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Happy Easter!

Day 10:

Happy Easter from the Easter Bunny, Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny, A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny, Quite-Small Bunny, Smallest-Bunny-Of-All (very loudly) and, of course, the Chocolate Chicken.

May you know the blessing and hope of Christ this Easter!

Day 9:

Holy Saturday isn’t as sunny as Good Friday, but the bunnies still manage to get in a walk. Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny wants to show them the difference between a park and a recreation ground (which she is careful not to call a ‘rec’ for fear of getting Quite-Small Bunny’s hopes up).

“Wow! This is huge!” says A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny. “I hope we won’t get lost.”

“Don’t worry, I’m with you,” says the Easter Bunny. “And I know the way.”

“Look!” shouts Smallest-Bunny-Of-All. “We can climb the trees!”

It’s quite a long way up for their little legs, and A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny is, well, a bit of a worrier about whether they are safe, but from their tree they can see a long way.

“What’s that?” asks Quite-Small Bunny? “Down there on the ground?”

“It’s… it’s…” says Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny peering down. “I don’t know.”

“It’s the chocolate chicken!” yells Smallest-Bunny-Of-All.

And it is! The Easter Bunny is overjoyed to see her.

“Can I place an order for eggs?” she asks.

Day 8:

The bunnies are in a reflective mood. Before they tuck in to a hot cross bun (they are only little bunnies so they need only one between them), the Easter Bunny tells them a little bit about Good Friday.

“So Jesus showed everyone a different way and people didn’t like it, is that right?” asks Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot-And-Wants-To-Know-Even-More Bunny.

“That’s right,” says the Easter Bunny.

“What way was that?” asks A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny.

“It was a way of love,” says the Easter Bunny.

“Is that why our bun has a kiss on it?” asks Quite-Small Bunny.

The Easter Bunny gives him a hug.

Smallest-Bunny-Of-All hopes that the bun also has chocolate in it. Good thing the Easter Bunny can’t read her mind.

Day 7:

After yesterday’s confusion about ship wrecks and recreation grounds, the bunnies investigate the houses further and discover, to the delight of the children at least, that there is another playground.

“Just a short play,” says the Easter Bunny, “I want to go to the Maundy Thursday service this evening.”

“Evening is years away!” says Quite-Small Bunny.

“No, it’s only a few hours away,” Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny corrects him.

“Whose going to baby-bunnysit us when you go to the service?” asks A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny.

“The chocolate chicken can!” shouts Smallest-Bunny-Of-All from her high perch.

‘If only,’ thinks the Easter Bunny.

Day 6:

The Easter Bunny and her family investigate what else there is near the church they found yesterday. There seem to be lots of houses and people, some of them playing games, and this all makes A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny, well, worried.

“Supposing they don’t like bunnies,” he says.

“Everyone was very welcoming at church when we went on Sunday, weren’t they?” says the Easter Bunny. “And there’s plenty of space in all these big green fields.”

“They are recreation grounds,” says Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny. “Or you can call them ‘recs’.”

“I want to see the rec, I want to see the rec!” says Quite-Small Bunny. “There might be lost treasure.”

It takes the Easter Bunny a while to realise that he thinks he is going to see a ship wreck.

To cheer him up she promises them all ice cream.

“Can I have a chocolate flake in my ice cream?” asks Smallest-Bunny-Of-All.

That reminds the Easter Bunny of a problem. Just where is that chocolate chicken?

Day 5:

It’s a beautiful day and the Easter Bunny takes her family for a walk, this time to another part of north Farnham where she has seen another church.

“It’s a lovely place to live,” she tells them as she leads the way down the road.

“Can we have a burrow in one of the parks here?” asks Quite-Small Bunny.

“They are recreation grounds,” says Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny. “The park is a very big area over there,” she says, waving a paw in what she hopes might be the right direction, as she doesn’t always know quite as much as she makes out (shh! don’t tell anyone).

“A big park might be a bit too big for little bunnies,” worries A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny.

“I don’t mind, as long as there are flowers and playgrounds,” says Smallest-Bunny-Of-All . He scampers off into a clump of daffodils.

“I also want to live somewhere where there are chocolate eggs!” he calls.

That reminds the Easter Bunny of a problem…

Day 4:

There has been a disagreement about what to do today. Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny wants to study the spring flowers for a school project.

Smallest-Bunny-Of-All wants to visit the playground.

A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny doesn’t like disagreements and is feeling a bit upset.

Thankfully Quite-Small Bunny has a solution: “Let’s do both.”

The Easter Bunny thinks that this might give her a greater chance of finding a chocolate chicken.

Bunnies in the playground

Day 3:

It’s Palm Sunday and the Easter Bunny and her family want to go to church.

“Here’s the door,” says Quite-Small Bunny.

“Will we be allowed? We’re not like most of the people here,” says A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny.

For once Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny turns to her mother for the answer.

“Of course,” says the Easter Bunny, “this is a church where everyone is welcomed, whoever we are.”

“Come on in,” says the vicar, “you are very welcome.”

The Easter Bunny hopes that a chocolate chicken has also found her way here.

During the service a small voice can he heard singing ‘Sleeping bunnies’. It’s Smallest-Bunny-Of-All’s favourite song.

Day 2:

The Easter Bunny and her family stop off for a rest on a park bench.

“Where are all the people?” asks Quite-Small Bunny.

“They are having to stay inside and keep safe because of Covid,” says Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny.

“Do we have to do that?” asks A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny.

“We’re bunnies, it’s OK,” says Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny.

“Can we go and play in the park?” asks Smallest-Bunny-Of-All.

Meanwhile the Easter Bunny is considering the journey ahead. She doesn’t seem to be as fit as she used to be. Maybe she has spent too much time watching TV and eating biscuits during lockdown.

Also, she still hasn’t solved the problem of the chocolate chicken.

Day 1:

The Easter Bunny and her family are off. They are making their way around the parish, heading for church on Easter Sunday.

But where are they today? And why are they? Who exactly is the Easter Bunny?

Well, since you ask, the Easter Bunny has been investigating her family history and so far has got back to her Great-great-great-great-great-great-and-quite-a-few-more-Grandad in the middle of Europe in the 17th century when he used to carry eggs in a basket to give children at Easter.

“We don’t have to lay the eggs ourselves do we?” asks A-Bit-Of-A-Worrier Bunny.
“Don’t be silly, bunnies don’t lay eggs,” says Big-Sister-Who-Knows-A-Lot Bunny.
“Will we have to ask the chickens for eggs?” asks Quite-Small Bunny.
“Let’s give them chocolate eggs!” says Smallest-Bunny-Of-All.

The Easter Bunny tries to remember whether she knows any chocolate chickens.

Flower Festival goes online

Our Flower Festival is going online this year and you will be able to find it here on the website over the weekend of June 27-28, with the theme of A Celebration of Summer Flowers.

Last year’s inaugural Farnham Flower Festival was held at St John’s Church, and another was planned there for this year but lockdown put paid to that. Nothing daunted, we are taking the festival online and have invited the whole community to get involved – schools, community groups, churches and other faith groups, businesses, artists, craftspeople, individuals, and even two local gin companies which use flowers in their gins. Farnham Town Council is also submitting an entry to what promises to be a colourful and uplifting celebration.

We will be displaying photographs and videos of wonderful displays of flowers and floral art and craft. There will be music too and we know it is going to be a lovely weekend of colour reflecting the creative gifts of our community.

It’s not too late to get involved. If you would like to submit a picture or video of a floral display or a piece of floral art or craft, send it to us before the end of Monday, June 22. If you join our Lockdown Art Club, don’t forget the theme is flowers and we’d love your art too. Then visit us online over the weekend of June 27-28.

Pictured: Floral display from Therapies Through Nature which takes place at Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice. Therapies Through Nature is taking part in the festival.

Join the Lockdown Art Club!

Move over Grayson Perry – there’s a new art club in town. We are launching a Lockdown Art Club to encourage people to have a go at art and enjoy the creative process, whether or not they feel they have artistic skills.

Inspired in part by the joy and creativity evident in the Channel 4 programme Grayson’s Art Club, the Lockdown Art Club is open to everyone and will have a new theme each month. It is being run by Lesley Crawley and Dave Walker who, with his wife Helena before lockdown staged local art exhibitions and organised art activities at St Mark’s.

“The art club is a chance for people to have a go at art and then they can send us some photos of their work which we can display online,” says Lesley. “There will be a new theme each month and for June it is flowers. Maybe you’d like to draw or paint a view of flowers which you can see from your window, or perhaps a flower which represents your feelings about lockdown.

“Send pictures of your art to me (revd.lesley@badshotleaandhale.org) and we can put them online. We are having a flower festival online at the end of the month and we can include the June pictures in that. Then, after lockdown, Dave will hold an exhibition at St Mark’s of some favourite pieces of work from across the months.”

Everyone is invited to take part, whatever age or background, whether or not they have ever tried to create art, and Dave and Lesley are at pains to stress that the finished pieces do not have to be perfect. “There is a lot of evidence now that art is good for our mental wellbeing, and many of us have struggled with our mental health during lockdown,” says Lesley. “We really want to encourage people just to have a go, and to remember that if a piece doesn’t work out exactly as we think it should, that is OK. The imperfections represent a bit of us in that artwork.”

Anyone wanting to contribute flower art to the flower festival, which will be on the website on June 27-28, should send their pictures to Lesley by Monday, June 22. Otherwise art pictures for the club are welcome at any time.

Hundreds flock to first flower festival

“Warm, welcoming, colourful, life-affirming, loving, nourishing and sustaining.” That was just one description of the inaugural flower festival at St John’s Church over the weekend of May 18-19.

The festival was a huge success and attracted hundreds of visitors who gave warm praise for an event which was packed not just with people and flowers, but also with art, craft, music, refreshments and a happy, relaxed atmosphere.

Community groups, local organisations, artists, schools, churches, charities and other faith groups all came together to create floral displays, art and craft, filling the church with colour and scent. There were flowers on window sills, tables and in the pulpit; paintings on walls and easels and strung across the church; floral photographs on display; a table of hats with a floral theme; and even a chance to taste gin made with local elderflowers.

The tea and cake stand did brisk business, while others sipped Pimm’s, and a table full of plants from Bells Piece, the local Leonard Cheshire home, was almost emptied, partly thanks to the advice and selling skills of gardening expert John Negus. In all the festival made more than £1,100 for the church to help it in its work in north Farnham.

Visitors were enthusiastic with their praise. “Beautiful flowers to match the beautiful church,” said one visitor, while another said: “Lovely – so great to see community projects working together”, and another: “I had a brilliant time and was made to feel very welcome by all of you”. There have already been requests for another festival next year.

“Thank you so much to everyone who took part over the weekend,” said Rev’d Lesley Crawley. “The festival was a real celebration of community and creativity and was a fitting launch to a series of events to mark the 175th anniversary of St John’s Church. Thank you to those who visited the festival; to those who contributed displays, art and craft; to the musicians; the cake-bakers; those who served tea, coffee and cake; those who moved tables, washed up, put up posters and bunting – everyone who took part in any way.

“For the past 175 years, St John’s has been a focal point in the village and we want to ensure that it is being used by the community in a way that is relevant to contemporary needs. We have been conducting a survey to ask what people want from us and there is still time to take part. You can find the survey in the church or at  https://goo.gl/XQQ8qT.

“Please do come to the rest of our 175th anniversary events. First we have a talk on June 5 on Art, Architecture and Christianity in Victorian Britain by the renowned expert Christopher Herbert, and we will be following this with an arts and crafts exhibition on June 22-23, a party in the churchyard on July 20, an afternoon of tea and reminiscing on August 3, and a celebratory service with the Bishop of Guildford and former clergy from St John’s on November 24. Everyone is welcome at all or any of these events.”

 

Pictured top is the display by the Farnham Baha’is. Photo by George Britton.

 

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Happy 175th birthday – church says it with flowers

The 175th anniversary celebrations at St John’s Church, Hale, kick off on May 18 and 19 with a flower festival.

Local organisations, artists, schools, churches, charities and other faith groups are all planning their entries to the festival that weekend. Among those preparing displays are the three churches which make up the parish; the Hale Gardening Club; the local Mothers’ Union; the Opportunities Project; the Hale Women’s Institute; the Darby and Joan Club, Farnham Baha’is, Petal & Stem florists, Crown Chain nursery and Rainbow Church (welcoming all who are LGBTI+).

There will be art and craft too and All Hallows School art club are presenting a collage, Badshot Lea Infant School will be displaying floral photography, and there will be contributions from local artists Susie Lidstone, Judith Needham, Penny Fleet and former Surrey Artist of the year Denise Jaques who will bring garden mosaics. Local milliners Mind your Bonce will be providing an elegant touch with hats and flowers.

Among the charities taking part will be Farnham Assist and Phyllis Tuckwell Hospice Care who will be bringing samples of planting done in the hospice’s Social and Therapeutic Horticulture sessions. Amnesty International will be bringing a display reminding visitors of the plight of political prisoners across the world.

Lesley Crawley said: “St John’s was consecrated in November 1844 and since then has been a much-loved focal point in the village of Hale. We would like everyone to celebrate with us this year, so we are holding a series of events to which all are welcome. One of the first of these is the flower festival in May where, for two days, the church will be overflowing with colourful floral displays and art, and there will be live music and refreshments, including Pimm’s.

“St John’s is everyone’s church and as well as celebrating our anniversary, we are looking forward to the future. We know that our church could be used to serve the community better and we want to know what people would like from us as we look forward to the next stage and discover what God has in store for us all. We have therefore launched a survey for residents and local organisations to complete. You can find it on our website (www.badshotleaandhale.org) or in the church.”

The survey is also available at  https://goo.gl/XQQ8qT.

The flower festival will take place from 10am-4pm on Saturday, May 18, and from noon-4pm on Sunday, May 19. Entry is £1 and everyone is welcome!

 

Pictured above: Spring crocuses by Susie Lidstone