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, 14thand 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.
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!
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.
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.
2023: March 18, June 17, September 16 and November 18
Come to our regular Craft Market at St Mark’s. We now run this four times a year and the dates are above.
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.
The latest parish magazine is out now and inside you will find news, events, ideas, reflections, advertisements, pictures, contacts and more, to give you a snapshot of what is going on across our parish.
There’s lots of good news at the moment and lots to look forward to this year. Read on and find out more… And don’t forget to enter our poetry competition – write a Poem for Farnham and you could win £25!
It’s Advent and time for the latest magazine from the parish, full of Advent, Christmas and New Year events.
There are services – of course – a Christmas community market complete with Hale’s Angels, Father Christmas and a Christmas Tree Festival, carol concerts, not one but two Christingles, A Journey to Bethlehem, a panto, Messy Church… plus news, opinions and ideas. Download it now!
Simon Alexander has organised the event and reminds us that while we understand that Remembrance is a time to pay tribute to all those who serve and have served to protect and defend us, that “War comes in many forms and, as such, the public service of our Armed Forces comes in many forms too. This year we have leant on the help of our military again in our time of need here at home to help us deliver essential services during the pandemic. Dedicated, agile and responsive as ever, the men and women of our Armed Forces have responded to our nation’s call.”
Our thanks go to everyone who has taken part. Please join us online for this year’s Farnham Festival of Remembrance from 6pm on November 13 here on www.badshotleaandhale.org and Facebook.
This month is reflective as we head into the season of remembrance with the Farnham Festival of Remembrance and Remembrance Sunday itself.
But there is also celebration with Kitty Milroy’s birthday communion and concert on November 7th, and exciting news of a new youth centre in Hale. There are reports from across the community, plenty of local groups and services, and information about local events.
There are also pictures of cute dogs. What more could you want?
Find it below, or pick up your copy in church. If you want it delivered let us know. Email email@example.com or call 07842761919.
Come and celebrate the Kitty Milroy murals and Kitty herself at St Mark’s on November 7th at a special communion service at 11am, with the Bishop of Dorking and the mural restorers Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede, and a concert and talk at 7pm.
The now-famous murals were restored earlier this year and new lighting has been installed so that they can be seen in their full glory. They are now recognised as being of national importance and a jewel in Surrey’s crown. So, on the day before the anniversary of Kitty’s birth in 1885 and, coincidentally, her death in 1966, we want to invite everyone to St Mark’s for a celebration.
The morning celebration will be a communion service at which the Rt Rev’d Jo Bailey Wells, Bishop of Dorking, will preach, and there will be a chance to hear from Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede who spent 10 weeks painstakingly restoring the murals between April and June this year. In the evening there will be music, talks on the murals and Kitty, along with refreshments and, of course, the chance to see the murals.
Everyone is welcome at both the service and the evening celebration and there will be no charge, but to keep numbers manageable, particularly in the face of Covid, the evening event will be by ticket only. To book your tickets, click here.
The murals were painted between 1911 and 1920 and depict the Annunciation – the meeting between Mary and the Angel Gabriel when Mary is told she will be the mother of Jesus – as well as scenes from the Benedicite, an ancient hymn of praise to God about the wonders of the natural world, and local views. There are figures depicting the natural elements and seasons, and the models for these figures are known to be local people. The whole is a stunning creation by a hugely talented artist and the murals and Kitty herself are finally being given the recognition they deserve.
Come and celebrate this amazingly talented artist and her work.
Serving the Villages North of Farnham: Badshot Lea, Hale, Heath End & Weybourne