A Generous Gift

 Wow – feeling very humbled this week! We were just tidying up the stock at the Food Parcels Project on Monday, and thinking about the next lot of shopping to do to make sure we can meet all the needs locally. We were just sorting out my list…. need more size 1 and 4 nappies, run out of one type of formula, need some more uht milk, running low on tinned fruit and jam etc etc…when suddenly a lovely gentleman arrived unannounced and gave us a wonderful cash donation! He did not give a name, so a huge big THANK YOU! to the “mystery man” who has just paid for the foodbank top up shop this week. What a wonderful community we live in. 

if you would like to know more about this project please click on ‘Food Parcels and Fridge’ in the menu on this page.

Food Parcels Update and The community Organisations Cost of Living Fund

By Alex Sanderson (Project Manager)

Did you know? Our Ash Villages Food Parcels Proejct received funding from the The Community Organisations Cost of Living Fund to help us keep the project going in 2023/2024. We are so grateful for this government funding, as it makes all the difference for local families. The funding ended in March and we have just finished writing up our end of grant report, so I thought you might like to see a few of the statistics.

I am so incredibly proud of this amazing volunteer team! In 23 weeks they have fed 1300 people. They have been very busy collecting donations, managing the stock, packing and delivering over 400 parcels. The funding we received stocked up the shelves to make sure we could deliver enough food, basic toiletries, and baby bank items to those in urgent need in our local villages of Ash, Ash Vale, Ash Green and Tongham.

Have a guess how many volunteer hours they have racked up between them? We had 32 different volunteers, who worked a total of 373 shifts, donating a staggering 648 hours of their time between them during these 23 weeks. What a huge thing to do for the community. Thank you all so much!

If you would like me to pass on a message to them for you, please email me projectmanager@Ash-Vale.org.uk and I will be sure to share it in our team chat!

Have a happy week!


APCM Report for 2023

Dear Parishioners, Electoral Roll members, and wider community, herewith the APCM Report for the year 2023. As already announced the Annual Meeting takes place at St Mary’s on Sunday 28th April 2024.

With our very best wishes from the PCC all at St Marys.

We look forward to welcoming you at the APCM.

Please note – You can read the copy below online, or download it to read on screen or print. If you would prefer a copy by email please contact the parish office parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk If you cannot access the electronic version and need a printed copy please contact our Project Manager on 07730 609446 or pop in to the Community Cafe on Fridays 10:00-13:00 and ask for one to be printed for you. Please note that we do wish to encourage everyone who can use the electronic copy to use this version, as we are trying to minimise our climate impact. Thank you.

Notice of APCM

We have published the notice of this year’s annual meeting recently. Here it is for anyone who has not been in the building lately and may have missed it. See you on Sunday 28th April 6.30pm. If you would like a copy of the annual report please contact the Parish Office parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk or pop in on Sunday or at our community cafe and ask for one.

MCR Pathways – Mentoring for Young People in Surrey

by Keira Jennings

MCR Pathways was established in 2007 to support young people—including those who are care-experienced or who have been recommended by their school as being able to benefit from the programme—to help them realise their full potential through education. This is enacted through our school-based mentoring programme – matching young people with a fully trained volunteer mentor.

The award-winning MCR Pathways programme is in over 130 schools across Scotland and the South East of England. Our programme’s growth and impact serve as testament to the dedication and commitment of both our volunteer mentors and the organisation as a whole. As we continue to expand our reach and deepen our impact, MCR Pathways remains unwavering in its mission to empower and support young people on their journey to fulfilling their potential.

Mentors meet with their young person for one hour in school each week to provide a regular opportunity for the young person to focus on their future, talk through any concerns, or just share thoughts and experiences. A mentor is simply an added source of support; someone there to listen, encourage, and help young people get the best out of school, increase their confidence, boost their qualifications, gain meaningful experiences, and increase their career options after school.

Our volunteer mentors come from every walk of life, background and profession. As every young person is unique, we welcome a diverse range of people to meet this growing need for mentors. No prior experience is needed, just the ability to listen and consistently be there. All it takes is an hour each week to change a young person’s future.

Join us at MCR Pathways to make a lasting connection and inspire a brighter future for young people in your community. We are looking for mentors in Surrey and are active in: Ash Manor School, Thomas Knyvett College, Christ’s College, Sunbury Manor School, Carrington School, The Beacon School and Hinchley Wood School. Further information on the MCR Pathways programme and how to become a mentor is available at https://mcrpathways.org/become-a-mentor/


Get involved with the Community Street Team!

by Pat Scott

We all say “what a lovely community Ash & Ash Vale are” – very true! Would you like to help our wonderful community?  Just an hour or so when needed, helping at community events in Ash and Ash Vale such as the Village Fete in June, the Youth Centre (hopefully opening soon), Lakeside Nature Fun Day, Remembrance Day and Fantasia.

For 12 years the Community Street Team have concentrated on engaging with local youngsters between 10 – 16 years to address local anti-social issues.  We have engaged with the youth, listen to them and try to suggest alternative routes for their lifestyle.

As a result of Anti Social Behaviour having been reduced successfully, we are now planning to “morph” into a more community-focussed group with some volunteers continuing “Outings” but now some members also giving greater assistance at local events i.e Village Fete, Lakeside Nature Reserve Event, Remembrance Day Parades and Christmas Fantasia.

If you would like to help please contact Pat Scott scott.lpd@outlook.com or (01252) 324941.  I look hearing from you.

Vivace Chorus – Verdi’s Requiem 18 May 2024

Here is the latest information about Vivace Chorus’s upcoming concert at GLive, which promises to be an extraordinary evening.

Verdi’s Requiem

GLive, London Rd, Guildford GU1 2AA

18 May 2024, 19.30

Tickets £12.50-£35

Tickets and information: 0343 310 0055

GLive.co.uk (click on the link for more information)

Vivace Chorus will perform this awe-inspiring piece alongside the Liverpool Welsh Choral Union and the National Symphony Orchestra at GLive. With 200 singers, a huge orchestra, four soloists and eight off-stage trumpets, it promises to be a night full of drama and beauty.

Easter Events this week!

Special events this week for Easter 2024:
Wednesday 7:30pm at St Mary’s: Neil’s talk – Reflection on the way of tea – “why I do what I do”

Thursday 6pm at st Mary’s: Maundy Thursday bring and share meal

Good Friday:
10:00 walk of witness sets off from st Mary’s
10:30 service with Churches Together at Ash Wharf outside by the canal bridge
11:30 hot cross buns at the Chapel on wharf rd, all welcome
Afternoon – st Mary’s open for prayer, craft and meditation

Saturday: st Mary’s open all day, come and help with church decoration, flowers team will be in 10:00-12:00 come and join in!

Easter Sunday: special Easter celebration service 10:30am at St Mary’s
(Remember the clock go forward!)

On as usual this week:
Chapel cafe 9:30-12:30
Little lambs 10:00-11:30
Chapelkids 11:00-14:00
(Friday cafe will be at chapel this week, not at st Mary’s)

All free to attend, all welcome, see you there!

Chapel Kids and friends will be going to visit Forest Kids Ash on 10th April. Text for more info! 07730609446

Easter Treats for our Food Parcels

Local Easter Appeal: Would you like to add something special to our food parcels next week? We would welcome donations of Easter treats for the #AshVillagesFoodParcelsProject any time before 28th March. Thank you for your support!
You can donate at St Mary’s or at The Chapel when we are open, or message us to arrange a time with our project team. 07730609446

Happy Easter!

Please vote for the Food Parcels Project!

Fund our local Food Parcels Projectby giving us your vote at Co-Op! Vote online or via their App. The voting link is here: https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/76829

The Ash Villages Food Parcels Project serves local people in Ash, Ash Vale, Ash Green and Tongham. We deliver emergency food and toiletries to local people in crisis, and offer a listening ear. Your vote will mean we receive more funding. Thank you for your support.

How this cause brings people in the community together: Our Food Parcels project helps local people in crisis, providing emergency food and toiletries. Referrals come from CAB, Wellbeing Team, Social Services, DWP and local churches too. As well as food, we offer a listening ear, and help to connect people to other sources of help, including Chapel Cafe and local warm hubs. We are connecting with people to battle against the anxiety, isolation and mental strain that goes hand in hand with food poverty. We can all work together to make sure that none of our neighbours go hungry. Our donors and grant funders are wonderful and the lovely team of volunteers are amazing at what they do.

So please – Vote today, and spread the word to encourage others to help us too!

Thank you. https://membership.coop.co.uk/causes/76829

The Ash Villages Food Parcels Project is a joint project between St Mary’s Church in Ash Vale (Revd Neil Lambert) and the Ash Villages Support Circle (Carla Morson), kindly hosted at The Chapel Project on Wharf Rd. If you need to contact us you can contact our Project Manager Alex Sanderson on foodparcels@ash-vale.org.uk  Tel.: 07730 609446