Diocese of Portsmouth

    Open-air service to celebrate unity in churches around Petersfield

    23 June 2003

    The open-air service in Petersfield

    HUNDREDS of worshippers from across the Petersfield area will join together for a day of celebration this month.

    Congregations in the Petersfield deanery will cancel their own services so they can take part in a day of workshops and worship, culminating in an open-air Eucharist.

    It will take place on Sunday 13 July between 10.30am and 4pm at Churcher’s College in Petersfield. The theme will be ‘Following Jesus - A Way of Life’.

    Among the workshops on offer will be spirituality, social responsibility, rural issues and mission - led by the diocesan advisers in all those subjects. There will also be sessions on Iona worship and using hand-held puppets, as well a presentation by a deanery group who will just have returned from Ghana.

    The Eucharist service, which will begin at 3pm, will by led by the rural dean, the Rev April Richards. The Archdeacon of the Meon, the Ven Peter Hancock, will preach, and Top Cat Theatre Company will premiere a specially-written sketch featuring the giant puppets used in last summer’s Diocesan Eucharist.

    There will also be a separate programme for children, led by former diocesan youth and children’s work adviser the Rev Karina Green, and a parallel series of workshops for young people, led by youth worker Alec Gill and curates the Revs Toby Wright and David Stickland.

    One of the organisers, the Rev Ann Leonard, rural dean’s assistant and diocesan ecumenical adviser, said: “It’s the second time that the deanery has done something like this. My predecessor organised something similar and it was such a success that we wanted to do it again.

    “It’s open to Christians from elsewhere and from other denominations - in fact the congregation of St George’s, Portsea, will all come because they have a link with Steep parish.

    “We’re hoping that the children will also have a separate programme during the start of the Eucharist, and that they will come in as we start to share the peace with one another.”

    Anyone who is interested in being a steward, musician, singer or stagehand on the day should contact Ann on 01730-893173.