Someone was heard to say the other day ‘at last a quiet time has arrived’ ….and sometimes there is a sense that once we have got through Lent, Holy Week, Easter, May Fayre and Annual Meetings we have arrived at a quieter place. However looking back over the last couple of months since the May Fayre would suggest that is not the case! What follows is just a flavour of what we have been doing ..
On the Sunday after the May Fayre we welcomed the Co-op Funeral Service Team and those who work at the Bereavement Centre. Over 300 people came to remember those they had loved who had died in the past year and to place names on trees and light candles. Our partnership and support with our local Funeral Directors is an important part of our ministry at Saint Mary’s. Later that week the Deanery Synod met at Saint Mary’s to witness the relicensing of Father Bob as Area Dean and to give its
support to the next phase of the Deanery Youth Chaplaincy. It is good to have Revd Sue as part of that team and a number of volunteers from the Parish involved in our local Secondary Schools. If you are interested, then please contact Revd Sue.
In the last few weeks it has also been good to be part of the weddings for Hannah Leslie and Natasha Standley. We are also delighted to be supporting and working with a number of couples over the coming weeks as they celebrate their marriage at the Church. Thank you to the Parish Clerks, Verger, Musicians, Bell ringers and all who are involved in ensuring that the Church is able to contribute to what for each couple is, we hope, a memorable day.
General Election Day also saw the first of two Organ Recitals at the Church. These have been arranged to help raise the profile of the Organ Project. The Organ is in need to some major works and is in a fragile state. We are seeking to carry out some of the more urgent in the Autumn – the cost will be £10,000 – and we need to find a way of covering this cost swiftly. If you have any ideas (or wish to make a donation), please contact Matt Dixon. As if to prove a point the week after the recital the organ experienced a major electrical fault – which will cost an additional £800 to address – and which we are working hard to rectify. In the meantime, we have enjoyed the different atmosphere created by using one of the grand pianos to accompany our worship. The Recital was followed by a meeting of the Music Foundation Trustees. They were able to approve the annual accounts, thanks to some significant work done by Matt – and were delighted to appoint him as Trustee to act as Treasurer. The month also saw a perfect concert programme for a Summer’s afternoon provided by the Zephyr Wind Consort. Thank you to them and all who support the work of the Music Foundation.
There was also some sporting activity at the Annual Skittles Night at the Maritime Club. On a warm evening the contest was tense. This year Rosie, the Verger, proved triumphant with Angela Bowyer proving a skilful bowler, managing to regularly miss all the skittles. What of the Vicar? Well, he was just content to have won the Clergy tournament – Father Darcy nobly and wisely not trying too hard!
In July and August there are 2 special weekends of celebration and we hope you will share in them, and bring your family and friends.
July 14th will see the return of the Band who played last year for a Dance Night. Then on Sunday July 16th we all gather at Saint Mary’s for the 10 a.m. service to join our Bishop, Christopher. The afternoon will see a Strawberry Tea and Music for a Summer’s afternoon in the Churchyard. The Church Tower will be open to visitors.
On August 12th we are having a ‘birthday party’ to mark 130 years of Saint Mary’s current building – there will be a ‘family disco’ – aimed at those with young children from 5 p.m. then a BBQ for all ages for all ages at 7.p.m. and a party with music and chat from 7.30 till 10 p.m. On Sunday August 13th you are invited to bring a picnic to share in the Churchyard as we are entertained by the Pompey Pluckers. The Tower will be open again that afternoon.
Who said it was a ‘quiet time?’