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Knitted hearts bring Christmas message

PARISHIONERS at three churches in Gosport have made, and are now distributing, knitted hearts to help bring the message of Christmas to the borough.

Hundreds of small hearts have been produced by the knitters from St Matthew’s Church, Bridgemary, St Mary the Virgin, Rowner, and St Thomas, Elson, and these symbols of Christmas will now be placed in coffee shops, GPs’ surgeries, workplaces and elsewhere across the parish.

And there have been spin-offs with the children of Elson Infants School using playdough, glitter and tissue paper to make hearts that will be used to decorate their local church, and other worshippers have made wooden hearts for the Christmas trees in their churches.

It is part of the Church of England’s At the Heart of Christmas campaign – “an invitation to everyone to discover – or rediscover – the good news of God’s saving love as revealed in the birth of Jesus”.

‘anyone who comes to our church will feel welcome’

The knitted hearts will be distributed together with details of church services and one of the knitters, Pat Goater, said: “I’m going to place them around the community, including in places where children go past with their parents to Woodcot Primary School.

“I think it’s great, and I think anyone who comes to our church will feel welcome. I’ve been coming for more than 40 years, but even those who don’t come regularly know that we’re a welcoming place.”

For people who have suffered a bereavement there is the opportunity to write the name of their loved one on a wooden heart, and all who have recently departed will be prayed for during the Christmas season. Each person involved will pay a small fee, and the cash raised will go towards helping those in need in the Gosport area.

The congregations in Bridgemary, Elson and Rowner have also been supporting Crisis Food Gosport with donations to help those who will struggle to buy food and gifts this Christmas.

Photo (top): The Rev Samantha Martell, team vicar of Rowner, Bridgemary & Elson, gets to the heart of the matter. Church of England Diocese of Portsmouth, reproduced with permission