The benefice comprises two growing villages in South Hampshire, four miles east of Eastleigh town and about halfway between the main centres of Winchester and Southampton.
Fair Oak and Horton Heath is mostly an urban Parish with residential areas and local shops, with rural areas in the east.
St. Tom’s, has developed strong relationships within the local community with schools, the Parish Council, nursing homes and Guiding and Scouting groups. We have close links with other churches in the parish and across the wider Eastleigh Deanery, partnering with mission events on a regular basis. We partner together to host annual Remembrance services and 'Carols in the Square' events – both valued opportunities for our village communities to come together.
At the heart of the church campus is our beautiful 158 year-old church building, the fabric of which requires significant regular upkeep. We have an attached extension that has a maximum of two meeting spaces, a recently refurbished kitchen area, a small office and vestry room. The building and extension have a modest amount of floorspace, with limited flexibility of use, which causes difficulties in servicing everyday church ministry activities. We also have an adjacent separate two-storey 'Stables' building, where the ground floor is currently hired by a pre-school, whilst the first floor has space dedicated to youth ministry.
Two school campuses are situated within the parish in Fair Oak: one is home to Wyvern College and Fair Oak Infant and Junior Schools, attended by 2,000+ students each day and the other is The Kings School, an independent Christian school, teaching primary and secondary students. A new primary school in Horton Heath is planned. We have invested in growing relationships with each school.
The current population of the parish is 11,000 people, and is growing in size due to increased housing development in recent years. A further 2,200 homes are planned over the next 10 years.
The villages contain two excellent parks and open spaces, which together with Stoke Park Woods are valuable green assets that are enjoyed and appreciated by the whole community.