- Tea Room
- Stroke Club
- Tea and Company
- St Marys' Lambs
- Voluntary Care Car Drivers
- Fareham and Portchester Food Bank
- Samaritan's Purse(Shoe Box)
- Castle Hand Bell Ringers
- Portchester Flower Club
St Mary’s Tea Room
St. Mary’s Teas operates throughout the year in the New Room. It provides a timely “cuppa” but other beverages as well as nourishing snacks, cakes & specialties are available to visitors to the Church, as well those enjoying the open space of Portchester Castle. The comments in the visitors’ book indicate the satisfaction experienced by all who visit this local heritage area and underlines the outreach achieved by the band of volunteers who provide their time, daily to this venture. It is astonishing to read from where these visitors may have come.
The opening hours are Monday to Friday 10.30am to 2.30pm from the 1st October to the 31st March and 10.30am to 4pm from the 1st April until the 30th September. On Sundays the hours are from 1pm to 2.30pm winter time but 1pm until 4pm in the summer. All openings are reliant on volunteers being available and are subject to religious events.
The operation is managed by Margaret Andrews. Margaret always has opportunities for anyone who wishes to volunteer even for just half sessions. For further information please ring 023 9232 5180 during opening hours.
Fairtrade Church Status
St. Mary’s has been awarded Fairtrade Church status by the Fairtrade Foundation Trust and a certificate will be displayed in the New Room for all to see. This means the Church has demonstrated its commitment to uphold the Fairtrade principles as far as possible.
Fairtrade is a simple way each one of us can make a difference through our everyday choices. It’s about better prices, decent working conditions, local sustainability and fair terms of trade for farmers and workers in the developing world. Fairtrade aims to enable the poorest farmers and workers to improve their position and have more control over their lives.
The Fairtrade Mark on the items for sale or published in the Traidcraft Catalogue in the New Room means that a minimum price covering the cost of production has been paid to those producers.
A Fairtrade Premium is also paid to producers in addition to the minimum price. The Premium allows the farmers and workers the breathing space to invest in new ways of doing things, to combat an unpredictable climate for example and to plan for their futures. Farmers and workers vote democratically on how the Premium is spent so all the people will benefit as they are best placed to make it work the hardest. Thanks to this Premium roads have been laid, nurseries equipped and helpful new tools have been put to work.
The workers get rights such as a decent wages and are allowed to join unions. Fairtrade co-operatives allow producers (including women) a democratic say in the decision process.
So whilst enjoying that cup of tea or coffee in the New Room be assured you are helping the poor so that their fields may produce abundant food benefiting them and their families. Also why not take a peek at the Traidcraft Catalogue to view all the items that are on offer to us from the developing world. The volunteers in the New Room will be happy to take any orders that should include payment in advance. Remember to state your name, contact details, quantity and catalogue reference numbers.
The Portchester Stroke Club is organised and run by volunteer helpers for those who have suffered a Stroke and their Carers and are residents of Portchester. Meetings are held weekly at Assheton Court, Portchester. It is a registered charity and is affiliated to the Stroke Association.
Further details, contact Nell Wycherley 01329 232461.
Tea and Company
We meet on the first Sunday of month from 2.15-3.30pm. We use the small room in the Parish Hall to offer friendship and support to those who have lost a loved one.
We share a cup of tea or coffee, homemade cake and a friendly chat or opportunity to share how we feel with a trained listener.
St Marys’ Lambs
St Mary’s Lambs is a friendly and relaxed group of Parents and Carers who meet every Wednesday Morning at 10.30am during term time. We meet in the Tea Room at St Mary’s Church, Portchester. The group is for Parents, Carers and Children up to 5 years of age and the group participate in Christian action songs, story time and playtime whilst the grownups enjoy tea, coffee and more often than not – Cake!. St Mary’s Lambs is a free group and any donations are recycled into the group to fund days out and replacement toys. St Mary’s Lambs is a sociable group and if you are interested in finding out more come along on a Wednesday and join us, we would love to meet you.
The Portchester Voluntary Care Group started more than thirty years ago as an initiative of ‘Churches Together in Portchester ‘. It is now part of the Hampshire Good Neighbours’ Support Service and offers transport for Portchester residents to hospital and doctor appointments when they would otherwise find it difficult. It has available more than twenty five volunteer drivers and six coordinators. The management committee meet regularly throughout the year and an Annual General Meeting is followed by a buffet lunch to which current users are invited. To use the service or find out more telephone: 0700 222 6868 which is a dedicated number to the duty coordinator. Give the details of your appointment and mention any special requirements. These may include use of a wheelchair, walker, helping arm or need for support during a consultation. A voluntary donation will be requested. Last year the group was presented with an award by the Portchester Society and it completed a record 740 client runs.
The Fareham and Portchester Food Bank
St Mary’s Church congregation members have supported since 2011 the Fareham and Portchester Food Bank a Christian charity. A weekly delivery with all our contributions is taken to the Fareham and Portchester food bank. Last year it supported about 3700 people 50% increased from 2012 it’s a 85% of increase in referrals and 65% increase in people fed including one third of the people are children. of our area.
Special individual’s donations, as well as a special collection were organised. during the year.
The Harvest donation was share with Shelter for the homeless in Fareham.
A special collection was organised by the St Mary‘s Lamb. They used this to raise awareness and support for our most vulnerable people and those in great need in our community.
As the St Mary’s rep I want to thank our congregation and St Mary’s Lamb for their generosity. This collection will continue in the church and deliveries will continue to operate during 2014 and will support the Lent Bishop Appeal
The Basics Bank aims to:
• provide practical help (food, toiletries, some clothing) in a welcoming, caring environment where each person is valued and respected as an individual.
• encourage and assist homeless people in their search for accommodation.
• Work in partnership with other local organisations, both statutory and voluntary, to improve facilities of the homeless and other people in need in this area.
• raise awareness of the problems many have to face, in order to effect positive change.
The mission is inspired by the teaching and example of Jesus Christ “Truly I tell you whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.”
I am the local link to the food bank and can be contacted via the church office.
You can find out more on the web links below-
The Food bank website: http://www.friendsofthehomeless.org.uk
or Facebook by following the link below: https://www.facebook.com/FarehamandGosportBasicsBank
St Mary’s Church is again collecting shoe boxes for the Samaritan’s Purse. Below is the link to the website and a poster but see Valerie Agar for any information about helping.
Dust off the Christmas wrapping paper, get those empty shoeboxes out of the loft, and
start filling them with gifts for a child who may otherwise receive nothing this Christmas!
This year, we’re making it easier to get hold of those elusive shoeboxes with decorative GO boxes, available flat-packed and in cases of 100. Use what you need and share the rest with your friends, family and work colleagues!
Order yours here.
Get more involved in this year’s OCC campaign – we have lots for volunteers to do from the beginning of November. Find out more here.
Dust off the Christmas wrapping paper, get those empty shoeboxes out of the loft, and
Castle Hand Bell Ringers are based at St. Mary’s Church, Portchester and have been performing together since the early 1990s. The team currently has 8 ringers, 3 of whom are founder members.
We play music from a wide range of genres to a wide range of audiences, including weddings, local hospices, nursing homes, WI groups, the Lord Mayors of Portsmouth & Fareham, The Mary Rose Museum, Titchfield Abbey and even the officers Christmas ball at HMS Collingwood.
The bells themselves were made by John Taylor & Co of Loughborough and there are 31 altogether, giving a 2½ octave range.
If you would like us to come and play for your group or are interested in giving hand bell ringing a go, please contact Robert or Margaret English on 02392 326560.
We are always looking for new members and no previous musical experience is necessary, just a sense of fun, enthusiasm and a willingness to learn!
Portchester Flower Club
Everyone is welcome to come along and discover a new skill, learn to arrange and enjoy flowers. We hold friendly practical workshops, creating up-to-the minute designs and also have demonstrations by experienced flower arrangers.
There is also a small group who help to regularly decorate St. Mary’s church down in the Castle.
We meet every second Friday in the month (except August) at 7.30pm in the Parish Hall, Castle Street. Please contact the club Chairman, Margaret Andrews for more details on 02392 611503.