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Welcome to the Parish of Hampshire Downs

– combining the churches of St Peter and St Stephen in Winchester, St Gregory in Alresford, and St Thomas More in Stockbridge

We hope that members of the Parish can use the site to get information and updates about the life of the community, and that visitors can learn about us. Please explore the wepages using the tabs above,

We are part of the Catholic Diocese of Portsmouth and unite four worshipping communities – St Gregory the Great, Alresford; St Thomas More, Stockbridge; and St Peter’s and St Stephen’s, both in Winchester. Do come and join us, or please contact us if you need further information or if we can help or support you in any way.

Solemnity of the Ascension: 17th May

Ascension (2)

After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heavenand he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it. Mark Chapter 16

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Canon Paul writes:

Today’s celebration of the Ascension of Jesus reminds us of the line in the Creed which we repeat each Sunday: “He ascended into heaven and is seated at the right hand of the Father.” Our Gospel today, and the reading from the Acts of the Apostles, describes “the irreversible entry of his humanity into divine glory” (Catechism 659). As one Preface given for today puts it “Christ has not forsaken our human lowliness, but has given us the hope that we, his members, might follow him to heaven where he, our head and beginning, has gone before us”. (Translation by Canon Alan Griffiths in his book “We give you Thanks and Praise”). The line in the Creed which speaks of the Ascension is a crucial weekly reminder that we are destined to follow Jesus into the life of God where, like him, we shall share the joy of God in our own risen and glorious bodies.

At least two things follow: The Ascension gives us the hope that our human experience will find its fulfilment and perfection when we rise and ascend with Jesus to share his humanity. It also fills us with the conviction that because every human being is offered the same hope, every human being is utterly sacred and worthy of absolute respect. It is this conviction that must drive all our decisions, especially those which influence the lives of others.

Next week we celebrate the memory of St. John I on Monday; the Dedication of St. John’s Cathedral in Portsmouth on Tuesday; St. Bernadine of Siena on Wednesday; St. Christopher Magallanes and his companions on Thursday; St. Rita of Cascia on Friday and next Sunday is Pentecost Sunday and the end of the Easter Season. PJT

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 A Conversation about Art

All are invited to a conversation about art, and specifically the Mark Cazalet artwork in the Pastoral Centre – followed by afternoon tea.

On Sunday 17th May between 2.30 and 5pm, at St Peter’s Pastoral Centre Jewry St.

Samaritan woman at the well 2

To find out more, read the invitation in full by clicking here.

 

 

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 Sister Jiji is organizing a

PENTECOST VIGIL ON FRIDAY 22ND MAY, 8-9pm

— details below, click on image to make it larger.

Pentecost 15 IMAGE

 

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The post of Head Teacher at St Peter’s Primary School is being re-advertised

For full details please click here.

 

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Director of Music in Hampshire Downs Parish

 

A music review has identified a need for leadership and direction of this varied ministry. The Parish is therefore seeking to appoint an experienced musician with vision and enthusiasm to undertake this challenging role for Hampshire Downs Parish, based at St Peter’s RC Church, Winchester.

The initial task for the successful candidate will be to understand and assess the requirements, the practicalities and the challenges that exist within the parish through discussion with all those currently involved within the music ministry. Then liaising closely with the Hampshire Downs Liturgy Committee to design and implement a plan to advise and help the whole music ministry across the Parish. A priority will be to review the music arrangements for the 10.30am Sunday Mass at St Peters, Winchester.

Annual salary £15,000 per annum.

21 hours per week to be worked flexibly each week which will include Sunday (morning and evening).

Flexibility is also required to cover the major Liturgical Feasts and Celebrations

The post is subject to a DBS check (formally CRB).

Full details, job description (also here), experience, qualifications and personal attributes for the role and an application form are available on the Diocesan Web Site.  Completed application forms should be returned to:- Canon Paul Townsend, Peterhouse, St Peters Street, Winchester, Hampshire SO23 8BW by 12 noon on 31st May 2015.

Interviews will be held in Winchester on Friday 19th June 2015.

 

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6th Sunday of Easter: 10th May

St peter as Pope

Then Peter addressed them: ‘The truth I have now come to realise’ he said ‘is that God does not have favourites, but that anybody of any nationality who fears God and does what is right is acceptable to him.’

While Peter was still speaking the Holy Spirit came down on all the listeners. Jewish believers who had accompanied Peter were all astonished that the gift of the Holy Spirit should be poured out on the pagans too, since they could hear them speaking strange languages and proclaiming the greatness of God.  Acts Chapter 10

Picture of the St Peter’s statue in St Peter’s church by Joe Low.

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IMPORTANT: The Winchester Catholic History Group talk due to be held this Monday, 11th May, has had to be cancelled because the speaker is ill. Please spread the word.

 

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 The Feast of Our Lady of Fatima is on May 13th

 

Our Lady of FatimaChildren of Fatima

Our Lady of Fatima and the children of Fatima

The famous apparitions of the Virgin Mary to the children of Fatima took place during the First World War, in the summer of 1917. The inhabitants of a tiny village in the diocese of Leiria (Portugal) were mostly poor people, many of them small farmers who went out by day to tend their fields and animals. Children traditionally were assigned the task of herding the sheep.

The three children who received the apparitions had been brought up in an atmosphere of piety: Lucia dos Santos (ten years old) and her two younger cousins, Francisco and Jacinta. Together they tended the sheep and, with Lucy in charge, would often pray the Rosary kneeling in the open. In the summer of 1916 an Angel appeared to them several times and taught them a prayer to the Blessed Trinity.

On Sunday, May 13, 1917, toward noon, a flash of lightning drew the attention of the children, and they saw a brilliant figure appearing over the trees of the Cova da Iria. The “Lady” asked them to pray for the conversion of sinners and an end to the war, and to come back every month, on the 13th.

READ MORE HERE

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Thursday 14th May – Pie Club

Home cooked two-course meal. Good company and a talk on the Winchester Festival. 12.45 until about 2.30pm in the Pastoral Centre. All are welcome.

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 A Conversation about Art

All are invited to a conversation about art, and specifically the Mark Cazalet artwork in the Pastoral Centre – followed by afternoon tea.

On Sunday 17th May between 2.30 and 5pm, at St Peter’s Pastoral Centre Jewry St.

Samaritan woman at the well 2 

To find out more, read the invitation in full by clicking here.

 

 

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 Sister Jiji is organizing a

PENTECOST VIGIL ON FRIDAY 22ND MAY, 8-9pm

— details below, click on image to make it larger.

Pentecost 15 IMAGE

 

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The post of Head Teacher at St Peter’s Primary School is being re-advertised

For full details please click here.

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5th Sunday of Easter: 3rd May

2015 Easter Dee

Easter image by photographer Denise Perry.

 

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vine dresser Tissot Brooklyn

Scenes from the life of Jesus by James Tissot, at the Brooklyn Museum – the vine dresser.

Canon Paul writes:

Jesus offers us the image of the vine today, “I am the vine and you are the branches” he says. Jesus, clearly, was well acquainted with the work of the vinedresser and knew how important it was to prune the vine if it was to bear fruit. As branches of the vine we are to draw life from Jesus and abide in him. An experience which finds its clearest and most intense focus in the celebration of the Eucharist and as we eat and drink the Lord’s body and blood.

Jesus develops the idea of pruning and says that we are pruned by the word that he speaks. Jesus’ communication with us must have a special place in our lives because an appropriate response to this gift will bear fruit in our lives. At the heart of the gift of the Word of God to us is the celebration of the Liturgy of the Word at Mass when Christ himself is present speaking to us. At Sunday Mass we hear his message to us which is given that we might reflect upon it and allow it to shape everything in our lives. Thus we are pruned by the Word of God, Jesus’ himself, who is ‘the way, the truth and the life’.

On Monday 4th May, we celebrate the feast of the English Martyrs. We honour those who died between 1535 and 1680. Mass will be celebrated at 10.00am as it is a Bank Holiday. It was during 1535 that Saints Thomas More and John Fisher were executed, but today’s feast includes many who were unknown and who gave their lives for the faith in this country.

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  YOUTHCAT

Saturday 9th May – YouthCat – 10.00am to 12.00 noon – Pastoral Centre. Children in Yrs 4, 5 & 6 are welcome to join the fun activities at this month’s YouthCat session with the focus on Pentecost. Please note the change of date for this year’s First Holy Communion children’s YouthCat taster session, which is now on Saturday 11th July so as not to clash with the picnic. For more information head to youthstuff@hotmail.co.uk

 

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4th Sunday of Easter, Good Shepherd Sunday, 26th April

Good shepherd walters

Image of the Good Shepherd from an Early Christian tomb, probably that of a child.

courtesy of the Walters Art Museum Baltimore.

 

women at the tomb fra Angelico

Another Fra Angelico Easter painting – see a previous one here – again suggested by a parishioner. It shows the women coming to the tomb on Easter morning.

‘I am the good shepherd;
I know my own
and my own know me,
just as the Father knows me
and I know the Father;
and I lay down my life for my sheep.’
John Chapter 10
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3rd Sunday of Easter: 19th April

Easter Walters Descent

 

 

Another picture of the Harrowing of Hell, from a 14th C Greek icon, courtesy of the Walters Art Museum Baltimore – following on from last week’s picture.  This was also our Holy Saturday image for the website.

2015 Paschal candle 2 2015 Paschal candle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are views of the St Peter’s Paschal Candle, front and back. It was decorated as beautifully as ever by the Parish’s own very talented Imelda Weingart.

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JOB VACANCY:

Resources / Facilities Manager for Hampshire Downs

 

Hampshire Downs Parish wishes to appoint a Resources / Facilities Manager to ensure the effective use of all resources in the parish including volunteers, buildings, services and other facilities. The role will concentrate on ensuring that the buildings and their services meet the needs of the parish and other users as efficiently, safely and cost effectively as possible whilst all the time prioritising the vision of the parish as a welcoming and mission focused Catholic community. Salary circa £25,000. Full time – 35 hours per week. Flexible working is required as there will be some evening and weekend working.

Proposed start date is 6th July 2015.

Application forms and more details  are available on the Diocesan website.

Closing date is 12 noon on 1st May 2015

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 The Easter edition of the Parish magazine CROSSKEYS is available now, at the back of church or online here.

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SAINT OF THE WEEK – ST GEORGE

feast day April 23rd

St george

Saint George is one of the most venerated saints in the Catholic Church. In Palestine St George is the symbol used by Palestinian Christians on their homes. St. George is the patron saint of England. His cross forms the national flag of England, and features within the Union Flag of the United Kingdom.

For more – click here.

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2nd Sunday of Easter: 12th April

Easter Fra Angelico

 

A parishioner suggested the above very beautiful image of the Resurrection (see below), by Fra Angelico, for the website, and we are delighted to feature it. We hope this might inspire other readers: if you have a favourite religious image – Easter-related or more general – please send us a copy or a link, and we will use them on the website if we can.

CORRECTION: parish historian John Thornhill has pointed out that this is the Harrowing of Hell, not the Resurrection…

 

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Divine Mercy Krakow (2)

       THIS IS DIVINE MERCY SUNDAY 

APRIL 12th 2015

The feast will be celebrated at St Peter’s church Winchester on the 12th.

Confessions : 2.15pm – 2.45pm.

                                MASS  : IN THANKSGIVING FOR THE FEAST  :  3pm

Chaplet of Divine Mercy & Veneration of The Image

Refreshments afterwards in the Pastoral Centre.
Contact us for more information.

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JOB VACANCY:

Resources / Facilities Manager for Hampshire Downs

 

Hampshire Downs Parish wishes to appoint a Resources / Facilities Manager to ensure the effective use of all resources in the parish including volunteers, buildings, services and other facilities. The role will concentrate on ensuring that the buildings and their services meet the needs of the parish and other users as efficiently, safely and cost effectively as possible whilst all the time prioritising the vision of the parish as a welcoming and mission focused Catholic community. Salary circa £25,000. Full time – 35 hours per week. Flexible working is required as there will be some evening and weekend working.

Proposed start date is 6th July 2015.

Application forms and more details  are available on the Diocesan website.

Closing date is 12 noon on 1st May 2015

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 The Easter edition of the Parish magazine CROSSKEYS is available now, at the back of church or online here.

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