Saturday 10th July
12pm to 3pm
St Mary’s Church, Vale Road, Ash Vale GU12 5JEContinue reading “Summer Fair 10th July 12:00-3:00”
Saturday 10th July
12pm to 3pm
St Mary’s Church, Vale Road, Ash Vale GU12 5JEContinue reading “Summer Fair 10th July 12:00-3:00”
Here are some of the useful numbers you may need if you need support.
If you think we are missing a number please let us know.
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 782790Continue reading “Help is at hand! Useful Phone Numbers”
When I were a lad, in long socks and short trousers, I attended the village school. This was a Church School where the local Rector was a significant member of staff. One of the advantages of going to a church school was that we “scholars” would get a ½day holiday on Ascension Day after attending a Church Service to which we were taken in crocodile formation for the ¾mile walk from the school to the church. Six groups of 30-50 children each, progressing from school to church in line took a lot of marshalling and caused lots of disruption, but this was a long time ago. After the service we were free for the rest of the day! No crocodile back to the school just 240 or so kids released into the environment. Think St Trinians (Google that if you need) but with a co-ed rather than a single sex school. The holiday was not popular amongst parents/guardians as that day there were no school dinners and unless an adult was at home the latch-key kids had extra time to mess up the home.
In the run up to Easter many families will have pancakes on “Pancake Day” and the supermarkets certainly push the sale of lemons and pancake mixtures for that, and many people “give up something for the 40 day Lenten fast”: this may be just not eating chocolate or drinking alcohol, but it is something. Easter with its Easter Eggs and two bank holidays is firmly still part of the “system” and the psyche of modern life. But Ascension Day & Whitsunday barely get a look in. It’s probably because no one has found a commercial exploitation of these two days, Historically Whitsun was such an important festival that in Mediaeval times Villeins were even released from their obligations to work for their lord for a whole week.
According to the Bible Jesus took 40 days after his resurrection to complete his earthly mission before ascending into heaven (Ascension Day) and then a few days later the Holy Spirit arrives (Whitsun or nowadays Pentecost) and fills the Apostles with vim and vigour to start their mission to preach the Gospel. So much so that Peter is recorded as having to tell the listening crowd that “no, these men are not drunk as it is only 9o’clock of the morning!”
As we slowly come out of the semi-hibernation that will forever be associated with COVID19 and all its offspring we will need a bit (or probably more) of the vigour shown by Peter and the others to get back to some form of “normality” whatever that will mean. So “gird up your loins” and prepare for the work required to repair us as individuals and society in general both mentally and physically; and hopefully we could end up in a better place than where we were before.
By Sylwia Whyman
Hello from Abbeywood!
Everyone has been very busy over the last couple of months. We welcomed three new residents to our home who have settled well with us.
We have also been making our home very animal friendly. The number of four legged and beaked friends has increased considerably over the last few months. We have added Malcom, Alex, Peter and Benji the rabbits. We have two guineapigs ( Roger and Ralf), three fish and nine budgies ( Hammond, Clarkson, May, Stick, Bina G, Bina R, Ashley, Gladys, Shai with two eggs, so may be 11 at time of going to press). This adds to the existing household of four terrapins, (Raphael , Michelangelo, Donatello, Leonardo), two cats (Laurel and Hardy) and three dogs that visit on a regular basis (Chica, Frankie and Marley). The residents love cuddling the bunnies, and visiting the aviary.
The residents have been working hard planting flowers for our garden. We are starting work on our trial veggie patch, and hope to have some amazing, possibly ugly pumpkins ready for October. Who doesn’t love a big ugly pumpkin?
The staff are starting work on our much awaited Christmas performance of Cinderella. Songs are being decided, the cast is being selected/volunteered from a very high set of acting capabilities. We look forward to welcoming everyone from the community, tickets and dates will be available soon.
Fund raising has really been non-existent, this year. We do have a gofundme page( gf.me/u/zswp2h) All proceeds go towards to funding residents’ trips and outings, something they have really missed over the last year.
We are still quite restricted in what we can do and who can visit. Please do put in a big wave if you are passing by, it really puts a smile on all our faces when the residents see a friendly stranger making contact in these difficult times.
Thank you for reading and best wishes
All residents and staff from
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”
There’s lots and lots going on – have a look!
St Paul’s Tongham: Support for the Community
We have been offering support for the local community in a number of ways during lockdown. We had always collected for the Farnham Foodbank, but we have also been supporting local families in need as we have heard about needs and through the school. We have been amazed at the donations both of food and of money, and it has made a real difference.
We were also involved in coordinating a response in lockdowns and have helped with prescriptions, moving bins and a number of other needs for our neighbours.
We would love to look at this moving forward – watch this space!
Contact: Revd Claire firstname.lastname@example.org
St Peter’s Ash: Care and Share Shelf
The current pandemic has been a difficult time for many people. We all want to help. Outside St. Peter’s church we have a Care and Share shelf where anyone can take food that they need or leave something to help a neighbour.
If you would like to donate, tinned and packaged food, long life milk, tea and coffee are very popular. We try to put out enough to make a decent meal. It is topped up daily. Items can be placed on the shelf or left at the Rectory door. Contact: Barbara Rose 07761808727
Fun, food and friendship at St Mary’s and The Chapel
Aren’t we lucky that Revd Neil is amazing with food? Not only has he served socially distanced teas in the vicarage garden, and pop-up take-away pancakes from the shed when regulations allowed it, but now he has built a huge pizza oven in the vicarage garden, turning outdoor meetings into a festival of flavour!
Look out for kids in the kitchen too! During the winter, Neil teamed up with Anna and Charlie to do ‘St Mary’s junior bake-off’ & stories on Zoom with some of the kids. It was huge fun, messy at times, and they even had a dance-off while their creations were in the oven. The learning has definitely stuck—one of our 9yo girls remembered the recipe by heart and made an extra batch of cakes the next morning! (Ed.—Quick, put her name down on the church coffee rota!) Now that school is back, it’s over to Alex and the Chapel Kids toddler group who are busy planting up the Chapel garden with incredible edibles. Watch this space — they are literally growing their own fruit snacks!
Now it’s getting serious: Our very own vicar is running the Chapel Project Cooking School! Fareshare and Tesco (who give us a lot of our ‘on its last date’ fresh items for the local food parcels) have created a community chefs cooking school project. We jumped at the chance to join in and now have 15 families & community cooks signed up to zoom in and cook along, learning about nutrition, kitchen skills and producing some very scrummy dinners. We love the recipes Jamie Oliver has lined up for us, and it’s a lot of fun. Cooking along at home is fab, because everyone can see how to do things in their own kitchen. Ever wondered how to create a rainbow chilli, fry fabulous fishcakes or learn some nifty knife skills? We have been doing just that!
A huge thank you from all of us to Neil, and we can’t close without thanking Vicki Fox, an amazing local chef who has been instrumental in sourcing quality ingredients, making up doorstep delivery kits for those who need them, and building our confidence with variations and top tips on the Zoom sessions too.
Bon Appetit! Contact: Rev Neil: email@example.com / Alex: 07730 609446
Congratulations! Community Heroes Award for The Ash, Ash Vale & Ash Green Coronavirus Support Group
We have some seriously amazing people involved in the local Ash, Ash Vale & Ash Green Coronavirus Support Group. They are simply the best, and guess what? The Mayor of Guildford has recognised the team with a Community Heroes award! Congratulations go to everyone involved and especially Carla Morson who leads the group.
During lockdown, the team took on delivering care calls, prescriptions and shopping to people having to isolate or shield. St Mary’s also joined forces with the COVID Group to create a local Food Parcels Project, delivering food to those struggling under the financial impacts of the pandemic. The recipients are from all walks of life, and our delivery list is everchanging, as people’s circumstances change in the wake of the covid crisis. As we write this there are 32 families on the list this week. (If you’re struggling and need a food parcel you can call or text 07843 489796 or 07730 609446)
The COVID group is still going strong, helping local people and bringing the community together. It’s not too late to join in! Contact us to get involved.
We are always grateful for donations too., either store cupboard food and toiletries or donations via ‘give a little’ to help buy store cupboard items and toiletries: The donations link for online giving is: https://bit.ly/33LT1SA Thank you for your support.
Contact: 07843 489796
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.firstname.lastname@example.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
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/
Local Churches Special Edition!
Welcome — Local Churches Special Edition! (p3) – By Revd Neil Lambert (St Mary’s)
Greetings from St Peter’s, Ash (p4) – By Revd Keith Bristow & Revd Carol Monk
Welcome to St Paul’s Tongham (p5) – By Revd Claire Holt
You are Invited to Holy Angels (p8) – By Gloria BensonContinue reading “Back Cover – What’s Inside June/July2021”