We are a local ecumenical partnership involving:
DIOCESE OF WINCHESTER
(Winchester, Eastleigh and Romsey Circuit)
(South West Hants Group)
|IMPORTANT NOTICE – CORONAVIRUS: A Message from our Minister, Rev’d. Dr. Sarah McClelland
As restrictions in response to the Covid-19 pandemic change, details of arrangements for Worship together with all other Church-related activities will be outlined below.
Latest news from Sarah – 8th August 2020
Sarah writes: It might seem strange to be talking about holidays again when it’s not a normal year for them!
But that gives us a good opportunity to reflect on why they’re important. That’s what we’ve been thinking about for the last couple of weeks and here’s a last thought on why it’s so important to take time out even if that’s at home: it gives us back a sense of perspective.
I love sea swimming: you can’t help but be aware of the strength of waves and tides, not something humans can fight against and win! It has the affect of ‘right sizing’. We’re hugely valuable to God, but we aren’t indispensable – and being battered by waves – or climbing high mountains, or walking amongst tall trees – helps restore the perspective that we’re very small in the grand scheme of things. Looking up at the stars has the same effect, as the writer of Psalm 8 declared: ‘I look up at your macro-skies, dark and enormous, your handmade sky-jewellery, moon and stars mounted in their settings. Then I look at my micro-self and wonder: why do you bother with us? Why take a second look our way? (Psalm 8: 3,4 – Message version.)
That’s the extraordinary truth – the creator of the universe, whose hands flung stars into space, cares for us so much that he chooses to continue his work of creation in us: in our recreation, he re-creates us. May we find times of recreation and re-creation, even in the midst of these strange times!
Church news – there’s lots this week!
They will be joining us at St Francis in October after Joe’s ordination on Oct 4th. In the meantime, they’re moving into their new curacy house in Chandler’s Ford on Monday August 10th! If you’d like to send a card, please drop it to the vicarage (35 Raglan Close) – before Monday if possible, but I’ll make sure they get it.
We have a new cleaner!
Anne is a professional cleaner and has been working at St Francis school. We’re delighted that she’s joined us and will be cleaning our building on a Saturday morning, though is able to be flexible when we have events on. We’re delighted to have her with us and especially value her experience in this most vital of roles. Welcome, Anne!
The rota from September onwards…
What do churches and helicopters have in common? ….. If you get too close, you’ll get caught in the rota!
Here’s a message from Alison Rhodes:
Exciting courses offered by the Diocese!
A number of people in our congregation have done a ‘BCM’ – a Bishop’s Commission for Mission’ course. They are a great was to look in more depth about something you’re interested in, to join
BCM Creation Care: For those wanting to help their churches take more steps towards caring for God’s Creation. We will look at both theology and practical actions as we seek to learn how to be
What will my online learning look like? There will be eight online sessions Plus a short introductory session. Prior to each session there will be some online pre-work to complete in your
In our parish mission action plan (pMAP) one emphasis is on healing and wholeness. Some of our plans, like prayer ministry, are less easy to carry forward at the moment, but other elements are continuing, for example, you may be aware that Katie Warner is continuing to support St Francis Surgery as a chaplain.
One initiative we’re exploring is ’Take Time’ – Christian meditations based on scripture. They have a Christian mindfulness aspect to them and can be helpful for regular
We will also run two virtual Take Time mediations over the summer:
A few of us have trained as ‘Take Time’ practitioners (myself, Cliff, Katie and Suzanne) – simply because the opportunity arose to pilot their online course. We all found it engaging and straight forward, and could see all sorts of ways we could use it at St Francis, virtually and in real life (and in the prison, the school, etc etc!!)!
We would love to consider running a Take Time group but will need some more practitioners. If you’re interested in finding out more, either in attending a group or becoming a practitioner – or both!
Assistant Area Dean
Sarah has accepted the invitation to be assistant area dean in Eastleigh deanery. This will involve working with our local clergy and also taking a wider look at mission strategy in our area. It is a great opportunity for St Francis to have an extra voice, in addition to our Deanery reps, Steve, Peter and David. Whilst not a big time commitment outside the parish, it will enable a good view of where and how we fit in to the bigger picture!
Summer holiday goody bags
Fiona Grove is coordinating and Debbie and Junior church have kindly shared their resources. We’re offering goody bags to any children in Valley Park Parish who would like to participate (we’ve invited St St Francis school). A ‘goody bag’ will be delivered to participants’ doors for 5 weeks of the summer holidays, starting the week of July 27th (you can opt out of a week if away!). It’ll contain a link to a Bible story on line, crafts and activities, and maybe a goody or two every now and then!
We’ve had some lovely responses from children enjoying these! Do tune in on Sunday at 10.00 a.m. to see and hear more. It’s not too late if you’d like to participate – email us!
It’s a joy to worship and share communion together again. But as you will anticipate, it’s not entirely back to ‘normal.’ Wearing masks inside is obligatory (as of August 8th), just as when shopping, in order to protect each other.
Many of us aren’t keen on wearing them! So we will conduct our communion service out in the garden when weather conditions allow, appropriately spaced, and mask – free. We would still ask you to book in so that we can anticipate numbers and keep a record of attendees – please see elsewhere on this web-page for details about how to book in to a service – and be assured that we’re aiming to enable anyone who wants, to come along and join us in person: if not this week, then next. Please don’t feel you must, though!
10.00 a.m. is still virtual.
We have the option to gather for communion at 08.45 a.m. but our main church family gathering will continue to be online at 10.00 a.m. Though we’ll stream it from the church building, we won’t have a congregation there in person. So don’t worry – you can still join in from your sofa.
If you would like to join us for communion a week on Sunday, here’s how:
1. Please don’t come if you are unwell specifically with any symptoms that could be coronavirus.
Stories of what God is doing …
Stories of how we’ve known God with us in the past, help us to navigate an uncertain future. Stories engage us and help us to see possibilities in our own situations. I know how many have found it helpful to listen as others have shared experience – and that a number of you have let me know that you have a story to tell too! Let me know if you can encourage us in this way: email@example.com
Thanks for reading! As ever this comes with my prayers and love in Christ.
Lead Minister, St Francis’ Church.
St Francis’ Church goes On-line:
Watch or listen to our services every Sunday at 10.00 a.m. – with other days to be announced.
The joining instructions are here: SFC Remote Services – detailed instructions for congregation v3 Or click on this link: www.bit.ly/SFCzoom
After each service we’ll put a link to the recording here on our website (see below).
Links to recordings of our recent On-line live-streamed Services:
NB: For each video file, watching “Full Screen” is better and removes the Chat column – click icon in bottom right-hand corner of screen:-
Sunday 9th August – Ninth Sunday after Trinity: 10.00 a.m.:
Video and Sound – https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/6dVZIZTB5HpIEs-S10T7Qf95Btr8T6a81CAc-aZfxN0qIWEALwETzryuSSWv3xw?startTime=1596963592000
Sunday 2nd August – Eighth Sunday after Trinity: 10.00 a.m.:
Sunday 26th July – Seventh Sunday after Trinity: 10.00 a.m.:
Some of our Home Groups develop their studies around the central theme of our Sunday worship and study.
Evening Study of the Book of Exodus:
During Epiphany and Lent 2020, our informal worship on 1st and 3rd Sunday evenings (@ 6.00 p.m.) will focus on a study of the Book of Exodus. To gain an overview of this important book of the Old Testament, in which God renews His Covenant with the Israelites, click on these links to watch two short videos:
Exodus Part 1: Chapters 1 – 18: The Israelites, who have settled in Egypt become enslaved and under Moses, and with God’s help, eventually flee from slavery in Egypt:
Exodus Part 2: Chapters 19 – 40: God re-establishes the Covenant He had made with Abraham, gives the Israelites a framework for living in harmony with God and each other, and commits to dwell among them in the Ark of the Covenant.
To view Sarah’s reflections for Holy Week please click here.
The Minister’s day off is Friday. For emergencies please contact a Church Warden on that day.
General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR):
The new data protection regulations, relating to the holding, management and use of personal data by organisations came into force on Friday 25th May 2018. St Francis’ Church takes its responsibilities under GDPR very seriously. You can read our Data Privacy Notice here. If you are a member of St Francis’ Church, or wish to remain in close contact with us, you may give us consent to hold, manage and use your personal data by downloading a Full Data Consent Form 2018 – 27-04-18 and completing and e-mailing it to us at <firstname.lastname@example.org>.