Teams called to serve

There are so many different ways to get involved in our Parish and the wider community…

We love serving others

Our church community has so many teams within it, groups of friends exploring faith or serving together in a variety of ways. This is important because we can’t do faith on our own. The vast majority of these teams are run by volunteers who give their time freely. If you are interested in joining any of them, or trying out any of the activities on offer, or you are looking for support for you or your family – just get in touch!

Whether you’re a history buff or a foodie, whether you’re passionate about helping families or pursuing social justice – there’s something here for you!

If you have a particular skill or gift that you’d like to contribute to the Parish please feel free to come forward, via our contact page.

Here are some of our great teams and activities we hope you would like to support:

Welcoming & hospitality

We are investing in hospitality so that anyone who arrives at our church knows that they belong.

Worship & liturgy

Music – From singers to organists, from choirs to instrumentalists, the musical worship of our parish is really diverse.

Adorers – Eucharistic adoration is a beautiful Catholic form of prayer in which we spend time with Jesus – our team of adorers have committed their time to do just this.

Altar servers – Our teams of altar servers play a key role in ensuring our masses running smoothly and in helping to create an atmosphere of prayer.

Children’s liturgy of the Word – Our Children’s Liturgy team does a great job, especially in unpacking the readings at mass for the children of our parish.

Parish Life

PeterCares – is a simple befriending project offering support by linking volunteer parishioner telephone callers with fellow parishioners. The support provided includes a friendly chat, continued connection with the parish, information about our virtual church, practical help where requested, and a conduit for prayer requests. For more information click here…….

Church environment – Keeping the church looking beautiful is a big job and has such an impact! This team helps to keep the church clean, the flowers stunning and the brass shining.

Transport – We have volunteers dedicated to bringing members of our parish to mass when they can no longer safely transport themselves to our services. This helps them to remain valued members of our church community.

Youth & young adults – We care passionately that the younger generations of our church grow closer to Jesus and so we have a team that aims to empower them within our community.

The Winchester Catholic History Society – This Society has a diverse programme of Speakers and meets on the evening of the first Monday of the month. There are regular trips to places of historical interest. Further information here….

Journey in faith – A group for those wanting to know more about the Catholic Church, or who are considering becoming Catholics. The programme tries to answer any and all questions about our faith, about the Church, about the Journey.

Pat-a-cake – Parents and pre-schoolers meet in the Pastoral Centre on Wednesday mornings in term time.

Catholic Women’s League – A worldwide organisation, united in friendship and love. We aim to support various charities and to care for those in need. Winchester Section, based at St. Peter’s, meets on 3rd Thursday of the month in the Pastoral Centre between 4.30pm and 6.30pm, concluding with the Thursday 7.00pm Mass in St. Peter’s. Further information here….

Pie club – All are welcome for a proper home-made lunch, and a talk, 2nd Wednesday of every month except August.

Neighbourhood groups – Parishioners get together in small groups (each group based in a geographical area) in one another’s homes, for a variety of spiritual activities.

Repository/bookshop – The shop sells a wide range of books, cards and religious artefacts, and is open after Masses.

Parish archives – Our archivist, John Thornhill, is the guardian of the Parish history, and can be contacted by email:

Catenians – The Catenian Association is an international body of Catholic laymen who are committed to their faith, their families, those in need and to each other. Further information here….

Support & outreach

Basics Bank – The purpose of the Winchester Basics Bank is to provide an emergency food and clothing service for people who are facing difficulty following an unexpected event in their lives. For more information click here…….

Boaz – The Boaz Project charity provides a therapeutic work environment for adults with learning difficulties and is based at Hill Farm, Sutton Scotney. The Project’s motto is ‘learning and working together’. It aims to foster a sense of family and its Christian ethos seeks to address the whole person in mind, body and spirit. For more information click here…….

CAFOD – has a global reach to provide long-term aid to equip people with skills, tools and opportunities to combat poverty, the adverse consequences of conflict and climate change, focussing on building a sustainable self-sufficient future. For more information click here…….

CARITAS – is the social action agency of the diocese and in response to local needs has established a range of social action projects especially reaching out to those who are most marginalised and vulnerable. For more information click here…….

Christians against poverty – CAP is a UK charity with over 580 services across the country, bringing life changing freedom and good news to people in desperate need. Always through the Church. For more information click here…….

Covenant with the poor – Pope Francis and Bishop Philip have asked that we all have a special concern for justice, peace and social responsibility. The Covenant with the Poor is a commitment to this by the whole parish. For more information click here…….

Laudato si – (previously Justice and Peace Group) The group seeks to support evangelisation that builds on prayer to words and action. For more information click here…….

MHA Communities – (formerly MHA Live at Home) was established in July 2000 and currently supports over 380 older people (members) across the Winchester District. We aim to provide that ‘little bit of help at the right time’ to prevent issues such as loneliness, isolation and increasing frailty becoming triggers for depression and lack of confidence, leading to illness and earlier than necessary admission to hospital and residential care. For more information click here…….

Nightshelter – has provided a safe and caring temporary home to people experiencing homelessness since 1988. Last year we had 116 different people to stay with us, as well as providing additional beds during the very cold weather. For more information click here…….

The Prison Advice and Care Trust (Pact) – is a national charity that provides support to thousands of prisoners, people with convictions, and their families every year. We support people to make a fresh start, and minimise the harm that can be caused by imprisonment to people who have committed offences, to families and to communities. For more information click here…….

Street Pastors – We offer reassurance, safety and support to all people working in or enjoying our city’s night time economy by caring, listening and providing practical assistance. For more information click here…….

St Vincent de Paul Society – more commonly known as the SVP – helps a range of individuals and families including prisoners and ex-offenders, care home residents, asylum seekers, refugees and people with mental health issues. We offer practical support, for example, replacement of domestic equipment or furniture, transport to hospital appointments, a day out for families in the summer holidays, food parcels at Christmas. For more information click here…….

Southampton and Winchester Visitors Group (SWVG) – is a charity supporting refugees and people seeking asylum in the Southampton area. For more information click here…….

Trinity Winchester – Trinity offers a safe space, with bathing and laundry facilities and nutritious hot lunches free of charge to encourage approximately 640 homeless and vulnerable people each year to engage with our skilled and experienced support workers. It is the only direct-access day centre in central Hampshire. For more information click here…….

Winchester City Centre Chaplaincy (WCCC) – we act as a ‘listening ear’, on a pastoral basis, in a wide range of settings – in shops and offices, in the Law Courts, at Winchester City Council and other premises in the city. We befriend and build up relationships over time. We support people of all faiths and of none. For more information click here…….

Want to find out more? Please get in touch here

Our history…..

St. Peter Street has been the centre of Roman Catholicism in Winchester from the Reformation, when being a Catholic became illegal, to today.

In Elizabeth I’s time, Lady West owned a house in the street, where Mass was said clandestinely and priests were hidden; one of whom was executed in the city along with five lay men between 1583 and 1593.

These are the Winchester Martyrs, and their names are: John Slade, Roger Dicconson, Ralph Milner, Lawrence Humphreys, James Bird, John Thomas.

About 1674, Roger Corham built a house in the street – St. Peter’s House – in which there was a chapel and resident priest serving Catholics locally. By 1740, a growing congregation led to a larger but makeshift chapel being built in the back garden. In 1792, with Catholic chapels now legal, Rev. John Milner constructed a new church on the site. In that year émigré priests fleeing the French Revolution arrived, with eventually up to 1,000 being accommodated in the city. Two communities of nuns came later; one setting up in St. Peter Street in what is now the Royal Hotel. Both convents stayed until the 19th century.

Milner’s chapel (which still stands as “Milner Hall”) was replaced by the present St. Peter’s Church in 1926. Steady growth followed. A chapel was opened at Weeke in 1957 and a small convent next to St. Peter’s in 1960. The primary school, which had first opened in St. Peter Street in 1853 and moved to Gordon Road in 1899, began relocating to Oliver’s Battery in 1970. It is now adjacent to St. Stephen’s Church, which opened in 1969. A new presbytery (“Peterhouse”) was constructed in 1986. In 2006, St. Peter’s merged with St. Gregory the Great, Alresford and St. Thomas More, Stockbridge to create a new parish, renamed St. Peter and the Winchester Martyrs in 2017. Throughout, there has been a steady growth in ecumenism, mission and parish recognition of responsibilities to people who are vulnerable and needy.