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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:

PASTORAL CARE

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.

OUTREACH

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.

Supporting Mental Health

by Emma Capps

SUPPORTING MENTAL HEALTH Heather Jones posted today’s caption on St Mary’s Lambs Facebook, but we thought it should be shared as widely as possible. In addition, Rev James Hair recently sent this good advice to someone suffering from lockdown anxiety. He has given his permission for it to go onto our Facebook today. “Mental ill […]

Parish Eucharist 15/11/2020

by Emma Capps

Parish Eucharist – Second Sunday Before Advent Celebrant and Preacher: Rev Phil Hiscock Readings: Tony Gillam and Ken Tomlinson

Friday Reflection 13/11/2020

by Emma Capps

Friday 13th November. Today’s reflection from Ann Hair Autumn Glory Vulnerability and Marginalisation On a beautiful Autumn morning, set against a crystal- clear blue sky, the pale golden light illuminated the decaying leaves of summer with russet, gold and reddish tones. Underfoot the spent and fallen leaves crackled and crunched like giant golden cornflakes. The […]

Portchester Remembers 8/11/2020

by Emma Capps

PORTCHESTER REMEMBERS Sadly, because of Covid, we were not able to have the usual service in the precinct this year. However, a few of those who would have been taking part gathered at St Mary’s Church on Sunday morning to record this service. Rev Dr Ian Meredith, RNR (SSC) Councillor Roger Price Commander Steve Shaw, […]

Sunday Service 18/10/2020

by Emma Capps

St. Luke’s Day Parish Eucharist Celebrant: Rev David Simpson Deacon: Tim McIlroy Readings: Jennifer Jackson and Barbara Andrews Intercessions: Steve Traer

Sunday Service 11/10/20

by Emma Capps

Service of the Word Preacher: Tim McIlroy Service Leaders: Carol Gay and Rev Ian Meredith Readers: Pauline and Jeff Gennings Intercessions: Leroy Osbourne