Category Archives: Events

Jubilee celebrations!

North Farnham is all set to celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with a long weekend of events between June 2nd and 5th, arranged by the parish, North Farnham Voice – a group of residents dedicated to caring for the area – and the Hale Community Centre.

The events are:

Thursday, June 2

St George’s Church – Afternoon Tea
2.45-5.30pm with exhibition of Coronation and Queen Elizabeth memorabilia and entertainment.
Please book your free ticket in advance by contacting Maxine.everitt@badshotleaandhale.org or phone 01252 318135

Friday, June 3

St Mark’s Church – Barn Dance
6pm -10pm Enjoy a FREE evening of dancing to music by Cajun Boogaloo Trio. Bring your own refreshments. Tea and coffee available for donations to the Kitty Milroy mural fund. Further info admin@badshotleaandhale.org or 07842 761919

Saturday, June 4

Upper Hale – Family Fun Day

Sandy Hill Field
10am -12 noon FREE activities with Bouncy Castle, Games, Fire Engine, Music, Treasure Hunt, Tug-o-war and Ramble

St Mark’s Church
12.30pm – 2pm FREE JUBILEE LUNCH
with live music and a display of photos of people and  past events from Hale History Project.  Plus, a chance to see and hear more from the experts about the recently restored Kitty Milroy murals.

Hale Recreation Ground
2pm – 4pm Bring your own PICNIC IN THE PARK and enjoy more live singing and music and dancing displays by local groups. (Toilet facilities open in the Institute and Scout Hut)
The Church on the Green will be selling teas and coffee and will be holding an exhibition of Jubilee memorabilia.

Sunday, June 5

10am St George’s Church Outdoor Songs of Praise.
11am  Badshot Lea Primary School fete.
12 noon St John’s Church, Hale, Service of Thanksgiving with the Bishop of Dorking and the Scouts.
1pm  St John’s Church churchyard BIG LUNCH with BBQ* and music.  Bring your own picnic.

SAVE THE DATES – Everyone is welcome!

If you’d like to get involved with the preparations, help at these events or have a group activity you’d like to promote please contact elaine.fell@me.com

*cover charge applies

A festival fit for a Queen

The Farnham Flower Festival at St John’s Church last weekend (May 14-15) was an amazing success with beautiful displays of flowers, art, craft and poetry, live music, tea and cake, all of it to start the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Thanks to all who took part and also to those who worked so hard to make it happened. Here’s to next time!

Thanks to Florescence for the sponsorship!

Here are some of the displays:

The Farnham Flower Festival

The Farnham Flower Festival is back at St John’s Church, over the weekend of May 14-15. There will be displays of flowers, art, craft, poetry, music, delicious cakes, drinks and a raffle. Entry is only £1. It will be open between 10am and 4pm on Saturday, 14th and 12pm and 4pm on Sunday 15th. It is sponsored by Florescence, award-winning florists who have a workshop downstairs at St Mark’s.

Among the exhibitors will be Hale School, William Cobbett School, Badshot Lea Bloomers,  Hale Methodist Church, Arts at St Mark’s, the Parish Choir, artists Susie Lidstone and Alison Ridgeon, Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice, Weybourne Community Church, our own churches, Farnham ASSIST, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Association, Elmaz Ekrem, winner of the Farnham Literary Festival’s poetry competition, and Florescence.

Bring your friends to see the wonderful displays and enjoy a community event here in the parish.

Reflections on a Campfire

Richard Myers reviews an unusual evening at St Mark’s

‘Campfire’ was a show put on at St Mark’s on 8th April, advertised as ‘An evening of stories, song and hot cocoa. True stories told by members of the community’. We all had to pretend we were sitting round a campfire while these delights went on. The lights were low, and a few props and some real cocoa helped to create this impression, with a few sound effects at the beginning produced under instructions from the two talented hosts of the show, a poet and a musician linked with Farnham Maltings, Molly Naylor and Dominic Conway.

What was unusual about it all was that fact that it was largely people we knew who were the storytellers and musicians, with the hosts providing the framework. The two hosts had visited a few days earlier and coached those who wished on how to tell their story well. The stories took up the bulk of the evening. Some were extremely personal and very moving: regretting being mean at school, a hard evening in a difficult childhood, a long wrestle with the desire to have beautiful hair. Others were individual experiences of national events – an account of an Empire Day celebration many years ago, a memory of buying an ice cream on the day World War 2 started. A few were humorous – misunderstandings in teaching the Scouts. There was an account of being caught up in a terrorist incident in Paris. Speakers were old and young. The standard was very high. I liked the fact that some of the personal stories were quite difficult to listen to and broke through the general jollity to a more powerful note.

But this seriousness was balanced by the lighter stories and by the music. ‘Karma Chameleon’ figured and some others I am unable to name. There was a bit of a sing-along with some impromptu guitar playing by members of the audience. We were invited to list ‘family sayings’ during the interval, and these were read out in the second half – rather a clever idea with a nice feel – funny, but also with an insight into different family lives: one was ‘FHB’, said by the mother when she had under-catered, meaning ‘Family Hold Back’, i.e don’t eat very much.

St Mark’s was offered this ‘show’ by Farnham Maltings due to the part it had played during the Farnham Literary Festival; so I guess we all have to thank Stella for it, as well as Farnham Maltings. And we did well; the videographer there said we were a better audience and a better location than they had had the night before!

Pictured: Molly and Dominic at Campfire.

Gather around the Campfire

What’s your story?


We all have a story to tell, but it’s not always easy to talk about yourself. Sharing our stories can help us reconnect with each other in an increasingly fractured world.

That’s why Campfire is coming to north Farnham. Campfire is a unique, magical event which celebrates the untold stories of people who make up a community.

We’re looking for people to tell true stories at the event, and to come to workshop beforehand so that they’re well-equipped to contribute. No story is too small! From mundane moments to miraculous misadventures, we want to hear it all.

All you need to do is show up to our free, fun workshop. You might come with an idea of the story you could tell, but it’s totally okay if you turn up with nothing. We’ll help you find and shape your story in a warm, supportive environment. Why not come to the workshop and see what it’s all about? You’ve got nothing to lose!

The workshop will take place at St Mark’s Church on 1st April, from 7.30 to 9.30pm. The campfire event will take place in the church on 8th April at 7.30pm.

This is what others have said:

I didn’t think I had any good stories to tell, but Molly gives you interesting prompts and helps you create a structure around something from your life you didn’t think was story-worthy.

It makes you realise how interesting other people are!

Exceeded my expectations!

It will be hosted by musician Dominic Conway and poet and author Molly Naylor, with live music and cocoa. Here they are explaining more:

Molly is a poet, playwright and creative writing tutor. She has run True Stories Live, a sell-out event in Norwich where local people get up on stage tell stories, for the past five years.

Dominic is the award-winning musical director of Little Bulb Theatre who recently toured village halls with the wildly successful Mountain Music.

Interested? Email news@badshotleaandhale.org or call 07842761919.

What a festival!

Three workshops, two awards ceremonies, a theatrical evening and a lot of good poetry – it all added up to a major contribution by the parish to the inaugural Farnham Literary Festival (March 5-13).

St Mark’s Church was the only north Farnham venue taking part in the festival and not only did we host events, we ran the Farnham Poetry Competition and filled the church with poets young and old with fresh voices and their own take on Farnham.

During the week there was a workshop to create your own fantasy world; a writing memories workshop (with some rather saucy poetry!) run by Right at Home care agency and the church; a crime writing workshop with Joy Kluver, author of the Detective Bernadette Noel series; a rehearsed reading by the Farnham Theatre Association of A Tale of Two Theatres (the story of the Castle and Redgrave Theatres); the awards ceremony of the Farnham Fiction Award, and the awards ceremony of the Poetry Competition.

The church buzzed all week with people of diverse ages and backgrounds who leapt at the chance to express themselves creatively. There is enormous creativity here in this community and we are hugely grateful to everyone who took part, including the poetry judges, Coral Rumble who judged the under-16s category, and Ellora Sutton who judged the adult one.

We had around 80 entries to the poetry competition and the judges found it hard to choose between them. In the end their choices were:

Under-16:
First place:
Farnham by Katie Parratt.
Runners-up:
Under a Tree by Nigarish Nabeel Nasir.
Farnham  by Louis West.
Shortlisted:
A day at Gostrey Meadow by Minha Nabeel Nasir.
Farnham attraction by Harrison West.
Meadow by Alina Liepsch.
There is a place I know by Maria Benyon.
Welcome to Farnham by Mimi Farrell.
Why Farnham makes me smile by Ellie Darlow.

Adults:
First place:
The First One that’s Second by Elmaz Ekrem.
Runners-up:
Farnham Park 2021 by Rosemary Wisbey.
Local Character by Andy Morse.
Shortlisted:
Farnham Swimming Baths by Elaine Fell.
Farnham Friendship by Chandra McGowan.
Swimming in April’s Cold by Chris Hunter.
embedded in wood and stone by Kate Kennington Steer.

Kate Kennington Steer is a participant in Creative Response, an arts-related organisation run by professional practising artists who share their practice with vulnerable people, and members of Creative Response were also there on the poetry evening, reading from and selling their new book of poems Where Seeds Are Planted Poems Grow.

We are currently collecting in recordings of the winning poems and they will be published here shortly.

Here are a few images from the week:

Winner of the adult poetry award Elmaz Ekrem (left) with judge Ellora Sutton.
Building fantasy worlds in the Build a World Workshop. Yes, even the Mayor was busy doing so!
David Wylde and Chris Reeks in A Tale of Two Theatres.
Coral Rumble, the judge of the under-16s poetry competition reads some of her own poetry.
Neil Macdonald speaks at the writing awards, along with judge Gary Couzens.
Writing crime with Joy Kluver.

Monthly Craft Market

On the third Saturday of every month we hold a Craft Market at St Mark’s from 10am-2pm.

We invite local crafters to take part and we have a wide range of creative people there selling a huge array of gifts for yourself and others. There are jumpers, teddy bears, soaps and soap dishes, candles, cards, earrings, necklaces, hats and gloves, glass gifts, knitwear, pictures, pottery, sweets, notebooks, coasters, mugs to go on the coasters… and much more, with new stalls added regularly, and all of it sold to a background of live music and refreshments in the adjoining room.

If you would like to hire a stall, click here for a form, or call 07842761919 or email craft@badshotleaandhale.org

Come and join us as a shopper or a seller, or just to enjoy the buzz and friendly atmosphere.