REV MATT BRAY: Two very different ways of doing church

The Rev Matt Bray of Portsmouth Cathedral and Harbour Church, with his wife Fiona at his ordination
The Rev Matt Bray of Portsmouth Cathedral and Harbour Church, with his wife Fiona at his ordination
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The curate, Portsmouth Cathedral and Harbour Church, Portsmouth says he loves the diversity within the church community. 

Just over a year ago I moved to Portsmouth.

I’d just finished training to be a priest in the Church of England, and my wife was expecting our first child. It’s been such an amazing first year for us in Portsmouth.

We have loved getting to know this amazing city, and finding our favourite places, such as Canoe Lake.

My job allows me to split my time between Portsmouth Cathedral and Harbour Church.

People in Portsmouth have been worshipping on the site of Portsmouth Cathedral for 800

years. It has a rich history, beautiful music from the choir, and carries a deep sense of peace.

Harbour Church is based on Commercial Road above Sprinkles ice cream parlour and has

been running for just 18 months.

The building is a converted department store, the music is lively, and the congregation includes many young families and students.

They are two very different ways of doing church, but both part of the wider church community.

I love the diversity I’ve seen in the church in Portsmouth. Everyone is welcome, everyone can find a place within it and be known. I’ve met so many brilliant people from all

walks of life who have found a home in church.

From September, St George’s Church in Portsea is going to reflect the diversity of the church every Sunday morning.

Harbour Church will be relocating the morning service from Commercial Road to St George’s as we continue to grow in number.

I’ll have the privilege of leading a traditional morning service at 9:30am at St George’s, 

which will be followed by the more informal service from 11am.

The second service will have a café from 10.30am and will also have kids groups.

Even if church seems like the last place you think you’d feel at home, I’d encourage you to

give it a try.

Like many cities, we run the Alpha course in Portsmouth. It’s a course designed for people

who want to explore the big questions of life in a non-judgemental setting.

Our next course at Harbour starts in October.

For more information go to www.harbourchurchportsmouth.org