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!

Alex

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.

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

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

Ash Wednesday Service 6.30pm

You are warmly invited to come to our Ash Wednesday service on Wednesday 14th February 2024 at 6.30pm. Join us at St Mary’s on Vale Road, GU12 5JE. All are welcome.

The first day of Lent is called Ash Wedensday. This is the time in the year for a special service with the imposition of ashes. If you want to know more about it, why not pop in to St Mary’s and ask? Our cafe is open on Fridays 10:00-13:00 and our Sunday services start at 10:30am. See you soon!

Pancake Day – Youre invited!

Join us on Tuesday 13th Feb 2024 from 10am-12:30 for some pancake day fun! Races, crafts and yummy pancakes for all ages. It’s all by donation, no set fee. Pop along and enjoy a family friendly get together at St Mary’s church, Ash Vale GU12 5JE All are welcome.

PS – We don’t have staff for this, just a lovely team of volunteers, and all help is much appreciated at tidy up time. Thank you for pitching in – many hands make light work!

pic credit https://pixabay.com/users/valshill-12389644/

Little Lambs getting creative – come and join in!

New year, new toddler group?

Our Tuesday baby and toddler group is called Little Lambs Library and we run each week in term time 10:00-11:30 here at St Mary’s on Vale Road in Ash Vale, GU12 5JE. All welcome and it’s free / by donation. We start with a cuppa, craft and play, then the bouncy castle goes up, and we finish with story and songs.

We would love to welcome you!

St Mary’s Flower Team: Can you put flowers in a vase?

Yes? Congratulations! You’re just the sort of person we need to join the St Mary’s Flower Team!
Other characteristics that may be useful:
– an hour or so to spare every few months;
– sense of humour;
– interest in flowers.
Of course, if you’re already a skilled flower arranger and would like to use your expertise to create glorious displays, that would be fantastic too!  If you’re starting out or just fancy having a go, you won’t be on your own – come and help out for a week or two and see how you get on.  It could be the start of something fabulous!  Contact Steph Farry for more info. Or text our Project Manager on 07730609446