Category Archives: Churchyard

It’s party time!

There’s a birthday party in St John’s churchyard, Hale, on Saturday, July 20, from 12-2pm, and everyone is invited.

The party, called Music in the Churchyard, will celebrate the 175th anniversary of St John’s. There will be food and drink and plenty of cake, all of it free, with music by Farnham artist Jasper and the Island, and fellow singer Meg Wassell. Both will be performing well-known songs by bands such as ABBA and Fleetwood Mac alongside classic jazz and old-style numbers.

Jasper and the Island is a singer/songwriter with influences from country, pop and folk, but who also enjoys performing theatre and covers. She currently has original songs on SoundCloud, but will be releasing her debut EP later this year. Jasper and the Island often performs on the last Wednesday of the month at The Plough in Farnham. Meg is a jazz/soul/pop singer songwriter whose influences include Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Amy Winehouse and Gregory Porter. In April, Meg released her debut EP Blood Orange and is vocalist for the Sundown Jazz Society band. She is currently creating new music, playing local festivals and holding jazz residencies in her hometown of Hereford.

Pictured from left: Jasper and the Island (photo by Daisy Sharp); Meg Wassell (photo by Ellie Burd).

The idea behind the party is not just to celebrate a milestone for this beautiful Victorian church which was consecrated in 1844, but to invite everyone to come and enjoy the hospitality which the church offers. Lesley Crawley said: “St John’s is everyone’s church and as well as celebrating our anniversary, we are looking forward to the future and we want the community to be involved in that future. We really want to hear from people what they want from the church and are running a survey for residents and local organisations to complete.” To find the survey click here.

Entry to the party is completely free but we need to know numbers so that we can prepare enough food and drink. Let us know if you are coming by emailing

Please help us find the relatives of these people buried at St John’s, Hale

Some of the gravestones in St John’s churchyard have become very unsafe and we are worried that someone might be hurt as a result. The maintenance of gravestones is the responsibility of the families of the loved ones, however, if we are worried about them from a safety point of view we have the right to lay the stones flat. We don’t really want to do this and so we urgently would like to contact the relatives of the following people as we believe that their gravestones fall into this category.  If it is you, or you know who they might be please would you let me know?

Ethel Matthews
Fredrick Lipscomb
Henry Tompkins
Harry Beaumont
George Cantwell
Wilfred Park
Eaustania Fagan
Jill Stares
Lotti Raynsford
Ivy Biddle
Charles Stent
Albert Woodhams
Frances Wilkinson
Samuel Bide

Thank-you so much

Lesley Crawley

St George’s Church Garden

Our Church Garden has become a bit overgrown. It has been invaded by a multitude of vigorous Drooping Sedge plants which grow rapidly, spread and smother other plants as well as reducing our lawn and borders. Many of the shrubs and trees have become overgrown plus plenty of Sycamore saplings have sprung up which will quickly become trees.

Our Church Warden and other interested members of our congregation agreed that it would be a good idea if we had a Gardening Group to look after the garden. I have agreed to lead the group and plan the way forward to tame the invaders and co-ordinate the work that is needed to be done. The first meeting of the group will be held at 7-30pm on 16th October at The Shepherd and Flock Public House and everyone is invited.

In the meantime we decided to have an Autumn clear up and on the morning of Saturday 9th  September a group of willing(?) volunteers assembled and set to. We concentrated on clearing and levelling the borders along the sides of the car park and tidying the chain link fence. We were blessed with warm sunshine and a nice cooling breeze and worked until 1230 achieving weed free borders. During the following week Annie and I finished the levelling. We then laid a weed block membrane on the bare soil and covered it with pea shingle.

The consensus at the moment is that the borders be planted with native wild hedging but more of that later in the year.

Gillian and Kevin have been busy tidying and planting the borders on the east and north sides of the church walls. I recommend you have a look. They have planted some lovely border plants which are in full bloom. Thank you Gillian and Kevin.

Lastly may I ask if anybody knows if any of the shrubs, roses or ornamental trees in our garden were planted in memory of anyone. Please let myself or Jennifer Patterson know if you do.


“is that a tiger in the bush? No, would you believe it`s a Rose being smothered?”

Bill Thomas.





Maintaining St John’s Churchyard

As some of our long standing volunteers have now stepped back we are looking for people to help with the maintenance of St John’s churchyard.

Whilst we have a list of tasks that need doing we do not necessarily expect anyone to take on the whole of one of the tasks – many hands, on a rota, will make light work.  We already have some help, and Peter Haines has agreed to coordinate this.

The tasks that we would like help with are:

  • Grass cutting – Even though we plan to cut it less often than in the past all help will be very welcome
  • Strimming – we have a strimmer
  • Looking after the flower beds
  • Litter picking – A valuable task that keeps the character of the churchyard

If you would like to help with any of these tasks or would just like to know more about what is involved, please have a word with Peter (663719).



Some of the gravestones in the churchyard are in a damaged or potentially unsafe state.  If they are unsafe we have the right to lay them flat and will be doing so; however, damaged or potentially unsafe gravestones are the responsibility of the family.  We are trying to find relatives of the following people as we believe that their gravestones fall into this category.  If it is you, or you know who they might be please would you let me know?  Thank you.

Eleanore Mary Poellnitz,
Mary Ann Wing,
Margaret Elizabeth Young,
Winifred Marr,
Jill Muriel Stares,
Ethel Barbara Matthews,
Alfred Henry McGuire,
John Barber,
Harry Beaumont,
Thomas Davis Evans,
Rose Lilian Goodchild.

We would also like to contact the family of Peter & Marjorie Nash.

Alan Crawley

The Grounds of St George’s

St. George’s Car Park
You might have noticed a few things going on around St. George’s car park recently…. so this is just a bit of an update. Those of you who have been around for a few years, will probably know that the car park has long been an item on a lot of St. George’s PCC and DCC agendas. There has been much heart searching and head scratching, plus a lot of negotiation. We now have planning permission to make our own entrance to the car park. It is hoped this will make it more obvious to people that the car park belongs to the Church. One of the conditions of the planners was that the hedge had to be cut right back and lowered to 3ft tall. As the hedge was a conifer, we were advised that this would have left us with mainly brown branches, so it was decided to remove the whole thing. We discovered the old fence in the middle. It looks a bit odd at the moment but before long, the kerb will be lowered and we can begin to improve the general condition of the car park. We are planning to replace the hedge, this time with something which will not take over the pavement and will be more attractive to wildlife. So, watch this space.

St. George’s Churchyard
I’m not sure if it is technically a Churchyard – I checked the definition and I’m still not sure, but I’m talking about the land to the front of St. George’s. Last summer, we had a bit of a tidy up, but that just raised more issues. There are two circular rose gardens. These have been beautiful in the past, Mr and Mrs Woodlands tended them with lots of love. However, in more recent years they have been neglected and the ground is full of mare’s tails. We also had a tree surgeon look at the trees and it seems the roots are impacted by the paths and hence the dead bits and this is going to get worse. So, it seems this is an ideal time to look at the whole area. Should we try to make it more wildlife friendly? Or more productive? Easier to manage? A resource for the community? What do you think?

If you would like to be involved in the planning, great, please just speak to me or one of the clergy. Or, if you just have strong opinions we would love to hear them. Most of all, if you are prepared to get your hands dirty and help – we will definitely need you. It would be wonderful if this could be something we all do together.

Maxine Everitt

By the way… yes – it is technically a churchyard… Ed


Google Mapping St John’s Churchyard

Information about who is buried in the churchyard at St John’s, Hale, is coming to light and is being published online for the first time thanks to work by the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale. Among those whose graves are now mapped and documented in a churchyard that dates back 175 years are John Henry Knight who built the first petroleum carriage for two people in England, and Bishop Sumner who lived in Farnham Castle and built 200 churches in the area.

However there are still some gaps in the information and the parish is asking for help to fill these.

The Reverend Alan Crawley, Joint Rector, says, “This has been a harder task than you might imagine, but it has reached a point where some information is now available to view on the web. It is far from complete, and may be inaccurate in places, but it is a work in progress and needs someone with time to volunteer to finish the task. Could you help build this up, or make it more accurate? If so, please get in touch.”

He continues, “The tools being used for the mapping of the churchyard are all free and public domain – if anyone would like to document another churchyard or cemetery then I would be happy to talk to them about it.”

You can contact Alan by email – or by calling him on 01252 820537.

The map can be found online or through their website – by choosing from the ‘funerals’ menu at the top.