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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.

20th Sunday of the Year: 17th August

Doubting Thomas and others

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Canon Paul writes: Thanks to everyone for their responses to my

 Parish Faith in Action Appeal

last weekend. I will share the accumulated wisdom with those

who are advising me on the appeal. This week, some of the

Ambassadors will be speaking to us about the appeal after all the

Masses. Thanks as well to everyone who has responded so generously.

You can find more details of the appeal, and all the relevant documents, by visiting this page.

 

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The current Saints’ Day for reflection in the Parish is

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary,

celebrated last Friday. Please scroll down to the previous entry below, or click here.

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CAFOD

have written to Parishes explaining what they are trying to do about the current situations in Gaza and Iraq, and asking for help and prayers. You can read the full document here.

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Solemnity of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary – 15th August

Assumption

Icon of Dormition of the Theotokos, Dormition Abbey, Mt. Zion, Jerusalem Icon

 

Friday 15th August is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the  Blessed Virgin Mary, and is a Holy Day of Obligation

Masses in St. Peter’s will be at  7.30am, 12.15pm  and 7.30pm.

Mass at St Gregory’s:  10.30 am

 

The Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary commemorates the death of Mary and her bodily assumption into Heaven, before her body could begin to decay–a foretaste of our own bodily resurrection at the end of time. Because it signifies the Blessed Virgin’s passing into eternal life, it is the most important of all Marian feasts and a Holy Day of Obligation.

 

The Feast of the Assumption is a very old feast of the Church, celebrated universally by the sixth century. The feast was originally celebrated in the East, where it is known as the Feast of the Dormition, a word which means “the falling asleep.” The earliest printed reference to the belief that Mary’s body was assumed into Heaven dates from the fourth century, in a document entitled “The Falling Asleep of the Holy Mother of God.” The document is written in the voice of the Apostle John, to whom Christ on the Cross had entrusted the care of His mother, and recounts the death, laying in the tomb, and assumption of the Blessed Virgin. Tradition variously places Mary’s death at Jerusalem or at Ephesus, where John was living.

 

The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life is a defined dogma of the Catholic Church. On November 1, 1950, Pope Pius XII, exercising papal infallibility, declared in Munificentissimus Deus that it is a dogma of the Church “that the Immaculate Mother of God, the ever Virgin Mary, having completed the course of her earthly life, was assumed body and soul into heavenly glory.” As a dogma, the Assumption is a required belief of all Catholics.

 

Dormition Abbey

Dormition Abbey Mt Zion Jerusalem – from Wikimedia commons

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19th Sunday of the year: 10th August

walk on water

He went towards them, walking on the lake, and when the disciples saw him walking on the lake they were terrified. ‘It is a ghost’ they said, and cried out in fear. But at once Jesus called out to them, saying, ‘Courage! It is I! Do not be afraid.’  Matthew 14

picture from a 17th century MS, courtesy the Walters Art Museum Baltimore

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Friday 15th August is the Solemnity of the Assumption of the  Blessed Virgin Mary, and is a Holy Day of Obligation

Masses in St. Peter’s will be at  7.30am, 12.15pm  and 7.30pm.

Mass at St Gregory’s:  10.30 am

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There will be  no Evening Prayer and Benediction in St. Peter’s until Sunday 7th September.

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18th Sunday of the Year: 3rd August

Feeding 5000

He gave orders that the people were to sit down on the grass; then he took the five loaves and the two fish, raised his eyes to heaven and said the blessing. And breaking the loaves handed them to his disciples who gave them to the crowds. They all ate as much as they wanted.

Matthew Chapter 14

Picture is from a 16th century illuminated manuscript at the Walters Museum Baltimore

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Saint of the Week: St John Vianney

st john Vianney

Feast day August 4
Universally known as the “Cure of Ars”, St. John Vianney was ordained a priest in 1815. Three years later he was made parish priest of Ars, a remote French hamlet of about 50 families, whose people had drifted away from practising their faith following the French Revolution. They were not happy with this priest who was eager to draw them back to God and Christian living. Some caused trouble by lying about John, by acting violently against him, and by refusing to co-operate with him. They hoped that he would give up and leave. Instead, Father Vianney increased his prayers, fasting, and penances.
His reputation as a confessor and director of souls made him known throughout the Christian world and the French government built a railroad line to Ars to accommodate all the pilgrims. Accustomed to the most severe austerities, beleaguered by swarms of penitents, and besieged by the devil, this great mystic manifested a imperturbable patience. He was a wonderworker loved by the crowds, but he retained a childlike simplicity, and he remains to this day the living image of the priest after the heart of Christ.
He heard confessions of people from all over the world for the sixteen hours each day. His life was filled with works of charity and love. He died August 4, 1859, was canonized May 31, 1925, and is the patron of parish priests.

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The Hampshire Downs Parish Directory is now available via the tab at the top of the page, or by clicking here.  In addition, two copies can be found at the back of each Church and in the Parish Pastoral Centre – one copy is for reference and the other is a loan copy. 

The Directory has been developed as a source of reference for existing parishioners and to introduce and welcome newcomers to the Parish.  We hope that the information contained within in it will give you a flavour of the work and mission of the Parish and encourage you to participate in the many groups, clubs and activities that are available throughout the Parish.  The Directory also covers arrangements for those who are sick or who require assistance to participate in services, it also outlines the many opportunities for parishioners to volunteer and to support the work of our Christian Community.

We would like to thank Margaret Berryman for all her hard work on this project.

 

17th Sunday of the Year: 27th July

Jesus door barcelona

The Jesus Door at La Sagrada Familia, Barcelona

‘The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field which someone has found; he hides it again, goes off happy, sells everything he owns and buys the field.’ Matthew Chapter 13

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A summary of the Parish accounts is now available: you can read it here.

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Evening Prayer and Benediction has now ceased for the summer break and resumes again on Sunday 7th September.

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Margaret Berryman has worked hard and long to produce a brand new Parish Directory.  This contains all the information you could ever need on our Parish, and will be a long-term valuable resource. It’s main home will be on our website here – so, easily and instantly accessible, and also easy to update. To find it, click here or on the Parish Directory tab above.

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The new edition of Crosskeys, summer 14, is on the website now. Click here to see it.

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Neighbourhood Groups

This Project has now been launched in the Parish. As a new activity all of us have an opportunity to influence its development and, as a collaborative project, everyone’s support and co-operation is needed and counts.

Following the launch some very helpful and thoughtful responses have been received. A heartfelt thank you for these! As the first pilot networks are prepared for September please continue to send in your comments, thoughts and ideas. It is important that as the Project develops it continues to reflect your thinking and needs.

You can contact Sandra via the website or the Parish Office. Please keep this Project in your prayers.

 

16th Sunday of the Year: 20th July

Agape image (2)

 

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Margaret Berryman has worked hard and long to produce a brand new Parish Directory.  This contains all the information you could ever need on our Parish, and will be a long-term valuable resource. It’s main home will be on our website here – so, easily and instantly accessible, and also easy to update. To find it, click here or on the Parish Directory tab above.

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The new edition of Crosskeys, summer 14, is on the website now. Click here to see it.

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Neighbourhood Groups

This Project has now been launched in the Parish. As a new activity all of us have an opportunity to influence its development and, as a collaborative project, everyone’s support and co-operation is needed and counts.

Following the launch some very helpful and thoughtful responses have been received. A heartfelt thank you for these! As the first pilot networks are prepared for September please continue to send in your comments, thoughts and ideas. It is important that as the Project develops it continues to reflect your thinking and needs.

You can contact Sandra via the website or the Parish Office. Please keep this Project in your prayers.