We meet to worship in the beautiful building in Church Lane set next to the duck pond; it’s very clear why the church is popular for weddings and baptisms! The church originates from the 10th century and has been adapted over the years. Eight new bells were installed in 2009 and in recent years some of the pews were replaced with moveable benches which means the space can be adapted for a range of uses including concerts and our regular toddler group. None of the ‘history’ has been lost, however, and there is a short leaflet available in the church that explains some of the architecture, stained glass windows and memorial plaques that have been retained.
The churchyard is well maintained and is currently still ‘open’ for burials and interments. There are some interesting historical graves to see including some brick barrel graves and a memorial to Diana Rowden, a former agent with the Special Operations Executive during World War II.
The Church is on the Pilgrim’s Way, which leads from Winchester to Canterbury; if you have an official Pilgrim’s Way ‘passport’ you will be able to get it stamped here.
The building is usually open during daylight hours; we love to have visitors popping in (do remember to write in our visitor book!). If you’re there on a Tuesday morning between 10am and 12noon you can enjoy coffee, cake and good company at our regular coffee morning. We end the session with a short time of prayer and visitors are always welcome to stay and join us – they often do!
On a Wednesday morning the ‘Teddies’ meet; this is a preschool group for babies and young children and those who are caring for them, not only mums and grandparents, often dads and carers join in too. There is no need to book and there is no charge. You will always find a warm welcome, however, along with a simple craft, stories, songs, prayers, refreshments and a ‘teddy bear hunt’.
Our Sunday morning services are usually at 9.30am when we meet for Holy Communion. We sing hymns accompanied by the church organ; we have been introducing more contemporary worship songs with a band (guitars, keyboard and flute) once or twice a month. The services are relaxed in style and follow the Church of England Lectionary. Coffee is served after the services giving the chance to have a good chat.
On the last Sunday of each month Church@4 is held at Andrews’ Endowed Church of England Primary School in London Road, Holybourne, starting at 3.45pm with refreshments and crafts. This is a relaxed informal gathering of people of all ages, is lots of fun and lasts for one hour. Everyone is welcome.
For further information about the church and the parish you are invited to take a look at the website (www.potr-alton.co.uk) and the Facebook page (www.facebook.com/potralton).