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The Octagon Parish

The Octagon 

during the epidemic

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Church Arrangements


The government's restrictions still require the closure of our church buildings to congregations and the general public. This is a matter of law rather than church policy. The House of Bishops has, however, recently updated its guidance to enable clergy to enter churches for limited purposes including the recording of services. This is why we are now able to record services from our churches, but regrettably the buildings are required to remain locked. The Church is alive and well, though, and we continue to pray and worship together from our homes.

The Rector is available for pastoral care via the telephone on 023 9263 1252.  If you would like to join her for weekly Morning Prayer on Zoom please email her to receive more information and an invitation. 


Each Sunday a service recorded in one of the Octagon churches will be broadcast on the Octagon YouTube channeland to the Octagon Facebook group.

To read the new contact-free Octagon Magazine, click HERE.


The Octagon Bulletin will continue to go out at least weekly. Please click HERE if you wish to subscribe to the bulletin. 


In addition to the Octagon on-line service, during the epidemic worship on Sundays is being broadcast nationally:

  • Sunday 08.10 BBC Radio 4;
  • Sunday 10.45 BBC 1 TV;
  • The Church of England will be streaming a live service each Sunday. Click HERE for more details. 

During the absence of worship in our local churches, do tune into one (or all) of these services.


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Virtual Festival of Chichester 

Plans for the very first Virtual Festival of Chichester have been announced to replace the stunning line-up of performers booked for this year’s festival.  Click HERE for more information. 


Our parish councillors are doing a marvellous job arranging deliveries for the isolated. The Parish clerk for Compton and Stoughton is Rachel Foister. She can be contacted on 023 9263 1806.

Compton Village Shop (023 9263 1144) are arranging deliveries to support those staying at home at this time. Click HERE to see their Facebook page.

Stansted Farm Shop (023 9241 3576) is still open and can also arrange home deliveries. Click HERE for their website. 

There is a milkman who delivers throughout the Octagon, Click HERE for details. He cannot accept new customers at the moment, but keep trying!

Riverford can deliver a weekly box of vegetables. Click HERE.

If you are looking for Garden Supplies during the crisis, Stansted Garden Centre can arrange home deliveries. Phone them on 023 9241 3090 and let them know what you want, or email your name, address and phone number and they will call you back within 24 hours. Email:

Meal Deliveries

The Stag's Head in Westbourne are doing takeaway Pie Night on Wednesdays. Click HERE for their website

During the epidemic, Simply Hog Roast of Petersfield will deliver to your front door a tasty meal of pulled pork, stuffing, roast potatoes and coleslaw for only £9.99 a head. Click HERE for their website, or ring  01730 825584 to arrange delivery.

Whistler's Fish and Chips in Westbourne are doing a full take-away service. Click HERE for details. 

Scrub Hub

Does anyone have any unwanted duvet covers and pillowcases to make scrub bags and surgical hats they could leave at the Vicarage for collection? Would anyone like to do some sewing? The Scrub Hub have enough Scrub makers, nearly enough bags but need more hats! Surgical hats are needed by the NHS – any fabric, patterned fun pictures welcome! Any sewers out there want to help? The public link for the hat pattern may be found by clicking HERE. Please contact the Rector with any queries.

Come on Donna!

An appeal has been set up by the Victoria Inn's Toby Morgan in support of the ITU at St Richard’s where his wife Donna is currently being cared for. So far he has raised over £100,000. For more information, click HERE

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Community Quilt Project

We are encouraging everyone of all ages and skills to have a go at making an 8"x8" square for a quilt to commemorate our community spirit in these unusual times. Please confine any pattern or image to an 8" square with a small seam allowance outside this for joining to the final quilt. The padding/batting will be added at the making up stage and all contributions will be included. If anyone needs fabric scraps just let me know as we have a good quantity amongst our regular sewers.

The picture above shows some of the squares completed so far, but please don't be put off by the complexity of these, it's just that our regular sewers were the first to jump in. A piece of old clothing with a message on it would be equally welcome. Variation and imagination are more important.

Finished squares can be put into a plastic bag and put in my post box at 1 The Square, Compton or hung on my gate post. For more images, see the Octagon facebook site. Do not hesitate to ask if you have any questions.


best wishes and keep well and safe everyone


Nicky Flack/Harvey

Coronavirus-related scams

Reported Coronavirus scams cost victims in the UK over £800,000 in a single month, according to Action Fraud. Here's how to help avoid them:

  • Be wary of approaches from supposed travel agents, tour operators, airlines, cruise companies, insurance companies or compensation firms promising to arrange travel, accommodation or event entry refunds: they may well be fraudulent. If in doubt, call the company you have been dealing with, on the phone number you know to be correct. These approaches can take the form of emails, texts, social media posts, direct messages, online advertisements and phone calls.
  • Be wary of ads for products such as face masks, hand sanitiser, vaccines, cures and hard-to-get goods, as they could be for non-existent products. Never pay by bank transfer, and where possible pay by credit card as doing so provides additional protection.
  • As always, don't click on unknown links in emails, texts or posts, or email attachments. They could link to websites that capture your passwords and other confidential details or cause a malware infection, both of which can result in financial or identity fraud. They could also link to adult, hate, extremist or other content.

Something to read

The Internet Archive's new National Emergency Library offers readers free access to more than a million ebooks, from literary classics to bestsellers by Lee Child, Stephen King, and Terry Pratchett. Click HERE for moe information. 

While the Libraries are shut

If you are a member of any of the West Sussex or Hampshire county libraries, you can have electronic copies of a wide range of  books, magazines (including the Radio Times) and comics delivered free to your computer or tablet. 

For information about West Sussex, click HERE

For information about Hampshire, click HERE.

It's Cocktail Time!

Click HERE for the recipe for a Quarantini cocktail.

Learn Something New

The Open University offers many FREE online courses, often with a certificate at the end. Click HERE for more information.

To pass the time...

Click HERE to see Chichester Cathedral as you have never seen it before, or click HERE to watch the Cathedral peregrines in their nest.

Click HERE for a short film entitled Funtington Snaps which includes a pilgrimage to Racton and Stoughton churches in the 1930s. 

Art for the young

Pallant House Art Gallery in Chichester has a page of robots and puppets you can make at home. Click HERE for details.

Face Masks

Click HERE to see how to make a face mask and why it matters.

If the virus strikes


The Diocese of Chichester with Together in Sussex have set up Hearing You, a new pastoral phone line to enable the people of Sussex to feel connected and supported. It is a phone line that will provide pastoral support and a listening ear to the recently bereaved and people directly affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.  It will be staffed by volunteers who are trained in pastoral care and listening skills: clergy and licensed lay ministers.


This is not a substitute for the emergency services (111 or 999) or a counselling service.  It is a human, Christian response to anyone who turns to the Church in this time of need. Hospital chaplains within the diocese will also be able to direct people to the service.  The phonelines will be open to anyone living in Sussex, whether they currently attend a church or not.  


The service is live now, and will be available at least until the end of May from Monday to Friday between 9.00am and 7.00pm.


The Hearing You number is: 01273 425047


The diocese has also created a simple statement for people to take into hospital with them.  This document explicitly declares a person’s Christian faith, and requests access to a Church of England chaplain while in hospital. A template for this statement is available on the Diocesan website and can be seen by clicking  HERE

Donate to the Octagon

With no church services, Octagon parish funds have been badly affected during the epidemic. If you would like to help, press the orange button. 

All original material on this website is Copyright © 2014-2020 The Octagon PCC