Category Archives: St Mark’s Church

Safeguarding

Most people will be aware of the safeguarding problems that the national church has had.  To help address this, and to help ensure that children and vulnerable adults are kept safe the national church has created new safeguarding procedures, which the Diocese and the Parish have adopted.  The Parish is now in the process of implementing these new procedures.

As a result of this we will be:

  • Drawing up a list of all church activities, together with leaders and assistants.
  • Circulating a “know your safeguarding role” to all people working with children or vulnerable adults.
  • Asking all people working with children or vulnerable adults to sign the new confidential declaration form.
  • Implementing the “Safe Recruitment” procedures for people taking on new roles.
  • Creating risk assessments for all church activities.
  • Working with regular hall bookers to ensure that they have adequate safeguarding procedures and public liability insurance.

It will take us some time to do this, but we have no choice, both because this is best practice, and because we wish to ensure the safety of children and vulnerable adults using our services (in the wider sense) or our buildings.

Alan Crawley

Inclusive Church

The Parish is considering signing up to Inclusive Church, an organisation which encourages churches to look at who might not be coming into church because for some reason they feel it isn’t for them or they cannot do so. The reasons may be many and varied – perhaps it is an economic issue, culture, race, disability, a mental health issue, sexuality. Inclusive Church encourages churches think about these reasons and can help churches be truly welcoming.

Many churches and individuals have joined Inclusive Church and they are united around the following statement of belief:

“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.”

On July 23, the Very Rev’d Dianna Gwilliams, Dean of Guildford Cathedral and chair of Inclusive Church, visited St Mark’s and spoke about joining Inclusive Church and it was decided that during August the clergy will preach on different aspects of inclusion and then the PCC will vote on the parish joining.

Stella Wiseman

Arts and Music festival at St Mark’s 20 – 22nd Oct. 2017

Is this what they call divine inspiration, or is it just a form of madness? Anyway, I blame Dave Walker. It’s not as if we need things to occupy our time. However, the odd comment from Dave on how suitable St Mark’s would be for an art exhibition suddenly set wheels turning in Lesley’s and my fevered brains:-

“Let’s have an Arts and Music festival!”

After checking who would be available for such an event, we settled on Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd October.

We’re still working out the details. So far we’ve only had one meeting (actually over a rather convivial dinner) to discuss the general outline. However, it’s been quite encouraging how many people have been in favour of the concept and offered suggestions.

The main ideas to date are:-

Friday Night (probably 7 – 9:30 or 10-ish). A concert. We’re still sorting out the acts, but we’ll have a couple of pieces on Emily (the pipe organ), a rock band, a rock-a-billy/country band, a choral group and probably others. There will also be an artistic display, or displays, we’ll set up on the Friday afternoon.

Saturday daytime Various workshops of artistic and musical nature. We’ve had several possible offers, including stone cutting and a recording studio. We’ll definitely have various painting, singing and instrumental workshops. More details to follow.

Saturday evening (probably 7 – 10-ish) a Ceilidh. We’ll clear one side of the church for dancing and have tables in the other half. The idea is to have a mixture of dancing and other events, hopefully some stemming from the workshops that took place during the day. There will be quite an early finish, as we’ll have to get the church ready for the service the following morning. We’ll possibly have a bar, but it will be bring your own food, as this is an extra complication I’m not sure any of us could face!

Sunday morning This will be a service. Lesley (S) will lead it. As she is an LLM, it will be a service of the word, rather than a communion service. There’s going to be a lot of singing, of the “Amazing Grace”, and “Go tell it on the mountain” type of song/hymn.

By the end of this, we’ll probably be dead on our feet, but there’s been the suggestion of a bring and share lunch at St Mark’s. This would seem to be a fitting way to end up. (Just prop Lesley and myself up in a corner and carry on!)

General funding would be by asking for donations and having collection plates, rather than charging entry to events. We’d like to make it as accessible as possible. Any profits will go to the General Parish funds (they need all the help they can get) and the Emily restoration fund.

So watch this space, details to follow in as many ways we can think of to publicise the event. If you’ve any good ideas and/or would like to help, please contact us.

Bob and Lesley Shatwell

Singing Together

Last Thursday fifteen of us met at St. Marks church for a lovely evening singing together.

Frances had invited local renowned musician, Len Tyler, to meet us and encourage us all to sing even better than we do already!

Len is an expert in the Kodály method of singing. This encourages us to listen, think, and sing at the same time. Within an hour we, as a group, were all singing confidently in four parts. We all felt very pleased with ourselves.

Many of us feel we would like to meet again. Len is extremely busy so cannot join us, but I did a Kodály course as part of my teachers training many years ago, and I am very happy to revise it in order to lead a few sessions if everyone is happy about that.

I suggest we meet again on Thursday 18th May at St. Marks church at 6:15 until 7:30, to sing and socialise.

Len has said he would visit us again in a few months and it would be good to show him what we can do!

See you all soon and  keeeeeep singing!

Margaret 😃

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New store room at St Mark’s

You probably weren’t aware of the dungeon at St Mark’s. I wasn’t for quite a while, and, as warden, I’m supposed to know about these things. However, around the “Tesco” side of the building there was a mysterious red door, half hidden by vegetation. It was only about four feet high, so obviously built for goblins or other inhabitants of the netherworld. Or possibly to incarcerate manacled, recalcitrant members of the congregation in less tolerant times.old boiler room

However, there was a padlock on the door and when we eventually found the key, a rather grim looking cell emerged. A set of rotten wooden steps led down to an earth floor about four feet below ground level, but fortunately no skeletons or rotting corpses manifested themselves. The older members of the congregation informed me that this was the Old Boiler Room. Capital letters were definitely implicit in the phrase. (There could also have been an unspoken, “abandon faith all ye who enter therein”, but maybe that was my imagination.)

We’ve needed a place for the Brown Bin club to store lawn mowers, petrol and other garden implements for some time. Last time we had the diocesan representatives around, they complained about the storage of these items in the choir vestry. We moved them to a vestibule attached to the other vestry after that, but, whilst an improvement, this was hardly satisfactory. The smell of petrol pervading the vestry was regarded as a necessary evil until something better could be done. (Probably kept the moths down.)

So, now something better has been done. We had to remove they chimney from the Old Boiler Room, as it was about to fall down and, anyway, had a nice asbestos cowling. Adam the architect was called in, faculty notices approved and, In January, Marshels began construction to convert the evil pit into a new, useful storeroom.new store room

It’s now finished and I moved things in last week. We have a proper floor at the same level as the surround, a door we don’t have to crawl through and lots of storage space. (They’ve thoughtfully put a hatch in the new floor with steps leading down to the original level, so we could still use it as an oubliette if required in the future.)

I wonder if I’ll get nostalgic about the smell of petrol in the vestry….

Bob Shatwell

March 2017

Lest we Forget

“Lest we Forget” was one of the most moving and interesting events that I have ever been to. Jonathan Jones read poetry from the Great War, first from the perspective of the soldiers, and after the interval from the perspective of the women – wives, mothers and lovers left at home.

In between the poems Jonathan explained the context and I learned so much about such things as the origins of the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, the tradition of wearing poppies and the tomb of The Unknown Warrior in Westminster Abbey.

We really must never forget the horror of the Great War and I am so grateful to Jonathan for introducing me to poems and history that I was completely unaware of. My favourite poem was “The Road to La Bassée” – so very human and down to earth. I was also struck by the poem “Christ in Flanders” by Lucy Whitmell.

Kathy Robertson did us proud with her team providing authentic WWI refreshments and then Margaret Emberson lead us in singing some WWI songs. Oh and £200 was raised for the “Emily the Organ” appeal.

Lesley Crawley

Harvest Supper

A super evening was had by all on Friday at St.Mark’s Harvest Supper. A delicious hearty meal with yummy pudding was followed varied entertainment. Super music, skits and a new surprisingly bloodthirsty rendition of Cinderella. Some of the younger members of the congregation entertained us with their talented playing on guitar, piano, organ, ukele and singing.

The turn out was so huge this year that some people had to be turned away. Over 80 people were given a wonderful meal and a lovely evening. Here’s to next year and congratulations to all those involved with another successful event in the Parish.

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St Mark’s enjoys a fruitful Apple Day

On 9th October St Mark’s Church in Upper Hale, Farnham hosted its second Apple Day. Members of the community arrived with bags of apples to be juiced and enjoyed the food, drink and music on offer.

The Reverend Hannah Moore, the new curate in the parish, commented, “It was my first Apple Day and it was such a lovely community event, with people there aged 0 to 94, including three in wheelchairs; and over fifty people stayed for the Harvest service that followed on in the church.”

Lesley Shatwell, the Licenced Lay Minister continued, “The apples and pears were harvested from the community orchard and they were delicious, as were the tasty apple pancakes, accompanied by the sound of cheery musicians playing apple-related songs.”

John Ely, local resident and apple presser said “It was a pleasure to be invited to press apples into juice with so many young helpers and even better to see them enjoy drinking it!”

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