Parish panto let’s us be a community

'Canon Bob White (centre) as the pantomime dame in St Mary's parish panto'.
'Canon Bob White (centre) as the pantomime dame in St Mary's parish panto'.
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THIS week you will find a lot of members of our parish walking around muttering to themselves – or suddenly bursting into song and 
something that resembles a dance.

Please don’t worry, it is merely the final stages of preparation for the parish pantomime.

Every year around 40 members of the three churches from our parish (St Mary’s, St Faith’s and St Wilfrid’s) put on a panto at the end of the February half-term.

This involves all the members of the ministry team, as well as the director of music and a wide range of people of all ages and backgrounds.

This year we are exploring the Pinocchio story and doing our best to get our lines right so it makes some sense.

The challenge to the audience is to spot familiar faces as they pop up in unfamiliar roles and reveal new and often well-hidden talents.

As director and dame it always both great fun – and very stressful!

Some people often wonder why a church should put so much time and effort into a panto.

Why not do something else with the time it takes?

The answer is that it is great way for us to get to know each other and work together – to explore together what it means to be a community.

We learn to support those who are struggling with their lines, that dance step, or their nerves.

We learn to listen to one another and be aware of one another and where we stand on stage.

We develop a sense of trust and respect for each other. We also laugh a lot together and enjoy being together.

St Paul talked of the Church as the body of Christ and how each member is dependent on the others while having their own role to fulfil.

In our culture, which can easily become self-centred it is important that we demonstrate that interdependency and respect of others.

Our panto is one way of us experiencing that and living out our calling as God’s people to be a community of faith.

So why not come and share the fun with us – see you in Pantoland!

Stromboli the Puppet Master will be performed at St Wilfrid’s Church, George Street, Fratton, at 2.30pm and 7.30pm on Saturday.

Tickets are available on (023) 9281 4444.

For more information and to find out what else is going on at the church please visit