Category Archives: St Mark’s Church

How to record a church

St Mark’s Church is welcoming new visitors every month at the moment – a group of ‘recorders’ who can be seen walking around inside the church making careful notes and taking pictures in order to ‘record’ the church.

The idea is to record everything inside – the windows; memorials; ironwork; textiles; the Kitty Milroy murals and other decorations; ‘Emily’ the organ; the woodwork; stonework; and documents – and to produce a report which will essentially give a snapshot of the church in 2020.

The recorders are members of The Arts Society Farnham, and are led by Margaret Popovic and Alison Boydell. They chose the church after reading in the local press about the nationally important murals painted by Kitty Milroy a century ago, and about Emily the Edwardian organ who has just been restored.

“St Mark’s is a lovely, very individual community church with wonderful paintings,” said Alison. “It will take us several months to record it and then we want to move on to St John’s.”

For an online look at St Mark’s click here, then click on the ‘Google Sphere’ links on the page

Emily and NHOA – the perfect match

Emily, the St Mark’s Edwardian organ, will be up to her old tricks again on Saturday afternoon (January 25) when members of NHOA, the North Hampshire Organists’ Association, give an interactive demonstration of how an organ works and play some of their favourite pieces on her. As NHOA has proved on previous occasions, Emily is a perfect match for them.

NHOA is holding its AGM at St Mark’s at lunchtime and then will open the doors to the general public at 2pm for an organ concert and demonstration. Everyone is welcome, it will be quirky, fun and free.

Pictured above are members of NHOA showing just what goes on inside an organ.

Special atmosphere and Santa at SHIP party

Families from Sandy Hill met Santa Claus and showed off their dance moves at a party at St Mark’s on the Monday before Christmas (December 23).

The families, from the Sandy Hill Inclusive Partnership (SHIP), enjoyed a party which included table tennis, pool, art and craft, music and dance provided by the performing arts school Boogie Pumps, and, of course, a visit from Santa Claus who brought gifts for all the children and their parents too.

“It was a really special atmosphere,” said Francis from Boogie Pumps, who led the children in a dance session involving hoops, pom poms, baby sharks and a lot of energy and enthusiasm, while the general consensus among the families was that it was “awesome” and “we’ve been spoiled!”.

More than 100 presents were provided for the children following the annual Farnborough Business Park Christmas Gift Drive, collecting brand new toys, clothes, vouchers, make-up and jewellery for some young people. Members of St Mark’s, St John’s and St George’s churches had also donated enough presents for the SHIP adults to take home a bag of gifts each too.

A big thank-you to everyone who gave so generously, and to everyone who helped put on the party, including Waitrose who provided some of the food. It was great fun and a lovely start to Christmas. We are looking forward to other events with SHIP in the new year.

Celebrating on the way to Bethlehem

The villages of Badshot Lea, Hale and Weybourne were visited last Friday evening (December 20) by a host of angels, as well as a crowd of shepherds, sheep, kings, musicians, donkeys and a young couple in search of a place to rest and give birth to a baby.

They were all taking part in A Journey to Bethlehem, a re-enactment of the Christmas story in which two groups walked from St George’s and St Mark’s to St John’s, playing music and singing carols on the way. Along the two routes they met angels, shepherds, inn keepers and kings and followed a star – and two donkeys, kindly lent for the occasion by Folly Oak Donkeys – until they reached a stable constructed outside St John’s where baby Jesus was lying in a manger.

This was followed by a celebration in the church in which children recounted what they had seen on the journey and Cllr Alan Earwaker, Farnham’s Deputy Mayor, joined everyone in singing carols and playing the kazoo, before the evening ended with prayers, hot chocolate, mulled wine and mince pies.

“This was the first time we had tried A Journey to Bethlehem and what a wonderful celebration it was!” said Lesley Crawley. “It was lovely to see children and adults alike dressed up as some of the characters we read about in the Bible at Christmas, and to see everyone having such a joyful time. We are living in an age of division and anxiety and the story of God coming to earth in the form of a child, born into poverty in an occupied country, is one that can bring us hope and light. We wish everyone that hope and light this Christmas.”

Hangnail – a human issue

Many thanks again to the fantastic group of University for the Creative Arts students who were filming downstairs in the St Mark’s Community Centre earlier this month.

The film, Hangnail, examines that very human issue insecurity and deals with Toby (played by Julian Salmon), a man on a date whose anxiety and fear of failure take him over to the point when he literally tears himself apart. We caught up with Location Manager Izzie Gough after the end of the filming to ask her more about the production.

“George Lowe, who wrote and directed the film, saw it as a metaphor for the breakdown of a person,” she said. “It’s rather gross with all the special effects – fake blood etc – but it is a way to look at insecurity.”

The film is a ‘B Project’ – a five-minute film which UCA Film students create in their final year at the university, prior to producing a final graduation film. “The B Project films tend to be our passions because we can do more than one role and we have more freedom. They are also usually have smaller crews than the graduation films but this one had a lot of interest and the crew is large.”

As well as Izzie, Julian and George, Hangnail has been put together by Dylan Stevens (colour grader and extra); Stefan Gutierres-Yildirim (first assistant director); Josh Matthews (editor/continuity); Steve Adams (sound); Magdelana Rak (director of photography); Hannah Clayforth (first assistant camera); Katie Puddifoot (gaffer); Erin Morgan (grip); Olivia Loader (special effects); Callum Marshall (costume); Cristina Iorgulescu (prop/art department); Nicola Rhodes (production designer); Mariya Lilova (producer);

Izzie added: “Thank you for all your help and hospitality with the film. I know it’s a weird one and the content may have been questionable to the Church [no – it’s about humanity and our weaknesses, so right up our street!] –  it is great that the parish is open and accepting. I really think that your openness to our film and the set dressing made the difference between us being able to make a ‘student’ film and us being able to make a great one!”

It has been our pleasure (and the downstairs cloakroom looks better than it did before!). The film will be out next year and we look forward – with some trepidation because of the fake blood and guts! – to seeing it.

Pictured above: Julian Salmon being filmed by Magdelana Rak; Magdelana Rak (holding camera) and Hannah Clayforth; It’s not real blood, honest – Callum Marshall.

Christmas celebrations!

Christmas is really getting going here in Badshot Lea and Hale. There were not one, not two but three carol services at the weekend (with help from Badshot Lea Village Infant School and William Cobbett Primary School) as well as our Christmas Carol Extravaganza on Emily the organ plus lunch on Saturday; Post19 holding a Christmas concert at St John’s last week, and Tootsiesthere today.

Tonight there are carols at the Hale Institute at 6.30pm. We will welcome William Cobbett School and Farnham Heath End School to St John’s at the end of the week and of course there is the Worship for All Carol Service this Sunday at 11.30am at St George’s, are our Crib Services on Christmas Eve, Midnight Mass at each of the churches to see in Christmas and Christmas Day all-age services. Don’t forget Journey to Bethlehem on Friday, leaving St Mark’s and St George’s at 7pm and following the star and the donkeys all the way to St John’s. Dressing up as a Nativity character is optional but encouraged!

Tomorrow, if you need a time of quiet, or if celebrations leave you cold at the moment, we have The Longest Night at St John’s at 7.30pm. A service for those for whom Christmas hurts, or who just need a time of reflection.

All the details are here.

Have a blessed Christmas.

Pictured above and below are Christmas celebrations by Post19.

Post19 Christmas 2019 3

It’s Christmas!

This Christmas the three churches – St George’s, Badshot Lea; St John’s, Hale; and St Mark’s, Upper Hale – have a range of services and we sincerely hope that there will be something that will suit everyone:

St George’s

Sunday, December 15, 6pm.
Carols by Candlelight.

Friday, December 20, 7pm.
A Journey to Bethlehem.

Sunday, December 22, 11.30am.
Worship for All Carol Service.

Tuesday, December 24, 3pm.
Crib Service for Toddlers.

Tuesday, December 24, 5.30pm.
Crib Service for all ages.

Tuesday, December 24, 11pm.
Midnight Mass.

Wednesday, December 25, 10am.
All-age Christmas service.

St John’s

Sunday, December 15, 4pm.
Nine lessons and carols by Candlelight.

Wednesday, December 18, 7.30pm.
The Longest Night – when Christmas hurts.

Friday, December 20, 8pm.
A Journey to Bethlehem Service.

Tuesday, December 24, 3pm.
Crib Service (especially for children – come dressed as your favourite Nativity character).

Tuesday, December 24, 11pm.
Midnight Mass.

Wednesday, December 25, 9.30am.
All-age Christmas service.

St Mark’s

Friday, December 13, 7pm.
Informal carols by Candlelight.

Friday, December 20, 7pm.
A Journey to Bethlehem.
.
Tuesday, December 24, 5.30pm.
Crib Service (especially for children – come dressed as your favourite Nativity character).

Tuesday, December 24, 11.30pm.
Midnight Mass.

Wednesday, December 25, 11am.
All-age Christmas service.

 

Emily’s extravaganza

Emily the Edwardian organ will take centre stage in a ‘Christmas Carol Extravaganza’ concert at St Mark’s, Hale, on Saturday, December 14 at 11am, thanks to the generosity of many local people.

Carols as you have never heard them before will be played on this much-loved organ, which has been renovated following a fundraising appeal. Anyone who donated at least £10 to restore Emily has been invited to the concert which will be followed by a free lunch. However, some tickets are still available at the door – just come along at 11am on December 14 for a festive concert plus lunch.

Emily the organ is named after local benefactor Emily Mangles who left money for it to be installed in St Mark’s Church in 1912. Over the years the organ had begun to deteriorate and an appeal was launched to restore it. An initial £23,000 was raised for the restoration work but when this took place in the summer, some further problems emerged costing a further £2,000. An appeal was launched and many people responded generously.

Lesley Crawley says: “Thank you everyone who has given money to restore this lovely organ which means so much not just to the church but to local villagers past and present. And do come and join us to celebrate the restoration at our Christmas Carol Extravaganza on December 14. I know you are in for a treat as some very skilled organists show just how versatile and fun organ music can be.”

The Christmas Carol Extravaganza and lunch will take place at St Mark’s Church, Alma Lane, Hale, GU9 0LT, from 11am. Please bring donations to the church or you can also give online at https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/help-emily-the-organ

 

Celebrating Christingle

Advent has begun, and what better way to begin it at St Mark’s than with a Christingle service?

The idea of the Christingle – where the story of God’s love and care for the world is told through the symbols of an orange, red ribbon, fruit and sweets and a candle – goes back almost 275 years to a church in Germany. These days it is usually associated with The Children’s Society which exists to help children suffering from poverty, neglect and danger in the UK.

Children and adults joined in to make their Christingles at St Mark’s on Advent Sunday and sang the Christingle song which reminds us that the orange represents the world, the red ribbon symbolises the love and blood of Christ, the sweets and dried fruit represent all of God’s creations, and the lit candle represents Jesus’s light in the world, bringing hope to people living in darkness.

There were special prayers too, including this one:

We pray for children growing up in families struggling to make ends meet.

Lord Jesus, it hurts to think about this. Part of us would rather not. We’d rather look away. Help us to reach out, and come alongside them. We thank you for the Christingle and the ribbon that represents your loving sacrifice, wrapping itself around the world.

We ask you to wrap your loving arms around each child in need today. Be close to each one who doesn’t have enough of the basic things they need, who is avoiding telling a parent or carer to avoid causing more stress; or who is frightened of what might happen or of people finding out how hard things are at home.

We ask you to keep opening our eyes to see them and help them, directly in our communities, and through the work of The Children’s Society throughout our country.

Come, Lord Jesus,

Hear our prayer.

For more on The Children’s Society, visit www.childrenssociety.org.uk/