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

Lent Series

Notices in brief...

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

Harvest Donations

This year several parishes of The Downs Benefice will be giving their Harvest donations to Winchester Churches Nightshelter.

The Nightshelter has prepared a short video to show us around the centre and tell us a little more about how it works. 

You can watch this video here.

In Emergency – Coronavirus

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


Mobile: 07761 055228


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

Diocese of Winchester:

The Church of England:

Further information about the phone line is available


Coronavirus Support:

Update from the Littleton Helpers -

Please see Notices

Chilbolton Coronavirus Support Group



Crawley Corona Helpers

Phone:  07807 363689 or Email: 


Littleton Coronavirus Support Group



Sparsholt Community Support


Sparsholt Community Support

Group  Newsletter


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 Dec/Jan edition of the Benefice Parish Magazine should be submitted by 12.00 noon - Friday 6th November.

We are very sorry but owing to the current situation with regard to Covid 19, we have decided to postpone our Lent series until it is sensible to reschedule.



Mission and Responding to God's Call

This year we have invited speakers to come and talk to us about how they have responded to God's Call to vocation and to their charitable works, and how their faith directs their life and work.


Arrival from 7.15pm for all the talks so they can start at 7.30pm.



Tuesday 3rd March - St Stephen's Church, Sparsholt - Mark Hibbert-Hingston, Winchester Street Pastors

Mark grew up in Shropshire, later attending boarding school, before joining the Army at 19. He served in Northern Ireland, Germany, the divided city of Berlin, Cyprus and UK (mainly London). On leaving in 1998 Mark worked for the Armed Forces Christian union for 3 years, after which he was in construction until being appointed as the coordinator of the newly-launching Winchester Street Pastors in 2011. In addition to this part-time role, Mark also works for Military Ministries International (MMI), both in the office and as part of the Europe team. In this role he has visited many of the countries in Europe (particularly Russia, Ukraine and Belarus) as well as the USA, South Korea and South Africa.

Mark has been married to Lucinda for over 35 years, and together they have six adult children. He still has little time for hobbies but enjoys flying a drone and walking his son’s dog, although not at the same time!

For more information on Street pastors or MMI, visit



Monday 9th March St Mary the Less, Chilbolton - Tom Burden, Headmaster of Pilgrims School

Tom Burden is Headmaster of The Pilgrims’ School in Winchester and was formerly Headmaster of a north London prep school, Hereward House. Now in his late 40s, despite having a ‘successful’ career, Tom has decided to become ordained. Why? How did he decide? What has he learnt from his time in schools that may influence his work in the church? Tom believes that the church needs to be bolder and more adventurous. This talk will be partly a story; and partly a setting out of vision.



Wednesday 18th March - St Mary's Church, Crawley - Jonathan de Sausmarez, The Children's Society

I am the third son of a Church of England clergyman and was largely brought up in Broadstairs, Kent. My formative years were spent singing in the parish choir and this led to my chosen career of a Teacher of Music which began in Liverpool and has taken me through Gloucestershire and since 1995, Hampshire. For the past 20 years, I have led two schools as Headteacher, Henry Beaufort in Winchester and as Executive Headteacher of The Romsey School. In April 2019, I set up a small multi academy trust (MAT) of Romsey and a primary school in Totton.

My interest in the Children's Society really began with my Mother, who as a vicar's wife of the old school, supported the charity and galvanised the parish accordingly. Sadly she passed away in 2013, but as I undertake semi retirement, it was by chance that I found I could continue her work acting as a speaker for the society. Throughout my educational career I have tried to tackle injustice and poverty and I was drawn to the society through its commitment to help and support those young people who are so vulnerable in our society.



Friday 27th March - St Catherine's Church Room, Littleton - Howard Rowe, formerly Lead Chaplain, Winchester City Centre Chaplains

Howard first came to faith when a university student in Southampton, where he trained as an electronic engineer. Howard worked as a project manager with IBM for 30 years, and then as Winchester City Centre Chaplain, retiring in 2017. Howard lived and worshiped in Littleton Church for many years until he and his wife Alwena moved to King’s Somborne, where he now serves as a Licensed Lay Minister.

Howard has 3 grown up sons and 6 grandchildren. He loves walking, music, painting and real ale.



Wednesday 2nd April - St Peter and Holy Cross Church, Wherwell - Dr Roland Guy, Consultant Endocrinologist

Roland Guy is a consultant physician and has worked for 30 years at Basingstoke Hospital. He is involved in his local rural church and runs a bible study in his home.