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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) 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 […]

Daily Blog (COVID-19) 23/07/2020

by Emma Capps

Thursday 23rd July. Today’s reflection comes from Julia Jennings. School’s out for Summer As schools break up for the summer and more people opt for a ‘staycation’ this year, we can expect to see an abundance of young people enjoying the open spaces we are lucky enough to have around Portchester. Some of them will […]

Daily Blog (COVID-19) 22/07/2020

by Emma Capps

Wednesday 22nd July. Today is the FEAST OF ST MARY MAGDALENE. Ann Hair offers today’s reflection: Celebrating St. Mary Magdalene Reminiscences of Provence Early morning and late afternoon are my favourite times in the garden and this morning was no exception. The lavenders were alive with the buzzing of bumble bees, tiny sparrows foraged happily […]

Daily Blog (COVID-19) 21/07/2020

by Emma Capps

Tuesday 21st July “HOPE BEYOND DESPAIR” Today’s reflection was shared by Nell Wycherley. It is an excerpt from the book “The Bible Phenomenon” by John Drane. ……. To respond to Jesus Christ requires an intellectual conversion. If Jesus Christ is all that the Bible claims, then no thinking person can afford to ignore him. But […]

Daily Blog (COVID-19) 17/07/2020 – Friday Reflection

by Emma Capps

Friday 17th July Today’s reflection from REV JAMES HAIR Readings : Isaiah 38, 1-6,21 -22,7-8 and Matthew12:1-8 The attached picture is from one of my urban sketchers collection, sketched at Portland Street, Fareham roundabout 7am., and with it go some of the lines from Gerald Manley Hopkins’ poem, “The Grandeur of God”, “……Why do men […]

Daily Blog (COVID-19) 15/07/2020

by Emma Capps

Have you been to our Tea Room since it re-opened for takeaway service under our new catering manager Ron. Please leave us a review HERE   ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS DOCTORS: Damian Mayo, Jenny Mayo, Charlotte Cox NURSES: Caroline Frost, Penny Hensman, Ruth Tunski, Jenny Olding, Stephanie Smith POLICE: Tom Wrenn, Scott Brodrick (RN) FUNERAL DIRECTORS: […]

Daily Blog (COVID-19) 14/07/2020

by Emma Capps

Change has been forced on us whether we like it or not: changes in the church, changes in our work, changes to our leisure, changes to life. Most of us don’t do change well, and that’s why we get irritated, angry and lash out. Some of you will be aware of the ‘stages of grief’ […]

Daily Blog (COVID-19) 13/07/2020 – St Mary’s News #54

by Emma Capps

St. Mary’s News #54   ONGOING PRAYER REQUESTS DOCTORS: Damian Mayo, Jenny Mayo, Charlotte Cox NURSES: Caroline Frost, Penny Hensman, Ruth Tunski, Jenny Olding, Stephanie Smith POLICE: Tom Wrenn, Scott Brodrick (RN) FUNERAL DIRECTORS: Ian Parker NURSING HOMES: Jemma Frizelle RETAIL AND FOOD DISTRIBUTION: Chris Jones (Sainsbury’s home delivery driver), Christine Horton (BP Garage, Portchester), […]