Category Archives: Prayer

The Longest Night

When Christmas hurts – Wednesday, December 22, 6.30pm, St Mark’s Church, Upper Hale

The season of goodwill isn’t good for everyone. Sometimes it is a struggle, particularly perhaps if we have lost someone, or if it brings back bad memories. Sometimes we are lonely or living in circumstances that mean that it feels hard to celebrate. Sometimes we just want a break from the relentless commercialisation and pressure of Christmas.

Every year we hold a quiet, reflective service for anyone who finds Christmas hard, or just wants to stop for a moment and rest. This year it is on Wednesday, December 22, at 6.30pm, at St Mark’s Church. All welcome (please wear masks).

Your October magazine is out!

The latest parish magazine is out, full of information about what is going on in your community here in North Farnham, and reflections on life and faith.

This month we consider generosity, particularly generosity of spirit, and celebrate the joy of the recent Confirmation service in the parish. There’s a collection of clothing and other items for refugees, a campaign for a new cancer centre, the return of Messy Church, an invitation to take part in the Big Draw and in a pet service and a reflection on the fact that pets are good for us. All these, along with local community news, local businesses and ideas, prayer and reflection, if you click below:

Music for Matti

Matti was born with a rare genetic disorder which means that he has dialysis every night and is waiting for a transplant from his mother. He is only six.

His family have made a video in support of Matti and to say thank you to Southampton Children’s hospital. There is a Just Giving link too for the hospital. https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/music4matti

Please hold Matti and his whole family in your prayers.

In Praise of Home Groups

What the heck is a ‘Home Group’?

Turn the clock back a good few years and my only idea was it was it definitely wasn’t something for me. Surely a ‘Home Group’ (aka, Bible Study, small group, study group, cell church – even Lent Group) was full of very holy, serious people, who actually knew where things were in the Bible and had been going to Church for ever, prayed regularly and knew all the answers and who would tell me I just had to ‘Have Faith’. Without doubt they would find out I was a fraud and only went to church because it was a good place to take my kids on wet Sunday mornings. There was no way I was going join any ‘small group’.

So what changed? I now enthuse about small groups any chance I have. I even lead one.

First, let me dismiss all of that absolute rubbish about the perception of what a ‘Home Group’ consists of. I have never been to one which was full of ‘serious’ people. Honestly, we spend a lot of time laughing. Not everyone prays regularly, not everyone believes everything, or even the same things. There are people in groups who are very new to church and some who have been going to church all of their lives but still have questions. Even in the early days no-one accused me of being a fraud and never did they dismiss my questions.

I’ve now been to lots of groups over the years. Weirdly they are all different – probably because they have consisted of different people and had different themes. I’ve loved some, felt challenged by others, but every time I have met and become closer to the people in that group. The only similarity is that they all consisted of people who are trying to get closer to God.

When I started to go to church I didn’t really get to know people. I didn’t know everyone’s name, I didn’t know where people lived or much about their lives. It was a long time until I felt that I wasn’t a visitor. I think it was belonging to groups that changed that.

I had been on the PCC for a while before I ever ventured into a ‘Home Group’. I was a busy mum with a full-time job and time was very precious. Then the PCC had a visiting speaker and an initiative called ‘Forward with God’ was launched. PCC members were ‘encouraged’ to go to one of the groups which were set up to follow the course.

I found I enjoyed it and got to know the people involved and was sad when the course ended. I think that there were about six groups and at the end of the course only one continued – not the one to which I had been going. I found I really missed it so I took a deep breath and joined the one that was continuing – and I can honestly say it was one of the best things I ever did.

To me being in a small group is church. Groups are inclusive, welcoming and eager to grow. Somehow, belonging makes you want to do more for God and become closer to the person you are intended to be. The people in the group form relationships because we share our thoughts and learn together. Over the years, my faith has grown and my relationship with God has deepened.

Through home groups, I have made real friends – people I can rely on, people I trust absolutely, people who help out, people I can cry with and have lots of laughs with; they are my ‘go to people’ and yet they are always so welcoming to anyone new.

At the moment, groups are continuing on Zoom. I really look forward to when we can gather again in person. We’ll advertise when that is happening. Why not give it a try?

Maxine Everitt

The June Magazine is here

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.

Enjoy reading and enjoy the sun.

Download the magazine here:

The May magazine is here

Our May magazine is out now, a bumper edition this month with information about the elections for Surrey County Council members and the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner. Please read their statements and please vote; if we don’t bother to have a say we can hardly complain about the people who are elected.

There is information too about events going on this month including our Farnham Flower Festival (online again, of course) which is being sponsored by our favourite florist Florescence, and plans for the fete in July. Please get involved in both. There is news about new rooms to hire, an article on grief, information about taking part in Christian Aid Week and much more, plus, of course, lots of great adverts with services, offers and classes.

Download it here:

Churches open for prayer and reflection

Following the death of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh on Friday morning (April 9), the three churches in the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale will all be open this week from Monday to Friday for people to come in and light a candle, pray or just sit quietly. There will also be black ribbons available to tie in the churchyards as a sign of mourning and reflection.

The churches are St George’s, Badshot Lea, GU9 9LD; St John’s, Hale Road, GU9 9RP (park in the layby near Daniele Sicilian Restaurant); and St Mark’s, Alma Lane, GU9 0LT.

Because of Covid-19 we are unable to have a physical Book of Condolence but if you wish to sign one, there is an online one here: https://www.churchofengland.org/remembering-his-royal-highness-prince-philip

You can also do so by scanning the QR code here:

A copy of the QR code will be available in the churches.

If you need support or further information, contact admin@badshotleaandhale.org or call 07842761919.

Picture of Prince Philip copyright: Press Association

Prince Philip 1921-2021

Our sincere condolences and prayers are with Her Majesty the Queen and the Royal Family, as they mourn the loss of His Royal Highness, Prince Philip, The Duke of Edinburgh.

There will be services at all the churches this Sunday: 9.30am at St John’s, Hale Road; 10am at St George’s, Badshot Lea; and 11am at St Mark’s, Alma Lane.

There will be an opportunity to light a candle and tie a black ribbon in the churchyard afterwards.

The churches will also be open next week for private prayer and lighting candles.

Because of Covid-19 we are unable to have a physical Book of Condolence but if you wish to sign one, there is an online one here: https://www.churchofengland.org/remembering-his-royal-highness-prince-philip

You can also do so by scanning the QR code here:

If you need support or further information, contact admin@badshotleaandhale.org or call 07842761919.

Picture of Prince Philip copyright: The Press Association

A journey through Holy Week

Join us online and in person as we travel through Holy Week, from Palm Sunday, which recalls Jesus entering Jerusalem in triumph yet riding on a donkey, through the events which led to his crucifixion on Good Friday and his resurrection on Easter Sunday.

Palm Sunday

There will be Palm Sunday services in all of the churches tomorrow (March 28):
St John’s, Hale, at 9.30am;
St George’s, Badshot Lea, at 10am;
St Mark’s, Upper Hale, at 11am.

Services in church in Holy Week

From Monday to Good Friday we will have the following services in church:
March 29, 7.30pm: Holy Monday Meditation – St John’s;
March 30, 7.30pm: Holy Tuesday Meditation – St John’s;
March 31, 12pm: Holy Wednesday Service – St Mark’s;
March 31, 7.30pm: Holy Wednesday Meditation – St John’s;
April 1, 7.30pm: Maundy Thursday Service – St John’s;
April 1, 7.30pm: Maundy Thursday Service – St George’s;
April 2, 9.30am: Good Friday Liturgy – St John’s;
April 2, 11am: Good Friday All-age Service – St Mark’s;
April 2, 2pm: Good Friday Hour at the Cross – St George’s.

Online services

The following online services will be available on Facebook and the website:
April 1, 7.30pm: Maundy Thursday;
April 2, 9.30am: Good Friday;
April 3, 8pm: Holy Saturday;
April 4, 10.30am: Easter Day.
For the services, click here.

Easter Sunday in church

Please also join us for Easter Sunday services in the churches followed by socially distanced Easter Egg hunts:
St John’s, Sunday, April 4, at 9.30am;
St George’s, Sunday, April 4, at 10am;
St Mark’s, Sunday, April 4, at 11am.

Each day there will also be extracts from our online Easter drama, Company on the Road, on YouTube and Facebook.

May you feel blessed as you journey through this week.

Picture by Duncan Sanchez on Unsplash.

Yellow ribbons and prayer for National Day of Reflection

A National Day of Reflection is taking place on March 23, the anniversary of the start of the first lockdown. The parish is marking the day by offering special services on the Sunday before – March 21.

At the services there will be a chance to reflect on the year and in particular to remember those who have died during the past 12 months. There will be prayers and yellow ribbons for people to tie in the churchyards in memory of those who have died. Many who have lost a friend or family member will not have been able to attend the funeral service, making the process of grieving more difficult.

Lesley Crawley said: “On March 23 it will be a year since the start of the first lockdown. We had no idea then how tough it would be or that a year on we would be in our third national lockdown.

“It has been a time of great anxiety and for many great grief as they have lost family and friends and may not even have been able to attend their funerals. The church is there to offer support and one way is through our services which we hold both in person in the churches – we have Covid regulations in place – and online. You don’t have to believe in God to come in and seek peace and comfort – the church is for everyone.”

The church services on March 21 will be at St John’s, Hale, at 9.30am, St George’s, Badshot Lea, at 10am and St Mark’s, Upper Hale, at 11am. There will also be a service on the website from 9am.