The Autumn seems uncertain as to whether it will start or not – certainly weather-wise as we switch from torrential rain and winds to warm sunshine.
In Church life however there is a definite familiar feel to Autumn having arrived.
As we continue to respond to the situation with COVID and seek to take sensible measures to ensure that we reduce the risks of spreading any infections, so the number of events and activities begins to take on a well-trod pattern.
Over the coming weeks we will continue to maintain in each Church areas set up and following the previous regulations – so please do come and sit there if you would feel ‘safer’ doing so.
In addition, we are requesting and advising that we continue to wear face coverings for worship and while indoors.
If you wish to not wear a face covering, we ask that you respect one another and sit in the area at the front (East End).
Singing It has been good over the last weeks to hear the return of singing in all 3 Churches and we will continue to review and expand what is sung at each service.
Communion The sharing of the chalice (common cup) is one of the areas of highest risk in potential transmission of the virus so we have decided to continue with communion in one kind
Those sitting in rows of seats are invited to come forward to receive standing – please keep a respectful distance between one another.
Those seated at East end continue to have communion brought to them. The Ministers will continue to hand sanitise and wear face coverings to administer communion.
Refreshments - Tea and Coffee on Sundays. At St Mary’s this is served at the West End – if you wish to join the team providing this please let Fr Bob know.
St Wilfrid’s are meeting for Coffee before the 11am and St Faith’s after the 9am.
We appreciate that for some these moves will not be enough while for other they may be challenging and unsettling.
Please do let the Ministry know your feelings and thoughts and we will be adapting and developing as we believe is best for the common good.
We will update you each month of any changes that are proposed.
Please continue to show the care and respect for each other- and our worship and love of God – that you have shown in such depth over the past months.
Young Families/Church Sadly as there is no natural light or ventilation in the Vestry Hall, we are unable at St Mary’s to resume Young Church each Sunday. We continue to review and explore this.
So, we will hold a Young Families celebration – with activities at tables – in the Church on Sunday Oct 17th and Nov 7th. On Nov 7th
We will chat with those there about what might be possible to arrange for activities during the main service and how we might plan for the Nativity!
The rhythm of Parish life also continues
Private Prayer and Public Worship
St Mary’s is open each weekday (Monday to Friday) from 9am – Noon for Private Prayer
At Noon on Monday, Wednesday and Friday at St Mary’s there is a Eucharist (which is also streamed).
In addition, on Tuesday at 9.30am at St Faith’s and on Thursday at 10.30am at St Wilfrid’s there will be a Eucharist (these will not be streamed)
There will be a streamed reflection around Noon on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Sundays there will be services at
8am and 10am at St Mary’s;
9am at St Faith’s and 11am at St Wilfrid’s.
Coffee and Chat
You can gather and catch up with others at Coffee and Chat in St Mary’s each Friday at 11am. (Moved into the Church for the Autumn) - you could stay on at the end for the Noon service if you wish.
There is also a chance for Coffee and Chat at St Faith’s on a Tuesday and St Wilfrid’s on a Thursday after the service.
Just Ask Saturdays 10 – 11am at St Mary’s – a chance to come and explore arranging Weddings and Christenings or ‘just ask’ the clergy anything!
Last month we held Deacon Ken’s funeral at St Wilfrid’s and St Mary’s.
Words here will not suffice to capture the life and ministry of this faithful servant of God and his people.
We reflected on his life and gave thanks for all he has shared with us.
His ashes will be interred with Jean’s in the coming weeks at St Mary’s
There is a lot to look forward to in the coming weeks and we hope you might come and experience some of them.
The first is a stunning Arts Installation –‘Where there is light’ a light and sound reflection as part of the national ‘Journeys International Festival’.
To visit you need to book a 30 min slot – either let us know when you wish to come or visit Where There is Light - Portsmouth Tickets, Multiple Dates | Eventbrite
During the installation Oct 15th – 24th– the Church will be open as usual and services will continue at the East End – if you would be happy to come and welcome visitors to the Church during that time for an hour or so please let us know.
Then on Oct 28th we will be hosting a theatrical performance which is touring the city as we prepare for COP26 and focus on environmental issues. It is part of the Portsmouth Climate Festival.
‘The Adventures of Florence and the Mermaid’s tears’ is a mini Musical, written specially for Portsmouth, family-friendly and climate relevant.
To book seats let us know or visit Florence and the Mermaid's Tears-Mini Musical-St Mary's Portsea Tickets, Thu 28 Oct 2021 at 12:30 | Eventbrite
Finally in October we will host our first ever Parish Autumn Fair –
this year the PCC has decided that rather than try to run 3 events (one in each church) with our limited resources and COVID awareness we will hold one Fair with all 3 Churches taking part.
It will be on Saturday Oct 30th at 10am at St Mary’s – can you help us on the day ?
Do you have things we can sell?
Can you encourage family and friends to come along?
Hope to see you there!
Monday Oct 11th 5pm Choir Open evening at St Mary’s –
A chance for young people to come and explore what being part of the Choir is like and what it involves.
Tuesday Oct 12th 7pm St Wilfrid’s Patronal Mass
We welcome Ven Peter Sutton as our Preacher as we gather at St Wilfrid’s to pray for that community and the community it seeks to serve.
Wednesday Oct 13th 7pm PCC meets at St Faith’s
Monday Oct 18th 7pm Monday Men meets at St Mary’s – contact Revd Marcus
Tuesday Oct 19th Organ Recital by Brian Moles at St Mary’s
As part of the Light Installation Brian will provide an improvised accompaniment to the lights
Wednesday Oct 20th 12.30pm Fellowship lunch at St Mary’s
After the Noon Mass you are invited to bring a lunch and join in a conversation. Drinks are provided. Contact Mthr Charlotte
Saturday Oct 23rd 11am Organ Project Photo Workshop
The third photography workshop led by Linda Mason – contact Matt Dixon for details
Saturday Oct 30th 7.30pm Royal British Legion Concert
At St Mary’s – to mark the Centenary of the RBL – 3 RBL bands will perform together, Watch out for further details.
Sunday Oct 31st 3pm Service for those bereaved
in the past year at St Mary’s
Tuesday Nov 2nd 7pm All Souls Day Requiem Mass at St Mary’s
The Choir will sing parts of Faure’s Requiem as we remember those who have died whom we have loved.
There is a list in Church for you to place the names of those you wish to come and pray for (also Requiems at St Mary’s on 3rd Nov at Noon; St Wilfrid’s 4th Nov at 10.30am and St Faith’s 9th Nov at 9.30am)
As we said at the start of this newsletter there is a sense of the familiar Autumn Pattern returning – in addition to all that is to come we have since the last newsletter had our Bar B Q lunch … the sponsored Bike Ride …the start of the Royal Marine Concerts … hosted a Diocesan Day of Prayer and 2 Diocesan and 1 Deanery conference …restored the flagpole … held Messy Harvest … a Harvest Quiet Day and our Harvest celebrations – including the return of the Panto Players …
All of this and everything else we do is only possible with your support and financial generosity and to the hard work of our dedicated team of staff and volunteers – thank you to each and every one of them for all they do.
Finally let us all continue to hold one another in our prayers and thoughts, and to be aware of others prayers and care for each of us.