Category Archives: St George’s Church

Gardening expert John Negus to answer questions at parish fete

 

The parish fete (at St George’s, Badshot Lea), will welcome a special guest on the afternoon of Saturday, June 15, when gardening writer and broadcaster John Negus joins the plant stall to answer any gardening questions that visitors may have.

John has been a gardening journalist for some 60 years. He answers questions for Amateur Gardening magazine, gives talks and lectures, and broadcasts regularly on BBC Radio Surrey, again answering listeners’ queries on plants and gardens.

Answering these questions is, he says “a great privilege and an exciting challenge” and enables him to combine his passion for plants with his love of meeting people and making them happy.

“Gardeners are all so different,” he says, which means he has to be ready to answer all sorts of different questions. “The great thing is that no matter what question anyone asks there is always an answer. The fun thing is finding out the answer they approve of!” By this he means that there is always more than one way of dealing with a gardening quest­ion and he can tailor his answers to suit an individual situation.

There are always general questions to answer: on pests and diseases; on how to cope with dry summers – “the challenge is when to start and when to stop watering” – what plants do well in what areas; how to grow good vegetables – “improve the soil – more humus please!” – and so on, but he does love a challenge. “Bring mystery plants to the fete!” he commands. “It adds a frisson of excitement!”

John puts his own advice to good use and has not just his own beautiful garden in south Farnham, but also helps his partner Maureen with hers, and has recently taken up caring for the vicarage garden in Wrecclesham. He gains inspiration from other gardens and advises everyone to “go and see a garden that is open to the public and take photos of plants you like if you are looking for ideas. I do that. And I love to see an interesting garden with neat lawns and something arresting.”

So, to gain inspiration and have your own questions answered, go along to the parish fete at St George’s Church, Badshot Lea, on June 15 from noon onwards. As well as advice from John Negus – and lots of plants to buy of course – there will be stalls; games of skill and chance; a bouncy castle; maypole dancing by children from Badshot Lea Infant School; the Sea Cadets with their band; the Aldershot Karate Club demonstrating their moves; volunteers from Badshot Lea Bloomers and Tice’s Meadow Nature Reserve; a barbecue; a bar; cream teas; cakes; an auction; a raffle with a first prize of £100, and much more.

Saints, cadets and cake

St George’s and St Mark’s Churches are both holding celebrations this Sunday (April 28) in honour of the saints they are named after.

April 23 was St George’s Day and April 25 was St Mark’s Day so both churches are holding their patronal festivals that day.

At St Mark’s at 11am, the congregation will learn about the journey that St Mark made from being a young follower of Jesus (perhaps the young man who runs away naked at the end of the Gospel of Mark) to a mature disciple who, tradition has it, founded the church in Alexandria, Egypt, but with all too human problems on the way. After the service there will be cake in celebration of St Mark’s Day.

At St George’s there will be two services which remember England’s patron saint (who was probably born in what is now Turkey). The 10am service will be augmented by a parade by Farnham, Fleet & Aldershot Sea Cadets who meet just up the road from the church. As well as parading they will read the New Testament lesson. The celebrations will then continue at St George’s with Worship for All at 11.30am.

Come and join us at either church on Sunday.

 

Pictured above are Farnham, Fleet & Aldershot Sea Cadets.

Raise a glass, raise funds, have fun

St George’s Church is holding a gin night on Tuesday, April 30, where local gin producers Nibbs will be serving their artisan gin while raising money for church funds and giving us an opportunity to have a fun evening with friends and neighbours.

Nibbs is a small family business based in Surrey, producing small batch artisan cocktail gin using freshly picked elderflower from the Surrey and Sussex countryside. It is available at selected pubs, off-licenses, markets and festivals and at special fundraising nights.

Maxine Everitt, who is organizing the gin night, said: “Come and try this wonderful local gin and support both the church and a local small business. This is a great opportunity for people from our community to come in to the church and have fun together.”

The evening starts at 7.30pm and tickets are £5, including a drink on arrival. To book, contact Maxine Everitt on 01252 318135 or maxine.everitt@live.co.uk

 

Vigils, solemn services and the message of Easter hope

The week before Easter is known as Holy Week and will be marked with meditations, vigils and solemn services in the parish.

There will be a series of meditations for Holy Week at St John’s on Monday to Wednesday, April 15-17, at 7.30pm. On April 18, a day known in the Christian calendar as Maundy Thursday, there will be services at 7.30pm both at St John’s and at St George’s, with Holy Communion and a vigil, and the altar will be stripped of all coverings. At St John’s there will also be a ceremony of foot-washing as a reminder of the act of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet at the meal he shared with them on the night before he died.

Lesley Crawley explained why the churches are doing this: “Maundy Thursday derives its name from a Latin word ‘mandatum’ which means command. Jesus was executed at the time of the Jewish Passover celebrations and he and his disciples shared a meal together at which he washed their feet in an act of humility and service. It is reported in the Bible that he told his disciples: ‘I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.’ (The Gospel of John, chapter 13, verse 34).”

The following day is known as ‘Good Friday’ and commemorates the day that Jesus was executed by being nailed to a cross. There will be several services in the parish, starting with a silent vigil at St John’s Church at 8.30am and a service at 9.30am, while at St George’s there will be a Good Friday service at 2-3pm, with 3pm marking the time when it is traditionally thought that Jesus died. At St Mark’s in Upper Hale, there will be Easter activities for children ages five to 11 from 9.30am, followed by a service at 11am and hot cross buns (to book a place on the Easter activities, contact Hannah Moore on 01252 659267 or revd.hannah@badshotleaandhale.org).

Lesley continued: “Good Friday commemorates the darkness of Jesus’ death, but on Easter Sunday we celebrate the joy of his resurrection. Death could not hold him and in rising from the dead he showed that the God of love is stronger than anything that the world can throw at us.”

On Easter Sunday there will be services at St John’s at 9.30am, St George’s at 10am and 11.30am, and at St Mark’s at 11am. Both the 11.30am service at St George’s and the 11am service at St Mark’s will include an Easter egg hunt.

Lesley added: “Everyone is welcome at any or all of our services. Do come and explore with us the message of hope that Easter offers to us all.”

 

Follow the donkey to church

There will be donkeys at church this coming Sunday (April 14) in celebration of Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday recalls the Biblical account of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, with crowds placing palms in front of him and greeting him as a king. Churches around the world will mark the date, and at St Mark’s, Hale, at 11am, and St George’s, Badshot Lea, at 11.30am, the congregations will be joined by donkeys, courtesy of Folly Oak Donkeys.

Rev’d Lesley Crawley said: “When we recall that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey it reminds us that he is a king who comes in peace, not as a conquering warrior. Having a donkey at a service also brings the story alive, especially for children who always crowd round to give the donkey a stroke. Please do come and join us. And we are really grateful to John and Rosemary Porter and all at Folly Oak Donkeys for bringing the donkeys to us.”

 

Pictured: Meet the Donkey. Picture by Daniel Fazio. Unsplash

The motherliness of God

Sunday, March 31 is Mothering Sunday, and in our services that day we will celebrate mothers and others who care for us, with posies for everyone.

Mothering Sunday is thought to have begun in the 16th century when, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, people would return to their ‘mother church’ – that is, the local parish church or the church in which they had been baptised, or the nearest cathedral. The practice also began of allowing servants to return to their families on that day so seeing their mothers as well as their mother church.

Lesley Crawley comments: “On Mothering Sunday we celebrate mothers and those who care for us, remembering and praying for our own mothers. We also know that this day can be a difficult one for those who have lost their mothers, for those who have lost or cannot have children, and for those who have not had a good relationship with their mothers, and we offer them our support and prayers too.

“God is usually referred to as ‘father’ – in part a reflection of the time and patriarchal culture in which the Bible was written – but there are certainly references to the ‘motherliness’ of God in the Bible, such as this one in the Book of Isaiah: ‘As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you’. Christians believe in an all-loving God who loves us even more than a human mother could. Please do join us on March 31 at any of our services and celebrate and receive this love.”

Click here for some practical ideas from the Church of England for celebrating Mothering Sunday.

The altar frontal at Chelmsford Cathedral made by Creators (Cathedral School youth group). Picture by fourthandfifteen (www.flickr.com/photos/chelmsfordblue/)

 

An offer to everyone of healing and wholeness

There will be a service of healing and wholeness at St George’s this Sunday (March 17), at 10am, where everyone will have the chance to receive prayer and anointing with oil.

Healing and wholeness are not just about physical recovery. Lesley Crawley explains: “During his lifetime Jesus came alongside people, had compassion on them and healed them. Christians believe that in order to be whole we need to be at peace with God, with ourselves, with other people and with creation.

“Healing and wholeness can be about forgiving ourselves or forgiving others; they can be about moving from a place of denial to one of acceptance; they can be about finally finding peace of mind or finding the strength of spirit to overcome problems that have dogged us for years. Healing and wholeness are for everyone, for we worship a God of love who wants the very best for every person who God created.”

Come and join us at St George’s on Sunday at 10am.

 

 

 

Picture by Myriams-Fotos on Pixabay.

Come to Christingle

Come to Christingle on Sunday, February 3, at St George’s Church, Badshot Lea, at 11.30am.

Christingle is a celebration that takes place sometime between the beginning of December and early February.

‘Christingles’ are created out of oranges, sweets and dried fruit stuck in them using cocktail sticks, red ribbon around the oranges, and a candle which is then lit.

The orange represents the world, the red ribbon (or tape) symbolises the love and blood of Christ, the sweets and dried fruit represent all of God’s creations, and the lit candle represents Jesus’ light in the world, bringing hope to people living in darkness.

There are prayers and songs and a lot of fun and it’s aimed at everyone in the family. Come along at 11.30am, join in and also raise money for the charity The Children’s Society. Bring your friends too.

If you want to know more about the service or anything to do with the church call us on 01252 820537 or email revd.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org

Hear God in the stillness

There are two new services being introduced into the parish in the next few weeks, both of them opportunities to have some stillness and pray.

The first is Said Evensong from the Book of Common Prayer (BCP), a service beloved by many but which has declined in popularity in the last few decades. The second is a Taizé service, a simple service based on chants and silence.  They will take place monthly for  a trial period of six months, starting with Evensong on the final Sunday of the month at 5pm at St George’s, Badshot Lea – January 27 is the first one – and Taizé on the first Sunday of the month at 6pm at St John’s, Hale, with the first one on February 3.

The idea is to give us a chance to find some stillness so that we may hear God speak. Lesley Crawley says: “It feels so amazing, miraculous even, that God speaks to us ordinary folks and our lives are transformed forever.

“I believe that to experience such things we have to deliberately put ourselves in the way of God. We won’t hear God speaking unless we make time and space to do so. In our parish there is so much going on that sometimes I wonder whether God can accidentally get sidelined; and so we are offering two opportunities each month to have some additional stillness and prayerfulness. These will be located in particular buildings but are for everyone, irrespective of whether you go to a different church, or no church.”

BCP Said Evensong has been chosen by Lesley because it is a service she has loved since she discovered it during her curacy. She says of this discovery: “I loved the BCP, I loved the poetry of the language, I was charmed by the way that words have changed their meaning, and I enjoyed using those words with their old meaning. I found particular words and phrases incredibly challenging or comforting or meaningful – they pulled me into the presence of God. I loved the way that words were paired together like peace and concord, celebrating the depth and range of our language and behind that the diversity of all the peoples with their languages over many centuries who have come together to make our complex and many-faceted nation. The repetition was also helpful – saying almost exactly the same thing each week meant that I could experience the same words that had so blessed me the previous week and I found that those words continued to bless me from then on, week in and week out.”

Taizé has been chosen as a ‘doorway’ through to a closer experience of God. Lesley says: “I find that the experience of chanting enables me to step through the chants into the presence of God. Perhaps it is because I’ve always found it easier to learn things that are sung rather than said. For instance, at school I was rubbish at learning poems but I knew lots of pop songs off by heart! The chants are in various languages (although I tend to stick to the English and Latin chants) but actually language is irrelevant, it is just a tool to step into that place of intimacy with God.”

Craig Nobbs will be leading Said Evensong at 5pm St George’s on Sunday, January 27, and thereafter on the last Sunday of the month. Come along if you love BCP or have never experienced it and be swept along with its beauty.

Lesley will be leading the Taizé service at 6pm at St John’s on Sunday, February 3, and thereafter on the first Sunday of the month.

Lesley adds: “If neither of these services speak to you but something else will help you draw closer to God then please do that, and if you want some help setting something up then please contact me”.

 

New collection to help refugees

If your wardrobes are feeling a bit full, or you are thinking of having a clear out ahead of the spring, fill your bags with clothes and take them to St George’s Church on Friday (January 25) between 3pm and 7pm.

As well as winter clothing, maternity wear and new underwear (nothing XL or XXL) Farnham Help for Refugees needs medical equipment, such as wheelchairs, crutches, walking frames and neck braces; new, unopened painkillers and new toothbrushes and toothpaste. A full list is shown on the poster below. Items will be sorted and shipped to agencies working with refugees both overseas and in the UK.

If you have any strong cardboard boxes that can be closed or have lids – especially removal boxes – they will be very useful, and as it costs £5 to send a box of aid to refugees, financial donations are also welcome on the day.

The group is also looking for volunteers to help sort and pack donations between 1.30pm and 9pm on Friday, January 25, and from 9am to 11am on Saturday, January 26.

If you can help, e-mail farnhamhelpforrefugees@gmail.com.

farnham help for refugees poster