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The Parish Magazine of St. Faith, Havant with St. Nicholas, Langstone

 OCTOBER 2003 (Internet Edition)


From the Rector - Celtic Christianity

Following our family service last month I would like to take the opportunity to say a little more about Celtic Christianity.

Historians and theologians have enjoyed debating over recent years the authenticity of the idea of a Celtic Church or Celtic Christianity. It seems that the argument has now more or less been won by those who argue for a distinctively Celtic branch of the early medieval church, yet there continues to be a range of views about just how distinctive it was from the Roman church. Part of the debate involves a recognition of regional variation throughout the whole of Christendom which could argue for, for example, a distinctive church of the area we now know as northern France and so on. In addition there is also a difference between monasteries within the Celtic church itself, each with its distinctive views and practises. Thomas O’Loughlin has studied Celtic theology and thought and would argue for a regional variation, rather than a separate entity. As he puts it "the theological and pastoral work of the early Irish church constitutes a ‘local theology’", which is to say that what we here call Celtic thought is a particular school of thought, method and practise that is part of the church of its time, as opposed to being some separate sect. Other theologians who have also done much to promote the authenticity of Celtic studies, for example, Jonathan Wooding, would agree in that Irish, Welsh and Scottish monks were both well travelled and well educated. Their contribution to the idea of a Celtic theology or Celtic Church was therefore one of particular nuances of style and emphasis rather than fundamental differences in theology and praxis. Therefore it will be taken here that there is a thread weaving through early medieval Irish, Scottish, Welsh and Northern English writings, art and historical relics that constitutes a significant and valuable body of thought worth attempting to recapture and engage with today.

But what is the great contribution of the Celtic church towards contemporary spirituality? Firstly we can say that the Celtic Church had a high regard for God’s presence in all creation. Alexander Scott has given a powerful analogy for the effect of God’s image at the root of all life. He describes a royal robe that is lined throughout with golden thread. The effect of the thread is that it is distinguishable but not obviously so, but if the golden thread were to be removed the whole garment would unravel. The Spirit of God is therefore the essence of all life. It is because of God’s immanence in creation that nature; self-knowledge and relationships are so valued in the Celtic tradition. Perhaps the two most prominent early writers of the Celtic Church were Pelagius and Eriugena, and it was the latter who spoke of: "the ineffable fertility of the Divine Goodness" - that all pervading sense of God’s creative generosity in everything. Elsewhere he goes further in saying that God’s goodness in creation is not merely a by-product of God’s creation but the very essence which brought creation into being: "The Divine Goodness summons all things out of non-being into being".

Pelagius in the later part of the fourth century has been accredited with the heresy of Pelagianism, which says that humanity has the ability to find its own salvation without reliance upon the grace of God. But this was not what Pelagius said. The distinctive mark of his writing was the central theme of creation and its essential goodness:

"When God pronounced that his creation was good, it was not only that his hand had fashioned every creature; it was that his breath had brought every creature to life… God’s spirit is present within all plants as well. The presence of God’s spirit in all living things is what makes them beautiful; and if we look with God’s eyes, nothing on the earth is ugly."

This sense of God’s presence in all things was, for Pelagius, an invitation to love and appreciate all beings and elements of God’s good creation. Controversially he extended this principal to humanity, teaching that every child is conceived and born in the image of God, and is, as such, not just free from sin but is indeed perfectly good in the nature of God. Pelagius would say that to look at the face of a child is to behold the image of God, and that the parents’ love making that conceived the child was also reflecting the gifts of God in creation. However this stood in marked contrast to Augustine’s view of original sin that asserted humanity’s fall from grace meant that all humans were born in sin, and that redemption from this original sin came only through the mediation of God’s grace in baptism and the other sacraments.

What has been misunderstood in Pelagius was that he did not deny the power and inevitability of sin, nor the need for God’s grace to redeem humankind, but that this grace comes in to enable the goodness at the core of each human person to be freed. In the Pelagian scheme a person is born pure but from day one the inevitable evil of the world pervades the baby’s environment thus covering this essential goodness with layers of learnt behaviour that are less than pure – compromises calculated by the human spirit to offer the best chance for survival in a dangerous and difficult world. As time goes on these patterns of sinful behaviour intensify and cover the individual’s essential goodness thus losing the person to their sinfulness, so that by young adulthood sin abounds in all aspects of one’s life. Redemption, then, is thought of as recovering that essential goodness, releasing that God given spark that lies deepest within the heart of every person, deeper even that the sin, fear and loathing we all know too well.

Where Pelagius is misconstrued is that it is all too easy to overlook the need for grace to even approach this task of recovery, let alone stick to it in the hope of searching deep within one’s self. Pelagius developed a spiritual technique for pursuing the recovery of this essential goodness at the core of our being. He instructs a soul friend (the ‘anamchara’ was a feature of the later Celtic Church) to "write down with your own hand on paper what God has written with his hand on the human heart". Pelagius recognises that intense work is needed and spiritual discipline required in order to both recapture the light that no darkness has been able to overcome, referring of course to the prologue of St John’s Gospel. He then advises that the Christian compares what she has written with what Jesus has said in the gospels and if the two conform that what she has written is good, but where it does not "you must have misheard your conscience, and you must listen anew", Pelagius says.

One of the greatest tragedies of the conflict between Pelagius and Augustine was that the two have been seen as opposite ends of a spectrum and the similarities between them overlooked. Indeed one might say that the determination of Augustine to be seen to be orthodox to Pelagius’s heresy led him to appeal to the State to condemn his opponent, even though he writes in the City of God about the doomed Empire that is a city built on violence and oppression. Like Pelagius, Augustine shows a detestation of the power and corruption of the Roman authority, but appears to have been open to using to his own means when it suited him. One might reflect that Augustine’s own behaviour is the perfect illustration of his sense that humanity is not free in a world that binds its inhabitants to a life of utter confusion and perplexity, apart from the external force of God, through whose grace meaning and direction can be found.

The sadness is that for so long Pelagius has been cast as the villain of the piece, accused of promoting a theology of complete human freedom that is nothing short of a rationalism or positivism, that "sees no schism in the heart and so no need for healing reconciliation". Even as late as 1990 such a respected theologian (and now Archbishop) as Rowan Williams can ask, "where in Pelagianism was the sense of this ‘violence’ of God, the utterly gratuitous and unpredicted flow of mercy to his creatures, the sense of being grasped, overwhelmed and intoxicated?" Williams goes on to say that the freedom in Pelagius’s thought meant ‘freedom to do God’s will’ repeating the old accusation that there is no need for God’s grace in such a way of thinking. As we have seen this was not Pelagius’s conviction at all. That we are made in the image of God does not deny the inevitability of sin to render life confusing, difficult, painful and debilitating. But where grace comes in dynamically is in enabling the pilgrim to courageously engage with the sinfulness of one’s life and attempt to recapture that divine spark at the core of one’s being.

This, then is no positivism and neither is it a denial of human emotion, sensitivity or desire! Indeed there is a common conviction in both Augustine and Pelagius that human emotion is powerful and necessary – yet ironically in Pelagius it is possible to detect a greater regard for the emotions as clues to the way back to that essential goodness of one’s nature that is the way to God. In Augustine one detects the strong hint that, because of the prevalence of sin, these emotions may be conspiring to delude and hide the sinner from God, that only God can enable one to escape from. Where there is an element of self-help in Pelagius’s scheme is that one takes the initiative to encounter one’s sense of being stuck, even then, though, it is only through God’s grace that we may be held in a safe place to see and hear the fears of who we have become.

This reverence for creation captures a mood that is prevalent today but for which there is inadequate expression. Following the Foot and Mouth crisis in Britain in 2001 there was a fear that farms that were for sale would become derelict. Research in August 2003 has revealed, however, that large numbers of these properties have been bought by people from the cities, illustrating to some degree at least, a desire to be closer to nature. Since the Industrial Revolution there has been an increasing gulf between people’s ordinary lives and the land. Novels by Dickens or George Eliot, for example, illustrate wonderfully how towns quickly emerged in the 18th and 19th centuries divorcing people from growing or developing food to eat or even gardens to cultivate. This removal from self-sufficiency may have exaggerated the love for nature but it is certainly the case that there is a general yearning for a oneness with creation. At the same time there is an increasing awareness that we cannot continue to use the world’s resources without causing tremendous problems in the near future. Many changes have taken place in industry and at the local level to improve methods of preserving resources, limiting the damage to the environment and to recycle goods. Within all these efforts and initiatives lies something deeper – that regard for creation that recognises a generous divine creator, somehow mysterious and indefinable yet made known through the beauty and passion of the world. How many times have ministers been told something like: "I don’t believe in God, but I do think there’s something out there – greater than anything I can know"? Surely what these people are saying, amongst other things, is that they don’t want to be made to adopt the church’s way of looking at God because there’s something in that which they don’t like (commitment, original sin, perceived hypocrisy etc). What this representation of Celtic thought offers so alluringly is a way of linking this appreciation of nature with a desire to respond to the God who is in all things.

We can see then, how the Celtic Christian tradition, as I have interpreted it here, has much to offer contemporary spirituality.                                                                                                                       Fr. David

About the Parish

I once knew someone named Steve who dined out on coincidences. Almost every day, he had a coincidence to relate. On one occasion he visited his daughter and son-in-law, Carl, in the United States. Carl took him on a tour of his business, a dry-cleaners, in Buffalo. (Isn't that Susan Gibbons hometown?) At one point, Carl had to leave Steve alone at the public counter while he went to take a telephone call. It so happened that a woman on a coach tour had spilt coffee down her suit and, taking advantage of a 24 hour stop-over because of engine trouble, she walked into the dry-cleaners to get it cleaned. She stopped in astonishment when she saw Steve stood alone behind the counter. In truth, she could not believe her eyes because she worked in the same establishment as him in Hinchley Wood, Surrey. In Steve's words, "What a coincidence!" Some 15 years or so ago, when working in DSS Headquarters, I received a telephone call from the Chairman of the Social Security Advisory Committee (SSAC), whose name I think was Sir Henry Armitage, saying that one of his members was standing at the next General Election. "Would he have to leave the committee", was his enquiry. If I may digress, he was elected and is still a Member of Parliament. He has proved to be an excellent MP. He has the rare quality of being a superb constituency MP while at the same time being active on the national scene, where he has held ministerial posts including Paymaster General and is now on the Opposition Front Bench. He lives among his constituents, recognises the issues, which concern them, and is always prepared to do something about them. His wife also plays an important part in the life of the community and the parish church. However, back to the enquiry. I explained to the Chairman that the member did not need to resign but that he should not take part in the business of the committee during the election. I further explained that he should not use information that he was privy to by virtue of being on the SSAC unless it was already in the public domain and that under no circumstances should he disclose advice given to ministers. (This convention should never be broken. For example, when there is a change of administration, i.e., a Labour minister taking over from a Conservative one or vice versa, the incoming minister is not allowed to see advice or papers relating to his predecessor. Immediately after a General Election when the Government party has lost, the Private Office has a hectic 24 hours during which they must remove all papers relating to the outgoing minister). I went on to tell the Chairman that if the member were elected, he should then resign from the SSAC. "As a matter of interest, which constituency is he standing for", I asked. The Chairman replied, "Havant". I said, "What a coincidence, I live in that constituency". The Chairman responded, "His name is David Willetts".         Roger Bryant

The St. Faith’s Town Fair was held on Saturday 30th August and was a great success raising over £2,800. The Restoration Appeal Committee would like to thank everyone who helped in so many ways to make it an enjoyable and successful day. Many thanks to Ivan Morley for chairing the Committee and also for all his hard work and commitment. Ivan is now standing down from the Appeal Committee. The Committee is keen to recruit some new members. If you are interested or have some fund raising ideas that you would like pursued please contact Ann Buckley.

Town Fairs are not new to Havant, but were probably first seen in medieval times, around the 14th Century. A Fair would almost certainly have been held on the feast day, or ‘Feriae’ of Saint Faith, and would have involved much by way of trade and commerce, as well as entertainment’s, some of which might well have taken place in the churchyard! Records show that Havant did indeed have its own ‘Fair Field’, on the site of what is now Fairfield Road, there being a ‘Pound’ for stray animals close by the road’s junction with the Pallant. Could it be that in the mists of time, our own Church House has served as the Fair House, used to store the fair’s booths and utensils from year to year?  The Fairs differed from the regular Markets,

in so far as they offered more rare and exotic goods from further afield, as well as providing merchants and businessmen a regular opportunity to meet and do business.Acting rather like todays ‘Job Centres’, some but not all Fairs would provide the opportunity for prospective employers and employees to come together and agree terms for the coming year. Referred to as ‘Hiring Fairs’ these were often held on or just before Candlemass, on 2nd February. Here at Saint Faiths, it is worth remembering the jollification’s as the Fair took place only when the overnight watch, or ‘Wake’ had been completed, and the Mass celebrated on the morning of Saint Faith’s day. For further information see ‘The Local History Companion’ by Stephen Friar.

Antiques Valuation Day

Bonhams invites you to meet Tim Squire-Sanders, the firm’s general specialist and Jeff Burfield, their silver and jewellery specialist, to have your antiques valued for £1 per item in St. Thomas’s Cathedral, High Street, Old Portsmouth between 10am and 4pm on Saturday 11th October. All proceeds to St. Thomas’s Cathedral. Refreshments available during the day. Further information from Mrs Pat Abbott on 023 9247 7376.

St. Faith’s Town Fair – Grand Draw Prizes



Ticket Number

Virgin Balloon Flight

Mrs Hartwell


Brittany Ferries Voyage to France

Ally Wilson


Brookfield Sunday Lunch for two



Wilkinsons £20 Voucher



House of Lords Whisky



Ladies Workbasket

L Gellett


Hinds Jewellery £20 Voucher

Fr David Gibbons


KJC Phones Voucher

P&M Johnson


Blazes £50 Voucher

Pam LeQ


Solent Cleaners £15 Voucher

C Walters


Basket of Fruit

D Burrel


Blazes £50 Voucher

J Bryant


Quicksilver Rucksack

V Searle


CJ Meats £10 Voucher

M Roonan


Solent Cleaners £10 Voucher

K Bracher


Michaelas House Plant

C Britt


Hardys Chardonnay

K Bracher


Images Hair Design £10 Voucher

A Wilson


Hardys Chardonnay

M Bracher


Boots £10 Gift Voucher

M Roonan


His & Her Watches



Gents Wristwatch

Sandra Haggan


Gents Wristwatch



Cosmetic Bath Oils

S Laird


Garden Sundial

T Hopkinson


Donation of Prizes

Havant’s retailers and market traders were very generous in their support of the event and our grateful thanks go to the following businesses that donated prizes:

Blazes Boots (Chemists) Brittany Ferries
Brookfield Hotel CJ Meats Covers DIY
Filarinskis Frenchie 2 Havant Fruit & Flowers
Havant Market Traders HSBC Images Hair Design
KJC Phones Michaelas Reenas Wools
Solent Cleaners Street (Ironmongers) Waitrose
WH Smith & Sons Wilkinsons Halifax Estate Agents

Stewardship Campaign Report

The Stewardship Campaign was launched on 13th July at a special service of the Eucharist. The Response Forms have been coming in ever since then, and I only just had the final figures in time for the Thanksgiving Service on 14th September, which was combined with the Harvest Thanksgiving. Fifty-four church members already give their time and talents to serve St. Faith’s in various ways. As a result of the Campaign, a further twenty-eight have come forward to offer to help. Their names will be passed on to the appropriate quarter as soon as possible, and they will be contacted in due course. New pledges of Planned Giving have amounted to the sum of £6,360 for this year, and this will mean another £10,336 in a full year. These figures include the tax recoverable under the Gift Aid Scheme of £1,266 for this year and £2,057 in a full year. This is extra money paid by the Government in addition to the amounts pledged. ‘This year’ runs from August 2003 to March 2004. As I said at the Thanksgiving Service, I should like, as Chairman of the Stewardship Committee, to offer my personal thanks to all those who have helped in any way: to Jeremy Toole for his excellent talk at the Launch in July; to Gordon Uphill, the Diocesan Adviser, for giving us so much information and support; to other members of the Committee, Sybel Laird and Hilary Deadman, who worked so hard for months planning and preparing, and afterwards assessing the responses; to Alan Hakim, who has had the daunting task of following up the Planned Giving responses; to the Group Co-ordinators, without whose help the whole campaign would not have been possible; to all who have responded by offering their time and talents, or undertaken to continue the services they already give to St. Faith’s; to all those who have pledged to continue or increase their monetary giving; to all those who organised and arranged the brunch after the Launch; and last but not least, to the Rector, Father David, for his continual support and advice throughout. In addition, the campaign has proved a valuable means of renewing links with the church which over the years may have become somewhat tenuous, for a variety of reasons, and shown people that they have not been forgotten, but are still members of the St. Faith’s family. I feel that we are now able to move forward with renewed strength in our work at St. Faith’s, and St. Nicholas, Langstone, thanking God that we have so many faithful workers and supporters in the Parish, and for all the many blessings which he has bestowed upon us.                                                                         Trevor Hopkinson

Editors Note

Peggy Sparks wishes to point out that she was at the Havant War Memorial Hospital as a volunteer to keep her First Aid Certificate up to date and not as a Physiotherapist as stated in the article in September’s edition of ‘Faith Matters’.

Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival was celebrated on Sunday 14th September.

Click on the reduced version (thumbnail) of the graphic to see the full version, then click on the "Back" button on your browser to get back to this page.



Duxford Air Museum

In July I was very lucky to accompany Joan & Mike Vick on a journey to Duxford Air Museum, to see the aircraft which have been seen in our skies over the last 60 or 70 years. We saw my favourite warplane – of course, it was the Spitfire. We visited four of the hangers. In the main hanger was Concorde, which we were allowed to go onboard, as sleek inside as outside. What a day! I came away with stars in my eyes. Thanks to Joan & Mike for making a dream come true.                             

Peggy Sparks


The Reverend (Edward) Bruce Cornford

There has never been a more colourful or controversial churchman in Portsmouth than Bruce Cornford. He was extremely handsome, an outstanding classical scholar and a preacher of considerable charisma. Yet he attracted adoration and hatred in equal measure. He was a descendant of King Robert the Bruce of Scotland. A very old lady after the Second World War described him as coming from a different lineage. "Without doubt, Cornford was of the Devil!" she said. Bruce Cornford was under the spell of Father Dolling and arrived in Portsmouth in 1897, some two years after Dolling's departure. As someone in recent times rather unkindly put it, "As Dolling left St Agatha's, another ritualist, and even greater self-publicist, arrived at the mission of St Matthew's". He was in fact Vicar-Designate and his first task was to build a church somewhere in the vicinity of Fawcett Road. He found a site south of Heyward Road, which he purchased for the princely sum of £81. This was not easy because he only had £50 in the Building Fund! He soon set about raising the necessary money with all the zeal and panache of Dolling. In fact in the next 20 years he raised an astonishing £40,000 - a fortune in those days. The church of St Matthews was consecrated in 1903 but, as we will see next month, it was not completed until 1924. When he first came to St Matthew's, Bruce Cornford drew huge congregations to the small mission. So much so, that he had to have two evening services on a Sunday and still people were turned away. It was said that he celebrated the Rites with great solemnity and dignity. He was described as anti-Protestant and yet anti-Roman Catholic. We would probably consider him as Anglo-Catholic in the mould of Father Dolling. As we have read in the pages of "Faith Matters", Dolling fought and eventually lost his battle with the Bishops and this was not lost on Cornford. He would say that the Bishops would never drive him out of his church as they had done to Dolling! In 1938, he wrote a booklet about his battle to build St Matthew's Church. It was aptly titled, "In spite of Bishops". At the beginning he wrote, "This booklet may act as a warning to any fool of a priest never to trust a Bishop!" Bruce Cornford has a claim to fame unique to the Church in Portsmouth. Some would say that it puts him on a pinnacle beyond the reach of most mortals. Those who know me may immediately surmise that it has something to do with the Portsmouth Football Club and they would be right. On 24 April 1920, a few weeks before the club gained promotion into the Football League (Division 3) from the Southern League (Division 1), Bruce Cornford became Chairman of the Portsmouth Football Club. He remained Chairman until 27 August 1924. (I wonder if the old lady mentioned earlier was a Southampton supporter?). Bruce Cornford died in 1940 and fortunately did not live to see St Matthew's Church gutted by incendiary bombs in the terrible bombing of 1941. We should give thanks for a remarkable priest and next month we will have the story of the church he built and its links with St Faith's.  

Roger Bryant

Diocesan Budget 2004

Did you read in the Pompey Chimes last month the article on "give us your views on 2004 diocesan budget" – here is a brief summary. The proposed budget for 2004 is for £4,267,574. After deductions for offset and other income, it means that parishes will be asked to find a total contribution of £3,206,234 in their Parish Share (formerly called "quota"), which is an increase of £207,449 - or 6.92 per cent – on 2003. The major changes between 2003 and 2004 budgets are:

Increase in clergy stipends of 3.1 per cent -            £99,400

Increase in clergy pension contributions -              £22,400

Increase in council tax -                                              £25,000

Reduction in grant from Church Commissioners - £26,800

Reduction in freehold property rent -                        £ 9,800

Increase to cover director of mission’s expenses - £ 5,000

Reduction in pension transition fund withdrawal -£10,000

                                                                      TOTAL: £198,400

The Parish Share is calculated from a system developed using information from the public census in 1991, which enables a factor of between 0.5 and 1.5 to be calculated for each parish - this is called the Socio-Economic Score (SES). This factor reflects the relative wealth of an area, without the need for a parish to ask parishioners to fill in returns. Every year each parish counts the number of people attending church over a one-month period (normally the four Sundays in October), to calculate an average weekly attendance. This attendance count is then averaged over a period of several years (currently eight, but eventually ten years), and then multiplied by the factor to establish a figure for share calculation. St. Faith’s SES is 1.165 and calculations were made on the rolling average attendance of 109, which gave a Parish Share figure of £33,982 for 2003 (£311.76 per head). The Total Parish Share to be raised for the Diocese in 2003 is £2,998,785 (£257.05 per head). There are 140 parishes in the Portsmouth Diocese. Here is a comparison for the Havant Deanery:

Parish Area

SES Score



Per Head





















Rowlands Castle





Correspondence Column

Dear Colin,

As I understand it (but I may be wrong), all priests in the Church of England may, as their ministries proceed, be considered for preferment. Bearing in mind that there are in the Church, priests who live a homosexual way of life – some in the knowledge of their bishops and congregations – it follows that the issue of homosexual bishops has already been compromised, if not decided. Therefore, unless the Church acts with some swift resolve, sooner or later there will be homosexual bishops – and who knows – maybe an archbishop.

I find it difficult, if not impossible, to accept that homosexual behaviour is in accord with the Scriptures; but this is not to say that any individual is excluded from the Church. All are welcome to come to the Church and seek redemption; but before redemption comes repentance – even, perhaps, betwixt the stirrup and the ground.                                                                                                                                         JB

Dear Sir,

I’m writing about the new theological discussion group. In the Vision Mission Group we have been discussing opportunities for reaching out beyond the congregation and into the community. As we reported on the 5th July meeting we would like to see some weekday lunchtime events at the Church to attract those who work in the Havant business community and indeed anyone who would like to drop in.

It seems to me that some at least of the very interesting topics to be discussed by the theological group are absolutely right for such wider participation. Can we think about this? If necessary can there be a lunchtime group as well as an evening group?

Yours sincerely,                                                                                                                      Michael Dodsworth

Electoral Roll

Application Forms for inclusion on the Electoral Roll of the Parish are always available from the undersigned. A revised Roll is produced every year, two weeks before the Annual Parochial Meeting, and any applications received during the year are included in the new Roll. A complete new Roll is produced every six years – the next will be the year 2008. Being on the Electoral Roll enables the person to vote on any matters pertaining to the Parish and also to be considered as a member of the Parochial Church Council, the Deanery Synod, or any position in the Parish.

Audrey Currie Electoral Roll Officer

For Your Diary





Saturday 4 October


Annual Cancer Research UK Quiz

Church Hall/£6

Monday 13 October


Meanings of Eucharist – David Williams


Monday 3 November


PCC Meeting

Church House

Tuesday 4 November


‘Showboat’ by South Downe Musical Society

King’s Theatre/tba

Monday 17 November


Pacifism and the use of Force – Charles Keay


Monday 8 December


Genetic Engineering and Animal Welfare


Saturday 21 February 2004


Murder, Mystery Evening

Church Hall/tba

Please let the Editor know of events, including meetings, for the diary together with any omissions or corrections. This will be a regular feature.

Sponsored Bike Ride & Walk

This takes place annually on the second Saturday in September. Participants collect sponsorship to visit between 10am and 6pm on the day, as many of the places of worship on the yearly list as they can. The purposes are: to promote interest in our historic churches and to raise money towards their repair, as many are faced with heavy expenses; to involve families of groups of all ages in an enjoyable day; to bring together Christian people of all denominations through visiting each other’s churches; and to give young and old a worthwhile involvement in our historic churches. Our own County Trust covers Hampshire, the Isle of Wight and the Channel Islands and has taken part since 1989. In 2002, 400 Hampshire churches participated and more than £40,000 was raised. Our 14-year total exceeds £1,000,000. The money that sponsors give is divided equally between Hampshire and the Islands Historic Churches Trust and the place of worship chosen by the Riders/Walkers. This year’s sponsored bike ride and walk was held on 13th September. Participants from St. Faith’s were Vickie Mockford and her 7-year old son, Daniel, Hilary Deadman and her husband, and Bob Wilson. Our church representative is Audrey Currie.

Kitchen Units

If you are replacing your kitchen and have some wall units going spare, please let Sandra Haggan know as they could be put in the Church Hall kitchen.

From the Editor

I missed the Town Fair as Beryl and I were in Edinburgh on 30th August. During the day we were in Princes Street – Beryl loves shopping at Jenners! In the evening we attended our Scottish friend’s Golden Wedding anniversary. We have known them for 44 years. I was in the frigate, HMS MALCOLM, based at Port Edgar (south side of the Firth of Forth opposite Rosyth). It was during the first Icelandic "cod war" when Iceland extended it’s fishing limits from 4 miles to 12 miles off Iceland’s coast – the ship was in the Fishery Protection squadron and patrolled around Iceland protecting our trawlers from Iceland’s gunboats – one of the perks was getting fresh fish every day!. We lived in Edinburgh for two years and made good friends in Scotland and have made many visits since. Our friend’s daughter was married in the Parish Church of St. Philip’s in Joppa ten years ago and we were at her wedding. We took the opportunity on the Sunday to visit the church again. On 3rd December 1998 the church had been having its high-level rhones cleaned out and repainted by workmen. It had been raining, and blowtorches had been used to dry the rhones before painting. (Rhones being a Scottish term for a gutter carrying rainwater, usually half-round). It would seem that sparks from a blowtorch caused waste trapped between the rhones and the slates to smoulder and smoke. It quickly burst into flames fanned by a strong easterly wind destroying the greater part of the roof of St. Philip’s. The roof had gone and there was much damage caused by smoke and water and St. Philip’s required substantial reconstruction, internally and externally. For one reason or another, it took almost three years for the church to be rebuilt and church services only began again last year in 2002 – their Restoration Committee was certainly kept very busy! The outside of the church looked the same as I remembered it, but the inside has been completely modernised. Before leaving Edinburgh, we went onboard the Royal Yacht Britannia to see how the Scots are taking care of her. The self-tour is very well organised with audio phones provided for the many interesting stops. The inside of the Yacht is well looked after, but the weather decks are in need of attention. From Edinburgh we visited naval friends in Helensburgh and toured the area with them, having dinner one evening at a restaurant in Luss on the banks of Loch Lomond – a very romantic setting! The weather in Scotland was perfect with excellent visibility, which showed the lochs, glens and braes at their very best. It was a very pleasant and enjoyable week, but more tiring than the relaxing time we had in Portugal in June! Have you been to the Lake District recently? From the M6 you can see a wind farm on one of the hills with five wind turbines, each having three rotor blades. I know that we need renewable energy rather than having to rely on exhaustible fossil fuels like coal, oil and gas, but just like all the many power lines we see, it is an eyesore on the landscape. We now have new printers for the magazine, Mercury Graphics. Tom, who ran Printline, has retired.                                                                                Colin Carter

He Walks the Wards

If Christ came to this world again

Would He sit with those in pain?

Would He walk the hospitals at night

With tender steps so soft and light

Would He pause by each bed and pray

Hoping that He might hear you say:

‘My pain is easier to bear Christ

Now that I know you’re here’.

Well Christ is there my friend with you

He walks the ward the whole night through

He pauses by each bed to pray

So if you can I beg you say

Your pain is easier to bear

Because you know that He is there.

Do you think that He who suffered so,

Would stand aside and let you go

Through all those hours that you have passed

Pain-racked and faint yet holding fast

To life with all your bravery?

Why Christ is always there.

He knows the fight you’ve had to wage

He alone your heart can gauge

He knows those moments when you feel

That nothing but your pain is real

He knows and lends his hands to you

To hold on till you get through.

So don’t give in. You mean so much

Don’t ever feel you’re out of touch

With life and all the folk outside

For none of them are satisfied

Unless they too can with you say

Christ passed along my life today.

And in your ward and by you bed

Those who live close to a tear.

And He will dry your eyes and give his strength to you.

So you may live within his heart

And living there will make your pain much less to bear.


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