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


Notices in brief...

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

In Emergency 

In an emergency, please contact the Rector, Revd Jax Machin on:


Mobile: 07761 055228

In Crisis - Need to talk 


Further information about the phone line is available


COVID Vaccination Scam ALERT!

There have been reports of a new scam where a person receives a text saying they need to book a vaccination appointment and it takes them to a fake NHS form which then asks for their bank details to prove their identity. 

The NHS will never ask for a person’s banking information so please do not provide as it will be a scam   

There is a texting scam leaflet you can download here:


The scam has been reported in the media here:

Coronavirus Support:


Chilbolton Coronavirus Support 


Coronavirus Support 


Crawley Corona Helpers

Phone:  07807 363689 or Email: 


Littleton Coronavirus Support Group



Sparsholt Community Support

Support Group




Update - Lockdown 2


Wherwell Coronavirus Help Line



Hampshire Help Line

0333 370 4000.

(This number has been issued by Hants Constabulary.)

Prayer Requests

If you have any prayer requests, for any concerns lying on your heart or to give thanks, please email the office on

All prayer requests will be made anonymous before being passed on  to our Prayer Team.

Parish Magazine Deadline

Copy for Apr/May edition of the Benefice Parish Magazine should be submitted by 12.00 noon - Friday 5th March.


Services for Sunday 7th March - the Third Sunday of Lent

Owing to current the Coronavirus situation and restrictions, we are very sorry but we are unable to safely open the Chuches of The Downs Benefice for services until further notice.



Benefice Morning Prayer comes into your home

Tuesdays at 9:30am on Zoom. 

Come and join us!

If you would like to join us for this short service please call on 01962 880 845 or send an email to the

Benefice Office

We can then get in touch with you, sending you a copy of the service and the link to Zoom.



The Churches are also open for Individual Private Prayer at these times:

Masks must be worn in Church.

St Mary the Less, Chilbolton 9am - 4pm Closed until further notice
St Mary's, Crawley 10am - 4pm Sundays
St Catherine's, Littleton 10am - 4pm Wednesdays (and Saturday 30th January)
St Stephen's, Sparsholt 10am - 4pm Closed until further notice
St Peter & Holy Cross, Wherwell 10am - 4pm Closed until further notice


Lent Course - #LiveLent 2021, God’s Story, Our Story

Revd Jax will host a Zoom meeting on  Thursday evenings at 7.00pm, beginning 18th February.

Each of the seven weekly sessions offers a reflection on a given bible reading, a prayer and an action on what is described as ‘a unifying theme’ to be undertaken during the week. The course encourages all Christians to think about their calling, how to share their faith and reflect on the difference Christ makes in our lives.

To join the weekly Zoom meetings, please register your email address with the Benefice Office to receive the weekly Zoom link.

For full details see Lent


Wednesday 17th February - Ash Wednesday


click on video to open video viewer

Printable Order of Service

Messy Lent and Messy Easter

For full details please see Kids Corner


Here is a colouring sheet of activities to do over the 40 days of Lent. Pick one as a family to do each day, and colour it in when you've completed it. We'd love you to share any photos of what you've been doing either by email or on our Facebook page

Messy Lent Calendar


Looking ahead, we plan to put together a Messy Easter bag of activities.

Sign up here:  Messy Easter Bag
Bags will be handed out at Sparsholt and Littleton churches between 10am and 11am on Saturday 20th March.

Prayer for today - Wednesday 3rd March

Almighty God,
you show to those who are in error the light of your truth,
that they may return to the way of righteousness:
grant to all those who are admitted
into the fellowship of Christ’s religion,
that they may reject those things
that are contrary to their profession,
and follow all such things as are agreeable to the same;
through our Lord Jesus Christ,
who is alive and reigns with you,
in the unity of the Holy Spirit,
one God, now and for ever.

Online Resources for live streamed Sunday and daily services

Church of England online services and prayers

Winchester Cathedral 

8.20am Morning Prayer

10am Sung Eucharist

3.30pm Evensong       

York Minster

1am and 4pm via YouTube 

Holy Trinity, Brompton 

1.30am via YouTube 

All Souls, Langham Place

9.30am; 11.30am; 

Southwark Cathedral

6pm Compline

St Giles in the Field

11am Choral Eucharist, BCP

6.30pm Choral Evensong, BCP







Letters from Revd Jax

Sunday 28th February

To see previous letters please click

Letters from Revd Jax


Across the Downs

If you would like to receive our weekly Benefice Newsletter, please email the office so you can be added to the distribution list.

This Week's Newsletter

Last week's Newsletter


Parish and Village Magazines

Chilbolton & Wherwell Magazine - February 2021

Sparsholt Village Newsletter

                            Kids Corner                                 

Resources for Children and Families


    Resources for   Wellbeing


The Five Parish Churches in the Downs Benefice

For a short history and photos of each church please click on the images below.

St Mary the Less


St Mary's


St Catherine's


St Stephen's


St Peter and Holy Cross


St Mary the Less Chilbolton

Village Street, Chilbolton, Hampshire, SO20 6BQ

St Mary's Crawley

Main Road, Crawley, Hampshire, SO21 2PZ

St Catherine's Littleton

Main Road, Littleton, Winchester, Hampshire, SO22 6QY

St Stephen's Sparsholt with Lainston

Church Lane, Sparsholt, Hampshire, SO21 2NJ

St Peter and Holy Cross Wherwell

Church Street, Wherwell, Hampshire, SP11 7JJ

In this Benefice we welcome everyone to our altars during communion.

Communicant members from all denominations are most welcome and others are invited for a blessing.