What’s Inside? Parishioner Aug/Sept 2021

A letter from the Vicarage  — (p3&4) By Revd Neil Lambert                 

**Summer Ball 21st August, book your tickets today! (p5) **

Neighbourly Reflections (p8&9) By Jackie Scott

Friday Night Isonation — (p10) By Steve Worsfold

Faith, Hope and Love in Uganda Lockdown  (p11) Amaha We Uganda Update

My Favourite Recipe — (p14&15) Walnut Kisses by Jackie Scott

Chapel Music News — (p15) Matt Weeks enjoying the diversity at The Chapel

What’s on? – (p17) pull out and pop on the fridge!

Messy Church dates for the diary — (p19)

Bible Study—Where do we belong? — (p20&21) by Helen Lambert

Mirror Mind—Poetry Competition Winners! – (p22&23)

Ash Citizens Advice  – (p24)

Chapel Filmshare  – (p25) Dick Elsey invites you for a movie

Post Holiday Kitchen Blues  –  (p26 & 27)

Kids corner—(p28) Lucy suggests 10 things for kids to try in the summer holidays

Modern Aids—(p29) Scrivener

Help is at hand—useful numbers (p30)

Picnic & Play news (inside back cover)

Community café is on this Summer at St Mary’s on Fridays 10:30-12:00. No need to book just pop in. Tea, coffee, chat, come and say hello 🙂

We welcome fun, informative and local interest items!

The copy deadline for the Oct/Nov 2021 issue is 10th September.

Emails please to:  parishioner@ash-vale.org.uk  Thank you!

While the COVID infections rates remain high, we are minimising the risk to our readers and volunteers by printing only on request, and by sharing The Parishioner far and wide via email, website and social media instead. Please remember to like & share online! If you or someone you know would like a paper copy please pick one up at St Mary’s or contact 07730 609446  to request one. Best wishes & stay safe!

The Parishioner seeks to explore and reflect upon a wide variety of local issues whilst recognising
that not everyone will agree with the views expressed.  These do not necessarily reflect the views of all the members of St Mary’s Church nor those of its Parochial Church Council.

Treasure Hunt – how many ice creams can you find in this edition?

Picnic & Play in the Holidays

Picnic & Play in the Holidays

12:00 -14:00

Wednesdays in August

Outside in the garden at

The Chapel, Wharf Rd, GU12 5AY

Come and join us for a picnic, a chat  and a play in the Chapel garden.

Please text Alex to book 07730 609446

Booking is essential so we can manage numbers

& cater for your picnic lunch.

Help is at hand! – Useful numbers

Here are some of the useful numbers you may need if you need support in Ash Vale. If you think we are missing a number please let us know.

Local Churches:

St Mary’s, Ash Vale – 07863 311165 (Parish Administrator’s Mobile)

The Chapel, Ash Vale –  07730 609446 (Project Manager’s Mobile)

St Peter’s, Ash – 01252 331161

Holy Angels, Ash – 01252 321422

St Paul’s, Tongham – 01252 782790

Local help and support during the Covid-19 crisis:

Ash, Ash Vale & Ash Green Coronavirus Support group (volunteers doing shopping & prescription runs & emergency  food parcels)  – 07843 489796

Ash Parish Council – 01252 328 287

Ash Citizens Advice  –  01252 315569 or 01252 314711

Ash Vale Health Centre – 01252 317551 (Out of hours phone 111, in an emergency dial 999)

Guildford Borough Council Covid-19 Community Helpline – 01483 444400

Community Wellbeing Team – 07769 642053 / 07901 513652

Safe & Settled Team  – 01483 444476 for those needing help at home on arriving back from hospital or needing some help to manage at home.

If you need to talk to someone : national helplines

Samaritans (24/7 service) – 116 123 or text SHOUT 85258

National Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0808 2000 247    www.nationaldahelpline.org.uk/ (run by Refuge)
The Men’s Advice Line, for male domestic abuse survivors – 0808 801 0327
The Mix, free information/support for under 25s in the UK – 0808 808 4994
National LGBT+ Domestic Abuse Helpline – 0800 999 5428

PAPYRUS—Young suicide prevention society,  0800 068 4141

Childline for children 0800 1111

Alcoholics Anonymous — 0800 917 7650 (24/7)

Narcotics Anonymous — 0300 999 1212

Cruse Bereavement Care — 0808 808 1677

Contacting The Parishioner:

Call Alex 07730 609446 in the first instance and she will put you in touch with the right volunteer parishioner@ash-vale.org.uk

Donations: Did you know? You can now ’give a little’ online to support St Mary’s Church and all the work we do. We very much need and appreciate your support in these difficult times. https://givealittle.co/campaigns/e912dae4-3af1-4453-99dc-0330f32faf15 Thank you!

Modern Aids

A few weeks ago I received an e-mail from a seed & plant supply company.  Its headline read that they had a stock of heritage seed packs available including one of the first (if not the first) climbing French Bean.  The variety of this bean – The Lazy Housewife.  The derogatory name derives from the fact that this variety of bean does not require de-stringing like runner beans: just topped & tailed and cut into short lengths before cooking, thus saving much labour in the kitchen!

This got me thinking about our attitudes to change in an ever changing world.  So often a really more efficient way of achieving a target arrives but it may take years for the new way to catch on.  Sometimes the new way is either mocked (rather like The Lazy Housewife above), or completely underestimated like the possible demands for television sets (people will soon get tired of watching a plywood box) and most famously in the fallaciously attributed statement that in 1943 Thomas Watson (the President of IBM) declared that he thought there was a world market “for maybe five computers” and “5,000 copying machines” –it was someone else!

My father bought my mother the first refrigerator in the street, it was noisy but it kept the milk and other perishable foodstuffs fresh for much longer than the larder, at the same time he purchased a washing machine to replace the copper that had to be removed so that the refrigerator could be fitted into the kitchen (it was a VERY small galley kitchen).  So at a stroke my mother could reduce the weekly number of times she needed to shop and reduce washday to a mere morning’s labour.  The gainsayers all said “We don’t need such things, why would we waste money on electrical appliances to block up the kitchen when we can go to the shop every day (except ½day Wednesday, ½day Saturday and whole day Sunday) for perishables, and send the washing to the laundry?”.  The latter point had a slight ring of truth but with two irascible sons and an engineer for a husband the stuff needing to go off to the laundry from our household alone would have filled the laundry truck.

These days few people would not have a refrigerator, a washing machine, a television or a computer and only a few pedants would have inkwells, quill pens, typewriters or a box of single use Nightingale Gramophone Needles.  There seems to be a tipping point with good new ideas, either they are “quickly” accepted and become the new normal or they fall away into history, sometimes to be found and resurrected eons later.  Leonardo’s “helicopter” drawing is a case in point.

So what will future generations think about the machinations of pro & anti vaxxers and pro & anti maskers when the main concern has to be getting “things” safe for the world population?


Kids Corner—things to do in the holidays

By Lucy Sanderson (age 9)

Here are some ideas for what people can do in the Summer holidays! I hope you enjoy them.

1) Go on a bug hunt—how many creatures can you find?

2) Go hiking, near here there are some lovely walks  on the ranges and along the canal.

3) Make your own ice lollies! I like to use orange juice or orange squash. If you don’t have lolly moulds you can use an old yoghurt pot and a teaspoon!

4) Bake a cake (tip for vegans, you can use a basic shop cake mix and a can of fizzy orange to make a yummy chocolate orange cake!)

5) Camp outside! Borrow a tent or pin a big sheet over the trampoline, add a duvet and you’re ready to sleep out. Don’t forget the midnight feast!

6) Rock paper splash! This is a variation on the game ‘rock paper scissors’ but the loser each round gets splashed with water.

7) Make your own spray paint for outdoor art. Mix (washable) paint and water in an old cleaning spray bottle (make sure you clean it out thoroughly first!) then spray on to a wall, or and old sheet to create your artwork (check with grownups for permission before you paint!)

8) Create your own beach! If you have a sandpit you can dig a hole and add a big bowl of water to dip your toes in. Ahhhhhhh lovely.

9) Junk Modelling—make your own toy! Recycle old clothes into teddy bears, or cereal packets into robots, anything goes!

10) Den building—in the summer heat, shade is the key to happiness! Get a sheet or blanket and pin, peg or drape it wherever there is space, and create your own den. How about making a big one if you have brothers and sisters?

Have great fun with this list.


I love ice cream! How many can you fins in this magazine?

Post-holiday kitchen blues

By Jane Cox

You know how it is: you stagger in from a glorious holiday having been reunited with family at last. After 7 hours on the road on a journey which should have taken 4, you are hungry, desperate for a cup of tea and weighed down by a pile of washing that threatens to erupt from the suitcase. All you want is to collapse under the duvet and sort it all out tomorrow.

This year we got back to a kitchen that was a building site – the only functioning things were the kettle and the cooker – no sink, no hob, no fridge, no washing machine (eeek!!!) and the contents of the kitchen stacked up in boxes in the dining-room. Could I find where I had put things??? Of course not. Why is it some people can remember exactly where they put things (my husband – unless it’s his comb) and others can’t (me)?

Meals take so long when you have to hunt for things. You end up eating your breakfast (if you can find it) out of an old yoghurt pot. For many days I was washing up in the bath – not recommended for those with dodgy backs. There are various aggravations: not being able to access the room in which I spend a lot of my day; the need to clamber round ladders, paint pots, dust sheets and all manner of building paraphernalia every time the dog needs a piddle. I could not ask for a nicer builder, but his constant presence from the cheerful ‘hello’ at an hour of the morning when I am not presentable, to the afternoon’s equally cheerful, ‘see you tomorrow’ is wearing. Sometimes I just need space to think, swear, sing, talk to myself, overdose on chocolate without being observed.

We thought it was an excellent idea when our builder suggested he started the long-overdue work on our kitchen while we were away – and it was sensible advice. Never having had a new kitchen before, we had just naively expected less chaos and more progress when we got back.  The disruption has continued for weeks, and I’ve got teeth-grindingly, self-pityingly stressed – while feeling pretty guilty about it. I know I am really lucky to be having a new kitchen at all – but I still get stressed. The kindness of friends offering help, people turning up at the door with meals and offering me the use of their washing machine, has been amazing and I am so grateful….but still stressed!

Then in our church service we heard from brothers and sisters in Uganda. The country has gone back into Covid lockdown with catastrophic consequences. People who live from hand to mouth unable to work and support their families are going hungry. Widows, street children, who have nothing, and no one to care for them, are in danger of starvation. Their situation is truly desperate. And this is happening now, today, when I am moaning about washing up in the bath.

That put things in perspective for me. I am utterly ashamed. How dare I complain when they, quite literally, face the prospect of losing their lives? For all the temporary stress, I have so much. I may not have a properly functioning kitchen, but I am not going hungry. So, I am determined to turn my back on grumbling; to lower my expectations of what I can do, while there is disruption at home, so as not to add to my stress; to be exceedingly grateful for the huge amount I have – not least the kind friends who care and share with me — and a beautiful new kitchen to look forward to…even if it is taking a while.

Chapel Filmshare – Ash Vale’s Free Neighbourhood Cinema

We are planning to revive our film evenings at the Chapel early in September when we anticipate that all Covid restrictions will have been lifted and that we’ll be able to offer our usual tea, coffee and cakes along with some enjoyable film entertainment.

For those who are not familiar with our group, we hold fortnightly film evenings at the Chapel on Thursday evenings. We normally start meeting up from 7.30 p.m. to share tea or coffee and cakes.  We show some cartoons, ‘shorts’ or trailers, followed by a main feature at around 8 p.m. Each film is usually preceded by a short introduction with a follow-up discussion afterwards – not too deep in content! 

We try to offer an interesting mixture of cinema entertainment; including feature films, both fairly recent and ‘classic’, occasional world cinema offerings, some ‘made for television dramas’ and a few documentary style presentations. Most are on dvd, some of these being bought in whilst others are provided by members.

We operate under a church video licence which gives us access to films from a wide variety of distributors, including MGM, Disney, Paramount, Sony Classic and more recently, Studio-Canal. Our projection equipment is provided under the British Film Institute’s neighbourhood Cinema scheme and we have our own large screen.

Anyone is welcome to join us. There is no charge for the film viewing although we’re happy to receive donations towards refreshments and are always grateful for any help with moving chairs and equipment. 

If you enjoy tea, coffee and cakes and appreciate films you’re welcome to join us fortnightly in September at the Chapel in Wharf Road, Ash Vale, GU12 5AY  from 7.30 p.m.  To sign up to our e-mail newsletter contact  Dick Elsey at richard.elsey45@gmail.com or on 01252 694314.

Ash Citizens Advice

Your Questions Answered

I have been living in my privately rented flat for years. I generally have a good relationship with my landlord, but I just cannot get them to carry out various repairs that have built up. How can I get them to act – and what exactly do they have to do?

This must be a very frustrating situation. The law states that your landlord must provide accommodation that is safe, healthy, and free from things that could cause serious harm. (this is for England only). You do not say exactly what repairs are needed. If you have problems such as electrical wiring that you think might be faulty, or there’s damp, or an infestation by pests, the landlord has a legal obligation to put things right.

Landlords are also responsible for the maintenance of the general structure, and fittings such as boilers and radiators; basins, baths, and toilets; and the drains.

The first step is to contact your landlord again, in writing. Include photographs of the problems. Keep a record of all communications and evidence relating to the disrepair.

 If that does not prompt any action,  advisors at Citizens Advice can help you  with next steps. These could include contacting your local council who have dedicated officers for dealing with  privately rented properties in disrepair or asking for a visit by the environmental health team.

Tenants can take their landlords to court to force them to carry out repairs. However, it is worth getting some advice and thinking carefully before embarking on this route. You can contact us by email at ashcab.org.uk or call 01252 315569.

UPDATE from the Ash Office

Ash Citizens Advice  helps people deal with the problems they face in everyday life and covers a range of topics including legal, consumer, employment, housing, benefits, debt and much, much more.  If you would like to find out more about Volunteering or would like an application pack, please call  on 01252 330080 or email admin@ashcab.org.uk.

Every year Citizens Advice puts thousands of pounds back into the pockets of hard-pressed families, the unemployed, homeless, and poorest communities it serves. It does this by helping them to manage their money, claim their full financial entitlements and avoid the costs of getting into debt. This money is critical to their lives and to local business. Without money people cannot afford the essentials of life and without spending, local business cannot thrive. You can help us to keep local markets buoyant by supporting our work with people in need in your community. Citizens Advice Ash is looking for Corporate Partners to work alongside us in the local community.

Citizens Advice Ash is currently open for telephone Advice, Mon—Thur 9.30am to 4pm .

Mirror Mind… The Competition Winners

Reflections on Memories in Poetry

Many thanks to everyone who entered the poetry competition published in the previous Parishioner Magazine. We had some wonderful entries and were only sad not to be able to include them all in the new collection.  We also want to thank everyone who came to the poetry evening, and donated for books, to help fund The Chapel Project. Huge congratulations to our Poetry Competition winners, Kit Vessey and Michael D Rose who won 1st and 2nd prizes. Here are their poems for you to enjoy (published with kind permission, copyright is retained by the authors).



ice giant

a white tongue on the landscape,

you skirr somnolently through hillsides

on a ballet of debris –

a geological pencil-sharpener.

Your blistered surface               is a mirror maze,

infested with the hammer-blow entertainments

of a travelling fair,

a cavernous lure, driving sunlight

deep into the churning score 

of your battleship-sleep.

By Michael D Rose  ©2021

Mirror Mind– 2nd Prize Winner

The Day I Lost My Memory

The day I lost my memory

Was a Wednesday

I think.

I put her down


On the kitchen counter,

Turned distractedly from

The kettle

To watch the dust motes

Sparkle in a shaft of daylight.

I did not miss her


My mind twinkled with

Images of light darting on

The eiderdown which

Lay over heavy blankets forming

A counterpane land of

My childhood frailty…

Weak legs

Strong mind

Strong legs

Weak mind.

I have heard it said that

Those who lose their memory

Often keep their physical prowess.

A whistle blew.

I turned back

And wondered about the nature of the

Here and Now.

The There and Then.

The pain of loss

Is a burden

I pass on to another being.

I left something,



Before the daylight struck.

But I can’t remember

Who she was.

By Kit Vessey  © 2021

Mirror Mind  – 1st prize   winner

It’s no too late! If you would like a copy of the Mirror Mind collection, contact Alex our Project Manager on 07730 609446 or ashvalechapel@gmail.com. Suggested donation £5 each, in aid of the Chapel Project, to help us keep everything running.

If you love writing poetry, why not join in? The next Poetry workshop is on Friday 13th August 7:30pm on Zoom. #Hospitality #Creativity #Worship Text 07730 609446 for details.

Bible Study: Belonging (Isaiah 43:1-5)

By Helen Lambert

Where do you belong? Is it where you are from, the town or country where you were born? Is it your family or your friendship group? Perhaps you belong to a club or a team? Do you sometimes feel you belong to your work?

We talk about having a “sense of belonging”, or “feeling we belong”, as things that make us feel safe and secure. Where we belong gives us a sense of identity and affects how we behave. What aspects of your life (or even your identity) are affected by where you belong?

Conversely, it can be really hard to feel we don’t belong – whether to the “in” group, our community, the prevailing culture, or perhaps life in general.

Where does today’s Bible verse tell us we belong? The narrative of the Bible, from beginning to end, is that the God who created the world, and created us, also chose us to belong to him. Amazingly, the God who created the universe and everything in it, knows us so personally that he calls us by name (v1). He tells us, through the prophet Isaiah, that we are his. 

What are the implications of this deep and personal relationship with our creator God? This verse makes clear to us that belonging to God is a safe place to be. Why do you think this is so? 

Firstly, we are safe because we are known. The One who created us knows us better than we know ourselves, and so we do not need to hide away, or pretend to be someone we are not – as we may have to do to “fit in” with some of other the groups we want to belong to.  Not only are we known, but we are loved (yes – in spite of being known!) Further into this passage it says that we are infinitely precious to God (v4). 

Secondly, we are safe because God promises to look after us through the storms and terrors of life (though note that he does not say he will remove all these challenges). The promise is to be with us when we walk through “deep waters” (v2) so that they do not overwhelm us. What deep waters do you feel threatened by at the moment? Ask God to walk with you so that you are not overwhelmed.

Thirdly, we can feel safe because we have been chosen by God – we have nothing to prove! The Bible tells us that God chose us to belong to him even before the beginning of the world (Ephesians 1:4), and that this is made possible by Jesus Christ. It is not our own doing.

Finally, we can feel safe because our belonging to God gives us an identity and a purpose: “You did not choose me, I chose you and appointed you to go and bear much fruit…” (John 15:16)

So, God’s love, acceptance and choosing does not depend on who we are, what we have done, or even our choosing to follow him.  It is there for us, and has been since “before the world was made” (Ephesians 1:4).  We do, however, have a choice about whether we want to live in that place of safety, to accept the offer of belonging, to choose to explore and discover the relationship that is offered to us.  This in turn leads us to make choices about the way we live.  Earlier, we considered how where we belong affects the way that we live.  If we accept that we belong to God, this will inevitably inform the choices we make about our life, our behaviour and our priorities. How might they change for you?

I write this in the week that COVID restrictions have been lifted. Many are celebrating, but others have great fear.  Whether this is true of you, or whether other fears threaten to overwhelm you, or if you struggle with the fear of being an “outsider” – of not truly feeling you belong – be encouraged by these verses which are “bookended” by, and centred on, the promise of God to save, protect and accompany, all will a deeply personal love. “Do not be afraid – I will save you” (v1); “Do not be afraid – I am with you” (v5); “I am the Lord your God who saves you” (v3);  “I will…save your life, because you are precious to me and because I love you…”(v4). 

Know that you too belong and are welcome in the place of safety that is the Father’s love: 

“I have called you by name – you are mine!”

43 But now, this is what the Lord says—
    he who created you, Jacob,
    he who formed you, Israel:
“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
    I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
When you pass through the waters,
    I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
    they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
    you will not be burned;
    the flames will not set you ablaze.
For I am the Lord your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
I give Egypt for your ransom,
    Cush[a] and Seba in your stead.
Since you are precious and honored in my sight,
    and because I love you,
I will give people in exchange for you,
    nations in exchange for your life.
Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
    I will bring your children from the east
    and gather you from the west.

Read online: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Isaiah+43&version=NIV