If you are aware of ward-related issues that you feel may be appropriate for inclusion in future bulletins, please do let me know.


“Shortly before dawn Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake.” Matthew 14:25 NIV


“Lord, thank You that no matter where I find myself, You are coming to my rescue. You will come and lift me out of the deepest pit and bring me through the severest storm, because You love and care for me. Help me to live in the certainty of these truths and share Your love with all those around me so that my family, neighbours and friends will experience Your love and salvation for themselves. In Jesus’ Name. Amen”


Trevor Clarke, 19 Wemmick Close, Rochester, ME1 2DL

Coordinator of Medway Prayer Net and Ward Councillor for Rochester South and Horsted – 0788 4271471