Category Archives: St Mark’s Church

What a Shindig!

Come to the Music and Art Shindig at St Mark’s, Hale, this Saturday (June 8) from 1.30pm to around 7.30pm.

The event is part of the Farnham Flash Festival 2019 and is open to all.  There will be a wide selection of music all day, starting with a more classical orientation with piano and a trio singing a selection of light music, and ending with a rock and blues jam session in the evening.

There is a very special choir coming – Kindred Spirits, which is a forum for people with breast cancer to come together for support and friendship. They will be singing a fantastic set and then there will be South American guitar, instrumental electric guitar, electric blues and a peformance of folk roots music by Cajun Boogaloo.

It all takes place at St Mark’s, Alma Lane, GU9 0LT. Doors open at 1.15pm; cash bar and café in the afternoon; barbecue at 5.30pm. The Amazing Mr McDonut will provide uproarious entertainment at 5pm.

Entry is free so you can come and go as you please, and the layout is informal, café-style.

There will be the opportunity to make donations to the charity Mary’s Meals (marysmeals.org.uk) which works in 18 countries across Africa, Asia, Latin America, Eastern Europe and the Caribbean to provide meals for school children who would otherwise go hungry.

Christian Aid games afternoon cancelled

Unfortunately the Christian Aid games afternoon at St Mark’s, Hale, tomorrow (Thursday) has had to be cancelled. Our apologies.
However, there is still loads you can do to help Christian Aid which this year is focusing on providing maternity healthcare in Sierra Leone, the world’s most dangerous place to become a mother – every day 10 women die from giving birth. Christian Aid is helping support maternity healthcare in the country to reduce the numbers of women dying in childbirth.
Visit http://www.christianaid.org.uk to find out more.

Favourite jazz for two of Farnham’s favourites: Jean and Ted Parratt

 

St Mark’s Church, Hale, was packed earlier this month for an evening of jazz music and memories of two of Farnham’s best-known residents – the late Jean and Ted Parratt.

Jean and Ted’s daughter Wendy Edwards put on Caravan Jazz in memory of her parents and the music which they would listen to in the early years of her life when the family was living in a series of caravans in Lincolnshire.

Wendy was joined by Teddy’s Café Bar Jazzmen and vocalists Melissa Heathcote and Mike Twiddy to sing songs by jazz greats including Django Reinhardt, Gershwin, Glenn Miller, and Rodgers and Hart. In between, she showed pictures of her family and talked about the early years of her life between 1956 and 1962. Ted was away during the week on his National Service, so Jean was often alone caring for the three children in a small caravan in Lincolnshire.  Weekends were precious when Ted came home and played jazz on his guitar. These were what Jean later described as the ‘hungry years’ when there was little money and she often made potato soup with very few potatoes, but she also recalled them as among the happiest years in their lives.

The large audience was grouped around café-style tables, with refreshments, while they listened to the music which Jean and Ted had loved, and looked at family photos projected onto a screen.

Afterwards Wendy Edwards said: “A huge thank-you to everyone who helped in any way to make Caravan Jazz the great success it was. I thoroughly enjoyed singing with the talented Teddy’s Café Bar Jazzmen and vocalists Melissa Heathcote and Mike Twiddy.  I could not have managed this event without the help of so many people who willingly gave their time, talents and money. Many thanks to you all.”

The event raised £900 for the Kitty Milroy Murals appeal to restore and protect a series of important murals painted a century ago.

Frances Whewell

 

Bluebird caravan 1957

 

Top: Jean and Ted Parratt in a field in 1956;
Above: The Bluebird Caravan in which the family lived in 1957 at Mere Road Caravan Site, Waddington, Lincolnshire.

Saints, cadets and cake

St George’s and St Mark’s Churches are both holding celebrations this Sunday (April 28) in honour of the saints they are named after.

April 23 was St George’s Day and April 25 was St Mark’s Day so both churches are holding their patronal festivals that day.

At St Mark’s at 11am, the congregation will learn about the journey that St Mark made from being a young follower of Jesus (perhaps the young man who runs away naked at the end of the Gospel of Mark) to a mature disciple who, tradition has it, founded the church in Alexandria, Egypt, but with all too human problems on the way. After the service there will be cake in celebration of St Mark’s Day.

At St George’s there will be two services which remember England’s patron saint (who was probably born in what is now Turkey). The 10am service will be augmented by a parade by Farnham, Fleet & Aldershot Sea Cadets who meet just up the road from the church. As well as parading they will read the New Testament lesson. The celebrations will then continue at St George’s with Worship for All at 11.30am.

Come and join us at either church on Sunday.

 

Pictured above are Farnham, Fleet & Aldershot Sea Cadets.

Moon finds resting place in Hale

A Hale woman who was used as a model for one of the murals in St Mark’s Church has found her final resting place back in the village.

Joyce Helen Taman, née Eglington, whose ashes were interred in Hale Cemetery on April 5, was born in 1926, and was the model for the figure of Moon when one part of the murals was renovated and repainted in 1946.

Joyce was the youngest of three children and grew up in Vicarage Lane in Hale. She was educated at Hale School where she excelled at maths, and on leaving at the age of 14 was employed in the accounts department at Kinghams, a grocery distribution warehouse in Farnham’s West Street. She married Alexander Mitchell, a member of the military police based at the prisoner-of-war camp in Crookham village whom she met at a dance.

It is not clear how she was chosen to be the model for Moon, but she was always very proud of what she jokingly called her ‘muriel’. By the 1940s, some of the murals which had been painted by Kitty Milroy between 1911 and 1920 required renovation. A fundraising appeal was launched after Easter 1946 and among the fundraisers was the well-known soprano Joan Coxon who put on a concert which raised more than £13, around £500 in today’s money.

The paintings which needed restoring were to the left of the altar where damp had affected them and local painter Evelyn Caesar carried out the restoration, choosing Joyce to sit for Moon. Next to Moon is ‘Clouds’, a male figure, and his identity is still a mystery, as are the identities of many of the figures whom Kitty Milroy painted.

Moon was identified by two of Joyce’s daughters, Jeannette and Wendy-Rae, who came into the church last year while on a nostalgic trip around the area where they grew up. Joyce and Alexander (Alec) settled in Folly Lane North and brought up four children who attended St Mark’s and two even sang in the choir, beneath the picture of their mother.

In later life Joyce remarried and moved to the Midlands and in January this year died in Bournedale House care home in Birmingham at the age of 92. The family and friends returned to St Mark’s this month to celebrate Joyce’s life and her ashes were interred in the cemetery close to others in her family. At the service to celebrate her life, her son-in-law Roger stood beneath the picture of Joyce as Moon and played Blue Moon on his saxophone, a fitting tribute to a much-loved Hale lady.

If anyone has any information on who ‘Clouds’ might be, or any of the other figures in the murals please let us know. You can contact us here or email news@badshotleaandhale.org

Pictured top is Joyce Eglington on her 21st birthday, shortly after she was the model for Moon.

 

Moon

Moon, modelled by Joyce Eglington.

Clouds

Who is Clouds?

Vigils, solemn services and the message of Easter hope

The week before Easter is known as Holy Week and will be marked with meditations, vigils and solemn services in the parish.

There will be a series of meditations for Holy Week at St John’s on Monday to Wednesday, April 15-17, at 7.30pm. On April 18, a day known in the Christian calendar as Maundy Thursday, there will be services at 7.30pm both at St John’s and at St George’s, with Holy Communion and a vigil, and the altar will be stripped of all coverings. At St John’s there will also be a ceremony of foot-washing as a reminder of the act of Jesus washing his disciples’ feet at the meal he shared with them on the night before he died.

Lesley Crawley explained why the churches are doing this: “Maundy Thursday derives its name from a Latin word ‘mandatum’ which means command. Jesus was executed at the time of the Jewish Passover celebrations and he and his disciples shared a meal together at which he washed their feet in an act of humility and service. It is reported in the Bible that he told his disciples: ‘I give you a new commandment, that you love one another. Just as I have loved you, you also should love one another.’ (The Gospel of John, chapter 13, verse 34).”

The following day is known as ‘Good Friday’ and commemorates the day that Jesus was executed by being nailed to a cross. There will be several services in the parish, starting with a silent vigil at St John’s Church at 8.30am and a service at 9.30am, while at St George’s there will be a Good Friday service at 2-3pm, with 3pm marking the time when it is traditionally thought that Jesus died. At St Mark’s in Upper Hale, there will be Easter activities for children ages five to 11 from 9.30am, followed by a service at 11am and hot cross buns (to book a place on the Easter activities, contact Hannah Moore on 01252 659267 or revd.hannah@badshotleaandhale.org).

Lesley continued: “Good Friday commemorates the darkness of Jesus’ death, but on Easter Sunday we celebrate the joy of his resurrection. Death could not hold him and in rising from the dead he showed that the God of love is stronger than anything that the world can throw at us.”

On Easter Sunday there will be services at St John’s at 9.30am, St George’s at 10am and 11.30am, and at St Mark’s at 11am. Both the 11.30am service at St George’s and the 11am service at St Mark’s will include an Easter egg hunt.

Lesley added: “Everyone is welcome at any or all of our services. Do come and explore with us the message of hope that Easter offers to us all.”

 

Follow the donkey to church

There will be donkeys at church this coming Sunday (April 14) in celebration of Palm Sunday.

Palm Sunday recalls the Biblical account of Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey, with crowds placing palms in front of him and greeting him as a king. Churches around the world will mark the date, and at St Mark’s, Hale, at 11am, and St George’s, Badshot Lea, at 11.30am, the congregations will be joined by donkeys, courtesy of Folly Oak Donkeys.

Rev’d Lesley Crawley said: “When we recall that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey it reminds us that he is a king who comes in peace, not as a conquering warrior. Having a donkey at a service also brings the story alive, especially for children who always crowd round to give the donkey a stroke. Please do come and join us. And we are really grateful to John and Rosemary Porter and all at Folly Oak Donkeys for bringing the donkeys to us.”

 

Pictured: Meet the Donkey. Picture by Daniel Fazio. Unsplash

Caravan, The Hungry Years and all that jazz

An evening of jazz in memory of Farnham journalists Jean and Ted Parratt

There will be an evening of jazz at St Mark’s Church, Hale, on Saturday, May 4 in memory of Jean and Ted Parratt, local journalists and parents of Wendy Edwards, a licensed lay reader in the parish.

‘Caravan Jazz on a May Evening’, which will begin at 7.30pm, will feature songs by Django Reinhardt, Nat ‘King’ Cole, Ella Fitzgerald, Glenn Miller and others, and will recall the time that Ted and Jean and their young children would enjoy jazz songs in the caravan which was their home in Lincolnshire. Ted drew the picture of their first caravan – reproduced above – just before Wendy’s birth.

From her birth in October 1957 to the age of four, Wendy and her brother and sister, Mark and Debbie, lived with Jean and Ted in various sized caravans as the family grew.

By day, Ted was doing his National Service in the RAF, but in the evenings back in the caravan with Jean and the children, he played jazz on his guitar, sometimes accompanied by his best friend, Terry Blackwell. On other nights, Jean’s walnut-cased radiogram would be tuned in, often to a jazz station.

Wendy has been researching her parents’ early life and recalls that her mother: “cared wonderfully well for us through the changing seasons, making potato soup with very few potatoes (we were very challenged financially) but always ensuring we were well fed and well loved. My mother enjoyed the jazz too in the evenings and ‘made do and mended’ the family’s clothes, while jazz melodies and rhythms lullabied us children to sleep.”

Jean and Ted worked for many years as journalists and photographers on first the Surrey & Hants News and then The Farnham Diary, with Ted also working for the Farnham Herald, and Jean busy writing local history books and giving talks, particularly inspiring many young people to discover more about the past. Jean died in 2016 and Ted in 2018.

On May 4, as well as the jazz, Wendy will share some of her knowledge and photographs of the early years. She says: “My mother called that time The Hungry Years, but they both believed these were the happiest in their 60-year-long marriage.”

Joining Wendy on the evening will be Frances Whewell on keyboard and Teddy’s Café Bar Jazzmen and other talented vocalists.  A light supper is included but bring your own drinks.

Admission is free but all donations are welcome for the Kitty Milroy Murals Fund at St. Mark’s Church. However, Wendy adds: “If, like Jean and Ted in The Hungry Years, you cannot afford to donate anything, please do join us anyway as all are very welcome indeed!”

To book your place, call Wendy Edwards on 07740 082460.

 

Repent and flourish

A couple of Sundays ago, Lesley Shatwell preached at St Mark’s on repentance and what it means.

The  Gospel reading that day was from Luke, chapter 13, v 1-9. You can read the whole extract here but, basically, Jesus says: “unless you repent, you will all perish”. He then told the parable of the barren fig tree which was given a reprieve.

This is what Lesley had to say about this uncompromising message:

When I first read the reading, I couldn’t quite make sense of what was happening.  I had to read through a few times.  It starts when Jesus has been told about an atrocity which Pilate has committed.  He slaughtered some Jews when they were offering sacrifices to God.  My goodness, that has strong resonance for us today doesn’t it?  Muslims being gunned down when they were at prayer in New Zealand.  Perhaps Jesus overheard people trying to make their own kind of sense to a barbaric act because he tells us that those who died were no more sinners than anyone else.  They weren’t slaughtered because of their sin.

But then there’s his comment, “unless you repent, you will all perish as they did”.  That’s worrying, it doesn’t seem to make sense does it?  And it’s frightening.  On the one hand, people died in a horrible atrocity and they no more deserved it than anyone else does.  They were just in the wrong place at the wrong time.  But on the other hand, that could be our fate unless we repent.  Can repentance really ensure that we will avoid perishing, even in random acts of terror?

Same goes for the disaster when the tower of Siloam collapsed and killed 18 people.  A “natural” disaster, no one’s deliberate fault.  And “unless you repent, you will all perish as they did”.  Those people who died weren’t extra wicked sinners, they were just like you and me.  Oh Jesus, help me, I don’t even know how to repent?  What is repentance?

OK, time out!  Let’s press the pause button before we all disappear into the fiery furnaces of hell.

What does “perish” mean?  That’s straightforward at least, isn’t it?  It means “die”.  We are human, we do all die eventually.  We don’t know when, but it comes to all of us.  Some might have an untimely death, some may slip away peacefully after a long and happy life.  So I don’t think Jesus is saying, “repent and you will have a human life here on earth for ever”.  There’s something else going on.  Hum.  One of the reasons why people were flocking to be baptised by John the Baptist was because they thought the end of the world was imminent.  And tomorrow could be the last day.  It tends to focus the mind: better get ready quick before it’s too late.

But equally, who knows exactly what Jesus meant?  He might have been talking about perishing to this world so that we might rise to glory in the next.  I’m afraid you will have to consider that for yourselves because we could be here till Christmas with this sermon if I start tackling the idea of everlasting life with God in heaven.

Right, I’m ready to press the “play” button again.  Repent!  Repent!  Yes all right!

Repent or else fire and brimstone, perishing in eternal hell.  Yes, but how?

What is repentance?

Repentance is the translation of the Greek word “metanoia”, which means “a change of mind”.

Oh, so it’s that easy?  I just have to change my mind?  It can’t be so hard – particularly if I will avoid eternal damnation.  But you have to mean it.

Change your mind and do something to show that you have truly changed your mind.

Change your mind and turn to Jesus – now there’s an invitation.  Yes, an invitation, not a threat.  Change your mind and turn to Jesus.

What if all those things which have been holding me back, all those things which stop me from being truly me, all those things which I am ashamed of in my life, which worry me, which upset me … what if all that rubbish in my life perished?

Now: imagine, for a moment, you are living a reasonably contented life.  Things are ok, you get by most days.  There are some good things, maybe a lot of bad things.  But generally you find life is worth living.  It’s like you are a tree, growing in a vineyard.  Some days it’s quite pleasant, the sun shines, the birds sing.  And nobody bothers you.  Nobody asks anything of you.  You are just a tree after all and there are plenty of trees around in the world aren’t there.  Yes, there are days when the storms come and you are buffeted by wind and rain, but nobody pays much attention to you.

And then, out of the blue one day, the owner of the vineyard comes by.  Where are the figs?

Figs?  Who said anything about figs?  I didn’t know I was meant to be giving you figs.  I’m just a tree, leave me alone.  Don’t chop me down, that’s not fair.  Look, give me a chance – now I know I could give you figs, I will, but I can’t make them overnight.  I will give you the figs, especially if I get help from the gardener.

It’s one view of the parable.  Do you see what Jesus is offering us?  Repentance.  It’s not a threat, it’s an opportunity, an invitation to try something in a different way.  Of course, it could be tough, even if it’s in your nature to produce fruit, you will have to put some effort in.

But, what is it about your life that you would change?  Do you have any regrets?  Any sadness?  Any cherished hopes?  Within each one of us there is potential.  The potential to bear good fruit.  But we need the right encouragement and we need to want to unlock the potential.  Within each one of us there is something, a gift, and it would be a huge loss if we let it perish.  Maybe you have found the gift, the potential within you, maybe you are still searching.  But we do have the gardener on our side.  Jesus is ready to give us all the love and nurture we need to flourish and bear good fruit.

Repent!  Turn to those true things which bring life in all its goodness.  But be kind to yourself, all things in their own time.  Gently does it, fruit takes a while to ripen.  And remember, Jesus, the gardener is always ready to nurture and care for you.

The motherliness of God

Sunday, March 31 is Mothering Sunday, and in our services that day we will celebrate mothers and others who care for us, with posies for everyone.

Mothering Sunday is thought to have begun in the 16th century when, on the fourth Sunday of Lent, people would return to their ‘mother church’ – that is, the local parish church or the church in which they had been baptised, or the nearest cathedral. The practice also began of allowing servants to return to their families on that day so seeing their mothers as well as their mother church.

Lesley Crawley comments: “On Mothering Sunday we celebrate mothers and those who care for us, remembering and praying for our own mothers. We also know that this day can be a difficult one for those who have lost their mothers, for those who have lost or cannot have children, and for those who have not had a good relationship with their mothers, and we offer them our support and prayers too.

“God is usually referred to as ‘father’ – in part a reflection of the time and patriarchal culture in which the Bible was written – but there are certainly references to the ‘motherliness’ of God in the Bible, such as this one in the Book of Isaiah: ‘As a mother comforts her child, so I will comfort you’. Christians believe in an all-loving God who loves us even more than a human mother could. Please do join us on March 31 at any of our services and celebrate and receive this love.”

Click here for some practical ideas from the Church of England for celebrating Mothering Sunday.

The altar frontal at Chelmsford Cathedral made by Creators (Cathedral School youth group). Picture by fourthandfifteen (www.flickr.com/photos/chelmsfordblue/)