As I am sure you are now aware, we will be celebrating next year the 75th Anniversary of the diocese's formation in 1927. In May of that year Portsmouth diocese was carved out of what was then Winchester diocese in order to create an area which would focus on the mission and ministry needs of Portsmouth, South East Hampshire and the Isle of Wight.
To celebrate that initiative, and our 75 years of common history, every parish and Diocesan Board has been invited to participate in the 'Stepping Out' Programme by identifying a specific project to further the life and mission of the Church. Running alongside this, there will be a number of diocesan events to recall the key moments of that eventful year in 1927: the creation of the diocese in May, the consecration of Neville Lovett as first Bishop of Portsmouth in July, and his enthronement in the newly-established Portsmouth Cathedral in October. In addition to this, I am delighted to say that the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey, will be visiting the diocese from the 27th-29th May 2002.
I am writing to invite you to join me in Winchester Cathedral on Saturday 4th May at 11.am for a Service to mark the creation of the new diocese. At the end of the service, I will be leading all the Churchwardens of the diocese out of Winchester Cathedral in procession, to receive a blessing and dismissal from my friend and colleague the Rt Revd Michael Scott-Joynt, Bishop of Winchester. To recall the journey we have made together from Winchester, two groups of pilgrims will then walk from Winchester to Portsmouth.
I very much hope that you will see this as an opportunity to celebrate the tremendous contribution made to the life of the Church by those who hold lay office. I therefore encourage you to bring a group from your parish and to bring a picnic lunch for after the service. There is plenty of space for outdoor picnics in the Cathedral Close and in the Abbey Gardens, and we are hoping to arrange tours of the Cathedral during the afternoon.
I have already mentioned that this Service is one in a series of our celebrations in 2002, which will culminate on October 5th with a gathering of all the projects and stories from our 'Stepping Out' Programme in a Festival Service at Portsmouth Cathedral. I want to draw your attention to a major outdoor Service which is to take place on Southsea Common on Sunday 14th July. This will be the focal event for the diocese in the year and is an opportunity to come together as the whole diocese in thanksgiving and celebration. I am anticipating that this Eucharist will be the main act of worship for every Church in the diocese on that day and, at this length of notice, I am inviting you to close your Churches that morning for worship and come to Southsea.
May God bless you.
Bishop's Lent Appeal
The cause that I have chosen for my year 2002 Lent Appeal is:
The EC Roberts Centre
This is a community resource supporting families in Portsmouth who are striving to improve their families disadvantaged circumstances, whether through homelessness or relationship difficulties.
Projects run at the centre include: Portsmouth Child Contract Centre; The Supported Housing Scheme; Roberts Day Nursery; Temporary Accommodation Service; Family Tenancy Support; The Summer Play Scheme; Learning through Play programme. [Retiring collection in Lent.]
page last updated 31 JANUARY 2002