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


Resources for Children and Families


Wild Worship Guide


Messy Church


Sparsholt Church of England Primary School - Rainbows of Hope Challenge

Support the children in this challenge.

Full details: Sparsholt_Church_of_England_Primary_School_-_Rainbows_of_Hope_Challenge

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.

COVID-19 Support

Chilbolton Coronavirus Support Group

Chilbolton Parish Council, with the Church and Chilbolton Stores have formed 'The Chilbolton CoronaVirus Support Group' to help vulnerable people in our village community with both practical support and to help alleviate anxieties over self-isolation. Please click the link below if you would like help or are able to offer help.


Crawley Corona Helpers

Please contact the Helpers on 07807 363689 or Email: 

Littleton Coronavirus Support Group

Please click the link below if you would like help or are able to offer help.


Sparsholt Community Support

Information about the Sparsholt Community Support Group can be found here:  Support_Group

Wherwell Community Support

Coronavirus – Wherwell Help Line

Wherwell Parish Council has arranged a help line for Wherwell residents. Please click on the link below for full details.



Please click on the link below for the online version of the Parish Magazine.


Chilbolton & Wherwell Magazine

Please click on the lnk below for the online version of the Village Magazine.


Weekly Benefice Newsletter - We intend to continue producing our weekly newsletter while services are suspended and will distribute it electronically on Fridays.  If you would like to receive a copy of Across The Downs, please could you email the office at 

so you can be added to the distribution list.


Please click below for Safeguarding Links


Citizens Advice - Winchester District

Please click below for information about Citizens Advice, Winchester District


Parish Magazine Deadline

Copy for June/July edition of the Benefice Parish Magazine should be submitted by 12.00 noon - Friday 8th May.


Our Prime Minister has told everyone to stay in their homes in a national effort to limit the transmission of Coronavirus (COVID-19). It means all churches must close with immediate effect.

Sadly, there will be no Church weddings or baptisms at this time.


Funerals at the graveside or in crematoria can still take place, in line with the Prime Minister’s Statement with only next of kin present.


For live streaming of daily prayers and services, please visit:

We can still be church beyond our buildings as we pray, love and care for the vulnerable.



Be assured of my love and prayers for you all, Revd Jax 

Please click this link to read the most recent letter from Revd Jax.


In Emergency – Coronavirus

In an emergency, please contact the Rector,

Revd Jax Machin on:


Mobile: 07761 055228


Please look at these websites to find details of how to join others online for prayer, worship, study, and community life:


The Downs Benefice:  

Diocese of Winchester:

The Church of England:

‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength… and love your neighbour as yourself. There is no other Commandment greater than these.’ (Luke 10:27)


To protect the vulnerable amongst us, please do not leave your home except for essential trips!

Today's Readings (Thursday 2nd April)

Morning Prayer

Reading   Exodus 9: 13-end
Reading   Hebrews 12: 14-end
Psalm(s)   40 and 125

Evening Prayer

Reading   Jeremiah 23: 9-32
Gospel   John 12: 12-19
Psalm(s)   42 and 43

Readings for Sunday 5th April (Principal Service)


    Liturgy of the Palms
Gospel   Matthew 21: 1-11
Psalm   118: 1-2; 19-end
    Liturgy of the Passion
Reading   Isaiah 50: 4-9a
Reading   Phillipians 2: 5-11
Gospel   Matthew 26:14 - 27:end
Psalm   31: 9-16

A Prayer for all those affected by Coronavirus

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy.
Sustain and support the anxious,
be with those who care for the sick,
and lift up all who are brought low;
that we may find comfort
knowing that nothing can separate us from your love
in Christ Jesus our Lord.



Prayer for Today - Thursday, 2nd April

Gracious Father,
you gave up your Son
out of love for the world:
lead us to ponder the mysteries of his passion,
that we may know eternal peace
through the shedding of our Saviour’s blood,
Jesus Christ our Lord.


The Church of England site gives access to Daily Worship, Readings and Prayers.  This page (link below) with Coronavirus Information has several resources which can be accessed at home.


Liturgy and Prayer resources


Link to Bishop of Winchester's Service - Sunday 29th March.

Diocesan YouTube channel


Online services and prayers




Resources for Reading, Reflection and Praying









The Five Parish Churches in the Downs Benefice

For more information please click on the image of a church 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.