news and events

Christian Comments, November 2016

Posted by on Nov 28, 2016 in news and events | 0 comments

The other day, whist I was walking back to my car after watching Southampton FC play Sunderland at St Mary’s, alongside me was a father walking briskly with his young son. Southampton had been victorious, in a rather bland game beating Sunderland 1-0. The previous year when the two teams had met, Southampton had beaten Sunderland 8-0. The father described this victory to his son – concluding that the game was comical. The young boy eagerly asked his father – ‘why has the Saints only scored one goal. Surely Southampton should have done better than that?’ His Father entered into a discourse about the merits, tactics, formations of the current team – the boy periodically repeating his father’s words. The lad, trying to keep up, skipped along by his father’s side. The father informed his son that Southampton has met Sunderland on 67 occasions since 1931. Southampton has won 26 games, drawn 17 and lost on 24 meetings. The boy exclaimed ‘That’s comical! We beat them 8-0 – that’s comical, we should always win’. Again, his Father eagerly, and with great passion, imparted his knowledge to the boy, knowledge gathered over many years of watching his football team – a team he clearly loved. This too, I assume, was to be his son’s inheritance. I was struck by the passion with which the father spoke to his son – I was struck by the eagerness of the boy to repeat, assimilate and affirm the deep allegiance so obviously held by his father. It was clearly a very important moment in the life of both the father and the son. I remember thinking, two thousand years ago we are told, that wherever Jesus went, ordinary people, the people in the stands who could come close, did so – they wanted to hear Him speak, see Him act, join Him in prayer – the eagerness of the ordinary people that came close to Him, testified wherever you look in the Gospels. I imagined all Christians to be the little boy learning their faith from the Father – I dare to dream of a day when all humanity feels the passion and the brilliance of what has been given by God through His Son Jesus to us all. I realise we are far from that paradise. I believe there is a spiritual hunger that all humans feel – which can sometimes be filled by the distractions of the world, football teams, cars, houses, careers, power, wealth – all of which are transitory, illusionary – comical. The Christian has one task – make God known in the world, and if need be, use words – to misquote St Francis. Actually, that’s also pretty unfair, there is no dichotomy between words and actions. The two are really important, the task is to make sure our actions live up to our words. We have a duty to proclaim and to draw people near – and as we approach Christmas, that peculiar commercial proposition awkwardly associated with the birth of God amongst us – let us proclaim, let us act, let us pray for all humanity to know God, love God through Jesus...

Read More

Personalised Christmas Cards, in aid of All Saints Church, Hinton Ampner

Posted by on Oct 19, 2016 in news and events | 0 comments

Personalised Christmas Cards, featuring the Nativity Scene at All Saints, printed with “Happy Christmas and Peaceful New Year” and “Your address and telephone number”. Priced at 60p per card, minimum order 100 cards (A6 size 150 x 105), cheques payable to “Hinton Ampner PCC”. Please order early to guarantee Christmas Posting Abroad. Enquiries to David Templeman, 01962 793009. This personalised offer closes early November, but don’t despair, cards of the beautiful nativity scene will also be on sale at Cheriton Village Shop, Bramdean Garage and Hinton Ampner House, cash only, for bundles of 10. All profits will be used to maintain All Saints. The stable was designed and built by our local carpenter, figures and crib were all made possible through your generous donations and this card is produced by our local printer. All Saints welcomed hundreds of visitors last Christmas and with your support, at this important time in the Christian year, our visitors and all who receive our Christmas card, will share in the true meaning of Christmas. Help make this possible by buying the 2016 All Saints Nativity Scene Christmas Cards, with personalisation (minimum 100), or without, in bundles of 10 at an outlet near...

Read More

Christian Comments, August 2016

Posted by on Aug 31, 2016 in news and events | 0 comments

Recently I took part in a trial online annual review of my ministry. One of the online sections asked me to rate myself against a number of set criteria, 7 is good – 1 is bad. Are you good at this/are you bad at that? The problem is, I constantly want to rate myself low – exceeding low standards is easy, I’ve made it a life time goal. The idea that online assessment can produce a varied impression of a Priests abilities might seem a developmentally curious proposition. But the idea is sound because importantly it is of course true, that some kind of analysis has to take place. The examination should produce new ideas, which then have to triumph over old ones – this might be where this all falls down. But new ideas are really important, remembering that new ideas can only triumph if they 1st are based on new knowledge – or 2nd are responding to new outlooks, new perspectives, new horizons – this too might be a little tricky. A few weeks ago I met someone at a dinner party who seemed very happy to tell me how good they were at everything. The individual was very confident, without doubt the life and the soul of the party – he was the sort of person that gives me a nose bleed. He had lots of ideas – he seemed determined to share them all with me. He described himself as an ‘Ideationist’, trained in ‘Cleverism’, trained in the best techniques to generate ideas. Hedonic John as I like to call him, seemed to be almost entirely bereft of social/emotional buffers. He was living proof that being constantly happy is not an inherently good thing. I strongly resist the theory that the more reserved suffer maladaptive psychological characteristics. Rather, that it is better to have a range of emotions and feelings which allow you to ride the ever ebbing and flowing tide of this world’s realities. Hedonic John slapped me on the back and said ‘I love you sort of people, Vicars, your all very funny’ (He clearly didn’t know many vicars) but went on – ‘funny you may be, but you’re a relic’. When we boiled it all down my new best friend wasn’t really in a position to understand Christianity because he had never effectively been told about it, he perceived it through a very particular lens, a modern view strongly influences by aggressive atheism and a supermarket approach to spiritual wellbeing. That may be true but in this modern age the Christian message is a new one, many have never heard it – all Christians are called to proclaim and to do so loudly and without fear. In Matthew 28.19 we are clearly told ‘Therefore, go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit’. Unequivocal, uncompromising, new every morning, new in every...

Read More

Ringing to celebrate the Queen’s 90th!

Posted by on Jun 17, 2016 in news and events | 0 comments

All across the Upper Itchen Benefice church bells tolled out in celebration of The Queen’s 90th Birthday. At the All Saints Service the bell ringing was led by Bruce Newson and David Elton. Visitors were invited to join the congregation in peeling “Happy Birthday to The Servant Queen and to the King she serves”. It proved very hard work, and became so popular that queues formed in the grounds of Hinton Ampner House. As they waited many took in The All Saints Exhibition and and the challenge of the Quiz on “The Queen’s Role as Head of the Church”! Every visitor was given the order of service marking this special event, which included prayers especially chosen by the Queen. One visitor, a teacher remarked, “Thank you, I have so enjoyed the day and will share the order of service with my pupils in class tomorrow and tell them all all about it!” Many had seen the event advertised on the Church of England web site Celebration Map ( and travelled down specially, to take part in the fun of a very special and happy...

Read More

Reports of the APCM 2016

Posted by on Apr 6, 2016 in news and events | 0 comments

The PCC APCM annual accounts and report are now ready to view. Click on the links below to download: Final Accounts Annual Report

Read More

Easter at All Saints, Hinton Ampner

Posted by on Mar 25, 2016 in news and events | 0 comments

Designed, created and built, one cold, Wednesday evening during Lent, by my congregation. Below the Chancel, to the North of the Nave, you will find my Calvary Garden, surmounted by its three plain crosses. Across the aisle and symbolizing “New Life” is my Easter Egg Tree, with its colourful, hand painted eggs, all hanging from the branches. There’s even a drawing of my little Saxon church on one of them, but which one? And all are lit up by my famous, Reyntiens East Window, of smoke and flame, depicting the Hebrew’s escape from slavery to new lands and the beginning of their “New Life” too. Luke 23:27-47 Crucifixion and Death upon the Cross Luke 23:50-53 Christ laid to Rest Luke 24:1-12 Jesus has...

Read More