Since I wrote my piece for last month’s magazine, I have had the good fortune to have two, very different, weeks away. At the end of May, as you will see elsewhere in this magazine, a group of us from Christ Church, along with others from the Church of the Good Shepherd, Crookhorn, and some from further afield, travelled to the Holy Land.

This was my second trip to Israel and Palestine. I had previously visited in 2015 and it was a joy to return with members of our church congregation. Together we visited places where Jesus had lived and ministered 2,000 years ago. For many of us, standing in these places brought the Bible to life, enabling us to picture not just where Jesus had been, but also what he had in mind as he taught in parables, using imagery from every day life in the area.

Back home, we still have those pictures in our minds (and maybe on our phones). But we are not reliant on them. The book of Hebrews tells us that the word of God is alive and active so, whether or not we’ve visited the Holy Land, the Holy Spirit can still speak to us through the words of the Bible – great news for all of us.

Then, as we approached the end of June, Jacqui and I had a week away with our eldest son and his family. As I wrote in April, the last time we had a holiday with one of our sons, we returned to find water pouring throughout the Vicarage thanks to the ‘Beast from the East’ freezing a mains inlet pipe in the loft.

On that occasion we had spent a few cold March days in snowy Yorkshire. This midsummer’s break in Devon was very different! Sitting looking over Dartmoor at 10pm in the broad daylight of the longest day left me amazed at the variety we find in weather and landscape, even in our own country. We are greatly blessed

I appreciate that not everyone is fortunate enough to have a holiday. That’s why we’re working with our friends at Crookhorn to offer a ‘Holiday at Home’ in August. Details should be elsewhere in this magazine.

Elsewhere in the Portsdown Cluster, this month the Revd Connie Sherman leaves St John’s, Purbrook. Connie has been a valued colleague and we will miss her. We wish her well in her new role at Portsmouth University.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12)

Local News

It is good, where possible, to support our local businesses, so here is some news from two of them:
Manhattan Cakes are now selling honey from two local beekeepers. ‘Purbrook Honey’ and ‘Widley Allotment Honey’ are both available alongside the milk, bread, sandwiches and lovely cakes that Sally sells.

Co-operative Funeralcare have an open evening at their new Widley branch on Tuesday 17th July 3pm-7pm. Many of us were sad to see the shop disappear. Nevertheless, we wish the team at the Co-op well as they seek to provide a different service to our community.

For the word of God is alive and powerful. It is sharper than the sharpest two-edged sword. (Hebrews 4:12)


Revd Andy Wilson

Vicar, Christ Church Portsdown 
Joint Area Dean, Havant 
Chaplain, Havant & Waterlooville FC