5th March 2017       1st Sunday in Lent

A warm welcome to worship in

St.Mary’s ✢ St.Faith’s ✢ St.Francis’

“‘how much more did God’s grace and the gift that came by the grace of the one man, Jesus Christ, overflow to the many!”
Romans 5v15b
Sunday’s Worship across the Parish:
8.00am St.Mary’s Morning Prayer
Revd Chris Richardson
9.15am St.Mary’s Communion
Revd Reg Forse
9.30am St.Faith’s Communion
Revd Tim Watson
10.45am St.Mary’s Church Alive
Revd Andy Norris
11.15am St.Francis’ Communion
Revd Tim Watson
6.30pm St.Mary’s Evensong
Revd Andrew Norris

Rather than participate in a discussion group through the year some people prefer a season in which to study the Bible with others. Lent is just such a season with a tradition of small groups. You’d be very welcome to join one of the number of groups in the parish for the duration of Lent. Groups meet in the morning or evening on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays. Please check the ‘courses’ section of the parish website for details under Bible Fellowship Groups and also Pilgrims; or have a word with Diana Dow, the clergy or parish office. You’d be very welcome for Lent.

Our next lunch is on Tuesday 14th March at 12.30pm.  Join us in this lenten season for 12.30pm in the Parish Centre. It gets full so please RSVP the office to reserve a seat. Cost is £6 on day.

Tonight Sunday 5th March. Refreshments from 6pm with worship commencing at 6.30pm at the Church of the Good Shepherd, Crookhorn Lane, Crookhorn, PO7 5QB.

New OLDER YOUTH CELL (14 – 16+)
Starting this Wednesday 8th March. 2nd & 4th Wednesdays during term. 7.30-8.45pm at 6 Carlton Way PO12 1LN with Clare & Tim Watson. For Bible Study – Prayer – Nibbles.
Contact the Watsons to book a place: 023 9243 9737

ST.FAITH’S & AGM 12th March
Worshippers at St.Faith’s are invited to take a congregational letter today ahead our annual meeting next Sunday 12th March. The AGM starts with our 9.15am Morning Prayer and continues with coffee following the service.

ST.FRANCIS’ AGM on Sunday 19th March morning.
ALVERSTOKE PARISH APCM (AGM!) on Tuesday 11th April at 7.00pm in St.Mary’s Church.

IT TAKES TWO – Building a Lasting Marriage. Thurs 16 March by Care for the Family.
A fun, informative and very popular evening being held for couples across the UK. Coming to Cosham Baptist Church from 7.30-10pm. https://www.careforthefamily.org.uk/event/it-takes-two-portsmouth or call Tel: 02920 810800
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)

LENT APPEAL – Stop the Traffik
Such generosity means we have now raised the sums for our Africa Appeal this year and shall soon seek a new partnership for the future. But now, during Lent, we’re invited to support ‘Stop the Traffik’.
This is through the Bishop’s Lent Appeal which he has called ‘From Slavery to Freedom’. The Bishop explains in the leaflets in church why he has chosen to raise vital funds for Stop the Traffik and also to start a fund for domestic abuse locally.
Special Gift Envelopes are available in church and the bishop calls us to pray during Lent for:
those experiencing abuse at home
those who have been the victims of violence, trafficking and exploitation.
Thank you for your prayer and for your support. Further, if anyone would like to create a Stop the Traffik display or host a fundraising activity then your support would be valued, thanks.

You are invited to write requests for intercessory prayer on the small leaflets and pegging them to The Prayer Tree (by St.Mary’s Chapel) or Prayer Cross in St.Francis, or Prayer Wall in St.Faith’s. Also, two members of our prayer team will wear badges and be available to pray with anyone who seeks prayer between 10.15am-10.45am in St.Mary’s each week – don’t hesitate to ask.

We are very grateful for the anonymous gift of flowers with which a faithful team make up posies for Mothering Sunday – thank you. Those making up the posies seek any spare greenery to be left at the back of St Mary’s on Friday 25th March.  Many thanks from Carol Workman. I’m sure Carol would also be happy to hear from anyone who’d like to join in the making of the posies!

We’d love you to join in March!
By your faith in Jesus you belong to his church – your baptism celebrates that belonging. But you can express ‘belonging’ to a local CofE congregation through our ‘Church Electoral Roll’. It even gives you a vote at the annual meetings – so why not sign up? Application Forms are at the back of church to be returned to Sue in The Parish Office. In fact you can belong to more than one Electoral Roll and don’t even have to be an ‘anglican’ as it is about this parish rather than the CofE! Application closure date is 27th March, two weeks before our Annual Parochial Church Meeting.

We’re very grateful to Marilyn Lovett and a team who have worked hard to hang our special hassocks to the back of all the pews in St.Mary’s. They not only look splendid and better appreciated, but they are much more convenient and not longer spend time falling off the shelves! Thank you to all involved stitching and hooking!

Thank you to the new parish centre team for hosting the coffee morning and all who joined them last Tuesday and raised £290.

Open to all with Dr.Richard McCallum and Dilwar Hussain on Saturday 4th November 2017 9:30am-4:30pm at StJohn’s Church, Locks Heath, SO31 6LW. A unique opportunity that aims to assist you with understanding Muslims, exploring Islam in Britain, responding to Islam and engaging with Muslims. For further details and to book your place: https://www.portsmouth.anglican.org/events/2017/11/04/understanding-islam-day/
Places are limited and will operate on a first come first serve basis.  Please note the deadline date of 23rd October 2017.

On 26th November Bishop Christopher will be pleased to Confirm those who wish to affirm their baptism, and be prayed for to be filled with the Holy Spirit. The ancient prayer said is: “Confirm O Lord your servant (N) with your Holy Spirit”. For those baptised as infants this is the completion of the baptism and fulfilment of the promises made by your parents; for you to make it your own.
For those adults who are not baptised it offers the opportunity for baptism (including by immersion for those who wish) immediately followed by the prayer. There will be preparation in the Autumn for older teenagers and adults who’d like to affirm and declare their faith by Confirmation or through adult Baptism.

There will be no bell-ringing today as a result of scheduled replacement of the pulleys and emergency repair or replacement of the clapper of the 6th bell (which broke on Sunday 19th February).  The clock and its chiming mechanism are not affected.  We hope to have the new pulleys installed and to be able to ring at least the front five bells by next weekend.