REV PAUL ARMSTEAD: Flames of war replaced with flames of hope

Worshippers Trish Penny and Doug Fenton look forward to the 60th anniversary service inside Church of the Holy Spirit, Southsea
Worshippers Trish Penny and Doug Fenton look forward to the 60th anniversary service inside Church of the Holy Spirit, Southsea
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The associate priest, Church of the Holy Spirit, Southsea is looking forward to the church’s rededication

I don’t know about you, but the years seem to roll by faster and faster.

Have you made any new year resolutions? And how are you are doing now that we are four days in?

I always like to think that the turn of the year gives me a chance to start things afresh, with renewed vigour.

One day I will finally sort out that cupboard under the stairs!

New starts are something we are hoping for at the Church of the Holy Spirit in Fawcett Road, Southsea.

One new start is because we are looking for our next parish priest and, when he arrives later this year, it will be a new start for the next part of the life for this church which is so embedded in this part of Southsea.

Another new start will be at the end of this month as we rededicate ourselves to the service of God and the local community.

On Sunday, January 28, we will be celebrating the 60th anniversary of the reopening (or rededication) of the building back in 1958.

The first church on this site was St Matthew’s, which dates from 1902.

In January 1941, the building sustained major bomb damage. At the end of the Second World War, the parish was amalgamated with its next-door neighbour, St Bartholomew, and the parish of the Holy Spirit was born.

There was then some major rebuilding work, before, on January 25, 1958, the Church of the Holy Spirit arose from the ashes – flames of war replaced with flames of hope for the future.

I would be delighted to welcome you to the celebrations on Sunday, January 28, at 10am when we are so pleased that the Ven Joanne Grenfell, Archdeacon of Portsdown, will be joining us to preach.

Has the building and community gathered at this church in Fawcett Road ever been a part of your journey through life? As a member of the scout group? Maybe you were baptised or married here?

Then we would love to share your memories as this place gave a new start to part of your life.

The Church of the Holy Spirit is in Fawcett Road, Southsea