Families from Sandy Hill met Santa Claus and showed off their dance moves at a party at St Mark’s on the Monday before Christmas (December 23).
The families, from the Sandy Hill Inclusive Partnership (SHIP), enjoyed a party which included table tennis, pool, art and craft, music and dance provided by the performing arts school Boogie Pumps, and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus who brought gifts for all the children and their parents too.
“It was a really special atmosphere,” said Francis from Boogie Pumps, who led the children in a dance session involving hoops, pom poms, baby sharks and a lot of energy and enthusiasm, while the general consensus among the families was that it was “awesome” and “we’ve been spoiled!”.
More than 100 presents were provided for the children following the annual Farnborough Business Park Christmas Gift Drive, collecting brand new toys, clothes, vouchers, make-up and jewellery for some young people. Members of St Mark’s, St John’s and St George’s churches had also donated enough presents for the SHIP adults to take home a bag of gifts each too.
A big thank-you to everyone who gave so generously, and to everyone who helped put on the party, including Waitrose who provided some of the food. It was great fun and a lovely start to Christmas. We are looking forward to other events with SHIP in the new year.
Christmas is really getting going here in Badshot Lea and Hale. There were not one, not two but three carol services at the weekend (with help from Badshot Lea Village Infant School and William Cobbett Primary School) as well as our Christmas Carol Extravaganza on Emily the organ plus lunch on Saturday; Post19 holding a Christmas concert at St John’s last week, and Tootsiesthere today.
Tonight there are carols at the Hale Institute at 6.30pm. We will welcome William Cobbett School and Farnham Heath End School to St John’s at the end of the week and of course there is the Worship for All Carol Service this Sunday at 11.30am at St George’s, are our Crib Services on Christmas Eve, Midnight Mass at each of the churches to see in Christmas and Christmas Day all-age services. Don’t forget Journey to Bethlehem on Friday, leaving St Mark’s and St George’s at 7pm and following the star and the donkeys all the way to St John’s. Dressing up as a Nativity character is optional but encouraged!
Tomorrow, if you need a time of quiet, or if celebrations leave you cold at the moment, we have The Longest Night at St John’s at 7.30pm. A service for those for whom Christmas hurts, or who just need a time of reflection.
All the details are here.
Have a blessed Christmas.
Pictured above and below are Christmas celebrations by Post19.
Teddy bears and their friends are invited to St George’s, Badshot Lea, tomorrow (Sunday, August 18) for a teddy bears’ picnic at 11.30am.
The picnic, to which all bears and other favourite characters – and their human friends – are invited, will take place as part of the regular Worship for All service which takes place every Sunday at 11.30am.
Lesley Crawley said: “Worship for All is for the whole family and aims to share something of the love of God with all ages, and to be a fun, welcoming service. We hope as many people as possible will round up their bears, big and small, old and young, and come to the teddy bears’ picnic on Sunday.”
Picture: Teddy bear by Dorothe Wouters on Unsplash.
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.