Category Archives: music

Celebrate Pride and God’s Love

Join us to celebrate Pride on Saturday, August 8, here online from 10am.

August 8 should have been marked by a Surrey Pride march and celebrations on the street but these had to be cancelled because of Covid-19. However, we are celebrating the LGBTI+ community and God’s wonderful, inclusive love with an online service.

There will be music, art, photography, prayers, poetry, Bible readings and reflections from individuals including a former curate of St George’s whom some of you may remember – Rev’d Paul Holt – along with Sara Gillingham, a leading intersex campaigner and great friend of the parish; Jayne Ozanne who runs the Ozanne Foundation which works with religious organisations to eliminate discrimination based on sexuality or gender; and Dr Ash Brockwell, a transgender man and educator who has contributed both a poem and hymn to the service.

There is a moving reflection on growing up as a gay man from James Muller, a Farnham photographer whose work features regularly in Vogue Italia, and who has kindly contributed many of his beautiful photographs; there is art from local people, including paintings by members of Farnham Heath End School’s LGBT+ group, and stones painted with rainbow messages to indicate God’s love for everyone.

Stella Wiseman, who leads inclusion work in the parish, explains the thinking behind the service: “The church as a whole doesn’t have a great track record in welcoming people who do not fit into a heterosexual, cis-gender box, and indeed has caused great harm to many LGBTI+ people. This is something we need to repent of and make amends for. We have no right to limit God’s love and welcome like this and to damage and destroy people in the name of God is appalling.

“Thankfully, things are changing and many churches, such as those in this parish, are more welcoming and inclusive now. Some of us would have been walking under the Christians at Pride banner in Woking on August 8th but Covid-19 has put paid to that. So instead we are organizing this lovely, colourful service online and we are delighted that members of the local church are taking part along with friends from other churches. We are really grateful to them for giving up their time to share with us their experience of God’s love and welcome and grateful too for the art, photography and music.

“Pride in Surrey is taking a Pride-themed vehicle around the county that weekend too and will be live-streaming and the parish has just been asked to send a contribution to the online Pride. The Pride vehicle will be making its way to Farnham on Sunday 9th at 10am so watch out for that too. You can find out more on prideinsurrey.org/ontheroad.”

Everyone is invited to join the service online here on Saturday, August 8 , from 10am and on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/badshotleaandhale

Amazing Grace

The hymn Amazing Grace was written in 1772 by John Newton (1725-1807) and published in 1779. The most familiar tune used these days is New Britain, composed in 1835  by the American composer William Walker.

John Newton worked on board slave ships for many years and it was during a storm at sea that the first steps of his conversion to Christianity occurred. However, he stated that he was truly converted some time later. He became an Anglican priest in 1764 and an abolitionist in the 1780s and campaigned against slavery thereafter.

Amazing Grace

Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me!
I once was lost, but now am found;
Was blind, but now I see.

Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
And grace my fears relieved;
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed!

Through many dangers, toils and snares,
I have already come;
’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
And grace will lead me home.

The Lord has promised good to me,
His Word my hope secures;
He will my Shield and Portion be,
As long as life endures.

Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
And mortal life shall cease,
I shall possess, within the veil,
A life of joy and peace.

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
The sun forbear to shine;
But God, Who called me here below,
Will be forever mine.

When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
Bright shining as the sun,
We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
Than when we’d first begun.

The hymn is used for A Song for Farnham.









A Song for Farnham

Here is A Song for Farnham! This parish and other churches across Farnham have joined forces and voices to sing Amazing Grace.

As well as this parish, St Andrew’s Church; St James’, Rowledge; St Joan of Arc; The Spire Church; and Farnham Vineyard have sung a verse each.

The hymn is a favourite of many and was written by a former slave trader, John Newton, who eventually became an advocate for the abolition of slavery.

Lesley Crawley explains why the churches have decided to sing it: “The churches in Farnham wanted to make a song to lift spirits now that some people have been locked in for three months and many face uncertainty as to when it will end for them. We chose Amazing Grace – written by a slave owner who saw the error of his ways and found God even though he considered himself beyond the pale given his previous life. It speaks of God’s unconditional love and grace in our lives, no matter how we feel about ourselves.”

Listen to A Song for Farnham on social media and at www.badshotleaandhale.org and other church websites from Sunday, June 21.

Flower Festival goes online

Our Flower Festival is going online this year and you will be able to find it here on the website over the weekend of June 27-28, with the theme of A Celebration of Summer Flowers.

Last year’s inaugural Farnham Flower Festival was held at St John’s Church, and another was planned there for this year but lockdown put paid to that. Nothing daunted, we are taking the festival online and have invited the whole community to get involved – schools, community groups, churches and other faith groups, businesses, artists, craftspeople, individuals, and even two local gin companies which use flowers in their gins. Farnham Town Council is also submitting an entry to what promises to be a colourful and uplifting celebration.

We will be displaying photographs and videos of wonderful displays of flowers and floral art and craft. There will be music too and we know it is going to be a lovely weekend of colour reflecting the creative gifts of our community.

It’s not too late to get involved. If you would like to submit a picture or video of a floral display or a piece of floral art or craft, send it to us before the end of Monday, June 22. If you join our Lockdown Art Club, don’t forget the theme is flowers and we’d love your art too. Then visit us online over the weekend of June 27-28.

Pictured: Floral display from Therapies Through Nature which takes place at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice. Therapies Through Nature is taking part in the festival.

MP, Mayor and Intersex advocate choose favourite hymns

Jeremy Hunt, MP; the Mayor of Farnham; a prominent advocate for those born with intersex traits; and other key members of the local community, are all taking part in an online service of their favourite hymns, which will be online here on Wednesday, June 10, from 6pm.

Each person has chosen a hymn and will introduce it online explaining why they like it and what their Christian faith means to them. The hymns are a mix of old and new, and range from the 17th century My Song is Love Unknown, chosen by Janet Martin, one of the key organisers of the Farnham Flash Festival, to the 1980s’ one The Servant King, chosen by Sara Gillingham. Sara, an accountant by profession, also works with the church, universities and the media to raise awareness of people born with intersex traits, which is her own story.

Each speaks about what the hymn and their faith means to them – for Sara Gillingham it is a faith in a God full of grace, in whose image we are made, and Christ there beside us; while Jeremy Hunt speaks of the stillness which his faith gives him and how it is reflected in his choice of hymn Dear Lord and Father of Mankind. Among the other hymns you can hear are Father I Place into Your Hands, chosen by Bob Skinner, whom many will know from Farnham Foodbank, and Faithful One so Unchanging, the choice of Cathy Burroughs, manager of Hale Community Centre. You will also hear the rousing God is our Strength and Refuge, chosen by Pat Evans, the Mayor of Farnham, and sung to The Dam Busters March.

Lesley Crawley explains the thinking behind the service: “Favourite hymns can speak to us on a deep level, through the music and the words, and help us understand more about God and our faith. It has been a privilege and a pleasure to hear the choices of those who have so kindly contributed and understand more about what their faith means to them.”

Join us here on Wednesday, June 10, from 6pm, or on Facebook or on the parish YouTube channel. You may even want to sing along!

Stunning sung service

Catch the premier of our stunning, all-sung service for Pentecost this Sunday, May 31, at 6pm, here on the website. Everything is sung – the Gospel, the sermon, the prayers, everything, some of it using original music composed for the occasion.

The service features Bob and Lesley Shatwell, whose concept this has been, Margaret Emberson, Wendy Edwards and Liv and June Jasper, and they have created, as Lesley Crawley said: “One astonishing work of art after another”.

We are also promised more than one Bob, Lesley and Margaret at the same time!

Don’t miss this beautiful, uplifting, creative service this coming Sunday (May 31) at 6pm, here on the website.