Join us in the car park at St Mark’s tonight for a socially distanced carol service by torch and candle-light. Wrap up warm, bring a mask and sing some old favourites. There will be prayers and Bible readings too, including one by Cllr Penny Marriott, Mayor of Waverley.
We are holding another Quiz Night for the parish – this Saturday evening (May 30) at 7.30pm, on Zoom.
Last time we had around 16 teams who tackled an admittedly tricky quiz (strong words were had with the quiz master afterwards!) and we are aiming for even more this time and perhaps slightly more user-friendly questions. In fact the quiz master has resigned on the grounds that he wants a chance to answer questions too and the quiz will be devised and compered by Ed Eggleton.
We’ve also learned a lot about Zoom in the past few weeks so that should all be smoother too!
Last time we raised around £100 for the parish through donations and there will be the chance to donate again. Let’s beat that number too!
Want to join in? Email Stella on email@example.com and she’ll send the Zoom link.
See you on Saturday!
If you are walking in Farnham Park near Oast House Crescent, slip out of the park and into Oast House Crescent to see this display of World War Two memorabilia which Wendy Edwards has put together.
Families from Sandy Hill met Santa Claus and showed off their dance moves at a party at St Mark’s on the Monday before Christmas (December 23).
The families, from the Sandy Hill Inclusive Partnership (SHIP), enjoyed a party which included table tennis, pool, art and craft, music and dance provided by the performing arts school Boogie Pumps, and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus who brought gifts for all the children and their parents too.
“It was a really special atmosphere,” said Francis from Boogie Pumps, who led the children in a dance session involving hoops, pom poms, baby sharks and a lot of energy and enthusiasm, while the general consensus among the families was that it was “awesome” and “we’ve been spoiled!”.
More than 100 presents were provided for the children following the annual Farnborough Business Park Christmas Gift Drive, collecting brand new toys, clothes, vouchers, make-up and jewellery for some young people. Members of St Mark’s, St John’s and St George’s churches had also donated enough presents for the SHIP adults to take home a bag of gifts each too.
A big thank-you to everyone who gave so generously, and to everyone who helped put on the party, including Waitrose who provided some of the food. It was great fun and a lovely start to Christmas. We are looking forward to other events with SHIP in the new year.
The Christmas lights are being switched on in Badshot Lea on the evening of Monday November 18th, in preparation for celebrating the coming of God to earth in the form of Jesus, born some 2000 years ago but ever relevant and transformative.
Come and join us at St George’s Church, Badshot Lea, from 4.30-7pm. Not only are the lights going on, there will be a craft fair in the church and, outside from 5-6.30pm, community singing and entertainment by the Sea Cadets and the children of Badshot Lea Infant School.
There are still some craft tables left. If anyone would like one, let us know by email. And come along and do some Christmas shopping, have a sing and get into the Christmas spirit.
Picture by Markus Spiske on Unsplash.
“SHIP has been a lifeline to me and I’m sure many others”.
The SHIP in question is the Sandy Hill Inclusive Partnership, a combination of residents and professional groups involved with the community and with a vision to enable Sandy Hill to become a cleaner, safer place where there is a good sense of community and everyone can have a voice.
SHIP is based around the Hale Community Centre, formerly – and still often – known as The Bungalow, and its work reaches far into the streets around, drawing together families and individuals from across the estate.
A recent report of activities from December last year to summer this year indicates just what an impact the group is having, from 95 people going to the Princes Hall in Aldershot to their pantomime, 70 – including many new families – attending a Christmas party – and 50 coming over to St Mark’s Church to play games, have lunch and do craft at February half-term. There was a sold-out trip to Marwell Zoo, a visit to the beach, a craft event, basketball, a busy session of picking up litter followed by tea, a summer barbecue and lots of new relationships formed, including with St Mark’s where two joint events have now been held and more planned in the future. Other churches and the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community have also joined in events.
The report also emphasised that: “it’s not always about numbers but about the individual need of that person/family and the positive impact the activity may have on them at that time and this is not easy to measure”.
One of the groups involved with SHIP is WiSH – Women in Sandy Hill. These are the people who are responsible for the garden by and indeed inside the boat just outside the Community Centre, and they have also been taken part in craft activities, autism awareness, cake decorating, sensory bottle making, and are currently engaged in a 12-week Art for Wellbeing course (some of the work is shown below).
Some extra outside recognition came this year when the results of South and South East in Bloom were announced in September. In the ‘Your Neighbourhood’ category, Hale Community Centre’s Get Growing Gardening project received a Level 4 Thriving award – progressing from Advancing in 2018.
Melissa, who chairs SHIP, said: “I am amazed by what SHIP has achieved and what individuals in the community have achieved. I have made friends, watched friends flourish and achieve new things and seen individuals go from knowing no-one locally to talking to others regularly and getting involved in community activities….We are proud of what SHIP has become and what it means to people on the estate. There is work to do and people to reach but I believe that Sandy Hill is somewhere to take your time and slowly things will flourish and we are seeing that.”
Coming up soon are more activities, including a Remembrance concert at St Mark’s Church with the Rushmoor Concert Band. Proceeds will be split between Rushmoor Concert Band and SHIP. Tickets are £5 (children free) and there will be a raffle and refreshments. Tickets on the door or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
To finish as we started with the words of a resident: “If only they knew how much they helped me. I just can’t find the right words”.
Music is good for the health – studies in recent years have shown its importance to our mental, physical and emotional health. It can certainly lift our mood and bring people together, as was ably demonstrated on Saturday by Singing and Reminiscing, a celebration at St John’s Church of the past 175 years in music and memories.
Wendy Edwards and Margaret Emberson led the audience, along with members of the choirs of St John’s and St George’s, in singing songs from each decade since St John’s Church was founded in 1844.
Though some of these were from years that no-one would be able to remember, Wendy and Margaret had gone to the trouble of finding ones which were well enough known for us to be able to sing along with ease. So we happily joined in with familiar numbers such as My Grandfather’s Clock; Where Did You Get That Hat?; and Keep the Home Fires Burning, and then moved on to those which at least most in the audience could remember from the original recordings – including Sunrise, Sunset; a Beatles medley; some ABBA; The Music of the Night (with a very effective solo from Bill Thomas and an extremely high E from Margaret); and the moving A Flower Remembered, written by John Rutter as a commemoration of the victims of the 2011 earthquake and tsunami followed by a nuclear accident at Fukushima in Japan.
For the present day there was a new song, which we sang in a round under Margaret’s guidance – Song for Saint John’s, which Margaret had written to celebrate what we do at the church – and rounded off with a rousing version of the hymn For All the Saints.
In between Wendy spoke about the history of St John’s and the area and even produced a picture of the church’s founder Bishop Charles Sumner and his wife Jennie, which had to have been taken before 1849 as Jennie died that year.
Part way through we stopped for a cream tea with melt-in-the-mouth homemade scones, and there was plenty of reminiscing as old friends caught up with each other.
It was a thoroughly enjoyable afternoon and huge thanks must go not just to Wendy and Margaret and the choir, but to all those who worked so hard behind the scenes to make this a success.
There has been an unprecedented number of special events at St John’s over the past few months as we have celebrated the 175th birthday of the church and without the hard work and support of church members these events would never have happened. The whole parish is truly grateful – and a little bit awed!
Wendy, Margaret and the choirs are taking Singing and Reminiscing to Farnham Mill nursing home in November where I know it will be hugely appreciated.
Pictured top: The choir with Wendy and Margaret.
Music, cream teas and happy memories come together at St John’s this weekend in Singing and Reminiscing from 3-5pm on Saturday, August 3.
As part of the St John’s 175th anniversary celebrations, we are holding an informal afternoon of community singing, with songs from each of the decades of the past 175 years, from My Grandfather’s Clock from 1844 to John Rutter’s 2017 composition A Flower Remembered, plus a new number, composed this year, Song for St. John’s by Margaret Emberson. Cream teas will be served and there will be plenty of opportunity to reminisce.
The afternoon will be led by Wendy Edwards and Margaret Emberson and the combined choirs of St John’s and St George’s. Wendy Edwards explains the thinking behind the afternoon: “There must have been billions of musical notes which have resounded through St John’s Church over the last 175 years. Most of these will have been in the form of hymns, anthems, solos, organ pieces, sung mass settings and concerts, formal and informal. We want to celebrate the musical spirit of St John’s.
“We will sing one song for each decade of the last 175 years. These have been carefully selected to be well known and to provide a flavour of that decade. We have traditional and popular songs, a hymn and songs from shows which we hope everyone will enjoy singing with us. The words will be provided.”
Everyone is welcome to this afternoon of music and memories. To help with catering, it would be useful to know how many are coming. Anyone who is planning to come is asked to contact Wendy Edwards at email@example.com or ring the parish office on 07842 761919. However, if you make a last-minute decision to drop in, there will always be room.
St John’s Church celebrated its 175th birthday with a community party on Saturday, July 20, attended by everyone from tiny tots to the Mayor of Farnham.
Cllr Pat Evans, Mayor of Farnham, helped Lesley Crawley to cut a birthday cake, and local residents, including the Mayor’s Consort David Evans and Hale and Heath End councillor Michaela Gray, tucked in to a buffet accompanied by Pimms, tea and coffee, while listening to classic songs performed by singer/songwriters Jasper and the Island, aka Olivia Jasper, and Meg Wassell.
Heavy rain in the morning meant that the festivities had to be moved indoors but that didn’t dampen the party spirit with people spilling over from the crowded tables into the pews. Guests came not just from the Church of England but from other churches and none and we were particularly pleased to welcome members of the Godalming Baha’I community.
There are many people to thank – in particular those from the St John’s congregation who worked tirelessly and cheerfully as they have done at all the events so far, those who made the cakes and Sainsbury’s and Waitrose who generously donated much of the food.
As well as adding her thanks, Lesley Crawley said: “There was a lovely atmosphere with new friendships being formed, and others being deepened, and I believe there were even a couple of old colleagues who bumped into each other after many years. Relationship is central to our understanding of God and it is through our contact with each other that we can express God’s love.”
The next event to celebrate the 175th anniversary of St John’s is an afternoon of Singing and Reminiscing which will take place on Saturday, August 3, from 3-5pm. There will be a cream tea and plenty of opportunities to join in singing old favourites. Everyone is welcome and it would be helpful to know approximate numbers where possible. If you would like to come, please give Wendy Edwards a call on 01252 406772 or 07740 082460. But if you decide to come at the last moment, then please just drop in and join us.
Below: The Mayor and Lesley Crawley cut the cake.
Bottom: Crown Daisy Nursery enjoyed the celebrations. Jasper and the Island. Happy partygoers (x2). Little Anastasia came from Alton with her mother to join the fun.
She’s suited, she’s booted and she’s definitely not muted! Emily the organ is playing again at St Mark’s Church on Saturday, July 20, from 7.30pm at a free concert to which everyone is invited.
Emily the pipe organ, named after her benefactor and noted woman of Hale, Emily Mangles, is more than 100 years old and, as befitted her age (she was installed in 1912) needed an overhaul. She has now been completely restored to her former glory by organ specialists FH Browne and Sons and you can hear her play at Saturday’s free concert where performances by members of the North Hampshire Organists’ Association (NHOA) will demonstrate just how good she can sound with a varied programme of work from Gershwin to Bach, with Schubert, Morricone, Grieg and others in between.
Alongside the music there will be a bit about the history of the organ and an interview with none other than Emily Mangles herself…. In fact, we will have the original Emily’s great-great-great niece with us, who is also called Emily Mangles.
All this and cheese and wine too!
The concert is free but there will be an appeal during the evening. Unfortunately, when she was being restored some further problems emerged. This means that we have to raise some more money – another £2,000 is our target – and the restorers have kindly trusted us to do so and finished the job.
The organ is, in the words of Frances Whewell, one of the main people working to ensure that Emily could be restored: “a most marvellous present to St Mark’s which will enhance our worship and all the community events”. She most certainly is.
So come along, listen to Emily and enjoy a special evening on Saturday at 7.30pm at St Mark’s, Alma Lane, Farnham, GU9 0LT.
Picture by George Britton:
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