Category Archives: St Mark’s Church

Your December/January magazine is here

It’s Advent and time for the latest magazine from the parish, full of Advent, Christmas and New Year events.

There are services – of course – a Christmas community market complete with Hale’s Angels, Father Christmas and a Christmas Tree Festival, carol concerts, not one but two Christingles, A Journey to Bethlehem, a panto, Messy Church… plus news, opinions and ideas. Download it now!

Christmas services in the Parish

As well as our carol services, a Christingle and our Journey to Bethlehem this month, we have special Christmas services on Christmas Eve at all three churches and you can also see in Christmas with Midnight Mass at St John’s and St George’s.

The Christmas Eve services are ideal for all the family, and we even have a special service for toddlers at St George’s.

There are four ‘Crib Services’ where the Christmas story is retold with angels, shepherds, Kings, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus. Children are encouraged to dress as any members of the story.

The services are:

3pm: Toddler Crib Service at St George’s
3pm: Crib Service at St John’s
5.30pm: Crib Service at St George’s
5.30pm: Crib Service at St Mark’s

Then see in Christmas at Midnight Mass:
11.30pm at St George’s
11.30pm at St John’s

We wish you all a blessed Christmas.

Come and sing carols!

Advent is upon us, Christmas is coming! As we approach the celebration of the birth of Jesus, God on earth with us in human form, the parish is holding a number of carol services so there is plenty of opportunity to sing favourite carols at your nearest church.

First we start with Carols by Candlelight, a lovely service of traditional carols and readings with the church lit by candles.

These will be at 6pm on the following dates:
Sunday 5th St George’s
Friday 10th  St Mark’s
Sunday 12th St John’s

Then join us under the stars for Carols by Starlight in the grounds of each church at 6.30pm on the following dates:

Wednesday 15th St George’s
Thursday 16th St John’s
Tuesday 21st St Mark’s

Please join us and sing of the joy and light of the world.

Come with us on a Journey to Bethlehem

Once again we are going on a ‘Journey to Bethlehem’ this Christmas.

A Journey to Bethlehem is a short re-enactment of the journey Mary and Joseph took to Bethlehem on the first Christmas, complete with angels, shepherds and kings.

At 6.30pm on Wednesday, December 8, two groups of adults and children will meet at St Mark’s and St George’s, and make their way to St John’s. Among the groups will be shepherds, angels, kings, donkeys, Mary, Joseph and Baby Jesus, and on the way they will meet more members of the traditional Nativity cast, including an innkeeper with no room at the inn, and a star to guide them.

Everyone is invited to join them on the route and to join in the carol singing as they go.

The two groups will converge on St John’s for a short service, followed by refreshments.

Lesley Crawley said: “This will be a lovely reminder of the Christmas story for children and adults alike. Come and join us as we remember the journey that Mary and Joseph had to make, and Jesus’s humble birth when God came to earth in human form. Another name for Jesus is ‘Emmanuel’ which means ‘God with us’ and that is just what this Christmas story is all about.”

Everyone is invited to arrive at either St Mark’s or St George’s at 6.30pm, ready to journey to St John’s. Children are particularly encouraged to wear nativity costumes with suitable footwear for winter weather. There will be marshals but please also bring torches to light the way.

Make a Christingle with us

Come to St Mark’s on Sunday, December 5, at 11am and make a Christingle.

Christingles are a tradition whereby the story of God’s love for the world, shown in Jesus Christ, is told using an orange, a candle, a red ribbon and dried fruits and/or sweets.

Each element of a Christingle has a special meaning:

·  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;

·  The lit candle represents Jesus’s light in the world.

The word Christingle comes from the German word ‘Christkindl’, meaning ‘Little Christ Child’.

The service has its origin in the Moravian church in the 18th century. The Children’s Society has explored the origins of the Christingle service and its website states: “At a children’s service in Marienborn in 1747, Bishop Johannes de Watteville looked for a simple way to explain the happiness that had come to people through Jesus, and created a symbol — the Christingle — to do this”.

Christingle services are also a way of raising money and awareness for the Children’s Society which works to support vulnerable children across the  UK. You can find out more here: www.childrenssociety.org.uk/

Christmas shopping at the Craft Market

Don’t forget the craft market at St Mark’s this Saturday (20th), 10am-2pm. Loads of gorgeous gifts for sale – from cards to calendars, jams to jumpers, glass to gems, bunting to bunnies (knitted of course) – plus refreshments and live music. And don’t forget your chance to see the Kitty Milroy murals!

Get you Christmas shopping done here and support local creatives.

101 years on – a birthday party to remember

A birthday party and a long-awaited celebration took part at St Mark’s Church on Sunday, 7th November – 101 years late!

Nick Seversway, a picture restorer who has led the work to bring about the restoration of the murals, writes:

“In 1920 Kitty Milroy completed her nine-year task of beautifying the walls of the chancel with her mural scheme depicting the Annunciation, The Benedicite and the joys of music (Psalm 150). The completion of her work seems to have passed without much fanfare at the time and Kitty Milroy’s achievement went largely unnoticed by the wider world. With the murals now conserved by Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede and new lighting fitted thanks to the generosity of Farnham Public Art Trust (FPAT) they now look resplendent.

“Kitty was born on 8th November, 1885 and died on the 8th November 1966. St Mark’s now plans to hold a celebration service and evening event each year on the Sunday closest to this date in the forthcoming years.

“So, on this inaugural, day the Bishop of Dorking, Rt Rev’d Jo Bailey Wells, with assistance from Rev’d Lesley Crawley, led the celebrations with a morning service in the presence of the conservators and many who had been a part of the fundraising effort and those taking it forward.

“There was a rendition of Psalm 136 building to a stirring crescendo – the refrain being part of the wall design. The service weaved together the themes depicted in the murals with musical interludes provided by a group of musicians known as ‘The Mural Medlars’. 

“The Bishop gave a poignant sermon on the topic of restoration, saying: ‘Creation is a glorious feat for sure….’ but ‘The work of those in restoration is less glorious on the face of it because they spend their time in the dust, picking up broken things and mending them. On the face of it, many would see it as less creative, though I’d disagree vehemently – their work is utterly creative , re-creative, improvising from what has gone before. And through that painstaking work of mending broken thigs, they make possible a future that may be even bigger than the past’.

“The Bishop’s  words struck a real chord with me, a picture restorer, and with the conservators themselves who were visibly moved.  The Bishop went on to conclude: ‘Jesus Christ is all about mending broken things, and this includes you and me’.

“The Birthday and anniversary of Kitty Milroy was celebrated fully under the artwork she had created.  Somehow you feel she would have been rather pleased.”

Pictured below: scenes from the murals.

Pictured top from left: Frances Whewell, Lisa Shekede, Bob Shatwell, Jo Bailey Wells, Nick Seversway and Stephen Rickerby.

Kitty in later years

Good Mental Health

The pandemic has hit us badly in so many ways and our mental health is one of them. Brewing Friendships has been set up particularly to help people who may be feeling isolated, and tomorrow’s talk about Good Mental Health is designed to give us tools to support out mental health.

Do join us at St Mark’s at 10am for chat and refreshments followed by a talk by Tony Bennett, CRO of Woking Mind.

Remembrance Sunday

Remembrance Sunday is on November 14th this year and there will be services at each of the churches in the Parish – 9.30am at St John’s, 10am at St George’s and 11.10am at St Mark’s. There will also be an Act of Remembrance at the War Memorial in Badshot Lea following the St George’s service. Anyone wishing to attend that who has not been at the service is asked to arrive for around 10.50am.

The St Mark’s service will follow the Act of Remembrance at the Hale War Memorial at 10.45am, where there will be a two-minute silence at 11am. This will be attended by Farnham Brass Band, the Scouts and Upper Hale councillor Cllr Pat Evans, and Cllr Evans and the Scouts will then continue on to St Mark’s for a service.

Lesley Crawley will also lead an Act of Remembrance at Weybourne Village Hall at 4pm.

A Kitty Birthday Celebration

Come and celebrate the Kitty Milroy murals and Kitty herself at St Mark’s on November 7th at a special communion service at 11am, with the Bishop of Dorking and the mural restorers Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede, and a concert and talk at 7pm.

The now-famous murals were restored earlier this year and new lighting has been installed so that they can be seen in their full glory. They are now recognised as being of national importance and a jewel in Surrey’s crown. So, on the day before the anniversary of Kitty’s birth in 1885 and, coincidentally, her death in 1966, we want to invite everyone to St Mark’s for a celebration.

The morning celebration will be a communion service at which the Rt Rev’d Jo Bailey Wells, Bishop of Dorking, will preach, and there will be a chance to hear from Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede who spent 10 weeks painstakingly restoring the murals between April and June this year. In the evening there will be music, talks on the murals and Kitty, along with refreshments and, of course, the chance to see the murals.

Everyone is welcome at both the service and the evening celebration and there will be no charge, but to keep numbers manageable, particularly in the face of Covid, the evening event will be by ticket only. To book your tickets, click here.

The murals were painted between 1911 and 1920 and depict the Annunciation – the meeting between Mary and the Angel Gabriel when Mary is told she will be the mother of Jesus – as well as scenes from the Benedicite, an ancient hymn of praise to God about the wonders of the natural world, and local views. There are figures depicting the natural elements and seasons, and the models for these figures are known to be local people. The whole is a stunning creation by a hugely talented artist and the murals and Kitty herself are finally being given the recognition they deserve.

Come and celebrate this amazingly talented artist and her work.