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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.

Are you a poet ?

by Church Admin

St Mary’s Church will be publishing a book of local poems by local people on the subject of war and peace, to commemorate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I next year. We are inviting people from Portchester (or with a Portchester connection) to submit poems which they have written. As well […]

‘What are you waiting for?’

by Church Admin

Sunday Evening Discussion Group— starts this Sunday at 5.30pm down at church. It is for the next 4 weeks of Advent and is entitled ‘What are you waiting for?’ There will also be worship time plus soup and rolls.

The Labyrinth

by Church Admin

On Sunday we held a special Thanksgiving and Praise service to congratulate Liz Smith who ran the Great South Run for us, to raise money for The Labyrinth, even the Mayor came along! This is an area in our graveyard where we bury people’s ashes and this money will go towards it’s upkeep. We also […]

Remembrance Weekend

by Church Admin

This weekend is Remembrance Day. There will be a service in the Precinct on Saturday and at church on Sunday.   On Sunday evening we will be holding a service of Holye Communion from the 1552 Prayer Book. Come along and experience what it would’ve been like at St. Mary’s under Edward VI.

All Saints Sunday (5th November)

by Church Admin

This Sunday is All Saints Sunday. We will be celebrating this with a variety of services. 8am –   Holy Communion 10am – Parish Communion 3pm –  All Souls Service, when we remember those we have lost 6pm – Readings, hymns and reflections on the 5 Solas of the Reformation.

Protesting starling disrupts Reformation Day service

by Church Admin

Worshippers at the 8.00am service at St Mary’s Church, Portchester were recently distracted during their prayers by objects continually being dropped on the wooden floor of the north transept. On investigation it was discovered that a starling had got in and was going along the capitals of the pillars and the window sills pushing off […]

The Reformation

by Church Admin

Are you interested in history, music or religion? Here at St. Mary’s we are celebrating the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, when Martin Luther nailed his protest to the door of a church in Wittenberg. We start this Thursday 28th September with the film ‘Luther’ but there are also talks and music, with something for […]

Harvest Weekend (22nd-24th Sept)

by Church Admin

This weekend is Harvest, come and celebrate the abundance of God’s Creation with us. We have lots of things going on not just church services. Saturday 9am-11am – Breakfast Kidz Klub down at Church Saturday 7pm til late – Harvest Supper & Barn Dance (£12.50) Sunday Services  8am Holy Communion with traditional Harvest Hymns 10am […]

Sunday 23rd July – All Age & Parish Pilgrimage

by Church Admin

It’s our All Age Service this Sunday and everyone is welcome! Come along and find out what we get up to! Then in the afternoon we will be walking over the hill to Southwick in commemoration of the monks who built St. Mary’s then moved! There’s even the opportunity to dress up as a monk!

Free Summer Lunchtime Concerts

by Church Admin

Our popular Summer Lunchtime Concerts have started and YES they are free (with a retiring collection) Our Tea Room will also be open serving hot & cold food and drinks. For more details of these and other upcoming musical events see our Music Page  or click below to read more about the lunctime performers