Winchester churches go online to bless the city at Pentecost

Pentecost service poster

Pentecost service to be broadcast on YouTube

Churches across Winchester have come together to create a special video service for Pentecost Sunday.

The united service will be shown on the Churches Together in Winchester YouTube channel at 6pm on Sunday 31 May 2020 and available to view thereafter. Individual churches will also share the service through their own social media streams.

Simon Cansdale, vicar of Christ Church, says “We all believe that this could be a profound and important moment in the life of the churches and the city. There is a real feeling that this is truly ‘for the city, from the churches’ and not earthed in any one of our church buildings. We hope and trust that the result will be truly representative and joyful.”

At least 12 city churches from different denominations are taking part and more than 35 singers and musicians have recorded a special song of blessing for the people of Winchester. They all recorded their pieces individually at home and the complete Blessing has been edited by Rev. Mike Griffiths from All Saints and St John’s.

A blessing for the city from the churches

The new Mayor of Winchester, Councillor Patrick Cunningham has recorded a welcome and the Bishop of Winchester, the Right Reverend Tim Dakin will give a final Pentecost blessing. The key voices will be those of church members from across the community.

The lockdown has raised the profile of the churches’ work in the local community. Much of what we have been encouraged to do for one another recently echoes what Christians in Winchester have been doing for years. Two activities that stand out are Winchester Basics Bank, a cross-the-churches initiative, and the work of the Salvation Army who are providing meals to many households. Shelagh Clift, the Salvation Army minister, will be speaking about this in the service.

There is a distinct appeal to online church. It can never replace meeting together, but the city churches report that more people watch online than normally come on a Sunday. The Guardian claims that one in four British adults have watched an online service.

Rev. Simon Cansdale

Members of all the following churches and more have been involved in the making of the video service:

  • Christ Church
  • Salvation Army
  • Winchester Vineyard
  • Hope Church
  • Winchester Baptist Church
  • St. Barnabas, Weeke
  • St. Mark’s, Oliver’s Battery
  • United Church
  • Winchester Cathedral
  • St. Bartholomew
  • St. Lawrence
  • St. Swithun-upon-Kingsgate
  • St. Faith’s with St. Cross, Winchester
  • St. Andrew’s, Chilcomb
  • All Saints, Highcliffe
  • St. John’s, Winnall

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