Tag Archives: music

Happy birthday party!

St John’s Church celebrated its 175th birthday with a community party on Saturday, July 20, attended by everyone from tiny tots to the Mayor of Farnham.

Cllr Pat Evans, Mayor of Farnham, helped Lesley Crawley to cut a birthday cake, and local residents, including the Mayor’s Consort David Evans and Hale and Heath End councillor Michaela Gray, tucked in to a buffet accompanied by Pimms, tea and coffee, while listening to classic songs performed by singer/songwriters Jasper and the Island, aka Olivia Jasper, and Meg Wassell.

Heavy rain in the morning meant that the festivities had to be moved indoors but that didn’t dampen the party spirit with people spilling over from the crowded tables into the pews. Guests came not just from the Church of England but from other churches and none and we were particularly pleased to welcome members of the Godalming Baha’I community.

There are many people to thank – in particular those from the St John’s congregation who worked tirelessly and cheerfully as they have done at all the events so far, those who made the cakes and Sainsbury’s and Waitrose who generously donated much of the food.

As well as adding her thanks, Lesley Crawley said: “There was a lovely atmosphere with new friendships being formed, and others being deepened, and I believe there were even a couple of old colleagues who bumped into each other after many years. Relationship is central to our understanding of God and it is through our contact with each other that we can express God’s love.”

The next event to celebrate the 175th anniversary of St John’s is an afternoon of Singing and Reminiscing which will take place on Saturday, August 3, from 3-5pm. There will be a cream tea and plenty of opportunities to join in singing old favourites. Everyone is welcome and it would be helpful to know approximate numbers where possible. If you would like to come, please give Wendy Edwards a call on 01252 406772 or 07740 082460. But if you decide to come at the last moment, then please just drop in and join us.

Below: The Mayor and Lesley Crawley cut the cake. 

Bottom: Crown Daisy Nursery enjoyed the celebrations. Jasper and the Island. Happy partygoers (x2). Little Anastasia came from Alton with her mother to join the fun.

Cllr Pat Evans and Rev'd Lesley Crawley

 

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

A comforting croodle

The Celtic musical tradition of the British Isles is a rich one, with music which has been passed down the generations in Wales, Scotland, Ireland and the North East of England, and which has permeated non-Celtic culture. After all, don’t we all sing Auld Lang Syne at new year?

Auld Lang Syne is not the only familiar Celtic tune – there are plenty which most of us can sing along to, something ably demonstrated by the Celtic Croodle which took part at St Mark’s Church last Saturday evening (February 9), thanks to the hard work and talent of Wendy Edwards with support from Frances Whewell.

To croodle means to snuggle together and St Mark’s looked cosy and warm, offering welcome after a wet February day.  We sat around tables while Wendy, accompanied on the piano by Frances, led us on a musical tour of the Celtic parts of the British Isles, encouraging us to join in.

We started and ended in Scotland and en route we learned a little of the background to each song, though sometimes the origins are obscure. So we learned, for instance that the ‘low road’ in Loch Lomon (“O ye’ll tak’ the high road, and I’ll tak’ the low road, And I’ll be in Scotland a’fore ye,”) may refer to the tradition that the soul of a dead Scot who died abroad was taken back to rest in Scotland by a secret road; and that Bobby Shafto (a north-eastern song) was an 18th century politician who may well have dandled a baby or two in the hope of improving his reputation (“Bobby Shafto’s gettin’ a bairn/For to dangle on his arm”).

On the trip through Ireland among those we learned and sang about were young Mollie Malone, and an Irish émigré shocked by the fashions and attitudes of 19th-century London, writing back to his true love in a valley near the Mountains of Mourne. In Wales as well as singing along lustily to Land of My Fathers (and not a rugby ball in sight), we listened to Wendy sing beautiful songs including David of the White Rock and we were moved by All through the Night, before hurrying back to Scotland to join hands and sing Auld Lang Syne.

As well as the music, Wendy had provided a light Celtic supper of oatcakes, cheese, cheese and onion ‘sausages’, shortbread and Welsh cakes, which we enjoyed at the interval.

It was a happy, comforting and relaxing evening, an antidote to the February blues that can strike us. It also raised £200 in donations for the Kitty Milroy murals appeal through which we are planning to restore the rare and important murals in the chancel at St Mark’s.

Wendy is holding another musical evening at St Mark’s in May. This one will be a jazz evening in memory of her parents, renowned local journalists and historians Jean and Ted Parratt. It will take place at the church on May 4 from 7.30pm.  A light meal will be included but please bring your own drinks. The evening will also raise money for the Kitty Milroy murals,

Candles of Hope shine a light on human rights

 

St Mark’s Church will hold Candles of Hope on Saturday, December 1 – an evening of music, readings and art in aid of Amnesty International.

Organised by the Farnham branch of Amnesty International – the movement which campaigns to end abuses of human rights across the globe – Candles of Hope will feature Jay Parrack’s Voices Community Choir;  Anna Carteret (poetry reading);  Wildflowers (a capella); Richard Lane (classical violin); Frances Whewell (organ);  Bob and Lesley Shatwell (folk violin and double bass); Heather Golding and Caroline Walker (voice and flute); and Jonathan Adams (acoustic guitar and voice). There will also be an art display and refreshments will be on sale.

Admission is free but donations are welcomed. The evening begins at 7.30pm.

Helena Walker, one of the event’s organisers, said: “Candles of Hope’ is an uplifting evening of live music and inspirational poetry, along with an art exhibition and refreshments.  It offers the opportunity to celebrate the work of Amnesty International and learn more about Amnesty’s involvement with human rights issues around the world.  Everyone at the event will be invited to sign greetings cards which will be sent to people who are currently being supported by Amnesty International.

“Since 1961, Amnesty International has campaigned for the release of prisoners of conscience around the world; for some years, the Farnham members of Amnesty have taken a particular interest in Vietnamese prisoners and we will be welcoming a group of Vietnamese friends to the event.”

Amnesty International is a global movement of more than seven million people, campaigning for a world where human rights are enjoyed by all. It investigates abuses of human rights, lobbies governments and other powerful groups such as companies, tells the stories of people affected by abuses, and mobilises supporters to campaign for change and support the victims of injustice.  It acts on the principle that it is “better to light a candle than curse the darkness”.

For information on the Farnham Amnesty group, email farnham.amnesty@gmail.com

God above us, within us and at the bottom of the garden

A Celtic Service

God above us – trees, birds and sunshine, stars and moonlight – God above us.

God within us – hope, tears and laughter, love and wonder – God within us.

A few weeks ago I was chatting with my son about the Celtic service at St George’s I was going to be taking part in, with Wendy Edwards and Dave and Helena Walker. As a joke – I think – he asked  Is that where you paint your face blue and dance around with no clothes on?”

I said that was not what we would be doing and he seemed disappointed ! However it did make me think that other people may have similar ideas.

So to reassure everyone, on Saturday, July 14 at 5pm, 22 of us met in the garden of St. George’s for a Celtic Service. The weather and setting were just right.

Wendy led our worship beautifully with words and prayers, and told us how she found God at the bottom of her garden. Helena and Dave prepared an area for us do do various art activities, and brought a large Celtic cross they had painted.

We sang some familiar hymns and some new songs and sang The Lord’s Prayer to the tune of Auld Lang Syne.

Afterwards we all stayed to chat over refreshments of shortbread, Welsh cakes and homemade fruit bread, with tea and coffee.

It was a beautiful service. Thank you Wendy. I look forward to the next one.

Margaret Emberson

PS And we did NOT paint our faces blue and dance around with no clothes on!

 

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Welcome to Mary

If you were at St John’s on Sunday 13th May, you not only saw a Miracle Play, you heard for the first time our new musician, Mary Klymenko, leading the music with her beautiful piano playing.

I met Mary at a music weekend in March. She told me that she’s a piano teacher, lives very near St John’s, and did we need any help with the music there? I said, “yes please”! I’d been worried because it was getting hard to cover all the services with such a slender rota of musicians. Lesley had told me to pray about it, which I did, and was answered with abundance.

The congregation was treated to a Schumann Arabesque during Communion that Sunday. Mary, although not an organist, can transfer her keyboard skills onto the St John’s organ, when it works! (But that’s another story). Mary and her husband have two young boys, and so she will just play at St John’s once a month. Thank you for making her feel warmly welcome.

Frances

 

Music for the Service of the Word – 22nd October 11am

This service will be largely sung. Many of the hymns and songs will be familiar, but just in case, these are links to most of them. We may not sing them in exactly the same way, but these links should give you a good idea of how they go.

1st hymn:            I went down to the river to pray
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DbgfQ48hWuY

Penitence:           Be still for the presence of the Lord
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZugvUQ4m90U

Gloria:                  Peruvian              Usual St Marks way

Collect:                10000 reasons
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtwIT8JjddM

Reading:              Turn, turn, turn (based on Ecclesiastes 3 1-8)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4ga_M5Zdn4

Sermon:               Now is the cool of the day (Lesley solo, acapella)

Creed:                 Seward (I D Sankey, 1892)             Can’t find a link, but it’s very simple

Intercession:       It’s me O Lord, standing in the need of prayer
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x90HfUJl6eY

Kumbayah
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p3MiD_U4CHQ

Thanksgiving:     Thank you Lord for this new day
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=njsdfxK9FcQ

Lord’s prayer:     Caribbean version from “Come and Praise”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgP0jI5hghU

Peace:                  Hevenu shalom Aleichem (Jewish chant)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JB4RMIWroMY

Blessing:              Amazing Grace                  Usual St Marks way

Dismissal:            You shall go out with joy.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=unWnWSgoSt0

I’ll name that Hymn in One!

As many will know, Barry Hall has moved with his family to Bournemouth and Frances Whewell has agreed to be the new Parish Organist, playing at all three churches at various times in the month.

Frances will also be choosing the music, and together with her we are developing a “Repertoire” for each service.  That is a number of hymns which the congregation knows and loves, and which we will be able to sing about three times a year on average.  This restricts the number of hymns that we can sing, but means that when we sing them we will be more confident, and newcomers have some chance of getting to know the hymns and songs.

In drawing up such a list we are almost certain to get it wrong, and although we have been discussing this with the Worship Groups for each church, we would also like to offer everybody the opportunity to look at the list and offer their views – there is no guarantee that this will change the list in cases of personal favourites, but where it highlights an obvious mistake it allows us to correct it.

The lists are available on the web here.  Please do let me know

  1. what we have forgotten
  2. what we have included that no one knows (or likes!)

Weight of numbers will probably count for something in determining which changes get made.

Alan Crawley

Photo thanks to Georgie Fry

“It has always been done this way”

One of the difficulties when reading the Bible is to determine which elements are culturally conditioned from the time of writing, and which are eternal truths.  This is not an easy task.

However, the same is true of many of the things that we take for granted in our churches today.  This is the start of an occasional series looking at some church history – particularly in the area of churches and worship.

This month I shall begin with church music.

Organs did not appear in general use in churches until about the 12th Century as music was associated with heathen cults.  Prior to this the music was not sung, but chanted and consisted primarily of the Psalms.

Hymns as we would recognise them started being written in the 17th and 18th centuries, with Charles Wesley a major contributor.  Carols only started being sung in church in the late 18th and early 19th centuries (having been sung outside church earlier in history).

In the 19th century the organ started to replace the Parish Band and hymns were introduced into the service – often with a robed choir.  Until then most Church of England Churches did not have music in the service; however they might have a Parish Band who would play at the end of the service.  This is because the Book of Common Prayer contains very few references to music, and where it most obviously does it referred to Cathedrals and College Chapels.

In 20th Century in some churches Parish bands started to reappear, often with electric guitars and drums, but also in a folk style.

So hymns as many would recognise them in the service have been a feature of worship for about 200 years, and modern worship songs have been around for about 50 – out of the 2,000 year life of the church.

Alan Crawley

Photo thanks to Georgie Fry