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.
Aspen Salisbury is a young artist who specialises in wildlife-inspired art and can be found on Instagram @byaspencrafts
Karina Fraser is a synesthetic artist who uses the neurological experience of synaesthesia, the cross wiring of senses, to explore and create abstract art. She can be found in her studio at St George’s Church and at www.karinafraser.com
Knitchings is a head of creative arts, a knitter, artist, ‘interior freewheeler’, owner of the world’s most patient and obliging cat – Gladys – and has a large (43k) following on Instagram where she can be found @knitchings
Linda Daruvala is an author and artist.
Penny Fleet is a mixed media artist, based near Odiham, who creates paintings, cards and collages on canvas, wood and paper using a combination of acrylic paints, inks, hand-decorated collage papers, thread, fabric and text. She can be found at www.pennyfleet.co.uk
Susie Lidstone is a watercolour artist well known for her paintings of flowers and buildings especially around Farnham. She can be found at http://susielidstone.com/
Nibbs is a small family business based in Surrey, producing small batch artisan gin in two flavours – elderflower gin, using freshly picked elderflower from the Surrey and Sussex countryside, and a ‘Surrey Hops’ gin using Farnham hops as a botanical. www.nibbsspirits.co.uk
The Rural Life Centre
The Rural Life Centre in Tilford is a living museum which collects, conserves and displays the history and culture of village life in the countryside. rural-life.org.uk
Squires is a garden centre in Badshot Lea, part of a family-owned horticultural business across Surrey, Sussex, Middlesex, West London and Berkshire. www.squiresgardencentres.co.uk
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Women’s Association, Farnham, is a socially active branch of Lajna, an auxiliary organisation of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community. lajna.org.uk
Badshot Lea and Hale
The Bahá’í Faith
Bahá’ís believe the crucial need facing humanity is to find a unifying vision of the future of society and of the nature and purpose of life. www.bahai.org
The Spire Church, Farnham
The Spire Church is a newly formed church created through a partnership between Farnham United Reformed Church and Farnham Methodist Church. spirechurchfarnham.org.uk
The Buckle Family
Carolyn and Gerry Weston
The Church Cat
Alder Valley Brass
Alder Valley Brass is a brass band based in Farnham, and a small group of its members played at the recent St George’s Day Service at St John’s. It is a traditional brass band of 25 brass players plus percussion and also perform in smaller ensembles from time to time, and it is celebrating its 60th birthday. www.aldervalleybrass.org.uk
Hale Carnival Committee is a group of people who organise the Hale Carnival and fundraise during the year. Sadly the carnival had to be cancelled this year because of Covid but it will be back! www.halecarnival.co.uk
Among the therapies offered by Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice in Farnham therapy through nature, where the sessions are designed to support participants to live well through access to nature, horticulture and the garden, offering the benefits of ‘the great outdoors’ indoors. www.pth.org.uk
This year our festival has been sponsored by Florescence, an award-winning florist based at St Mark’s Church in Upper Hale. If you look at wonderful floral arrangements and think ‘I wish I could do that’, Elise from Florescence has made a video here to give you some tips. The finished arrangement can be seen in St Mark’s during our 11am Sunday service.
Thank you to all who took part and to all of you for viewing this flower festival online. Our church flower arrangers have also placed beautiful displays in church which you can see at our Sunday services – 9.30am at St John’s, Hale; 10am at St George’s, Badshot Lea; and 11am at St Mark’s, Upper Hale.
The Covid pandemic has had an effect on our finances and the parish is more dependent than ever on donations. Please do give to support our work in the community. You can donate by clicking on the button below. Thank you.
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.
The March issue of the parish magazine is out with plenty to read inside: Lent, Easter, Mothering Sunday, school news, our new florist who moves into St Mark’s at the start of the month, exciting news about the Kitty Milroy murals and Emily the organ, prayer, news from the parish and the local MP, the Church Cat and lots more.
You can find the magazine below. But if you would like a paper copy, please let us know by emailing Anne Young: email@example.com
The cover price of the magazine is £10 for the year which pays for the editorial costs. We would be grateful if those accessing it online would pay £1 an issue. You can pay by clicking on the button below:
The service of thanksgiving and prayer for the NHS and other frontline workers has been hugely welcomed and reflected the gratitude and creativity of our community as well as the importance of prayer for many of us (online searches for information about prayer have skyrocketed since the outbreak of Coronavirus began).
Our thanks to the masses of people who were involved in the service which Alan and Lesley put together: Farnham Heath End School; the Scouts; people across the community who sent in beautiful rainbows and other works; keyworkers who allowed themselves to be photographed and the pictures shown as Olivia Jasper sang Amazing Grace; church members; the Mayor of Farnham, Pat Evans; and local MP, Jeremy Hunt.
Lesley Crawley reflected on the service: “I have been bowled over by the gratitude of others for this service and I hope it is enabling others to take their thoughts and anxieties and feelings of gratitude and turn them into prayers. For me, I find prayer always helps; it always makes me feel more peaceful and bit by bit it makes me a better version of myself. In the case of a nation praying it gives us a helpful and even hopeful way of expressing our concerns and worries and also a way of focussing on the good and being grateful for that.”
As we continue to work out how to live under the shadow of the coronavirus pandemic, we will be offering offering ideas and resources to help each other. Please do let us know if you can help or need help, or know someone who does. Email us here.
There are a number of resources on our Faith Online page and we have added a link specifically to support people’s mental health. More will be added.
At the end of the school day tomorrow schools close for all pupils apart from children of key workers and vulnerable children. The effects of this will be felt across all society and again we will be doing what we can to support people. Teachers and former teachers are offering to give advice and help where they can. Among those offering locally are Carolyn Weston and Rachel Wright. Carolyn, a retired teacher, is happy to give general email advice, via parents, to children who may have some work set or some homework to finish, and Rachel’s specialisms are Key Stage 3-4 Science and A-Level Chemistry. If you want to contact them, please do so via the parish admin email firstname.lastname@example.org and we will put you in touch.
A prayer in time of need:
Lord Jesus Christ,
you taught us to love our neighbour,
and to care for those in need
as if we were caring for you.
In this time of anxiety, give us strength
to comfort the fearful, to tend the sick,
and to assure the isolated
of our love, and your love,
for your name’s sake. Amen.
Tonight there are carols at the Hale Institute at 6.30pm. We will welcome William Cobbett School and Farnham Heath End School to St John’s at the end of the week and of course there is the Worship for All Carol Service this Sunday at 11.30am at St George’s, are our Crib Services on Christmas Eve, Midnight Mass at each of the churches to see in Christmas and Christmas Day all-age services. Don’t forget Journey to Bethlehem on Friday, leaving St Mark’s and St George’s at 7pm and following the star and the donkeys all the way to St John’s. Dressing up as a Nativity character is optional but encouraged!
Tomorrow, if you need a time of quiet, or if celebrations leave you cold at the moment, we have The Longest Night at St John’s at 7.30pm. A service for those for whom Christmas hurts, or who just need a time of reflection.
St John’s Church, Hale, was packed on Saturday night when people of all generations gathered for the Farnham Festival of Remembrance, to pay tribute to all who have suffered and died in armed conflict and to pray for peace in a divided, war-torn world.
Music was provided by Farnham Brass Band; TS Swiftsure; the combined Parish choir; Frances Whewell; Wendy Edwards; Liv Jasper; Sara Burnie; and Dexter and Archie Dedalo-Skilton, Kyle Manson-Hing and Paris McCann, all extraordinarily talented musicians from Farnham Heath End School.
Narration was by Town Crier Jonathan Jones; and a service was led by Rev’ds Hannah Moore and John Morris, with additional reading by Bob Skinner, one of the leaders of Weybourne Community Church. The whole festival had been organised by Simon Alexander, to whom huge thanks and praise must go.
Each brought to the occasion a unique element, from the stirring percussion of the Sea Cadets to the moving tribute of the member of the Army reserve who spoke of his friend ‘Socks’ (so called because one time he forgot his socks when he was deployed) who was killed in Afghanistan. “When I hear The Last Post I think of him” he said.
There was the thoughtful poetry from William Cobbett pupils, the solemnity of the moment when the Guides processed in with the Torch of Remembrance, accompanied by Liv Jasper singing When the Lights Go On Again. There was so much more, including heart-rending poetry from World War One; a simple and beautiful poppy installation by children from Badshot Lea Infant School; memories of World War Two; and the building of a drum altar, draped with the Union Flag and the standard of the Royal British Legion, and topped with a Book of Remembrance of local people who had died in World War Two.
Intertwined with this was the sense that peace is a fragile thing and we must never stop striving and praying for it. In Aftermath, written by Siegfried Sassoon in the year after the end of the ‘war to end all wars’, Bob Skinner read the line: “Do you ever stop and ask, ‘Is it all going to happen again?’”
The young people sharing in the festival and receiving the gift of remembrance from older generations, seemed aware that this gift was a responsibility too and that the hope of peace lay in their hands as much as anyone else’s.
Above all, as prayers were said in front of the drum altar, there was an understanding that , however dark the world is, the suffering God is there in the midst of the darkness.
“Have you forgotten yet?… Look up, and swear by the green of the spring that you’ll never forget.” (Siegfried Sassoon, March 1919).
Emily and the Generations may sound a little like a pop group, but today’s blog post title actually refers to an interview with Lesley Crawley on BBC Radio Surrey this morning (Sunday, Jan 13).
She was interviewed on the Sunday Breakfast show about our final push to raise money for Emily the organ – just £559 to go folks, come on, we can do it – but the interview spanned far more than just Emily, important and beloved as she is.
Interviewer Emily Jeffery talked to Lesley about how Emily the organ is a beloved part of the community and how her overhaul will allow us to use her again in worship, concerts and for children to learn on.
Then the interview broadened out to something that is also dear to our parish – the way we try to bring old and young and in between together.
Lesley spoke about the fact that local school children will be welcomed in to see the organ when it is being restored, how the table tennis club we run has become a ‘youth group for all ages’, the fact that we don’t send the children out of church for a separate Sunday school (“we are an inclusive church … and it seems wrong to send out part of our congregation”), the plans for opening St John’s up more to the community and bringing people together with a café, and other resources, perhaps even a nursery which could link in with a local care home.
To hear the interview click here and go to 2:38:52.
Picture by Will Francis. Unsplash.
Serving the Villages North of Farnham: Badshot Lea, Hale, Heath End & Weybourne