Category Archives: Church Buildings

New light on an old mystery

We have come a little closer to solving the mystery of the old wooden altar at St Mark’s. The altar is Tudor in style and has an inscription “GIVEN BI HENRIE LVNNE 1608”, but St Mark’s was built in 1883, 275 years later.

Bob Skinner, a great friend of the church and a leader of Weybourne Community Church, has been on the case and found this cutting in the Surrey Advertiser from December 4, 1880. It’s still three years before the church was built, but read on:

Cutting about Lunn altar

It reads:

‘PRESENTATION TO THE PARISH CHURCH. – The Parish Magazine for December, just published, says:- “A working party of ladies in Farnham have presented a new altar to the Parish Church. This, with a new altar cloth, was placed in the church on St Andrew’s Day, Nov. 20th. The old altar and altar cloth have been accepted by the Vicar of Hale for the use of a church which it is intended to begin next year at Hale Common.”

So, the altar was in St Andrew’s Church – the Parish Church in question – until November 1880. St Mark’s was built over the next three years on land given by Bishop Sumner, the Bishop of Winchester (the area was in the Diocese of Winchester at the time) and flint from the common was used to build the walls.

We still don’t know the full history of the altar but it is possible that Henry Lunne, who has been recorded as living in Farnham in the second half of the 16th century, gave it to St Andrew’s as the church was well established then. In fact, parts of St Andrew’s date from the 12th century.

If anyone does know any more however, let us know. Leave us a comment here or email news@badshotleaandhale.org

Christopher Herbert to deliver lecture

Christopher Herbert, a celebrated speaker and authority on church art and architecture, will give a talk at St John’s Church, Hale, on Art, Architecture and Christianity in Victorian England this Wednesday (June 5th, at 7.30pm), as part of the 175th anniversary celebrations of St John’s.

Bishop Christopher Herbert is the former vicar of The Bourne, Canon of Guildford Cathedral and Bishop of St Albans, and visiting Professor in Christian Ethics at the University of Surrey. He is a sought-after lecturer across the UK and in Europe and has been a guest lecturer at The National Gallery; the Courtauld Institute; King’s College, London; the University of Leicester; Westminster Abbey and at The Arts Society (NADFAS) groups in the UK and mainland Europe. He has also lectured for Swan Hellenic on their Rhone cruises.

The talk will look at the way Victorian England responded to massive changes in society and the world with assertive confidence but also with nostalgia. In architecture and painting, these two conflicting forces gave rise to some fascinating and provocative work both in the Church and in society.

Christopher Herbert retired to Farnham where he had been vicar of The Bourne between 1981 and 1990. In addition, he was Director of Post-Ordination Training for the Diocese of Guildford and was made a Canon of Guildford Cathedral, before becoming Archdeacon of Dorking in 1990. He became Bishop of St Albans in 1995.
He is a prolific author and much of his writing is based on the themes of prayer and spirituality, for both children and adults. Among his best-known books are Ways into Prayer and Pocket Prayers. In 2002 he completed a major piece of research into ‘The Image of the Resurrection of Jesus in 15th Century Northern European Art’, for which he was awarded an MPhil by the University of Leicester. He was awarded a PhD by the University of Leicester in 2008, for his ground-breaking research on ‘The Origins of the Easter Sepulchre in Pre-Reformation England’.

Admission to the talk on Wednesday is free but donations are welcome. Refreshments will be provided.

For further information on Christopher Herbert, visit www.threeabbeys.org.uk

Have your say on the future of St John’s

As St John’s Church turns 175 this year, we are launching a major improvement and fundraising project and want to know what facilities you would like the church to offer.

Residents and local organisations are invited to complete a short survey to help us learn more about what our community needs and how the church can better provide this.  It can be found by clicking here.

 

Badshot Lea Christmas Lights switch on

23561399_1517829351636802_4747106213135004656_nCome to at St George’s on 20 November between 17:00 and 18:30 to celebrate the switching on of the Christmas Lights. There will be hot dogs, hot chocolate and mulled wine available to buy. The switch on of the lights will be at 6pm and in between there will be music from the Sea Cadets, the School Choir and the Church Choir. We will finish at 6.30pm.
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Not just on a Sunday: Survey looks at new ways of using local church

An open session and display to discuss the possible future of St John’s Church, Hale, will be held next Saturday, 27th May, at the church from 10am to 2pm.

The discussion will centre around the ideas generated from responses to a recent survey sent out to residents living close to the church. This asked for their ideas about how to ensure the church remains open in the long-term and how it can be used for the local community during the week as well as on a Sunday.

The survey was delivered to 1,700 houses in Hale. The overall response was positive to the idea of the ‘interior of the church being altered to create a space for complementary uses, while maintaining worship as its primary use’.

Ideas include removing the pews and replacing them with chairs which would be used in church services including baptisms, weddings and funerals, and also allowing complementary uses during the week such as a soft play area, a cafe, and groups offering support for those suffering with addictions or needing debt counselling. The space created could also be used for art exhibitions, or for orchestra and choir recitals.

One respondent commented that by “removing the dark pews and replacing them with bright comfortable chairs will create a versatile space and be lighter”. Another said: “as much as I love the pews, they do limit the way the space can be used and make worship very formal and perhaps for many do not foster a feeling of participation and equality”.

However, for some of those who responded, the idea of reordering the interior of the church is painful and difficult. A respondent who regards himself as a traditionalist sad that he could “see the need to increase usage of the church for other activities apart from church services” but would “just have to accept it as progress”. However, another added: “St John’s will remain beautiful whatever happens and to me will feel more beautiful if the building is more full of life”.

The feedback session with refreshments will run from 10am to 2pm on 27th May 27. Come along to discuss some ideas and options for the future of St John’s.

For further information, contact Rev’d Hannah Moore on 01252 659267, email revd.hannah@badshotleaandhale.org or visit https://badshotleaandhale.org

St George’s Car Park

You may have noticed that we now have a permit system in place in St George’s car park. This is because for many years the car park has been used by people with no connection to the church and this has caused immense problems both for the church and for those who hire the hall. Groups have suffered from reducing membership because when members come to the group they find they can’t park. Other groups have chosen to move to other halls, with an obvious financial implication. The final straw was when a hearse couldn’t get into the car park because of the number of cars in there, most of which did not belong to mourners.

In terms of the church car park, church and hall users must always be our priority and so those who attend groups will be given permits as required. This should ensure that they can now park more easily. In addition to this, we are offering the car park free of charge to those who are dropping off or collecting children from Badshot Lea School during specific hours in term time.

Our current parking arrangements, while not perfect, are necessary to meet the needs of those who use the church. In line with other organisations within Badshot Lea we need access to and control of our car park. Consideration has been given to suggestions that people pay for permits and remove their cars from the car park for large funerals, parties, services and events. However, this feels unworkable from an administration point of view as the hall is booked by several groups every day, each user having different requirements, also there are also many one-off bookings. The church is run by volunteers who work immensely hard and so we don’t want to burden them with extra work.

Looking to expand the use of St John’s

St John’s Church in Hale is a large, Victorian building with wooden pews which currently don’t allow the space to be used flexibly. The church is open daily but is chiefly used on a Sunday for a 9.30am service and for weddings and funerals at other times in the week.

We want the community to have a say in how the building might also be used so that more people can take advantage of the space it offers, while maintaining worship as its primary use.

To this end, a questionnaire is being sent out to people living close to St John’s asking them if they would be happy for the interior of the church to be altered to create more space and what they might like this space to be used for. Ideas include a cafe, soft play area, GP surgery, debt counselling service, rehearsal space, studios, small office space for home workers, and meeting rooms. The results will be analysed and an exhibition will be held at the church on Saturday May 27 from 10am-2pm.

Rev’d Hannah Moore from St John’s Church said: “We have a beautiful building that is open every day and has a worshipping congregation which meets every Sunday, as well as being used for weddings and funerals. However, the church has great potential as a community resource with more community events and participation and we would like local people to tell us what they would like from the church. We are sending out a questionnaire with an Easter card and will look carefully at the responses to see how we can best serve everyone and ensure that the church is a vibrant part of Hale life for many years to come.”

Please help us by filling in the following questionnaire:

1. Would you be happy for the interior of the church to be altered in order to create more space for complementary uses, while maintaining worship as its primary use?
2. How can you envision this church being used for:
a) Community use, (eg. café, soft play area, debt counselling, GP surgery)

b) Cultural (mosaic studio, orchestra rehearsal, book-swap library, local history display)
c) Commercial (office space, shop, meeting rooms):
We really need your ideas! What does our community need? At the back of St John’s is a box for you to pop your ideas into, alternatively email admin@badshotleaandhale.org (please note, we will not reply to emails to this address – it is just a way of collecting ideas)

New store room at St Mark’s

You probably weren’t aware of the dungeon at St Mark’s. I wasn’t for quite a while, and, as warden, I’m supposed to know about these things. However, around the “Tesco” side of the building there was a mysterious red door, half hidden by vegetation. It was only about four feet high, so obviously built for goblins or other inhabitants of the netherworld. Or possibly to incarcerate manacled, recalcitrant members of the congregation in less tolerant times.old boiler room

However, there was a padlock on the door and when we eventually found the key, a rather grim looking cell emerged. A set of rotten wooden steps led down to an earth floor about four feet below ground level, but fortunately no skeletons or rotting corpses manifested themselves. The older members of the congregation informed me that this was the Old Boiler Room. Capital letters were definitely implicit in the phrase. (There could also have been an unspoken, “abandon faith all ye who enter therein”, but maybe that was my imagination.)

We’ve needed a place for the Brown Bin club to store lawn mowers, petrol and other garden implements for some time. Last time we had the diocesan representatives around, they complained about the storage of these items in the choir vestry. We moved them to a vestibule attached to the other vestry after that, but, whilst an improvement, this was hardly satisfactory. The smell of petrol pervading the vestry was regarded as a necessary evil until something better could be done. (Probably kept the moths down.)

So, now something better has been done. We had to remove they chimney from the Old Boiler Room, as it was about to fall down and, anyway, had a nice asbestos cowling. Adam the architect was called in, faculty notices approved and, In January, Marshels began construction to convert the evil pit into a new, useful storeroom.new store room

It’s now finished and I moved things in last week. We have a proper floor at the same level as the surround, a door we don’t have to crawl through and lots of storage space. (They’ve thoughtfully put a hatch in the new floor with steps leading down to the original level, so we could still use it as an oubliette if required in the future.)

I wonder if I’ll get nostalgic about the smell of petrol in the vestry….

Bob Shatwell

March 2017

St George’s Heating Appeal

During the summer we noticed the boiler at St. George’s was not working properly. Investigations showed that there was a leak somewhere in the pipework that caused a drop in pressure, making it unsafe to use. Unfortunately, the pipes run under the concrete floor of the hall. It is going to cost £4000 to get the heating working. We cannot let the hall without heat and hot water, so have borrowed the money from other Church funds.

So – we need raise £4000! We have a ‘visual aid’ – four bamboo canes, taped together, one representing each £1000. (We can do it together) Around them are 10 pipe cleaners, one will be removed each time we raise £100. When we get to £1000, we will remove a bamboo cane.

We plan ‘fund raisers’ (Craft Fair, 19th Nov, Advent lunch and hopefully others) – but we would also be very grateful for personal donations – PLEASE!!

The Craft Fair on November 19th is at St. George’s Church hall. 11am – 1pm. Come along and find unique Christmas gifts and decorations. Free entrance. See demonstrations of crafts – lunches and refreshments available. If you would you like to hire a table for £10, contact me on 01252 318135

 

Maxine Everitt