Saints, cadets and cake

St George’s and St Mark’s Churches are both holding celebrations this Sunday (April 28) in honour of the saints they are named after.

April 23 was St George’s Day and April 25 was St Mark’s Day so both churches are holding their patronal festivals that day.

At St Mark’s at 11am, the congregation will learn about the journey that St Mark made from being a young follower of Jesus (perhaps the young man who runs away naked at the end of the Gospel of Mark) to a mature disciple who, tradition has it, founded the church in Alexandria, Egypt, but with all too human problems on the way. After the service there will be cake in celebration of St Mark’s Day.

At St George’s there will be two services which remember England’s patron saint (who was probably born in what is now Turkey). The 10am service will be augmented by a parade by Farnham, Fleet & Aldershot Sea Cadets who meet just up the road from the church. As well as parading they will read the New Testament lesson. The celebrations will then continue at St George’s with Worship for All at 11.30am.

Come and join us at either church on Sunday.

 

Pictured above are Farnham, Fleet & Aldershot Sea Cadets.

Moon finds resting place in Hale

A Hale woman who was used as a model for one of the murals in St Mark’s Church has found her final resting place back in the village.

Joyce Helen Taman, née Eglington, whose ashes were interred in Hale Cemetery on April 5, was born in 1926, and was the model for the figure of Moon when one part of the murals was renovated and repainted in 1946.

Joyce was the youngest of three children and grew up in Vicarage Lane in Hale. She was educated at Hale School where she excelled at maths, and on leaving at the age of 14 was employed in the accounts department at Kinghams, a grocery distribution warehouse in Farnham’s West Street. She married Alexander Mitchell, a member of the military police based at the prisoner-of-war camp in Crookham village whom she met at a dance.

It is not clear how she was chosen to be the model for Moon, but she was always very proud of what she jokingly called her ‘muriel’. By the 1940s, some of the murals which had been painted by Kitty Milroy between 1911 and 1920 required renovation. A fundraising appeal was launched after Easter 1946 and among the fundraisers was the well-known soprano Joan Coxon who put on a concert which raised more than £13, around £500 in today’s money.

The paintings which needed restoring were to the left of the altar where damp had affected them and local painter Evelyn Caesar carried out the restoration, choosing Joyce to sit for Moon. Next to Moon is ‘Clouds’, a male figure, and his identity is still a mystery, as are the identities of many of the figures whom Kitty Milroy painted.

Moon was identified by two of Joyce’s daughters, Jeannette and Wendy-Rae, who came into the church last year while on a nostalgic trip around the area where they grew up. Joyce and Alexander (Alec) settled in Folly Lane North and brought up four children who attended St Mark’s and two even sang in the choir, beneath the picture of their mother.

In later life Joyce remarried and moved to the Midlands and in January this year died in Bournedale House care home in Birmingham at the age of 92. The family and friends returned to St Mark’s this month to celebrate Joyce’s life and her ashes were interred in the cemetery close to others in her family. At the service to celebrate her life, her son-in-law Roger stood beneath the picture of Joyce as Moon and played Blue Moon on his saxophone, a fitting tribute to a much-loved Hale lady.

If anyone has any information on who ‘Clouds’ might be, or any of the other figures in the murals please let us know. You can contact us here or email news@badshotleaandhale.org

Pictured top is Joyce Eglington on her 21st birthday, shortly after she was the model for Moon.

 

Moon

Moon, modelled by Joyce Eglington.

Clouds

Who is Clouds?

A confirmed time of joy

Easter Eve, the evening of the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, is a time of waiting, a time of joyous anticipation of the Sunday that is to come, of the message of hope, love and light that Easter brings.

For two members of our parish this Easter Eve was particularly special. Lymara Procter and Peter Davies were confirmed with 16 others from the Diocese of Guildford at a service in Guildford Cathedral.

It was, as Peter said afterwards, a wonderful evening, when Peter and Lymara affirmed their faith in God, confirming the promises made at their baptisms, and committing themselves to following Jesus Christ.

Both Bishop Jo, Bishop of Dorking, and Bishop Andrew, Bishop of Guildford, led the service and it was Bishop Andrew who confirmed Peter and Lymara, saying to each that God had called them by name and laying his hands on their heads asking God to confirm them with the Holy Spirit. Then all the candidates were greeted with applause and the words, said by the whole congregation: “We welcome you in the fellowship of faith; we are children of the same heavenly Father; we welcome you”.

It was a service of welcome, of joy, of sharing (we all shared communion after the confirmation), and of expectation – expectation of the hope of Easter and of the continuing journey that Peter, Lymara and all of us will take as we seek to follow Jesus Christ.

Anyone who would like to find out about confirmation should contact Alan or Lesley Crawley on 01252 820537 or revd.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org or revd.alan@badshotleaandhale.org

Pictured above are Alan Crawley, Bishop Andrew, Lymara Procter, Peter Davies and Lesley Crawley.

Sacrifice

There are obvious links here to theories of atonement, and in particular penal substitution.  Whilst I don’t like the theory on its own, when taken with other theories I find that it can add something to the whole idea of atonement.  However, to do this I find it helpful to remember that Jesus was both human and divine, and that in the Trinity God is Father, Son and Holy Spirit, and as the Athanasian Creed says :

Such as the Father is; such is the Son; and such is the Holy Ghost.

So, instead of God requiring Jesus to go to the cross, it is God too who goes to the cross, which makes in more an image of love than an image of vengeance.

So God puts and end to the need for sacrifice by self sacrifice!

#OURHOLYWEEK

Serve

This morning I was at the Cathedral for the blessing of the oils and the renewal of vows.  During the service I was led to reflect on the theme of serving others, however it is done, and it made me question the balance between the amount of time the church spends on serving people versus how much time is spent on worship or evangelism.  If we look at the Gospels, most of Jesus time was spent serving others (which might lead to evangelism) rather than talking to them.  Time for a think!

#OURHOLYWEEK

When the donkeys came to church

There were donkeys at St George’s and St Mark’s last Sunday. Twinkle came to St Mark’s, courtesy of Folly Oak Donkeys, while Paddy (pictured above) came to St George’s all the way from the Donkey Sanctuary in Sidmouth, Devon (he’s actually being fostered in Badshot Lea).

It was Palm Sunday, the Sunday before Easter, and in both cases the donkeys led a procession of children and adults around the outside of the church and in doing so recalled the time Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey while crowds put cloaks and palm leaves down in front of him and called out: ‘Hosanna! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord!’

It was a triumphal entry, only a king who enters a city should surely be riding something more majestic than a donkey, shouldn’t they? By riding a donkey rather than a horse, Jesus showed he wasn’t the traditional conquering king that perhaps many of his followers wanted, but as a humble king who would upset the world order by being prepared to die and to show us how much God loves us.

Meanwhile, also on Sunday morning, Lesley Crawley could be heard on BBC Radio Surrey talking about Palm Sunday and Holy Week. You can hear her here at 1:49:08.

For details of the services up to and including Easter click here


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Betrayal

As we are in Holy Week, the most likely inspiration for the theme of Betrayal is that of Jesus by Judas – Durer picture above.

And yet, was it a betrayal? To be betrayed there has to be a both a loyalty, and a harm.

to not be loyal to your country or a person

There has long been a train of thought that Judas was required, even destined, to hand Jesus over, because without Jesus being handed over there would be no Resurrection.  If we buy this argument then Judas was not betraying Jesus, but helping him.

It all rather depends on your view of predestination; if you believe in free will, then Judas could have not handed Jesus over, whilst God could still have found a way for the events to play out.  However, in these circumstances, the fact that Judas chose to do so then becomes a betrayal, and adds to the pressure on Jesus, as he then knows that one of his disciples has betrayed him.  It could even be that the words

Do quickly what you are going to do

are not, as I always interpreted, a command to go and inform the chief priests, but an instruction to go and do what he was going to decide to do, as the suspense was unbearable (this is almost certainly a minority reading, as John’s Gospel is always showing Jesus as in control – however, I find that contemplating ideas like this can add to the understanding of what happened, even if they are “wrong”).

#OurHolyWeek

Love

Recently the government have proposed no fault divorce.  Some Christians are against this, though for reasons that I don’t quite understand.  (Disclosure, I am divorced and remarried).

Their argument appears to be that doing this will make divorce easier, and therefore more people will get divorced, and this is a bad thing.  There appears to be an assumption that making it difficult to get out of a marriage is a good thing as otherwise people would leave on a whim.

When I was at theological college our lecturer asked us when a couple were married: was it when:

  1. the marriage was consummated?
  2. the certificate was signed?
  3. the priest declared it?
  4. the couple agreed to live together for the rest of their lives?

The answer that he gave was 4 – in a marriage the couple are the ministers of the marriage – everyone else is a witness to it.

In the same vein, I would want to ask: when does a marriage end?

If both of the couple wish to separate then surely it is when they decide that – the rest is legal necessity, and the easier that is made surely the better?

The problem perhaps comes when one spouse wishes to end the marriage and the other doesn’t (eg Owens v Owens).  Yet in this case the couple are divorced in all but name.  What good is obtained by denying the legal separation in this case?

The other argument about couples staying together (or not) centres around children.  There are numerous studies round this eg https://www.verywellfamily.com/should-you-stay-together-for-kids-1270800, https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/contemplating-divorce/200911/divorce-doesnt-harm-children-parents-fighting-harms-child (which partially argues against the previous article) and https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2015/nov/22/children-divorce-resolution-survey-rather-parents-separate.  I think what I take from this is that the impact on the children depends more on the behaviour of the parents than on their legal status.

What do you think?

#OURHOLYWEEK

Rage

Each day in Holy week Christians on social media are being encouraged to post under the tag #OURHOLYWEEK on a different subject each day.  So here goes!

What is your take on rage?  Is it something to be avoided at all costs or something to harness?  Perhaps it depends on your view of control and your definition of rage.  I suspect that if you grew up in a family where uncontrolled rage was a common experience you are not that keen on it.  But perhaps sometimes extreme anger is required.  Perhaps Jesus turning over the tables in the temple is an example (or perhaps not – although I find it difficult to imagine such behaviour without an element of anger); without it where does the energy to fight injustice come from?

What do you think?

Raise a glass, raise funds, have fun

St George’s Church is holding a gin night on Tuesday, April 30, where local gin producers Nibbs will be serving their artisan gin while raising money for church funds and giving us an opportunity to have a fun evening with friends and neighbours.

Nibbs is a small family business based in Surrey, producing small batch artisan cocktail gin using freshly picked elderflower from the Surrey and Sussex countryside. It is available at selected pubs, off-licenses, markets and festivals and at special fundraising nights.

Maxine Everitt, who is organizing the gin night, said: “Come and try this wonderful local gin and support both the church and a local small business. This is a great opportunity for people from our community to come in to the church and have fun together.”

The evening starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £5, including a drink on arrival. To book, contact Maxine Everitt on 01252 318135 or maxine.everitt@live.co.uk