Category Archives: News Releases

Traditional Church Fete with a Modern Twist

Everyone welcome at traditional church fete with a modern twist

St George’s Church, Badshot Lea, will be the venue for this year’s annual parish fete, a traditional church fete with a modern twist, on Saturday, June 3, 12-3pm.

The church and grounds will be full of stalls and activities designed to appeal across the ages. There will be a ‘cool cafe’, serving refreshments with mellow music playing, plus a bar and barbecue. Children from Badshot Lea school will give a dance display at 12.30pm and the Carillon Singers will perform in the church at 1.15pm as well as leading some community singing.

A children’s craft area will be set up inside the church and outside there will be a bouncy castle and stalls with things to buy, games to play and prizes to win.
Grand raffle tickets will be on sale with the raffle drawn at the end of the event. Everyone is welcome.

For further information call Maxine on 01252 318135, email or visit

Not just on a Sunday: Survey looks at new ways of using local church

An open session and display to discuss the possible future of St John’s Church, Hale, will be held next Saturday, 27th May, at the church from 10am to 2pm.

The discussion will centre around the ideas generated from responses to a recent survey sent out to residents living close to the church. This asked for their ideas about how to ensure the church remains open in the long-term and how it can be used for the local community during the week as well as on a Sunday.

The survey was delivered to 1,700 houses in Hale. The overall response was positive to the idea of the ‘interior of the church being altered to create a space for complementary uses, while maintaining worship as its primary use’.

Ideas include removing the pews and replacing them with chairs which would be used in church services including baptisms, weddings and funerals, and also allowing complementary uses during the week such as a soft play area, a cafe, and groups offering support for those suffering with addictions or needing debt counselling. The space created could also be used for art exhibitions, or for orchestra and choir recitals.

One respondent commented that by “removing the dark pews and replacing them with bright comfortable chairs will create a versatile space and be lighter”. Another said: “as much as I love the pews, they do limit the way the space can be used and make worship very formal and perhaps for many do not foster a feeling of participation and equality”.

However, for some of those who responded, the idea of reordering the interior of the church is painful and difficult. A respondent who regards himself as a traditionalist sad that he could “see the need to increase usage of the church for other activities apart from church services” but would “just have to accept it as progress”. However, another added: “St John’s will remain beautiful whatever happens and to me will feel more beautiful if the building is more full of life”.

The feedback session with refreshments will run from 10am to 2pm on 27th May 27. Come along to discuss some ideas and options for the future of St John’s.

For further information, contact Rev’d Hannah Moore on 01252 659267, email or visit

St Mark’s enjoys a fruitful Apple Day

On 9th October St Mark’s Church in Upper Hale, Farnham hosted its second Apple Day. Members of the community arrived with bags of apples to be juiced and enjoyed the food, drink and music on offer.

The Reverend Hannah Moore, the new curate in the parish, commented, “It was my first Apple Day and it was such a lovely community event, with people there aged 0 to 94, including three in wheelchairs; and over fifty people stayed for the Harvest service that followed on in the church.”

Lesley Shatwell, the Licenced Lay Minister continued, “The apples and pears were harvested from the community orchard and they were delicious, as were the tasty apple pancakes, accompanied by the sound of cheery musicians playing apple-related songs.”

John Ely, local resident and apple presser said “It was a pleasure to be invited to press apples into juice with so many young helpers and even better to see them enjoy drinking it!”

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Incredible Edible harvest

Residents of Hale have started harvesting the ‘Incredible Edible’ tubs. This project started in April when tubs of compost were placed at the Bungalow, near the War Memorial and in the grounds of St Mark’s Church – and residents were invited to plant them with herbs, fruit, and vegetables.

The Reverend Lesley Crawley, a priest at St Mark’s said, “We were a bit worried that that tubs would remain empty, but they soon filled up with green beans, marrows, tomatoes and courgettes. Every week, when I looked out of the window at St Mark’s, another plant had miraculously appeared – it has been just magical, and so exciting.”

John Ely, a local resident and part of the Incredible Edible team said, “Last week I saw a family passing the Bungalow planter as I was watering it. I invited them to help themselves to courgette. The young lad, Ryan, duly obliged! Mum said ‘It will go in our stir fry tonight’. Now that is what Incredible Edible is all about! I noticed the large marrow at the Hale Rec planter has gone. Hopefully taken by another hungry resident.”

Incredible Edible is a community project that aims to increase our awareness of food and where it comes from, bringing communities together and helping make a step towards a more sustainable world. It seems to be working in Hale.

A sparkling evening of Kipling

Jonathan Jones treated local residents to a sparking evening of drama and poetry when he performed a one-man Kipling show at St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale, to raise money for the “Emily the Organ” appeal. One of the parishioners, Kathy Robertson, with her team, provided props and the refreshments and the church was transformed into Kipling’s living room for the evening.

The Reverend Lesley Crawley said, “Jonathan told us Kipling’s life story in the first person. We travelled with him through his difficult childhood and the appalling grief when he lost first his daughter and then his son during the Great War. There was also humour and deep wisdom in the poetry. The evening was spellbinding.”

£380 was raised towards refurbishing the pipe organ, at the moment £6000 has been raised towards the £23,000 target. If you would like to help get the pipe organ playing again then please contact Lesley Crawley on 01252 820537 or

An evening with Rudyard Kipling

Jonathan Jones, the Farnham Town Crier, will be performing on Saturday 9th July at 7:30pm at St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale, GU9 0LT, to raise money for the restoration of ‘Emily’ the pipe organ. Entry is free but donations are very welcome!

Jonathan explains, “I will present, in the first person, Rudyard Kipling’s “Something of Myself”. It is the story of Rudyard Kipling’s life, based on his autobiography and interspersed with dramatic readings of his poetry, including ‘If’, ‘Tommy’, ‘The Glory of the Garden’, ‘Recessional’, ‘My Boy Jack’ and ‘Gunga Din’. It covers his traumatic childhood, his early years in India and the tragic loss of his son John in the Great War.”

The Reverend Lesley Crawley said, “This will be a fantastic evening, we are so very lucky to have Jonathan performing for us once again. His “A Christmas Carol” performance was unforgettable. Do come along for a wonderful community evening and please help us to restore ‘Emily’!”

So far over £5300 has been raised to restore and rebuild the Edwardian Pipe Organ. The target is £23,000.

Can you help identify these figures?

At St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale, painted on the walls of the chancel is a unique piece of local history. About a hundred years ago, Kitty Milroy, a local artist, painted local people and local scenes in murals. The paintings now are in a precarious condition. There is curling of the paint and paint losses and areas where the paintings have been rubbed over many years resulting in a powdering of the paint. In order to save this piece of our local heritage, St Mark’s needs to apply to various organizations for grants in order to stabilise the loose paint as conservation is the first and most important goal. Once this has been done, then filling and restoration can take place hopefully with further funding. But you may be able help.

Nick Seversway, a local restorer of paintings says, “What we need to do to put a case for grants is to gather as much info as is possible and this is where you come in. There are some names linked to the figures, but we would love to know exactly who posed for which picture. Also there was once a huge amount of preliminary drawings and paintings does anyone know what happened to them? The biggest mystery is Kitty Milroy herself. She was the daughter of the Vicar of Carisbrooke whose mother moved the family to The Oast House between 1902 and 1911 after his death. Does anyone know where Kitty trained in art? Did she paint any other pictures?

All and any info will help in our bid to save this unique piece of local history.

I am a restorer of 35 years’ experience working locally and in London. This work is no run of mill amateur work. It is simply rendered but well drawn, perfectly set in its patterned surround and a huge undertaking for one very talented woman.”

If you have any information, please contact:

Nick Seversway

The Art House


Photograph by Richard Heath

An Organ Recital for Emily

An Organ Recital will be given by Frances Whewell on Thursday 2nd June at 2pm, St Mark’s, with an interlude by Bob and Lesley Shatwell on violin and double bass. This is to raise money for the much loved Edwardian organ at St Mark’s Church in Upper Hale, named after her benefactor – Emily Mangles – who raised the funds for the organ in the early 20th century.  Entry is free but donations are very welcome!

This two manual organ looks beautiful with an English Oak case, and has the potential to sound beautiful as well.  But Emily has received little renovation in the last 100 years.  Without becoming too technical, the leatherwork is perishing, the reservoir is leaking, and so sounds noisy, and the electrical components are faulty and unsafe.  The task before St Mark’s it to have Emily rebuilt, rather than just restored.

The Reverend Lesley Crawley said, “We have received a lot of advice from the organ builder, and the asbestos has already been removed from the blower.  £21,000 is still needed for the general clean and overhaul.  A ‘Sponsor a Pipe’ scheme is in place, but this needs bolstering by other fund-raising initiatives.” 

Frances Whewell commented, “There will be a few surprises – not least the unpredictability of Emily – hence the need for financial help!  The event is being hosted by the group ‘Teacakes’, and tea will be served in the church as the music is played. All are very welcome.  Please come and support this unique piece of our musical heritage.   There will be a collection for Emily at the end.”

Incredible Edible Tubs

You may have seen a strange tub or two appearing in Upper Hale. There are actually three – one at the Bungalow, one near the War Memorial and on in the grounds of St Mark’s. They have been filled with compost so that anyone, you perhaps, can plant them with herbs, fruit, vegetables… anything edible!

Incredible Edible is a community project that increases our awareness of food and where it comes from and makes a step towards a more sustainable world where all of us can be fed without a negative impact on our world. It started in 2008 in Todmorden and is spreading across the country and indeed the world, bring communities together and having a great deal of fun doing it!

The Reverend Lesley Crawley said, “If you spot the tubs then please plant in them – you don’t need permission! But find a way of labelling what you have planted and indicating to people how to tell when it will be ready to eat. Happy planting!”

You can find out more on the Incredible Edible website:

Meeting with Jeremy Hunt

“You have chosen a week when I am about the most toxic man in the country.” So said Jeremy Hunt at the beginning of a meeting with a dozen of his constituents to discuss climate change.

The meeting, at St George’s Church, Badshot Lea, on April 29, was a postponement of a public one in March which Mr Hunt withdrew from, citing “unforeseen circumstances”. He agreed to a new meeting with a strictly limited number of constituents and, despite stating that he was “toxic” and that he assumed that “none of the group had voted for me”, he and the constituents sought to find common ground.

There were three main topics of discussion: flood prevention, particularly by planting trees on the Farnham floodplain; energy-efficient buildings; and alternative transport. Mr Hunt was particularly keen on the idea of cycling and said he wanted to press for more cycle lanes in Farnham and agreed that there was a need for “a paradigm shift.”

He added: “I pay tribute to Ken Livingstone – and it is not a fashionable day to do that – because he brought in the congestion charge in London and put the money he made into improving bus travel. In London there are more frequent buses, more bus lanes, and in London there has been a paradigm shift.” He said that he wanted to encourage people to cycle because “every one person we can get to cycle is one out of a car or (in London) off the tube”. However, he would not yet make any commitment to campaigning for alternatives to cars powered by fossil fuels as he said he believed that first Farnham needs to be pedestrianised and then the town could rethink its public transport. He said he believed in “small steps”, though some in the group begged to differ that this was a small step.

On the subject of flood prevention, Mr Hunt said that in Godalming a £3.4million scheme to put in flood defences had just been signed off so he did not seem to feel the need to consider Farnham at the moment.

Mr Hunt did agree to talk to Amber Rudd, Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, on the subject of why the government policy for zero-carbon new homes had been cancelled. He also agreed that the meeting was the start of ongoing discussions with his consituents and said that he would be happy to meet them again after the summer break, perhaps in September.