St George’s Car Park

You may have noticed that we now have a permit system in place in St George’s car park. This is because for many years the car park has been used by people with no connection to the church and this has caused immense problems both for the church and for those who hire the hall. Groups have suffered from reducing membership because when members come to the group they find they can’t park. Other groups have chosen to move to other halls, with an obvious financial implication. The final straw was when a hearse couldn’t get into the car park because of the number of cars in there, most of which did not belong to mourners.

In terms of the church car park, church and hall users must always be our priority and so those who attend groups will be given permits as required. This should ensure that they can now park more easily. In addition to this, we are offering the car park free of charge to those who are dropping off or collecting children from Badshot Lea School during specific hours in term time.

Our current parking arrangements, while not perfect, are necessary to meet the needs of those who use the church. In line with other organisations within Badshot Lea we need access to and control of our car park. Consideration has been given to suggestions that people pay for permits and remove their cars from the car park for large funerals, parties, services and events. However, this feels unworkable from an administration point of view as the hall is booked by several groups every day, each user having different requirements, also there are also many one-off bookings. The church is run by volunteers who work immensely hard and so we don’t want to burden them with extra work.

Quiz Night at St George’s

Come and join us for a fun quiz evening at St George’s on Fri 19th May. We are hosting our 3rd Parish Quiz Night and would be delighted to see you. Make a team of up to 8 and book a table or book a space and make a team on the night. Tickets are £7 per person, bring your own drinks, glasses and nibbles. Please arrive from 7pm for a 7.30pm start. Please contact us on 01252 338540 or email jasongrafham1@gmail.com to book a table.QuizPosterA4_2017

Thy Kingdom Come – Praying the Psalms

It doesn’t seem like a year since I was hastily putting together an exhibition of paintings depicting the Lord’s Prayer.  Artists with strong connections to our parish each took a line from the prayer and created an image.  Musicians and singers performed, and scones were enjoyed.  Amid all this festivity, we remembered that our Archbishops of Canterbury and York had set the ball rolling when they called for a wave of prayer to cross our country.

This year, they have called again; and as I write, artists are planning their response, bakers are checking their recipes and singers are practising their new repertoire.  This year, our theme is the Psalms and we are hoping that our pictures may stir up new ideas and ways of looking at these ancient songs.

Praying the Psalms – good heavens, what have those old things got to do with our lives today!  What is a Psalm anyway?

To start with, you can find them in the Old Testament because they are part of our Christian inheritance from the earlier Judaic tradition.  Open the Bible, about half way through and flip back a bit and you will find 150 Psalms lurking between Job and Proverbs.  They are ancient songs written by the Hebrew people.  If you look at the headings, you will see (for example Psalm 15) “A Psalm of David”.  We have legends of King David writing the Psalms and often you can see pictures of him, with his harp, wrestling with some poetical tracts … but this is just a legend.  We do not know for certain who composed the Psalms, there could have been several authors.  There are Psalms of joy, Psalms of despair, deep anger with God … I think we have lost the ability to have a really good lament.  The Psalms hurl so much grief and anger at God and there is nowhere better to aim it.  God is big enough to take all our human suffering – together with our joy, delight and thanksgiving for our world.  The Psalms give voice to it all.

psalms

(Photo: King David, from a 6th century mosaic from Gaza)
http://www.biblewalks.com/Sites/Gaza.html#Anthedon

 

Our exhibition will give a tiny glimpse into these ancient songs, I pray that it will open your eyes to look again at the Psalms and perhaps be glad when they say, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” (see Psalm 122).

 

Art Exhibition: open 25 May – 4 June 2017 at St John’s, Hale

Pentecost Party:  Psalms, art, music, refreshments: 4 June at 3.00 pm (St John’s, Hale)

 

 

Evangelicalism

To someone outside the fold one of the problems with Evangelicalism is that there are so many varieties!  Conservative Evangelicalism, Charismatic Evangelicalism, and Open Evangelicalism.

Whilst studying I can across the Bebbington Quadrilateral as a definition of Evangelicalism, although there is criticism of it.

Fulcrum are a UK based Open Evangelical organisation and this is how they define the Evangelical Centre.  There are also groups like Reform who would hold a more conservative position and New Wine, a more Charismatic one.

I hope I have done justice to the descriptions.

Alan

 

Looking to expand the use of St John’s

St John’s Church in Hale is a large, Victorian building with wooden pews which currently don’t allow the space to be used flexibly. The church is open daily but is chiefly used on a Sunday for a 9.30am service and for weddings and funerals at other times in the week.

We want the community to have a say in how the building might also be used so that more people can take advantage of the space it offers, while maintaining worship as its primary use.

To this end, a questionnaire is being sent out to people living close to St John’s asking them if they would be happy for the interior of the church to be altered to create more space and what they might like this space to be used for. Ideas include a cafe, soft play area, GP surgery, debt counselling service, rehearsal space, studios, small office space for home workers, and meeting rooms. The results will be analysed and an exhibition will be held at the church on Saturday May 27 from 10am-2pm.

Rev’d Hannah Moore from St John’s Church said: “We have a beautiful building that is open every day and has a worshipping congregation which meets every Sunday, as well as being used for weddings and funerals. However, the church has great potential as a community resource with more community events and participation and we would like local people to tell us what they would like from the church. We are sending out a questionnaire with an Easter card and will look carefully at the responses to see how we can best serve everyone and ensure that the church is a vibrant part of Hale life for many years to come.”

Please help us by filling in the following questionnaire:

1. Would you be happy for the interior of the church to be altered in order to create more space for complementary uses, while maintaining worship as its primary use?
2. How can you envision this church being used for:
a) Community use, (eg. café, soft play area, debt counselling, GP surgery)

b) Cultural (mosaic studio, orchestra rehearsal, book-swap library, local history display)
c) Commercial (office space, shop, meeting rooms):
We really need your ideas! What does our community need? At the back of St John’s is a box for you to pop your ideas into, alternatively email admin@badshotleaandhale.org (please note, we will not reply to emails to this address – it is just a way of collecting ideas)