Half Night of Prayers - Friday 27th July - St Mary's, Crawley - 6.30pm until Midnight
We are hosting the next Andover Deanery Half Night of Prayers at St Mary's, Crawley on Friday 287th July.
It is an evening of Readings, Prayer and Reflection.
It starts at 6.30pm and continues until Midnight but you are most welcome to come for as little or as long as you like and it would be fantastic to see as many people as possible.
Littleton - Graveyard entrance re-vitalisation
Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous benefactor, the bulk of the work has now been completed and we have new oak posts, new kerbstones a partial new path and a new sign-post. There will be no new gates, but a metal arbour is to be installed over the entrance on top of the posts. The installation of the arbour is scheduled to take place middle to late August. There will also be planting of spring bulbs beside the path in the Autumn.
Benefice Donation to Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF)
Following the Benefice Service at Northwood Park, at which we were delighted to be joined by Jill and Greg Vine and their girls (MAF Ugands), we have been able to send a cheque for £289.55 (donated by the congregation at the service) in support of their work. I think everyone found their talk informative and inspiring, and if anyone would like to receive copies of their newsletters and prayer requiested then please let Carol Ward know: email@example.com.
Messy Appeal! Needed!
For our July Messy Church we need several empty film canisters, th sort of canister where the lid fits inside the canister (possibly Fuji ones). Pleaes see our facebook page for a picture of the required items, or contact Carol Coleman on 01962 881886 if you think you may be able to help.
As many of you are aware, the Downs Benefice helps support nine families in the slum area of Okuvu, Kampala, through Karis Kids. These families have all taken in children of relatives who have succumbed to AIDS, despite their own poverty and need. Karis Kids helps with financial support for schooling, medical care and basic clothing, bedding and food supplements, as well as providing onging support of the families through the local church. Each of the Ugandan families is linked with a family or individual here in the UK, although the financial support for that family may come from several donors, grouped together.
Unfortnately we have lost a few of our donors recently and so I am asking members of our churches to pray about taking on a commitment to give on a monthly basis. It can be as much or as little (even £5) as you could afford. It costs £62/month to provide the ongoing support for each family, which is so gratefully received, and means that these children can attend and complete primary school education. We do have sufficient link families who write to the Ugandan families so there is no commitment beyond a regular donation and, hopefully, a commitment to pray for that family. You would be kept informed of the family's progress and other news of Karis Kids.
If you feel you might be able to help, or would like to know more, then please contact Carol Ward - firstname.lastname@example.org.
Would you like to ring Church Bells to mark 100 years since the end of WW1?
There were 1,400 bell ringers who never returned from the trenches at the end of World War One. The Central Council of Church Bell Ringers has launched a campaign 'Ringing Remembers' with the aim of recruiting 1,400 new bell ringers this year and to ring all of the 5000 active towers in the country on the Cenenary Armistice Day, Su ndy 11th November 2018.
Both Crawley (5 bells) and Sparsholt (6 bells) need more ringers - please give it a try and become one of the 1,400 in the 'Ringing Remembers' campaign.
Come along to Sparsholt on a Mondy at 7.30pm, or contact Jenny Watson on 01962 808167; or Crawley on a Tuesday at 7.30pm or contact Amanda Bayford on 01962 776861.
Benefice Prayer List
Following the departure of Margaret Fowkes who had produced and distributed the Prayer List for some years, there has not been a published list in recent months. The list had been used not only by those who meet on Tuesday afternoons to pray for people in need or prayer in our Benefice, but also by many in their own private prayer times. the monthly prayer list is to be restarted and will be available at the back of the churches shortly. If you would like to receive a copy electronically, then please contact Carol Ward - email@example.com.
Looking for a housegroup?
The Saturday Morning Breakfast bible Study group which meets at Peach Hill, Crawley on 1st and 3rd Saturdays each month, would like to invite anyone from around the Benefice to come and join our number. We meet up at 8am for a continential breakfast, followed by around 45 minutes of Bible Study and discussion, finishing about 9.30am.
Our aim is to encourage each other in living out our Christian fiath and we use a variety of resources and study guides to help us with this. We try to keep things practical but aren't afraid to tckle the more challenging issues that might crop up too. We also pack in quite a lot of fun and laughter!
We'd love to have some new faces round the table. To find out the next dates or for more information gnerally, please contact Phil and Di Payne on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Peace and Wholeness Service
Coming to a church near you! is a new idea to help people get to the Benefice Service of Peace and Wholeness. There will be an advert placed in the church porch asking for volunteers to drive to the service once a month. The thinking behind this is that many people don't like driving in the dark and in the winter so a 'Good Neighbour Taxi Service' may enable a few more people to access this special service. There will be a leaflet left in the churches which will explain more about the service, along with dates and how to volunteer.
St Catherine's, Littleton, car-ferry system
St Catherine's currently provide a car-ferry system to enable Sunrise residents and our regular congregation (who temporarily or permanently cannot drive) to attend Sunday Services. This is much appreciated by the users. The numbers of people using the service has grown and we need a few more volunteers to make their car available. If you feel able to offer help, can you please let one of the church wardens know? Dates are pre-agreed with each driver and the aim is to try and ensure that drivers do not exceed two/three Sundays a quarter (depends, of course, on numbers of volunteers).
Please do volunteer if you can. It is such a vital contribution to the wellbeing of parishioners.
Food Handling Training
Are there occasions when you help out at Church functions, perhaps preparing or serving food? Good practice requires those who do so to undertake 'training'. It would be really helpful if we had a cohort of people in the Benefice who have undertaken such training, or even completed food handling courses and obtained certificates, so that we, as a Benefice, meet current standards. Ruth Myers, of St Catherine's PCC, has recently run a morning for those who cook for the Littleton Lunch Club, and has offered to signpost this training, which is available free on-line, to anyone who would like to undertake it. Please contact Ruth by email: email@example.com for further information.
Winchester City Centre Chaplaincy Law Courts Team
Are looking for more volunteer chaplains to join the Law Courts team, which is now well established and well received. If you are interested, contact the Lead Chaplain, Debbie Veel for further details or an informal chat - firstname.lastname@example.org or 07834 540106.
The Vine Trust - volunteers
The Vine Trust is urgently looking for volunteers to help in their Christian Bookshop in Bridge Street, Andover. They especially need help on Monday afternoons, Thursday mornings and Saturdays.
The Vine Trust Bookshop is open 6 days a week from 10.00am to 4.00pm. They operate two shifts per day 10am-1ppm and 1pm-4pm and are looking for volunteers to help with either a 1/2 or full day.
Please contact Brenda Sleath on 01264 355706 or email email@example.com or call into the shop to find out more.
Specialist Respite Care
Winchester Street Reach
Many of us will have learnt about this detached youthwork project during our Lent series earlier this year. A 'Friends of Street Reach' membership is being put together where one can make a regular donation and in return receive newsletters, regular updates and more.
If interested, please contact Ben Martin, Project Manager, Street Reach: firstname.lastname@example.org
Parish Magazine Deadline
A reminder that copy for the Oct/Nov edition of the Benefice Parish Magazine should be submitted by 12.00 noon, 10th September at the latest. Details of where to send your article or information can be found in the current magazine
Sparsholt 100 Club
The Sparsholt 100 Club is a lottery, licensed by Winchester City Council and organised through Sparsholt Parochial Church Council and The Friends of St. Stephen's Church Sparsholt, for residents in and local to Sparsholt. There is a monthly subscription of £10 and a prize draw four times a year with a first prize of £100 and three further prizes of £50. Winners will be contacted personally, and names posted in the village shop.
By joining you will help to raise much needed funds in a very good cause which is to keep the church open and well maintained. Membership is by invitation and is limited to 100 members. A membership application form can be obtained from the Sparsholt village shop or from the membership secretary who is Ian Hay at Victoria Cottage, Dean Lane, Sparsholt, Tel. 01962 776 468.
Bible Study Materials
Over the years the Littleton Mid-week House Group has used a variety of study guides to aid our discussions, and has built up quite a collection of surplus copies. We feel that these would be of benefit to other house groups, or individuals wishing to study particular Bible books or topics, and so have put them in the tall cupboard at the back of the Littleton Church Room. Pleae help yourself to any that you would like - the room is normally accessible during Benefice Office opening hours (subject to bookings).
Live the Mission
The first issue of Live the Mission, sharing what parishes are doing across the Winchester Diocese will be available from September. Live the Mission will be a monthly newsletter which can be downloaded in different formats from the Diocesan website: http://www.winchester.anglican.org/resources/communications-resources/enewsandnewsletter/