Being Church at Home

From the Revd Dr Ruth Howlett-Shipley

Being Church Together in the United Benefice of St John the Baptist, Shedfield and St Nicholas Wickham

Sunday 18th April 2021


Greetings from the ministry team to everyone. Whether you’re you come to church once a week, once in a while or once in a lifetime – welcome to the weekly eBulletin.

Coronavirus Update

Both our churches continue to be open for services and for private prayer for those of you who feel comfortable coming back to church. However, we will continue to provide ‘Being Church at Home’ services for those of you who would rather not come to church just yet, along with this weekly eBulletin (which will contain details of the other services available on diocesan and national CofE online platforms).  Printed copies of the eBulletin and weekly online services can be delivered to those unable to receive them online, just ask anyone who may be interested to get in touch with myself or Revd Jane.

For those of you coming to church please can I remind you of the need to maintain social distancing on the way in and out of church. With the better weather it is very tempting to stop and chat with people we have hardly seen for ages but please abide by social distancing guidance and also be conscious of the feelings of others who are still feeling nervous about meeting others.

The Ministry team and the Churchwardens are constantly reviewing the situation so keep an eye on the church website and on and for the latest information.

Ministry Team Leave

Revd Jane will be back from leave tomorrow and Revd Ruth will be on leave from 19th – 26th April.

This Sunday’s services:

We look forward to welcoming those of you who feel comfortable attending church to St John the Baptist, Shedfield at 10.00am. Please remember to bring your face-coverings, to use the hand sanitiser and to follow the directions of the stewards so that we can come together to worship safely.

This Sunday is the Third Sunday of Easter and the Morning Service has been prepared by Revd Ruth with a reflection by Revd Juliet.

As usual you will also find a traditional Morning Prayer service on the church websites as well as Prayer During the Day for Easter Season.

Please be reassured that the Being Church at Home services can be accessed directly via the church websites as well as via the link you receive with this eBulletin.

What else is available this week?

In the Diocese:

Portsmouth Cathedral will be live streaming services as follows:

  • 8:00am – Holy Communion Book of Common Prayer
  • 11:00am – Sung Eucharist (with choir)
  • 5:30pm – Choral Evensong

Details of all these services can be found on the Cathedral website:

National Church:

A national Church of England service continues to be available at 9am every Sunday: more information, a downloadable order of service and details of the recorded version can be found online at: 

Daily Hope – ‘church at the end of the phone’

The Church of England’s Daily Hope line, a free 24-hour national telephone line, offering music, prayers and reflections as well as full worship services is  well worth recommending to those without internet access. The phone number is: 0800 804 8044


Sunday Morning Stories (BBC 1 Sunday 10.30am) The Revd Kate Bottley presents a series of inspiring stories rooted in faith, hope and spirituality.

Songs of Praise (BBC 1 Sunday 13.15) Katherine Jenkins talks to the Archbishop of York about Christianity after lockdown.


Sunday Worship (Radio 4 8.10am) – In a service from Bishopsthorpe, the Archbishop of York explores the question of how to pray.

Choral Evensong (Radio 3 3pm) will be a repeat of this week’s archive recording from Worcester Cathedral which was first broadcast on 22 April 2009.

Next Sunday’s service: 25th April

Assuming there is no change in the situation between now and then there will be a Morning Service at 10am in St Nicholas, Wickham.

Other News

Next Bishop of Portsmouth

A significant stage in the process to appoint a new Bishop of Portsmouth has been reached. The vacancy-in-see committee has now created a diocese’s Statement of Needs (the diocesan equivalent of a parish profile). This will be sent to the Crown Nominations Commission as they start work to appoint a successor to Bishop Christopher. You can read the document for yourself, and check on the whole vacancy-in-see process here.

Bishop Christopher’s farewell service will be taking place in our cathedral at 4pm on Saturday 24th April. It’s very unfortunate that only a limited number of people can attend physically. But we are all invited to participate by watching the livestream. The service will include the symbolic act in which Bishop Christopher lays his crozier on the cathedral altar to signify that his time as Bishop of Portsmouth has come to an end. Full details can be found here

Portsmouth Choral Singers welcome new members

I know that many of you have missed singing during the pandemic and may be interested in this invitation from Portsmouth Choral Singers:

‘Do you enjoy singing classical music? Are you looking for a friendly group to share your love of singing? Portsmouth Choral Singers are welcoming new members. At the moment they meet each Tuesday evening via Zoom at 7:30pm for about 1 hour. The evening includes fun warm-ups, a chance to enjoy singing well known classical music repertoire works, and even some time to work on identifying and pitching musical intervals, finding notes in chords and other elements of music. The PCU registrar is happy to answer all your email questions and ensure you feel very welcome.

BlackBox Theatre – Blythe Spirit

Fareham’s BlackBox Theatre Company has been a good friend to St Nicholas Church, Wickham in recent years: readers will remember the company’s sell-out production of The 39 Steps in the church in November 2019.  On 3rd and 4th June, BlackBox are returning to the stage with an outdoor production in Rookesbury Park of Noel Coward’s timeless classic, Blithe Spirit.  Details of ticket prices and online booking can be found below.  For those of you who are unsure or unhappy about buying tickets online, tickets are available from Rosemary Crane on 07712 591186 or email rosecrane@gmail.


Please keep an eye on the website for any updates as the ministry team, churchwardens and PCCs will continue to monitoring the ongoing covid situation and arrangements may be subject to change

With the assurance of our constant prayers for you all, from Ruth on behalf of the benefice ministry team

The Third Sunday of Easter

Spiritual Communion

A service of Spiritual Communion for use during the coronavirus pandemic

The coronavirus crisis has made it necessary for the Church of England to suspend all public acts of worship. Using the national Church of England’s recommended liturgy as its guide, the ministry team has prepared this short act of Spiritual Communion for you to use at home.