Pentecost 2013 weekend: parish projects in action

SATURDAY, East Meon

Villagers spent the morning tidying up their village

SATURDAY, East Meon

Villagers spent the morning tidying up their village

SATURDAY, East Meon

Villagers spent the morning tidying up their village

SATURDAY, St James, Emsworth

Vicar Simon Sayers hosted a Big Tea Party, with free teas and cakes in the churchyard

SATURDAY, St James, Emsworth

The Big Tea Party involved live music from the Emsworth Concert Band, and free teas and cakes in the churchyard

SATURDAY, St Francis, Leigh Park

After a performance by Park Community School, guests let their hair down at a disco

SATURDAY, Christ Church, Portsdown

Vicar Andy Wilson got messy as cakes were made in a baking competition

SATURDAY, Christ Church, Portsdown

Judges selected the best cakes in a variety of categories

SATURDAY, Christ Church, Portsdown

As part of the cake-making contest, there was a Pentecost-themed cake

SATURDAY, Wymering and Cosham

Worshippers gave away food, drinks, balloons and gifts in Cosham High Street

SATURDAY, St Mary's, Carisbrooke

Worshippers hosted a handicrafts morning

SATURDAY, St Mary's, Carisbrooke

Worshippers hosted a handicrafts morning

SATURDAY, Holy Trinity, Fareham

Bishop Christopher took part in a mini-Olympics led by Spirit in Sport

SATURDAY, Holy Trinity, Fareham

The local scouts cooked the barbecue and took part in the games

SATURDAY, Holy Trinity, Fareham

Bishop Christopher chatted to some of those who had come for the free barbecue and games

SATURDAY, St Matthew's, Bridgemary

Community groups, including Lesley and Rosellen from Bridgemary Carnival Association, staffed stalls in the church

SATURDAY, St Matthew's, Bridgemary

Katie Caldwell did some art and craft on the Messy Church stand

SATURDAY, St Matthew's, Bridgemary

Children enjoyed the bouncy castle and the cakes at the Community Services Day

SATURDAY, St Matthew's, Bridgemary

The Rev Karen Mitchell got to know the mascot of the Gosport Cats Protection League

SATURDAY, St Matthew's, Bridgemary

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage with Rowner rector the Rev John Draper

SATURDAY, St Thomas, Elson, Gosport

Whole families brought their teddies to a Teddy Bears' Picnic

SATURDAY, St Thomas, Elson, Gosport

Brian and Margaret Hay with teddies they had as children

SATURDAY, Stubbington

Children enjoyed face-painting, art and craft and a bouncy castle at Party in the Park

SATURDAY, Stubbington

Younger children enjoyed the sandpit at the Party in the Park

SATURDAY, St Barnabas, Swanmore

Vicar Claire Towns handed out tea and cake at the church's tea party

SATURDAY, Hambledon

Worshippers offered to wash cars for free at Manor Farm

SATURDAY, Hambledon

TV personality Fred Dinenage was among those helping out

SATURDAY, St Peter's, Petersfield

The congregation provided free ice creams for passers-by

SATURDAY, St Peter's, Petersfield

Bikers were among those who stopped for free lollies outside the church

SATURDAY, St Peter's, Petersfield

Worshippers used banners and t-shirts to tell people the ice cream was a free gift

SATURDAY, All Saints, Portsmouth

Residents from All Saints Hostel enjoyed a free barbecue from the church

SATURDAY, All Saints, Portsmouth

Worshippers held a lunchtime barbecue for their neighbours from All Saints Hostel

SATURDAY, St Aidan's, Anchorage Park, Portsmouth

The church invited people to a tea party and fun quiz

SATURDAY, St Peter's, Curdridge

Worshippers invited locals to a free bonfire and barbecue to mark Pentecost

SATURDAY, St Peter's, Curdridge

Worshippers invited locals to a free bonfire and barbecue to mark Pentecost

SATURDAY, St Alban's, West Leigh

Residents from Eileen Beard House came to church for high tea, seated zumba and a singalong

SATURDAY, St Blasius, Shanklin

Worshippers spent two hours tidying up the beach

SATURDAY, St Michael and All Angels, Paulsgrove

Families whose children had been baptised returned for a party

SUNDAY, St Hubert's, Idsworth

Worshippers combined a picnic, organ recital and choir performances to mark the organ centenary

SUNDAY, All Saints, Denmead

Couples enjoyed a wedding fair, seeing the church and exhibitors in the church hall

SATURDAY, Chale

There was a kite-making workshop in the church, and a chance to try them out immediately

WEDNESDAY, St John's, Wroxall

Churchgoers held a tea party, inviting guests from Ventnor Handicapped Club

SATURDAY, Hayling Island

An ecumenical celebration at St Mary's during a walk from and to St Patrick's RC Church

Pentecost 2013 weekend: deanery celebrations

SUNDAY, Bishopsgrove

There were nine cakes (one for each deanery and one for Bishopsgrove) and eight candles

SUNDAY, Bishopsgrove

Bishop Christopher shared one cake between the young people who came for lunch

SUNDAY, Bishopsgrove

The young people - two from each deanery - took a cake and candle back to their deanery celebration

SUNDAY, Bishopsgrove

Each of the cakes was decorated with the Pentecost 2013 logo

SUNDAY, Havant deanery celebration

Worshippers gathered at Rowlands Castle to thank God for the weekend

SUNDAY, Havant deanery celebration

Worshippers shared one of the cakes that had come from Bishopsgrove

SUNDAY, Fareham deanery celebration

Canon Stephen Girling and Bishop Timothy help to cut the Pentecost cake

SUNDAY, West Wight deanery celebration

Jacob Collinson with one of the candles

Pentecost 2013 weekend: Friday prayer vigils

FRIDAY, Portsmouth Cathedral

Pupils from Charter Academy create a 'burning bush' for the Friday prayer vigil

FRIDAY, Portsmouth Cathedral

Worshippers use prayer stations such as this sand pit

FRIDAY, Portsmouth Cathedral

Praying for requests hung on the burning bush

FRIDAY, St Peter's, Petersfield

Bishop Timothy Bavin led the prayer vigil

FRIDAY, St Peter's, Petersfield

The Holy Spirit was symbolised by dramatic flames in the font

FRIDAY, St Peter's, Petersfield

The vigil began with a special liturgy created for the event

FRIDAY, St Peter's, Petersfield

Worshippers used a variety of prayer stations as they asked God to bless their Pentecost projects

FRIDAY, St Peter's, Petersfield

Worshippers used a variety of prayer stations as they asked God to bless their Pentecost projects

FRIDAY, St Peter's, Petersfield

Worshippers used a variety of prayer stations as they asked God to bless their Pentecost projects

We showed God's love at Pentecost


WE were asked to show God?s love for our local communities - and we rose to the challenge!

Our parishes celebrated Pentecost weekend by offering free gifts to those who lived nearby. And all over our diocese, worshippers hosted fun days, tea parties, picnics and barbecues.

Residents who are used to churches asking for money discovered worshippers were giving things away, helping people out or offering hospitality free of charge.

Each of the 140 parishes in our diocese was challenged to think of a way of serving their neighbourhood, with no strings attached. It helped us to remember that God gave his Holy Spirit at Pentecost to all, not just to the Church.

For video footage of the projects, click here.

On the Friday night, worshippers gathered in three places ? our cathedral, Newport Minster and St Peter?s, Petersfield ? to ask God to bless projects across the diocese. In each venue, there was a call to prayer led by a bishop, a variety of prayer stations to help people pray, and each evening ended with Compline.

Bishop Christopher told those in Newport Minster: ?Behind these events lies a love and a passion that dares to break out from the narrow confines of the familiar, the predictable and the comfortable, into the community, out to strangers whom we do not know.

?Across the diocese, this weekend we share in an outbreak of holy generosity that has already hit the media, precisely because it is so at odds with the materialism and self-seeking of so much of consumer culture.?

Then on Saturday and Sunday, each parish found a different way to bless their community. Those from St Peter?s, Petersfield, gave away free ice-creams from a stall outside their church, while worshippers from East Meon spent the morning tidying their village.

Churchgoers from Wymering and Cosham joined forces with those from Cosham Baptist to give away food and drink, balloons and gifts. They also asked shoppers if they would like prayer and invited them to help paint a large cross. Joanne Hall, 31, said: ?Both of my daughters love craft, so it?s nice for them to be able to do this in the High Street. It is a really good thing to do for the community.?

Bishop Christopher joined in a free barbecue and sports day outside Holy Trinity Church, Fareham. Local scouts cooked the barbecue, while the mini-Olympics was run by Southsea-based Spirit in Sport.

Mother-of-four Emmie Jackson, from Lee-on-Solent, said: ?When something is free it really helps, especially when you have four children to pay for.?

St Matthew?s Church, in Bridgemary, hosted a Community Services Day in their grounds with live entertainment, including puppet shows, a youth band, a fire engine and bouncy castle. It was all free, including refreshments and children?s goodie bags.

Community groups such as the Community Association, Motiv8, Gosport Cat Protection League and Townswomens? Guild were invited to show others what they did by setting up displays.

Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage was one of the visitors. She said: ?This kind of community engagement is brilliant. At this kind of thing, you always discover something else going on locally that you didn?t know about. It?s great to see the church at the heart of the community.?

Her father, TV presenter Fred Dinenage was one of those helping to wash cars at Manor Farm in Hambledon. It was an unexpected act of generosity for around 25 drivers, who were also given bacon sandwiches, coffee and cake.

Bacon sandwiches were also on offer at All Saints, Denmead, which hosted a free brunch at the start of a busy weekend of activities. There was a Messy Church for children on the Saturday afternoon, a concert on the Saturday night by Hampshire Police Male Voice Choir, and a wedding fair on Sunday. 

Those getting married soon were able to see the church for themselves, as well as browse what was on offer from cake-makers, photographers, a hairdresser, bridal outfitters ? and even hen party organisers.

Bride-to-be Katie Budden, who went to Sunday School at All Saints and will get married there in December, said: ?It?s really nice to come to the church and get a better idea of how it will be set up on the day.?

Up to 500 people visited the Party in the Park run by Holy Rood and St Edmund?s, Stubbington. They invited people to Crofton Recreation Ground for a free hog roast, bouncy castle, games, puppet show and performances from local schools. Children enjoyed face-painting, art and craft and the sandpit.

Susan Grout came with her children children Grace, 2, and James, 1. She said: ?It?s lovely because there is something for the whole family, including the little ones. I think the location is brilliant, and more people have come because it?s free.?

Worshippers at All Saints Church in Portsmouth hosted a lunchtime barbecue for their neighbours at the All Saints Hostel. Charlotte Parham, 17, said: ?I think it is a really nice idea. It helps us to feel more a part of the community.?

And worshippers from St Aidan?s in Anchorage Park, Portsmouth, organised a tea party and fun quiz. One guest, Paul Treacher, said: ?I received such a charming welcome when I arrived. It?s a good idea to have something like this. You can sit down, with a piece of cake and chat to people who you wouldn?t usually talk to.?

And Lana Poore, 45, said: ?It is a lovely thing to do. They?ve got a raffle here today and I couldn?t believe it was free ? I started getting my purse out because you expect to have to pay for things. This sort of thing is good for bringing together different generations.?

Over at St Barnabas Church, Swanmore, families enjoyed a tea party, family trail, teddy bear competition and a magician in the church grounds. 

Father of two Riaan Theron, who lives in the village, said: ?I?ve loved it and my kids have loved it. It?s great that we can come together for this. We?re such a small community, and we often only see each other at school.? 

Worshippers from Gurnard and St Faith?s, Cowes, cleaned their local beach for two hours, while those from St Blasius, Shanklin, did the same on their beach elsewhere on the island, after a suggestion fron the Mothers? Union.

Around 25 people met on the beach between Shanklin Chine and Horse Ledge and collected 18 black bags of rubbish. They proudly stuck their church banner in the sand, so people knew where they were from. Passers-by and holiday-makers stopped to congratulate them.

Churchgoers from St Alban?s, West Leigh, invited residents from Eileen Beard House to come to high tea at the church. They were entertained by seated zumba and a singalong. And those from St Hubert?s, Idsworth, combined a Pentecost picnic with organ recitals and choir performances to mark the 100th anniversary of their organ.

Then on Pentecost Sunday, worshippers met in their own churches in the morning and came together for celebrations in each deanery in the afternoon. They shared stories about what had happened and thanked God for it.  

Bishop Christopher had invited young people from each deanery to Bishopsgrove for Sunday lunch. Each of them took back one of nine Pentecost cakes for worshippers to share at the deanery celebration and a candle lit from the one in the bishop?s chapel, as a symbol of our shared mission.

The weekend was designed to be a staging post in our diocese?s Ministry for Mission thinking, helping us to celebrate in a way that helps us to focus on mission.

Contest will decide champion baker


The Rev Sue Theobald and organiser Claire Hoskins, from St Jude's Church, with the scones baked for the preliminary competition.

IT’S a chance to discover the champion baker across our diocese.

St Jude’s Church in Southsea will host a competition to find the best cake-maker in the diocese as their contribution to our Pentecost weekend.

Their Great British Cake-Off happens on the afternoon of May 25 – a week after other Pentecost events, to allow other congregations to take part.

The cakes will be judged by experts before guests are able to tuck in themselves and have their say on which tastes best.

St Jude’s has already held a preliminary round to decide who would represent the church in the grand final that day. A panel of experts, including a professional chef, decided that Vicki Swift, Sue Pugsley, Becki Bickerton, Rachel Duff, Kate Brown and Marion Avery had baked the best scones on the day. 

Further details

Church entry form

Community entry form

For more information, please contact Claire Hoskins on 07597 082515 or clairehoskins30@yahoo.co.uk.