Epiphany 3       22nd January 2017

A warm welcome to worship in
THE PARISH OF ALVERSTOKE


St.Mary’s ✢ St.Faith’s ✢ St.Francis’
“the people living in darkness have seen a great light;
on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light
has dawned”. Matthew 4v16
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Sunday’s Worship across the Parish:
8.00am St.Mary’s Communion
Revd Chris Richardson
9.15am St.Mary’s Communion
Revd Phil Hiscock
9.30am St.Faith’s Morning Prayer
Susan Smith
10.45am St.Mary’s Church Alive
Chris Richardson
11.00 St Luke’s Service
Revd Phil Hiscock
11.15am St.Francis’ Worship
Susan Smith
6.30pm St.Mary’s hosts Churches Together in Gosport United Service
Revd Andy Norris & Ecumenical Guests
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GOSPORT UNITY SERVICE
Join us on Sunday night when St.Mary’s is hosting a special Churches Together service at 6.30pm at the end of this last Week of Prayer for Christian Unity. Theme: Crossing Barriers.

Tues COFFEE, CAKE & CO. 24th Jan
Make our monthly coffee mornings even better by joining us to raise funds for the new Parish Centre on 24th January. Every 4th Tuesday of the month from 10.30am-noon in the Parish Centre. £2.50 for coffee and cake. Cakes & books for sale. Bring friends and spread the word… Last year the coffee mornings and other fundraising events raised over £7500 to ‘Save our Centre’ – thank you to all concerned.

Thurs PILGRIMS
Our weekly fellowship and Bible study starts back at 7.15pm on Thursday 26th January in the Parish Centre looking at James.

THE MARRIAGE COURSE
See the marriage leaflet. Reserve your table with the Church Office for the first evening as a taste and see without obligation! Invest in your relationship at our 7 week course on Wednesday evenings from 1st Feb. After the first evening then £10 couple.

CHRISTIANITY EXPLORED COURSE
Join us in exploring the ultimate questions of faith at our next Christianity Explored Course starting on 2nd Feb 2017. Please see and use the special invitation postcards for your friends.

THURSDAY BIBLE STUDY
Our next fortnightly Thursday Bible Study will be on Thursday 26th January, 10 to 11.30 in the small lounge of the Parish Centre. Everyone is welcome.

Thurs MESSY CHURCH
Crafts, stories, games, songs, worship and a hot supper for all primary aged children and their adults. 3.30pm Thursday 26th January in the Parish Centre. Various Boxes are needed for ‘junk modelling’ – to the Parish Centre please – thank you.

CHORAL EVENSONG for Candlemas
6.30pm in St.Mary’s on 29th Jan for this choral led celebration singing Stainer, Brewer and Harris.

CHRISTINGLE at Candlemas
St.Mary’s Christingle at 10.45am on Sun 29th Jan when Candlemas is about Jesus being as ‘Light to the Nations’.

PARISH LUNCHEON
Our popular lunch is next on Valentine’s Day at 12.30pm in the Parish Centre – Tuesday 14th February. All Welcome. £6. RSVP the Parish Office to reserve a place.
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SERVING & GIVING
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father… encourage your
hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thess 2v16)

MARRIAGE COURSE HOSPITALITY Puddings!
During the Marriage Course we shall offer desserts. If you are happy to make a dessert for one or more evenings then please sign the list at the back of our churches and we’ll be in touch to co-ordinate the puds that we seek – thank you very much.

MEMORIAL CANDLES for Candlemas
If you would like to donate the cost of a Candlemas candle in memory of a loved one whose name is entered in the Candlemas book, please complete the form at the back of St.Mary’s and return it to the Parish Office with your £2.
PCC & THE NEW PARISH CENTRE
The PCC valued the presentation by the new Parish Centre team and all 24 members present agreed to pursue the New Build option. This means that plans will be finalised and submitted for planning permission this Spring/Summer. It also means we are committed to raising some £1.3/£1.5 million through fundraising and grants in order to deliver a new centre for 2020. We seek for the bulk of money to be raised by the end of 2018. This is a huge challenge but the project will deliver a brilliant centre allowing for three or more user groups to meet at the same time. It will be both eco-friendly and user-friendly so that it can remain as a vital hub of the community for the next 75 years or more. More information will soon follow. In the meantime we crave your prayers and support in working together towards this vision – thank you. Look out for the varied programme of fundraising events during 2017.

DONATE YOUR CHRISTMAS GIFTS Calories
Can we help you by relieving you of any unwanted Christmas gifts such as chocolates and that bottle of Champagne? Just think of the health benefits of donating them towards the new Parish Centre. Any gifts, candles, novelty items would be greatly appreciated at the Parish Centre – with thanks for your support.

PASTORAL CARE PROJECT for 2017
We would like to set up a new lay visiting team by drawing together a team of people who will commit to visiting three people two or three times a year. Please join us on Sunday 29th January at 4pm in the Parish Centre Lounge for tea, coffee and cake, to hear more. We also seek to strengthen and complement our Home Communion and Bereavement teams. Please contact Revd Chris Richardson for more information.

BABY & TODDLER’S GROUP SESSION LEADER
The PCC seeks to appoint a temporary paid Session Leader (part-time 5 hours per week to 5/7/17) for our valuable Monday & Tuesday Baby & Toddler’s Groups. (2.5 hours for each 1.5 hour session). The preference would be for a single appointment but a job share may be considered. For information, job description and application details please contact The Revd Andy Norris.

EWE MATTER
As part of our pioneering ministry we’re really excited to be partnering with Leesland Infant and Junior Schools to purchase a big model of a sheep! Church schools within the diocese are being encouraged to purchase and decorate big model sheep (a bit like the Marwell Zoo Zebras in Southampton). The idea is that the infant school will be represented by a sheep, the junior school will be represented by a sheep and the church will be represented by a sheep. Each sheep will also represent one of the Christian values held by the schools, LOVE, GRACE, RESPECT. The sheep will be on display at the schools and will visit the cathedral for the Year Six leavers service in the summer.
There are forms at the back of church which will give you more information about the project. We need to raise £185 and are seeking sponsors. Ewe know it makes sense! Revd Tim Watson.

CHURCHES TOGETHER FOR THE HOMELESS
Thank you to those who donated items for homeless people in Gosport just before Christmas. More are needed, so please leave in the Parish Office any sleeping bags, coats, hats, gloves, socks, trainers, thermals, underwear, toiletries etc.that you can spare.
Also if you have one Sunday lunch time per month free would you help, either cooking or welcoming, at Christ Church, Stoke Road with providing a hot meal?  Diana Dow 92 528122

ST.MARY’S ANNUAL SPRING CLEAN
Our Annual Spring Clean at St. Mary’s will take place on Saturday 4th February from 9-00am to 11-00am. Any help would be much appreciated on the day. Please bring along your own hoovers, dusters, brushes and extension leads. Our local Guide groups will also be there to help. Many thanks.