Coronavirus Covid-19

We intend to use this page for links and other information specifically about the virus and the church's response to it. Please also see our News Page for a daily prayer and other changing items, and our Benefice Service page for a weekly service for us all to share.

Though not as severe as the first time, this period of lockdown will inevitably mean that some of us will miss the contact we've been able to have with friends and family.  Please remember to contact those people with whom you kept in touch with during the first lockdown.  The importance of telephone calls, emails, Zoom/Skype calls, particularly to those who may be feeling a sense of isolation due to shielding or who are effectively housebound, cannot be underestimated.

Alternatively, if you would like to be linked with someone else for a chat or assistance from time to time, please contact William, our Rector.  Contact details can be found by clicking on the Contacts heading above.

Church of England

We are now allowed to open the churches for private prayer only. Initially, it has been decided to open the churches in the benefice at particular times of the day, so that the buildings might be discretely supervised and surfaces cleaned after each visit. When you visit one of our churches there will be someone in church to welcome you, guide you to an area where you will be able to sit quietly and also answer any questions you may have.

The following are the current times of opening:

Otterbourne – every Monday to Friday from 9 am to 10 am.

Please check the News page regularly for updates on changes to these times.

Guidance for Churches page can be found at this address:

You may also like to look at the Church On Line page here:


DailyHope free phone line

Are you in need of some daily hope during this lockdown?  The Church of England has a FREE telephone
line for you to ring to hear comforting hymns, daily prayers and reflections as well as full worship services from the Church of England at the end of the phone.

The resource is a Church of England initiative in partnership with CONNECTIONS at Holy Trinity Claygate, and Faith in Later Life

The line – which is available 24 hours a day on 0800 804 8044 – has been set up particularly with those unable to join online church services during the period of restrictions in mind; to provide comfort and spiritual nourishment to the most isolated in our society.

If you feel that this is something that may interest you, why not dial the number?

Online Safety

A message from Jayne Tarry our Parish Support Adviser & Pastoral Secretary:

'Many of you may notice an increase in fraudulent emails, calls, etc during this time.  Many fraudsters will rely on our distraction and worry to take advantage.  Can I take this opportunity to remind you all to be vigilant.'

For further information please click on the following link:
Beware of Scams

Scams are criminal tricks which are designed to deceive people in order to gain access to their money, possessions or personal details.  Scammers are taking advantage of people’s fear and isolation as a result of Coronavirus – don’t be caught out!

A scammer may try to approach you on your doorstep, by post, over the phone or online. They’ll often pretend to be someone they’re not, or make misleading offers of services or investments.

Remember: Never give bank details or money up front; do not click on links or open attachments in suspicious emails; don’t be rushed into making a decision and if it’s an unbelievably good deal, it is likely to be a scam.

Coronavirus; How to help safely.

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives.

You should only leave the house for one of four reasons, and one of these is to provide care or to help a vulnerable person. Even when you are doing this, you need to do so safely. You should be minimising time spent outside of the home and ensuring you are 2 metres (6 feet) apart from anyone outside of your household.

The guidance outlined in the following link from the website tells you how you can help and importantly, how to do this safely.

Andover Mind, providing services across Hampshire.

Even though the doors are closed, Andover Mind are still open with friendly and supportive staff providing support, advice and information.  If you have any concerns, please follow the links below for further informatin and how to contact them.



Call Companions Service

We have received an email from the Parish Administrator regarding Re-engage’s free Call Companions service.

'You may have heard of Re-engage (formerly Contact the Elderly) for it’s monthly Sunday afternoon tea parties, where volunteers of all ages use their own cars to collect older guests, and meet in volunteer hosts homes, for tea, cake and companionship. The groups are small and friendly and most people are part of the same group for many years.

As our tea parties are suspended due to Coronavirus, we have developed and launched Call Companions  - telephone befriending scheme.

The scheme will become part of the services we offer – it is not just for lock down.  A volunteer call companion will call the same older person between two and four times a month at a mutually agreed time for an informal chat. Calls will last for around 30 minutes. Many people say that it is so nice to have the chance to chat to more than one or two people in a week, to help break up the days. This is true in normal times, and really exacerbated at the moment

The calls are about friendship and friendliness not about ‘care and support’ etc. the volunteers love it because they have someone to chat to about last night’s TV etc. It really is a fun chat about anything and everything.

Our volunteers all receive training, which includes safeguarding, signposting to other services, and how to engage in difficult conversations. They are supported by call coordinators who monitor the success of the partnership for both the older person and volunteer. If an older person takes part and subsequently decides it is not for them, there is an easy way for them to leave.

Referrals – case by case but usually for those:

  • Age 75 or older 
  • Living alone or in sheltered housing, often with limited contact with family or friends 
  • Must be able to hear well enough to engage in a telephone conversation

 We do ask the older person for any interests or hobbies, to help spark conversations for those first few chats when they are getting to know each other.

We don’t know when lock down will end for older people so we are urging people to enrol for Call Companions even if they then move into other activities. It keeps them in touch with the organisation in a good way, so that as and when things change we can offer them the change to re-engage in different ways too.

You can make referrals online or by calling our freephone 0800 716543.  We can help go through the application form with someone over the phone if they are calling themselves.'


Winchester Basics Bank

You will be aware that some people are going to be in acute financial difficulties as a result of the Coronavirus outbreak.  This will result in a huge need for food banks.  At the same time, donations are at risk of reducing because people shopping online have no obvious way to donate as they do in store, and in some stores people have even been stealing from the Food Bank donation trolley.

Please take a look at the attached page and consider donating to our local Basics Bank to help those people who are in need of help and support during this uncertain time.  Thank you.

Trinity Winchester

Trinity are appealing for money as opposed to goods or voluntary support at this difficult time.  The homeless are still in need of food, washing and laundry facilities and therefore Trinity requires donations of money instead at this time.  If you would like to support them and would like to donate so they can keep the doors open for as long as possible to those who are homeless and most in need, please visit the Trinity Winchester website.

Read the latest Newsletter from Trinity Winchester here:


 An important Message from St. Matthew’s Churchwardens

Our village church is totally self-funded. It does not receive any grants from the Government or the Church of England. All the funds it receives come from the parishioners and the fund-raising events which we run. As a result of the current closure of the building and the cancellation of our major fund-raising event, our village church is desperately in need of some funds.

If you would like to help by making a one-off donation, this would be much appreciated. This can be done by on-line banking by contacting our Treasurer using

Thank you all for your continued support for St. Matthew’s Church.

Your St. Matthew's Churchwardens


Local Suppliers who will deliver

There are local suppliers, restaurants, etc. who are happy to deliver fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and many other items to our area.  For more information please visit http:/