Tag Archives: Bishop of Dorking

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

Joyful confirmation at St John’s

There was a joyful atmosphere at St John’s Church on Sunday evening when we hosted a confirmation service at which the Bishop of Dorking, the Right Rev’d Jo Bailey Wells, confirmed 11 people from four parishes, including five from the Parish of Badshot Lea and Hale.

Freddie Brown, Ollie Beckett and Tracy Boyce from St George’s, Richard Myers from St Mark’s and Simon Alexander from St John’s were all confirmed in a service which also involved a baptism, renewal of baptismal vows and a lot of splashing of the congregation by Bishop Jo as a reminder of our baptismal vows.

In a sermon which reminded us of the importance of simplicity and rootedness, Bishop Jo preached on verses from Psalm 1 –
‘They are like trees
    planted by streams of water,
which yield their fruit in its season,
    and their leaves do not wither.
In all that they do, they prosper’ and Mark 9 –
 ‘Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me’.

Each of those being confirmed had arrived at the decision following their own path with their own stories, stories which Bishop Jo encouraged then to share over refreshments afterwards, refreshments which had been provided by a team from St John’s led by Sylvie Burrows.

If anyone would like details of confirmation or about exploring faith, contact Lesley Crawley. There will also be a new Questioning Faith’ series starting on Zoom on October 26, and running for six weeks. Again, contact Lesley.

A confirmed time of joy

Easter Eve, the evening of the Saturday between Good Friday and Easter Sunday, is a time of waiting, a time of joyous anticipation of the Sunday that is to come, of the message of hope, love and light that Easter brings.

For two members of our parish this Easter Eve was particularly special. Lymara Procter and Peter Davies were confirmed with 16 others from the Diocese of Guildford at a service in Guildford Cathedral.

It was, as Peter said afterwards, a wonderful evening, when Peter and Lymara affirmed their faith in God, confirming the promises made at their baptisms, and committing themselves to following Jesus Christ.

Both Bishop Jo, Bishop of Dorking, and Bishop Andrew, Bishop of Guildford, led the service and it was Bishop Andrew who confirmed Peter and Lymara, saying to each that God had called them by name and laying his hands on their heads asking God to confirm them with the Holy Spirit. Then all the candidates were greeted with applause and the words, said by the whole congregation: “We welcome you in the fellowship of faith; we are children of the same heavenly Father; we welcome you”.

It was a service of welcome, of joy, of sharing (we all shared communion after the confirmation), and of expectation – expectation of the hope of Easter and of the continuing journey that Peter, Lymara and all of us will take as we seek to follow Jesus Christ.

Anyone who would like to find out about confirmation should contact Alan or Lesley Crawley on 01252 820537 or revd.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org or revd.alan@badshotleaandhale.org

Pictured above are Alan Crawley, Bishop Andrew, Lymara Procter, Peter Davies and Lesley Crawley.