news and events

Sale of Cheriton Village Hall

Posted by on Oct 7, 2018 in news and events | 0 comments

In 2017, contracts were exchanged for the sale of the Cheriton village hall by the church to the village hall charity. Although the hall was built in 1911 on land owned by the Diocese, it has always been a village rather than a church amenity. The village hall charity, St Michael’s Cheriton, and the Winchester Diocesan Board of Finance, all agreed that it would be in the village’s interests that the village rather than the church should own the hall. The hall charity would then be free from ecclesiastical trusts, and enabled to raise money to improve the hall’s facilities for the benefit of the community generally. The latest negotiation began in 2010, and completion occurred in June 2018. Despite being a long haul, all parties were of similar mind but had to go through some tortuous legal processes including obtaining approval from the Charity Commission. The church obtained the independently valued price of £80,000 raised by many generous donations and fundraising activities. The village hall charity became a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO) to allow it to own the hall in its own right, and take the project forward to the next stage – raising funds for the improvement and extension of the hall – and this is now well under way. Progress can be tracked on http://www.cheritonvillagehall.co.uk. The whole process has been one of friendly collaboration between church and village to the advantage of...

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Benefice Sea Sunday, 8th July 2018

Posted by on Oct 7, 2018 in news and events | 0 comments

A short address by David Templeman, All Saints Church Hinton Ampner.  Forms part of this year’s Sea Sunday Benefice Tomorrow morning I will hoist sail and set off across the Channel, the busiest shipping lane in the world.  The tide is right, so is the forecast.  Listening to it, and reporting it, is an essential ritual of the sea and the safety of those upon it.  90 % of the world’s trade is conducted by sea and in Command of each of those ship’s is a Captain who knows the loneliness of that command.  His crew will be of every possible race, colour and creed and probably one of the thousands of seamen and women whose lives are touched by The Mission to Seafarers at their 121 Flying Angel Centres in some 200 ports across 50 countries. This year’s Sea Sunday theme is Abandonment.  It’s what sea farers do metaphorically, every day across the world, abandon their families as they set off on their lonely voyage.  In my case several times for several months.  Once to be met by my daughter on my return with, “You can’t sit there that’s mummy’s chair.”   The very first words I had heard her say! I even asked Graham, our recently departed Padre, to join me tomorrow.  His reply and I quote, “Abandonment is absolutely the right word.  Me swanning off sailing, leaving Tracy at home in a vicarage, in a strange town, unpacking boxes, does not work for her!” Ask too any Naval wife! Mathew 25 sums it up well.   “Whatever you did for the least of those you did for me”.  That’s how Abandonment and Loneliness is overcome at sea.  It’s also how “The Mission to Seafarers” and its Chaplains have brought hope and succour to some 1.6 million seafarers from Admiral and Captain, through those who serve them and equally importantly their families. Only last month I sailed to the Scilly Isles, 350 miles by sea from Gosport.  Departed the mainland at Newlyn, still a thriving fishing port with fish loaded into Lorries 24 hours a day, every day to feed us. We passed the Scillonian taking passengers and stores to St Mary’s.  Much like in the Falkland Islands and every oceanic Island, large or small.  The only way bulk goods can be transported. The following day she rescued a yacht and its crew.  The yacht had been dismasted.  Heard on Channel 16, but unreported along with so many incidents and accidents at sea.  Far over the horizon away from the eye of the world’s press.  A straightforward rescue.  The Scillonian turned back for that tiny craft, she was late arriving in St Mary’s but no complaints from passengers or crew.  That’s the code of the sea! Each churchyard in the Scilly Island’s contains poignant reminders of abandonment at sea.  We call it shipwreck.  Take Admiral Cloudesley Shovel he drove his fleet ashore there mistaking his longitude. The locals stopped fishing for months.  Why bother when every beach and cove contains precious flotsam and jetsam.  Today it is time to recognise this jetsam as an environmental danger.  No longer do we have the luxury of casks of rum and brandy floating on our seas.  Abandonment has taken on a new, and potentially much more destructive meaning, as we fill the oceans with bilge oil, plastic and the detritus of modern living. Or take St Martin’s where there is a grave to a shipwrecked sailor, the inscription now non PC.  That grave is still tended by today’s seafarers and epitomises all of us, who go down to the sea again, to...

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Minutes from Upper Itchen Benefice Council, Annual Meeting 2018

Posted by on Mar 23, 2018 in news and events | 2 comments

ABCM Minutes 2018

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Christian Comment, October 2017

Posted by on Feb 21, 2018 in news and events | 0 comments

The other day, whilst in my study attempting to apply myself, and mop up some of the work outstanding on my computer – routinely ignored in the busyness of life and other distractions – I was listening to Radio 4 in the background (at sufficiently low volume so as not to actually disturb me). During my effort to concentrate, I vaguely heard the beginning of a reading from a book, a book that sounded very familiar indeed. I dashed across the room and turned up the radio. I listened intently as the reading progressed. I couldn’t quite locate it, where, what am I listening to? It was very interesting, and soon it emerged what the narrative was – it was about an event that utterly changed the life of the author. The book in question is quite old now. It is called ‘My Year Off’ and its author, Robert McCrum is writing about his experiences after he suffered a stroke, or rather a ‘Brain Attack’, which is a better description so the author informs us. McCrum was forty-two and newly married when the trauma struck. I have this book, hidden on a bookshelf, one I had almost entirely forgotten about. I searched up and down the bookshelves in the study and eventually found it. Blowing off the dust I began to read. The computer went to stand-by. I will admit I feel a bit queasy as the author describes the Brain Attack and much of the medical descriptors he employs to define the complexity of what he suffered. Illogically I worry that by reading about this, I too, in some rather strange way, am tempting fate. McCrum is in no-way making a theological reflection. But it is a reflection, and a reflection of a man who whilst suffering severe physical trauma, spends much of his time recovering reflecting about his previous life, and inevitably fearfully contemplating his future. It is a book written by a man who, pre-illness, is confident, rich, intelligent and successful, who has a reputation to consider, but who is now forced to make some very serious and earnest revaluations of what is important. McCrum survived his unexplained ‘Brain Attack’ and revaluated what was important, what was not, what is a joy and important – and what is superfluous, irrelevant and pointless. One of the things he decided was pointless, was to worry about his own mortality, deciding to enjoy every last moment of this life with those whom he loved, taking none of it for granted. I would go further than this and say that one of the problems in our modern times is the propensity to trust in our own infallibility, the fragile construct of ourselves, that can be shattered in the briefest of moments. Jesus had a lot to say about how to live well and what in life is important. But, I immediately think of St Paul’s letter to Timothy – 1 Timothy 6:17, and I could not have put it better myself. ‘Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our...

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Christian Comments, August 2017

Posted by on Feb 21, 2018 in news and events | 0 comments

I read recently in a disagreeable rag owned by an antipodean that people, including atheists, find it way easier to distrust people who have no faith than those that do. This is really interesting because most people extend this to assume that obviously, whilst they do not trust people who have no religion they also place them into the same category as psychopaths and murderers who, it is also assumed have no religion. Religion therefore is thought to be what gives a person the internal component of morality – religion is the site of the moral compass, the place where our ethical world view is located, and the place that helps us navigate the ethical dilemmas of everyday life. It also informs how we respond to other people, those around us and how we approach life in all its glory. The scientist who conducted the experiment concluded that this assumption is false, however. He did so because he thinks in the modern world there is a Social Lag – in that religion has left an indelible mark upon society. Society has moved on, but somehow a religious moral shadow remain hard to extinguish. He also concluded that a psychotic murderer is no more or less likely to have religion than not – although I do wonder if psychopaths are really proof of anything? I have met a few, and ‘moral compass’ was not what I was thinking when I met them! What I do know is that Jesus, if He is in your life – is your Moral Compass. It is impossible to do anything, see anything, say anything without a knowledge of whether it is adding to the Kingdom or detracting from it. There is nothing you can do without Him, He is in the very fabric of your being. That might sound a little scary, or even simplistic, but it isn’t, as we all know Jesus’ burden is light (Matt 11.30). Jesus – everything He stands for, everything He said, everything He ever did/does comes from a limitless deep pool of love, God’s love – for all humanity. If we all did indeed have a religion, true religion there would only be peace and tranquillity, no more hunger, war, violence persecution….but then that would be Paradise, would it...

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Christian Comments, July 2017

Posted by on Feb 21, 2018 in news and events | 0 comments

As I write, in our daily Morning Prayer we are coming to the end of St Paul’s letter to the Romans. I have enjoyed reading it. I like the letter a great deal. One reason I think I like it so much is because Romans is a letter – Paul writes to the Church in Rome and to us, opening his heart. He is talking to communities that need his help and guidance – they may not have sought his opinion, but St Paul was not shy. The letter, whilst packed with theological insight (some more controversial to the modern ear than others), is still nevertheless not a great tome of academic exhortation that has been formulated over months or years. Paul is responding to problems that are immediate and relevant to the immediate situation of his audience. And responding theologically. This is rather a comfort to me, because over the last few weeks it has felt as though I have only had enough time to respond to need – seeking the best in every situation, yes – but just having a nagging feeling I’ve been a little lightweight. There is a list of priorities that all contend for my attention – a triage of priorities dropping off the response list as more pressing things arise. Then, a couple of weeks ago it all come to head and I needed to step up – a moment where all my energies where required to be focused and attentive. What was important and what wasn’t became very clear. That day, at Morning Prayer, the set New Testament reading was Romans 12.9 onwards. It strongly reminded me so very much of the wonderful Benediction, based on 1 Thessalonians 5.13-21, which I have used at the ends of many services over the years – the Benediction always inspires me and offers me great hope. Whilst the letter to the Romans can be seen as rather demanding, having within it some sections that we in the modern Church have yet to reconcile, this Blessing gives us a crystal-clear insight how we are to behave in the world, what we are to do for others and what we are to believe, loving and serving the Lord. I think this is how each of us, all people, should live. It is a blessing, but it is also a demand. It is mission statement to the world. What St Paul says can be drawn from the Romans & the Thessalonians passages….. ‘Go forth into the world in peace; be of good courage, holdfast to that which is good, render to no-one evil for evil, strengthen the faint hearted; support the weak, help the afflicted – honour all people. Love and serve the Lord, rejoicing in the power of the Holy Spirit.’ For me the words could not have come at a better time. Can you imagine a world, a Church, that actually did this? If I ever had a personal statement of faith – here it is, and I commend it to...

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