The changes are proposed as part of the Farnham Infrastructure Programme, a partnership between Surrey County Council, Waverley Borough Council, Farnham Town Council and Jeremy Hunt MP and the plan is to “reduce carbon emissions, improve the connections between the town’s communities, support economic vitality and encourage growth, and improve life in Farnham with cleaner air, healthier lifestyles and less dominance of traffic on communities”. However, there are questions over how this is done and what impact it will have on other parts of Farnham so a consultation is underway.
As North Farnham is likely to be affected if the proposals go ahead, residents are being encouraged to complete the consultation. This is online here and there will be hard copies available at the exhibitions. There are also hard copies available at the Farnham Town Council offices on South Street.
The consultation it runs until September 11th, but with an extension into early October to allow time to go into the schools at the start of next term.
The Farnham Flower Festival at St John’s Church last weekend (May 14-15) was an amazing success with beautiful displays of flowers, art, craft and poetry, live music, tea and cake, all of it to start the celebrations for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.
Thanks to all who took part and also to those who worked so hard to make it happened. Here’s to next time!
Enter our poetry competition which is being run in conjunction with the inaugural Farnham Literary Festival which is being held across Farnham between March 5th and 13th.
Take part in the competition and you could find yourself reading your poem at a poetry evening on Saturday, March 12th 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.
Then send it in to us to reach us by 5pm on Monday, February 14th. Send your entries by email to firstname.lastname@example.org 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 www.coralrumble.co.uk 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 ellorasutton.com.
Our May magazine is out now, a bumper edition this month with information about the elections for Surrey County Council members and the Surrey Police and Crime Commissioner. Please read their statements and please vote; if we don’t bother to have a say we can hardly complain about the people who are elected.
There is information too about events going on this month including our Farnham Flower Festival (online again, of course) which is being sponsored by our favourite florist Florescence, and plans for the fete in July. Please get involved in both. There is news about new rooms to hire, an article on grief, information about taking part in Christian Aid Week and much more, plus, of course, lots of great adverts with services, offers and classes.
Thank you to everyone who entered the Farnham Lockdown Poetry Festival. We had 56 entries from adults and children alike, with ages ranging from eight to 80+ and lots of strong feelings about the struggles of lockdown, but also the togetherness and the hope that people have found, despite all the difficulties.
and a video of some of the poems being read is available below. Also, though it was almost impossible to choose between the poems, a decision was finally made and the Mayor of Farnham announced the winners in the video.
The winning poems are:
Two Lockdowns A Lifetime Apart
The Second World War began when I was just four The Coventry Blitz was like a firestorm from hell Later that week I burst into tears when I saw My toy shop Owen Owen was a burnt out shell
Rationing, conscription and lights blackened at night This was a long lockdown lasting almost six years Countless houses and buildings laid waste was our plight Near half a million deaths left many in tears
Seventy-five years later in twenty-twenty Few people can claim they saw what was now coming A virus takes hold to disrupt years of plenty As it spreads round the world the I-phones are humming
This invisible virus now needed a plan The instinct in shock is to gather together But to widespread dismay a new lockdown began Keep two metres apart at all times wherever
With deaths quickly rising and restrictions imposed Stay at home, avoid friends and even relations All but food shops were shuttered and schools were all closed Wedding parties were banned and all celebrations
I worry my age group holds the country in thrall We are lucky to have lived so long to this age It is we who must be careful and should now call For the economy to be let out of its cage
Being twice locked down it is all but in tatters The outlook for young people is truly blighted Surely for their sakes alone all that now matters Is that their futures be quickly reignited
Love Your Neighbour As Yourself
Love Your Neighbour as Yourself, through screen or window, darkly. Muffled, crackled, frozen. ’Help!’ ‘Can you hear me?’ Hardly.
Love Your Neighbour as Yourself, through greying hair and slowing hours. Dull repetition, same old heft, grace of God in breeze or showers.
Love Your Neighbour as Yourself, but what means as and how fares Self? We are God’s hands but when My Self, when love poured out soon threatens Self?
Love Your Neighbour as Yourself, when sacrifice is hellish hard. Exhaustion beckons, ‘Pain! Now quell!’ and chaos reigns in your backyard.
Love Your Neighbour as Yourself, wash the bodies, dig the graves. Tender care the greatest wealth, tears of love for all they gave.
Love Your Neighbour as Yourself, desist from posting online hate. Don’t bully, scam or hurt by stealth, or suicide might be their fate.
Love Your Neighbour as Yourself, when home-penned folk cry out in pain. When tempers flare, without behest, ‘When will we see our friends again?’
Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed, when out of work graph rises steep. Everyone needs better, best, for damaged mental health wounds, deep.
Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed, vaccines roll out to the people. Schools return and wedding guests, bells will ring from tower or steeple.
Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed, pubs reopen, shops restock. Meet with friends and family,’ Yes!!’, hugs, kisses, treats, as doors unlock.
Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed, when loved ones’ deaths have maimed you. Remember humour, chuckling chest, tearful teas and talk refold you.
Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed, Please keep the distance, wear the mask. Do take the vaccine, take the test, washing hands not much to ask.
Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed, make time to think and time to rest. Properly to think ‘No stress!’ how love of Self confers the best.
Love Yourself as Neighbour, Blessed, clamouring calls you can resist. Your self-care struggle now confessed, put Your needs first in To Do list.
A Lockdown Poem
Schools have closed Working from home Missing family and friends Will this ever end? Doing lots of calls Kitchens into school Whether it’s computer or phone Everything happened at home Clapping for heroes Rainbows on the windows Watching the news Feeling confused People staying in Why is that a thing? Having lots of bubbles Missing lots of cuddles Staying with your household If it’s hot or cold Lots of things have stopped Many bubbles have popped But we’re staying safe at home And are never really alone.
Matilda Bowden (9)
Coronavirus has wrecked all of our lives Oh how I wish I could punch it Rage takes over me and I cannot control it| On the inside I have pain Now is the time we fight Anger is the only feeling I can feel Vans with deliveries come by, wishing us luck I had covid and I don’t want it to come back Run, for covid is here Understand me please I can’t take this pain anymore Stand with me, we will defeat it together
The night sky will be lit up across Farnham this Saturday by beacons which will shine out from 5-8.30pm from eight places across the town, including St John’s and St Mark’s Churches.
The lights will sweep across the sky from Badshot Lea, Weybourne, Upper Hale, Rowledge, Wrecclesham, The Bourne, Farnham Castle and Central Farnham and will mark the beginning of the Christmas season in Farnham.
During the shining of the beacons, the switching on of the Christmas lights in the town centre and surrounding neighbourhoods, will also take place.
The beacons are being staged by Farnham Town Council to represent the coming together of the Farnham community during 2020 and hopes for a brighter 2021.
Councillor Alan Earwaker, the council’s lead member for tourism and events, said: “COVID may stop us inviting residents to the town centre to see an official Christmas lights switch-on this year but let us bring the lights to you. Wherever you live in Farnham or nearby villages, we hope you will be able to see at least one of our searchlights in the sky. Come out to your doorsteps to see them – and give your neighbours a wave too if you can.”
Here is A Song for Farnham! This parish and other churches across Farnham have joined forces and voices to sing Amazing Grace.
As well as this parish, St Andrew’s Church; St James’, Rowledge; St Joan of Arc; The Spire Church; and Farnham Vineyard have sung a verse each.
The hymn is a favourite of many and was written by a former slave trader, John Newton, who eventually became an advocate for the abolition of slavery.
Lesley Crawley explains why the churches have decided to sing it: “The churches in Farnham wanted to make a song to lift spirits now that some people have been locked in for three months and many face uncertainty as to when it will end for them. We chose Amazing Grace – written by a slave owner who saw the error of his ways and found God even though he considered himself beyond the pale given his previous life. It speaks of God’s unconditional love and grace in our lives, no matter how we feel about ourselves.”
Listen to A Song for Farnham on social media and at www.badshotleaandhale.org and other church websites from Sunday, June 21.
St George’s Church Hall will be open from Monday to Thursday this week, from 10am-noon, to receive donations for Share Farnham.
Share Farnham is a community store of free activities and equipment to help keep you busy and active and it will open this month, but first donations are needed.
The store needs clean, quality objects in good condition and working order and suggested items to donate include puzzles and board games (complete sets), books (less than three years old), musical instruments (playable condition), garden games, sheet music, craft items (eg knitting patterns, cross stitch), DVDs, toys (no soft toys), exercise equipment and cookery equipment (eg pasta makers). No electrical or petrol-powered equipment please.
Please bring your donations and place them on the table provided. Please observe all social distancing requirements.
Once there are enough donations the store will be open in two places – Farnham Maltings and Hale Community Centre. It will be open to all, and you will be able to borrow items, free of charge, for a period of three weeks.
As well as St George’s, items can be dropped this Monday to Thursday at Farnham Maltings and Hale Community Centre between 10am and noon, and at The Bear and Ragged Staff pub (48 The Street, Wrecclesham) between 2pm and 4pm.
We will be holding an online church service to say thanks for and pray for the NHS, carers and other frontline workers, on Thursday, April 30, from 7pm.
The service will include readings, music and prayers, including one read by local MP and former Cabinet minister Jeremy Hunt, and another read by Cllr Pat Evans, Mayor of Farnham, along with pictures of artwork, videos and pictures of key workers.
Lesley Crawley explained the thinking behind the service: “We are living in extraordinary times, like nothing any of us have experienced before. As we navigate our way through them we want to seek God’s guidance and strength, particularly for those who are suffering and those who are working on the frontline in hospitals and care settings, and other key workers who are keeping the country going. And we want to give thanks for everyone who is working so hard across the world and in our own community.
“If anyone would like to offer us some art – especially rainbows – or photos of keyworkers, or if there are children who would like to be videoed saying a prayer, please do get in touch. Send contributions to Alan as soon as you can and certainly by the end of Sunday, April 26th.
“And do join us here on the website on Thursday 30th, from 7pm, to pray and give thanks.” The service will be available on the website from that time here.
If you need guidance for sending in your contributions, click here.