We are a local ecumenical partnership involving:

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DIOCESE OF WINCHESTER
(Deanery of Eastleigh)

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SOUTHAMPTON DISTRICT
(Winchester, Eastleigh and Romsey Circuit)
A4WWESSEX SYNOD
(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.
For those requiring further information on the situation please email or phone the Church Office (Staffed between 09.30 a.m. and 1.30 p.m.: Monday – Thursday)  – Click here for contact details.

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!

Here are some holiday makers – our new curate Joe Sweetnam and his family – Kelly his wife, and their three children, Bethany, Luke and Amy, down in Bude.

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!
But we can’t do without your help – as the body of Christ we rely on each member playing their part.

Here’s a message from Alison Rhodes:
‘We are currently holding two services each Sunday morning.  The 8.45 communion is either an indoor event, where face masks need to be worn, or an out in the garden event if the weather is kind
to us. We then have our virtual service from 10.00, which is held from the church building.
Many of you have taken part in our virtual services since March and we have appreciated those who have led worshipped, preached, read the Bible passage, led prayers or run a Junior Church slot.
Now we are back in the building, we also need people to unlock/ lock up, ensure all hygiene practices are adhered to (hand sanitizer in place, surfaces cleaned down at the end of the morning etc) and to welcome people into the building.  The AV team have also found that this is now a 2-person job each Sunday, and need someone to act as AV support.  Musicians are also welcomed as we can continue to record music for worship each week and we of course, would like to continue with readers and different people leading intercessions.Please consider where you can help.  If lots of people volunteer either to lead something from their own home, or to come into the church to help with the practical aspects of the services, then this is
not a big task for anyone.  Please contact Alison on <Alirhodes@hotmail.co.uk> for any more information, or to volunteer.  Responses by 10th August would be hugely appreciated so a first draft of
a rota can go out.
Thank you.’

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
likeminded people and to share your learning with us.  The courses are being offered on line next term which may well make it easier to fit into your diary!  Why not consider one of the following?
Contact Sarah if you’re interested: <rev@sfvp.org.uk> or 02380486298.

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
better stewards of God’s wonderful world.
BCM Prayer Champions: This is for those who recognise the power of prayer and want to see it grow in the lives of others and in their church.  You will be equipped with ideas and strategies to help others in the variety of settings along the way you will grow in confidence in prayer.
BCM Pastoral: this is for those who feel a calling to pastoral care and want to develop their own skills and the ministry of the church in this important area we will include how to do things in our new normal.
BCM Worship: this is for those with a heart to lead others into the presence of God.  You do not need to be a musician to lead worship.  We will look at different styles and settings for worship and what it means to be a worship leader.

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
own time this might be watching a video, posting in a forum discussion, doing an activity to share with the group, or a quiz.  The session dates are when you come together with your tutor to discuss your pre-work and learn from the experiences and ideas of one another.

‘Take Time’

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
church attendees as well as those with no faith, as long as they’re happy to hear Bible stories. The meditations use the Ignation practice of allowing God to speak through the Bible and they’re a great way to hear God’s still small voice.  If you’re wondering what they’re like, do check out the website: www.taketime.org.uk.

We will also run two virtual Take Time mediations over the summer:
12 Midday on our church Zoom link on Wednesday August 19th and 26th, after virtual café.

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!
do contact me.  Absolutely no expertise required – just a desire to hear from God!

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!

  1. Could you help put a few bags together and/ or help deliver them?  Please email Fiona Grove on pastoral@stfrancis-valleypark.org.uk.
  2. Do you know someone who isn’t in junior church, but is in the parish of Valley Park, who would appreciate this – a neighbour or relative, maybe?
    Invite them, then email the office on admin@stfrancis-valleypark.org.uk.

Welcome back to the building (or Garden)!

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.

Back to the building:

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.
2.  Please do phone or email the office between Monday and Friday at 12.00 noon to book in for the following Sunday:   02380 271152 (answerphone – please leave a message) or admin@sfvp.org.uk.
3.  You can also book in using the following links: August 9th 0845: https://bit.ly/3h0yzlv; August 16th 0845: https://bit.ly/3iZnJhD
4. Please wear a mask as you would to go shopping, while inside the building. This is now mandated by the government and is to protect each other.  We appreciate that some people are unable to wear a mask.
5. We are booking in a maximum of 20 people per service.5.
6. We will need to keep names of all who attend, for 3 weeks.  We would contact you if anyone later develops symptoms of coronavirus.
7.  Please wrap up warmly if it’s chilly – we will have doors open to keep well ventilated.
8.  Communion will be with bread only; it will be our usual 8.45 a.m. service format.
9.  Please enter through the main church doors from the garden which will be open.  There will be a one way system in place and hand gel available.
10. Our wardens have conducted a thorough risk assessment and I am entirely happy that church is a safe place.  However please don’t feel under any pressure to rush back –
come back when you’re ready; we’ll all be different in how that looks.
11. Questions? Contact Sarah by email rev@sfvp.org.uk or Tel: 023 8048 6298.

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: rev@sfvp.org.uk

Thanks for reading! As ever this comes with my prayers and love in Christ.
Sarah

Lead Minister, St Francis’ Church.
A Local Ecumenical Partnership of the Church of England, Methodist Church and United Reformed Church.
Pilgrim’s Close, Valley Park, Eastleigh SO53 4ST.

Safeguarding those at risk:
To find our policies on Safeguarding Children and Vulnerable Adults, and with regard to Domestic Abuse and Violence please click here;
Our primary Safeguarding contact:  safeguarding@stfrancis-valleypark.org.uk
Happening this week at
St. Francis’.
Note:
St Francis’ School Breakfast Club (7.30 a.m. – 9.00 a.m.) &
St Francis’ After School Club (3.15 p.m. – 6.00 p.m.)
held each weekday in School Terms.
Saturday 8th August:
08.30 a.m. – 09.45 a.m.: Men’s Breakfast via Zoom with Guest speaker – Bryan Pill, a pilot with Mission Aviation Fellowship (www.maf-uk.org):  All menfolk welcome (usual Church Zoom link);
12.00 noon:  The Lord’s Prayer.
Sunday 9th August:
Ninth Sunday after Trinity
8.45 a.m.:  Said Holy Communion in Church or Church Garden  (pre-book using the guidance on this page);
10.00 a.m.:  On-line Morning Worship:  see notes on this page to join in.
Monday 10th August:
12.00 noon:  The Lord’s Prayer
Tuesday 11th August:
12.00 noon:  The Lord’s Prayer.
Wednesday 12th August:
10.00 a.m. – 12.00 noon:  Virtual Rendezvous Café:  use Service joining instructions on this page to join in remotely;
12.00 noon:  The Lord’s Prayer.
Thursday: 13th August:
12.00 noon:  The Lord’s Prayer.
Friday 14th August:
12.00 noon:  The Lord’s Prayer.
Saturday 15th August:
12.00 noon:  The Lord’s Prayer.
Sunday 16th August:
Tenth Sunday after Trinity
8.45 a.m.:  Said Holy Communion in Church  or Church Garden (pre-book using the guidance on this page);
10.00 a.m.:  On-line Morning Worship:  see notes on this page to join in.

“Virtual” Church:

To access our on-line services and other streamed activities via “Zoom”, use the detailed joining instructions on this webpage or else here’s a super quick link that takes you to all of
our services and events: 
www.bit.ly/SFCzoom

Worship this week:

Sunday 9th August:  08.45 a.m. – Said Communion Service in the Church Garden – please book in by 12.00 noon Saturday 8th (see above).

Sunday 9th August:  10.00 a.m. – Join us for our service on the usual Zoom link (details on this page) as we continue to think about Jesus’ ministry.

(From later on Sunday, scroll down to find a link to the recording, if you missed the live stream!) 

Daily, 12.00 noon: Let’s continue to pray the Lord’s Prayer together at midday each day.

Social Events

Watch out for news of new Diary for some Church Social Events with a difference – they are all on-line!

IS THERE ANYTHING WE CAN DO TO HELP YOU AT THIS TIME?
Please get in touch!

E-mail: rev@sfvp.org.uk, or admin@sfvp.org.uk, or make use of our Listening Line – Thank you, pastoral and welcoming team, who have agreed to provide a listening ear to anyone who could do with it! Just leave a message on the church answer phone (02380 271152) with your details.

 

Answers to prayer and reasons to be thankful!

It’s great to share them and encourage each other – email Sarah with them today!

 

Worship at

Chandlers Ford

Each Sunday our local Lockdown FM Chandler’s Ford radio station is broadcasting an Act of Worship from one of the Churches in Chandler’s Ford. For details of these and other Lockdown FM broadcasts click on https://www.lockdownfm.com

They are planning to broadcast some of our live services in the coming weeks. 

Thought for the Day…

At 10.oo a.m. on Lockdown FM each day (except Sundays), various local Christians will be sharing a Thought for the Day – why not listen in?

 

Virtual Church: How are you doing?

There are many Christian resources on line; in particular, the prayer app Lectio 365 and the Bible in One Year app.  It’s been great to hear how people are enjoying those resources at home.  In addition, people have been enjoying house groups and taking the opportunity to pray and study together.  If you’re not in a house group but would value the opportunity, please contact Chris Hill – chris@plantain.org.uk.

It’s important to recognise that this situation we’re in is hard for everybody – in all sorts of different ways.  As a church family we’re called to care for each other – so let’s take opportunities to share difficulties as well as joys in our buddy groups and house groups, and not to just put on a brave face!  Don’t forget that we have a ‘listening line’ available too – just leave your name and number on the office answerphone (023 8027 1152) and the pastoral team will return your call.

Other Church Notices:

Virtual Café:  We’re making it easier to chat!  Join us sometime between 10.30 a.m. and 12.00 noon on a Wednesday, usual Zoom link, and we’ll use breakout rooms and swap them round. Hope to see you there.

Buddy Groups:  If you’d like to be in one and you aren’t, or any other issues – please email Fiona Grove our pastoral head –
pastoral@stfrancis-valleypark.org.uk

Prayer requests:  Please let us know if we can pray for you: please email Fiona as above.

Prayer points:  We included some on our notice sheet and they’re now added on the Prayer page of this website.

Basics Bank:  St Francis Church will be running Eastleigh Basics Bank on Wednesdays.  Many thanks to David Gurr for  heading up the team and to all of you who have volunteered.

Socials:  See this webpage for planned social activities.

Do you enjoy gardening?

We need some help to look after our lovely garden at St Francis.
Especially as we have a wedding at church on August 14th!

Please contact Phil (treasurer@stfrancis-valleypark.org.uk) if you could lend a hand at your convenience in any capacity – and as a one off or regular slot – even if not very regularly!!

Cliff’s Osteospermum Whirligig!

Urgent need: Basics Bank

Can you help out on a Wednesday?  We urgently need more volunteers to keep up our support.  David Gurr is now coordinating: please contact him if you can help on <davidsandra_gurr@hotmail.com>.

PRACTICAL THINGS!

Calling all entrepreneurs
‘I wonder if you are interested in supporting our local community by helping set up a Social Enterprise or a Charitable interest Company?  I’m looking to put together a group of people who can look at what is needed in this area and how it might be best established.
Contact Cliff: <cliff@cliffandsarah.co.uk> to register your interest.’

Free to a good home (or 2)!

Fridge Freezer
This is 13 years old, in working order.  It was “integrated” with the previous kitchen and wired in, so it would need a plug put on it.  It’s a 60/40 ratio fridge/freezer.  It’s in used condition but it does the job
and it’s being donated.

Beko Dishwasher
This is a 7 year old dishwasher which was “integrated” with the previous kitchen and also wired in, so would need to have a plug put on.  It comes with an instruction booklet and all paperwork.  It has a
cutlery basket rather than a cutlery top rack.  It works well and is being let go because it’s surplus to requirements. It is being donated.

If interested in either item, and for more details please contact Christine on 07967 398 558.  I’m the Asda end of Bournemouth Road in Chandlers Ford.

 

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:

Click on the links below:

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
Please note – there may be some issues with the quality of sound and continuity on this recording due to unexpected technology issues at the time of recording.

Sunday 2nd August – Eighth Sunday after Trinity: 10.00 a.m.:

Video and Sound – https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/3pRQCq_g8l9LE8_CzFPcZbUQT9jOeaa80yJIrPcPzUdpug3sP8wyaZ2qGjxqDE3i?startTime=1596358828000

Sunday 26th July – Seventh Sunday after Trinity: 10.00 a.m.:

Video and Sound – https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/zsYpLenL1EFIH5GQsVzER5w6JtS_X6a8hicXqPoMyUyExyKIvJOEKxylWVhPjnbv?startTime=1595754471000

Some of our Home Groups develop their studies around the central theme of our Sunday worship and study.


Please click here to go to all of our 2019 Lenten Course Study Material on Prayer and for a selection of recent sermons and homilies on current study topics.

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:

https://thebibleproject.com/explore/exodus-1-18/

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.

https://thebibleproject.com/explore/exodus-19-40/

To view Sarah’s reflections for Holy Week please click here.

INFORMATION:

St Francis’ Church in action: 
To find out more about what else we are doing through the coming year please look at our Parish Calendar and Weekly Notices pages.
Find us on Facebook:   https://www.facebook.com/stfrancisvp
What were we doing in 2018?
To read about the Ministry, Mission and Witness we undertook, and how we used the Financial Resources gifted to us in 2018, please click on St Francis Annual Report 2018 – v1.0 Final  
Click Annual Review – 2018 – web version to see a pictorial review of our Church’s Ministry and collective life during 2018.
What are our strategic plans for Ministry and Mission in the coming months?  
To read our latest Parish Mission Action Plan (pMAP) please click on:
St Francis Valley Park – pMap 2017 – 2020 – v 2-2,
together with the latest revision of our aims and objectives:  St Francis Valley Park – pMap 2017 – 2020 – v 2-2-1 – Action Plan Revision November 2017
and Lay Leadership Matrix of which Church Council member leads on which topics:
St Francis Valley Park – pMap 2017 – 2020 – v 2-2-1 – Leadership Matrix – Revised Nov 2017.
Data Protection: 
To read our Data Protection Policies please click here.  Please let the Parish Office know if you no longer wish us to hold your information.
To contact us:
For our contact details please click here.   

 

Please note:

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 <admin@sfvp.org.uk>.