From the Rector

Messages from the Rector will appear here from time-to-time

To All Members and Friends of St Faith’s – 6 April 2020

Dear Friends,

Through email, Facebook and by phone, a number of people have been asking my opinion about where God is in the present Corona Crisis.  I have therefore written a short article on the topic, in simple language (I hope).  I offer it to you today (via the attachment to this email) in the hope that it will provide at least some areas for further contemplation by us all during these testing times

With my sincerest best wishes to you all,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Rector of Havant – St Faith with St Nicholas, Langstone

Hon. Canon of Cape Coast & Ho Cathedrals, Ghana, and Portsmouth Cathedral, UK

Tel: 07881 025592

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

Personal website:  tomkennar.com 

To read St Faith’s latest position regarding the Corona virus, please click here: stfaith.com/corona-virus-response/

Where is God in the Corona Virus Crisis

 

 

To All Members and Friends of St Faith’s – 4 April 2020

Dear Friends,

Good morning!  And welcome to a beautiful sunny day!  Please forgive this rather long email – there is much to share!

Palm Sunday Service

Tomorrow is Palm Sunday, and I warmly invite you to join me, virtually, in my home for our special Palm Sunday Eucharist, from around 9.25am, with the service itself starting at 9.30am.  

Here are some tips about how to view: 

  • All you have to do is ‘follow’ St Faith’s Havant Facebook page – assuming you are a Facebook member.  Then, simply have Facebook open in front of you from 9.25, and you will receive a notification that ‘St Faith’s Havant is live’.  
  • If you are NOT a Facebook user (and prefer not to become one), a recorded version of the Service will be available to view soon after 10.30am at http://stfaith.com/livestreamed-services/ .  Clicking on the link to recorded services there will open a Facebook page – but you DO NOT have to be a Facebook user to view the video

Sadly, the Corona Virus restrictions mean that we have been advised not to post out Palm Crosses to all of you.  So, you might like to find last year’s cross and have it with you for the service – OR you could make your own ‘newspaper’ palm branch to wave, using this simple technique from Alan Hakim’s niece, Rachel, who is Team Rector of Dunstable Priory: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDFTOZXVbQY&fbclid=IwAR06AHxlIV732e9Vm9GKuBhzZFz3tbtPQS9CWBuNBLNrGsw3bAva7Bijr60 

The Corona Chronicle Vol.2

I delighted to attach our second edition of the Corona Chronicle – hot off the press.  If you would like a hard copy of this newsletter, then please contact Sandra Haggan, who will be glad to send a copy by ‘snail mail’ (sandrahaggan54@gmail.com).

Pen Pals Project

A big THANK YOU to all those who have kindly responded to yesterday’s appeal for Pen Pals to strike up letter-writing relationships with children from Bosmere School.  (You can read more about it in the Corona Chronicle.  So far, more than half the letters have been allocated to Parish Pen Pals….but there are still 26 students who don’t have a pen pal.  So please think and pray about whether this is something really special that you could offer to a local child in these confusing times!  

(To those who are wondering what address to put at the top of your letters – please put YOUR address, if possible.  I’m not certain whether the school will post individual subsequent replies, but whether they do or not, if will help either the postman, or me, to get replies to you in due course!  If, however, you are uncomfortable about using your home address, then by all means use mine – c/o The Rectory, 5 Meadowlands, Havant, PO9 2RP).

Stations of the Cross
Don’t forget that my specially recorded ‘Stations of the Cross’ is available for you to use during Holy Week.  You can view it, via a ‘YouTube’ link, at https://youtu.be/H4tB3aa01SE  

At 53 minutes long, it can either form a single, long meditation.  Or you may like to dip in and out throughout Holy Week.

And finally…

I wish you all a pleasant weekend, and warm sunshine on your face.  Don’t forget to stay home, protect the NHS and save lives!

With very best wishes to you all,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Rector of Havant – St Faith with St Nicholas, Langstone

Hon. Canon of Cape Coast & Ho Cathedrals, Ghana, and Portsmouth Cathedral, UK

Tel: 07881 025592

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

Personal website:  tomkennar.com 

To read St Faith’s latest position regarding the Corona virus, please click here: stfaith.com/corona-virus-response/

 

To All Members and Friends of St Faith’s – 2 April 2020

Dear Friends,

Please find below a link to a video I have cobbled together for the forthcoming Holy Week – a little gift in lieu of the regular pattern of Holy Week services we normally enjoy.  It is a meditation based around the Stations of the Cross from St Faith’s, including a short introduction about the background to them.  The whole video runs for just under 53 minutes, with around 3 or 4 mins spent at each of 15 stations.  You may like to pray through the whole video in one sitting, or return over a week and do, say, two stations per day.

I do hope this will be a blessing to you during these difficult days.  Here is the link (which will take you to a YouTube page):  https://youtu.be/H4tB3aa01SE 

If you do decide to make use of this resource, I would love to receive your feedback on it!

With much love to you all,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Rector of Havant – St Faith with St Nicholas, Langstone

Hon. Canon of Cape Coast & Ho Cathedrals, Ghana, and Portsmouth Cathedral, UK

Tel: 07881 025592

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

Personal website:  tomkennar.com 

To read St Faith’s latest position regarding the Corona virus, please click here: stfaith.com/corona-virus-response/

 

To all members and friends of St Faith’s Church  – 23 March 2020

Dear Friends,

With a heavy heart, I need to let you know that I’ve made the decision to close the last of our parish buildings (namely the church) today, effective immediately.  From all we are learning about this nasty virus, I decided that we cannot risk letting our door handles, hard pews surfaces and such-like become agents of spreading the infection.  It is possibly the saddest thing I’ve had to do since becoming Rector here, for I know just how precious that space is to so many – especially as a place to offer prayer, and to remember loved ones-lost.

Please click here for the latest information about how we are responding to the Corona Virus.  (That link will take you to the parish website, Corona Virus page).

It’s not all doom and gloom though!  As I said in my notices on Sunday (available to view at this link), even the most beautiful building is only, essentially, a shelter from the rain for the people of God (who are the actual church).  Remarkably, we’re seeing amazing signs of God at work in this crisis.  Over 1200 people have viewed the internet-streamed Sunday Service.  I’ve been hearing lots of stories of couples watching it together – despite the fact that one partner in some couples doesn’t normally attend church.  My heart is warmed by the idea that, during this crisis, some non-church goers might begin to see us as people they want to get to know, with a vision they are willing to share.

I’ve been frankly overwhelmed by the kind offers of support which people have offered, through me and Sandra, to parishioners in need.  It’s been humbling to see people responding with love and concern for the neighbours…and just like Jesus would do.  Please be assured that as needs present themselves in the coming days, we will respond as quickly as possible.  However, please don’t be surprised if it takes me a while to respond to any of your messages, phone-calls, Facebook posts, or letters through my door.  I suddenly find that my level of daily activity has gone through the roof!

Keep on smiling.  Keep on loving.  We are certainly at War with this virus, but its a war we can win together, by God’s grace.

With much love to you all,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Rector of Havant – St Faith with St Nicholas, Langstone

Hon. Canon of Cape Coast & Ho Cathedrals, Ghana, and Portsmouth Cathedral, UK

Tel: 07881 025592

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

Personal website:  tomkennar.com 

 

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To Members and Friends of St Faith’s Havant – 20 March 2020

Dear Friends,

“Our churches remain open; our faith in God is undiminished; public worship may be suspended; but the life of God’s kingdom is inextinguishable”  So said the Bishops of London a few days ago, in words which I wholeheartedly endorse.  St Faith’s does indeed remain open, and we aim to do so for as long as Government guidance permits it.  I’m delighted to attach a copy of our updated ‘Fortnightly News’, which contains a view more articles than normal.  I hope you find them pleasantly diverting at this time.  Paper copies are available from today to collect from the church itself.  Please do pop into the church (being careful to stay two metres from anyone else) and pray for our parish and our community during this time of crisis.

Here are a few other tips to keep us all going:

Look after each other:  If you know the telephone number of another church member (or their email address), why not get in touch, just to check they are ok, and see if they need a chat?  Some of you (who we judge might be especially glad of it) will be hearing from Sandra, myself, or one of our pastoral team in the coming days (if you haven’t already!).  However, if you don’t receive a personal call or email from us, and would like one, please do get in touch.  We’d be delighted to offer you a listening ear, or just a chat about the weather!  And if you have a practical need we can fulfill (like getting you some shopping) we’ll gladly arrange for that too.  Just click reply to this email, if you’d like such contact or help.  Or phone the parish office on 023 9249 2129 (Tuesday to Friday 10am to midday).

Another important service you could do for your neighbours and friends, is to check whether they have received this email from me.  If they haven’t, perhaps you’d be able to print them a copy, and pop it through their door (if they don’t have email, for example).  Or if they do have email, why not encourage them to send me a quick message, asking to be put on the mailing list?

Join us, remotely, for worship

Although the church will be open during the days for private worship and prayer, we are not currently able to hold any public services.  We are, however, livestreaming our Sunday and Thursday Eucharists, live from St Faith’s.  If you would like to worship with us, via your computer, tablet or modern phone, then please check out our ‘Live-streaming’ page at: http://stfaith.com/livestreamed-services/   Copies of the service sheets we’ll use throughout the period are available on the web-page…and paper copies are available in church, from today, for you to collect.  It would be great to have many more people keeping up the discipline of regular communal worship, even if we’re only connected to each other by a spiritual (and fibre-optic!) connection!

Ask not what your church can do for you…

There are, of course, many ways in which St Faith’s will be continuing to provide glue to this community (spiritually and practically) over the coming weeks.  We’re very glad to be able to do so, including spiritual, practical and emotional support to so many.  But we also need your help.  The simple fact is that the closure of all public gatherings has, quite literally, decimated our normal income streams.  (All our Pallant Centre activities have ceased, and without public worship, there will be no donations to receive from worshippers.  Businesses to whom we hire space are also being drastically affected, and can’t afford to pay us any rent).  You might think that the Church of England is wealthy enough to ‘weather the storm’ – but nothing could be further form the truth.  Each church is an independent charity.  We, infact, are required to give money to the central church (which then pays the stipends and housing costs of our priests and Diocesan staff).

We’ve already had to cut the hours of some of our incredibly valued parish staff – and some of them have even offered voluntary cuts in their wages, just to help us get through the next months financially.  Tragically, one staff member’s post has been entirely redundant because of the crisis.  We are saving pennies wherever we can.  We’ve turned off the heating in the church and Pallant Centre, and we’re holding back on every non-essential expense.

Some recipients of this email will no doubt be similarly worried…especially if they receive wages from an employer who is struggling like us.  If that’s you – get in touch, and we’ll advise and help where we can through the Rector’s Discretionary Fund.  

But some of you won’t be especially worried about finances.  If you are in that latter category, can I please encourage you to think about whether you could give a little extra to the church at this time?  I promise that every penny will be carefully used, to continue providing support to entire parish and community.  Here are some ways to donate:

  1. Cash or cheque donations (payable to ‘PCC of St Faiths’) can be made at the parish office (which remains open from Tuesday to Friday – 10am to midday).  Preferably, fill out a gift aid envelope (available in church) and enclose it with your donation.
  2. Cheques (payable to PCC of St Faith’s) can sent to me at 5 Meadowlands, Havant, PO9 2RP.  Preferably, fill out a gift aid envelope (available in church) and enclose it with your donation.
  3. Donations can also be made ‘direct to bank’ by paying into our Lloyds bank account number 50907160 (Sort Code 30-90-89).  Preferably, fill out a gift aid envelope (available in church) and enclose drop it into the Parish Office at your convenience.
  4. Gift aid your electronic donation by sending your gift through this PayPal Giving website:  https://www.paypal.com/fundraiser/charity/2765291.  
  5. Smaller contactless donations can be made at any time (between £3 and £30) by popping into the church and using the contactless donation point.  

I know that many who receive this email will want to help, but are unable to do so.  Please don’t feel bad about that – and please DON’T give if you can’t afford to.  Pray for us, as we will pray for you.  

But for those who have been blessed with abundant financial resources, there will not likely be another time when your generosity is so desperately needed.

With best wishes and prayers for you all,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Rector of Havant – St Faith with St Nicholas, Langstone

Hon. Canon of Cape Coast & Ho Cathedrals, Ghana, and Portsmouth Cathedral, UK

Tel: 07881 025592

22 Mar 2020 – Updated

 

To Members and Friends of St Faith’s Church – 17 March 2020

Dear Friends,

With a heavy heart, today’s guidance from the Archbishops of Canterbury and York leaves me with no alternative but to announce that all social gatherings – including for public worship – are hereby suspended until further notice.  You can read the Archbishops’ letter to all Anglicans at this link

Regretfully, this suspension will apply to all church gatherings, including services, soup lunches, lunchtime concerts, Little Seeds, TAT, bell-ringing and choir events (including this week’s planned ‘Come and Sing Choral Evensong).  The church will, however, remain open for private prayer, and the seeking of help or counsel from our staff and volunteers.  St Faith’s Shop will also continue to trade, as far as possible, as a low-risk activity (similar to other shops in the town).  The parish office will continue to open at the normal times, though we ask that all visitors maintain the recommended 2 metres of safe-distance from our staff, when calling to make enquiries.

As the Archbishops have wisely said, these precautions are taken because of our responsibility to our neighbours (not to contribute in an way to the spreading of the COVID-19 corona virus).  It does not mean, however, that we stop being ‘the church’.  Rather, we are invited to experiment with praying, worshipping and serving differently.  Some excellent online resources for daily prayer can be found at this link.  I anticipate that the church building will remain open as normal, for private prayers throughout the period, but (to discourage any social gathering) it will be closed at times of normal services.

I will be updating the details of our own parish response to the crisis later today. You will be able to read it at this link.  I will also be publishing a special edition of the Fortnightly News in the coming days.  Our overall aim will be to offer support to those who need it, and the opportunity to still connect with God through the ministry of the church throughout the coming crisis.  I will send further details via email and on our Facebook page as they emerge.

Please join me in praying for all who may feel anxious at this time.  Please do contact me, or our Lay Pastor, Sandra (sandrahaggan54@gmail.com), if we can offer you any practical or spiritual support.

With best wishes

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Rector of Havant – St Faith with St Nicholas, Langstone

Hon. Canon of Cape Coast & Ho Cathedrals, Ghana, and Portsmouth Cathedral, UK

Tel: 07881 025592

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

Personal website:  tomkennar.com