Category Archives: St John’s Church

St John’s Survey Responses

An open session and display to discuss the possible future of St John’s Church, Hale, will be held next Saturday, 27th May, at the church from 10am to 2pm.

The discussion will centre around the ideas generated from responses to a recent survey sent out to residents living close to the church. This asked for their ideas about how to ensure the church remains open in the long-term and how it can be used for the local community during the week as well as on a Sunday.

The survey was delivered to 1,700 houses in Hale. The overall response was positive to the idea of the ‘interior of the church being altered to create a space for complementary uses, while maintaining worship as its primary use’.

Ideas include removing the pews and replacing them with chairs which would be used in church services including baptisms, weddings and funerals, and also allowing complementary uses during the week such as a soft play area, a cafe, and groups offering support for those suffering with addictions or needing debt counselling. The space created could also be used for art exhibitions, or for orchestra and choir recitals.

One respondent commented that by “removing the dark pews and replacing them with bright comfortable chairs will create a versatile space and be lighter”.  Another said: “as much as I love the pews, they do limit the way the space can be used and make worship very formal and perhaps for many do not foster a feeling of participation and equality”.

However, for some of those who responded, the idea of reordering the interior of the church is painful and difficult.  A respondent who regards himself as a traditionalist sad that he could “see the need to increase usage of the church for other activities apart from church services” but would “just have to accept it as progress”. However, another added: “St John’s will remain beautiful whatever happens and to me will feel more beautiful if the building is more full of life”.

The feedback session with refreshments will run from 10am to 2pm on 27th May 27. Come along to discuss some ideas and options for the future of St John’s.

For further information, contact Rev’d Hannah Moore on 01252 659267, email revd.hannah@badshotleaandhale.org or visit https://badshotleaandhale.org

Not just on a Sunday: Survey looks at new ways of using local church

An open session and display to discuss the possible future of St John’s Church, Hale, will be held next Saturday, 27th May, at the church from 10am to 2pm.

The discussion will centre around the ideas generated from responses to a recent survey sent out to residents living close to the church. This asked for their ideas about how to ensure the church remains open in the long-term and how it can be used for the local community during the week as well as on a Sunday.

The survey was delivered to 1,700 houses in Hale. The overall response was positive to the idea of the ‘interior of the church being altered to create a space for complementary uses, while maintaining worship as its primary use’.

Ideas include removing the pews and replacing them with chairs which would be used in church services including baptisms, weddings and funerals, and also allowing complementary uses during the week such as a soft play area, a cafe, and groups offering support for those suffering with addictions or needing debt counselling. The space created could also be used for art exhibitions, or for orchestra and choir recitals.

One respondent commented that by “removing the dark pews and replacing them with bright comfortable chairs will create a versatile space and be lighter”. Another said: “as much as I love the pews, they do limit the way the space can be used and make worship very formal and perhaps for many do not foster a feeling of participation and equality”.

However, for some of those who responded, the idea of reordering the interior of the church is painful and difficult. A respondent who regards himself as a traditionalist sad that he could “see the need to increase usage of the church for other activities apart from church services” but would “just have to accept it as progress”. However, another added: “St John’s will remain beautiful whatever happens and to me will feel more beautiful if the building is more full of life”.

The feedback session with refreshments will run from 10am to 2pm on 27th May 27. Come along to discuss some ideas and options for the future of St John’s.

For further information, contact Rev’d Hannah Moore on 01252 659267, email revd.hannah@badshotleaandhale.org or visit https://badshotleaandhale.org

Thy Kingdom Come – Praying the Psalms

It doesn’t seem like a year since I was hastily putting together an exhibition of paintings depicting the Lord’s Prayer.  Artists with strong connections to our parish each took a line from the prayer and created an image.  Musicians and singers performed, and scones were enjoyed.  Amid all this festivity, we remembered that our Archbishops of Canterbury and York had set the ball rolling when they called for a wave of prayer to cross our country.

This year, they have called again; and as I write, artists are planning their response, bakers are checking their recipes and singers are practising their new repertoire.  This year, our theme is the Psalms and we are hoping that our pictures may stir up new ideas and ways of looking at these ancient songs.

Praying the Psalms – good heavens, what have those old things got to do with our lives today!  What is a Psalm anyway?

To start with, you can find them in the Old Testament because they are part of our Christian inheritance from the earlier Judaic tradition.  Open the Bible, about half way through and flip back a bit and you will find 150 Psalms lurking between Job and Proverbs.  They are ancient songs written by the Hebrew people.  If you look at the headings, you will see (for example Psalm 15) “A Psalm of David”.  We have legends of King David writing the Psalms and often you can see pictures of him, with his harp, wrestling with some poetical tracts … but this is just a legend.  We do not know for certain who composed the Psalms, there could have been several authors.  There are Psalms of joy, Psalms of despair, deep anger with God … I think we have lost the ability to have a really good lament.  The Psalms hurl so much grief and anger at God and there is nowhere better to aim it.  God is big enough to take all our human suffering – together with our joy, delight and thanksgiving for our world.  The Psalms give voice to it all.

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(Photo: King David, from a 6th century mosaic from Gaza)
http://www.biblewalks.com/Sites/Gaza.html#Anthedon

 

Our exhibition will give a tiny glimpse into these ancient songs, I pray that it will open your eyes to look again at the Psalms and perhaps be glad when they say, “Let us go to the house of the Lord!” (see Psalm 122).

 

Art Exhibition: open 25 May – 4 June 2017 at St John’s, Hale

Pentecost Party:  Psalms, art, music, refreshments: 4 June at 3.00 pm (St John’s, Hale)

 

 

Looking to expand the use of St John’s

St John’s Church in Hale is a large, Victorian building with wooden pews which currently don’t allow the space to be used flexibly. The church is open daily but is chiefly used on a Sunday for a 9.30am service and for weddings and funerals at other times in the week.

We want the community to have a say in how the building might also be used so that more people can take advantage of the space it offers, while maintaining worship as its primary use.

To this end, a questionnaire is being sent out to people living close to St John’s asking them if they would be happy for the interior of the church to be altered to create more space and what they might like this space to be used for. Ideas include a cafe, soft play area, GP surgery, debt counselling service, rehearsal space, studios, small office space for home workers, and meeting rooms. The results will be analysed and an exhibition will be held at the church on Saturday May 27 from 10am-2pm.

Rev’d Hannah Moore from St John’s Church said: “We have a beautiful building that is open every day and has a worshipping congregation which meets every Sunday, as well as being used for weddings and funerals. However, the church has great potential as a community resource with more community events and participation and we would like local people to tell us what they would like from the church. We are sending out a questionnaire with an Easter card and will look carefully at the responses to see how we can best serve everyone and ensure that the church is a vibrant part of Hale life for many years to come.”

Please help us by filling in the following questionnaire:

1. Would you be happy for the interior of the church to be altered in order to create more space for complementary uses, while maintaining worship as its primary use?
2. How can you envision this church being used for:
a) Community use, (eg. café, soft play area, debt counselling, GP surgery)

b) Cultural (mosaic studio, orchestra rehearsal, book-swap library, local history display)
c) Commercial (office space, shop, meeting rooms):
We really need your ideas! What does our community need? At the back of St John’s is a box for you to pop your ideas into, alternatively email admin@badshotleaandhale.org (please note, we will not reply to emails to this address – it is just a way of collecting ideas)

Solvitur ambulando

“It is solved by walking”.  Now, I’m not sure who first came up with that phrase, my internet search has thrown up a number of plausible suggestions.  I first came across it whilst training to become a licensed lay minister and someone told me it was attributed to Augustine of Hippo.  Hum … I don’t know.  It is certainly a very clever phrase and it’s true:  it is solved by walking.

A small, cheery group of walkers met at St George’s on 6 August and set out to walk round to each of the three churches in our parish.

Hats or no hats?  Sunglasses or no sunglasses?  Had we brought enough water/sun-cream?  Oh the perils of parish walking on such a rare summer’s day when the sun shines!  Still, solvitur ambulando.  Friendly conversation and soon we came to St John’s.  The church was cool and welcoming and we took our first  break.  There we were met by John Evans who told us stories about the Sumner family and their close connection with St John’s (foremost – of course – amongst many churches and ecclesiastical matters connected with the Sumners).  We saw the simple, yet beautiful Sumner plaque by the altar and prayed, remembering Hiroshima (6 August).  The walking party was joined by Hannah and her family and we discussed the best route to walk up to St Mark’s.

walkers at St John'sIt is solved by walking – we set off through Farnham Park and headed to the Green at Upper Hale.

On the way, I discovered that Jackie has a degree in Russian and that she has known Rachel since they were eight.  I like walking with friends.  Somehow, you have more time to chat, more opportunity to share ideas and we got to see more of our lovely parish.  Solvitur ambulando.

Mind you, it was jolly hot and it’s uphill all the way to St Mark’s.  We were glad to reach the dappled shade in the orchard, we’d made it to the summit – downhill all the way back now.

walkers at St Mark'sIt seemed as though Hannah’s little dogs appreciated the rest.  Little did they know that this was not their final destination and there were yet more miles for their little legs.

We rolled back down the hill to Badshot Lea, and I chatted about music with Margaret.  I discovered that when Margaret had to learn music by heart, she would visualise it on the page.  Isn’t that interesting, I don’t think I can learn music in that way, I hear the harmonic structure then mentally attach everything around it.

By the time we got home, we had walked over five miles.  I was surprised actually; I like walking, but I hadn’t walked that far for a while.  And it was easy.  I could have dropped out if it got too hard, and people did join and leave us at different times.  Perhaps you would like to give it a go next time, because, of course, “it is solved by walking”.
Hum … I wonder what “it” is?

Walking round the churches

Did you know there are over two hundred references to walking in the Bible? This quote is from Proverbs – “When you walk your steps will not be impeded; and if you run you will not stumble”

Walking is very good for us!

A small group of us are going to walk around the three churches in our parish on Saturday afternoon 28th May. We will start at 2:30 in the car park at St. Georges, walk via Badshot Lea Road and Monkton Lane to St. John’s. Then up Upper Hale Road to St Marks and down Alma Lane, Upper and Lower Webourne Lanes, back to St Georges. This is just over 7 kilometres.

If you enjoy walking, and chatting, come along and join us – for all or part of the walk.
If you want more information phone me on 01252 409124 or email embersonmargaret@ gmail.com

See you there!

Margaret Emberson

Have you visited St John’s this week?

“a wave of prayer …”

In our parish of Badshot Lea and Hale, in Surrey, we decided to answer the call to prayer with an art installation, featuring work from artists based in our parish or with a very strong connection to the parish.

From this initial thought, the idea took hold.  “I’ll make scones, it will give a real English summer’s day feel.”  “And jam, we must have lots of jam.”
“What sort of music do you want?  I’m sure the choir would like to sing …”

And so it continued until suddenly we had a full parish event!  We called upon artists aged between 6 and 92 to give their own interpretation of a phrase from the Lord’s Prayer and we have a wonderful, eclectic response.

After some nervous moments … would the art be ready?  Would anyone come?  Finally we opened our doors on Sunday 8 May.  And people came, viewed the exhibition, ate scones and listened to the music.
Here are some of their comments:
“Beautiful installation, thank you for all the work that has gone into this.  Inspiring”
“Great idea, great show – could they stay here?”
“It’s good to be reminded of the Lord’s Prayer at work in our lives.”

St John’s can seem quite a deserted place, but that day, I thought the church itself really came to life, got up and danced for joy.  The power of the Lord’s Prayer at work within our community.

And we are going to do it all again this weekend.

Lesley Shatwell
LLM (in training)

The Lord’s Prayer depicted in art

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Booklet by Lesley Shatwell

Cover photo: “Waves, Dunbar” (LS 2010)         “It is impossible to overstate the life-transforming power of the Lord’s Prayer … When we pray it with sincerity and with joy, there is no imagining the new ways in which God can use us to his glory.”

These words are from a letter from the Archbishops of York and Canterbury to all parishes in the Church of England.  Today, they are encouraging us to be part of a great wave of prayer through our country and in response, we have put together this exhibition.

We hope that you will find it thought-provoking and that it will encourage you to think of the Lord’s Prayer in a fresh light.

“One day Jesus was praying in a certain place.  When he finished, one of his disciples said to him, “Lord, teach us to pray, just as John taught his disciples.” He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Father,

hallowed be your name,

thy kingdom come …”

(Luke 11:1-3)

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Original artwork by Beki Blade        Our Father, who art in heaven

The Lord’s Prayer starts with the words, “Our Father …”.  That’s a very personal way of addressing God.  We can’t choose our family, but God has chosen us to be His family.  That’s all of us, not just those people we like.  By praying, “Our Father,” we become part of God’s family.

“We are family – all of us.  We belong in God’s family.  There are no outsiders.  All are insiders.  …  all of us drawn into the divine embrace that excludes no-one – black, yellow, white, rich, poor, educated, uneducated, male, female, young, old, gay, lesbian, so-called straight – yes it IS radical.  All, all, ALL belong” 

(God’s Dream: Sermon delivered by Desmond Tutu at the

Chapel of King’s College, London: Sunday 22 February 2004)

Sometimes, our own memories or feelings towards our earthly dads have an influence on the way we view God.  Is it easy for you to think of God as our Heavenly Father?  If you had to rewrite the beginning of the Lord’s Prayer, how would you start?  Who is it you are addressing?

And, come to that, “Who art in heaven …” where’s heaven?

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Original artwork by Lesley Shatwell

If we hallow something, we honour it as holy.

Your name be holy.

In the Bible, God spoke to Moses from a burning bush, a bush which burned with holy fire without consuming the bush.

“God said to Moses, ‘I am who I am.’  This is my name for ever,  and this my title for all generations.”

Does God have another name, other than just, “God”?

It’s tricky to translate God’s name from its original Old Hebrew YHWH.  It has no vowels, you can’t really speak it.  Old Hebrew was a bit vague on tenses too, so we don’t know quite whether God’s name is “I am who I am” or “I am who I will be” or “I will be that I am” or …?

“Hallowed be Thy name.” A name so holy you can’t speak it.

But we can think it.

And we can use the shorthand version: “God”

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Original artwork by Stewart Dakers         Thy kingdom come, thy will be done

“Thy will be done” … That’s Thy will, not my will.  How would things be if we lived always within God’s will?

“I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed: ‘We hold these truths to be selfevident, that all men are created equal.’”

On 28 August 1963, Martin Luther King shared his dream of God’s kingdom on earth.

Here in Britain, there are plenty of things we take for granted.  We have access to health care – when the NHS was launched in July 1948, it was based on three core principles:

  • that it meets the needs of everyone
  • that it is free at the point of delivery
  • that it is based on clinical need, not ability to pay

Our fragile, God-given world is divided between the haves and the have nots.  Martin Luther King’s dream of equality and the founding principles of the NHS point the way to a better society.

Today, what can we do to hasten God’s kingdom here on earth?

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Original artwork by Peter Paterson         On earth as it is in heaven

God’s kingdom is coming.

What will it look like, how will it be?

Will it be paradise?

The Garden of Eden?  The new Jerusalem?

“See, the home of God is among mortals. He will dwell with them; they will be his peoples, and God himself will be with them; he will wipe every tear from their eyes. Death will be no more;

mourning and crying and pain will be no more, for the first things have passed away.” (Revelation 21:3b-4)

That sounds alright doesn’t it?

How can we be better stewards during our time here on earth?

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Original artwork by Emily Tarrant

Give us this day our daily bread

Do you find it easy or hard to ask God for the things you need?   What about the things you want?

Do you think it’s okay to pray for material things?   Does this kind of prayer “work”?

How about praying for health?  Happiness?

And if you don’t get what you are asking God for, how does that make you feel?

In Matthew, chapter 4 whilst Jesus is being tempted, he reminds us,

“It is written,

‘One does not live by bread alone,

but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

God knows that we do need food, clean water, somewhere to live … we all need these things.

Some have all they need whilst others are lacking.   How can we share God’s gifts to us?

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Original artwork by Rosemary Cook            Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us

“Trespassers will be prosecuted”  When I was little, I remember seeing signs like that in the countryside and strong fences to keep people out.  It seemed odd that the Lord’s Prayer used the word “trespass”.

Other translations of the Bible use words like,

“Forgive us our debts,

as we also have forgiven our debtors.”

or,  “Forgive us our sins as we forgive those    who sin against us.”

Trespasses, debts, sins … or perhaps there is there another word which speaks to you?

Sorry …

Do you find it easy to forgive?

Do you carry the burden of unforgiving with you?

Jesus, bearer of our sins, have mercy on us.

Lamb of God, you take away the sin of the world.

Can you believe that you are forgiven?                                                           

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Original artwork by Lesley Crawley

Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil

Temptation lures us away.  Sometimes it can seem harmless and fun, do you remember the advertising campaign for cream cakes, “Naughty, but nice”?

Or perhaps you have some sympathy for Oscar Wilde’s,

“I can resist everything but temptation.”

Temptation, it can sound like fun and sometimes it is, but by its nature it hides things which are bad for us, which can sometimes be dark and sinister.

Temptation, addiction … desperation to have just that one more thing.  These things keep us from being the unique person God has created us to be.

Lord Jesus, reach out your hand to me right now and lead me from all evil

Yea though I walk

through the valley of the shadow of death,  I will feel no evil

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Original artwork by Alison Ridgeon

For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen.

“For it is the God who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness’, who has shone in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

But we have this treasure in clay jars, so that it may be made clear that this extraordinary power belongs to God and does not come from us.”  (2 Corinthians 4:6-7)

Does God’s glory shine in your heart?

Can others see it within you?

Can you see God’s loving kingdom shining within others?

When we pray “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen” we acknowledge the glorious power of our creator God who welcomes every single one of us as a unique individual within His kingdom.

How amazing!

And we are bold enough to call God, “Our Father …”

 

 

If you would like to talk with someone, please contact:  Revd. Alan Crawley or Revd. Lesley Crawley on 01252 820537, reverend.alan@gmail.com revdlesley@gmail.com