Dear All,

Happy New Year, when it comes, and thanks for all that so many people did to ensure our Christmas Services continued as best they could.

The highlights were, I think, the Open Air Carols in all four Parishes, which we all great occasions – they were the one things which had a degree of normality about them.

Moving from tier 3 to 4 doesn’t affect the regulations for worship, but it does change the perceptions of the risks for us all.

As I’ve continually said, no one should be feeling obliged to do anything they feel uncomfortable with.  On the other hand, I’m aware that there are those for whom coming to Services in Church is very important for them.

Having spoken with most of the Staff Team, seen e-mails from Wardens and others, my feeling for Sunday 3rd January at least is that we should have some Services in Church, but mainly be on-line.

Several of the Staff Team are isolating, and so we can have the 8.15 at Fordingbridge, the 10.00 at Fordingbridge and the 10.00 at Breamore (6.00 Sanctus is due to be on-line anyway).

For the rest of the month we’ll have one or two Services in Church, as we did during the late summer, but mainly be on-line – please see Partners for details

We do now have the phone line, 01425 543305, on which people can hear live Services and catch up.

There is light at the end of the tunnel, with the new vaccine being rolled out, and we wait in hope.

As Peter Sills wrote in the Church Times recently:

VÁCLAV HAVEL, the Czech poet and first president of post-Soviet Czechoslovakia, said: “Hope is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out.”  This is the quality of Christian hope. Our hope is not a refusal to face the facts of the world, dreaming of an ideal society, but a belief — in the face of those facts — that a better world is possible and worth striving for.

Best Wishes,


Revd Canon Gary Philbrick,

Rector of The Avon Valley Churches
(The Parishes of Fordingbridge (with Sandleheath and Godshill), Hyde, Breamore, and Hale & Woodgreen)
Area Dean of Christchurch
Bishop’s Surrogate for Marriages

AVC Church Office: 01425 653163


Website:  AvonValleyChurches.org.uk

Facebook: Avon Valley Churches

Twitter: #AvonValleyChurc

Instagram: AvonValleyChurches

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