Message from Fr Bob
It is important in these uncertain times that we all keep in touch with each other and support each other as best we can. However we also need to be aware of the risks that exist and have to also care for ourselves and those close to us.
In the light of the announcements by the Prime Minister and further announcements from the Archbishops and Bishop Christopher. I want to share with you what will be happening in the Parish.
The Ministry Team and Parish Wardens have been in regular contact with each other and we are committed to continuing to fulfil our main calling to be communities and people of prayer and worship and to exercise care of all God’s people.
This commitment will be expressed in the following ways – and we invite you to join with us as you are able – wherever you are
Daily Prayer –Morning Prayer will be said by members of the Ministry Team of All Saints and St Mary’s at 9am at St Mary’s.
Likewise Evening prayer will be said at 5pm .
We invite you to join us at those two times wherever you are pause and pray and if possible to light a candle.
If you want to join us in the Prayers we are saying then you will find the service is available on the National Church of England Website
Or you can download the Daily Prayer app on your mobile phone or tablet https://www.chpublishing.co.uk/apps/daily-prayer
You are welcome to join us in praying for all affected by the Virus, all who are fearful, all who are isolated from family, friends and community and all who seek to support them ….
And to pray that we may all be reassured and comforted by an awareness of the presence of Christ.
Eucharists – There will be celebrations of the Eucharist daily at Noon at a Church in the 2 parishes – Including one on Wednesday at All Saints. These will be offered on behalf of the communities of both parishes and praying for all affected by the current situation – and any offering prayers for those who have sent in prayer requests.
There will be a daily reflection from that service which will be streamed as appropriate on Webpage and Social media. While we cannot enable all to share in the Church we will welcome people to join us in prayer and reflection at those times wherever they are.
At St Mary’s we will establish the Nave Altar on the Dais and concertina the brown chairs and so spread out the blue Chairs to create more space for those who are at such services or who come into the Church to pray during the day.
Open Church - All Saints will be open each day for prayer from 11am – Noon with support from the Harbour Team
St Mary’s is a large space and we are keeping the doors open (not just for ventilation!) but to enable all who wish to, to use it as a place of prayer and stillness in these difficult and challenging times.
We will strive to be open from 9am – 5pm every day.
Pastoral Care - There will be a team of us (from the Ministry Team and Admin staff) who will be in the Vestry Hall at St Marys from 9 – 5 and in the Deanery Office.
These will be our bases for a Pastoral Care call centre (for want of a better word).
We hope to be in regular contact with everyone by email, social media, and phone calls.
If you have any concerns or worries or there are things you need then please do call 023 92814444 – or my number after 5pm 023 92 822687 or my mobile 07341 569233.
We will work alongside HIVE and other community and statutory groups to forward to them requests for support – practical, food, medical, utilities, pet care etc and even financial that we cannot meet.
Please again let us know if we can support you in anyway, with prayer requests – or just phone to say ‘hello’!
Cancellations I am sure it will not surprise you that we need to cancel a number of events and activities :
so please note that all Church related activities and events – including Soup Lunches, Charity Shop and Breakfasts - are now closed
We will reflect further on Holy Week and beyond next week as the situation develops and becomes clearer and will keep you informed
Sunday Services – There will not be ‘public’ services (at the instruction of the Archbishops) but there will be a said service lead by the Ministry Team supported by a small group in All Saints on Sunday at 10am
St Mary’s services will be live streamed on social media and we are exploring how we make it available on Webpage etc.
Please do join with us in these services and be in ‘communion’ with the body of Christ through your participation.
The service will include a short reflection each week and will be shorter than the normal service – so hopefully easier to engage with.
Revd Sam’s licensing will again not be a ‘public service’ but will happen and be live streamed so we can all welcome her and support her as she begins her ministry with us at this time.
I hope this all makes sense and if you are at all unclear please do let me know or ask me any questions.
Our focus must be to serve God in prayer and care – and to serve one another and all around us in being reassuring signs of his presence with us as we journey through Lent in a way that we had not imagined.
I am sure we can develop a strong sense of shared prayer and shared pastoral ministry and will support each other with regular contact via email or phone – continuing to be the Body of Christ in this place
With best wishes and prayers
Revd Canon Bob White
Vicar of St Mary’s , Portsea and Area Dean of Portsmouth
St Mary’s Vicarage
023 92 822687
All Saints' Church is at the very heart of Portsmouth , nestled in the Centre of the City , close to the end of the M275, Commercial Centre, Ferry Ports , the Naval Base and Commercial Ports.
If you live in the Parish, or are visiting the area , we would love to see you.
The parish of Portsea: All Saints is committed to the safeguarding of children, young people and adults. We follow the House of Bishops guidance and policies and have our own Parish Safeguarding Officer(s), PSOs. The Diocese of Portsmouth’s safeguarding pages contain vital links and information including contacts for the Diocesan Safeguarding Advisor (DSA) who advise our PSOs. If you are concerned that a child or adult has been harmed or may be at risk of harm please contact the DSA. If you have immediate concerns about the safety of someone, please contact the police and your local authority Children or Adults Services.