Category Archives: St Mark’s Church

Politics and Faith meet in Season of Creation

Politics and faith meet in the parish this month as we celebrate the Season of Creation, with contributions from local MP Jeremy Hunt; Cllr Penny Marriott, Mayor of Waverley; Rt Rev’d Andrew Watson, Bishop of Guildford; and, for Harvest Festival on October 4, the Mayor of Farnham, Cllr Pat Evans.

The Season of Creation is an international, ecumenical season which runs from September 1-October 4 each year. During this time people are encouraged to focus on prayer and action to protect the planet, and we are joining in with services in the churches and here online each Sunday. The online services will feature guest contributors including the Bishop of Guildford who will preach this Sunday, September 6, on what is known as Climate Sunday, when the focus will be on the challenge of climate change. He will be joined by Cllr Penny Marriott, who will give a Bible reading and Jeremy Hunt, MP, who will read a prayer known as the Collect.

Other guests over the next few weeks include Ruth Valerio, environmentalist, theologian, social activist and author, who launched the Eco Church scheme; Ben Niblett, campaigner on poverty, injustice, climate change and fair trade who works for the Christian charity Tearfund; and the Mayor of Farnham, Cllr Pat Evans, who is passionate about local community issues.

The Season of Creation will challenge everyone to do something to help tackle the environmental crisis that is threatening the Earth. Lesley Crawley comments: “The Season of Creation helps us focus on the world we live in and our duty to care for the environment. The way we are living is causing damage to the planet and all that lives on it – humans, other animals, plants, all living things – and we are calling on everyone to take action in whatever way we all can to stop the damage and begin restoration of our world. We would like everyone to make a pledge, however small, to do something positive, whether it is walking rather than driving where possible, cutting down on the amount of meat we are eating, looking at how our clothes are manufactured and how many we buy and then throw out.

 “Please join us in person at our churches or online where we will be thinking about what we can do in the Season of Creation and long term. We are delighted that the Bishop of Guildford, the Mayor of Waverley Penny Marriott, Farnham’s mayor Pat Evans, and our local MP Jeremy Hunt are among those contributing to our online services and we continue to call for action from all areas of society.”

Everyone is welcome in the churches which have had Covid-19 precautions put in place.

Children welcome in church

We would love to welcome children back to church now that we have started services in the buildings again.

There is plenty of space in the churches and there are places for families to sit in their ‘bubbles’. Please, though, bring your own toys, books, colouring books, colours, snacks and drinks etc, and we ask that you don’t share between families.

There is a relatively formal service at St John’s at 9.30am, an informal service at St George’s at 10am and a very informal service at St Mark’s at 11am.

Please join us.

Picture by Dawn Hudson

The Irrepressible spirit alive in Church

This is you, Jesus. This is us. This is you and us together, the Body of Christ. You Jesus, here with us and in us, your church.

That is the sense I had today (Sunday, 2nd) back in the building for a service which was both different and yet irrepressibly the same, filled with the spirit of a group of people together turning to God, opening themselves up to God, and so letting God’s Holy Spirit in.

Jesus was recognised by his followers as the Christ, which means the anointed one, anointed with God’s Spirit. It flowed through him in his time on earth, spilling out of him and into others. That same Spirit meant that his death was not the end and it filled the early Christians; that same Holy Spirit hasn’t gone away. It/she/he, however you like to define the indefinable, means that we are not alone, that anything is possible.

We don’t understand everything, or even very much; we are in the dark a lot of the time; we grasp at and express our faith in different ways; we fall out; we are all shapes, sizes, personalities, backgrounds, traits, nationalities, skin shades, loves. We have strong feelings and opinions and aren’t always careful of each other. We don’t know what the future brings. But today, back in church I knew that we are the Body of Christ here on earth now, filled with that Spirit.

Jesus Christ, this is you, this is us. This is you and us together, the Body of Christ. You Jesus here with us and in us, your church.

Stella Wiseman

Pictured: Christ the Redeemer, picture by Mourad Saadi on Unsplash.

Churches reopen for services

Come on in! We are excited to announce that our churches will be open again for services this Sunday, after more than four months of being closed thanks to Covid-19.

There will be simple Communion services at each of the three churches from this Sunday: St John’s at 9.30am, St George’s at 10am and St Mark’s at 11am. We will also hold a service at noon on Wednesday at St Mark’s, replacing the old Friday service.

We are also going to continue to offer online services as we know that not everyone will feel able to come to the church buildings themselves. You can find our online services here.

If you are familiar with the services you will notice some differences, as Lesley Crawley explains: “We are absolutely delighted that we can return to the church buildings to worship together in person. However there will be changes to the services designed to reduce the risk of Covid-19.  For instance we cannot have any singing, we cannot sit close to each other and we cannot share the Communion cup of wine. We will, however, be able to receive the Communion bread. Please come along and be a part of our services if you are able to, everyone is welcome.”

We have installed hand sanitizers and put up notices to remind everyone about social distancing and where it is safe to sit. Everyone attending will be asked for contact details so that if someone tests positive for Covid-19 it will be possible to get in touch with others who attended church at the same time. Those coming to church are strongly advised to wear masks but this is not compulsory.

There will be services available online from 9am on Sunday. “Holding services online means that more people can access them,” says Lesley. “Some people may feel particularly vulnerable to Covid-19 and therefore not want to come to church, and there are also others who cannot come to church perhaps because of mobility issues or illness, or because of work or family commitments. We should have thought about online services long ago but Covid concentrated our minds rather and has enabled us to be creative and reach more people.”

We are also very aware that the Covid pandemic has accentuated the divide between those who have access to modern technology and those who do not. Many of those who are not online are also older and have been increasingly isolated during lockdown. The parish, along with other groups in Farnham, has been supporting those who are isolated and is looking at how to increase this support in the future.

Churches prepare to reopen

As you probably know, the government has announced that church services may resume from this weekend and we have been looking carefully at how this will be possible from the beginning of August which will give us enough time to prepare.

It is not, unfortunately, simply a case of throwing open the doors and welcoming everyone in, much as we would like to. There are all sorts of issues to deal with to ensure that we keep everyone safe.

This week further information has been released by the government, the national Church of England and the Diocese of Guildford to help us plan to reopen the churches for services. 

Our plan – subject to PCC approval – is to have a service in each of the three churches on a Sunday and a mid-week service at St Mark’s from the beginning of August.

Because of the dangers of Covid-19 infection, the services will follow a simple format with no singing but with musicians playing instruments. We will not be able to share the Peace but we will be able to take Communion, though in one kind only. The Bread may be distributed in wafer form by the priest (who will have taken all the necessary hygiene precautions) but we cannot share the Wine. Everyone coming forward to receive Communion or a blessing will be guided on where to walk and stand in order to minimise the danger of passing anything on.

Everyone will have to observe strict social distancing measures – though you can sit in your household groups of course – and hygiene regulations, but we have installed hand sanitisers already and have been working hard to ensure that it will all be as safe as possible.

We are also going to continue worship online so anyone who can’t come to church on Sundays or feels unsafe doing so can still join in the worship.

We’ll keep you updated.


Sunday Worship – 28th June

Below are the services, and three sermons.  I have updated the Children’s page with Michelle’s talk and activity. First here are the notices:

Notices

Private Prayer

Our churches are open for private prayer – to see times click here, to help supervise the churches email Lesley.

Giving

Please Give to our Ministry

This church relies on donations to provide care and support to everyone in this community. Now more than ever, please consider giving generously to support our mission and ministry by clicking the button above. Thank you for your support.

Flower Festival

Here it is in case you missed it!

Services

All-Age:

Click the top one if you can view it:

Otherwise use this one but it doesn’t have Stormzy’s video:

More Traditional:

Sermons

Lesley’s Sermon:

John Innes’s Friday Service Sermon

Bishop Jo’s Sermon

A Gallery of Flowers

Thank you again to all the contributors to our Celebration of Summer Flowers.

To enjoy the flower festival in all its glory, watch the video here.

Then scroll through the pictures and videos below at your leisure.

Individuals

With thanks to the many individuals who sent in pictures and videos.

The Kay family.
Flowers photographed by Lesley and Bob Shatwell during their lockdown walks.
Anne Boyman’s Welly Wander
Dario Alexander
Maurice Emberson
Jackie Hyne

Faith Groups

Ahmadiya Muslim Women’s Association, Aldershot

‘Love for all, hatred for none’ https://ahmadiyya.uk/


Farnham Baha’is

Wild flowers from Farnham. www.bahai.org.uk/


St Andrew’s Church, Farnham

https://standrewsfarnham.org/


St George’s Church, Badshot Lea

With thanks to Maxine Everitt and her armoured friend


St Thomas-on-The Bourne

https://thebourne.org.uk/


Places of learning

Barfield School

Aurelia Barnes, age 7, Barfield School. https://www.barfieldschool.com/


Farnham Heath End School

http://www.fhes.org.uk/


Post19

Post19 is a leading Life Skills and Support Centre for young adults with learning difficulties. It is based in Farnham and supports young adults throughout Surrey and Hampshire. https://www.post19.com/


William Cobbett Primary School

William Cobbett Lion Care Bubble’s Flower Festival Entry! 12 children aged 7-10 years have worked together whilst social distancing to create this flower poster

www.william-cobbett.surrey.sch.uk


Art

We asked people to send in their artistic entries too and have been bowled over by the talent.

Nick Seversway

Nick Seversway is an art restorer and is also a key person in researching the history of the Kitty Milroy paintings in St Mark’s Church. www.picture-restorer.com/

Penny Fleet

Penny Fleet is a professional mixed media and collage artist specialising in nature, seasonal and wildflowers, birds and wildlife. You can buy her work via her website: www.pennyfleet.co.uk/

Rich Shenton

Rich Shenton is an artist and writer whose work includes portrait, still life, the natural world – particularly seascapes – and cartoons of Boz the cat and his friends. www.facebook.com/RichardWShenton/

Samantha McKay

Susan Everitt

Susie Lidstone

Susie Lidstone is a professional watercolour artist living and working in the parish of Badshot Lea and Hale. She specialises in flowers and buildings and has painted many scenes of Farnham. Her designs are available as cards, notebooks, zip pouches, pocket mirrors, tea towels, cushions, ties, scarves, face masks, calendars, even deck chairs, as well as limited edition prints and the paintings themselves. She also takes commissions. Prices range from £2-£700. http://susielidstone.com/


Organisations

Thank you to local organisations who have shared their work with us.

Badshot Lea Bloomers

Making Badshot Lea beautiful with blooms (and hard work).


Farnham Town Council

www.farnham.gov.uk


Hale Opportunities

The Opportunities Community Project started in Hale with the aim of helping and supporting lone parents locally to build a brighter future for themselves and their families. The project is funded by the Hazelhurst Trust.

Following the success of the project in the Hale area it has been extended to Ash, Farnborough, Wrecclesham and Godalming.

The project offers free classes in IT training, either to learn or update skills to an employability level, then to support students in looking for work. There is free childcare. Opportunities also offers friendship, support and leads to a new future. www.opportunitiesproject.org


Girlz Club

Girlz Club is run from Hale Community Centre and exists to help local girls have fun, learn skills and build self-esteem. www.halecommunitycentre.org.uk/


Hale Community Centre

Formerly The Bungalow, Hale Community Centre is a community resource which provides a range of services, activities and meeting spaces for people of all ages. Its aim is to provide recreational, learning, business and social activities, which are accessible and affordable. www.halecommunitycentre.org.uk/


The Hale History Project

The Hale History Project is a voluntary project which has developed from the great interest and enthusiasm in the history of their locality emanating from the residents and ex-residents of Hale, Upper Hale, and other nearby hamlets and villages. Outside lockdown it holds monthly coffee mornings with exhibitions and archives. It also takes an interest in current events in the local area. www.halehistoryproject.co.uk


Family Voice Surrey

Family Voice Surrey champions the needs and rights of SEND families in Surrey: families with children or young adults up to the age of 25 who have special educational needs, chronic illnesses, including mental health conditions, or disabilities. www.familyvoicesurrey.org


Therapies Through Nature – Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice

Therapies Through Nature offers patients and carers at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice simple gardening sessions. Table-top workshops enable participants to create flower baskets, planters and herb gardens, for example, which can then be taken home or given as a gift to a loved one.

Research has shown that gardening, or even simply spending time surrounded by nature, can help patients feel less stressed and improve their wellbeing. The sessions also give patients the opportunity to join in with an activity which they used to enjoy before they became ill. No experience of gardening is necessary to join this group, and patients can take part at any stage of their illness. These sessions are often referred to as Social and Therapeutic Horticulture. www.pth.org.uk/


Women’s Institute

In normal times, the Hale Women’s Institute meets on the second Wednesday of the month at 1.45pm in the Hale Institute. surrey.thewi.org.uk/find-wi/hale


Businesses

Farnham Mill Nursing Home

The idea was to create bright summer colours, and with the current situation of the Covid-19 virus, keyworkers and lockdown, the residents and staff used the rainbow as inspiration. Each heart was hand made by residents at Farnham Mill using tissue paper flowers; the sunflowers (which is a symbol used a lot at Farnham Mill) were made using yellow paper with sunflower seeds for the centres. www.farnhammillnursinghome.co.uk/


K & S Memorials

These pictures are of a rockery and St John the Evangelist memorial stone (aka the ‘Bonkers Stone’ in the garden of Wendy and Steve Edwards in Hale. For the story behind the pictures, see here. www.kempandstevens.co.uk/


Lavender Hill Flower Company

Lavender Hill is a bespoke flower company based in The Bourne, Farnham. www.lavenderhillcompany.co.uk


Mind Your Bonce Millinery

Based in the parish of Badshot Lea and Hale, Karen Geraghty of Mind Your Bonce specialises in handmade cloche hats, retro and modern cocktail hats, pillbox hats, and mini cocktail hats. This unique headwear is carefully handmade in England using traditional methods and high quality materials, frequently using outstanding vintage tweeds. www.instagram.com/mind_your_bonce_millinery


Nibbs Gin

A message from Nibbs Gin, based in Farnham: “The Nibbs team are delighted to be part of the Flower Festival. We have been busy out picking elderflower locally ready for this year. At the end of last year we launched our second gin, Surrey Hops, using traditional hops from Farnham. Through July and August we will be offering free delivery on everything through our on-line shop and a special offer on our 20cl bottles when you buy one of each. Please refer to our website www.nibbsspirits.co.uk


Squire’s

Squire’s Garden Centres is a family-run business set up in 1935 and still run by the same family. The centre in Badshot Lea is one of 16 and there is another at Frensham. squiresgardencentres.co.uk


Steph Lovell Flowers

Steph Lovell is a young, modern florist based in Camberley. https://stephlovellflowers.com/


This church relies on donations to provide care and support to everyone in this community. Now more than ever, please consider giving generously to support our mission and ministry. Thank you for your support:

Sunday Worship – 21st June

Happy Fathers’ Day

Hello and welcome. Below are the services, and three sermons.  First here are the notices:

Notices

Private Prayer

Our churches are open for private prayer – to see times click here, to help supervise the churches email Lesley.

Please Give to our Ministry

This church relies on donations to provide care and support to everyone in this community. Now more than ever, please consider giving generously to support our mission and ministry by clicking the button above. Thank you for your support.

I have updated the Children’s Page with some homeschooling resources for RE.

Happy Birthday

We have two birthdays to celebrate this week: Pamela – 21st June Carolyn – 23 June

Song for Farnham

The local churches have produced a Song for Farnham to lift our spirits during this pandemic:

Services

We now  have two Sunday morning services – an all-age one and a more traditional one:

All-Age:

More Traditional:

Sermons

Alan’s Sermon:

John Innes’s Friday Service Sermon

Bishop Andrew’s Sermon:

Churches reopen for private prayer

We are delighted to say that all three churches are open for private prayer on certain days.

The exact days and times that each is open are:

St John’s: Sunday 2-4pm and from July 12 all day.
Thursday all day

St George’s: Monday and Thursday, all day

St Mark’s: Tuesday and Saturday 10am-12pm

We have also installed hand sanitisers at the entrance and exit doors and everyone is asked to use these. The churches will then be shut for three days to help prevent the spread of the virus.

We are also able to hold funerals, weddings and baptisms in the churches, though numbers are limited.

Lesley commented: “We are so pleased to be able to welcome everyone back into the churches, although there are obvious time limits and other restrictions so that we can help protect people from COVID-19. Our churches are symbols of hope and stability in a troubled world and though we can pray anywhere, many of us find a sense of God and peace in church.

“Everyone is welcome to come in when we are open; people of any faith or none are free to come and enjoy the buildings.”

For further information contact the administrator, Stella, by email or by calling 07842761919.