HAMBLEDON CHURCH – CAN YOU HELP SECURE ITS FUTURE?

If Hambledon is to have a new vicar and secure a future for its village church then money must be raised with the help of the local community and its residents.

The challenges facing St Peter’s Church and its continued ministry to the village were outlined by Simon Taylor, rector of the joint benefice of Busbridge and Hambledon, and Andy Dunn, treasurer of Hambledon church, at a packed meeting at the village hall on Thursday evening (March 7th, 2019).

In a rallying call for financial support, Andy said: “We are appealing not just to members of the congregation but to those who value the presence of a church in our village, but who may not wish to attend there regularly.”

Hambledon has not had a vicar since Catherine McBride moved to a new parish in October 2017. Although it was intended that she would be replaced, several obstacles stalled the process.

Mervil Bottom, the church house in the village, suffered severe water leaks when empty during the following cold winter and required major repairs and renovation. And the parlous state of the church’s finances meant that the Diocese of Guildford questioned whether it was feasible to appoint a new minister.

It costs £120,000 a year to fund St Peter’s with a vicar, but the income is currently just over £80,000.

The biggest single outgoing is £30,000 that St Peter’s has to pay to the Diocese. Second is the £28,000 salary to the vicar, which rises when tax and pensions are added. Then comes maintenance of the church, churchyard, Mervil Bottom and insurances.

Money raised from events such as weddings goes directly to the Church of England and not to the parish church.

The only money that comes to the church is from the Sunday collection plate, Gift Aid, standing orders and donations from generous benefactors and a small grant from Hambledon Parish Council.

In asking for people to consider making financial pledges, Andy said: “If we want to recruit a vicar, we must find £120,000 a year which is significantly more than our current income. The Diocese will only appoint a new minister if we can demonstrate that we can afford it now and for the next five years.”

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Julie Flenley Takes Up Post As Hambledon Parish Council Clerk

Julie Flenley, the newly-appointed clerk to Hambledon Parish Council, has attended her first meeting, having taken up her appointment on January 1.

She replaces Caroline White, who resigned after serving as clerk for a year following the retirement of her long-standing predecessor, Jane Woolley.

Julie brings a wealth of experience in the public sector to the job and said she was looking forward to working with the seven elected Hambledon parish councillors and for the benefit of the village.

Julie was born and raised in County Londonderry, in the north west of Northern Ireland. After school and college at Limavady she left Derry to study business at the University of Northumbria in Newcastle, where she obtained a degree in travel and tourism management.

She then moved to Manchester where she worked for what was then the Countryside Agency (now Natural England), the statutory body with responsibility for the rural environment.

She went on to join English Heritage, a non-departmental government body responsible for the protection and management of more than 400 historic monuments, buildings and places.

Julie’s work included assessing grant applications and she had a particular involvement in managing funding in relation to secular historic buildings and places of worship. Her duties required her to make financial needs assessments and also brought her into regular contact with local authority planning departments. This experience should stand her in good stead as she takes up her role as clerk to Hambledon Parish Council.

Julie said: “I think my background makes me suited to the job of clerk and I am looking forward to it very much”.

During her time in Manchester she met and married her husband Richard, who works in the legal profession. A move in his job resulted in them relocating to the south of England, with Julie taking a career break. They have lived on the outskirts of Chiddingfold for seven years. They have three sons, Joshua, William and Oliver, aged 12, eight and six who are, or were, educated at St Mary’s Primary School in Chiddingfold.

Julie and Richard are regular distance runners and frequently compete in local and national events. Julie said: “It would be wrong to call me an avid runner as I think I am a reluctant runner. But I am competitive and determined.

Last year she was part of a team of “mums from St Mary’s” who competed in the Three Peaks Challenge, which involved climbing the three highest peaks in England Wales and Scotland. Between them they raised funds for the school and a mental health charity.

“This year I will be taking part in eight half marathons and my husband will be undertaking two back-to-back full marathons.”

Her passion over many years has been horses and horse-riding. “My horse died last year so I am currently between horses, but it is something I love and will return to.”

Julie was welcomed to her first meeting as clerk on Wednesday (Jan 9th) at Hambledon Village Hall by chairman John Anderson and his councillor colleagues. Already very active in village and church life in Chiddingfold, Julie will now be closely associated with life an Hambledon as well.

  • The clerk is a salaried position, councillors are unpaid. Julie’s contact details, and those of councillors, can be found on the village website under “Organisations” and “Hambledon Parish Council”, and in the Parish Magazine on the “Useful Information and Telephone Numbers” page.

 

 

 

A Glimpse Into The Recent Past Of Hambledon Village Shop

A chance encounter has led to the emergence of a classic postcard view of Hambledon’s village shop taken by the camera of the proprietor who lived there from the late 1960s.

The encounter was with Alison Heath who, with her twin brother Duncan, spent her childhood at Cricket Green Stores, which was run by her parents Geoff and Margaret Heath between 1968 and 1982.

Alison, now 55, recalls growing up in Hambledon with great fondness. Her home was what was then called Duck Cottage, now Pendle Cottage, and her parents were the last to both live in the house and run the adjoining shop and Post Office.

The shop featured on a postcard, one of a series entitled “Scenes of Interest and Beauty in and around Hambledon, in Surrey”. The reverse of the card states: “Real photograph. Supplied by G.A.M Heath, Cricket Green Stores and Post Office, Hambledon”.

 

Alison’s mother died in 1987 from a brain aneurysm but her father is still alive, in his eighties, remarried and living in the New Forest.

Here Alison recalls her life growing up in Hambledon:

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VILLAGE HALL QUIZ – A GREAT NIGHT OUT

(Please also see news item below this, posted by Hambledon Village Hall Committee)

A packed Village Hall saw residents and friends pit their brains against each other as 14 tables, comprising 84 participants took part in a fund-raising quiz on Saturday (November 17th).

Thanks go to the Village Hall Committee and its team of volunteers who organised the evening, staffed a well-stocked bar, cooked and served home-made cottage pie and rounded-up an impressive selection of donated prizes for a raffle.

What was particularly rewarding was the cross section of villagers, old, young and everything in between, who took part and made the evening a great success. They included people from all aspects of life in Hambledon; the shop and its volunteers, Merry Harriers pub regulars, its Bridge team, the church, the cricket and football teams and, of course the Village Hall itself.

The questions were well set and divided into 10 themed rounds. The winning team,” Here, There and Everywhere”, comprised Christine and Ron Baker, Duncan Watson, Charlotte Gray, Mary Burrows and Stewart Payne.

However, it was a close-run contest and several teams just missed out on the top spot, having answered a few more questions correctly but not used their “multiplier” as effectively.

All profits from the evening go towards the upkeep of the Village Hall, which has recently been undergoing an extensive refurbishment with new chairs and curtains.

 

 

HOW HAMBLEDON REMEMBERED – ARMISTICE EVENTS IN THE VILLAGE

At a special Armistice Day service in the parish church; at a community sing-along outside the village shop and at the memorial to two brothers who died in the First World War – Hambledon Remembered.

On Sunday November 11th, 2018 – the 100th anniversary of the ending of the First World War – villagers packed St Peter’s Church for a commemorative service during which the names of Hambledon’s fallen in both World Wars were read out and a two-minutes silence observed.

 

The service was led by David Mace, assistant vicar, with an address given by David Jenkins. There was time for quiet reflection as well as personal recollections from Sylvia Harrison who spoke of her grandfather’s gallantry in the First World War.

David Jenkins, assistant vicar with responsibility for Hambledon, spoke of the sacrifices made by many during both World Wars, on the field of battle and elsewhere. They served their country. He suggested that today we could all consider how we may also serve by becoming involved in charity and voluntary work to benefit others.

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Farewell to Nicola Collett As She Departs As Nursery School Head Teacher

Staff, trustees, parents and children have bid a fond farewell to Nicola Collett, who has stood down as head teacher at Hambledon Nursery School after ten highly-successful years.

Nicola’s final day was the last day of the summer term (July 20th). At the end of the leavers service for children moving on to primary school, tributes were paid and gifts were presented.

Nicola was unsure if she could deliver a departing speech without becoming tearful so her two children, Lydia and Lawrence, stepped up to speak on her behalf. Kate Walford, the new head, teachers and parents all warmly thanked Nicola and spoke of their high regard for her. Our pictures shows Kate Walford (left)  and Tracey Jimmison, deputy head (centre), at the presentation to Nicola,

Nicola joined the teaching staff in 2001 and was appointed head teacher and manager in 2008.

The school was once the village state primary. It was reopened as a nursery school in 1984 after a village-led initiative secured the lovely Victorian schoolhouse and playground in its beautiful rural setting as a place of learning.

It has thrived and since Nicola took over it has twice been judged “outstanding” in Ofsted inspections.

David Evans, chair of trustees, said: “Nicola has made a quite exceptional contribution, and the school today bears her stamp in so many ways.

“We are fortunate to have such an attractive Victorian building, but Victorian buildings need love and care, and with Nicola over the years it has been very well maintained.  The extensive outdoor areas and outbuildings and play areas have also been carefully looked after and developed, with children’s gardens, and outdoor toys, and climbing frames and pathways and camps.

“Important as the physical environment is, much more important is our teaching staff.  Nicola has taken tremendous care over the staff team and has supported and imbued it with her passion and values.  It is a great team, who look after their small charges with endless care and dedication and give them the best start to their schooldays that they and their parents could hope for.

“Nicola has been the embodiment of “hands-on”.  She has maintained a teaching role throughout her time at the school, and has always been on-hand to advise and support those around her.  And as well as supporting her colleagues, and caring for the children, before a new term started she would invariably be found organising a tidy-up of the classrooms, or checking the grounds, or planning a new innovation in the children’s education.

“She can and should look back on her time at Hambledon Nursery School with great pride.  The gifts from staff and parents and trustees will be a small reminder of the very high regard in which she is held by all.  She is passing on the Headship to Kate Walford, presently a teacher at the school, and as ever has done an excellent job of supporting and handing over the reins to Kate.

“Nicola has a creativity that has been a hugely important part of what she has brought to the school, and now she plans to develop these talents further and in different directions.  We all wish her, with her husband Iain and her children Lydia and Lawrence, the very best.

“Nicola’s leaving gift to the school was the trunk of an oak tree.  This is now in the school grounds inscribed with a message from Nicola to the school.  In its first day it was a boat, a bus, a crocodile and a horse …”

Our pictures below show Nicola in the playground after she was presented with a flowers by children; with her daughter Lydia (centre) and teacher/afternoon supervisor Kelly Shaw; and the inscribed oak log which was her departing gift to the school.

 

 

New Head Teacher For Hambledon Nursery School

Hambledon Nursery School will welcome Kate Walford as its new head teacher when she takes up the appointment after the summer break.

Not that Kate will be any stranger to staff, parents and returning children. She has worked at the school as an Early Years practitioner since January 2016 and is currently the afternoon supervisor in the Red Room classroom for three and four year olds.

Kate’s appointment follows the resignation of Nicola Collett, head teacher for the past ten years, who is leaving at the end of the summer term next month.

Kate, pictured below, was the unanimous choice of the nursery school Trustees who interviewed, with external professional support, three impressive candidates.

Kate, who is married with a young family and lives in Chiddingfold, has a degree in biology with qualified teacher status. She has worked in education throughout her professional life and brings 20-years’ experience to her new role. She taught in the West Country for a while before joining Kingfield Primary School in Woking in 2005, remaining there until her move to Hambledon Nursery School.

Nicola has welcomed the choice of her successor and the Trustees believe Kate will continue to build on the caring ethos and high standards set by her predecessor.

The Trustees said that Nicola herself has made a quite exceptional contribution to the nursery school and this will be acknowledged in a full appreciation that will appear on this website following her departure at the end of July.

Hambledon Nursery school, at Rock Hill, was formerly the village state primary school, closed by Surrey County Council in the early 1980s due to falling rolls. Villagers were determined that the Victorian schoolhouse and playground in its beautiful rural setting should remain a place of learning and, after campaigning and fund-raising, acquired the premises from the Church of England.

It reopened as a nursery school in 1984, run as a business with charitable status and locally-appointed Trustees. It has an “outstanding” Ofsted rating.

Further details about the school can be found on this website under “Organisations” in the top menu and at www.hambledonnurseryschool.co.uk

 

FOND FAREWELLS TO CATHERINE MCBRIDE

Hambledon has said a fond farewell to its associate vicar Catherine McBride, who has left the village to become vicar of St Mary’s, Market Drayton, Shropshire.

Catherine arrived in Hambledon more than five years ago and quickly became a popular figure; among her congregation at St Peter’s and within the village as a whole. She will be much missed but goes with the best wishes and blessings of the many friends she made.

Her departure was marked in several ways: at her final Sunday services on October 15, at a farewell tea party hosted at Feathercombe, and at a get-together at the Merry Harriers a few days earlier on October 12.

She then took a short holiday in Iceland before returning to pack her bags at Mervil Bottom, her Hambledon home, in preparation for beginning her new life and challenge in Shropshire, close to the Welsh borders from where she hails.

She takes up her responsibilities in Market Drayton with her licensing service on November 22. In the meantime, the Busbridge and Hambledon Benefice has started the process to find a replacement and interviews will be held later this month.

Before moving last week Catherine told the village website: “I can honestly say that Hambledon has been the most amazing place to live and work. I have been extremely happy here and it is in no small part due to the wonderful community in the village, who made me feel so welcome. I feel I have made some good friends here, who I am sure I will keep in touch with.

“I would encourage everyone to cherish the village and what it has to offer: continue to be a warm and loving community, which looks out for each other and where everyone ‘does their bit’ so that Hambledon can continue to thrive.

“I’ll take some very special memories with me of the times when I’ve had the privilege of being part of significant moments and occasions for Hambledon families and will certainly keep you all in my prayers.

Many thanks and God bless”.

At her leaving party at Feathercombe, the home of Ion and Muriel Campbell, she was presented with a cake made by Katherine Frogley, which was decorated to illustrate some of Catherine’s passions; the church, rugby, the Welsh dragon – and a pint of bitter.

Farewell speeches were made by Simon Taylor, rector of Busbridge and Hambledon, churchwardens Alan Harvey and Liz Cooke and PCC treasurer Alison Martin.

At her farewell party in the Merry Harriers, where Catherine would enjoy a pint of Surrey Hills bitter and take part in quiz and music nights, she took to the microphone to give a rendition of the Tom Jones hit Delilah, accompanied by Mike Blanchard on key board. See photograph below. Many villagers were in attendance.

Successful Midsummer Music At Malthouse Farm

A large gathering of villagers, family and friends assembled to enjoy a picnic on the terrace and lawns of Malthouse Farm while listening to live music ranging from opera, to jazz, to pop.

The evening raised money towards the conversion of Busbridge Rectory into a meeting place for church and community use, together with other related projects. Busbridge is part of a joint benefice with Hambledon.

Called Midsummer Music, the event last Saturday evening (June 24) was a great success. The Luard Trio performed operatic classics by Mozart, Strauss and Delibes and music from shows such as South Pacific and Porgy and Bess. The Gilbert and Sullivan Ensemble picked favourites from the Savoy Operas, including a highly-contemporary version of the Policeman’s Song, adapted to reflect current political upsets. The Restless Band had the audience dancing to modern chart hits. During the interval a medley of jazz classics was played.

The evening was organised by Carol Jones and it was compared by Andrew Blagden. And special thanks went to George and Caroline Pitt who hosted the evening at their Malthouse Farm home in the centre of Hambledon village. The sloping gardens looked splendid with trees adorned with lights and balloons and guests enjoyed a fine view down to the marquee where the musicians performed. Many of the audience were members of the congregation St Peter’s Church, Hambledon, together with Catherine McBride, associate minister.

The event raised money for the Old Rectory Fund. Planning permission has been obtained to convert the rectory beside St John the Baptist Church, Busbridge, from residential use to a church community building, to include staff offices, a kitchen dining area, youth area and meeting rooms. Church Cottage, on the opposite side of Brighton Road, will be converted back to residential use.

 

 

 

Somme Centenary – Special Commemorative Service

Somme 100 Picture for website

 In 2016, many throughout the world will be commemorating the centenary of the Battle of the Somme (1 July – 18 November 1916), and remembering those who fought and died during this battle.  The Somme remains the theatre of one of the most deadly battles of the First World War. The French and British armies rallied troops from the colonies and the French Foreign Legion and units from 25 nations and 50 countries were involved in the battle. In five months of combat, the total number of men killed, wounded and missing reached over one million and entire nations were sent into mourning. The British and Germans suffered 420,000 casualties each, the French 190,000. The landscape of the north-east of the Somme was completely devastated; villages were razed to the ground and fields turned into lunar-landscapes by shelling. A century after these events, the trauma of the battle is still strongly felt and the numerous cemeteries and memorials, punctuating the landscapes, embody the continued memory of a “lost generation”.

Laurent Somon, President of the Somme Departmental Council

In Hambledon, we will be holding our own service to commemorate the centenary of the Battle of the Somme on:

Friday 1st July, 7.30pm at Hambledon Church

Our aim is to include reflections from those whose families had a connection with someone involved in the battle. If this is you, Catherine McBride (Associate Vicar, Busbridge & Hambledon Church) would love to hear from you to find out more and see how you could be involved. Do give her a call on 01483 421267 or by e-mail catherine.mcbride@bhcgodalming.org

Hambledon – A Celebration In Flowers

flowersContributors are invited to take part in a Celebration in Flowers, which is to take place at St Peter’s Church on Saturday and Sunday, June 20th and 21st.

The aim is to celebrate in flowers the many and diverse clubs and organisations in the village. Individual contributions are also welcome.

Please come along to the church at 10.30am on Saturday May 30th to discuss your entry and the space allocated to it.

The church will be open all day on Thursday and Friday, 18th and 19th June to set up displays.  Please include a label with your name or organisation.

Regardless of whether you are taking part please come along over the display weekend – between 10am and 6pm – to enjoy the floral celebrations, especially if your organisation is represented.  The church, which plans to produce a handout listing the contributors, will be open both days for cream teas.  Sunday services will be held as usual at 9am and 10.30am.

If you have any queries before the contributors meeting on May 30th please contact Sue Blackman on 01428 683871.

Village Church: Funds needed to secure its future

ImageThe future of Hambledon’s parish church cannot be assured without new funding, its rector has warned.   The Rev. Simon Taylor took the opportunity, as guest speaker at the annual Parish Assembly, to outline the funding crisis that Hambledon and many other rural parishes face.  Put simply, St Peter’s Church does not generate enough money to pay for itself. He said it currently relies on around 27 “very faithful people” to fund its ministry. They give around £70,000 a year but it requires in the region of £100,000 to run and insure the church, pay the salary and accommodation of its minister and provide pastoral care and support.

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Church Graveyard Survey -now online

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Hambledon Graveyard Project

In the summer of 2010 three old villagers thought it might be a good idea to research the churchyard at St Peter’s, to re-organise the written records and survey the gravestones before some of the older inscriptions became illegible or disappeared altogether. The aim was to see if family names could be researched (with the help of the internet), and perhaps linked to extant relatives who may not be aware of their antecedents’ burial places.

Two young volunteers, Alex Sehmer and Vicky Grove, took on the work.

The project has successfully tidied up the burial records, and the database is available for anyone engaged in research. It was interesting to note how time-consuming it became when trying to research the genealogy of just one family, let alone 50! However, the records are now ‘alive’ and let’s hope we can keep them up to date!

The detailed survey is available as a Google Doc:Hambledon Surrey Graveyard Survey Document

Webmaster’s note:  Now that this survey is on our website it does greatly increase it’s prominance Worldwide.  The Hambledon website has a good Google ranking and so the lists of names will appear in serches made by family history researchers..