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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.

Daily Blog (COVID-19) 14/08/2020 Friday Reflection

by Emma Capps

THE BLESSED VIRGIN MARY Our church, like many others, is dedicated to St Mary, the Mother of our Lord. In the Anglican Church there are five special Feast Days in which she is commemorated, and the principal one is on Saturday – 15th August. In the west and in Roman Catholicism it is known as […]

Daily Blog (COVID-19) 13/08/2020

by Emma Capps

Thursday 13th August. Today’s reflection from Julia Jennings PRAYER, PRAISE AND PLANTS I came across this blog at https://arocha.org.uk/prayer-praise-and-plants/ I have found it difficult to know how to pray in and for these trying times. I’m currently working from home and my sunny windowsill is filled with a variety of herb and chilli plants of varying […]

Daily Blog (COVID-19) 12/08/2020

by Emma Capps

Wednesday 12th August Today’s reflection from Rev Ian Beirut explosion: church altar’s survival brings hope St Dimitrios Greek Orthodox Church in Achrafieh is less than a kilometre away from where the Beirut explosion took place. Father Youil Nassif rushed to the church to check for damage, finding the nave completely ruined. But the sacred altar […]

Daily Blog (COVID-19) 03/08/2020

by Emma Capps

A review of our first outdoor service! SUNDAY 2ND AUGUST A really successful open air Eucharist today in the churchyard. • A good sized congregation, considering ….. • Lovely inspired music to lift our hearts • Warm fellowship as so many of us met up for the first time in months. • Blessed by lovely […]

Daily Blog (COVID-19) 31/07/2020 – Friday Reflection

by Emma Capps

Jeremiah 26:1-9 and Matthew 13:54- end. Today the Church remembers St. Ignatius of Loyola, founder of the Society of Jesus, 1556. Is not this the Carpenter’s son? And they took offence at him. At the beginning of lockdown were you one of the people resolved to use the time by learning new skills or rediscovering […]

Daily Blog (COVID-19) 24/07/2020 – Friday Reflection

by Emma Capps

Friday 24th July. Today’s reflection from Rev James Hair “GRANDPARENTS” FOR THE FEAST OF ANNE AND JOACHIM (Parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary) Readings: Ecclesiasticus 44:1,10-15 and Matthew 13:16-17 Ann and Joachim won’t get a look in this year because their day (26th July) falls on a Sunday. Normally they are relegated to the second […]