Hear Lesley Crawley on the radio talking about Emily the organ. She was on BBC Radio Surrey on Sunday morning. Click here to listen and go to 1 hour, 12 minutes.
Come to the Music and Art Shindig at St Mark’s, Hale, this Saturday (June 8) from 1.30pm to around 7.30pm.
The event is part of the Farnham Flash Festival 2019 and is open to all. There will be a wide selection of music all day, starting with a more classical orientation with piano and a trio singing a selection of light music, and ending with a rock and blues jam session in the evening.
There is a very special choir coming – Kindred Spirits, which is a forum for people with breast cancer to come together for support and friendship. They will be singing a fantastic set and then there will be South American guitar, instrumental electric guitar, electric blues and a peformance of folk roots music by Cajun Boogaloo.
It all takes place at St Mark’s, Alma Lane, GU9 0LT. Doors open at 1.15pm; cash bar and café in the afternoon; barbecue at 5.30pm. The Amazing Mr McDonut will provide uproarious entertainment at 5pm.
Entry is free so you can come and go as you please, and the layout is informal, café-style.
There will be the opportunity to make donations to the charity Mary’s Meals (marysmeals.org.uk) which works in 18 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean to provide meals for school children who would otherwise go hungry.
“Warm, welcoming, colourful, life-affirming, loving, nourishing and sustaining.” That was just one description of the inaugural flower festival at St John’s Church over the weekend of May 18-19.
The festival was a huge success and attracted hundreds of visitors who gave warm praise for an event which was packed not just with people and flowers, but also with art, craft, music, refreshments and a happy, relaxed atmosphere.
Community groups, local organisations, artists, schools, churches, charities and other faith groups all came together to create floral displays, art and craft, filling the church with colour and scent. There were flowers on window sills, tables and in the pulpit; paintings on walls and easels and strung across the church; floral photographs on display; a table of hats with a floral theme; and even a chance to taste gin made with local elderflowers.
The tea and cake stand did brisk business, while others sipped Pimm’s, and a table full of plants from Bells Piece, the local Leonard Cheshire home, was almost emptied, partly thanks to the advice and selling skills of gardening expert John Negus. In all the festival made more than £1,100 for the church to help it in its work in north Farnham.
Visitors were enthusiastic with their praise. “Beautiful flowers to match the beautiful church,” said one visitor, while another said: “Lovely – so great to see community projects working together”, and another: “I had a brilliant time and was made to feel very welcome by all of you”. There have already been requests for another festival next year.
“Thank you so much to everyone who took part over the weekend,” said Rev’d Lesley Crawley. “The festival was a real celebration of community and creativity and was a fitting launch to a series of events to mark the 175th anniversary of St John’s Church. Thank you to those who visited the festival; to those who contributed displays, art and craft; to the musicians; the cake-bakers; those who served tea, coffee and cake; those who moved tables, washed up, put up posters and bunting – everyone who took part in any way.
“For the past 175 years, St John’s has been a focal point in the village and we want to ensure that it is being used by the community in a way that is relevant to contemporary needs. We have been conducting a survey to ask what people want from us and there is still time to take part. You can find the survey in the church or at https://goo.gl/XQQ8qT.
“Please do come to the rest of our 175th anniversary events. First we have a talk on June 5 on Art, Architecture and Christianity in Victorian Britain by the renowned expert Christopher Herbert, and we will be following this with an arts and crafts exhibition on June 22-23, a party in the churchyard on July 20, an afternoon of tea and reminiscing on August 3, and a celebratory service with the Bishop of Guildford and former clergy from St John’s on November 24. Everyone is welcome at all or any of these events.”
Pictured top is the display by the Farnham Baha’is. Photo by George Britton.
The parish fete (at St George’s, Badshot Lea), will welcome a special guest on the afternoon of Saturday, June 15, when gardening writer and broadcaster John Negus joins the plant stall to answer any gardening questions that visitors may have.
John has been a gardening journalist for some 60 years. He answers questions for Amateur Gardening magazine, gives talks and lectures, and broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio Surrey, again answering listeners’ queries on plants and gardens.
Answering these questions is, he says “a great privilege and an exciting challenge” and enables him to combine his passion for plants with his love of meeting people and making them happy.
“Gardeners are all so different,” he says, which means he has to be ready to answer all sorts of different questions. “The great thing is that no matter what question anyone asks there is always an answer. The fun thing is finding out the answer they approve of!” By this he means that there is always more than one way of dealing with a gardening question and he can tailor his answers to suit an individual situation.
There are always general questions to answer: on pests and diseases; on how to cope with dry summers – “the challenge is when to start and when to stop watering” – what plants do well in what areas; how to grow good vegetables – “improve the soil – more humus please!” – and so on, but he does love a challenge. “Bring mystery plants to the fete!” he commands. “It adds a frisson of excitement!”
John puts his own advice to good use and has not just his own beautiful garden in south Farnham, but also helps his partner Maureen with hers, and has recently taken up caring for the vicarage garden in Wrecclesham. He gains inspiration from other gardens and advises everyone to “go and see a garden that is open to the public and take photos of plants you like if you are looking for ideas. I do that. And I love to see an interesting garden with neat lawns and something arresting.”
So, to gain inspiration and have your own questions answered, go along to the parish fete at St George’s Church, Badshot Lea, on June 15 from noon onwards. As well as advice from John Negus – and lots of plants to buy of course – there will be stalls; games of skill and chance; a bouncy castle; maypole dancing by children from Badshot Lea Infant School; the Sea Cadets with their band; the Aldershot Karate Club demonstrating their moves; volunteers from Badshot Lea Bloomers and Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve; a barbecue; a bar; cream teas; cakes; an auction; a raffle with a first prize of £100, and much more.
St George’s Church is holding a gin night on Tuesday, April 30, where local gin producers Nibbs will be serving their artisan gin while raising money for church funds and giving us an opportunity to have a fun evening with friends and neighbours.
Nibbs is a small family business based in Surrey, producing small batch artisan cocktail gin using freshly picked elderflower from the Surrey and Sussex countryside. It is available at selected pubs, off-licenses, markets and festivals and at special fundraising nights.
Maxine Everitt, who is organizing the gin night, said: “Come and try this wonderful local gin and support both the church and a local small business. This is a great opportunity for people from our community to come in to the church and have fun together.”
The evening starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £5, including a drink on arrival. To book, contact Maxine Everitt on 01252 318135 or firstname.lastname@example.org
This year’s Parish Fete will take place on June 15th and we need as many people as possible to get involved.
The fete is usually our biggest fundraiser and helps to keep us afloat, so it would be great if everyone could be thinking ‘How can I help?’.
We need people to run stalls. Last year we had a real struggle to find enough volunteers for all the stalls and some games weren’t run at all.
We need donations for the stalls – bottles, (lots of bottles – they can be soft drinks as well as alcohol), tombola prizes – little things like boxes of pencils, nice pads of paper and sweets, as well as lovely items that people will want to win. And plants, preferably labelled clearly which would really help those running the plant stall who aren’t necessarily experts!, We need items for the auction, raffle prizes, toiletries, cakes, good quality toys, books, home produce – jams, pickles and so on….. you know, you’ve done this before!
We are not having a White Elephant or Good as New this year but there are plenty of other stalls and activities which need to be run. Have you got a good idea for a new game – and are you prepared to run it?
Do you make lovely things that could go on a craft stall?
Can you sell more raffle tickets than anyone else?
Last year we raised more than £2,700 – wouldn’t it be great if we can make over £3,000? We can! We just need everyone to help.
To offer ideas and help, please contact Maxine – Maxine.email@example.com
The Celtic musical tradition of the British Isles is a rich one, with music which has been passed down the generations in Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the North East of England, and which has permeated non-Celtic culture. After all, don’t we all sing Auld Lang Syne at new year?
Auld Lang Syne is not the only familiar Celtic tune – there are plenty which most of us can sing along to, something ably demonstrated by the Celtic Croodle which took part at St Mark’s Church last Saturday evening (February 9), thanks to the hard work and talent of Wendy Edwards with support from Frances Whewell.
To croodle means to snuggle together and St Mark’s looked cosy and warm, offering welcome after a wet February day. We sat around tables while Wendy, accompanied on the piano by Frances, led us on a musical tour of the Celtic parts of the British Isles, encouraging us to join in.
We started and ended in Scotland and en route we learned a little of the background to each song, though sometimes the origins are obscure. So we learned, for instance that the ‘low road’ in Loch Lomon (“O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road, And I’ll be in Scotland a’fore ye,”) may refer to the tradition that the soul of a dead Scot who died abroad was taken back to rest in Scotland by a secret road; and that Bobby Shafto (a north-eastern song) was an 18th century politician who may well have dandled a baby or two in the hope of improving his reputation (“Bobby Shafto’s gettin’ a bairn/For to dangle on his arm”).
On the trip through Ireland among those we learned and sang about were young Mollie Malone, and an Irish émigré shocked by the fashions and attitudes of 19th-century London, writing back to his true love in a valley near the Mountains of Mourne. In Wales as well as singing along lustily to Land of My Fathers (and not a rugby ball in sight), we listened to Wendy sing beautiful songs including David of the White Rock and we were moved by All through the Night, before hurrying back to Scotland to join hands and sing Auld Lang Syne.
As well as the music, Wendy had provided a light Celtic supper of oatcakes, cheese, cheese and onion ‘sausages’, shortbread and Welsh cakes, which we enjoyed at the interval.
It was a happy, comforting and relaxing evening, an antidote to the February blues that can strike us. It also raised £200 in donations for the Kitty Milroy murals appeal through which we are planning to restore the rare and important murals in the chancel at St Mark’s.
Wendy is holding another musical evening at St Mark’s in May. This one will be a jazz evening in memory of her parents, renowned local journalists and historians Jean and Ted Parratt. It will take place at the church on May 4 from 7.30pm. A light meal will be included but please bring your own drinks. The evening will also raise money for the Kitty Milroy murals,
The Blackwater Valley Wind Quintet are staging a concert of classical music in aid of Christian Aid and the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale at St John’s Church, Hale, on Saturday, February 16, at 7.30pm.
There will be a varied programme which will include pieces by Mozart, Vaughan Williams, Schumann and Gordon Jacob, and alongside the Blackwater Valley Wind Quintet will be other local performers.
Tickets (£10, £8 concessions, to include refreshments) are available from 07730009317 or 07519740607 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org. Tickets may be available at the door.
Everyone is invited to an old-fashioned Celtic singalong at St Mark’s on February 9 from 7.30pm.
The Celtic ‘Croodle’ will trace a journey in song through Scotland, the north-east of England, Ireland and Wales, led by Wendy Edwards, accompanied by Frances Whewell.
There will be a light Celtic supper (oatcakes, cheese, Welsh cakes and shortbread) – bring your own drinks.
To croodle means to snuggle together so come along to snuggle and sing with us, in aid of restoring the Kitty Milroy murals at St Mark’s. All donations gratefully received.
Emily and the Generations may sound a little like a pop group, but today’s blog post title actually refers to an interview with Lesley Crawley on BBC Radio Surrey this morning (Sunday, Jan 13).
She was interviewed on the Sunday Breakfast show about our final push to raise money for Emily the organ – just £559 to go folks, come on, we can do it – but the interview spanned far more than just Emily, important and beloved as she is.
Interviewer Emily Jeffery talked to Lesley about how Emily the organ is a beloved part of the community and how her overhaul will allow us to use her again in worship, concerts and for children to learn on.
Then the interview broadened out to something that is also dear to our parish – the way we try to bring old and young and in between together.
Lesley spoke about the fact that local school children will be welcomed in to see the organ when it is being restored, how the table tennis club we run has become a ‘youth group for all ages’, the fact that we don’t send the children out of church for a separate Sunday school (“we are an inclusive church … and it seems wrong to send out part of our congregation”), the plans for opening St John’s up more to the community and bringing people together with a café, and other resources, perhaps even a nursery which could link in with a local care home.
To hear the interview click here and go to 2:38:52.
Picture by Will Francis. Unsplash.