18th December 2016 Advent 4

A warm welcome to worship in
THE PARISH OF ALVERSTOKE


St.Mary’s ✢ St.Faith’s ✢ St.Francis’
“Grace and peace to you from God our Father and
from the Lord Jesus Christ.” Romans1v7.
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Sunday’s Worship across the Parish:
8.00am St.Mary’s Morning Prayer
Revd Andrew Norris
9.15am St.Mary’s Communion
Revd Reg Forse
9.30am St.Faith’s Communion
Revd Andy Norris
10.45am St.Mary’s Church Alive Nativity
Revd Chris Richardson/ Libby Norris
11.15am St.Francis’ Morning Worship
Revd Andy Norris
12.30pm St.Mary’s Baptism
Revd Andy Norris
3.00pm St.Faith’s Carol Service
6.30pm St.Mary’s Nine Lessons and Carols
Revd Andy Norris
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MINCE PIES & MULLED WINE
We hope you can join us in the Parish Centre following
the Festival of Nine Lessons and Carols. With thanks to friends for hosting the refreshments.

ST.LUKE’S CAROL SERVICE
Join Revd Phil Hiscock at Haslar at 7.00pm on Thursday.

Have fun with the
MESSY CHURCH ADVENT NATIVITY TRAIL
This year we have hidden knitted characters from the Nativity for you to find in the village shops. Take a leaflet from the back of St.Mary’s or print one from the church website. With thanks to the Alverstoke WI knitters.

NEW YEAR INVITATION CARDS
Please freely give out ‘you’re always welcome’ cards to our many Christmas guests which greet them for the new year, Candlemas and our spring courses.

ST.FRANCIS’ CHRISTINGLE & LUNCH
11.15am on Sunday 8th January followed by a Bring & Share ‘Happy New Year’ lunch!

THE MARRIAGE COURSE
Marriage enrichment courses for couples prove to be invaluable whether married for 2 or 20 years and more. Invest in your relationship at our 7 week course on Wednesday evenings from 1st February. Especially calling the ‘men’ to suggest this – don’t leave it to the woman in your life to worry about how to ask you to go! £10 per couple. “It seems to work” The Guardian.
“It feels like the start of a journey not the end of a course” The Times.

Next CHRISTIANITY EXPLORED
We’re about to celebrate his birthday – but who is Jesus? Can you say who he is, why he came and what then is his purpose for you today? If not then join us in exploring these ultimate questions of faith at our next Christianity Explored Course starting on 2nd Feb 2017.

Come & Sing HANDEL
Join us in St.Mary’s on 7th January when Portsmouth Choral Union invite you to join them in singing Handel’s popular Coronation Anthems. Register at 7.00pm, Rehearse 7.30pm, Refresh 8.30pm and Perform at 8.45pm. £5 singers, £3 audience.

SPECIAL GOSPORT UNITY SERVICE
St.Mary’s is hosting a special Churches Together service at 6.30pm on 22nd January at the end of the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Theme: Crossing Barriers.

Candlelight CHORAL EVENSONG
For Candlemas at 6.30pm in St.Mary’s on 29th January with the choir singing Stainer, Brewer and Harris cathedral music. A beautiful choral celebration.

CHRISTINGLE at Candlemas
St.Mary’s will celebrate Christingle at 10.45am on Sunday 29th January when the theme of the Candlemas weekend is Jesus being proclaimed as ‘Light to the Nations’.
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OFFICE CLOSURE
The parish office will be open for business as usual on Friday 23rd Dec and then will be closed until Tuesday 3rd January.

NEW YEAR WEEK OF PRAYER
Get ready – so much mission is about to happen in 2017! We’d love to start the year with a week of prayer from 9th-13th January. We’ll prepare a prayer diary along with hosting prayer at 2.00pm each day focussing on:
Monday – Leesland Pioneering
Tuesday – New Parish Centre (decision at PCC that night!)
Weds – Growing Pastoral Ministry
Thurs – Toddlers, Families and Youth Ministry
Friday – Nurturing Gifts, Servanthood and Prayer Ministry.

Christmas Greetings and
YEMEN CRISIS APPEAL
From The Rector – Andy and Libby offer all worshippers and friends of the parish their warmest greetings for Christmas by a donation to TEAR Fund for the Yemen Crisis DEC Appeal. We are so grateful to you all for your support and friendship and for your generosity and recent efforts as a church in now having raised the £5000 for Ethiopia – within a year, what a miracle! So at this time of crisis we’ve opted to support the DEC appeal for Christmas through Tear Fund. Peace to you all for Christmas & the New Year.

CONGREGATIONAL CHRISTMAS CARDS
In St.Mary’s, if you wish to greet others (perhaps with a charitable donation) then you’re welcome to pin a Christmas Card to the board at the back of church. It’s later in the day but we’ll still have the 12 days of Christmas to appreciate your greetings!

CHRISTMAS TREE FESTIVAL THANKS
A HUGE thank you to everyone who supported this year’s spectacular Christmas Tree Festival. Over 4900 people attended the festival, a new record by some margin. As ever the music programme was a source of great delight with the KS1 infant Choir being rated as “amazing and as professional and well attended as anything you would see in any of the major cathedral Christmas services” by the Head of Hampshire Music.

Underpinning the success of the Festival was a lot of hard work, skill and imagination by a large number of people.  Whatever your contribution, however large or small, thank you so much. I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a peaceful and prosperous New Year.

Rob Hamilton, Chairman St Mary’s Christmas Tree Festival. … and we all add a huge thank you to Rob & Fee for leading the festival so faithfully.

ON CHRISTMAS SUNDAY
Please note that at St.Mary’s the mid-morning services will combine to be one all age Christmas Communion service at 10.00am. Also there will not be a service at St.Francis’ or an evening service at St.Mary’s on Christmas Sunday.