Ash and Ash Vale Community Street Team

By Pat Scott

The Ash & Ash Vale Community Street Team are a friendly group of volunteers from the local community that go out and talk to young people and anyone else they meet on their patrols.  Their objective is to break down barriers between different age groups in the Parish.

Traditionally, public safety has been the domain of law enforcement. When crime and Anti-social Behaviour occurs, we tend to look to law enforcement for reduction strategies. However, increasingly over the past few years, research has shown that you can’t have sustained, long term reductions in violence and crime without engaging residents in the public safety process. That’s to say that you can’t have “public safety” without the “public”.

Our Teams of Volunteers go on pre-arranged Outings in pairs around Ash and Ash Vale and act as a service to the community, bridging the gap between the generations and offering mainly young people the chance to chat and simply talk to someone who will listen.

Since starting over 12 years ago, the Street Team have 18 volunteers of various ages.  The Team originally received funding from Surrey County Council, allowing them to buy uniforms and back packs which carry hot drinks in the winter and cold drinks in the summer.   Members of the team live in the local area, and are well known within the Community with their logo marked hi-viz jackets, fleeces and backpacks. 

Pat Scott, who Chairs the group, said:

“We try to go to places where young people gather. We want to let them know that not all people over the age of 40 are about to collect their pension, and similarly let older people know that not everyone under the age of 25 is ‘up to no good’ even in small groups.”

Often, we just listen to people who feel they cannot talk to their parents or teachers for whatever reason, Pat said. “Young people can get very pressurised at school and worry about exams etc., and it can really help to just have an outsider to talk to.” or signpost local events of interest.

Helping the elderly is also important. “On one occasion, a Team met an older lady who was frightened about crossing the park in the dark because she had seen some youths there,” The Team offered their help. “We went with her, and the youths actually turned around and said “good night” to us. It made the lady feel that they are not all bad after all.”

Can you spare an hour or two a month? Or perhaps you are looking for something different to do, meeting new people and making new friends whilst also taking a little exercise, then why not join us?

If you would like to go out on a ‘taster session’ to see if this could be something you would enjoy please contact Pat (Scott) on scott.lpd@outlook.com.

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.

Creative vocal music workshops and wellbeing

A FREE series of voice workshops as part of a research project with the University of Surrey.      

Would you like to have a go at using your voice in a musical and creative way? Would you like to help with a research project into our voice and wellbeing? Non-singers and singers are all welcome. No audition and no experience are necessary, and you do not need to read music. You just need a willingness to begin to explore your voice and discuss how it makes you feel.

This is a free series of six weekly, supportive and fun workshops at Ash Vale Chapel, Wharf Road, GU12 5AY. On Fridays 12.30 pm to 2.00 pm (with a break for refreshments) commencing with an introductory session on 1st October 2021. Please be assured that the most recent government guidelines regarding COVID will be in place at all times.

If you are interested or want to know more, please phone, text, or leave a message on 0778 533 4049 and feel free to drop in on Friday 1st October between 12.30 pm and 2 pm.

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

Seasonal Recipe—Oat Cookies

By Jackie Scott

A very special friend died in March after a battle with cancer that had lasted about 5 years. She and her husband moved down to Cornwall about 10 years ago but we had continued to visit them regularly. I am sad that our visits to Cornwall will now only elicit fond memories; but what other things help us to remember those we have loved and lost? The two of us used to bond in friendship in the kitchen cooking and chatting together. This recipe that she shared has been a mainstay for me with our boys and often for friends who have visited, and it will forever be linked with my dear friend, Fenella.

Melted Oat Cookies

Þ 4oz Self Raising Flour

Þ 4oz Rolled/porridge oats

Þ ½ level teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Þ 4oz margarine

Þ 4oz granulated sugar

Þ 1 rounded tablespoon golden syrup

Mix the dry ingredients together and set aside. Gently melt the margarine (or butter if you’re feeling decadent), sugar, and syrup together. Remove from the heat and stir in the flour mix. Beat well.

Form rounded balls and place on a greased baking sheet. Flatten slightly and cook for 15 minutes at Gas Mark 4, 180C. Cool for 5 minutes then transfer to a cooling rack.

This is such a versatile cookie. You can use the standard recipe as a base and make many alternatives…for example:

Chocolate chip cookies: make the oat mix and cool for 15 minutes, add 2oz of chocolate chips and complete as above.

Or how about:

Chocolate crisps: make the oatie mix and sprinkle the flatten balls with caster sugar. Bake as above. Melt 6oz cooking chocolate and spoon over half of each biscuit.

Sunflower seed cookies: Add 2 oz sunflower seeds with the dry ingredients

The options are endless – try adding things like raisins, crunchie niblets…whatever you have in your store cupboard!

Shopping Local

By Jackie Scott

I’m a positive sort of person and have had much to be thankful for over the last 18 months. Yes, its been difficult at times; we have not been able to meet with family, we have not been able to travel and our lifestyles have changed dramatically due to the requirement to work from home. There have definitely been benefits though! Not only did we discover our neighbours are really lovely people, we also discovered that we can buy most of what we needed relatively easily from our local shops – within walking distance. Being constrained to stay local, we had the opportunity to walk around our area and see what local shops provide – you know the ones that we usually drive past on our way to  go to a town where everything is in close proximity….

As we came out of lockdown, we were able to put some of that better local knowledge to good use. When it became possible for our grandchildren to visit, we realised that we did not have sufficient beds and needed a bunk bed very quickly. We found bunk-beds in one local shop (with an online delivery situation) but needed two 2 foot 6 mattresses within a week! Having done research during our lockdown walks, we nipped over to North Camp and thanks to our improved local knowledge, a wonderful shop and even more fantastic staff, we were able to order the required mattresses. Even better – the mattresses were delivered within 4 days.

So the lesson learned is that we have what we need – most of the time. If we have other needs we can support our local enterprises and probably receive better service than if we had gone online or driven to somewhere miles away.

So what have your experiences been during lockdown? Has life become simpler? Have you learned to appreciate all that is around you? Have you got a local lockdown story to tell? I love our locality and the people who live in it – I want to continue finding those local businesses and support them as best I can…. 

Would you like to share your stories with us? Send them to parishioner@ash-vale.org.uk.

Quiz Night!

Great News!  Nikki, Brian, Alex and the team are back, with a November Quiz Night for your enjoyment!

St Mary’s Church, Vale Road, GU12 5JE

20th November, doors open 7pm for a 7.30pm start.

Tickets £12 include Quiz and food. BYOB and the Grand Raffle includes a top prize of a robot vacuum cleaner!

Tickets: parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk or call Nikki on 07747 561280

Limited tickets! Please book ASAP to avoid disappointment.

All proceeds after costs will go towards church funds to keep St Mary’s & all our projects running for our community

Online ticket donations: https://givealittle.co/campaigns/7b3dc738-0ad1-4ff5-b99b-ef24a2830254  (please contact Nikki for availability to book before you pay)

Ash Citizens Advice

Our team in Ash is here to help with free impartial advice

I’m a single parent and lost my job during the pandemic. My local Citizens Advice helped me apply for Universal Credit which has been really helpful to cover some of the income I’ve lost. But I’m very worried about the upcoming £20-a-week cut to Universal Credit – I don’t know how I’ll be able to pay for the school uniforms and shoes, especially as they grow so fast! Is there any other support out there to help plug the gap?

If you’re on a low income or unemployed, you might be able to get help with some of the costs of sending your child to school, including school meals, transport, and uniform. It’s always worth talking to your local education authority to see what support is available as some of their resources and offerings can differ. The following information is for England:

Free school meals: Children in Reception, Year 1 and Year 2 automatically get free school meals. If you have older children, you can apply for free school meals if you get certain benefits. In your case as you’re on Universal Credit and you applied after 1 April 2018 you would be eligible if you earn less than £7,400 a year without benefits. You can see the full list of eligibility requirements on the https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/family/education/help-with-school-costs/#h-getting-free-school-meals  To apply for free school meals, you need to contact your local authority, you can check the details at https://www.gov.uk/apply-free-school-meals by typing your postcode in.

Transport: If your children are aged between five to 16, your local education authority might offer free or lower cost transport if you don’t live near school or your child’s unable to walk there. You need to apply to your local education authority for help.

Uniforms and other costs: Your local education authority might also be able to help with some other costs, like uniforms, music lessons or trips and activities. There may also be local charitable schemes to help with these costs, it’s worth checking with the school to see if it knows of any. Schools can also sometimes also advise on finding second-hand uniforms.

What’s next: If your child is staying in education after year 11, you must tell HMRC’s Child Benefit Office if you want to continue receiving child benefit and any extra support for children within means-tested benefits. When your child turns 16, HMRC will send you a letter asking whether your child will stay in education or training. You must reply to this letter to keep getting Child Benefit.

If you need help applying for Universal Credit or any other benefit help, please contact Ash Citizens Advice Bureau.  01252 315569  ashcab@cabnet.org.uk