Category Archives: St Mark’s Church

Loving Kindness – for when Mother’s Day is Complicated

Do you find Mothering Sunday tricky?

Mothering Sunday can be complicated for so many different reasons: perhaps you have lost your own mother, perhaps the relationship is broken, perhaps you feel you are hopeless at being a mother – there may be a hundred more reasons why Mothering Sunday is tricky.

Why not take some time and space to reflect, to sit quietly and know that God sees you as an individual, not “just a mother” or “just a child of a mother”.

On Sunday, March 27, at 9.30am at St Mark’s, Pamela Marsham will be leading a short, mindfulness based session to help you unwind and relax into God’s love for each and every one of us.

Monthly Craft Market

On the third Saturday of every month we hold a Craft Market at St Mark’s from 10am-2pm.

We invite local crafters to take part and we have a wide range of creative people there selling a huge array of gifts for yourself and others. There are jumpers, teddy bears, soaps and soap dishes, candles, cards, earrings, necklaces, hats and gloves, glass gifts, knitwear, pictures, pottery, sweets, notebooks, coasters, mugs to go on the coasters… and much more, with new stalls added regularly, and all of it sold to a background of live music and refreshments in the adjoining room.

If you would like to hire a stall, click here for a form, or call 07842761919 or email

Come and join us as a shopper or a seller, or just to enjoy the buzz and friendly atmosphere.

Dust and ashes

This Wednesday (March 2) is Ash Wednesday, the first day of Lent, the beginning of the season which leads up to Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

Ash Wednesday has its roots in the ancient Jewish tradition of penance and fasting and many Christians mark the day by going to church and having a mark of ashes placed on their foreheads. Here in the parish there will be a service of ashing at St Mark’s at noon, and at St John’s at 7.30pm.

We are being encouraged to make Ash Wednesday a time of prayer and fasting for Ukraine.

The ash is made by burning palm crosses, like the ones we use at the Palm Sunday services each year, and you can receive the mark with the words:

“Remember that you are dust, and to dust you shall return.
Turn away from sin and be faithful to Christ.”

It is a solemn reminder of our calling to follow Christ and be his body here on earth.

Picture by Ahna Ziegler. Unsplash.

Fancy some pancakes… and temptation…

As we head towards Lent we invite you to be tempted by some pancakes in our Pancakes and Temptation services on February 27 at St George’s, Badshot Lea, at 10am, and St Mark’s, Upper Hale, at 11am.

On the Sunday before Shrove Tuesday – the day before Lent – we like to make pancakes in church and think about the season ahead of us. It’s a sociable occasion but with a message. We celebrate with pancakes, but the Lenten season ahead of us is one when we reflect and prepare for Easter and the service will draw attention to this too.

This Lent we are looking at the theme of forgiveness. Further details are available here.

Picture by Monika Grabkowska on Unsplash.

St Mark’s is shortlisted for a Surrey Heritage Award

We are thrilled to announce that St Mark’s has been shortlisted in the 2022 Surrey Heritage Awards.

St Mark’s, which was given Grade II listed status by English Heritage in December 2021, was entered for the awards following the restoration of the ‘Kitty Milroy murals’, painted by local artist Eleanor Catherine  Wallace Milroy, known as Kitty, between 1911 and 1920.

The Surrey Heritage Awards were established by the Surrey Historic Buildings Trust to recognise ‘Best Practice’ in historic building conservation in Surrey, and the murals have played an important part in the conservation of St Mark’s, a Victorian church built by local people in the 1880s and still a vibrant part of community life. The murals are now recognised as being of both local and national importance, particularly as examples of the development of mural art and the recognition of women’s painting in the 20th century.

Making the announcement, Surrey Historic Buildings Trust described St Mark’s as: “A late-Victorian church … noted for its stunning wall murals painted by local artist Kitty Milroy, a graduate of the Slade School of Fine Art. These murals had deteriorated and faded after a century’s accumulation of dirt, so the local community rallied round to raise the funds for a major project to clean, repair and restore the murals to their former glory.”

Andy Smith, Director of Surrey Historic Buildings Trust, added: “The restoration of Kitty Milroy’s amazing murals at St Mark’s has been one of the most interesting projects the Surrey Historic Buildings Trust has been involved with in recent years, and I was delighted to hear that the project had been shortlisted for the Surrey Heritage Awards 2022. It was also wonderful to learn just a few weeks ago that the church had been given Grade II listed status. Hopefully this will generate greater interest in Kitty Milroy’s work, and in early-twentieth-century artwork of this kind.

“We are fortunate here in Surrey to have a number of churches with beautiful and intriguing wall paintings, including rare survivals from the medieval period, but the Milroy murals, dating from the period just before the First World War, are especially striking and thought-provoking. St Mark’s Church is very fortunate to have these extraordinary paintings and I hope more people will visit the church to view them.”

The murals were restored in 2021 by wall painting conservationists Stephen Rickerby and Lisa Shekede who described them as “stunning” and called Kitty a “major, but unrecognised, artist”.

Lesley Crawley said: “We are utterly delighted that St Mark’s has been shortlisted for an award. It is testament to the love and care that has been poured into the church over many years – from when it was built by the villagers in the 1880s; through the installation of the Edwardian organ, affectionately known as Emily; and the painting of the beautiful Kitty Milroy murals in the early 20th century; and right through to the present day with the restoration of those murals.

“There is not just local history here but a real sense of a warm community building, cherished and used by the village where it has stood for almost 140 years, and where people can come to seek God and find welcome.”

A team of judges will visit St Mark’s on March 3 and the results will be announced at an awards ceremony to be held on March 30 at Brooklands Museum in Weybridge.

St Mark’s is open on Sundays at 11am and Wednesdays at 12pm for services. It is also open on the third Saturday of the month for a craft market, 10am-2pm. The next one is February 19.

There are six buildings on the shortlist. In addition to St Mark’s, the buildings are: The Old Well Cottage, Peaslake; Mansion House Farm, Crowhurst; Naggs Stable, Loseley Park, Guildford; Colquhoun Chapel, Brookwood; and The Horton, Epsom.

Pictured top is the chancel at St Mark’s with the Kitty Milroy murals.

St Mark’s from the community orchard.

Love Your Church Sunday

Next Sunday, February 13, is Love Your Church Sunday.

It’s a day to celebrate all the great things about our churches and the people who make church what it is.

Please come along and hear from lots of people about the things that they do at church and why they love their church. The times of the services are:

9:30am St John’s, Hale.
10:00am St George’s, Badshot Lea.
11:00am St Mark’s, Upper Hale.

And here on the website and on Facebook.

Small photo by Kristina Paukshtite on Large photo by Nicola Fioravanti on Unsplash.

The Literary Festival comes to St Mark’s

St Mark’s is one of the venues in the inaugural Farnham Literary Festival which takes place between March 5 and 13, and there is lots to enjoy here.

We kick off on Saturday, March 5, at 3-5pm with a Build a World Workshop, run by fantasy writer Paul Eggleton which offers the chance to create your own fantasy world and populate it with characters in a creative writing workshop focusing on the fantasy genre. This will be available virtually by Zoom link as well. There will be a charge of £5 to include afternoon tea. Please email for details.

On the morning of Tuesday, March 8, we will be running a Writing Memories workshop in conjunction with Right at Home home care agency. This will be by invitation only but to find out more, email Stella Wiseman.

We have two events at the church on Thursday, March 10. From 2-4pm there will be an Introduction to crime novel writing workshop with crime writer Joy Kluver, author of the Detective Bernadette Noel books, the latest of which Left for Dead has just come out. Joy will teach us how to create the heroes and villains of crime fiction. The cost is just £5 and will include afternoon tea. Please contact Stella Wiseman for further details and to book.

Then at 7.30pm on March 10, Farnham Theatre Association will be at St Mark’s with A Tale of Two Theatres, a rehearsed reading by professional actors Abigail McKern, Chris Reeks, David Wylde and guests based on a book compiled by Anne Cooper of memories  by those who knew Farnham’s Castle and Redgrave Theatres. The cost will be £5 and are available here or on the door. Refreshments will be served.

On Saturday, March 12, at 5.30pm we have the awards ceremony for our poetry competition A Poem for Farnham. Poet Ellora Sutton (pictured left), judge of the adult competition, will be there to give a reading and present prizes. If you haven’t sent your poem in yet, it’s not too late to do so as we have just extended the closing date to Monday, February 28. It’s free to enter and you could win £25. For further details click here.

On Sunday, March 13, at 2.30pm, there will be the awards ceremony for the Farnham Fiction Award.

There is lots going on across Farnham in the Literary Festival and to find out more visit the festival website.

Poetry competition – deadline extended

You’ve now got until February 28 to write A Poem for Farnham and enter it into our poetry competition which is forming part of the inaugural Farnham Literary Festival.

Take part in the competition and you could win £25 and be invited to our poetry evening on Saturday, March 12 at St Mark’s Church.

There is a children’s competition, open to under-16s, and an adult one, and all you have to do is write a poem about Farnham – what it means to you, what you like or dislike, what the town feels like to you, its history, its people… anything you want to write which means Farnham to you. The winner in each category will be awarded £25 and two runners-up in each category will be awarded £10 each.

Then send it in to us to reach us by 5pm on Monday, February 28. Send your entries by email to or by post to Poetry Competition, St Mark’s Church and Community Centre, Alma Lane, Farnham, GU9 0LT.

There is no word limit, but entries should be typed, double-spaced.

The children’s poetry competition is being judged by poet Coral Rumble and the adult one by poet Ellora Sutton.

Coral Rumble is an award-winning poet specialising in writing and performing for children. She has had four poetry collections published, with Things that Should be in a Poem out soon. Her verse novel Little Light was published last year and she has also written picture books and for children’s TV. You can find her at and she tweets @RumbleCoral.

Ellora Sutton, she/her, is a queer poet, museum professional, and critic. Her work has been published in the Poetry Review, Interpreter’s House, Poetry Birmingham Literary Journal, fourteen poems and Poetry News, amongst others. She reviews poetry for Mslexia. She tweets @ellora_sutton, or you can find her at

To find out more about the Farnham Literary Festival at St Mark’s click here, and to find out more about events at other places, click here.

Your February magazine is here

The latest parish magazine is out now and inside you will find news, events, ideas, reflections, advertisements, pictures, contacts and more, to give you a snapshot of what is going on across our parish.

There’s lots of good news at the moment and lots to look forward to this year. Read on and find out more… And don’t forget to enter our poetry competition – write a Poem for Farnham and you could win £25!

You can download the magazine here:

Come to the craft market!

Come to our craft market on Saturday, February 19, 10am-2pm at St Mark’s, Alma Lane, GU9 0LT, and buy lovely gifts and treats while supporting local businesses and individual crafters. There will be glass, sweets, hand and face creams, knitting, soaps, cards, pottery, candles and many other gifts, made by skilled local craftspeople. Along side this there will be live music and refreshments, plus a chance to see the Kitty Milroy murals.

And if you are a crafter, why not have a stall? Contact or 07842761919.