Category Archives: Appeal

Count your Blessings for Lent

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



Your church needs you(r money)

It would be nice to think that the practice of religion could be conducted without having to worry about such secular items as paying bills and general self-sufficiency. However, unless you’re going to go out in the desert, climb up a pole and generally shun society to conduct your devotions, this is unlikely to be the case.
Basically any church, regardless of denomination requires the congregation to contribute to its upkeep. The Church of England, even though it is the established church with the monarch as its head, is no different in this regard. We get no contribution from the diocese, from central government or the extensive royal estates.
The parish budget is divided roughly into two areas: the general fund, which deals with the day to day running expenses, including salaries; and the restricted funds which are reserved for specific purposes, e.g. building repairs or outreach. It all comes ultimately from the contributions of parishioners.

You may have heard people talking about “the Parish Share”. This is the major outgoing part of the general fund (about 65%). It goes to the diocese. Most of it comes back in the form of salaries of clergy and their housing. A smaller part is associated with such things as training and diocese administration. The ability to pay the parish share is regarded as an indication of the viability of the parish. We’ve managed for the last three years. It’s going to be a challenge this year.

This year, the budget predictions indicate a general fund expenditure of £104,000 and an income of £84,000, a shortfall of £20,000. We also have a problem with the special funds, particularly the part associated with building maintenance. We’re almost out of money here, after carrying out necessary repairs and modifications to each church.

On a personal note, when I was studying the figures in order to give a presentation on this problem to the churches recently, I looked at my own monetary contribution. I thought it was quite substantial. However, I then figured out how much I spent per week on coffee in various establishments and car parking charges in Farnham and Guildford etc. The amount I give to the church is comparable, or possibly slightly less, than these numbers. I think the parish is arguably more deserving, and certainly has a greater need of my money, than Starbucks!

You will be able to make similar comparisons based on your own lifestyles.

The most effective way to give is via the parish giving scheme. This is a direct debit system. If you are a taxpayer you have the option of donating gift aid. You can also choose to index link your contribution. If you don’t pay tax, we can claim tax relief on the amount collected in the collection plates, so you may want to consider this option. We would prefer to phase out the old collection envelope scheme, as it costs a lot in both time and money to administer, and technology has moved on since this was regarded as the clever way to contribute.

So, come on everybody. If we look at the numbers attending the church, we are a growing parish. However, the income isn’t reflecting this. I’m afraid the days of putting loose change in the collection plate are long past. I’m significantly increasing my direct debit, or, as Alan Crawley neatly, and delightfully ambiguously, summarised when I gave my presentation to St Mark’s,

“I’m upping mine, up yours (!)”

Bob Shatwell

Tea and cakes with ‘Emily’

It’s not every day that a church organ recital is held on a sunny afternoon with the audience gathered round flower bedecked tables, tea and delicious cakes being served in the interval.  Such was the scene at St Mark’s on 2nd June.

This was Lesley Crawley’s idea – to have a fund-raising concert for the Edwardian organ, ‘Emily’, and Pat Love and her Tea Cakes Group were the kind hosts.  Since highlighting this event in the June magazine, two of my organist friends, John Mansfield and Geoff Willis, offered to take part.  I couldn’t have done it without them.  Each played five or six pieces.  My favourite of John’s were Gabriel Fauré’s ‘Sicilienne’, Johnny Dankworth’s ‘Light of the World’ – originally a worship song, and also ‘Gospel Chorus’ which used some of Emily’s louder stops.

We didn’t want to disguise Emily’s imperfections, because we needed to demonstrate that she needs attention!  So we made a feature of the low Eb on the pedals which emits a loud whooshing noise.  Geoff said this was the vacuum cleaner effect!  He had thought of playing a piece by Sir George Dyson, but decided against it!  Instead he played some beautiful pieces including ‘Shenandoah’, a traditional American 19th century folk song.  Geoff also played ‘The Festive Trumpet Tune’ which David German wrote for his own wedding. Emily doesn’t have a trumpet stop, but the oboe stop coupled with a flute stop makes a rich bright sound.

The  gentle flute stops by themselves seemed right for ‘Greensleeves’ and ‘O for the wings of a dove’ which I played.   In between the organ music Bob Shatwell and Margaret Emberson provided the perfect interlude with fiddle and piano music, ending with two reels – “Grumbling old men and growling old women’, (I think that’s the right title!), and, even more rousing, ‘Whisky before Breakfast’!  This dances along at 110 beats per minute – no problem at all for the folk duo.

Among Emily’s problems are very clackety keys – audible to the audience.  And some of the stops make the keys very stiff to play, so she cannot perform to her full glory.  The concert raised the splendid sum of £178 towards her restoration.  Thank you to all who supported us.  One of my organist friends in the audience said afterwards:

“I was glad to come along and hear such a lovely little instrument….it is perfect for that space.  I was also interested to look at the pictures on the wall – all in all, a hidden gem of a building.”

Frances Whewell      

An evening with Rudyard Kipling

Jonathan Jones, the Farnham Town Crier, will be performing on Saturday 9th July at 7:30pm at St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale, GU9 0LT, to raise money for the restoration of ‘Emily’ the pipe organ. Entry is free but donations are very welcome!

Jonathan explains, “I will present, in the first person, Rudyard Kipling’s “Something of Myself”. It is the story of Rudyard Kipling’s life, based on his autobiography and interspersed with dramatic readings of his poetry, including ‘If’, ‘Tommy’, ‘The Glory of the Garden’, ‘Recessional’, ‘My Boy Jack’ and ‘Gunga Din’. It covers his traumatic childhood, his early years in India and the tragic loss of his son John in the Great War.”

The Reverend Lesley Crawley said, “This will be a fantastic evening, we are so very lucky to have Jonathan performing for us once again. His “A Christmas Carol” performance was unforgettable. Do come along for a wonderful community evening and please help us to restore ‘Emily’!”

So far over £5300 has been raised to restore and rebuild the Edwardian Pipe Organ. The target is £23,000.

Christian Aid Week 2016: The week we love every neighbour

Christian Aid week will take place from 15th – 21st May this year. Laura Mead, Surrey’s Regional Co-ordinator for Christian Aid, highlights the plight of people in Bangladesh, like Feroza, who will benefit from the funds raised.

We believe Jesus calls us to love others as our neighbours; and not just the ones next door or at the end of the street.  We’re all made in God’s image, which means the whole world is our neighbourhood, and every person in it is precious.

Every May, over 20,000 churches across the UK and Ireland come together in a remarkable way to raise money and help transform the lives of some of the world’s poorest people. Volunteers from the churches in the Bourne Parish will be part of this huge effort in collecting donations. Through the funds raised during Christian Aid Week, people in developing countries can be given a safe place to call home and big strides made towards a world where everyone has enough food to eat.

This year, Christian Aid Week tells the inspiring story of families living on the low-lying islands on the Brahmaputra River, Bangladesh, who have a daily battle against the devastating and catastrophic effects of climate change. Bangladesh’s geography, with large rivers and monsoon climate, make it incredibly vulnerable to natural disasters, including floods and cyclones. Bangladesh is home to 160 million people, (four fifths of whom live on less than £1.30 a day), making it one of the most densely populated countries on earth.

Every year, when the snow melts on the Himalayas, the Brahmaputra River swells and sends water into homes, spoiling crops and ruining families’ possessions.  Homes can be destroyed, children swept away in rapid water and the land on which poor communities’ lives are built, washed away.  The people living beside this precarious river live in constant fear, and never feel safe with a place to call home. Christian Aid believes that the most vulnerable do not have to be engulfed by the tide of poverty; however vast these problems may be, there are solutions.

Christian Aid partner, GUK, works with these poor rural communities.

Feroza’s story

GUK is supporting families suffering from the consequences of annual floods, by providing them with earth plinths to raise their homes 6 – 8ft above water. This creates a safe place for them to rebuild their home and keep livestock.  They are being given new seeds, so they can grow essential crops.

Feroza, a mother of three, has seen her home swept away seven times. She now has a flood-proof house and the chance of creating a safe future for her family.  A Christian Aid Home Safety Package (£250) has provided her with a goat, seeds and a wormery, all of which will give her a long-term income. For the first time in her life she is free from fear and her family are thriving. She said: “I had a dream but I did not have the ability to fulfil that dream. Now I can think about how to go further. Before it was just a daydream.”                (use for pull-out quote)

You can help transform the lives of our global neighbours in Christian Aid Week by donating in the envelope dropped through your door, or online at, calling 08080 006 006, or texting ‘SAFE’ to 70040 to give £5. 

Organ Recital to raise money for Emily

St Mark’s Church in Hale has a much loved Edwardian organ, named after her benefactor – Emily Mangles – who raised the funds for the organ in the early 20th century.

This two manual organ looks beautiful with an English Oak case, and has the potential to sound beautiful as well. But Emily has received little renovation in the last 100 years. Without becoming too technical, the leatherwork is perishing, the reservoir is leaking, and so sounds noisy, and the electrical components are faulty and unsafe. The task before us it to have Emily rebuilt, rather than just restored.

We have received a lot of advice from the organ builder, and the asbestos has already been removed from the blower. £21,000 is still needed for the general clean and overhaul. A ‘Sponsor a Pipe’ scheme is in place, but this needs bolstering by other fund-raising initiatives. The Arts Council will look far more favourably on appeals for funds if St Mark’s can prove that Emily is widely used, both in services, but also as a musical outreach to the community at large.

To this end, an Organ Recital will be given by Frances Whewell on Thursday 2nd June at 2pm, St Mark’s, with an interlude by Bob and Lesley Shatwell on violin and double bass. There will be a few surprises – not least the unpredictability of Emily – hence the need for financial help! The event is being hosted by the group ‘Teacakes’, and tea will be served in the church as the music is played.

All are very welcome. Please come and support this unique piece of our musical heritage. There will be a collection for Emily at the end.

Saving ‘Emily’ the organ

As readers of this blog probably know, ‘Emily’ is a pipe organ who lives at St Mark’s and she is 103 years old and getting more than a bit doddery. However, the good news for organs is they can be overhauled and be as good as new. The organ has over 500 pipes that need attention, as well as the complex mechanisms that turn pressing keys into making the pipes play. It is very labour-intensive, but if we raise the money then Emily will back on her feet and sounding wonderful for another 50 years.

Which brings me to the money! The overall cost to restore Emily is £23,000, and we have had some generous donations, a wonderful concert and a very enjoyable evening when the Farnham Town Crier performed ‘A Christmas Carol’ single-handedly. This has raised £1,900. In addition, people have sponsored pipes and stops, raising £500.

Specsavers have been very generous, giving out leaflets about ‘Emily’ and we are one of their twenty chosen charities this year, which celebrates 20 years of opening. Sir Ray Tindle has also been generous, offering to promote all of our events in the Farnham Herald in order to raise the money.

So there is £21,600 left to go – feels like a big target, but these are the next steps.

We are applying to grant-making bodies to see if they might help. So far we have applied to eleven trusts, six currently have no money, one has suggested another fund, one has been quite warm about us taking the application further and three are yet to respond. There are another three trusts we can apply to, although one of them requires us to have half the money committed before we do.

We have two events planned in the near future, they are:

  • Daytime organ recital on Thursday 2nd June at 2pm at St Mark’s Church, where our organist, Frances Whewell will play.
  • Kipling Evening, where the Farnham Town Crier will dress as the poet and recite his well-loved works – date TBA but likely to be Friday 8th July

Please support these events if you can – so far the events have had a fabulous, warm community feeling and I was pleased that we put them on whether we raised money or not!

If you would like to sponsor a pipe or a stop please let me know – or 01252 820537

Harvest Festival – a time to share

Many churches have a tradition of people bringing the ‘fruits of creation’ to the altar at the Harvest Festival service, thanking God for them and then distributing them to those who need them. In the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale, the churches of St John’s, Hale, St Mark’s, Upper Hale and St George’s, Badshot Lea will be collecting food for the local Foodbank on 4th October at the Harvest Services which are 9:30am, 10am and 11am respectively.

The Reverend Lesley Crawley said, “Please come along and sing your favourite harvest songs and, if possible, bring some food for those who don’t have enough. We will also be taking a collection at the end of the service at the door for the Syrian refugees.”

The Foodbank are particularly in need of tinned meat, instant mash, tinned Sponge Puddings, powdered milk, chocolate, Long Life fruit juice, tinned fruit, biscuits, snack bars, tinned rice pudding, UHT Milk, sugar, tinned vegetables, tinned fish and toiletries.

Photo accreditation: Georgie Fry

A Concert to Help Save our Pipe Organ “Emily”

A concert not to be missed

This is a rare opportunity to experience a superb musical evening’s entertainment. On November 14th at 7.30pm at St. Mark’s there will be an organ recital by Stephen Lacey resident organist and director of music at St. Andrew’s Church Farnham. A choral repertoire will be provided by Sedici with musical director Valerie Hoppe MBE. They will be singing a range of music from Vaughn Williams ‘Falstaff and the Fairies’ and the ‘Wedding Chorus’, Chilcott ‘Thou Knowest Lord’, ‘The Silver Swan’ Orlando Gibbons through to more modern arrangements of ‘Putting on the Ritz’ & ‘Can’t Buy Me Love’. There will also be an interesting range of readings by a wide variety of authors from Noel Coward to Conan Doyle and J.M.Barrie to Kipling, all read by Rosemary Wisbey. Refreshments will be available during the interval.

There is no charge for this wonderful evening of entertainment but a retiring collection will be taken in aid of our pipe organ “Emily”. Please put the date in your diary and come along.

Why does Emily need saving?

Emily is a beautiful Edwardian pipe organ that is just over 100 years old. She is referred to as “Emily” after her benefactor – Emily Mangles. Sadly, she has been used very rarely over the past three years because after a century of service she is in need of a complete overhaul. The “action” which links the keys to the pipes has become sluggish, the leatherwork is failing and the wind noise from the leaking wind trunks is detracting from her beautiful tone. The time has come for us to restore her.