Portsmouth church ready for the final events of centenary year

BLOOMING Father Paul Armstead at St James Church in Milton. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132067-907)
BLOOMING Father Paul Armstead at St James Church in Milton. Picture: Allan Hutchings (132067-907)
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AFTER celebrating its centenary year with a number of events, a church is set to hold its last big one.

St James’ Church, in Milton, has been holding a series of events to mark its 100th birthday and this Saturday it is holding its final concert and penultimate event.

The church celebrated its anniversary in July but Father Paul Armstead, parish priest at the church, thought it was better to host lots of events.

And now, he is looking forward to the final two – a concert by the Wyndcliffe Voices and a special mass.

He said: ‘We have had a whole range of things to help celebrate our centenary year.

‘These range from a flower festival, to concerts, to a family barbecue and special services.

‘I have enjoyed them all but it will be nice to round off what has been a spectacular year.

‘The concert is our last big one and we are all really looking forward to it.

‘Each concert has been different in what they have offered and the members of the congregation and community they have attracted but they have all been great.

‘But I expect this one to be a bit more special as it is marking the near end of what has been an amazing year.’

The concert starts at 7.30pm and will be hosted by the Wyndcliffe Voices and directed by Philip Drew, organist of Holy Spirit in Southsea.

The church is also holding a special mass in October to mark the anniversary of Canon Bernard Wilson.

When St James’ Church was built, it was in remembrance of Canon Bernard Wilson who died at a young age.

The service will be led by Canon Bob White, vicar of St Mary’s Church, in Fratton.

It is being held on October 17 and starts at 7.30pm. It will mark the end of the centenary celebrations.

Father Paul said: ‘It has been a great year and the whole idea of it was to bring the community together.

‘We wanted to remind everyone that St James’ Church is here and we are open to everyone.

‘We had many people from the community come along to our different events and it showed true community spirit.’

Tickets for the Wyndcliffe Voices concert are £5.

They can be bought on the door or by calling 07512 354481.