Tag Archives: Memories

What a festival!

Three workshops, two awards ceremonies, a theatrical evening and a lot of good poetry – it all added up to a major contribution by the parish to the inaugural Farnham Literary Festival (March 5-13).

St Mark’s Church was the only north Farnham venue taking part in the festival and not only did we host events, we ran the Farnham Poetry Competition and filled the church with poets young and old with fresh voices and their own take on Farnham.

During the week there was a workshop to create your own fantasy world; a writing memories workshop (with some rather saucy poetry!) run by Right at Home care agency and the church; a crime writing workshop with Joy Kluver, author of the Detective Bernadette Noel series; a rehearsed reading by the Farnham Theatre Association of A Tale of Two Theatres (the story of the Castle and Redgrave Theatres); the awards ceremony of the Farnham Fiction Award, and the awards ceremony of the Poetry Competition.

The church buzzed all week with people of diverse ages and backgrounds who leapt at the chance to express themselves creatively. There is enormous creativity here in this community and we are hugely grateful to everyone who took part, including the poetry judges, Coral Rumble who judged the under-16s category, and Ellora Sutton who judged the adult one.

We had around 80 entries to the poetry competition and the judges found it hard to choose between them. In the end their choices were:

Under-16:
First place:
Farnham by Katie Parratt.
Runners-up:
Under a Tree by Nigarish Nabeel Nasir.
Farnham  by Louis West.
Shortlisted:
A day at Gostrey Meadow by Minha Nabeel Nasir.
Farnham attraction by Harrison West.
Meadow by Alina Liepsch.
There is a place I know by Maria Benyon.
Welcome to Farnham by Mimi Farrell.
Why Farnham makes me smile by Ellie Darlow.

Adults:
First place:
The First One that’s Second by Elmaz Ekrem.
Runners-up:
Farnham Park 2021 by Rosemary Wisbey.
Local Character by Andy Morse.
Shortlisted:
Farnham Swimming Baths by Elaine Fell.
Farnham Friendship by Chandra McGowan.
Swimming in April’s Cold by Chris Hunter.
embedded in wood and stone by Kate Kennington Steer.

Kate Kennington Steer is a participant in Creative Response, an arts-related organisation run by professional practising artists who share their practice with vulnerable people, and members of Creative Response were also there on the poetry evening, reading from and selling their new book of poems Where Seeds Are Planted Poems Grow.

We are currently collecting in recordings of the winning poems and they will be published here shortly.

Here are a few images from the week:

Winner of the adult poetry award Elmaz Ekrem (left) with judge Ellora Sutton.
Building fantasy worlds in the Build a World Workshop. Yes, even the Mayor was busy doing so!
David Wylde and Chris Reeks in A Tale of Two Theatres.
Coral Rumble, the judge of the under-16s poetry competition reads some of her own poetry.
Neil Macdonald speaks at the writing awards, along with judge Gary Couzens.
Writing crime with Joy Kluver.

VE Day Service online

We will be celebrating the 75th anniversary of VE Day this Sunday (May 10) with an online service of music and memories of wide appeal for all, and on the website from 9.30am.

Led by Wendy Edwards, Licensed Lay Minister, the gathering includes a Gospel reading by Lance Corporal Bibbings of  The Princess of Wales’ Royal Regiment, Farnham; music from wartime by members of TS Swiftsure, Badshot Lea; and a thought-provoking World War II evacuation memory from Hazel Edwards, Wendy’s mother-in-law. Wendy makes comparisons between World War II and the coronavirus emergency. She draws hope, comfort and and wisdom from both these times of enormous personal and national challenge and ends  the short service with prayers for peace.

Lesley Crawley reflects on the service: “It is 75 years since the end of World War II in Europe and it is fitting to remember the sacrifices made by so many people in defence of freedom. Obviously, our celebrations this year are rather different from what we might expect and perhaps the memory of those sacrifices is made all the more poignant by taking place in these difficult times. Do join us online from 9.30am on Sunday.”

The link to the service on Sunday will be here.