What’s Inside (Easter Parishioner 2021 – Back Cover)

What’s inside?

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:  parishioner@ash-vale.org.uk

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.

Meet the local — Mary Langsford

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.

What’s on in Ash Vale? Feb/March 2021

Weekly Events:

Sundays 10am –Join St Mary’s for our weekly Church Service. All are welcome. During lockdown we will be on Zoom only, and once the doors open again we will be both in zoom and in person. Contact us to go on the weekly email list for links and news. Parishoffice@ash-vale.org.uk Wednesday night Evensong is back too, contact the office for the latest timings.

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Ash Ranges: An open letter to Jeremy Quinn MP

By Simon Brown, Chair, Trail Action Group

Dear Jeremy,

Before delving into what will be a challenging topic I would like to take this opportunity to wish you and your staff a very Happy New Year.

Trail Action Group was set up around 10 years ago with the aim of retaining access to the military training lands for cycling. On talking over the Chairman’s role I wanted to build on the previous negotiations with DIO. My goal was to enable and encourage responsible mountain biking on the lands defined by the Aldershot and District Military Lands Byelaws and to correct the anomaly restricting cycling that was added in the 1976 byelaw review.

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Bible Study for a New Year : 2 Corinthians 5:15-18

By Helen Lambert

New Year, new you!  New Year’s resolutions.  New “normal”.  New cases.  New vaccine. New variant. New rules.  New lockdown.  Do you ever wish things would stop being quite so new?  2020 was a whole new experience for everyone – not just in Ash Vale, not just in the UK, but on the whole planet.  But what about you?  Do you feel renewed?  Or just wrung out?  The “new” has become “old” and we would all like to move on, but times remain uncertain and precarious.

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A sign that it worked

By Mike Jacobs

Over eighty years ago I was marked with a sign that said I was safe. In 1940, I and many, many other children were vaccinated at the clinic in Stoke Road, Guildford. This left a scar high up on my left arm that was affectionately known by everyone as a ‘Dickie Bird’. The vaccination was to protect me against smallpox (variola), a disease that had decimated Europe throughout the middle ages. This process was followed a few weeks later by injections against Diptheria and Scarlet Fever. Since discovery of the process of vaccination, smallpox has been eliminated and is now considered exterminated.

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Post 2020

 Well, the light is on at the end of the tunnel.

 We are through the Solstice, the daylight hours are increasing, we have survived Christmas, we have survived Brexit, we have survived Hogmanay and there is seemingly even a Covid19 vaccination that gives protection (starting a couple of weeks after the inoculation) enabling us to survive exposure to Covid19 unscathed.

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