Thank-you so much to our artists for contributing to the July theme which was a self-portrait with a special thing. You can see the artwork in the video below. The September theme is neighbourhood. You can send in drawings, paintings, collage, craft or photographs.
Join us to celebrate Pride on Saturday, August 8, here online from 10am.
August 8 should have been marked by a Surrey Pride march and celebrations on the street but these had to be cancelled because of Covid-19. However, we are celebrating the LGBTI+ community and God’s wonderful, inclusive love with an online service.
There will be music, art, photography, prayers, poetry, Bible readings and reflections from individuals including a former curate of St George’s whom some of you may remember – Rev’d Paul Holt – along with Sara Gillingham, a leading intersex campaigner and great friend of the parish; Jayne Ozanne who runs the Ozanne Foundation which works with religious organisations to eliminate discrimination based on sexuality or gender; and Dr Ash Brockwell, a transgender man and educator who has contributed both a poem and hymn to the service.
There is a moving reflection on growing up as a gay man from James Muller, a Farnham photographer whose work features regularly in Vogue Italia, and who has kindly contributed many of his beautiful photographs; there is art from local people, including paintings by members of Farnham Heath End School’s LGBT+ group, and stones painted with rainbow messages to indicate God’s love for everyone.
Stella Wiseman, who leads inclusion work in the parish, explains the thinking behind the service: “The church as a whole doesn’t have a great track record in welcoming people who do not fit into a heterosexual, cis-gender box, and indeed has caused great harm to many LGBTI+ people. This is something we need to repent of and make amends for. We have no right to limit God’s love and welcome like this and to damage and destroy people in the name of God is appalling.
“Thankfully, things are changing and many churches, such as those in this parish, are more welcoming and inclusive now. Some of us would have been walking under the Christians at Pride banner in Woking on August 8th but Covid-19 has put paid to that. So instead we are organizing this lovely, colourful service online and we are delighted that members of the local church are taking part along with friends from other churches. We are really grateful to them for giving up their time to share with us their experience of God’s love and welcome and grateful too for the art, photography and music.
“Pride in Surrey is taking a Pride-themed vehicle around the county that weekend too and will be live-streaming and the parish has just been asked to send a contribution to the online Pride. The Pride vehicle will be making its way to Farnham on Sunday 9th at 10am so watch out for that too. You can find out more on prideinsurrey.org/ontheroad.”
Thank-you so much to our artists for contributing to the June theme which was flowers. Here is the video gallery and an introduction to the July theme, a self-portrait with a special thing – could be an object or a pet. You can send in drawings, paintings, collage, craft or photographs.
Here is a bit of information about some of the artists – please send me more about what inspires you and why you paint:
Janice Edmunds runs a small, friendly art group in the Sands.
Joan Thompson has been attending the group since 2007 when she retired from work.
Jean Hazleden has been painting for the last eighteen years, something she took up after she retired.
Susan Everitt writes, “I have sketched and painted since I was very small and I have attended many art classes and courses over the years, but it is only since I retired 8 years ago as a teacher at Hale School, that I have been able to really indulge this interest. I have been going to a Farnham U3A painting group regularly during this time and this has helped to develop my confidence and technique. Like many others, the recent Lockdown has encouraged me to paint more often and try different methods and ideas. Inspiration comes from many sources. Often my own or others’ photographs, ideas I find in art magazines or through the art group, my garden – especially in the summer, animals, beautiful scenery.”
Post19 is a leading Life Skills and Support Centre for young adults with learning difficulties. It is based in Farnham and supports young adults throughout Surrey and Hampshire. https://www.post19.com/
Penny Fleet is a professional mixed media and collage artist specialising in nature, seasonal and wildflowers, birds and wildlife. You can buy her work via her website: www.pennyfleet.co.uk/
Rich Shenton is an artist and writer whose work includes portrait, still life, the natural world – particularly seascapes – and cartoons of Boz the cat and his friends. www.facebook.com/RichardWShenton/
Susie Lidstone is a professional watercolour artist living and working in the parish of Badshot Lea and Hale. She specialises in flowers and buildings and has painted many scenes of Farnham. Her designs are available as cards, notebooks, zip pouches, pocket mirrors, tea towels, cushions, ties, scarves, face masks, calendars, even deck chairs, as well as limited edition prints and the paintings themselves. She also takes commissions. Prices range from £2-£700. http://susielidstone.com/
Thank you to local organisations who have shared their work with us.
Badshot Lea Bloomers
Making Badshot Lea beautiful with blooms (and hard work).
The Opportunities Community Project started in Hale with the aim of helping and supporting lone parents locally to build a brighter future for themselves and their families. The project is funded by the Hazelhurst Trust.
Following the success of the project in the Hale area it has been extended to Ash, Farnborough, Wrecclesham and Godalming.
The project offers free classes in IT training, either to learn or update skills to an employability level, then to support students in looking for work. There is free childcare. Opportunities also offers friendship, support and leads to a new future. www.opportunitiesproject.org
Formerly The Bungalow, Hale Community Centre is a community resource which provides a range of services, activities and meeting spaces for people of all ages. Its aim is to provide recreational, learning, business and social activities, which are accessible and affordable. www.halecommunitycentre.org.uk/
The Hale History Project
The Hale History Project is a voluntary project which has developed from the great interest and enthusiasm in the history of their locality emanating from the residents and ex-residents of Hale, Upper Hale, and other nearby hamlets and villages. Outside lockdown it holds monthly coffee mornings with exhibitions and archives. It also takes an interest in current events in the local area. www.halehistoryproject.co.uk
Family Voice Surrey
Family Voice Surrey champions the needs and rights of SEND families in Surrey: families with children or young adults up to the age of 25 who have special educational needs, chronic illnesses, including mental health conditions, or disabilities. www.familyvoicesurrey.org
Therapies Through Nature – Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice
Therapies Through Nature offers patients and carers at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice simple gardening sessions. Table-top workshops enable participants to create flower baskets, planters and herb gardens, for example, which can then be taken home or given as a gift to a loved one.
Research has shown that gardening, or even simply spending time surrounded by nature, can help patients feel less stressed and improve their wellbeing. The sessions also give patients the opportunity to join in with an activity which they used to enjoy before they became ill. No experience of gardening is necessary to join this group, and patients can take part at any stage of their illness. These sessions are often referred to as Social and Therapeutic Horticulture. www.pth.org.uk/
The idea was to create bright summer colours, and with the current situation of the Covid-19 virus, keyworkers and lockdown, the residents and staff used the rainbow as inspiration. Each heart was hand made by residents at Farnham Mill using tissue paper flowers; the sunflowers (which is a symbol used a lot at Farnham Mill) were made using yellow paper with sunflower seeds for the centres. www.farnhammillnursinghome.co.uk/
K & S Memorials
These pictures are of a rockery and St John the Evangelist memorial stone (aka the ‘Bonkers Stone’ in the garden of Wendy and Steve Edwards in Hale. For the story behind the pictures, see here. www.kempandstevens.co.uk/
Based in the parish of Badshot Lea and Hale, Karen Geraghty of Mind Your Bonce specialises in handmade cloche hats, retro and modern cocktail hats, pillbox hats, and mini cocktail hats. This unique headwear is carefully handmade in England using traditional methods and high quality materials, frequently using outstanding vintage tweeds. www.instagram.com/mind_your_bonce_millinery
A message from Nibbs Gin, based in Farnham: “The Nibbs team are delighted to be part of the Flower Festival. We have been busy out picking elderflower locally ready for this year. At the end of last year we launched our second gin, Surrey Hops, using traditional hops from Farnham. Through July and August we will be offering free delivery on everything through our on-line shop and a special offer on our 20cl bottles when you buy one of each. Please refer to our website www.nibbsspirits.co.uk“
Squire’s Garden Centres is a family-run business set up in 1935 and still run by the same family. The centre in Badshot Lea is one of 16 and there is another at Frensham. squiresgardencentres.co.uk
This church relies on donations to provide care and support to everyone in this community. Now more than ever, please consider giving generously to support our mission and ministry. Thank you for your support:
K&S Memorials (www.kandsmemorials.co.uk) was set up by Mr R.W.A Thorne of Kemp & Stevens Funeral Directors, Alton, in the 1980s. However, Kemp and Stevens had produced memorials before that time going back to the founding of the business over 100 years ago.
Kemp and Stevens are one of very few funeral directors that have their own in-house memorial masons. Michael Thorne heads up the memorial division of Kemp & Stevens which still trades as K&S Memorials. Sam Taylor works alongside Michael creating the memorials.
A memorial simply is a marker to show where someone is buried but a memorial is not simple. It is a personal statement, a place for reflection and something that will remain long after the family themselves have passed away. It is a lasting tribute to the deceased.
It is the last thing anyone will do for the person who has died. Some people are not ready for a memorial and they have said this because once the memorial is placed on the grave it all becomes final.
A memorial is not just a static stone; it has meaning, and whether the memorial is four feet tall or one foot tall, the stone has the same meaning for the family.
There are many factors in selecting the right memorial and it is all based on individual taste. Michael Thorne will offer advice and wants the client to have the memorial they want and, in some cases, need.
The initial design phase is the first and most important step. Michael endeavours to show clients exactly what the memorial will look like by the way of CAD (Computer Aided Design) layouts.
Once the layouts are approved then work can begin.
Michael Thorne designed, and Sam Taylor is the memorial stonemason who created, the St. John the Evangelist mini memorial stone in Wendy Edwards’s Oast House Crescent Rockery entry for the 2020 online Flower Festival.
Sam is clearly getting less destructive and more creative as he ages! He started out in the demolition business then moved into landscape gardening. In both earlier jobs, he worked with different types of stone, as well as other materials. His experience in kerb shaping has helped him accurately shape larger areas of memorial stones, for example fancier edgings on the stone.
He realises how important his work is to bereaved people and does his level best to do a good job of work and to please the customer, as does Michael Thorne, his boss, who takes instructions for the memorial stone.
Sam left several masonry tools with Wendy to help her and her husband, Steve, start to understand his work. Computers are used in the design part of a gravestone inscription but still most of the work is done by labour-intensive physical chiselling.
The tools are: –
A dummy hammer – these can be different weights- for hitting the chisels with.
A claw chisel – for ‘roughing out’ a design on a stone.
An Italian chisel – slimmer than many chisels, for finer work.
A compass- not the North/ South directions sort you take when you go out walking but a metal instrument, sometimes called dividers, with two sharp pointed ends with which you can score a circle or curved shapes on a stone.
A beautiful, adjustable wood and brass marking gauge with tiny inset brass pins for scoring lines on stone.
Most stone now comes from India and can take 16 weeks to arrive by sea but some stone does still come from England e.g. Portland Stone. Stones vary in softness and hardness so different tools and different techniques are used.
Wendy learned a new word from Sam. The word was kerning. That is the distance between two letters on an inscription and it is critical to how a memorial stone inscription will look. A kerning measurement which is too big (letters too widely spaced) will not create a visually pleasing result. Steve used to be a draughtsman and had heard of this term, kerning, but it was new to Wendy.
There are many types of font which a memorial stonemason must be able to create and there can be challenges in identifying an inscription font chiselled onto a memorial stone by a different stonemason at an earlier date, in order to match that up with a later inscription.
Mistakes in the words of an inscription on a stone are obviously not that easy to correct but Sam does have ways and means to sort things out. Not that Sam makes many mistakes at all but occasionally the customer approves a design which they later realise contained a mistake.
Sam is usually a patient man but can get a little agitated when he is delicately placing gold leaf in the lettering on a memorial stone and someone opens the workshop door and lets the breeze in!
Many thanks to Sam and Michael and K & S Memorials for the St. John the Evangelist mini memorial stone.
Their help fulfilled Wendy’s plan for her entry for the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale’s online Flower Festival in 2020 to celebrate the essential contribution of memorial stonemasons to the easing of the heavy load of grief, following a loved one’s death.
The inscription on a memorial stone is often the last written communication between us and our loved one. A big responsibility for Sam Taylor of K & S Memorials but one he always discharges with great attention to detail and professionalism. Thank you, Sam, for all your expert chiselling.
(otherwise known as The Oast House Crescent Rockery with St. John the Evangelist mini memorial stone)
In January 2020, when only snowdrops adorned St. John’s churchyard, Wendy Edwards had a pleasant chat there with Sam Taylor, a stonemason with K & S Memorials in Alton and his young assistant, Danny.
They were giving after-care to a memorial stone they had made and spoke enthusiastically to Wendy about their work. Wendy told them of the Flower Festival planned later in the year and Sam kindly agreed to make a mini-memorial stone which originally Wendy planned to have inside church with a flower arrangement nearby to showcase the important work of memorial stonemasons in our grief journey.
When we decided to have an online Flower Festival, Sam confirmed he was still OK to make the stone but where could Wendy put it now, with St. John’s closed? She wanted to put it in her and her husband Steve’s own back garden in Oast House Crescent which has a large rockery. The rocks are lovely, weathered and covered in slow-growing moss and lichen and very characterful.
Steve does not attend church but is very understanding and patient with Wendy and her church work. Wendy knew she needed to ask Steve whether it was acceptable to him to have a mini memorial stone in their back garden, as it is a little unusual! She told him over a cup of tea in their garden that she had had a ‘bonkers’ idea and explained it all to him, rather nervous that he might say ‘No’. To her surprise, he agreed to the plan and to helping Wendy position the stone, but he has ever after called the stone The Bonkers Stone!
Sam Taylor worked hard on the memorial stone over at K & S Memorials in Alton. He delivered the stone one day to Wendy and Steve’s garden. It is only 17 inches high, made with some spare stone, with a colourful design featuring an eagle for St. John the Evangelist and a snake emerging from a chalice, a reference to the legend that St. John the Evangelist was offered poisoned wine and instructed the poison to come out and it did, in the form of a snake. Sam also loaned them some of his tools and explained all about his interesting work. The eagle-eyed among you will spot the tools in some of the photos among the summer flowers.
This online flower festival entry is by many people who all kindly donated flowers, foliage, or containers or, in the case of Wendy’s husband, Steve, in the first week of his retirement, whittled two rosewood pegs to position the upright stone temporarily. Wendy did most of the 10 flower arrangements, but Sue Crawshaw donated a beautiful one with white campanula (hare bells).
Wendy’s thanks go to Steve Edwards, K & S Memorials, especially Sam Taylor and Michael Thorne; Steve’s parents, Hazel and Brian Edwards; members of a parish bereavement support group Corner Chat- Vicky Kidney, Margaret Foster, Jackie Hyne, Dario Alexander, and Jenny Golding; neighbours of Wendy and Steve’s in Oast House Crescent – Sue Crawshaw, Andy and Lindsay Dunne, Valerie Handl, Charlotte Strugnell, Margaret Hockey and Pat Manton.
This church relies on donations to provide care and support to everyone in this community. Now more than ever, please consider giving generously to support our mission and ministry. Thank you for your support:
Thanks to all those who entered: Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, Aldershot, Farnham Baha’is, St Andrew’s Farnham, St Thomas-on-The Bourne, Badshot Lea Bloomers, Squire’s Garden Centres, Farnham Mill, Hale Opportunities, Farnham Town Council, Hale Community Centre, Family Voice, Post19, PTH Therapies through Nature, Sands Art Club, Hale WI, Hale Gardening Club, Mind Your Bonce, Lavender Hill Company, Nibbs Gin, K&S Memorials, Steph Lovell Flowers, Susie Lidstone, Penny Fleet, Barfield School, FHES, William Cobbett, Bishop Andrew, Paul Davies, Rich Shenton, Samantha McKay, Susan Everitt, Val Black, Alison Ridgeon, Aly Buckle, Angela Hall, Anne Boyman, Carolyn Weston, Chriss Green, Dario Alexander, Janet Maines, Jenny Bull, Kay Family, Kris Lawrence, Lesley Shatwell, Maurice Emberson, Michelle Chapman, Pamela Marsham, Sorrel Price, St George’s Church – Maxine Everitt, Merinda D’Aprano, Margaret Eggleton and Melissa Salisbury.
Thanks too to our musicians – Olivia Jasper, Roger Sanders, Margaret Emberson, Bob & Lesley Shatwell, Wendy Edwards and Stormzy.
Our Flower Festival is going online this year and you will be able to find it here on the website over the weekend of June 27-28, with the theme of A Celebration of Summer Flowers.
Last year’s inaugural Farnham Flower Festival was held at St John’s Church, and another was planned there for this year but lockdown put paid to that. Nothing daunted, we are taking the festival online and have invited the whole community to get involved – schools, community groups, churches and other faith groups, businesses, artists, craftspeople, individuals, and even two local gin companies which use flowers in their gins. Farnham Town Council is also submitting an entry to what promises to be a colourful and uplifting celebration.
We will be displaying photographs and videos of wonderful displays of flowers and floral art and craft. There will be music too and we know it is going to be a lovely weekend of colour reflecting the creative gifts of our community.
It’s not too late to get involved. If you would like to submit a picture or video of a floral display or a piece of floral art or craft, send it to us before the end of Monday, June 22. If you join our Lockdown Art Club, don’t forget the theme is flowers and we’d love your art too. Then visit us online over the weekend of June 27-28.
Pictured: Floral display from Therapies Through Nature which takes place at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice. Therapies Through Nature is taking part in the festival.
Move over Grayson Perry – there’s a new art club in town. We are launching a Lockdown Art Club to encourage people to have a go at art and enjoy the creative process, whether or not they feel they have artistic skills.
Inspired in part by the joy and creativity evident in the Channel 4 programme Grayson’s Art Club, the Lockdown Art Club is open to everyone and will have a new theme each month. It is being run by Lesley Crawley and Dave Walker who, with his wife Helena before lockdown staged local art exhibitions and organised art activities at St Mark’s.
“The art club is a chance for people to have a go at art and then they can send us some photos of their work which we can display online,” says Lesley. “There will be a new theme each month and for June it is flowers. Maybe you’d like to draw or paint a view of flowers which you can see from your window, or perhaps a flower which represents your feelings about lockdown.
“Send pictures of your art to me (email@example.com) and we can put them online. We are having a flower festival online at the end of the month and we can include the June pictures in that. Then, after lockdown, Dave will hold an exhibition at St Mark’s of some favourite pieces of work from across the months.”
Everyone is invited to take part, whatever age or background, whether or not they have ever tried to create art, and Dave and Lesley are at pains to stress that the finished pieces do not have to be perfect. “There is a lot of evidence now that art is good for our mental wellbeing, and many of us have struggled with our mental health during lockdown,” says Lesley. “We really want to encourage people just to have a go, and to remember that if a piece doesn’t work out exactly as we think it should, that is OK. The imperfections represent a bit of us in that artwork.”
Anyone wanting to contribute flower art to the flower festival, which will be on the website on June 27-28, should send their pictures to Lesley by Monday, June 22. Otherwise art pictures for the club are welcome at any time.
The service of thanksgiving and prayer for the NHS and other frontline workers has been hugely welcomed and reflected the gratitude and creativity of our community as well as the importance of prayer for many of us (online searches for information about prayer have skyrocketed since the outbreak of Coronavirus began).
Our thanks to the masses of people who were involved in the service which Alan and Lesley put together: Farnham Heath End School; the Scouts; people across the community who sent in beautiful rainbows and other works; keyworkers who allowed themselves to be photographed and the pictures shown as Olivia Jasper sang Amazing Grace; church members; the Mayor of Farnham, Pat Evans; and local MP, Jeremy Hunt.
Lesley Crawley reflected on the service: “I have been bowled over by the gratitude of others for this service and I hope it is enabling others to take their thoughts and anxieties and feelings of gratitude and turn them into prayers. For me, I find prayer always helps; it always makes me feel more peaceful and bit by bit it makes me a better version of myself. In the case of a nation praying it gives us a helpful and even hopeful way of expressing our concerns and worries and also a way of focussing on the good and being grateful for that.”
Serving the Villages North of Farnham: Badshot Lea, Hale, Heath End & Weybourne