Clearing the churchyard!

Helpers on the day
These are the helpers who Eric Light from The Musketeer Pub in Pennington, brought along today. With Eve, Hannah and Josh plus Rebecca from church with Ingrid and others. A fine day and from 10 till 4.30 we had a massive clear up of the grounds. Thanks to people's hard work, graves were uncovered and rough areas mowed, along with bracken. Many thanks to everyone who helped. Also to Eric and his team of helpers for the delicious sandwiches. It was great using St Mark's Room for our refreshments.

A Trip to Wisley

After much planning and with thanks to Jackie our Administrator, Teresa, and John for looking after the car parking, Saturday the 6th May had finally come and we all arrived well on time to board the coach for our Church and Friends outing to RHS Wisley.  We had a pleasant and unencumbered journey to Wisley: once through the gates the majority of us split into two groups with two friendly guides taking us round the gardens on a very interesting one and a half hour tour. We heard how the RHS began in 1903 and how it evolved and is still doing so today with a massive upgrading of some of the ...

Donkey Derby and Dog Show

The Andrew Gates Landscape Race
Having attended the recent Donkey Derby on Pennington Common on the 30th July ably organised by the Pennington Residents Association, I would like to say a big thank you to all involved. Those of us who help in whatever way organising events at St Mark's know the importance of working together as a team. There was a good mix of entertainment, appealing to many from Pennington and beyond. Blessed with good weather, families and friends enjoyed the donkey races and the well attended dog show. Good forward planning, and advertising, with programmes for sale in the shops, must have added to the co...

A Resume on the Drama of The Life of Christ

Having just returned from rather a rather wet day, with over five hours spent outdoors in what would in dry conditions, be a glorious parkland setting, I am putting pen to paper to share with you my thoughts on a challenging day well spent witnessing the amateur drama, with just one professional actor, of The Life of Christ, an atmospheric open air play, set on the Wintershall Estate near Guildford. This dramatic portraying of The Life of Christ has been enacted for over fifteen years. There are also other dramas such as The Nativity. I understand it began about twenty-five years ago by the hu...

Thoughts from the Churchyard

A cold start to a day that would later turn into a sunny one; what a contrast to the previous day’s hail, wind and rain. Our small team spent the morning gathering up all the fallen branches and had a fast burning bonfire which took care of the debris. There was a Robin busy flying around looking for grubs where we had cleared. A carpet of crocus, primroses and daffodils plus a few snowdrops still hanging on. The flower border has presented us with a long display of daffodils and now some crocus and primroses. If anyone has any of the small Tete a Tete daffodils, now gone over, we can find a ...

The seasons of the Church

Palm Sunday Cross
I was sharing with a friend the other day about Lent and the Easter Services, and what a lot of input there is gathering together the different readings and services to cover such a busy month. Of course, Lent began on the 10th February, when we held our evening Ashing Service with Holy Communion. In previous weeks, we brought last year’s palm crosses to church, ready for burning and then mixing with a little sacred oil, before being marked on the foreheads of the communicants by the Priest. A very special, spiritual time, and a significant start to Lent. We then move on the 6th March, L...

A reflection on entering 2016

Hi Family and Friends A few thoughts as this year draws to a close which I would like to share with you. We have so many gifts and I felt it the right time to cast our mind back on this year's events, where others are not so fortunate. Of course we will never solve all the problems of the world, and we don't need to be dwelling on misery, but I think it time for us to take stock of the world situation and the part we play in today's society. We have a strong sense of justice, based on sound foundations. No doubt there will be much celebrating, with the usual fireworks and amazing disp...

Thoughts on the churchyard walk

Church from the west
A group of about thirty people took part in a most interesting and informative walk round the St. Marks’ Churchyard, which was led by Geraldine Beech and Pauline Shirley. The churchyard dating back to 1839 currently comprises approximately 1,700 graves and some fifteen were considered during the walk. These ranged from LAC Fred Miller of the Royal Air Force who died in an air accident in Somerset during the summer of 1926, aged only 23, to John Poultney, the donor of the church itself and the churchyard. Among other graves of interest included those of the Fullerton sisters, Georgiana and H...

Remembering Mary Bowler

Today we said goodbye to a lovely lady, a good friend, talented, funny and witty. I will remember the few outings we had to the local Garden Centre, where we went to maybe buy a few plants, but ended up trying on hats and giggling at how we looked.  You always made any occasion happy.  Once sitting in your lovely garden where you took such pride in the flower borders, and enjoying the peaceful surroundings.  Sharing duties together at the Wednesday coffee mornings and me being overwhelmed at your beautiful cake making, never my strong point. You will always be loved and much missed, but I am ...

Ramblings on St Mark’s Day

Winged Lion
I gleaned this interesting story from a recent copy of the Church Times, and thought I would share it with you. St Mark is this particular writer’s favourite Saint, whose symbol is the winged lion, and whose capital is Venice. He was reputed to be the young man who ran away naked when Christ was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, when the priests grabbed his garments. (I have long wondered who this 'naked' person in the story was and the role he played). The story goes on to say that it was St Mark and his cousin Barnabas who accompanied Paul on his first missionary journey, although...