Loving God, serving our neighbours

Corona Virus Response

See the Corona Chronicle (Weekly News-Sheet) for the latest information

Here is the current position regarding the Corona Virus Crisis, as it pertains to St Faiths (as at 22 December 2020):

From Canon Tom Kennar

To all friends and members of St Faith’s,

It’s with a heavy heart that I must announce, on behalf of our PCC Standing Committee, that we’ve decided to close the church building for the next few weeks.  As you will imagine, this has been a very hard decision to make.  However, in view of the present unknowns about the new virus-strain, and with the protection of all our parishioners, members and friends in mind, we feel that this is a necessary step in the present moment for a town centre building like St Faith’s.  Just as our brothers and sisters in other religions have done this year (such as for Ramadan, Eid, Diwali, Passover and Hanukkah) we too must shield ourselves, our loved ones and our community from the viral-threat.  It’s ultimately the right thing to do.

Of course, all our services will continue as published – but online only.  We will miss the beautiful singing of the St Faith’s choristers (whom we similarly want to protect against infection).  I’ll do my best to sing a few of our favourite carols online, with help from Graham – socially distanced from me on the organ.  (But don’t forget that your phones, tablets and computers all have a mute button!).  I’m delighted, however, to be able to announce that our Archdeacon, the Venerable Jenny Rowley will be joining us for Midnight Mass on Christmas night.

Please join us, if you can, for all our published services via our Facebook page – where it is possible for you to interact with others, send messages to us (all of which we’ll read after every service!).  However, if you are not a ‘Facebook’ enthusiast, don’t forget that you can simply go to www.stfaith.com to watch our feed live on the ‘homepage’ (or a recording of the most recent lie-streamed event).

To wax lyrical for a moment, Sandra Haggan (our Lay Pastor) reminded me this morning that the first Christmas was a very quiet affair.  Just a mother, a father and a baby…and a few shepherds.  There were no great services in churches, no ringing of bells, no candle-lit processions, no Christmas trees nor Christmas turkey. The friends of Mary and Joseph were miles away in Nazareth, separated from the Holy Family by a government decree.  Once again, perhaps, we are reminded that Jesus enters into all our circumstances.  He has lived our lives, and continues to offer his life to us.

May I therefore wish you all a very peaceful and holy Christmas, while we look forward to being together once more when the present dangers have subsided.
Yours with every good wish,
Canon Tom Kennar

All our services are ‘live-streamed’ worship at regular intervals.  For links and access advice, and latest news, please go to Livestreamed Services

Regular magazines and publications throughout the Crisis can be found at this link: Weekly Newsletters

All church-run social gatherings are suspended, including (but not limited to) Little Seeds, TAT, the Bible Course, lunchtime concerts, soup lunches, etc.  However, a great deal of social interaction continues between our members and friends through our popular Facebook page (click here). We also hold a Zoom meeting on Monday afternoons, called ‘Tea and Chat’, with Sandra Haggan, our Lay Pastor.  To join in, please see the link in the weekly newsletter (a.k.a. the Corona Chronicle) access.

All concerts and special events are suspended, including the Wurzels concert (May 2nd) which has been postponed, provisionally, to May 2021. Tickets purchased for the previous date will be accepted at the new date.

Parish staff (except the Rector) have been ‘on furlough’ when necessary, and will continue to be so as required by pandemic conditions.  

Financial Crisis

This crisis has quickly proved to be a crisis indeed for the parish, especially financially.  The loss of income from Pallant Centre rents and the parish events will have a profound effect on our budget, and our ability to meet our obligations and pay our staff.  Frankly-speaking, much of our work in this parish and community will be put in jeopardy.  All our regular givers are warmly invited to consider how they can best support the finances of the parish at his time.

Those who already donate via the Parish Giving Scheme are warmly invited to check out how to modify their regular giving at this link.

Online donations can be made (with or without Giftaid) via the ‘Donate’ page (also found at this link: https://stfaith.com/donations/ )

Cash or Cheque payments can be posted or hand-delivered c/o Shelley Saunders, 19 School Lane, Havant, PO9 2GE (the home of our Treasurer).  

Thank you!

A prayer for use during the Corona Virus Crisis:

Dear Lord,
Grant us the grace to see your hand at work in the present crisis.
Help us to respond to the challenges it presents with love and creativity.
Grant the gift of your presence to all who are anxious and afraid,
to all those who are taken ill, and to those who lose their loved ones before their time.
Give strength to the frontline workers of our health service,
and to all who extend the hand of help and support to others at this time.
Help us to resist the temptation to become fearful,
Help us to reach out with love,
and to shine your light into the darkness.
These things we ask in the name of your Son,
our Saviour, Jesus Christ.

An anthology of readings and prayers for use during a time of bereavement
can be viewed by clicking here.