The sun is out and so is the June magazine! This month’s magazine is packed full of news and events about our parish which isn’t confined to the villages we serve locally – lovely though they all are! Being online has allowed us to reach out far further and welcome people who can’t be with us physically.
Take the flower festival for instance. Among the 300+ entries were ones from friends of the parish from around the country. Take a look at some of the entries in the magazine and, of course, online.
There’s news of upcoming events – Father’s Day’s an important one as is the fete on July 3 – new classes, new rooms, a new business, our new youth hub, the new mayor and North Farnham councillor, along with lots more including Kitty Milroy and her media-starring murals, prayer, Jeremy Hunt, appeals for help, schools news, the Church Cat and more.
Aspen Salisbury is a young artist who specialises in wildlife-inspired art and can be found on Instagram @byaspencrafts
Karina Fraser is a synesthetic artist who uses the neurological experience of synaesthesia, the cross wiring of senses, to explore and create abstract art. She can be found in her studio at St George’s Church and at www.karinafraser.com
Knitchings is a head of creative arts, a knitter, artist, ‘interior freewheeler’, owner of the world’s most patient and obliging cat – Gladys – and has a large (43k) following on Instagram where she can be found @knitchings
Linda Daruvala is an author and artist.
Penny Fleet is a mixed media artist, based near Odiham, who creates paintings, cards and collages on canvas, wood and paper using a combination of acrylic paints, inks, hand-decorated collage papers, thread, fabric and text. She can be found at www.pennyfleet.co.uk
Susie Lidstone is a watercolour artist well known for her paintings of flowers and buildings especially around Farnham. She can be found at http://susielidstone.com/
Nibbs is a small family business based in Surrey, producing small batch artisan gin in two flavours – elderflower gin, using freshly picked elderflower from the Surrey and Sussex countryside, and a ‘Surrey Hops’ gin using Farnham hops as a botanical. www.nibbsspirits.co.uk
The Rural Life Centre
The Rural Life Centre in Tilford is a living museum which collects, conserves and displays the history and culture of village life in the countryside. rural-life.org.uk
Squires is a garden centre in Badshot Lea, part of a family-owned horticultural business across Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, West London and Berkshire. www.squiresgardencentres.co.uk
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, Farnham, is a socially active branch of Lajna, an auxiliary organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. lajna.org.uk
Badshot Lea and Hale
The Bahá’í Faith
Bahá’ís believe the crucial need facing humanity is to find a unifying vision of the future of society and of the nature and purpose of life. www.bahai.org
The Spire Church, Farnham
The Spire Church is a newly formed church created through a partnership between Farnham United Reformed Church and Farnham Methodist Church. spirechurchfarnham.org.uk
The Buckle Family
Carolyn and Gerry Weston
The Church Cat
Alder Valley Brass
Alder Valley Brass is a brass band based in Farnham, and a small group of its members played at the recent St George’s Day Service at St John’s. It is a traditional brass band of 25 brass players plus percussion and also perform in smaller ensembles from time to time, and it is celebrating its 60th birthday. www.aldervalleybrass.org.uk
Hale Carnival Committee is a group of people who organise the Hale Carnival and fundraise during the year. Sadly the carnival had to be cancelled this year because of Covid but it will be back! www.halecarnival.co.uk
Among the therapies offered by Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham therapy through nature, where the sessions are designed to support participants to live well through access to nature, horticulture and the garden, offering the benefits of ‘the great outdoors’ indoors. www.pth.org.uk
Charity fundraising has been a victim of Covid, but there have been ways to keep bringing in money as a concert at St John’s before Christmas (and before Tier 4) proved.
The Gazebo Quartet, made up of local professional musicians, hired the church on December 13 and put on a concert for an invited audience who could sit safely in bubbles and appreciate the music.
Judy Dudley from the quartet writes: “
“The players who constitute the Gazebo String Quartet would like to give a big thank you to St John’s, Church Hale for making it possible for us to perform our Christmas Concert in December 2020.
“Being local musicians who play for both amateur and professional events, we formed the quartet when playing together outside under a gazebo during the early Covid restrictions, hence the name!
“We presented an eclectic programme of popular music items from Neil Diamond to Gilbert and Sullivan followed by beautiful arrangements of Christmas Carols from a variety of European roots.
“St John’s Church has a very fine acoustic for an event like this which made playing there particularly satisfying for string players. We were so pleased to be able to donate £175.00 to Macmillan Cancer Care donated by our generous invited audience.”
Join us for some outdoor carol services in the grounds of all three of our churches:
Wednesday, December 16, 6pm: St John’s, Hale.
Friday, December 18, 6pm: St Mark’s, Upper Hale.
Sunday, December 20, 6pm: St George’s, Badshot Lea.
Wrap up warm and join us for socially distanced carol singing and readings for Christmas. There will be favourite carols – Once in Royal David’s City, O Little Town of Bethlehem, Away in a Manger, Silent Night and others – and at St John’s we will be joined by members of Farnham Brass Band, Waverley Singers, and a choir from St John’s.
There will also prayers and Bible readings, and we are delighted to welcome some of our local representatives to help with the readings.
Cllr Pat Evans, Mayor of Farnham, will read at St John’s; Cllr Penny Marriot, Mayor of Waverley, will read at St Mark’s; and Cllr Mark Merryweather of both Farnham Town Council and Waverley Borough Council will read at St George’s.
Bring a mask and a torch as well as warm clothes and join us for some Christmas joy!
Advent is going to be a bit different this year. Normally the four services leading up to Christmas are a little bit solemn; the church is not decorated, no baptisms happen, the hymns are in a minor key. It is all about watching and waiting and hoping.
However, not this year! Let’s be honest, ever since March we have been watching and waiting and hoping – it has been the longest Advent ever. A number of people have said they have had enough of being miserable and they would like some joy in December instead. Also, as we are not having crib services or carol services in church this year, we want to invite everyone in throughout December to hear the story of Christmas.
Consequently, all the churches will have a series of family-friendly services including drama and opportunities for craft throughout December and we will be looking at characters in the Nativity:
6th December – Mary and the Archangel Gabriel
13th December – Shepherds and Angels
20th December – Mary and Joseph
25th December – birth of Jesus
(no service on 27th December)
4th January – Magi (or Kings)
Please let Lesley know if you are willing to take part by email email@example.com or phone 01252 820537. At each of the above services there are lots of roles for adults and children and young people to get stuck into:
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.”
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! 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.
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.
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.
Serving the Villages North of Farnham: Badshot Lea, Hale, Heath End & Weybourne