A huge thank-you to The Farnham Institute who have given us £500 to improve our Sumner Room at St John’s for greater community use. This work has now been completed and it looks great! Please take a look and spread the word – we would love to have more people making use of this facility.
Find out more about hiring it here.
Lent groups will be running again this year, studying Dave Tomlinson’s book “Black Sheep & Prodigals”. First meetings will be in w/c 19/2. Sign up sheets are at the back of church or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Remember that Dave will be visiting the parish on 4th Feb at 6:30 to talk about the book (and give an opportunity to buy it).
Come to the annual Parish Barn Dance! It is great fun for all the family. Friday 2nd February 2018, 7:00 – 10:30 pm at St George’s GU9 9LU. Adults £12, under 16s £6, Family ticket (2 adults + children) £30.00. Supper included but bring your own drinks. Tickets available from me 01252 314703 email@example.com or in all the parish churches.
Lent starts this year on Valentines Day – 14th February. Lots of people choose to do something special for Lent. In this parish one of the charities we support is Christian Aid and for Lent they are encouraging us to count our blessings each day with these special reflections and actions. Click on the below links to find out more:
Count Your Blessings 2018 adult
Children’s Count Your Blessings
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.
Come to church on Mothering Sunday – 11th March and say a prayer for your mum – or bring her along if you can, and give her a posy. All Age Services in the Parish at 9:30am at St John’s, Hale, 11:00am at St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale and 11:30 at St George’s, Badshot Lea. The 10am service at St George’s will be a regular Communion Service with added posies.
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.