I wanted to contact you as we begin the next phase of lockdown.

First of all to reassure you of our ongoing thoughts, prayers and care for the people of Portsmouth over the coming days.

I am sure that for many of us we have a variety of emotions and worries and questions.  This time is different to last time, but we will continue to focus our life together on our being with God in prayer, being with others in worship and care, and being with the rest of creation in service. We invite you to share the journey with us.

Being with God

Please pause and pray with us at 9am and at 6pm each day.

You can use the ‘daily office which is available at https://www.churchofengland.org/prayer-and-worship/join-us-service-daily-prayer. Or you can download a Daily Prayer app to your phone.

At 6pm (please note new time) we are invited by our Archbishops to join in prayer :

“Bearing in mind our primary vocation as the Church of Jesus Christ to pray and to serve we call upon the Church of England to make this month of lockdown a month of prayer. More than anything else, whatever the nation thinks, we know that we are in the faithful hands of the risen Christ who knows our weaknesses, tiredness and struggles and whose steadfast love endures for ever.

Above all we recall people to some of the fundamental spiritual disciplines that shape our Christian life. ”

The Archbishops, in consultation with the House of Bishops, decided that this call would take the form of an invitation to every Christian and person of good will to pray at 6pm every day, beginning this Thursday 5 November for the period of this present lock-down. This call is going far and wide – and the hope is that many of our ecumenical partners will join us.

There are some resources in the form of different styles of written prayers with a particular thematic focus for prayer each day.   The weblink to the resources is https://www.churchofengland.org/more/media-centre/coronavirus-covid-19-guidance-churches/call-prayer-nation  and these include a simple prayer booklet.

Also St Mary’s Church will be open every day (including weekends) from 9am – Noon for personal prayer. You are invited to come, light a candle and be still and place yourself and all in need into God’s hands.

The Blessed Sacrament will be on the High Altar as a visible sign of the presence of Christ with us as we make this journey.

Daily reflections will continue to be share online and social media by members of the Ministry Team.  

Details of how to access streamed reflections and services are provided below.

Being with Others

Please join us in daily worship as we recognise and are blessed by Christ’s presence in our lives. At Noon each weekday there will be a streaming of a Eucharist on You Tube and Facebook (and you can share in that service at any time after that). Unfortunately these services will not be able to be ‘public’ but only attended by the clergy and those enabling the streaming.

On Saturdays we will be continuing with Saturday Stillness and Reflection at Noon

On Sundays there will be a streamed service at 10am. This Sunday for Remembrance Sunday there will be a live stream from the Cross of Sacrifice in the Churchyard with an act of Remembrance at 10.55am

We will continue to seek to be in touch with as many vulnerable and isolating people across the Parish as we can by phone, emails or texts.  If you are aware of anyone with a particular need please do let us know.

Being with the rest of creation

We are aware that for some the lockdown will present new challenges and needs and we will continue to work with Fratton Big Local and the HIVE in seeking to respond to needs. If you need any support then do not hesitate to be in touch, likewise if you are aware of others around you then let us know.

I am sure there will be yet more twists and turns on the way ahead and there will be moments of joy as well as confusion and frustration. Please do keep in touch and if there is anything we can do please let me know.

With best wishes
Father Bob

Revd Canon Bob White
Vicar of St Mary’s , Portsea and Area Dean of Portsmouth
St Mary’s Vicarage
Fratton Road
023 92 822687
Worship during the 2nd Lockdown  

Streamed Services

On Sunday 8th November we will stream an Act of Remembrance at 10.55am and again on November 11th.

Sunday 10am
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday at Noon
Saturday at noon is Saturday Stillness with music, a reading and prayers by the clergy and a reflection by Fr Bruce.

You can pick up live streams on our portseaparish.co.uk/live-services, our Youtube Channel,  or if you have a facebook account on the St Mary’s Facebook page at facebook.com/PortseaParish.  There is a Daily Reflection available at portseaparish.co.uk/daily-reflections each day.
The service sheet for Sundays is available here.
The service sheet for the Daily Eucharist is available here.

Worship in Church

There will be no services nor public worship during the lockdown, but St Mary’s church will be open for private prayer from 9am to noon every day including weekends.  If visiting St Mary’s please enter by the West Door (or if needed via the ramp at the side door). Please wear a face mask (unless you are in an exempt group), sanitise your hands and go straight to a seat and observe safe distancing from other people.
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