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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.

Feast of SS Peter and Paul: 28th June

StPeter at Winch Cath Tim

After Jesus had shown himself to his disciples and eaten with them, he said to Simon Peter, ‘Simon son of John, do you love me more than these others do?’ He answered, ‘Yes Lord, you know I love you.’ Jesus said to him, ‘Feed my lambs.’

John 21

St Peter stained glass window in Winchester Cathedral: photo by Tim Redmond

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Canon Paul writes

This weekend we honour the memory of the Apostle Martyrs  Peter and Paul.  Their feast presents us with the two key    aspects which we must always hold together as followers of Jesus.  St. Peter is described as “foremost in confessing the faith”.  We are called to do the same by respecting in     gratitude the precious gift of the scriptures and the teaching of the Church, both of which nourish our lives of faith and our mission.  St. Paul is described as a “fearless preacher” which reminds us of the second aspect.  Like St. Paul we are to be evangelists proclaiming the love and message of Jesus by the manner of our living and the words we speak. PJT

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I would like to let you know about an initiative which goes to the heart of what we are, and what we do, in the Parish.   

How will we take evangelisation forward in the Parish?  I have formed a group called the Evangelisation Strategy Group (ESG) to produce strategies for the Parish, the worshipping communities and Parish Groups, and to support them in our common goal of evangelization.  The members of the ESG have been chosen to cover the broad spectrum of the worshipping communities at the four churches of Hampshire Downs as well as Parish Groups.  Thus members of the ESG bring to the Group knowledge and experience of those worshipping communities and Parish Groups, but they do not represent them.  While the ESG takes the initiative in devising such strategies, the members of the Group will consult with, and listen to, the worshipping communities and Parish Groups, from whom ideas are sought. 

To read Canon Paul’s explanation in full see this week’s newsletter or click here

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You can read the Pope’s encyclical about climate change by clicking below:

Laudato si’

It’s a long and complex document – you may find it helpful to read this article summarizing the encyclical. It is  by Fr James Martin SJ, and appeared on the website of ‘America: The National Catholic Review’ on Thursday.

Top Ten Takeaways from ‘Laudato Si”

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12th Sunday of the Year: 21st June

Jesus Storm delacroix WaltersThen it began to blow a gale and the waves were breaking into the boat so that it was almost swamped. But he was in the stern, his head on the cushion, asleep. They woke him and said to him, ‘Master, do you not care? We are going down!’ And he woke up and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Quiet now! Be calm!’ And the wind dropped, and all was calm again. Mark Chapter 4

The image, from the Walters Art Museum, is Christ on the Sea of Galilee by Eugene Delacroix.

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Canon Paul writes: Pope Francis has published his Encyclical ‘Laudato Si’’ on care for our common home. He reminds us that creation, with its balance and beauty, is an expression of God’s infinite love and care for us. We too therefore are called to live in love and respect for everything that God has created. That love and respect is our motivation for caring for our earthly home and must guide the ay we use the resources of creation which are always God’s gift to us. Laudato Si has been well received in many quarters and even in non-religious ones. Pope Francis models the way of Evangelisation because he manages to connect the concerns of the Gospel with the lives of all people regardless of their faith or religious traditions. We would do well to follow his example.

Our reading from the Book of Job today, gives us a very timely question “Who pent up the sea behind closed doors?” and in the Gospel, Jesus demonstrates the power he has over the forces of nature. There are two ethical implications for us. One is to trust that God’s power for our good and wellbeing is greater than our own. The second is that our lives in creation, and supported by it, must be guided by Christ’s law of love. PJT

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You can read the Pope’s encyclical in full by clicking below:

Laudato si’

It’s a long and complex document – you may find it helpful to read this article summarizing the encyclical. It is  by Fr James Martin SJ, and appeared on the website of ‘America: The National Catholic Review’ on Thursday.

Top Ten Takeaways from ‘Laudato Si”


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Saint of the Week

St Thomas More – Feast Day June 22nd


St Thomas More

St. Thomas More was born in London in 1478. After a thorough grounding in religion and the classics, he entered Oxford to study law. Upon leaving the university he embarked on a legal career which took him to Parliament. In 1505, he married his beloved Jane Colt who bore him four children, and when she died at a young age, he married a widow, Alice Middleton, to be a mother for his young children. A wit and a reformer, this learned man numbered Bishops and scholars among his friends, and by 1516 wrote his world-famous book “Utopia”. He attracted the attention of Henry VIII who appointed him to a succession of high posts and missions, and finally made him Lord Chancellor in 1529. However, he resigned in 1532, at the height of his career and reputation, when Henry persisted in holding his own opinions regarding marriage and the supremacy of the Pope. The rest of his life was spent in writing mostly in defence of the Church. In 1534, with his close friend, St. John Fisher, he refused to render allegiance to the King as the Head of the Church of England and was confined to the Tower. Fifteen months later, and nine days after St. John Fisher’s execution, he was tried and convicted of treason. He told the court that he could not go against his conscience and wished his judges that “we may yet hereafter in heaven merrily all meet together to everlasting salvation.” And on the scaffold, he told the crowd of spectators that he was dying as “the King’s good servant-but God’s first.” He was beheaded on July 6, 1535.

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Thursday 25th JuneMass of SS. Peter and Paul at St. Peter’s School at 9.15am followed by Sports Day and Family Picnic.

Saturday 27th JuneJunior Youthcat. The next session is from 10.00 to 11.15pm in the Pastoral Centre. This is a programme of introduction to our faith for children in years R, 1 and 2; Bible stories, the basics of our faith, craft activities and doughnuts. It is a good way for your child to start making friends and becoming familiar with the church before the First Holy Communion programme in year 3.

Sunday 28th June – St. Peter’s Youth Choir Coffee Concert is in the Pastoral Centre after the 10.30am Mass. Please stay for Coffee and Cakes and enjoy the programme of singing that our Youth Choir has been working hard to prepare. They are singing so well, please come and listen! Collection during the concert in support of the Covenant With the Poor.

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The Pope’s Encyclical Laudato Si

Pope Francis has issued his long-awaited encyclical on care for our common home – in layman’s terms, climate change.

You can read the document in full by clicking below:

Laudato si’ (24 May 2015)

It’s a long and complex document – you may find it helpful to read this article which appeared on the website of ‘America: The National Catholic Review’ this morning,

The piece is  by Fr James Martin SJ:

Top Ten Takeaways from ‘Laudato Si”

11th Sunday of the Year: 14th June


Parable of sower


He also said, ‘What can we say the kingdom of God is like? What parable can we find for it? It is like a mustard seed which at the time of its sowing in the soil is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet once it is sown it grows into the biggest shrub of them all and puts out big branches so that the birds of the air can shelter in its shade.’ Mark Chapter 4

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There is a Letter from Bishop Philip this week:

Part of it reads:

Anytime now, Pope Francis will publish an Encyclical Letter on ecology. When he does, I will send a message drawing attention to matters I consider important for our Diocese. You will have your own ideas too, which I hope you will feed into your local Evangelisation Strategy Team. But here, I want to discuss what is sometimes called the “Church’s best kept secret: the extensive body of Catholic doctrine on politics, economics, human development and social justice. The principles of Church social teaching are very relevant as daily we witness the tragedy of human trafficking, the plight of migrants, financial scandals, debates about regulating the market-place and the impact of civil war and terrorism. Our faith is not ‘me and Jesus’ but ‘we and Jesus.’  His Church so that together we can build the Kingdom of God.

To read the whole letter, click here:  Bishop’s letter Jun 15

There are also be copies at the back of church, and there is more information on the Diocesan website.

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  This Week

Mass for the Sick and Housebound is at 3.00pm today (Sunday  14th) in St. Peter’s followed by refreshments in the Pastoral Centre.

Thursday 18th June – The final monthly prayer for the Middle Eastern Christians will focus on the plight of migrants forced to flee and in trouble on the Mediterranean and Asian Seas. 6.00 to 6.45pm in the Lady Chapel. All are welcome. It is hoped to recommence the Prayer in September.

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Keeping in Touch – a message from the Diocese:

The Diocese of Portsmouth now issues a weekly e-news with photos, news, and information from around the Diocese. Go to www.portsmouthdiocese.org.uk and add your email address to receive these updates. Are you on Facebook? Like ‘Diocese of Portsmouth’ to get all the latest info as it happens. You can also follow @BishopEgan and @PortsmouthRC on Twitter.

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Solemnity of Corpus Christi: 7th June

Corpus Christi  chalice lawrence lew


While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to his disciples, saying, “Take it; this is my body.”

Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and they all drank from it.

“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them.  “Truly I tell you, I will not drink again from the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.” MARK chapter 12

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Canon Paul writes: Today’s feast invites us to reflect upon the truth that during the Mass, our offering of bread and wine become the real presence of the risen Lord Jesus. As the risen Lord could not be more present during our celebration we join him in his everlasting act of love to his Father, which we glimpse in the sacrificial love of his death on Calvary. At the same time, our thanksgiving or ‘Eucharist’ is joined to that of Jesus so that we may express perfect gratitude to God for everything he gives us.

The great act of thanksgiving, which makes present Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, is followed by Holy Communion. The gift of the Lord’s Body and Blood is given to us to build up the Church and empower us to continue Jesus’ work of forgiving, healing and proclaiming the good news of the Kingdom.

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This Week

Tuesday 9th June – Eucharistic Adoration resumes in St. Peter’s

Thursday 11th June – Pie Club  Home cooked two course meal. Good company and a talk. 12.45pm until about 2.30pm in the Pastoral Centre. All are welcome.

Saturday 13th June – YouthCat  10.00am to 12.00 noon in the Pastoral Centre. Children in Years 4, 5 & 6 are welcome to join the fun activities at this month’s session with the focus on Sacraments. Please note the change of date for this year’s First Holy Communion children’s YouthCat taster session, this is now on Saturday 11th July so as not to clash with the picnic. Questions? Email youthstuff@hotmail.co.uk

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Trinity Sunday: 31st May



He said, ‘All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Go, therefore, make disciples of all the nations; baptise them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teach them to observe all the commands I gave you. And know that I am with you always; yes, to the end of time.’ Matthew chapter 28

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will be making their Pentecost appeal at all Masses this weekend.

They will be talking about the Jesuit Refugee Service, an international Catholic humanitarian organisation whose mission is to accompany, to serve and to advocate for refugees and forcibly displaced persons.

Specifically, CWP is appealing for the Accelerated Learning Programme run by JRS for Syrian refugee children in Lebanon.  This is an accelerated programme for children many of whom who have not had schooling since the outbreak of hostilities in Syria in 2011.

Pentecost 15 image

Click on the image above to see The Promise in full, with more details of this project and an update on the CWP’s work, or go to the Covenant with the Poor’s own website page.

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– She will describe the transformative work of the Benedictine Sisters in the Philipines after Typhoon Haijan devastated the city of Tacloban.

The talk will be in the United Reform Church (Jewry St Winchester) on

Thursday 4th June at 7.30 pm.



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