Fr John’s Christmas Message

Dear Brothers and Sisters 

On behalf of the Avon Stour Pastoral Area, I wish every joy and blessing during this Christmas season to you and all your families. 

For many, however, the Feast will be anything but festive. We particularly remember in love and prayers those who have lost loved ones recently. It will inevitably be a very testing time for them. Similarly we commend to God those who are seriously ill at this time. 

So let us all be mindful of those who will be suffering this Christmas. May God bless our efforts to be mindful and helpful to them in every way possible, as brothers and sisters should. 

May the peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your minds and your hearts in the knowledge and love of God, and of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen 

Fr John Chadwick, Co-ordinating Pastor for Avon Stour Pastoral Area

Christmas and Advent Service Times

We would love you to join us at any of our Advent/Christmas services across our Pastoral Area.

[Looking for our regular Sunday Mass times?]

For church addresses and for parish newsletters giving times of confessions and of services after Christmas Day, please see the separate Parish pages

Tuesday 10th December
7.00 pm St Peter’s Catholic Secondary School Carol Service

Wednesday 11th December
7.00 pm St Joseph’s Catholic Primary School Advent Service
                   (at St Joseph’s Church)

Sunday 15th December
4.00 pm Advent Liturgy (Highcliffe Parish)

Wednesday 18th December
7.00 pm Advent Penitential Service (Southbourne Parish)

Monday 23rd December
7.30 pm Taizé Service (Southbourne Parish)

Christmas Eve Tuesday 24th December
2.30 pm Crib Service (Christchurch Parish)
4.00 pm Family Christmas ‘Nativity Mass’ (Southbourne Parish)
5.00 pm Family Christmas Mass (Christchurch Parish)
6.00 pm Children’s Christmas Mass (Iford Parish)
6.00 pm Christmas Mass (Ringwood Parish)
6.00 pm Carol Service before Mass, then…
  6.30 pm Christmas Mass (Highcliffe Parish)
7.30 pm Carol Service before Mass, then…
  8.00 pm Christmas Mass (Fordingbridge Parish)
10.00 pm Christmas Mass (Iford Parish)
10.00 pm Carol Service before Mass, then…
  10.30 pm Christmas Mass (Southbourne Parish)
11.30 pm Carol Service before Mass, then…
  12 Midnight Christmas Midnight Mass (Christchurch Parish)

Christmas Day Wednesday 25th December
9.00 am Christmas Mass (Fordingbridge Parish)
9.00 am Christmas Mass (Christchurch Parish)
9.30 am Christmas Mass (Iford Parish)
10.00 am Christmas Mass (Southbourne Parish)
11.00 am Christmas Mass (Ringwood Parish)
11.00 am Christmas Mass (Highcliffe Parish)

Alpha 2019 coming soon…

‘Taster’ Session  THIS COMING TUESDAY 17 Sept 2019 

Free Meal, Film & Info
No Pressure
St Joseph’s, Christchurch BH23 1EH

You are invited to Alpha for a time of great food, great conversation and films that make you think – a chance to explore life and the Christian faith in a friendly, open and informal environment.

Our Taster Session gives you the chance to sample what it will be like with no further commitment.
The ball is in your court – what have you got to lose?

Key dates if you decide to go ahead:
(All at St Joseph’s starting 7.15pm except ‘AwayDay’)
– Taster Session (includes 1st Alpha film):  17th Sep 2019
– Session 2:  1st Oct 2019
– Then every Tuesday evening (except 29th Oct) until…
– Final Session:  10th Dec 2019
– Local ‘AwayDay’:  Saturday 23rd Nov 2019, 10am-5pm
– Celebration Evening:  Tue 14th Jan 2020
(Note: You can just turn up for the Taster Session, but you will need to register if you wish to go ahead afterwards)

Visit our Alpha page for more information
To register your interest, please email 
View invitation postcard

What an evening!

On Wednesday 5th June, over 70 people from across our Pastoral Area and beyond gathered in St Joseph’s Church in Christchurch for this term’s Welcome to Worship evening.

Since it was just a few days before the great feast of Pentecost, our theme was:  “Do not quench the Spirit” (1 Thessalonians 5:19)


We began with some great contemporary worship music and singing, led by a wonderrful band of musicians and singers from across the Pastoral Area.  Then, after listening to our scripture reading (Acts 1:6-9 “…you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you“), the short talk focused on the impact of the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives, followed by a powerful prayer for a fresh outpouring of the Holy Spirit on all of us present.  We then entered a wonderfully prayerful and moving period of silent reflective activities to help us respond in whatever way we chose – a ‘Bible Fire Dip’ of Holy Spirit scripture verses, a creative ‘Flame Prayers’ area, a chance to recommit to our Baptismal promises in a practical way and an opportunity for silent prayer ministry.

This was then all drawn together in communal prayer and a final joyful time of praise and worship, before everyone headed to the Parish Centre for some welcome refreshments.

Some comments spontaneously sent in next day by people who were there:

WOW! …the most beautiful, spiritual and moving Welcome to Worship “Do not quench the Spirit”. The display on the Sanctuary steps was so powerful it really captured The Holy Spirit. … Everything about last night was so memorable: the prayer stations, the worship music, and scripture reading and the peaceful reflective activities.

… another wonderful Welcome to Worship evening in preparation for Pentecost. Really enjoyed it. So prayerful, peaceful but powerful as well

The highlight for me was when I was prayed over during Silent Prayer Ministry …I felt the most inner peace inside and the warmth of The Holy Spirit upon me.

…Surrounded by so many happy people I was so aware of the holy spirit… I thought St Joseph’s was a side room of Heaven yesterday.

… another wonderful welcome to worship. The talk was spot-on and the music beautiful.

You can see more pictures and information here

For general information about our Welcome to Worship evenings visit our dedicated Welcome to Worship page

Keep in touch with all that is happening in our Pastoral Area by visiting our new Facebook Page