Whoever you are and wherever you are on life's journey - you are welcome here.
South Hayling United Reformed Church offers a friendly atmosphere to people of all ages. Our worship on Sundays is traditional yet informal, and we welcome people of any church background or none. We are concerned to serve the needs of the community around us and we continue to look for new ways to reach out to others. This we do through Alpha groups, social events, coffee mornings, a parent and toddler group, friendship, fellowship and worship. As a church we also support work overseas particularly through our links with Ruti and Christian Aid projects.
As well as outreach we
are a ‘learning church’ and provide opportunities for learning,
particularly how to live as a Christian in contemporary society. This
happens through the Disciple groups, Growing Leaders, Challenging Lifestyles and
regular Bible discussions.
On Sundays we have a Junior church and welcome children from 0 to any age! The children are encouraged to join in with the Fellowship for United Reformed Youth (FURY) when there are local or national events. Children under 3 are welcome throughout the service and soft bags containing books and quiet toys are located around the church. Also in the Link are toys and books, where a speaker system allows you to continue to hear the service if you feel that you need to step out with your child. Toilets are equipped with baby changing facilities. All our elders are CRB checked.
After the Act of Uniformity in 1662 times were hard for dissenters but, in this part of the south of England, Havant became a focal point for lovers of free religious ideas. For around 150 years Hayling Islanders had to wait for low tide and walk over the Wade Way or catch the ferryboat on the high tide. Eventually in 1811 meetings on Hayling took place in a farm kitchen. A minister from Havant took some services and students from Gosport would sail over to help. A Congregational chapel was built in 1830 on the present site. The minutes and financial records show that the members worked hard to educate children and to care for the needy in the community. The inter-war years were a time of expansion and a hall was built in 1923.
A chapel was also built to the north of the island, at Stoke Village, in 1874. This was closed in 1991.
In April 1941 buildings at South Hayling were badly damaged by a land mine. Within a week a tin hut was erected and used for worship till 1954 when the present church was opened. After more fund raising efforts, the Main Hall was added two years later.
1972 was an important year because the Union of Congregational Churches and the Presbyterian Church of England and Wales joined to become the UNITED REFORMED CHURCH.
Congregations continued to grow and a balcony was added in the church in 1983. After 57 temporary years, the tin hut was replaced by a new small hall in 1998 and linked to the other buildings. With our new Link (foyer), which was built in 2008, we continue as a strong Christian witness in the centre of Mengham village, serving the community, teaching and preaching the gospel of Christ.