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:  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.

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: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Corinthians+3&version=NIV

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:

Sundays 

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

Mondays

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

Tuesdays 

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

Wednesdays

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.

Thursdays 

7:30pm Chapel Filmshare, our neighbourhood cinema. Fortnightly film fun. Contact Dick  01252 694314 or email Richard.elsey45@gmail.com

Fridays 

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.  parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk

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: https://givealittle.co/campaigns/47eb21e6-c2b0-4a23-a526-8d13fd24fa56

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 debiretallick@googlemail.com 

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:

communityworker@stpaulstongham.org.uk

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. http://www.stpaulstongham.org.uk/

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 www.vivacechorus.org  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”

Chapel Project News

Chapel Arts Monthly Makes—Debi Retallick

Debi is continuing to run the monthly make on Zoom but hoping to return to face to face sessions at the Chapel from September…..

May’s monthly make was a Bird sculpture; one of the participants has caught the making bug and is now on her 9th Bird sculpture; she’s even teaching her friends to make them! 

June Monthly Make: Join Debi for the next monthly make to do some wire work, creating your own dragonfly:  4pm on Tuesday 1st June 2021.

Continue reading “Chapel Project News”

International Mission, Global Action

St Paul’s Tongham: Blythswood Care:

Blythswood Care is a Scottish charity working around the world in a number of great projects supporting vulnerable people in a number of ways e.g. food provision, shoe boxes, education, training and sharing their faith on the way.

We have loved getting to know Balasz, who heads up a project working with lads coming out of orphanages. We have had a tour via zoom, met some of the people at the project and Balasz has preached for us from the top of a mountain!

There are lots of ways to get involved!

5K UR WAY IN MAY – Would you like to take part in a 5K to help raise funds for the work of Blythswood? Join us on the 29th May and take part ‘UR WAY’….running, cycling, swimming, skipping……a 5k route near you.

Ben Nevis Challenge – 12 June 2021 *new date. Conquer Britain’s highest mountain and help transform lives with Blythswood Care. Aim to raise £200+ to support our live changing work.

An Audience with Sam & Asmita Vadavana -Partners at Cornerstone Project in India (online event) on 15th June @7pm

 Blythswood Care Day of Prayer -16th June (Resources available.)

Contact: Area Fundraising Manager: Susi.shears@blythswood.org

St Peter’s Ash: Connect and Encourage

Connect & Encourage is Christian Solidarity Worldwide’s directory of people who have asked to receive cards and letters of encouragement. They’re church leaders, human rights workers, church members and activists from all over the world who suffer daily because of their religious beliefs, or because they defend those rights on behalf of others. Many of them are in prison – all of them are in desperate need of encouragement and hope. Your letters can encourage and inspire them, even getting them better treatment as the government and prison authorities realise that their treatment is being monitored and made known internationally. Here are some of the people we write to: –

(Cuba) Father Conrado is a Roman Catholic priest who has suffered harassment and threats for speaking out for human rights and allowing the families of political prisoners to attend Mass.

(Kenya) Ebenezer Foundational Healing Church.  Many Eritrean Christians have been forced to flee their country due to the severe oppression they face on account of their faith. As they waited for acceptance in third countries, they have established their own worshipping communities. These are essentially refugee churches. Many of these Christians still live cautiously because the Eritrean authorities have been known to track down and harass people even outside of Eritrea.

(China) Alimujiang Yimiti.  A Uyghur Christian from Xinjiang province, Alim is being detained ‘solely because of his faith’ according to the UN Working Group on Arbitrary Detention. Alimujiang was working as a project manager for a British company, when it was targeted in a series of closures of foreign businesses belonging to Christians in Xinjiang in September 2007. Alim was detained in February 2008 and sentenced to 15 years in prison in April 2009, in a court case that did not follow due process under Chinese or international law. Following a failed appeal, Alim was moved to a prison in Xinjiang’s provincial capital, Urumqi. In February 2011 it was announced that an appeal at the Higher People’s Court of Xinjiang had failed and his sentence was upheld. In Jan 2013 Alim’s wife was informed that her monthly visits to her husband would be cut to one every three months.

We hold a Connect and Encourage Lunch Club at St. Peter’s, Ash, and we hope to restart this group in June, eating lunch together and then writing to persecuted Christians using addresses from Christian Solidarity Worldwide. (During lockdown some of us have kept the cards going but it is good to have more people involved) We usually meet on the 2nd Monday of the month and would welcome new members, even if you cannot join us every month. Contact: Barbara Rose 07761808727. 

St Mary’s Ash Vale: Sowing Seeds of Hope with Amaha We Uganda

Amaha We Uganda (Hope for Uganda) is a, grassroots charity which Revd Neil Lambert is a founder member of. He and Helen have worked with the Uganda team for decades, and we have formed some great friendships between Uganda and St Mary’s through mission visits, and recently through William joining our lockdown services on Zoom from Uganda to keep us updated.

The work of AWU this year is focussed on tree planting, mission to street kids and supporting women’s’ groups. These simple projects are incredibly effective in transforming communities by empowering people to lift themselves out of poverty.

The trees project is going brilliantly! 3 nurseries have already been established, and 33,500 tree seedlings have been sent out for planting. Over 1,000 of these are planted  where there were terrible landslides last year, and they will form an important defence against further erosion and loss of life, as well as providing food and shelter.

Bishop Nason of the South Rwenzori Diocese is very supportive and has asked every archdeaconry to establish a tree nursery, and every baptism candidate this year will be planting trees too. We have 13 nurseries to set up, so we will be planting more trees as fast as we can fund them!

How about sponsoring some seedlings for £1 a tree, or even clubbing together with friends to sponsor a whole tree nursery for £500?

Details:  07730 609446 www.amahaweuganda.org

Pentecost Bible Study

By Helen Lambert

We have been waiting a long time – waiting for lockdown to end, waiting to go out, waiting to go away, waiting to hug, waiting for our jabs, waiting for test results, just waiting for COVID to go away and life to “get back to normal” (whatever that was!)  For many, the waiting has been painful – for those in other parts of the world, it remains so, and the cries of anguish still resound.

What are you waiting for with the greatest anticipation?  As with childbirth (v22) we know that the time is coming when we will experience the joy of these hopes being fulfilled – indeed, the signs are already here.  This scripture passage from Paul’s letter to the Romans tells us that “Creation” is also waiting – groaning even – for something that is on its way, but not yet quite fulfilled.

What is it that the world is longing for?  Are you longing too?  We can see from these verses that all of us, somewhere, have an inbuilt desire for “something” that is beyond us, for a kind of fulfilment that is beyond that which our daily lives, and the world around us, have to offer.  We might call this a “search for meaning”, a “spiritual awareness” or even a “God-shaped hole” – and we might have decided to ignore it, or we may be on a path to find it.

Paradoxically, for Christians, this longing does not disappear – in some ways it becomes more acute!  What do these verses say that we are waiting for (v23,24)?  And why, perhaps, do we feel this so keenly (v23)?

We have just celebrated the Feast of Pentecost – the day when God returned to fill the lives of his followers.  Jesus had died and risen again, and many had seen him subsequently (as we celebrated at Easter) and then he had “ascended” back to his Father in heaven.  On Pentecost, God returned in the form of the Holy Spirit – and made himself present in the lives of those who were waiting for him, as he does in our lives today.  Although we do not fully understand this “mystery” of the Trinity, this experience of God’s presence in our lives through the Holy Spirit is the everyday experience of Christians throughout history and throughout the world.  This is the “foretaste” of v23 – this experience of God, without complete knowledge, which directs the rest of our lives.  Tantalising!

Here we are told that there will come a time when we will no longer be subject to the troubles of this life – whether through sickness, our own wrong choices, or anything else.  We look forward to this full freedom in the future, when we leave this world (the hope” of v24).  However, we do not have to wait until we die to begin to experience all that God has to offer – “our full rights as adopted children” (v24) even now, as we wait (v25). 

As we begin to experience the Holy Spirit in our lives, our strength and vision are renewed and transformed (v26).  What does he help us to do (v26-27)?  Our experience with God is based in relationship, and relationship flourishes on communication.  We often feel so inadequate in our communication with God – but here we are reassured that we do not need to know what to say, or how to express how we feel.  As we make ourselves available to God’s Holy Spirit, he himself will enable this communication.  We will not need to “pretend” to be other than what we are, for he knows our hearts (v27).  More than that, he changes our hearts, so that eventually our prayers will reflect the heartbeat of God too.

Bible verses: Romans 8:22-17

For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children including the new bodies he has promised us. We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.

If you would like to read the bible online there are lots of websites to choose from. One of them is Bible Gateway: https://www.biblegateway.com/