Category Archives: Prayer

Adventurers is back!

Adventurers, the club for ages 7-11, is back.

The popular club, led by Anne Boyman, has returned to St Mark’s on Tuesdays in term time from 5.30-7pm.

There are games, craft, art, stories, prayers, refreshments and a lot of fun and friendship. So, if you, or someone you know, are age 7 to 11, why not give it a try? Just turn up, or give Anne Boyman a call on 01252 724429.

Loving Kindness – for when Mother’s Day is Complicated

Do you find Mothering Sunday tricky?

Mothering Sunday can be complicated for so many different reasons: perhaps you have lost your own mother, perhaps the relationship is broken, perhaps you feel you are hopeless at being a mother – there may be a hundred more reasons why Mothering Sunday is tricky.

Why not take some time and space to reflect, to sit quietly and know that God sees you as an individual, not “just a mother” or “just a child of a mother”.

On Sunday, March 27, at 9.30am at St Mark’s, Pamela Marsham will be leading a short, mindfulness based session to help you unwind and relax into God’s love for each and every one of us.

Ukraine

We continue to be deeply shocked and horrified by the news coming out of Ukraine following the invasion by Russia.

It can be hard to know what to do and how to pray. There are suggested prayers here and some resources for children and schools.

Many people want to give clothes and other vital items to help refugees. There is a collection by Farnham Help for Refugees at St George’s Church between 2.30 and 6.30pm on Friday but please note that they are collecting for all refugees, not just Ukraine.

If you want to give specifically to help Ukrainian refugees, there are collection points in Farnham between now and Wednesday and the details are in the picture below:

Farnham Help for Refugees are asking for clothing, toiletries, technology (phones, tablets etc) and items such as sleeping bags and tents. See below for further details.



Trusted organisations already operating in Ukraine and among the refugees are:

  1. UNHCR –https://www.unrefugees.org.uk/take-action/how-to-help-ukraine/
  2. UNICEF emergency appeal  – https://www.unicef.org.uk/donate/donate-now-to-protect-children-in-ukraine/
  3. British Red Cross – Ukranian Crisis Appeal –donate.redcross.org.uk/appeal/ukraine-crisis-appeal

Your March magazine is here

Spring is here and so is the March magazine, full of news and events across the parish.

This month we head into Lent and there is a chance to sign up for Lent groups which will be held in person and on Zoom. The theme is forgiveness and you can find out more about the subject in Lesley’s ministry letter.

Also prominent this month is the parish’s part in the first Farnham Literary Festival. St Mark’s is the only north Farnham venue and will be hosting several workshops, a rehearsed reading by the Farnham Theatre Association, and the awards ceremonies for both the Farnham Poetry Competition and the Farnham Short Story Competition.

Then there is news from local groups, plans for Easter, prayer, plans for a Barn Dance, words from our MP, a cat or two and much, much more.

You can find it all here:

A Christingle for a Pandemic

Kris Lawrence reflects on the meaning of Christingle during a pandemic.

People often ask me why we have a Christingle service now; most people celebrate Christingle as part of the Christmas season. But to me this is the perfect time of year to celebrate.

Christmas is always such a busy time and I worry that the symbolism can be lost in the busyness and the Christingle be reduced to it’s raw elements of orange, ribbon and sweets. But the Christingle means so much more than that. At the end of January/start of February we can take time to be more reflective and ponder the symbolism further – so Candlemas will always be to me the right time to celebrate the Christingle.

And this year at St George’s on January 30, we considered the Christingle in the light of the pandemic.

We considered how lockdowns had an amazing effect on the environment; how the world (represented by the orange) seemed to be given a chance to take a deep breath and restore itself a little. We considered what parts of the natural world we would want to protect from harm and what we could do to help God’s wonderfully creative world.

We thought about how, during lockdown, God’s love (represented by the red ribbon) and the companionship of friends and relations was cherished and appreciate more than ever. We considered those that might need our love and companionship; those that we may have lost contact with over the past couple of years; those that needed God’s loving touch.

We thought about how, during lockdown, a nature of generosity and sharing of our God given gifts (represented by the fruits and sweets) was embraced. We considered how sharing banks and food banks being supported more than ever to help people through the dark days. And we considered what gifts we have that we can use to do God’s work on earth.

We considered how, during lockdown, the dark days so many have suffered, could be lightened by the light of Christ (represented by the candle) and how we are called to share that light in the world (and the tin foil of course represents us reflecting the light of Christ).

We were encouraged not to eat our Christingle before the service had ended, but to take it home, relight the candle and say a prayer.

Lord Jesus,
Light and hope of the World,
as we think about the meaning of Christingle and about your great love for us
help us to take your light out into the world
and to share your love and hope with others,
especially those who need it most.
Amen.

Kris Lawrence

Your February magazine is here

The latest parish magazine is out now and inside you will find news, events, ideas, reflections, advertisements, pictures, contacts and more, to give you a snapshot of what is going on across our parish.

There’s lots of good news at the moment and lots to look forward to this year. Read on and find out more… And don’t forget to enter our poetry competition – write a Poem for Farnham and you could win £25!

You can download the magazine here:

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