I’ve lived in Portsmouth now for four years and I love it. There is something about the life and excitement of city living which is made even better by being on the coast – the great waterfront city!
At this time of year with the Christmas lights, the festive music and Christmas markets it seems as if the sense of community becomes even stronger in Portsmouth.
Of course, that is not true for everyone and for some it becomes a greater struggle as financial pressures, health issues or loneliness and bereavement seem to bite even harder in December.
I was reflecting on this whilst on a recent train journey to London listening to music through my headphones when one particular song came on. It was ‘City of Stars’ from the soundtrack to the movie “La La Land” which was released in 2016. One short phrase in the lyrics struck me quite powerfully, it was this:
“City of stars, Just one thing everybody wants There in the bars and through the smokescreen of the crowded restaurants It's love. Yes, all we're looking for is love from someone else.. …A voice that says, I'll be here And you'll be alright.”
As we approach our Christmas services at Portsmouth Cathedral it strikes me how true these words are. Many of us are looking for that voice which says, “I’ll be here and you’ll be alright.”
In the Christmas story, in that ‘City of Stars’ we call Bethlehem, in the birth of a baby called Jesus I believe that God says that to us, to each and every one of us - “I’ll be here and you’ll be alright”.
The Reverend Canon Peter Leonard
Services and Events The new editions of The List and our Monthly Events listing are available in the Cathedral or on the website.
Christmas Fair Congratulations to all those who contributed towards last Saturday’s event. A fabulous total of £6,000.39 was raised for the Cathedral and its associations. Thank you to all those who helped to make this possible. A meeting will be held at midday on Sunday 14th January to discuss how to build on the fair’s success.
Churches Homeless Action Many thanks to all those who responded to the appeal for supermarket gift vouchers. Over 90 £5.00 vouchers have been passed on for distribution through charities which support the homeless.
Spiritual Counsel or Confession If you would like spiritual counsel or to make confession before Christmas please speak to one of the clergy.
Christmas Home Communion Please contact the Cathedral Offices.
Decorating the Cathedral for Christmas If you would like to contribute towards the cost of our decorations, donations for poinsettias can be made through the Cathedral Shop or Offices. The Flower Guild would also welcome help to decorate on the morning of Wednesday 20th December. All welcome - no experience necessary. Please contact Rosemary Fairfax through the Cathedral Offices for more details.
Tree of Memories If you would like to remember a loved one at Christmas please write a message on a star and hang it on the tree in the Welcome Area. If you would like to donate to Christian Aid's Christmas Appeal, please use an envelope and put it in one of the Cathedral collection boxes.
Mulled wine hot chocolate and mince pies will be on sale before and after the Carol Services. On Thursday & Saturday outside on the south front of the Cathedral and in Becket Hall; on Friday outside only.
Cathedral Shop Christmas cards and stamps are in stock. The cards feature detail of the Madonna and child from the stained glass window in Saint Thomas’s Chapel and cost £2.50 for five with proceeds in aid of the Cathedral and the Friends.
Cathedral Offices The offices will be closed from the afternoon of 22nd December and will re-open on 2nd January. Voice messages and emails to firstname.lastname@example.org will be monitored by staff on duty.
Bereavement Drop-In 11.00am-12.30pm Saturday 30th December in the Bishop Kenneth Room. Monthly group for those who are recently bereaved, know someone who is terminally ill, or are still experiencing grief, pain or anger from loss. Members of the Cathedral bereavement team will be there to listen, offer support and encouragement. Tea and coffee provided.
Living Faith Course-Module 1-Prayer and Spirituality 7.00pm Wednesday 17th January. Module exploring how we pray to the Christian God, and how this has been informed by spiritual traditions. Booking essential. For further details about this 10 week course please contact Sarah Lovatt in the Cathedral Offices.
Oliver Hancock’s installation St Mary Warwick 4.00pm 21st January 2018. If you are interested in attending Oliver’s installation please contact Tim Burnett in the Cathedral offices or sign up on the sheet in the Welcome Area before Wednesday 20th December.
Lunchtime Live 1.10pm Thursday 11th January. Peter Stevens (organ). Light refreshments from 12.30pm. Free entry with retiring collection.
Organ Concert with Adrian Lucas 8.00pm Friday 26th January. The next of our regular series of evening concerts will be given by Adrian Lucas formerly Director of Music at Worcester Cathedral. The programme includes Bach, Elgar, Rachmaninov and Whitlock. Tickets £10.00, (£8.00 concessions) through Eventbrite , on the door, and the Cathedral Shop.
Service Times Please see overleaf for the timings of Evening Prayer this week. The Cathedral will be closed between 4.15-6.15pm on Thursday, Friday and Saturday in preparation for our Carol Services.
Crib Services Christmas Eve 2.30pm and 4.00pm. Children are invited to come in costume or arrive half an hour before the services if they would like to use the Cathedral’s costumes. Presents for under the Christmas tree can be brought to the service and will be distributed through the Roberts Centre.
PLEASE PRAY FOR
All those in need including: Martin, Alex, Frank, John, Christine, Roger, Amanda, Vic, Ayu, Joan, Rachael, Val and Tony.
And those who have died: Alan Lihou, and Diana Mitchell RIP.
For complete listing of this week's notices click here