Havant church leaders to offer solace on market day

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CHURCHES across Havant are coming together in a unique experiment to give spiritual guidance to shoppers.

With the tough economic climate taking its toll on people across the area, church leaders have decided to take comfort out to the community.

Every Tuesday, on market day, a leader from one of the churches in Havant will spend two hours at St Faith’s Church, in the town centre, providing a listening ear to anyone who is in need.

Those problems could range from fears over finances to personal issues such as relationship breakdowns.

Father Tom Grufferty, the priest in charge of St Joseph’s Church in West Street, is leading the project.

He said: ‘For some time, the leaders of Churches Together in Havant and Bedhampton thought that we should make ourselves more accessible to everybody in the Havant area.

‘While some of our churches are open every day, such as St. Faith’s, St. Joseph’s, and St. Thomas’ Bedhampton, we wanted to extend our availability.

‘All three buildings are widely used for private prayer or for reflection by a great number of people. We welcome the use of these buildings in this way and we respect the need everybody has for private reflection.

‘As an extension to these facilities the church leaders in the area have decided to make themselves available from 10am to midday for an experimental period.

‘We opted for Tuesdays because it is market day. The time offered is free to all. We offer spiritual help and general guidance.

‘No subject is beyond discussion – bereavement, domestic issues, guilt, loneliness, abuse.

‘The patron sets the agenda and everything is in strict confidence.’

There will be a different church leader every week on a rotating basis.

If you wish to know the rota of those leaders who will be available you can find out by e-mailing tom.grufferty@ntlworld.com or by calling him on (023) 9248 4520.