During Lent, as well as the Lent Groups, there will be the Friday lunchtime services at noon, this year, unfortunately, with no lunch. The theme is taken from the Mission Agency ‘USPG’ and is about “All things are possible: exploring how faith can change the world”; the preachers are:
16/2 Bob Skinner – What does it mean to prosper?
23/2 Michael Hopkins – What does it mean to care for the environment?
2/3 Patrick O’Ferrall – What does it mean to love our neighbour?
9/3 Philip Simpkins – What does it mean to live in partnership with God?
16/3 John Edwards – What does it mean to fulfil our potential
23/3 John Evans – Summary
On Thursday mornings 10:30-12 at St Mark’s there will be an opportunity to come and be creative – do some drawing or painting. All the materials will be provided as well as some coffee and cake! We are starting on 1st February, and then it will be every week – just turn up.
The Garden is very soggy at time of writing and little work has been done but moving Swiftly on….
At the last group meeting it was suggested that we explore the possibility of having Swift boxes put up on the church. The organisations to speak to were found to be The Blackwater Valley Countryside Trust and Tices Meadow Nature Reserve.
I met their representatives at the church for a site meeting. Firstly they gave me the background as to why Swifts need our help.
Swifts are in trouble. Their numbers are declining and have more than halved nationally since 1995. They nest in eaves and because old buildings are being demolished and the methods of new building their nesting sites are disappearing. We are fortunate in our area as there is a fairly healthy population but they could still do with our help.
The eaves of St. Georges Church are ideal for creating a nesting site and because of the way they “stick out” from the wall we are able to provide an hotel rather than individual boxes which means more room for more lodgers!
The “hotel” will be fitted to the eaves of the west wall, from the southeast corner to the first buttress. It will be constructed with wood and screwed to the eaves with no drilling into the church wall. It will be virtually invisible to the casual observer. There is no cost to us as the people who make and install them are specialist volunteers who provide their expertise and materials.
Now, I expect that some of you might be thinking, “what about the mess?”. I am assured that Swifts do not deposit their guano down the walls of their nest sites but jettison it whilst in flight. Sou`westers anyone!!
The “hotel” will be installed by May this year before the Swifts return from migration. The conservationists will install, temporarily, some sound equipment which will broadcast recordings of the screeching call of Swifts. Hopefully this will encourage them to explore the site and take up residence.
We will be joining The Kilns in Badshot Lea and The Roman Catholic Cathedral in Aldershot who have also agreed to boxes or hotels on their buildings.
I hope they like us!
This year we are combining Valentine’s Day with a celebration of being church on 11th February. There will be balloons and cake, and during the service there will be a bit of fun with a quiz and during the sermon slot we will have a “Ask the Vicar anything you like” opportunity.
We will have envelopes for everyone who comes along to church with information about your church and your parish that you might not know! Lots of opportunities to find out more and ask the questions you always wanted answered! So please come along on 11th February and pick up your envelope.
We would love everyone to get involved – if you would like to decorate the churches or create a quiz about your church or make some cakes or anything else you are very welcome!
Dave Tomlinson, author of ‘How to be a Bad Christian’ will be giving a talk on his new book ‘Black Sheep and Prodigals’ at St Mark’s Church, Alma Lane, Farnham, GU9 0LT on 4 February at 6:30pm. After the talk there will be a book sale and signing.
Family Praise is changing! From January, Family Praise is being renamed ‘Worship for All’. Keep an eye out for our colourful new banner and flyers. During January and February, the weekly services will focus on the stories of Jesus as he grew up from his flight to Egypt to his teaching in the temple as a teenager. Following this, during Lent we will exploring the ‘Fruits of the Spirit’.
We are introducing a ‘Café style’ church on the second Sunday of each month and Communion will continue to be offered on the fourth Sunday of each month.
The reason for renaming of Family Praise to ‘Worship for All’ is to reflect the development of the 11.30am congregation of St George’s. This service is not just for people with children but a welcoming, informal service suitable for everyone regardless of age.
Do come along and join the ‘Worship for All’ congregation as we explore some interesting themes, praise and worship together.
Two opportunities to make Christingles – 10am and 11:30am on the 28th January at St George’s Church, Badshot Lea. Come and support the work of The Children’s Society and bring your friends too!
Connections is a group for over 50s on 16 January from 10:00 to 11:30 just come along to St George’s church and enjoy a cup of coffee, some cake and various activities.
And breathe… take time out and come to the Mindfulness Drop-in Session at The Sumner Room, St John’s Church, Hale Road, Farnham GU9 9RP on the first Mondays of the month, starting with Monday 8 Jan 09:30 – 10:30. No need to book and completely free of charge.
Come to the Informal Service at St John’s on 7 Jan at 11:00 – 11:45. The service includes a bible reading, prayers, worship songs and some activities for all ages. This month the theme is Epiphany.