Category Archives: St Mark’s Church

Love your Church Sunday

This year we are combining Valentine’s Day with a celebration of being church on 11th February. There will be balloons and cake, and during the service there will be a bit of fun with a quiz and during the sermon slot we will have a “Ask the Vicar anything you like” opportunity.

We will have envelopes for everyone who comes along to church with information about your church and your parish that you might not know! Lots of opportunities to find out more and ask the questions you always wanted answered! So please come along on 11th February and pick up your envelope.

We would love everyone to get involved – if you would like to decorate the churches or create a quiz about your church or make some cakes or anything else you are very welcome!

Lesley Crawley

Love your church.jpg

We are an Inclusive Church

The three churches in the Parish – St George’s, St John’s and St Mark’s – are now, officially inclusive. We belong to Inclusive Church.

For those who are unfamiliar with this – as I certainly was a couple of years ago – it means that we as churches have signed up to the following statement of faith:
“We believe in Inclusive Church – church which does not discriminate, on any level, on grounds of economic power, gender, mental health, physical ability, race or sexuality. We believe in Church which welcomes and serves all people in the name of Jesus Christ; which is scripturally faithful; which seeks to proclaim the Gospel afresh for each generation; and which, in the power of the Holy Spirit, allows all people to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Jesus Christ.”

It means we appear on a website https://inclusive-church.org directing people to churches where they may feel welcome whoever they are.

But isn’t that all of us? Aren’t we all welcoming and inclusive? We hope so, but the more I have thought about true inclusion, the more I have seen it as something we often fail at. I am a prime example. I’m great at coming up with ideas of how we can make ‘those people over there’ feel welcome. Great, I want to include them, it’s just that by my attitude I am dividing ‘them’ from ‘us’, forgetting that we are all the body of Christ. It’s not a case of ‘us’ being a body and ‘them’ being another body. We are the body. You can read more of my thoughts on this here.

Inclusive church is about finding out who might want to come to church but feels unable to. It may be something physical such as access or not being able to follow the service easily. It may be because someone is struggling financially and feels embarrassed about not being able to contribute. It may be because someone is bisexual and has picked up the idea that they are wrong in God’s and society’s sight. I can remember how as a new and totally overwhelmed mother I felt unable to be part of a local church – it was just too much.

There can be a host of reasons why we may feel unwelcome in a church and often Christians are as insensitive, prejudiced and downright judgemental as anyone else, so excluding people from a place where they should feel welcome and safe.

However, we can try, we can learn – and I am planning to run some Inclusive Church events in the next year to help us with this – we can listen to others, we can pray and we can listen to God. Then we may realise that we are one body. Then we may grow in faith and love.

Stella Wiseman

 

 

Realms of Glory

I’m not sure how best to describe it. Words like “plague” or “ infestation” don’t seem quite appropriate, and anyway, are probably sacrilegious. “Visitation” is probably safest if I want to avoid divine retribution.angel

Basically, St Mark’s is full of angels.

It all began a couple of months ago. We had our mini arts and music festival (“Arts at St Marks”) in October. After this was cleared away, the church looked a bit bare. Lesley S then came up with the idea of filling the place with angels during Advent. Shortly after that, Alison R hit upon “Realms of Glory” as a title for the theme. I announced it for a few weeks during November and then it happened. The angels started to fly in…

The first ones to arrive were a trio from Margaret. I’d previously announced that I’d like some to be flying above us, suspended from the cross ties below the ceiling. These seemed perfect for the job, so on the Monday morning, with the ladder firmly secured in place, I draped my old climbing rope over the tie and hauled the first angel up. This produced a certain silence from Lesley and Margaret. It really didn’t look like an angel. It looked quite scary. The juxtaposition of the ladder, rope and body also looked like we’d just lynched our first victim.

Just then, one of the mothers from Surrey slings came in and said, quite accurately, that it looked like one of Harry Potter’s dementors. A certain amount of hysterical laughter followed.

As we didn’t want people to go away with nightmares, we found a more benign location, on the wall behind the keyboard, where they look suitably angelic and not at all threatening.

However, this was just the start. We had a whole load more angels arrive from Hale Beavers and then the floodgates opened. They’re everywhere. Each time I go up to the church more have arrived. They’re on windowsills, dangling from the projector screen and almost everywhere else. We’ve even got a life-size (?) one standing by the entrance to welcome visitors to the church.

The overall effect is quite remarkable. Combined with the wall hangings, the Amnesty “Candles of Hope” paintings around the chancel and the traditional Christmas decorations, the place looks vibrant and an exciting place, where things are happening. Our thanks and congratulations to everyone who has contributed. It has turned out to be an exceptional tribute to people’s creativity, sense of belonging and pride in the church.

There is much nonsense talked about the spirit of Christmas. However, in some small way I think we can see an example of it here.

Bob Shatwell

 

Exploring Faith through Art

Exploring faith through art

 

For Advent this year we are “Exploring Faith through Art” – a time of looking at some artwork on the themes of the Annunciation, the Nativity and the Flight to Egypt and discussing how it informs our faith. There will be refreshments, discussion and a chance to try doing some art for those who want to. It is at St Mark’s Church, Alma Lane, Upper Hale, GU9 0LT on three Mondays 4,11 and 18 December 19:30-21:00

To find out about either of these events contact Lesley revd.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org or 01252 820537.

Photos of the Arts at St Mark’s Festival

On the weekend of 20-22nd October St Mark’s held an Arts Festival, organised by the energetic and talented Bob and Lesley Shatwell. It consisted of an exhibition, concert, workshops, ceilidh and festival service… a mesmerising, colourful exuberant weekend celebrating art and the people of this parish. Here are some photos:

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Remembrance Services

On November 12th the following services of Remembrance will take place:

In Hale the 9:30 Service at St John’s followed by 10:45 at the War Memorial then a 11:15 Service all-age at St Mark’s.

In Badshot Lea the 10:00 Shortened Service at St George’s followed by 10:50 at the War Memorial.

In Weybourne a service at 4pm at the War Memorial followed by refreshments in the Village Hall.

Services for the Bereaved

At these three simple services we will be lighting candles to remember those who have died.

  • St John’s at 6:30pm on Sat 28th Oct,
  • St Mark’s at 11:00am on Sun 29th Oct and
  • St George’s at 4:00pm on Sun 29th Oct

Please stay for coffee and cake after the services.

If you would like a loved one remembered at one of these services please bring their name on a piece of paper to the service. For more information contact Lesley on 01252 820537 or revd.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org