Category Archives: News Releases

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.

Interfaith friendship and facemasks

We now have some cloth face masks for people in the parish, thanks to the work and generosity of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, Lajna Ima’illah UK, in response to the health threat posed by Covid-19.

The churches and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, which has its central mosque in Tilford, have been developing close links over the past year and we support each other where we can, so when Lajna UK contacted us last month to ask if we would like face masks we eagerly said yes. If you would like one, let us know.

“Our friends in Lajna UK have been so very generous in giving these masks to us,” says Lesley Crawley. “We are delighted to be continuing to build links with the Ahmadiyya Muslims who have a great heart for the community. We worship a loving God and follow many of the same values, in particular that of love for all people. Thank you again to our sisters from the local Lajna UK and we look forward to spending more time with you after lockdown.”

Ismat Sana, the Aldershot president of the Ahmaddiya Women’s Association, says: “Covid-19 is a new experience and we realised that there was a shortfall in PPE for those that needed it the most. Humanitarian work is massively important to the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community as a whole and something our Women’s Association, Lajna UK, is already passionate about, so we decided to purchase materials and make PPE as a way of assisting our hardworking local community members.”

The Aldershot branch of Lajna UK will be taking part in the Farnham Flower Festival which you will be able to find on this website over the weekend of June 27-28.

If you would like a face mask would you also be willing to video yourself catching a face mask and then throwing it on to the next person? Here Stella Wiseman is caught on camera maintaining social distancing while delivering a mask to Bob Shatwell. Video yourself and send the results to revd.alan@badshotleaandhale.org. Thanks!

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.

Join the Lockdown Art Club!

Move over Grayson Perry – there’s a new art club in town. We are launching a Lockdown Art Club to encourage people to have a go at art and enjoy the creative process, whether or not they feel they have artistic skills.

Inspired in part by the joy and creativity evident in the Channel 4 programme Grayson’s Art Club, the Lockdown Art Club is open to everyone and will have a new theme each month. It is being run by Lesley Crawley and Dave Walker who, with his wife Helena before lockdown staged local art exhibitions and organised art activities at St Mark’s.

“The art club is a chance for people to have a go at art and then they can send us some photos of their work which we can display online,” says Lesley. “There will be a new theme each month and for June it is flowers. Maybe you’d like to draw or paint a view of flowers which you can see from your window, or perhaps a flower which represents your feelings about lockdown.

“Send pictures of your art to me (revd.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org) and we can put them online. We are having a flower festival online at the end of the month and we can include the June pictures in that. Then, after lockdown, Dave will hold an exhibition at St Mark’s of some favourite pieces of work from across the months.”

Everyone is invited to take part, whatever age or background, whether or not they have ever tried to create art, and Dave and Lesley are at pains to stress that the finished pieces do not have to be perfect. “There is a lot of evidence now that art is good for our mental wellbeing, and many of us have struggled with our mental health during lockdown,” says Lesley. “We really want to encourage people just to have a go, and to remember that if a piece doesn’t work out exactly as we think it should, that is OK. The imperfections represent a bit of us in that artwork.”

Anyone wanting to contribute flower art to the flower festival, which will be on the website on June 27-28, should send their pictures to Lesley by Monday, June 22. Otherwise art pictures for the club are welcome at any time.

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!

Liz’s Lockdown Labour – 700 PPE Visors for Frontline staff

Update: Liz will be talking about making the visors on BBC Radio Surrey on Saturday (June 6) at 2.45pm, and on Sunday at 7.45am.

Liz Larkin, a design and technology teacher from the parish , has spent lockdown not only teaching her pupils via the internet, but making hundreds of visors to be used as essential personal protective equipment (PPE) for hospitals and doctors’ surgeries.

Liz, who lives in Weybourne and teaches at Farnborough Hill School, has been in the workshop at the school creating visors out of PVC and polypropylene, using a laser cutter. “I use the laser cutter for the polypropylene straps and the PVC visors are made by hand,” said Liz. “I then clip them together by hand. It takes 20 minutes to make about 12. I’ve made around 700, many of them with the help of my family too.”

The visors are then sent to places which have been making desperate pleas for PPE for frontline workers, including the Scrub Hub which is making and collecting PPE for Frimley Park Hospital.  “I’ve given around 200 to the Scrub Hub and I have sent them to doctors’ surgeries here in Farnham and further afield. For instance, I’ve sent 70 to a practice in London which a school contact told me about.”

Liz sourced the materials herself. “I raised £700 through Go Fund Me for materials and started making the visors when we went into lockdown. I’m part of a huge network of design and technology teachers across the country doing this and thousands and thousands have been made for hospitals, hospices, care homes and surgeries which are absolutely desperate for PPE. People will get in touch and say ‘we are running out, we need some now’, and we will respond.”

Liz has been doing this in her spare time while also teaching a full timetable online for her pupils at Farnborough Hill, having to rework all her plans in order to teach a practical subject at a distance without the use of all the normal equipment.

She remains unfazed however. “I could see there was a need for the visors,” she said. “People in design are always spotting a need and doing something about it.”

Meanwhile people are still making scrubs for Frimley Park Hospital. If you can help by donating material – duvet covers, pillowcases, sheets, etc, or making caps, masks and scrubs themselves, let us know. Contact Stella Wiseman for information. Patterns can be supplied. Currently the hospital has enough scrub bags but desperately needs caps, masks and scrubs.

Pictured above are Liz, Chris, Hannah and Matt Larkin with some of the visors they have made.

Strange events, the Holy Spirit and a Sung sermon – it must be Pentecost

Media outlets have a new rival – the Roman Broadcasting Company (RBC) whose reporter has been recording virtual interviews, trying to uncover the truth behind strange events taking place in Jerusalem almost 2,000 years ago. The interviews will be broadcast on this website on Sunday, May 31, in a Pentecost service which will be online from 9am.

The RBC will be investigating stories of ordinary people being transformed from scared individuals into confident and joyful women and men who started telling everyone about Jesus, a man from nearby Galilee who had been killed by crucifixion but had risen again and was offering a new way of living and coming close to God.

The story, of course, is the one recalled in chapter two of the book of Acts, when the disciples received the Holy Spirit and began a new ministry which saw the beginning of what became the Christian church. This story will be celebrated on Sunday, May 31, in three services – a formal one and an informal one available in the morning, and an all-sung service in the evening, available from 6pm. The informal service will include a dramatised version of the story involving the RBC interviewing witnesses of the events. You may also want to have a candle, a pot of bubbles and also cake to help you take part!

Here’s what Lesley Crawley has to say about it: “A few days before the events we celebrate at Pentecost, the risen Jesus had ascended to heaven and had promised that the disciples would receive power when the Holy Spirit came down on them, enabling them to be brave and follow Jesus in loving service to others. This is what we are reflecting on here. And of course, the Holy Spirit wasn’t just for those early disciples but is available to all of us and is in us as we work to help others and love others, trying to be the hands and arms and heart of Jesus today.

“So come and join us online on Sunday, May 31, at our formal or informal services in the morning or our all-sung service in the evening from 6pm. Even the sermon is being sung! It’s all on https://badshotleaandhale.org/ and everyone is welcome!”

Pentecost also marks the end of The Kingdom Come, the period from Ascension Day which each year is dedicated to prayer. We are celebrating Thy Kingdom Come with a different version of the Lord’s Prayer each day at noon and sharing resources from the Thy Kingdom Come organisers.

Look up to the sky for Ascension Day

Next Thursday (May 21), we will be celebrating Ascension Day online with a special service for all ages which will be available on this website from 7.30pm.

Ascension Day is a Christian festival which takes place 40 days after Easter Sunday, and which celebrates the story of Jesus ascending to heaven as told in the Bible in the book of Acts, Chapter 1.

The service will incorporate many of the elements which will be familiar to followers of the parish – hymns on fiddle, double bass and keyboard, photos of members of the church looking up to the sky (they may even be wearing tea towels on their heads in time-honoured fashion), prayers, a story about the impact of Jesus on the life of his disciples and a talk about the impact he still has. There will be contributions from people from all across the parish.

We do still need a bit of help though. Can you pop a tea towel or scarf on your own head and transport yourself back 2,000 years to the time just after Jesus died and rose again? Imagine you are one of the disciples and you are with Jesus when he ascends to heaven. Look up to the sky and take a selfie.

Maxine Everitt, who is organising the service along with Kris Lawrence, explains a bit more: “We would like you to imagine what it would have been like to watch Jesus ascend into heaven; the tea towel or scarf is to help you get into character.

“What would you be thinking? Can you capture that in an expression? Individuals, couples and families including youngsters would be great too –  Please!”

Once you have taken your selfie, send it to Alan, then join us here on Thursday, May 21, from 7.30pm or on Facebook.

 

Join the Quiz Night!

We’re holding a Zoom Quiz Night on Saturday, May 2, at 7.30pm, and everyone is invited.

The Wiseman-Eggleton household (aka the Wise-Eggs) are organising the quiz and there will be a number of rounds on lots of different topics, with breaks for snacks and drinks, and you’ll need to be able to email your answers in. You can be a team on your own, or in a household, or get together over the phone with some friends. We suggest teams of no more than six.

You’ll need Zoom but it’s easy to download and use and there is information on how to do so here.

The quiz is free to join though there will be an opportunity to make donations to support the church’s work in the community.

Anyone who would like to join in should contact Stella Wiseman on 07842 761919 or news@badshotleaandhale.org and she will send a link to the quiz night nearer the time.

Online service for NHS and other frontline workers

We will be holding an online church service to say thanks for and pray for the NHS, carers and other frontline workers, on Thursday, April 30, from 7pm.

The service will include readings, music and prayers, including one read by local MP and former Cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt, and another read by Cllr Pat Evans, Mayor of Farnham, along with pictures of artwork, videos and pictures of key workers.

Lesley Crawley explained the thinking behind the service: “We are living in extraordinary times, like nothing any of us have experienced before. As we navigate our way through them we want to seek God’s guidance and strength, particularly for those who are suffering and those who are working on the frontline in hospitals and care settings, and other key workers who are keeping the country going. And we want to give thanks for everyone who is working so hard across the world and in our own community.

“If anyone would like to offer us some art – especially rainbows – or photos of keyworkers, or if there are children who would like to be videoed saying a prayer, please do get in touch. Send contributions to Alan as soon as you can and certainly by the end of Sunday, April 26th.

“And do join us here on the website on Thursday 30th, from 7pm, to pray and give thanks.” The service will be available on the website from that time here.

If you need guidance for sending in your contributions, click here.