What’s Inside? The Parishioner Dec 2021/Jan2022

Christmas Letter from the Vicarage  — (p4&5) Revd Neil Lambert

Ashes Good Neighbours —(p8) A rallying cry and an invitation for coffee

Poets Corner—(p9) Seasonal inspiration from BMS

Meet the Local—(p10) Graham Thomas, Treasurer of Shawfield SSA

Vote now to help The Chapel! –  (p11) Alex Sanderson shares news about the local Co-op Community Fund to support local food projects

From my Nona with love —(p14) Delicious Christmas Panettone recipe

Jesus and his manger — (p15) A lovely reflection by Val Hoppichler

What’s on this Christmas — (p16& 17) Local Christmas Events 

January Diary —(p19) diary dates for the New Year

Bible Study (Philippians 2:1-16) (p20 & 21) – Helen Lambert

A place of welcome— (p22) Christmas greetings from Fr Robin at Holy Angels

Ash Ranges Latest — (p23) An update from Tim at ‘Save our Spaces’

Low Waste Christmas – (p24 &25) Top tips from Twin Larder

Try something new this winter  – (p26)  –  Seasonal fun

Christmas Trees are for Life in Uganda  — (p27)

St Nicholas day Lantern Craft  – (p28)

 I want to live forever—(29) Scrivener

Help is at Hand! – (p30) Useful numbers

We welcome fun, informative and local interest items! The copy deadline for the Feb/March 2022 issue is 10th Jan 2022. Emails please to:  parishioner@ash-vale.org.uk

Cover  image by Dan Austin

The Christingle Journey

24th Dec at St Mary’s, arrival time slots 3-6pm

It’s like Christingle, but more interactive! Join us at St Mary’s to see the Shepherds, make a Christingle, sing carols, taste locally brewed beer at the Inn, and meet Mary, Joseph and Jesus in the stable.

Please text to book your arrival time 07730 609446 Donations in  aid of The Children’s Society

What’s On this Christmas? 2021

Your local Churches Together & community events at a glance

Events during Advent:

Sat 27 Nov: Christmas Cards drop-in Workshop, 1-4pm Visit Ash Fantasia and then pop over to the Chapel on Wharf Rd to make a Christmas card.  No need to book, just pop in. (The Chapel)

Sat 27th Nov: Ash Christmas Fantasia. Contact to book a stall: events@ashpcsurrey.gov.uk. Market opens 12:00, carols at 16:30 and lights switch on by 5pm. (The Ash Centre, Ash Hill Rd)

Sun 28 Nov: ‘Advent Sunday’ Special Service & Sunday School, 10:30am (St Mary’s)

Sat 4th Dec 10am-4pm & Sun 5th Dec 12-4pm St Peter’s Christmas Tree Exhibition. Come and see our Carol themed trees, beautifully decorated by local groups. Nativity display and refreshments too! (St Peter’s)

Sat 4th Dec 11am-1pm St Peter’s Christmas Fayre. All welcome at our annual Christmas Fayre with Tombola, Raffle, Books, and stalls (St Peter’s)

Mon 6th Dec: St Nicholas Lantern Walk, start times available from 4-6pm Celebrate Advent with a lovely lantern walk from The Chapel on Wharf Rd to St Mary’s church garden on Vale Rd, where you can meet St Nicholas and enjoy Rev Neil’s famous home-made pizza! Please text to book: 07730 609446 (Chapel & St Mary’s)

Thurs 9th Dec: Animal Nativity 1pm and again at 2pm  (St Paul’s)

Sunday 12th Dec: Christmas Market, 4pm Come and enjoy the Christmassy atmosphere of an outdoor Christmas Market, with mulled wine, food and raffle, shop local for unique and beautiful Christmas gifts. (St Mary’s)

Sun 12th Dec: Carols by Candlelight (outdoors) 6pm  After the lovey atmospheric Christmas Market, join us for an open air carol service outside. All welcome, no need to book (St Mary’s)

Sun 19th Dec: (St Mary’s)

Family Service & Sunday school, 10:30am. Last date for bringing Christmas hamper donations to church for local families in need —thank you for your support!  

Sun 19th Dec: (St Peter’s)

· Traditional Holy Communion 8am

· Parish Communion 10am

· Carol Service 3pm

Sun 19th Dec: Carols at St Paul’s Tongham 4pm (St Paul’s)

Sun 19th Dec: Ash Museum Open Day, 2-4:30pm (Cemetary Chapel GU12 6LX)

Christmas Eve

Fri 24th Dec: The Christingle Journey, 3-6pm It’s a bit like Christingle, but more interactive! Join us at St Mary’s to see the Shepherds, make a Christingle, sing carols, taste a locally brewed beer at the Inn, and meet Mary, Joseph and Jesus in the stable. (Do dress for the weather!) Please text to book your arrival time 07730 609446 Donations going to The Children’s Society (St Mary’s)

Friday 24th Dec: (St Mary’s)

· 11.30pm Midnight Mass Church Service to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Fri 24th Dec: (St Peter’s)

· 11am Family Crib Service

· 5pm Family Crib Service

· 11.30pm Midnight Mass

Fri 24th Dec: (St Paul’s)

· 4pm Carols

· 11.30pm Christmas Communion

Fri 24th Dec: (Holy Angels)

· 7pm Christmas  Family Mass Catholic Service

· 10:30pm Carols

· 11pm Midnight Mass, Catholic Service

Christmas Day

Sat 25th Dec: (St Mary’s) Christmas Day Service 10:30am Main Christmas Day Morning Service on Zoom and in Church. for Zoom details contact parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk

Sat 25th Dec: (St Peter’s): Traditional Holy Communion 8am / Christmas Day Communion 10am

Sat 25th Dec: (St Paul’s): 8am Christmas day service / 10am Christmas day service

Sat 25th Dec: (Holy Angels)Christmas Day Mass, 11am Catholic Service

All events are subject to change due to covid restrictions, please keep an eye on the websites, social media

Where’s that Church?

Church addresses: 

St Mary’s, Vale Rd, GU12 5JE www.ash-vale.org.uk

The Chapel, Wharf Rd GU12 5AY www.ashvalechapel.com

St Paul’s, Poyle Rd, Tongham (https://www.stpaulstongham.org.uk/)

St Peter’s, Ash Church Rd, GU12 6LU http://www.saint-peters-ash.org.uk/

Holy Angels, Ash Church Rd, GU12 6LU www.holyangelsash.org/

(St Peter’s Centre is opposite)

Holy Angels, Ash Church Rd, GU12 6LU

St Nicholas Day Lantern Craft

By Steph Farry

Why not make your own ‘stained glass’ paper lantern, to help bring a cosy atmosphere to a winter’s night?  You can even bring it with you on the St Nicholas Lantern Walk on the 6th December, to help light the way!

You will need:

* Card sheet (or a small card box if you have one)

* Scissors & Glue

* Tracing paper

* Ribbon

* Coloured pencils, tissue paper or felt tips

* Electric/LED tea light / balloon light (Don’t use real flames! Make sure they can’t get hot. We will have spare LED tealights at the lantern walk if you need one.)

How to make your Lantern:

Take your card sheet, and cut to the pattern shown in the picture.  Don’t forget to cut out your windows! Cut four tracing paper inserts slightly larger than these windows; these will be your window ‘panes’.  It’s a good idea to trace around the window frames onto the panes, to show you how big they are, then get to work decorating your ‘stained glass’!  You can draw pictures with crayons or felt tips, or cut shapes out of coloured tissue paper and glue them on.  For some inspiration, why not feature scenes or symbols from the story of St Nicholas? Carefully tape your window ‘panes’ inside the frames, then fold up the four sides and base of your lantern and glue or tape in place.  You can add a ribbon as a handle, or use a strip of card. Then pop your electric tea light inside, and admire the effect!

If you have a card box, you can start by cutting windows in the four sides, then make your stained glass windows to fit.  Or for an even easier version, you can use glass jars (like Mason jars) and stick scraps or patterns of tissue paper to the outside with plenty of clear-drying glue.  Then pop an electric tea light inside, and carry your jar with you!

See you on St Nicholas day!

The St Nicholas day Lantern Walk is from The Chapel on Wharf Rd to St Mary’s Church on Vale Rd, where you can meet Saint Nicholas, enjoy the bonfire and sample Rev Neil’s amazing pizza!  Start times are between 4pm and 6pm on Monday 6th December. Text to book your set-off time on 07730 609446.

Donations for Christmas Food parcels

If you missed it on Facebook during November, here is a little reminder that we are collecting again for Food Parcels & Christmas Hampers to help local families in need. our generosity makes a huge difference to families in need in Ash, Ash Vale and Ash Green, Thank you for your support.

Donations can be dropped off at St Mary’s Church (Vale Rd) Tue/Fri/Sun 9am-12 or at The Chapel Project (Wharf Rd) Wednesdays 9am-14:00. Alternatively contact Carla Morson or Alex Sanderson to arrange a drop-off. projectmanager@ash-vale.org.uk We accept in-date store cupboard food, toiletries, and at Christmas we would love to be able to give out treats such as Christmas puddings and mince pies, toys, toiletries etc. Thank you for your kindness.

Funds: If you prefer to donate funds instead, so that we can buy food, toiletries and Christmas items for the parcels, you can donate online via Give a Little. Please Gift Aid if you can, and the link is here: https://givealittle.co/campaigns/7a47190c-ad4e-4cf9-8662-da844101a41c Thank you for your wonderful support.

Ash, Ash Vale & Ash Green Coronavirus Support Group & St Mary’s, Ash Vale

Food Parcels Project

Christmas Market 12th Dec 2021 4-6pm

St Mary’s Christmas Market: Sunday 12th December 2021, 16:00-18:00

Followed by open air Carols by Candlelight at 18:00

Buy local this Christmas! Come along to our outdoor Christmas Market and enjoy mince pies, hot chocolate and Neil’s legendary pizza, while you browse for Christmas presents and enjoy the atmosphere. Raffle, Tombola, Christmas gifts, and more!

St Mary’s Church, Vale Rd, Ash Vale, GU12 5JE

Information for stall holders:

· For information and to  book a stall, please contact Nikki: 07747 561280 or Val: 07309 008687.

· Stall holders will be featured on our ‘shop local’ page in the next Parishioner Magazine as a thank you for supporting this new Christmas Market event.

· Set up time 14:00-15:30 all stalls to be ready to open at 16:00 (earlier set up time on request)

St Mary’s invites you to celebrate Christmas 2021

St Mary’s invites you to celebrate Christmas 2021

Mon 6th Dec. St Nicholas Lantern Walk 4-6pm Celebrate Advent with a lantern walk from The Chapel (Wharf Rd) to the church garden at St Mary’s (Vale Rd), where you can meet St Nicholas, enjoy the bonfire and taste Rev Neil’s famous home made pizza! Text to book a start time: 07730 609446

New for 2021! Sun 12th Dec. Christmas Market 4pm-6pm Come and enjoy the atmosphere at our outdoor Christmas Market. Mulled wine, food, raffle, shop local for unique and beautiful Christmas gifts, and stay on afterwards for Carols at 6pm.

Sun 12th Dec Carols by Candlelight (outdoors) 6pm Our first  ever open air carol service! Enjoy your favourite carols and keep warm with hot chocolate and mulled wine. Join us outside St Mary’s after the Christmas Market. All welcome, no need to book.

Sunday 19th Dec. Sunday Service 10.30am  This is also the last chance for Food Parcel Donations for Christmas hampers for local families. Thank you!

Friday 24th Dec The Christingle Journey 3-6pm It’s like Christingle, but more interactive! Join us at St Mary’s to see the Shepherds, make a Christingle to take home, sing carols, taste beer at the “Inn”, and meet Mary, Joseph and Jesus in the stable. (Do dress for the weather!)  We will be collecting for the Children’s Society.     Text to book your arrival time  07730 609446

Friday 24th Dec: Midnight Mass 11:30pm A special Church Service to celebrate the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ. (In church or on Zoom)

Fri 25th Dec: Christmas Morning Service 10:30am This is our main Christmas Day Service on Zoom and in Church.

St Mary’s Church, Vale Rd, GU12 5JE


All events subject to change as covid restrictions evolve. Donations are very welcome, our online link is here:  https://tinyurl.com/stmarysashvale  Merry Christmas!   

Save the date – Christmas Tree Exhibition

A Christmas tree display with the theme of Christmas Carols will be held in St. Peter’s Church on 4th and 5th of December.  Groups or individuals can join in the fun by choosing a Carol and decorating a tree, real or artificial and any size. The church will be decorated with nativity sets, greenery and candles and help us all get in the Christmas season. If you would like get creative for Christmas please contact Barbara Rose 07761808727.

Christmas Cake recipe


225g Plain Flour

225g Butter

225g Soft dark brown sugar

225g Currants

225g Raisins

225g Sultanas

0.5 tsp Cinnamon

0.5 tsp Cloves

0.5 tsp Freshly Grated Nutmeg

125g Chopped Almonds

125g Mixed Peel (Optional)

125g Glacé Cherries (Optional)

Rind of one lemon

Rind of one orange

4 Large Eggs, Beaten

1-2 Tablespoons Brandy


Grease and line an 8 inch spring-form cake tin. 

Sift flour with spices. In another bowl beat butter with sugar till light and fluffy. Add the citrus rinds and gradually add beaten egg. Fold flour and spice mix in alternately to the fruit and nuts. Finally add Brandy. 

Pour mixture into cake tin and make a slight well in the centre. Bake on bottom shelf of oven at 145’C for about 3 and a half hours. After cooking turn off oven and leave tin, in the oven to cool. 

Once fully cooled, prick cake with a skewer and add 2 tablespoons of Brandy/Rum of your choice, wrap in brown paper and tinfoil and a couple of days before Christmas cover with marzipan and Royal Icing. 

You can find Vicki on Instagram: @vixxihibiscus

By Victoria Fox