June 2018 Saint Mary’s News

The May Fayre experienced what one person described as “The Goldilocks effect” – last year was “too cold” and many people were saying this year was “too hot”! It certainly was a glorious day – the hottest early May Bank Holiday on record – and the sun shone all day. There was a great atmosphere and alongside the familiar Morris Dancers and Beer Tent there were new things – including a Steel Band from Northern Parade School and a chance to tour behind the Organ and see how it works.

Over 10,000 visitors came and enjoyed the event and the warmth of the welcome. The Police on site only had two very minor incidents. Once again, we found ourselves being at the heart of the community and helping to celebrate the life of Fratton. Thank you to so many people – we had over 100 volunteers involved in the event, so thank you to each of them; to Colas who kept the site clean; to the Police and PCSOs; to the Army Cadets and Scout Group; to Chris Bleach and his team in the Beer Tent; to Ian Miller on the PA and especially to Claire, Sylvia and Rosie for their work in admin and preparing for the day. The success of the day is measured in all of the above but is confirmed by the fact we raised just under £15,000! We meet on June 10th to review and start planning for next year!
It was good later in the week to have a chance to celebrate the Feast of the Ascension with a Parish Mass. As in previous years, we ended the service with prayers for those who represent us on the PCC as they committed themselves to serve God and his people for another year. Our guest preacher was Revd Mary Kells, who is about to be priested, and was for some time a member of the Choir at Saint Mary’s.

Later in May the Music Foundation Concert series for the summer began. It was wonderful to hear the voice of Kat Nimmo, who is at the Royal Marines School of Music and has been worshipping with us (when she is able). It would be true to say that those who heard it were enchanted by her performance. The next concert is on June 17th and then there will be music all afternoon on July 15th at the Strawberry Tea.

Lastly, on a musical note, we have announced that Matt Dixon has stood down from the official role of ‘Assistant Organist’ – we are delighted he will continue to support the work of the Organ Project and the Music Foundation and will play at special services and from time to time. Thank you to him for all he has contributed in the role of Assistant Organist over the years!

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