Badshot Lea and Hale Community Fete July 3rd, 2021
Restrictions permitting, St. George’s Church will be hosting this year’s Badshot Lea and Hale Community Fete.
We’d love to make this a real community event, so if your group is based in the Parish or the surrounding area and you would like to come along just to publicise or to run a stall for your organisation, or have any brilliant ideas, please contact Maxine Everitt – Maxine.email@example.com
We’d also like to offer small businesses a chance to hire a space at just £15 – we appreciate this has been a hard time for you and we expect a good footfall, so why not give it a go? Again, drop Maxine an email.
This year’s Farnham Flower Festival will once more be held online over the weekend of May 15 and 16 here on the website with contributions from individuals, businesses, faith groups, charities, schools and other organisations, all celebrating the theme of hope and joy. Anyone who would like to is invited to send in photos or videos of flower arrangements or garden or wild flowers, or floral art to take part in the festival.
This is the third Farnham Flower Festival and the second one online, organised by the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale in north Farnham. Rev’d Lesley Crawley, rector of the parish, said: “Our flower festivals celebrate colour and new life and the joy of God’s creation, and this year it feels more important than ever to draw attention to the hope and joy that we can find in nature and in the knowledge that God is here in the world, sustaining us.
“Please do send in your photos and videos and celebrate with us.”
This year’s festival is being sponsored by the award-winning florist Florescence who operates from downstairs at St Mark’s. Find out more about the company here.
Happy Easter from the Easter Bunny, Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny, A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny, Quite-Small Bunny, Smallest-Bunny-Of-All (very loudly) and, of course, the Chocolate Chicken.
May you know the blessing and hope of Christ this Easter!
Holy Saturday isn’t as sunny as Good Friday, but the bunnies still manage to get in a walk. Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny wants to show them the difference between a park and a recreation ground (which she is careful not to call a ‘rec’ for fear of getting Quite-Small Bunny’s hopes up).
“Wow! This is huge!” says A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny. “I hope we won’t get lost.”
“Don’t worry, I’m with you,” says the Easter Bunny. “And I know the way.”
“Look!” shouts Smallest-Bunny-Of-All. “We can climb the trees!”
It’s quite a long way up for their little legs, and A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny is, well, a bit of a worrier about whether they are safe, but from their tree they can see a long way.
“What’s that?” asks Quite-Small Bunny? “Down there on the ground?”
“It’s the chocolate chicken!” yells Smallest-Bunny-Of-All.
And it is! The Easter Bunny is overjoyed to see her.
“Can I place an order for eggs?” she asks.
The bunnies are in a reflective mood. Before they tuck in to a hot cross bun (they are only little bunnies so they need only one between them), the Easter Bunny tells them a little bit about Good Friday.
“So Jesus showed everyone a different way and people didn’t like it, is that right?” asks Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot-And-Wants-To-Know-Even-More Bunny.
“That’s right,” says the Easter Bunny.
“What way was that?” asks A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny.
“It was a way of love,” says the Easter Bunny.
“Is that why our bun has a kiss on it?” asks Quite-Small Bunny.
The Easter Bunny gives him a hug.
Smallest-Bunny-Of-All hopes that the bun also has chocolate in it. Good thing the Easter Bunny can’t read her mind.
After yesterday’s confusion about ship wrecks and recreation grounds, the bunnies investigate the houses further and discover, to the delight of the children at least, that there is another playground.
“Just a short play,” says the Easter Bunny, “I want to go to the Maundy Thursday service this evening.”
“Evening is years away!” says Quite-Small Bunny.
“No, it’s only a few hours away,” Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny corrects him.
“Whose going to baby-bunnysit us when you go to the service?” asks A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny.
“The chocolate chicken can!” shouts Smallest-Bunny-Of-All from her high perch.
‘If only,’ thinks the Easter Bunny.
The Easter Bunny and her family investigate what else there is near the church they found yesterday. There seem to be lots of houses and people, some of them playing games, and this all makes A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny, well, worried.
“Supposing they don’t like bunnies,” he says.
“Everyone was very welcoming at church when we went on Sunday, weren’t they?” says the Easter Bunny. “And there’s plenty of space in all these big green fields.”
“They are recreation grounds,” says Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny. “Or you can call them ‘recs’.”
“I want to see the rec, I want to see the rec!” says Quite-Small Bunny. “There might be lost treasure.”
It takes the Easter Bunny a while to realise that he thinks he is going to see a ship wreck.
To cheer him up she promises them all ice cream.
“Can I have a chocolate flake in my ice cream?” asks Smallest-Bunny-Of-All.
That reminds the Easter Bunny of a problem. Just where is that chocolate chicken?
It’s a beautiful day and the Easter Bunny takes her family for a walk, this time to another part of north Farnham where she has seen another church.
“It’s a lovely place to live,” she tells them as she leads the way down the road.
“Can we have a burrow in one of the parks here?” asks Quite-Small Bunny.
“They are recreation grounds,” says Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny. “The park is a very big area over there,” she says, waving a paw in what she hopes might be the right direction, as she doesn’t always know quite as much as she makes out (shh! don’t tell anyone).
“A big park might be a bit too big for little bunnies,” worries A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny.
“I don’t mind, as long as there are flowers and playgrounds,” says Smallest-Bunny-Of-All . He scampers off into a clump of daffodils.
“I also want to live somewhere where there are chocolate eggs!” he calls.
That reminds the Easter Bunny of a problem…
There has been a disagreement about what to do today. Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny wants to study the spring flowers for a school project.
Smallest-Bunny-Of-All wants to visit the playground.
A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny doesn’t like disagreements and is feeling a bit upset.
Thankfully Quite-Small Bunny has a solution: “Let’s do both.”
The Easter Bunny thinks that this might give her a greater chance of finding a chocolate chicken.
It’s Palm Sunday and the Easter Bunny and her family want to go to church.
“Here’s the door,” says Quite-Small Bunny.
“Will we be allowed? We’re not like most of the people here,” says A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny.
For once Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny turns to her mother for the answer.
“Of course,” says the Easter Bunny, “this is a church where everyone is welcomed, whoever we are.”
“Come on in,” says the vicar, “you are very welcome.”
The Easter Bunny hopes that a chocolate chicken has also found her way here.
During the service a small voice can he heard singing ‘Sleeping bunnies’. It’s Smallest-Bunny-Of-All’s favourite song.
The Easter Bunny and her family stop off for a rest on a park bench.
“Where are all the people?” asks Quite-Small Bunny.
“They are having to stay inside and keep safe because of Covid,” says Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny.
“Do we have to do that?” asks A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny.
“Can we go and play in the park?” asks Smallest-Bunny-Of-All.
Meanwhile the Easter Bunny is considering the journey ahead. She doesn’t seem to be as fit as she used to be. Maybe she has spent too much time watching TV and eating biscuits during lockdown.
Also, she still hasn’t solved the problem of the chocolate chicken.
The Easter Bunny and her family are off. They are making their way around the parish, heading for church on Easter Sunday.
But where are they today? And why are they? Who exactly is the Easter Bunny?
Well, since you ask, the Easter Bunny has been investigating her family history and so far has got back to her Great-great-great-great-great-great-and-quite-a-few-more-Grandad in the middle of Europe in the 17th century when he used to carry eggs in a basket to give children at Easter.
“We don’t have to lay the eggs ourselves do we?” asks A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny. “Don’t be silly, bunnies don’t lay eggs,” says Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny. “Will we have to ask the chickens for eggs?” asks Quite-Small Bunny. “Let’s give them chocolate eggs!” says Smallest-Bunny-Of-All.
The Easter Bunny tries to remember whether she knows any chocolate chickens.
If you and your family need a bit of a breathing space in lockdown, we may be able to help.
St George’s Church has joined up with Hale Community Centre and Space2Grow in central Farnham and all three are opening our doors to families who need to get out of the home and into a different space.
From Monday, February 8, families will be able to book a session in any of the three and allow their children to play or do schoolwork there with support from a volunteer who can also be a listening ear for parents. They can do so by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
The scheme has been developed in response to the growing mental health pressures that families are facing during lockdown. Many parents are struggling with working from home while trying to home-school several children, look after pre-schoolers, and run their households.
“The pressure on families is immense and we know that it is having a serious effect on mental health across the ages,” said Norma Corkish, chair of trustees for Hale Community Centre.
“Parents are getting to the end of what they can manage to juggle and many children are feeling frustrated and are struggling to do all the school work which schools are legally obliged to set. As one parent said ‘I am going a bit stir crazy being at home on my own’.
“Offering safe spaces where parents can bring their children is a practical step towards helping the families. Children can have some freedom to run round and play, engage with another adult, go for a walk, get some support with home schooling or whatever will help give a period of brief respite from the stresses of the current restrictions. And the parents can have another adult to talk to.”
The spaces will have some teaching aids such as flip charts but families will need to bring their own toys and school resources.
The scheme is offering morning and afternoon sessions and the organisers hope to be able to increase the number of them if there are enough volunteers. Volunteers are needed to spend an hour either in the morning or afternoon with a family in the spaces and be willing to go for walks with the families. The organisers would also like to hear from any students who could spare some time to be an extra pair of hands. Anyone who can help should contact Cathy Burroughs at the Hale Community Centre on 07471 180958 or email@example.com
You may have read or heard national media reports on the Church of England in decline and dire consequences ensuing. Well, not on our watch. The parish has been bucking the trend and is seeing growing congregations both online and in person.
Though we were shut for many months last year because of Covid, we’ve seen new people coming to church when we have been able to be open and lots of people joining in online with our services, groups and festivals we have run.
Lesley Crawley says: “This has been a time of extraordinary change for us all and we have had to adapt to the challenges and respond in a way which meets the needs of those around us. Going online had been one obvious response and it is something we should have done years ago, alongside our services in church. There are lots of people who would like to come to church but can’t for whatever reason – disability, caring responsibilities, ill health, shift work and the like – so being able to access online services when they like is a real bonus. What’s more they can take part by recording readings, prayers etcetera.
“We’ve also really involved people in the services in the churches themselves, ensuring that it’s a whole-church event rather than just the same people standing up the front and speaking. So we have families doing drama for instance, or reading poetry and they have really enjoyed it.
“But it’s not just the numbers, we have also thought carefully about how we relate to everyone around us. So we have, run online events – our latest is a poetry festival – and looked at how we can use the buildings better, make them more accessible, change the way we do outreach, really get serious about church health and develop ambitious plans for the future. We have seen this as an opportunity to understand what our community wants from us and how we can share God’s love with everyone so that everyone feels welcomed and valued whoever they are and whatever their circumstances.”
Watch out for more changes and growth as we continue to seek God’s will and respond to people around us.
Lockdown, lockdown. It’s all around us. And how are we feeling? Why not try to express it in poetry?
We are running the Farnham Lockdown Poetry Festival and invite everyone to write a poem about being in lockdown – whatever you feel, whatever your experience – and send it to us and we will put together a compilation video of our favourite poems and put it on our website.
Adults and children alike are welcome to send in their poems on the theme of lockdown. And don’t worry if you don’t think you can write poetry; read some and give it a go!
If you want some ideas, listen to this lockdown poem by Harry Baker:
Send your poems to Lesley Crawley: firstname.lastname@example.org to arrive by February 26. Or you can send them in the post to Rev’d Lesley Crawley, The Rectory, 25 Upper Hale Road, Farnham GU9 0NX.
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:
The Christmas lights are on in Farnham, two houses across the road from my house have their decorations up; it must be time for a Christmas Tree Festival.
This year we can’t hold or take part in standard Christmas Tree Festivals so we’ve decided to go online. We are inviting local individuals, families, groups, schools, charities, churches and businesses to take part by creating a Christmas tree and displaying it in our online Christmas Tree Festival which will be here on the website from December 1st-14th.
All you have to do is send us a picture of a Christmas tree, decorated as you wish, and include something about yourself, your school, business, organisation, charity, church – whatever or whoever your tree is representing and we will display these on our website during the first two weeks of December.
It’s free for charities, churches and schools, and there is a minimal charge for commercial businesses as we are raising funds for the church’s work in north Farnham.
It’s a perfect opportunity for you to tell people about what you do and get your message out there. Our website visitors come from both the local area and as far away as the USA and China and so far this month the website has had more than 9,000 views.
We will also promote our festival on social media through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Not sure what Christmas tree to display? We have a few you can use.
Welcome to our online art and craft fair, displaying the talent of individuals and small businesses. There’s a huge range here, from illustrations to felt booties, cards to crochet, jewellery, candles, t-shirts, knitting, cushions, bunting, jam, decorations, flowers, ceramics, mosaics, frames, gin…
It’s an ideal way to do your Christmas shopping and support small businesses. Just browse through the pages here – click on the links to take you to the ones you want – and contact the maker direct. There are contact details on every page.
Thank you to everyone who is taking part here. Happy shopping!