What’s on in June & July 2021

What’s on at St Mary’s, Vale Rd, Ash Vale,

Sundays 10am –Join St Mary’s for our weekly Church Service. All are welcome, both on Zoom and in person. Wednesday Evensong  is back too, please contact the office for the latest rules and timings. Contact: Parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk

Mondays 11am: Coffee Chat Zoom Join fellow parents and carers for informal coffee chat and friendship. (Term time only) Zoom ID: 520 880 119 / Password: Grownups Contact Alex: 07730 609446

Tuesdays 10am: Babies at St Mary’s Support Group We are open Tuesdays 10am-11am in term time for parents and carers with babies under 12mths. Booking is essential. Come and join us! Contact Alex: 07730  6094446

Thursday Café Once cafés are allowed to reopen we will be risk-assessing and reopening. Contact us for details.  parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk

Sat 26th June: 7:30pm:  Poetry Night & Book Launch:  Chapel Poetry Group are launching their latest collection, and celebrating the winners of the “Mirror Mind” Poetry Competition. Join us on Zoom or in person at St Mary’s to hear some of the winning poems and celebrate with us! St Mary’s Church, 26th June, 7:30pm. Contact Alex: 07730 609446 for tickets, zoom links and copies of the book!

August: Summer Café: Fridays in the holidays at St Mary’s—keep an eye on the notices for details. Sign up to receive the weekly news parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk

Summer Fair!  10th July 12-3pm Sneakin’ Suspicion are booked for an ‘end of COVID’ Gig – and the Wood Street & St Mary’s Team are cooking up a bit of a festival! See inside back cover for details.

Donations for St Mary’s: https://givealittle.co/campaigns/47eb21e6-c2b0-4a23-a526-8d13fd24fa56  Thank you!

The Chapel Project, Wharf Rd, Ash Vale

Chapel Arts Monthly Makes: Artists in Residence Debi & Jono Retallick host a ‘monthly make’ fundraising workshop for The Chapel, teaching all kinds of art and craft techniques. Email Debi for event details, Zoom links, and to book your place on the workshops: (&See page 26) Contact debiretallick@googlemail.com

Tue 1 June 4pm: Dragonflies

Tue 6 July 4pm: Painting with fibres

Chapel Kids Baby & Toddler Group: Wednesdays 11:30am: Garden Praise  Chapel Kids toddler group ages 0-4yrs at The Chapel in Wharf Road GU12 3AY (term time only, text us to book) Contact Alex: 07730 609446

Chapel Poetry Group Workshops: Join  the group on WhatsApp for chat with like minded creative writers, and join us on Zoom for a monthly poetry workshop. (Hopefully in person once regulations lift). Contact Alex: 07730 609446

Chapel Craft Group: Join us on Wednesdays in term time 8-10pm at The Chapel on Wharf Rd. Bring along your latest craft project and have a natter and a cuppa as we craft. We have been zooming but aim to be back at the Chapel as soon as regulations allow. Contact 07730 609446

Chapel Filmshare: Your local fortnightly Filmshare is starting back in September! If you enjoy tea, coffee and cakes and appreciate films you’re welcome to join us fortnightly at the Chapel from 7.30pm. To sign up to our e-mail newsletter contact: Dick Elsey at richard.elsey45@gmail.com or on 01252 694314.

Donations for The Chapel : https://givealittle.co/campaigns/8d80cd98-df9f-494e-9808-b8898744146f Thank you!

St Paul’s Church, Poyle Rd, Tongham:

Baby Plus :

· Mondays 4-4.30pm. Toddler Storytime  – stories, actions and songs

· Tuesdays 2.30-4pm Mum Plus— friendship and facilitated discussions

· Wednesdays 4-4.30pm. Toddler Storytime

· Thursdays 10.30am-12. Baby Plus  – Informal chat session for mums, with some singing and action songs for the little ones.

Baby Plus Contact: CommunityWorker@stpaulstongham.org.uk Or via the Church office: 01252 783081

Messy Church at St Paul’s :

· 17th June (pack with Facebook live introduction)

· 15th July (format tbc)

Keep an eye on Facebook / Website

Open Church Event:

Keep an eye on Facebook & the website for our “Open Church” for reflection, a grand opening of the ramp, and an outside event for the community (or we might combine this into one big  3-in-1 event!)

Web.: https://www.stpaulstongham.org.uk/

St Peter’s Church, Ash

27th June St Peter’s Day: Outdoor (weather permitting) service in the St Peter’s Centre garden, followed by a bring-your-own picnic lunch in the Rectory Garden.

St Peter’s Craft Evenings: At St Peters we have a regular craft evening which will relaunch in September. It’s a free of charge group which meets at 7pm on the 3rd Monday of each month. It’s a creative session where people bring along whatever craft project they have underway. We have some painting, card making, jewellery making and lots of keen knitters! Refreshments are offered as well as an evening of friendship. All ages welcome. For confirmation of the relaunch please check our website Web  saint-peters-ash.org.uk

Holy Angels, Ash

Youth Group: Our first face to face Youth meeting will be on Sat  29th May.  Rounders and picnic on the field behind Holy Angels Church.  2-5pm – praying for the weather and no further lock downs!!!  If you’d like to join our groups please get in touch.

Gloria:  gloria.benson14@gmail.com

All events listed above are subject to change, due to Covid-19 safety rules. Please keep in touch!

Family Friendly Fun

Baby Plus and Toddler Plus at St. Paul’s church, Tongham

Here at St. Paul’s we run multiple groups for families with children of all ages, from babies right through to young adults. Our aim is not only to provide experiences for the children but also to support their parents in every way we can.

As the community worker for St Paul’s church in Tongham, my key role is to support families with children below school age and particularly new parents with babies. I have over 20 years of experience in this area as I worked for the NCT for 12 years, then the local Children’s Centre for another three before moving to work at St. Paul’s church. I also have three adult children of my own but no grand children yet!

We currently run two groups that are totally FREE for mums/dads/grandparents and their children to attend. We are meeting outside, to allow us to accommodate more families and this is likely to remain the case until the end of the summer. We haven’t had to cancel a session yet due to the weather! We are embracing the outside ‘forest school’ nature of the sessions, with messy play an easier option outside and a chance for the little ones to really explore the outside world as well as the parents gaining fresh air and sense of space.

Toddler plus

This group is for those just walking to about 2/2.5ish and is on a Wednesday, 10.30-12. The toddlers can explore and do some messy play, whilst parents chat and support one another. We also do some actions songs and have bubbles to chase.

Baby Plus

Is for the little ones from just days old to once they are toddling around. This is on a Thursday 10.30-12 Again parents can chat and make new friends, whilst the little ones are also learning with some baby sensory experiences, action songs and bubbles.

We meet throughout the year, including the school holidays. We meet in the vicarage garden which is the house right next door to the community centre carpark, so please park there and walk round. The garden is huge, with plenty of lawn for rugs and woodland area to explore.

It is a bit of a DIY experience at the moment, as you need to bring your own picnic rugs and toys (which you are happy to share). Also unfortunately you also need to bring your own and your children’s drinks and snacks. 

Both groups are incredibly friendly, supportive and welcoming, so we look forward to seeing you soon. I also run a WhatsApp group for each group which allows you to share questions and organise meet ups throughout the week.

Find us on Facebook. https://www.facebook.com/groups/2574450836214712/

Although we do not charge for our sessions, donations can be made on our website. www.stpaulstongam.org.uk

Contact Claire B for further details on: communityworker@stpaulstongham.org.uk

or you can call the Parish Office on 01252 783081

Children & Families at St Mary’s & The Chapel

At St Mary’s and The Chapel we are fortunate to have some lovely young families who come to church, and some wonderful friends, of all faiths and none, who join us for the various groups, online chats and live zooms.

For those at home we have a Messenger Chat and a weekly coffee zoom for parents and carers Mondays 11am Zoom ID: 520 880 119 Password: Grownups

For the Summer term 2021 We have opened up carefully and slowly, with an indoor Babies Support Group at St Mary’s on Vale Road on Tuesdays 10am-11am for little ones under 12 months, and an outdoor Chapel Kids “Garden Praise” session for all ages 0-4yrs at The Chapel on Wharf Rd on Wednesdays 11:30am—12:30. Our favourite this term has been planting lots of scrummy edibles for here and  home!

Monthly Messy Church is back (book early!) with one family / bubble per table in church at St Mary’s, and we are offering doorstep kits for anyone who prefers to stay at home or isn’t able to book due to the restrictions on numbers. Sundays 4pm:

 27th Jun, 18th Jul, 26th Sept, 31st Oct

Picnic & Play—we have exciting plans to open up The Chapel again this summer, every Wednesday in August Keep an eye on Facebook! @AshValeChapel

Come and join the fun!

Phone or text Alex on 07730 609446


Eco News – There’s no Planet B

St. Peter’s Meadow and Wildlife Area

In an effort to give nature a helping hand an area of grass behind St. Peter’s Centre is being made more wildlife friendly.

The Rainbows Group that meets at the Centre made a wonderful bug house, and we have bee-friendly plants, bird roosts and a bird feeder. We have sown wild flower seeds and made a log pile and a compost bin.

Work in progress!

Contact: Barbara Rose 07761808727

The Chapel Project, Ash Vale: Going Greener

We are very lucky to have Revd Gina Hoff co-leading the Chapel Project, and she brings lots of wisdom with her as the Green Christian UK Chaplain.

The Chapel has made some eco-friendly changes, starting with where we spend our money! We buy fair trade tea, coffee and other supplies, and over lockdown have switched our gas and electric to Bulb, where we now get 100% green electric and carbon-offset gas (other suppliers are available of course!) The Chapel Kids group are in on the act as well, planting a mini ‘food forest’ in the garden and learning all about plants, pollinators and permaculture gardening. Our friend Mel W has been very busy setting up a seed swap station at The Chapel as well, so you won’t even need to buy seeds to start planting things at home, and anyone with spare seeds can pop them in the seed swap for local people to use. We will be restarting our monthly “Chapel Greens Coffee Chat” soon; pop in and say hello!

Contact: Alex 07730 609446

Facebook Link for seeds swap: https://www.facebook.com/groups/777731219796739

St Mary’s, Ash Vale: Eco Church Update

St Mary’s have a superb Eco Champion in Lesley, and she has been instrumental in helping us to earn our La Rocha Eco Church Bronze Award recently. Lots of people in our church family are environmentally conscious and help out with recycling, gardening and trying to be good stewards of church resources. We are looking at greener transport next. Watch this space for bike parking and electric cars!

Another passion at St Mary’s is food, and we can’t stand seeing it go to waste. We have joined the Foodiverse with Fareshare Go and the local Co-Op Foodshare, (joint project with the local Covid support Group) to save ‘on its last date’ food from landfill and make it part of the local food parcels project—more of that on page 24/25

Contact: Parish Office 07863 311165

St Paul’s Tongham: Charity Recycling Hub, come and join in!

The team at St Paul’s have done amazing work to set up a recycling project to support local charities. Please keep an eye on the website for the next event, and in the meantime have a look at the list below for what you can save to recycle. Thank you for your support!

Contact: clairefholt@hotmail.com

The Newcomer

Just for giggles….

The Newcomer…  

After the service a young couple talked to a church member about joining the church. He hadn’t met the husband before, and he asked what church he was transferring from. After a short hesitation, he replied, “I am transferring from the local Golf Course.”

Are you new to church? Don’t be shy, come on in and say hi! Sundays 10am

Mothers Union – Local Update

News from our local Branch by Barbara Ridley

A warm welcome awaits at either of our group meetings. We usually meet on the 1st Wednesday in the month at 2.30pm. Our evening group meets on the last Monday in the month at 8pm. Both meetings are held in the small hall at St. Peter’s Church centre.

Our meetings begin with a short time of prayer. A variety of speakers are invited, and we also have more informal meetings for fellowship. All meetings finish with refreshments.

Recent speakers have included talks from our community wardens, the prison service and the CAB. Future topics are to include teaching in an SEN school, the history of the Victoria Hall and the Christian Police Association. We also enjoy a summer visit to a local Church.

Mothers’ Union is a Christian organisation that has been supporting families worldwide for over 140 years. Started by our founder Mary Sumner in 1876, in her local parish, we have grown into an international charity with over four million members in 84 countries. MU is especially concerned with all that strengthens and preserves marriage and family life. We support our local Women’s Refuges, helping to provide essentials such as clothing and toiletries for women and their children when they first arrive.

Despite our name we are an inclusive organisation, welcoming everyone; we have men and single ladies in many of our branches.
Unfortunately with the pandemic we have been unable to hold our usual meetings during the last year, but are hoping to resume our normal program from September.

Please contact Barbara Ridley 01252 323037 (Branch leader) for more information and details of upcoming programs

Official MU website: https://www.mothersunion.org/

You are Invited to Holy Angels

By Gloria Benson, Holy Angels Community Projects Coordinator

Blessings to all readers as we slowly come out of the pandemic lockdown.  Father Robin, Parish Priest for Holy Angels Catholic Church in Ash, spent the entire two lock downs live streaming Masses for his congregation on his own behind locked doors.  He, along with our Deacon John Edwards, was more than pleased when we were allowed to open our doors for albeit, small numbers of attendees,  while at the same time still live streaming for those Parishioners who were isolating or feeling vulnerable because of the high figures reported.  

Holy Angels can currently accommodate up to about 70 people and in the coming weeks we are hoping to adjust the seating yet again to enable more Parishioners to attend the Masses as well as other sacraments like baptism, weddings and funerals.  Our Youth and Confirmation Groups have, out of necessity, been conducted via Zoom and although it has served a purpose it really cannot replace our usual face to face meetings.  The renewal of these meetings will be an absolute joy to the catechists leading these groups as well as getting all the social aspects of parish life to reawaken once again.  Simple morning coffee will be a joyous occasion I am sure, and how amazing it will be to have music and singing again!   

We must not under estimate the well-being effect of this pandemic on people reluctant to step out and back into our churches but we also must have complete and utter faith in the Holy Spirit knowing that if we ask he will act and walk beside us to gather in the lost and afraid.  We are also very aware of local hardships with families and indeed if any Holy Angels Parishioners are experiencing acute hardship please do contact the parish office.  Holy Angels is part of Churches Together in Ash, Ash Vale and Tongham and there are many outreach projects where we can point to help.

We will continue to adhere to strict Government guidelines of cleaning after services with church attendees sanitising their hands on the way in, wearing masks and signing in either on the track and trace barcode or physically filling in details.  SO for those current Parishioners feeling a little nervous still you are INVITED to come and see and receive a warm hello and welcome and for those new to the Parish you are INVITED to come and see and again receive a warm hello and welcome.


email: gloria.benson14@gmail.com

Web.: http://www.holyangelsash.org/

Welcome to St Paul’s Tongham

By Revd Claire Holt

It is lovely to have a shared magazine and to get to know more about each of our churches! I am Claire, the vicar at St Paul’s where I have been part of the church family here for the past 9 years, whilst the church is just over 150 years old. I love the mix of all ages worshipping God and serving together. We like to encourage all to have a go at things and don’t mind mistakes!

We have a mix of services from traditional communion services at 8am and mid-week, through an informal Sunday service at 10am and then Messy Church monthly on a Thursday evening. Though most of this has been online recently or in packs!

We have good links to St Paul’s infant school and have seasonal events for children e.g. Exploring Christmas and Exploring Easter. Our aim is to be for all in the community, so we also have our monthly Fellowship lunch for retired, small groups for adults and events for all ages.

Our Sunday 10am service has groups for children and we love families worshipping together at our family services and as part of our groups online. On Sunday evenings we have a group for teens called The Hub.

We have a passion for the environment and supporting people in need (see later articles!).

And finally, we support a few local charities and mission organisations, including Step by Step and Phyllis Tuckwell. But our main mission link is with Blythswood Care. We have been linking up with a project in Romania as part of our services, collect shoe boxes for them and have a member of our church working for them which means she has been able to visit with her family – and excitingly we have been invited to take a group out there when it is possible to arrange too!

Our vision is to be a “growing community of faith” – welcoming and including all and helping everyone to encounter God’s love for themselves. We aim to resource people to live out their faith in everyday life, reflecting on God in the ordinary and everyday, and thinking about how we can serve Him wherever we are.



Greetings from St Peter’s, Ash

By Revd Keith Bristow & Revd Carol Monk

Warmest greetings from the Reverend Keith Bristow and the Revd. Carol Monk. We would like to tell you a bit about the church here, which has enabled people to worship God and serve others, for about 800 years.

We are a friendly bunch from all walks of life and all ages. As well as our weekly services we always have lots of other things going on – from our daily pre-school to events for those of more mature years! We are very excited about welcoming back lots of groups to our fantastic Parish Centre, now that COVID restrictions are lifting. Our facilities are available for hire for children’s parties, dance groups, U3A, uniformed organisations, craft groups and much more. As a church we hold a Summer Fete and a Christmas Fayre, monthly soup lunches, social evenings, quiz nights and afternoon teas, to name but a few. Prayer groups and Bible studies help us to get to know God better, and become the people He wants us to be.

We welcome many families who bring their children to be Christened (Baptised), and sometimes adults ask to be Christened too – you’re never too old! We enjoy celebrating weddings with couples setting out on the adventure of married life. We also offer Blessings for those not married in church, and renewal of vows for those celebrating special anniversaries. On a sadder note, we can be there for people when a loved one dies. We conduct funerals in church or, if preferred, at the Crematorium, and we tailor each service to reflect all that the person meant to their family and friends. Every November we invite families to a service to remember and give thanks for them all. We also have a caring Pastoral Team of trained volunteers who offer support too. You don’t have to be a regular church member for us to share in these life events with you – just contact us and we can take it from there.

Our worship is centred around Holy Communion but we also have a more informal family service each month and other types of relaxed worship from time to time. Whether you have been a Christian for years, or just want to explore what it’s all about, you will quickly feel at home with us, just come as you are! We look forward to meeting you soon.

May God bless you,

Revd Keith and Revd Carol