Robert English has kindly provided some photos he took during the Thanksgiving Dinner on 30th November. Everyone had a most enjoyable time as you will be able to tell from the photos 🙂
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At St Mary’s you’ll find a varied programme of events and activities throughout the year. Some of our regular activities can be summarised under the following five headings – do contact us if you’d like to know further details:
The church family at St Mary’s is a loving one and we seek to care not only for each other in times of need, but also for those in the wider community who may be going through difficult times. Our Bereavement Support Group (‘Tea and Company’) meets on the first Sunday of the month at 2.15pm in Portchester Parish Hall; our Pastoral Visiting Team regularly visit the sick and housebound and take Communion to them if requested; we pray each day for those who have asked for our prayers, remembering especially those who have left prayer requests on the prayer board in church.
CHILDREN & YOUNG PEOPLE
Children and young people are welcome at all of our services and events, but there are some which are arranged especially with them in mind. We’ve already mentioned the Family Eucharist at 10am on the fourth Sunday of the month, but you might also like to find out more about the Junior Church which meets during the 10am service on other weeks. We also have two lively Youth Groups which meet regularly throughout the year and a Toddler Group (‘St Mary’s Lambs’) which meets at 10.30am on a Wednesday morning. Special events and services take place for young people at various points in the year, especially around Christmas and Easter, so do watch this space for further details!
NURTURE & COURSES
At St Mary’s we know that there is always more to learn about our faith. For this reason we offer a variety of courses for those who are new to the Christian faith, and also for those who have been growing in the faith for many years. Several House Groups meet each week; a Men’s Breakfast Group meets monthly; and courses are held each year during the season of Lent and occasionally during Advent. We hold many different types of courses such as Alpha, Christianity Explored, Emmaus plus others using our own materials for those who are new to the church or who want to find out more. The Alpha Course also serves as an ideal way to prepare for Confirmation. Younger children prepare to receive Communion for the first time by joining one of our ‘Belonging’ courses. We also regularly run Parish Quiet Days and Pilgrimages.
SOCIAL EVENTS & GROUPS
At St Mary’s we enjoy each other’s company and are always delighted to welcome new friends to any of our social events. The social calendar for the year can range from Pub Quiz Evenings and Mediaeval Banquets to Parish Pantomimes and Barn Dances. A variety of groups and clubs meet on a regular basis too – the Choir, the Craft Group and the Drama Group to name but a few. There are also plenty of opportunities to get involved in church life at all levels, from arranging the flowers to helping out at the Christmas Fayre. There is even a programme of musical concerts throughout the year, with performances ranging from the Hampshire County Youth Choir to the St Petersburg Choir.
The congregation at St Mary’s seek to reach out into the wider community with the joy and hope of our faith. We regularly lead assemblies and lessons at each of the six local schools, visit and lead worship in local Care and Nursing Homes, and support a variety of local and world-wide charities. Over the past few years we raised £3000 for the charity ‘Send A Cow’, we regularly raising funds for the local Hospice and we give to many local and national charities. We also run a Café to help welcome the many visitors and tourists which come to explore the Castle and Church site. The church building is open daily 9am-4pm in the summer months, and 9am-3pm in the winter months. You are welcome to pop in at any time to say a prayer, to light a candle, or simply to find a place of quiet and peace.
Full house! A huge thank you to all the volunteers. We now have all the volunteers we need and all the places at the Christmas Meal have now been taken up.
A message from Jan: We joined the Bible book club today … Malachi was the study, it was very good
Do you know anyone who will be lonely this Christmas spending Christmas Day on their own? Then let them know there’s no need, as they can come along to the Parish Hall for lunch and company.
This Sunday is our Patronal Festival where we celebrate St. Mary. There are a variety of services, so hopefully something for everyone! 8am – Holy Communion 10am – Parish Eucharist with Sunday School 11.30am – ‘Later Morning Service’ 6.00pm – Quiet reflective evening service with teaching based on Proverbs.
There has been a change to the advertised concert this week. Unfortunately Judith Wolpe (violin) can’t be with us, so instead we welcome The Monington Duo (piano & clarinet) playing music by Malcolm Arnold, Carl Maria von Weber & Leonard Bernstein.
Our evening services start again on Sunday 9th September at 6pm. Each week there will be a half-hour worship service of various formats followed by teaching on themes from the book of Proverbs.
Yes that’s right we are collecting boys underpants (any age group) for an orphanage in Swaziland. A group of friends from Crookhorn will be going out there in mid-September. If you can help please bring donations to the Church Office or give them to Felicity Mellows in church on Sunday’s.
There will be a change to tomorrows concert at 1pm. We regret to inform you that The Anemos Trio are unable to play tomorrow but they will be returning on Thursday 20th September. Instead we have a wind quartet playing a mixture of music including folk tunes and sea shanties!