From the Rectory - December 2019

Dear Friends For the second year running the Church of England’s Christmas campaign is ‘Follow the Star’. Someone I was chatting to thought they should have had a new strapline for this year, just as in previous years. But I do like ‘Follow the Star’… I could make a bit more of it this year… We may not normally talk about ‘following people’. It might seem an odd word to use unless we mean it literally. But we do follow people. We might follow celebrities or the Royal Family. We might follow political parties or particular politicians. We follow world events or local community news. Or we may just ‘follow’ a friend. We are also influenced by these things and people. Few of us have v

Christmas Charity - Fledge

This year during December and into January we will be supporting Fledge Youth Support in Eastleigh. Fledge nurtures vulnerable and homeless young people by providing a home environment, offering long-term support and encouraging healthy relationships. On Sunday 8 December, Phil Watts, Chair of Fledge’s Trustees, will be our speaker at our 9.15 am and 10.45 am services – we look forward to hearing from him and will launch the donations to Fledge on that day. Please put your donation in an envelope marked ‘Christmas Charity’ and place it in the offering at a service or send it to The Rectory. Cheques should be made payable to ‘Bishopstoke PCC’. If we have a Gift Aid declaration from you, we

Christmas Hampers for ARK

This year ARK Eastleigh will again be giving Christmas hampers to the people they support in our area. If you would like to donate towards them, you can either give online at or do this via our church. Please place your donation in an envelope marked ‘ARK Hampers’ in the offering at a service or send it to The Rectory, 10 Stoke Park Road. It can be either in cash or a cheque payable to ‘ARK Eastleigh’. Many thanks.

Café @ St Mary’s

Our Saturday morning cafés continue to be a success and this year they have raised a total of £2970 for the work of the church, including St Mary’s lighting, and various outreach projects. Thank you very much tor all the cake makers who contributed such a variety of cakes, large and small. Thank you also to those who donated interesting raffle prizes and items for the tombola. Thank you to the special people who help make the café mornings so successful. Put a note in your 2020 diary and come along to the café on 25th January from 10 am – 12.30 pm. It will cheer you up on a winter’s day!

Prayer Healing Fellowship

PHF members had a wonderful afternoon at their Anniversary Service on 30 October. It was great that 33 people attended. We sang with enthusiasm, prayed earnestly, and praised God for all his blessings. Our speaker, Ann Arnold, told us how her faith helped her in her former work as a Funeral Director, which was very moving. Ann also had some amusing stories to tell. Our speaker always chooses a charity to benefit from the Anniversary Service collection and Ann chose Open Sight. The congregation raised £130 which we made up to £200 – a good donation to a good cause. Afterwards we enjoyed tea/coffee, cake, and lots of chat. Thank you so much to Richard for playing for us, Ann for giving s

Starry Night!

This year we are going to make hanging stars for St Mary's Christmas tree! If you'd like to do this with others, there will be a crafty session on Monday 2 Dec at 8 pm at St Mary’s. Craft materials and instructions will be provided – or just get creative! Mulled wine will help the festive mood! Everyone is most welcome; please drop in for as long as you want. Children, please bring a grown-up. Grown-ups, feel free to come alone! You’re also very welcome to invite a friend or two. If you can't make it, you're still very welcome to make a star and bring it to one of our Christmas services. You may like to write something on the back, such as a prayer, or a part of the world which n

Christmas Café @ St Mary’s

A date for your diary is the Christmas Café @ St Mary’s which will take place on Saturday 23 November from 10 am – 12.30. There will be coffee / tea and our delicious cakes as usual - for just £1! There will also be seasonal stalls, so you might find a present or two! Invite a friend along or come and make a new one! We hope there will be something for everyone and you will be sure of a very warm welcome. #Christmas #Seasonal #Social #Bishopstoke

A Harvest thank you

Thank you so much for all the food donations for Eastleigh Basics Bank – they were much appreciated. We also raised the wonderful total of £258 (plus some Gift Aid) for this year’s Harvest charity, Self Help Africa. #Harvest #EastleighBasicsBank #SelfHelpAfrica

From the Rectory - November 2019

Dear Friends A couple of weeks ago, around the time that the clocks went back, I was thinking that this really isn’t my favourite time of year. It’s getting darker; it’s getting colder; most of the trees have lost their leaves; and the amount of rain we’ve had some days recently has only added to this feeling. It's also a time of year when we think about some things to do with death. At All Souls we remember our departed loved ones. About a week later, we remember those who have lost their lives in war. Roll on Christmas, we might say; but there are many people who struggle with that, too. But I was forgetting something… and I was reminded of it on All Saints’ Day – 1st November, when I

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