Chapel Filmshare – (p25) Dick Elsey invites you for a movie
Post Holiday Kitchen Blues – (p26 & 27)
Kids corner—(p28) Lucy suggests 10 things for kids to try in the summer holidays
Modern Aids—(p29) Scrivener
Help is at hand—useful numbers (p30)
Picnic & Play news (inside back cover)
Community café is on this Summer at St Mary’s on Fridays 10:30-12:00. No need to book just pop in.Tea, coffee, chat, come and say hello 🙂
We welcome fun, informative and local interest items!
The copy deadline for the Oct/Nov 2021 issue is 10th September.
Emails please to: email@example.com 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.
If lockdown was hard for us here, imagine what it must be like for our friends over in Uganda at the moment. As I write, they are in full lockdown, and our team reports that it is the poorest of the poor who are really struggling to survive. We worry about the poorest in the communities—elderly widows for example—and we pray for the street children, who usually manage to eat each day by labouring in the market places. With the markets shut, they have no way to make money to get something to eat.
The Amaha We Uganda Team have been instrumental in linking the most vulnerable poor to the local churches, and managing emergency food distribution. This is not the kind of work that they usually do — after all, Amaha We Uganda is not a relief agency — but they have surrounded the most vulnerable with prayer, in their hour of need, and shown them love. Thank you to all of you in the UK who responded to the emergency appeal. You can donate online here for this work, which is still ongoing: https://tinyurl.com/AWUcrisis
As if this wasn’t enough to be doing, William and his team are persevering with the unenviable task of planting trees. We have joined Bishop Nasen in his vision to have a tree nursery in each archdeaconry of the South Rwenzori Diocese – 13 in total. Three nurseries have already provided 33,500 saplings and are now in the process of being replanted to grow new saplings. Another five nurseries are under way in the areas of most need. This is a crucial project, since the trees they are planting are the future hope for the region. Reforesting the hills is vital in maintaining farmable soil, locking away carbon, providing food & shelter and preventing disastrous land slides. The photo below shows some of the very first saplings that were handed out at the women’s conference at Ibanda, and planted on the slopes of The Rwenzori. They have grown beautifully. Can you help us to keep AWU going and plant some more trees please? A Tree nursery costs around £500. Every penny goes a long way in Uganda! https://tinyurl.com/AWUganda Thank you for your support!
Before lockdown I was very much challenged by a talk at church about how we can love our neighbours; and in fact asking whether we even know any of them. We were asked if we took note of who moved in and if we welcomed people into the street. Jesus was big on telling people to love their neighbour, but I’ve never really looked at it terms of the people in my street – I’ve always seen my neighbour as relating to the people I work with, the parents of my children’s friends etc, because I spend time with those people. We don’t tend to have connections with neighbours other than living next door and sharing a hedge/fence! So the challenge was a good one …. and then lockdown happened!
We have lived in our current house for 24 years and in Ash Vale for 34 years since our marriage. We know our immediate neighbours but have not spoken to many of the others in the street for most of that time – even though there have been comings and goings along the road over the years. I guess the reason I have always used is that our street has only got houses on one side of the road – we can’t look in neighbours’ windows and be nosy! And it makes things a little less easy to connect with those we live side by side with. When we went into lockdown, to my shame I did not dash along to all the neighbours and check that they were all OK – I have followed the isolation rules as was demanded because we have an elderly relative that we have ‘bubbled’ with and so we were not involved with other community initiatives during lockdown. Covid has thrown us all onto a new horizon; giving us new ways of looking at our locality; making us re-evaluate how we work and how we connect with friends and our neighbours. We did become acquainted with one or two via a nod and a ‘Hello!’ as we walked past on our way to pick up shopping from the Village, but that’s about as far as it went.
As the restrictions started to lift in April and May, we started to think outwards again and realised that over lockdown there had been three houses in our little patch alone that had sold and now had new people settling in. Having two sons who also moved during lockdown I appreciate just how difficult a thing it has been for people to move and find out about a locality in these times of restrictions. So things had to change – I no longer wanted to be an ostrich. The best way I know of connecting with people is through food, so we decided to hold a cream tea in the garden which we could do within the restrictions. We hand delivered invitations and invited all the neighbours in the small section of street near our home – about 10 invites in all – and waited. Even though we had left it really late to invite people, we got responses almost straight away and had about 8 families accept the invitation. I was very pleased. The day we chose to host our cream tea was one of the hottest in the late Spring which meant that we could all gather in our shady garden and drink tea, prosecco, wine and eat scones to our hearts content; but more importantly it connected all the households who came together. People were initially hesitant, but by the time the afternoon ended everyone knew who each other was and which house they lived in. It was the first event of what I hope will be a continuing trend – how can we progress this? How can we really be neighbours to our neighbours?
How have you connected with your neighbours this last 18 months? I would love to know other peoples’ experiences – I want to pick up creative ways to be a good neighbour – to do what Jesus told me to do.
By Jackie Scott
Do you have a story about how you got to know your neighbours, or people being neighbourly? The Parishioner would love to hear from you. firstname.lastname@example.org
Sunday Morning 10am Services: In the Vicarage Garden this Summer, or on Zoom. You are very welcome to join us in the vicarage garden, or for the zoom option simply email the Parish Administrator to receive the link, or find it on Facebook @StMarysAshVale. In the garden, please maintain social distance for safety. We must not mingle too closely so as to protect all those attending while COVID infection rates are still high. Please stay at home and use Zoom if you have COVID-19 symptoms). We look forward to welcoming you.
Evensong Wednesdays 8pm: You can Zoom in to Evensong on Wednesday nights . Email the Parish Administrator to join our mailing list and receive the link. Keep in touch as arrangements are always evolving! email@example.com
Monthly Messy Church:
Sun 26th Sept in church 4pm
31st Oct Love & Light event
6th Dec St Nic Lantern Walk.
Text Alex to book your place at Messy Church: 07730 609446
Advertising: Eileen Monds Collation: Alison Shewell Distribution: Caroline Johnson
Contact the Parishioner team: firstname.lastname@example.org / Alex: 07730 609446
During the Pandemic we are publishing mainly online, via blog, online PDF, email and social media, with paper copies on request. Please collect your copy at St Mary’s or text us: 077309 609446 www.ash-vale.org.uk
We are hugely grateful to a small army of willing volunteers who contribute, collate, publish, email, print, bundle and deliver The Parishioner to all our readers!
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.
An Invitation to the Table — (p3&4) By Revd Neil Lambert
Book of Psalms 2021— (p5) New Psalms by local people in trying times
Meet the Local—(p8&9) The Parishioner interviews Mary Langsford
Our local Waterways Chaplain (p10) Rosie Leakey
News from Abbeywood Care Home (p11) We’re doing a panto! Oh yes we are!
Poems & Poetry Competition — (p14&15) Enter your poems by 30th April!
How to Celebrate Easter 2021—(p16)St Mary’s services
What’s on in Ash Vale — (p17)
Bible Study for Eastertide —(20 & 21) By Helen Lambert
Pea shoots, a seasonal favourite – (p22) By Vicki Fox
News from St Paul’s Tongham— (p23) Ramp building has started!
How I came to write ‘Navigating by the Son’ – (p25) Author Stephen Cox shares his journey and the key themes from his new book.
Meet the Candidates for the County Council elections on 6th May (p26 – 28)
15:00 03/04/33 — (p29) Scrivener reflects on the Romans at Easter
Help is at Hand! – (p30) Useful numbers
Easter Trail—(inside back cover) Free fun in the holidays! Decorate your windows and front gardens for some lovely Easter walks! #AshValeEasterTrail
Don’t miss the Easter Service!
Sunday 10am on Zoom (See centre pages for what’s on)
We welcome fun, informative and local interest items!The copy deadline for the June/July 2021 issue of The Parishioner is the 7th May 2021. Emails please to: email@example.com
In these unusual times 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 The Chapel, or call / text 07730 609446 to request one. Best wishes & stay safe!
The Parishioner seeks to explore and reflect upon a wide variety of local issues whilst recognizing 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.
The Parishioner interviews one of our local community heroes…
Great to meet you Mary! Tell us a bit about yourself…
In a sentence: I’m a rock and country music loving, Prosecco drinking, mad cat lady!
Have you always been in the area? What do you love about Ash Vale?
I’ve lived in Ash Vale for over 50 years. We moved here when my dad left the Army and I have never felt the need to move since. Up until a couple of years ago my career was in IT and I often made long commutes for work and travelled internationally too. We’re lucky to have great road networks and a great rail service. You can be in London in 45 minutes and the coast in 45 minutes, Heathrow in 30 minutes and Gatwick in 50 Minutes. I’ve always felt safe here. I live in a small close where everyone knows each other and we have a wonderful community spirit.
What’s your ‘day job’? How has COVID affected your day to day?
Once I left IT, I became a Registrar which means I spend my days marrying people. It really is the best job in the world! COVID has had a devastating effect on the whole wedding industry from the Ceremonies through to caterers, planners, venues, entertainers and others. So many of our couples have had their wedding plans squashed several times. Even now, restrictions are very limiting and so couples are still having to compromise from the ‘Big Day’ they had planned, to a more intimate event.
We know you have a great heart for the community. What motivates you and what do you get up to?
As work dried up, I found I had plenty of time to volunteer within the community I have made home. I feel blessed to have good health and that meant I could step up and volunteer to help others who need it as part of the amazing local Corona Support Group. I’ve met and worked with some incredibly selfless people who have dedicated their lives to this community and I am so happy to have been able to play a small part in that. Initially, I acted as a co-ordinator for my very local area, taking calls from those needing help with their shopping and prescription collections, and more recently have become a regular volunteer with our Food Parcel Project, where we make up parcels for families needing a little extra help through these difficult times. I am so motivated by the generosity of the community when we ask for donations – especially little extras around Christmas, Mothering Sunday and Easter, to make these times a little more special for the families we help. I have many friends who have worked all the way through the pandemic who would have loved to have been able to do more. We know this won’t last forever and we’re finally seeing a light at the end of this terrible time but for as long as I can get out and give a little something back, I will continue to do so. Being back in the Chapel is actually very nostalgic for me – as a teenager I went to a Youth Club there called PowerPoint, and so coming back decades later in a very different capacity is amazing.
Away from the volunteering activities bought in by the pandemic, I am also a regular volunteer and treasurer for our Local Nature Reserve and I am the area coordinator for our very active neighbourhood watch scheme.
A little bird told us you’re rather a fabulous singer, tell us about that!
Oh well now, who told you that?! Hahaha, Yes I do love a good sing song! I have fronted several party and function bands over the years and being on stage truly is my happy place. The very first band I was in – The Tangible Fruit Squad – was planning its 25 year anniversary with a bit of a comeback tour around the local area during 2020 but I don’t need to tell you how that went! Hey Ho, maybe we’ll go for a 30th Anniversary tour instead! I’ve played some incredible venues from the Iconic Rock Garden in Convent Garden, to stately homes performing at Weddings. We were lucky enough to get some Radio Airplay and even did a live acoustic set on the Whispering Bob Harries show. I guess the highlight for me would have to be my appearance on ITV’s Stars in their Eyes with Matthew Kelly, Singularly the most exciting thing I have ever done!
What’s your Easter wish, prayer or message for our local readers?
Mostly, I hope everyone can hold on to the fact that there are better times ahead. This won’t last forever and the time will come we can see and hug friends and family again. Secondly, to anyone who is still struggling, know that there is help out there. Don’t be afraid to ask. We have a wonderful group of kind volunteers just waiting to support you in anyway we can.
Finally, please be kind. It costs nothing and may make the world of difference to someone.
By Carla Morson, Ash, Ash Vale & Ash Green Coronavirus Support Group
I’m going to start by thanking all of our volunteers, whether they are part of the Food Parcels Team or not, as all have done so much to help our community over the past 10 months. Without everyone we would have been lost and unable to do much of what we have.