The Parish was founded 20 years ago, bringing together the Parish of Hale and the Conventional District of Badshot Lea. This became a Team Ministry with two districts – ‘Hale’ and ‘Badshot Lea’. However, the ministry team have always found this structure heavy on meetings and difficult to operate, and so now we have become a unified Parish with no districts.
The original name “Hale with Badshot Lea” indicated a Team Ministry – and under these circumstances the word “with” was a legal requirement.
Parish Priest The Revd. Lesley Crawley said:
“The old name made it sound like Badshot Lea was tacked on to the Parish of Hale, and this was a cause of anxiety in the early days when the team was put together and has been a source of irritation since.
“In bringing in a new structure we also had the opportunity to choose a new name, and were careful to get this right.
“We wanted to retain the names of the older villages – “Hale” and “Badshot Lea” and the fairest way to do so was simply to put them in alphabetical order.
“Of course, this does not indicate importance in any way’
The change of name indicates a new way of working across the three churches of St Mark’s, St George’s and St John’s, and will formalise the large amount of joint working which has developed over the past two years.
“The current Parish covers almost exactly the ancient Tithing of Badshot, in which the History of Hale Project have identified ‘the only village was Badshot with a very small hamlet at Hale’.
“It seems very appropriate then that Hale and Badshot Lea were reunited 20 years ago into a Parish,
“With such a rich history, we are excited about leading this parish into a new chapter of growth and community engagement.”
As part of the restructuring of the Parish St Mark’s will become available for weddings. Currently, it is only possible to marry at St George’s and St John’s.
The Priest-in-Charge The Revd. Alan Crawley said:
“We love weddings – anyone resident in the Parish or with a Qualifying Connection to the Parish may be married in St George’s or St John’s, it doesn’t matter whether they come to church or not and it doesn’t matter whether they have been baptised or not.
“We have had a few enquiries from people who love St Mark’s Church and want to be married there. Currently this cannot happen without a Special Licence, which is expensive. So we are seeking to have St Mark’s licensed for weddings.
“We are very excited about having more weddings in the Parish. If you would like to know more contact Lesley on 01252 820537 or firstname.lastname@example.org.”