Looking for a congregation to join in Portsmouth?
These churches in Portsmouth are doing their bit for the community.
St. Luke and St. Peter, Southsea
The Church of St. Luke and St. Peter is a vibrant one offering a safe, welcoming space to those with or without faith. Since early 2018 the building has been going through a series of redevelopments in order to bring the structure up to date for a new age of worshippers. The congregation is currently focused on raising money that should transform the shape of the building and how it’s used by the community. A bright entrance is being planned to welcome newcomers in addition to a new cafe and co-working space that should serve to make the church a more popular venue for local people in the neighbourhood.
St. John’s Cathedral
Built in 1882, St. John’s has been the home for an ever growing number of Catholics in and around Portsmouth ever since, although at one point it seemed like there would’t even be a chapel! Before 1791 English Catholics had not been allowed to have chapels within towns or cities, but that soon changed with the Second Catholic Relief Act of 1791. Reverend John Cahill was the first appointed Catholic priest in Porstmouth who opened a chapel in a private home. It wasn’t until 1882 that the Cathedral as we know it today was dedicated, since then the building has been adapted and renovated several times.
St. Jude, Southsea
Around 300 people of different ages and races congregate at St. Jude’s to celebrate and praise God. Made up of a dedicated team of individuals, St. Jude has a strong interpersonal structure that has made it an integral part of the community. A number of informal groups meet here each week spanning a wide range of ages. Young families can bring the kids along to children’s groups suitable from the youngest of toddlers to teenagers, there are also meetings for students, men women and older people. Check out their website for more details on these groups.
St. Simon, Southsea
Located just a few minutes from the seafront, St. Simon’s is an Anglican church that prides itself on its thrilling services and engaging talks. Bob Mason is the man in charge here and he’s supported by a team of passionate Anglicans who come from all over England. St. Simon is notable for taking part in a number of forward thinking schemes such as the Open Church project which aimed to give those affected by homelessness a place to stay over night, as well as a hot meal throughout February. After the success of this project they will be repeating and extending Open Church in early 2019.
Is it possible to be blindsided by God?
I believe so.
My life had been chaotic for a number of years before I realised there was another way out, but it took a chance encounter with a man from Portsmouth for this to happen.
Birmingham in the mid-90s was not an attractive place, stuck in a concrete clad limbo this grey metropolis was not a pretty sight on the sunniest of days. I’d spent nearly my entire life in the city and yet I’d never developed much affinity with the place. My parents had come from outside the city for work, they had only stayed because they were worried that they would not be able to find jobs elsewhere. For the entirety of my childhood I was reminded about the sacrifice that my parents had to make in order for me to eat and have an education, but when I left home at the age of 18 I couldn’t think of anywhere else to go.
After spending years saving I bought my first piece of property back in 1982. Properties in the city centre were cheap at this time and soon one property became many. Before I knew it I had become the proud owner of a veritable property empire, those years were rewarding but also challenging as I was soon to discover that keeping so many balls in the air was certainly no easy task! As busy as I was, it didn’t stop me from buying more property. Within the year I’d doubled by portfolio and had found myself well and truly out of my depth.
By the mid-00s my business had stepped up a notch even further. The investments I’d made in city centre property in the 80s had paid off and now the city was making a turn around the buildings I’d bought were very much in demand. Dozens of start-ups chasing the ever elusive tech bubble were looking for events for networking in Birmingham and I was the man who held the keys to it. It was this turn in my fortunes that led to me meeting Jeffrey Towne, a business owner and Baptist from Portsmouth who was interested in investing in the city.
Jeffrey was primarily in Birmingham to attend the Christian Conference, an annual meeting of Christians from all doctrines and denominations, but he also had an eye for a deal and had spotted a ‘To Let’ sign on one of my buildings. After taking his call I met him in the centre to show him around the building, a 3-storey Victorian building that had the makings of a good-sized office. Jeffrey didn’t come across ‘religious’ in any way, it had been so long since I’d talked to anyone of faith that I’d built up an impression in my mind of the overzealous door knocker and had not realised that there were like minded businessmen who also held a faith.
Jeffrey didn’t buy any property in the end, but he did tempt me into going to the Conference with him. It was at that conference that I met my future wife and the rest, as they say, is history. I’ve since been baptised and now live in Portsmouth where I still meet up with Jeffrey for the occasional chat.