This is the official website of The Downs Benefice Winchester, Hampshire.

LENT Series 2018

Notices in brief...

For all the notices and more information, please see our Notices page

Carols at The Running Horse, Littleton

On Thursday 13th December starting at 7pm, patrons of The Running Horse will be entertained by Carol Singing (with a chance to join in).  If you are interested in being one of the Carol Singers, please contact the Benefice Office on 01962 880 845 or  Otherwise, do come along, join in and get into the spirit of Christmas.

'Carols on the Green'

Monday 17th December - 6pm

Start the countdown to Christmas and come along to Woodman Close, Sparsholt at 6pm on Monday 17th December to sing Carols.

Advent Compline with Music - led by Dale Webb

Friday 21st December - 6.30pm

St Peter and Holy Cross, Wherwell

For full details please click Advent_Compline_-_21st_December_2018.

Alpha is coming!

Starts 13th January 2019.

For more details, please click Alpha_Course_-_January_2019

Benefice Baptism Team

Would you be interested in becoming part of the Baptism Team?

For more details please see  Notices

Parish Magazine Deadline

Copy for February/March edition of the Benefice Parish Magazine should be submitted by 12.00 noon - 7th January.


Reflecting on the interaction between life, work and faith - through a Lenten Lens


Come and join us for our Lent Series

Tuesday 20 February – St Peter and Holy Cross, Wherwell – 7.30pm

Speaker: Revd Canon Jill Bentall

Jill initially trained as a physiotherapist at King’s College Hospital in London moving to Andover after her marriage, where she worked with the elderly and disabled children before working for the Enham Trust for 10 years. 

As a child Jill was taken to the Congregational Church by her Grandmother and her school had Quaker foundations.  She took on the role of Youth Club Secretary and moved on to become a Sunday School Teacher and Youth Leader in an ecumenical church in Andover.  When her son left home for university she applied to train as a Reader but then heard a calling to apply for acceptance for Ordination. She trained at Salisbury and was ordained in 1993.  She went first to Knights Enham, then Charlton and then the Pastrow Benefice and currently helps out wherever needed in the Andover Deanery. She is a member of the Andover United Reform Church.


Thursday 1 March – St Mary the Less, Chilbolton – 7.30pm

Speaker: Stuart Palmer, BOAZ

Helping marginalized people and communities break free stirs Stuart’s soul.  After studying Business, Marketing and Engineering, the family business called, but God had other ideas including Traidcraft (fair trade), the CURE International Children’s Hospital in Malawi, Five Talents (microfinance) and currently Boaz (learning disabilities), a therapeutic work community.


Wednesday 7 March – St Mary’s, Crawley – 7.30pm

Speakers:  Kirsty Plant and Peter Mills, Arqiva

At work Peter is Service Management Process and system consultant. He has been a Christian since his mid-teens initiated by reading the Bible after a game of tennis.Peter has never been a Pastor but has been involved in most other church roles at one time or another – including cleaner.

Outside of work Peter has an active interest in Christian Apologetics, and enjoys playing golf. He is married with 3 grown up children and 4 grandchildren.


Kirsty’s entire career has been in IT, working at Arqiva for the last 6 years.

Growing up in a Catholic household, she lost her spiritual way in her teen years. It was colleagues she met at work, those who became friends, that helped re-establish her connection with God.

Her two children came to faith and were baptised two years ago.  Kirsty is looking forward to her 25th wedding anniversary this year; she’s still working with God on her husband’s return to faith.


Monday 12 March – St Catherine’s Church Room, Littleton – 7.30pm

Speaker:  Revd Norman de la Mouette

Norman is a qualified signwriter & gilder, local government officer, coach driver, clinical & pastoral counsellor, holistic therapist, and school teacher. He has also been a National Serviceman, in the RAMC, and has a working knowledge of several other occupations. As a priest, he has been a non-stipendiary minister in the parish of St. Lawrence with St. Swithun (now also with St. Bartholomew's), Winchester, for thirty-nine years. During that time he also acted as Deputations Appeals Organiser for the Children's Society in the Dioceses of Winchester and Portsmouth, and later became Chaplain to St. John's Winchester Charity.


Friday 23 March – St Stephen’s, Sparsholt with Lainston – 7.30pm

Speaker: Admiral Mike Gretton

Mike Gretton joined the Royal Navy in 1963 and then studied Philosophy, Politics and Economics at Trinity College, Oxford before continuing his seagoing career, serving for over 34 years until retirement in 1998. He enjoyed five commands at sea including HMS Invincible, the Standing Naval Force Atlantic and the UK Task Group. He has attended the Royal College of Defence Studies and the Cabinet Office Top Management Programme. After retirement he went into youth development as Chief Executive of the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award. He maintained that interest initially in World Challenge and as a Trustee of the Tall Ships Youth Trust, and currently as Chairman of Youth Options (Hampshire). Mike was Chairman of Winchester and Eastleigh NHS Trust from September 2007 to January 2012, when his primary interests were patient experience and clinical leadership. He is an Associate with 2020 Delivery, involved in providing leadership training in the public sector, and particularly the NHS. He lives near Winchester with his wife: they have 4 grown up children (2 are doctors) and seven grandchildren. He was a keen cricket, rugby and racquets game player, but now he just staggers around a Real Tennis court.