From the Rector

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

 

To all members and friends of St Faith’s Havant

Dear Friends,

Please find attached this week’s Corona Chronicle (volume 14), which is ‘going to press’ a little earlier than normal.  (I’m slipping away for a few days to visit family).  

Services on Thursday and Sunday of this week are to be taken, kindly, by Bishop John.  Please ‘tune in’ as you normally would via our Facebook page.  Bishop John plans to use a couple of hymns on Thursday, just to shake things up a bit!  So as an addition to this week’s Chronicle, please find attached a sheet with the two hymns for Thursday’s service.

  With very best wishes to you all,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

 

 

To All Members and Friends of St Faith’s – 3 July 2020

Dear Friends,

Please find attached this week’s Corona Chronicle, with my compliments.  It includes yesterday’s PCC Statement (so I’m sorry for the repetition!).  But the Chronicle goes to a far wider audience than just the ’email list’, and we obviously want everyone to know our position on church opening.

May I please take a moment to thank the very many of you who took the trouble to respond to the PCC’s Statement yesterday.  I can truthfully say that EVERY response expressed understanding and sympathy for the PCC’s decision.  I feel embraced by a tide of good will and prayer – for which I feel exceeding blessed.  Thank you all for ministering to us, as a central parish team.  Please forgive me if I don’t find the time to respond to all your lovely messages.  (There’s a heck of a lot of work to get done to re-open the church and still be ready for Sunday’s livestream!).

With my continuing prayers and best wishes to you all,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

 

 

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

Dear Friends,

Please find attached a PCC statement regarding the opening of the church.  It’s a bit long!  But it tries to set out in sufficient detail the kind of issues we are wrestling with.  The short version is that we plan to open the church for private prayers only on Tuesday 14th July, and then on subsequent Tuesdays and Fridays.  We continue to work towards opening the church for safety-conscious worship (and other parish buildings too), but with staff only now easing back from furlough, there has been a limit to what we can do, and how fast we can do it.

Please continue to hold us in your prayers, as we hold you all in ours.  Online worship, of course, continues as now.

By the way – the Corona Chronicle is a day late, because of other work.  I will send it out tomorrow.

With best wishes

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

2 July Statement

 

To all members and friends of St Faith’s – 25 June 2020

Dear Friends,

Please find attached the twelfth volume of the Corona Chronicle, once again packed with stuff to make us think, as well as information and whimsy.

Many will be wondering about our plans for re-opening the church(es) – about which I would direct you to page 3.

I do hope you are all well, and enjoying these languid summer days (or, if you are working, looking after yourself in this awful heat!)

With love and best wishes to you all,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

 

 

To all members and friends of St Faith’s – 18 June 2020

Dear Friends,

Please find attached the latest edition of the Corona Chronicle, which I send with my best wishes and continued prayers for you all.

With warmest regards,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

 

To all members and friends of St Faith’s – 11 June 2020

Dear Friends,

Please find attached this week’s edition of the Corona Chronicle, which is once again packed with whimsey and inspiration.  It also includes a rather full exploration of our thinking about the prospect of opening the Church (and Shop) which I hope you will find interesting.

With best wishes to you all,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

 

To all members and friends of St Faith’s – 7 June 2020

Dear Friends,

Just to let you know that you can now listen to live-streamed recordings of the Sunday and Thursday services on your telephone, simply by dialing 023 9200 1217. They will be available to listen-to from around 1 hour after the end of each service. We hope this will be a blessing especially to those who don’t have access to our services via the internet.  (If you know someone who might appreciate this new facility, why not call them and let them know?)

Normal call charges apply (e.g. if you have unlimited local calls, you will pay nothing if you are in the 023 92 area code)

The same audio-only version of the service can also be found on our website at https://stfaith.com/livestreamed-services/ 

With best wishes to you all,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

 

 

To members and friends of St Faith’s, Havant – 3 June 2020

Dear Friends,

Please find attached this week’s edition of the Corona Chronicle ( a little earlier than usual) – packed full of contributions from so many creative people!  Thank you to everyone who continues to send in ideas, humour, and interesting or diverting articles.  You’re all fab!

Keep on loving.  Keep on praying – and join me tomorrow morning, if you can, live on Facebook from around 10.26am.  Tomorrow, I’ll be preaching on the ‘Golden Rule’ of philosophy and religion – and about a Rabbi who stood on one leg!

With best wishes.

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

 

To All Members and Friends of St Faith’s – 28 May 2020

Dear Friends,

Please find attached the latest edition of the Corona Chronicle, with my very best wishes.  Please keep your articles, jokes, poems and reflections coming in!

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

 

To All Members and Friends of St Faith’s Havant – 22 May 2020

Dear Friends,

I’m delighted to announce that I am today launching the publication of a book of collected ‘Scribblings’, which I hope will be a blessing to all of you (or at least give you something with which to prop the occasional door open).  It’s a collection of my talks, stories, journals and pithy weekly columns from the last decade, illustrated with selected cartoons from the legendary Church Times cartoonist, Dave Walker.

To read all about it (including an extract), kindly go to:  https://stfaith.com/scribblings-of-tom-kennar/ 

There, you’ll find details of how you can get your hands on a limited print-run copy (in return for a minimum donation of £9.99, or £12.50 if you’d like it posted to you).  All profits (after production costs) will be donated to the Big Build Campaign, and to the work of the church in Ghana.

Act now, to get your hands on a copy (due from the printers next week).

With best wishes

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

 

 

 

To All Members and Friends of St Faith’s – 21 May 2020

Dear Friends,

Please find attached the latest edition of the Corona Chronicle – with huge thanks to all who have been contributing articles, jokes, poems and stories.  I really enjoy reading every one, and I hope they are welcomed by the whole parish.

This month, as a trial, I have included the readings and hymns for Sunday’s service.  Do let me know if you find that helpful.

With best wishes and prayers for you all,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

 

 

To All Friends and Members of St Faith’s – 15 May 2020

Dear Friends,

Here is some useful information to help us all keep in touch with each other (and worshipping together)  over the coming days.  PLEASE KEEP this email because the ‘Zoom’ links below will be the same every week.

Sunday Service – 9.30am

I attach a copy of the hymns and readings for Sunday’s service.  The sharper eyes among you may notice that the hymns are the same that I chose for two weeks ago, but that service didn’t happen thanks to my ‘ticker’.  They are jolly good hymns, though – so I thought we’d use them this week!  As always, this service will be live-streamed on our Facebook page.

Sunday Evening Service – 6pm

To join in with the service of Evensong, via Zoom (led by Sandra), here are is the link you will require:  

https://us04web.zoom.us/j/73577393658?pwd=cW90TW9OREVSNVVMK3pqeW5OMitTQT09

Meeting ID: 735 7739 3658
Password: 018860

Readings for this weeks Evensong are:

Psalm 87

Zechariah 8:1-13

Revelation 21:22- 22:5

 (If you haven’t tried ‘Zoom’ before – don’t be shy!  It’s just a way of getting lots of people together in a virtual room.  First-timers will want to click the link a few minutes before 6pm, to give time for a small amount of new software to be downloaded to your device).

Monday – Tea and Chat

Again using Zoom, Sandra warmly invites you to join her on Monday afternoons at 3pm for ‘Tea and Chat’.  (You’ll have to provide your own tea!).  I might well pop along too, from time to time!

https://us02web.zoom.us/j/87388723961?pwd=K0JjamtYS0xJUGNQbUE1YXFRKzlkQT09

Meeting ID: 873 8872 3961
Password: 388033

Thursday Eucharist – Bishop John
I’m delighted to tell you that Bishop John will be live-streaming our Thursday Eucharist next week (at 10.30am) – a special treat for us all on Ascension Day.  (As with the services I live-stream, just be on St Faith’s Facebook page from around 10.25am).  This will be Bishop John’s first experience of using Facebook’s Live-stream – which just goes to show that we are ALL learning new stuff at the moment!

And finally…
Thank you all for your kind responses to yesterday’s mailing of the Corona Chronicle.  Please keep those thoughtful articles, interesting snippets, photos, funny stories and poems coming in!  The next edition will only come out when I have enough stuff to ‘go to press’!

With much love and many prayers for you all,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

Hymns and Readings for Sunday 17th May

 

To All Members and Friends of St Faith’s – 14 May 2020

Dear Friends,

Thank you all for your kind wishes, prayers and messages of support during the last fortnight of my convalescence.  I’m delighted to report that I’m feeling well, and I’m promising those closest to me that I will work a little less, and rest a little more, in the coming weeks and months.  It was a joy to once again celebrate the Eucharist this morning, via our live-stream – and it was lovely to be joined by so many of you too.

It is my pleasure to attach the latest volume of the Corona Chronicle, which I very much hope you will enjoy  It contains some penetrating perspectives on post-war history, a letter from our Churchwardens (who have been mothering me!), a moving reflection on the value of community buildings, and one or two pieces of utter silliness as well.  There is also some news to share (on the back page).

I also attach a gift from Bishop John, in the form of a series of reflections from members of the Society of Mary.  I hope that all those whose devotion to the Mother of our Lord enriches the practise of their faith will be blessed by reading and praying through this resource.

I send my love to you all, and the hope that we will soon be able to see each other again in the flesh!

With very best wishes,

Tom

Canon Tom Kennar

Parish website:  stfaith.com 

 

To All Members and Friends of St Faith’s Havant – 5 May 2020

PERSONAL STATEMENT

Dear Friends,

Knowing what the parish grapevine is like, I imagine that only a very few of you will not have heard, by now, that I was taken to hospital on Saturday.  I was suffering with a flare-up of an pre-existing existing heart condition.  I’m so sorry that this meant some of you searching in vain for my Sunday live-stream!  

Thanks to the excellent care of the Cardio Unit at QA, I am now home again, and have begun recuperating.  This does mean, however, that I need to take a step back from parish duties for a week or so, in order to heal properly in body and mind.  

Consequently, there will be no live-stream services from me for the next week or so (including, sadly, the planned VE Day service from my living room).  I am hopeful that you will all find alternative ways to worship, from the wide variety of options currently available – including, on Friday, the BBC’s coverage.  Do also check out the live-streams of other parishes and churches in our vicinity – and join your worship with theirs.

Regretfully, I won’t be producing a ‘Corona Chronicle’ this week, either.  Nor will I be engaging with Facebook (or other social media), nor answering emails, Facebook messages, texts, and phone calls for at least the next week.  I’m confident you’ll all understand.  Please do contact our Lay Pastor, Sandra Haggan, if you have an urgent need in the meantime (sandrahaggan54@gmail.com).

I currently plan to re-start live-streamed services from Thursday-week (14th May) at 10.30am – and I very much look forward to joining you all ‘virtually’ again, God willing!

The one thing I plan to do a lot of in the next week is prayer – and please be assured that I hold you all in my prayers, as I’m certain you hold me in yours.

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 

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 Havant – 25 April 2020

Dear Friends,

The Corona Crisis continues to keep us worshipping in our own homes.  So, I once again look forward to welcoming you to the Rectory, via the St Faith’s Facebook page (livestream), from around 9.25am in the morning.

Tomorrow’s Service – hymns and readings

Along with the standard service sheet (which you can find on our website at https://stfaith.com/livestreamed-services/ , please find attached the hymns and readings for tomorrow.  Once again, the hymns (and the mass setting) have been provided by Lyndon Ford, from his ‘marvellous mechanical mouse-organ’  (I wonder who will understand that reference!?).  

I do SO enjoy seeing the number of individual worshippers who have been joining me for these services.  Do type the occasional ‘Amen’ or ‘Hello everyone!’ during the service – so that I’ll be able to see, afterwards, who was with me.  It’s such an encouragement!

Hope for tomorrow, because of yesterday…

As a little encouragement in return, please find attached to this email a link to a 3 minute video of more social times at St Faith’s – intended to remind us of the kind of celebrating, joyful community that we are.  It’s just a small offering, which I hope will make you smile!  See if you can spot yourself in one or more of the pictures!

https://youtu.be/9fTKEnS-BkQ 

Thank you!

Thank you to you all for your continuing support – both emotionally, practically and financially (to the parish, and to each other).  It’s a times of crisis that we really see the vital importance of a strong community, able to support each other, and keep one another cheerful and strong.  I’ve been so touched by the number of messages, phone-calls and small acts of kindness that I’ve seen going on all around the parish.

On a financial level, our wonderful parish staff are particularly grateful that they have received their wages for this month, despite the parish not having yet received a ‘furlough’ payment from the Government (it’s expected by the 30th of April).  Even then, the Government will only be covering 80% of our staff costs – so your continued generosity makes all the difference to our staff’s ability to look after their families and homes.  We also have wider obligations to support the ministry of the church throughout the Diocese (through Parish Share), which is not eligible for Government support (because priests are not on furlough).

Please don’t forget that our newly re-designed ‘Donations’ page stands ready to receive any additional gift you can offer, great or small, to the ongoing task of keeping the parish functional throughout this crisis.  To make a donation by bank card or paypal, just go to https://stfaith.com/donations/ .  Donations can be made to any of three streams:  

1) our General Mission (parish running costs and our diocesan share), 

2) the Rector’s Discretionary Fund (support for the poor or homeless of the parish) and, 

3) the Big Build Campaign (currently focused on building an accessible toilet at the rear of the church).

Let me take this opportunity to remind you that we are still in the Easter season – a season of hope and expectation.  Alleluia!  Christ is risen!

With sincerest 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

Hymns for Sunday 26th April

 

To all members and friends of St Faith‘s Havant – 18 April 2020

Dear Friends,

I do hope you are all coping well with the ‘Lockdown’…and not going too stir-crazy!  From a distance, this morning (during my now customary exercise) I caught sight one of our members cleaning his dustbin lids, which I imagine was because he had run out of any other maintenance tasks to complete.  (He shall remain nameless!).

Here are a few bits and bobs which I hope will be a blessing…

Tomorrow’s Service

I do hope that you’ll be able to join me and Clare, tomorrow morning, when we will once again live-stream our 9.30am service from our living room (commencing with bells and organ music from around 9.25am).  We will again be ably supported by organ music kindly supplied by Lyndon Ford from his marvellous digital organ – which means that we’ll have the tones and sounds of a Cathedral organ, faithfully reproduced on a mighty speaker that Lyndon has kindly lent me!  So, my advice is this: log on early (to St Faith’s Facebook page), and get yourself plugged in to a decent set of speakers or headphones.  And be ready to sing up so that your neighbours can hear!

I attach a copy of the two hymns we shall sing, together with the set readings for tomorrow.  Both the readings are rather long!  But I’m hoping that by having them in front of you, you might be able to take at least some of their wisdom and insight on board!  

Tea with the Rector

A few folks have said that they would like to have a go at a ‘Zoom’ meeting.  (For the uninitiated, Zoom is a conference video-calling system, which enables multiple people to chat with each other via their computers.)  I realise, of course, that such a prospect will be mildly terrifying for some!  But for those who would like to have a go, I have scheduled a ‘Zoom’ meeting for tomorrow afternoon, at 5pm.  Called ‘Tea with the Rector’ it’s just a chance to meet up, virtually, in a group – to chat about the weather, or perhaps to reflect a little, together, on the current situation in which we all find ourselves.  

I’ll be online at 5pm tomorrow (Sunday), tea in hand, and I look forward catching up with whoever turns up too!  

You will find below the log in details for those who would like to take part (just click on the long link below from 5pm, and you should be able to join in straight away ater entering the password STFAITH.  If you have not used Zoom before, I suggest trying the link somewhat earlier, as I believe some software will need to be installed to your computer before you can enter the conversation):

Topic: Tea with the Rector
Time: Apr 19, 2020 05:00 PM London

Join Zoom Meeting
https://us04web.zoom.us/j/79670916099?pwd=T1B0RTU4NmdqWlJBNkU3Vmw0R1I5QT09

Meeting ID: 796 7091 6099
Password: STFAITH

At the moment, we are limited to a 40 minute meeting (although it may get extended automatically).  If this experiment works, we may even try ‘Zooming’ for some Bible Study or prayer opportunities in the coming days – and I may buy a subscription to Zoom for longer meetings!

Website Refresh

Just to let you know, our Parish Website has had a bit of refreshment over recent days.  We’ve moderately changed the look and feel of the site, and tried to make it easier to use, and easier on the eye.  Thanks to Colin Carter, our website happens to be one of the most comprehensive sites of any parish I know.  It is simply packed with both fascinating history and up-to-date information.  We have now grouped all that information under seven broad headings – which we hope users will find easier to negotiate.  

These headings include a heading called ‘Donate’ – which leads to a nice easy way of donating to the work of the church, or the Big Build Campaign, or the Rector’s Discretionary Fund.  (Donations can be gift-aided, and made by bank card or PayPal).

Whether or not you are able to donate, please do have a look, and let me know what you think of the refreshed layout of the site.  Just go to www.stfaith.com 

Th..th..th..that’s all folks!

I look forward to the pleasure of your company online tomorrow – at the 9.30 service (which will kick off from around 9.25 with St Faith’s bells and some organ music).  And/or – do join me for Tea with the Rector on Zoom at 5pm tomorrow afternoon!

With sincere prayers and 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 (and copies of the Corona Chronicle)  please click here: stfaith.com/corona-virus-response/

Hymns and Readings for Sunday 19th April

 

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 https://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: https://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