Cast your Votes at the Co-op to support Food Projects at The Chapel!

By Alex Sanderson (Chapel Project Manager)

As most locals will already know, the Chapel Project on Wharf Rd is all about sharing Christ’s love through creativity, hospitality and worship. We welcome everyone, of all faiths and none. The Chapel is a joint initiative between the Hants Surrey Border Methodist Circuit, and St Marys Church in Ash Vale (more on our website here: and Facebook @ashvalechapel). Now you can help us do more in 2022, through the Co-op ‘Local Causes’ scheme!

Continue reading “Cast your Votes at the Co-op to support Food Projects at The Chapel!”

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: Market opens 12:00, carols at 16:30 and lights switch on by 5pm. (The Ash Centre, Ash Hill Rd)

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A Bible Study for Christmas (Philippians 2:1-16)

By Helen Lambert

As we draw near to Christmas, and so much vies for our limited attention, energy and resources, this letter penned by the apostle Paul whilst in prison provides a timely reminder of how we might approach this season whilst remaining mindful of the “reason”…

The central theme is captured in verses 6-11, which takes the form of a poem or hymn, and expands on what we might think of as our core Christmas message – that God himself was born as a baby and shared our human life with us.

Continue reading “A Bible Study for Christmas (Philippians 2:1-16)”

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

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What’s inside? Oct/Nov 2021 Parishioner

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

What’s going on at Ash Manor?  – (p8&9) by Sue Wyeth-Price

Advice from Ash CAB—(p10)

*** QUIZ NIGHT 20th November **** full details (p11) book today!

Shopping Local  – (p14) By Jackie Scott

Seasonal Recipe: Oat cookies—(p15) by Jackie Scott

What’s on in October & November—(p16&17)

Autumn Bible Study—(p20&21) By Helen Lambert

Ash Vale Community Street Team—(p22&23) By Pat Scott

Autumn Word Search  – (p23)

News from Age UK Surrey—(p24)

An update on the ‘Save the Ranges’ campaign—(p25) by Tim Jones

Remembering Ada Young—(p26) By Nikki Glover

Autumn Challenge—(p27) by Steph Farry

Helping Others—(p28) Local Action for Refugees & shoebox appeal

Harvest Home 2021 —(p29) Scrivener’s seasonal reflections

Useful Numbers—(p30)

*** Love & Light Trail “”” 31 Oct 2021 full details inside back cover

Community café welcomes you at St Mary’s on Fridays 10:30-12:00. No need to book just pop in. Tea, coffee, chat, come and say hello (and you can pick up a Parishioner Magazine while you’re here!) 🙂

We welcome fun, informative and local interest items! The copy deadline for the Dec/Jan 2021 issue is 10th November. Emails please to:  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.

Autumn Bible Study (2 Corinthians 3:3-11; 16-18)

By Helen Lambert

What do you like best about Autumn?  For some, it is the bountiful ending of Summer – the “Season of mists and mellow fruitfulness”, with its ripening fruit, beautiful berries and glorious colours.  For others, it is a beginning rather than an ending – the start of a new school year, or perhaps even a new school, maybe a new job, the start of a new season.  This year, that newness is being felt even more keenly as we venture out into the “new normal” of living with COVID.  What aspects of life have you been forced to re-think as you emerge from the restrictions of the past 18 months?  Have things “gone back to normal”, or has everything changed?  Have any changes been for the better?  For Christians in general, and for those of us at St Mary’s in particular, we are challenged to consider what this might mean for the church?  Could this be a God-given opportunity to re-think what the church should look like?  Do we meet God in the security of the past, and “get back to normal” as quickly as possible?  Or do we step into whatever re-imagined future he might be wanting to lead us into, building on our traditions without being tied to them?

In this month’s reading, taken from one of Paul’s letters to the fledgling church in Corinth, Paul focuses on the “new way” versus the “old way”. 

It is a tricky passage to understand without some background:  Paul begins by talking about the Covenant, or agreement, which God made with the people of Israel, and particularly about the Law (commandments) which he gave to Moses on Mount Sinai, and which were carved on tablets of stone (v7).  This Law was God’s most precious gift to his people, for it revealed his heart and his will for them and showed them how they were to live in relationship with Him and with each other.  Moreover, it was revealed to them by Moses, who met with God “as one meets with a friend” (Exodus 33:11).  When Moses returned from meeting God, he would have to wear a veil over his face because he was so radiant (v7)! The Covenant was that if the people kept God’s Law, he would be their God and bless them.  However, as the whole story of the Old Testament reveals, God’s people were unable to live according to God’s ways, so the Law that should have brought them life and blessing, instead brought “condemnation” (v9).

So, was the “old way” (v7) good or bad?  Count how many times the word “glory” or “glorious” appears in this passage?  How many of these are associated with the “old way”?

It is clear that God’s Law was indeed “glorious” – and was intended to be life-giving to those who received it.  It was nothing less than God’s revelation of himself in written form.  However, Paul revealed to them a “new way” that was even more glorious (v9)!  What does he tell us about this new way?  Where does it come from and why is it so much more glorious?

Firstly, the new way comes from the Holy Spirit, who is the presence of God himself in our lives (v8; v17).  Like the Law, it is God’s revelation to us, but unlike the Law, it is written on our hearts (v3). Secondly, the new way “makes us right with God” (v9) in a way that the old way was unable to.  No wonder it is more glorious!  Finally, we read that the new way has replaced the old way and, in contrast to it, the new way will last for ever (v11).

So Paul honours the “old way”, acknowledging how wonderful it was, but he does not want the believers to be tied to it when the new way is so much better in every way.  Are there any lessons here for the church?  Perhaps you can share your thoughts with us!

Lest we are tempted to embrace novelty for novelty’s sake (or indeed, hold on to the past for its own sake), the final verses of chapter 3 remind us of our calling and purpose as the people of God.  Like Moses, we are to reflect the glory or God as we ourselves are changed by His Spirit to become more and more like His Son Jesus.  Moses’ radiance (see above) was a reflection of his relationship with God – may we too, as individuals and as the church, reflect God’s glory in our community.

“Whenever someone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away…so all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord.  And the Lord – who is the Spirit – makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.”(v16;18)

(2 Corinthians 3:3-11; 16-18)

You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.

Such confidence we have through Christ before God. Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God. He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Now if the ministry that brought death, which was engraved in letters on stone, came with glory, so that the Israelites could not look steadily at the face of Moses because of its glory, transitory though it was, will not the ministry of the Spirit be even more glorious? If the ministry that brought condemnation was glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness! 10 For what was glorious has no glory now in comparison with the surpassing glory. 11 And if what was transitory came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!

16 But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. 17 Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. 18 And we all, who with unveiled faces contemplate[a] the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into his image with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.

Bible Gateway site is available here:

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.

What’s on in October and November 2021?

Regular Events at St Mary’s and The Chapel:


10:30am Church Service at St Mary’s church, Vale Rd GU12 5JE  followed by refreshments & chat


11:30am Coffee Zoom for parents and carers text Alex 07730 609446


10:00am -11:30am Babies at St Mary’s Support Group, for parents and carers and their little ones 0-12mths. Join us for cuppa & chat and we finish with some songs. Text Alex to book 07730609446 

12:00—12:30 Prayer time at St Mary’s

8pm Choir practise at St Mary’s, no auditions, contact the parish office if you’d like to join. Christmas Choir starts after half term. All welcome


11:30am-1:30pm Chapel Kids baby and toddler group at The Chapel on Vale Rd, play, story and craft followed by lunch club. Fruit snack and tea & coffee provided. (Bring a picnic lunch) contact Alex to book 07730 609446

8pm Chapel Craft Club, bring your latest project and chat while you craft.


7:30pm Chapel Filmshare, our neighbourhood cinema. Fortnightly film fun. Contact Dick  01252 694314 or email


10am-11:30am Community Cafe at St Marys, all welcome. 

10am-11am Hear hear is back! Pop over to St Mary’s in Vale Rd and have your hearing aid batteries and tubes changed by Jackie. (First Friday of the month)

10:30am bible study in church

Regular Bible study and homegroups – We have several groups running at different times during the week, please get in touch.

Chapel Poetry  Group

Monthly zoom workshop with Poet in Residence Max Alcazar. Join our next session on 1st October 7:30om or text us for future dates 07730 609446.

All the above events are free / by donation, and your support is welcomed so we can keep offering these events for the community. Donations link:

Thank you!

What’s on in October & November 2021

Chapel Monthly Makes

Creative workshops led by Artist in Residence Debi Retallick. Once a month on Thursday afternoons, contact Debo for details and bookings 

Music & Wellbeing Workshops 

Fridays in October & November at The Chapel 12:30, see page 19 for more information. Come to our taster on Friday 1st October! 

Tongham Baby & Toddler Groups:

Baby Plus Thursdays 10:30-12

Toddler Plus Wednesdays 10:30-12

Contact Claire  to book on:

Local walking group: Walk & Talk – enjoy a local social walk and get to know your neighbours. Facebook or contact Naomi 07932649133

3rd October New Ramp Opening at St Paul’s church on Poyle Rd in Tongham, come and join the celebration! 2pm

10th October 10:30am Harvest Festival at St Marys in Ash Vale, we are collecting donations for the local Food Parcels Project. (Store cupboard food items, cash donations and toiletries all much appreciated)

21 Oct & 18 Nov Messy Church Packs available from St Paul’s Tongham, and 24th Oct & 28th Nov On site Messy Church at St Paul’s Tongham, Contact St Paul’s to book.

31st October Love and Light Trail, finishing at The Chapel with food, fun, messy church kits and hot chocolate, contact Alex to book your start time 07730609446 (More info on our inside back cover)

14 Nov Remembrance Day a short service at St Mary’s and then we will all join the civic service in the village. The Churches Together team will serve tea & coffee afterwards.

20th November Quiz Night at St Mary’s doors open 7pm for a 7:30pm start. Book with Nikki, tickets £12, Food included, byob. We have a Grand Raffle being drawn too, win a Robot Vacuum cleaner! (see page 11)

20 November:  Vivace Chorus will perform Elgar’s “The Dream of Gerontius” at Dorking Halls, 7.30pm. phone 01306 881717  To book.

Messy Church at  Frimley Green Methodist Church: 3rd Sunday of the month. Contact Gina 01252 517045

Save the dates for December:

3rd December Christmas Fair at St Peters in Ash 

6th December St Nicholas day lantern walk from

24th December Christingle services & Midnight Mass

A Letter from the Vicarage

By Revd. Neil Lambert

The British have a long relationship with the Nepali people.  Over 200 years ago, the British East India Company was at war with Nepal, fighting battles in the Himalayas that eventually led to a mutual respect.  Both sides decided they would be better as friends than enemies and subsequently Gurkha regiments began to be established within the army—we’ve been friends ever since.

And now—praise God—we are not just friends but neighbours!  

Continue reading “A Letter from the Vicarage”