Sight for Surrey announces Dame Judi Dench as Patron for Centenary Year!

Sight for Surrey has announced that acting legend, star of the screen and Surrey resident, Dame Judi Dench, CH, DBE, has agreed to become a Patron of the charity for its Centenary year, 2022.

Sight for Surrey supports and enables people in Surrey who are blind, vision impaired, deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind to lead full and independent lives, a mission that Dame Judi Dench holds close to her heart, as in 2012, she was diagnosed with macular degeneration.

Dame Judi said, “Sight for Surrey is a charity that I respect and support. I live with an eye condition and know first-hand how losing your sight can make even the most simplest tasks, like reading the newspaper, post or emails or a list of ingredients, a challenge! The work that this charity does in getting people set up and adjusted to life with a vision impairment is amazing and I am honoured to be their Patron in their Centenary year”.

Bob Hughes, Chief Executive at Sight for Surrey said, “we are delighted that Dame Judi has agreed to be our Patron during an exciting and eventful year for the charity. We have been supporting people in Surrey with a sensory loss for 100 years and look forward to many more. We hope that Surrey residents will be spurred into fundraising action this year and set themselves a fundraising challenge that will test their boundaries and highlight the challenges that people with a sensory loss face every day.”

Sight for Surrey supports over 8,000 people in Surrey who are blind, vision impaired, Deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind. The charity was established in 1922 when we first started assisting vision impaired soldiers returning from war and we have continued to help people in Surrey with a sight and/or hearing loss.

sightforsurrey.org.uk


Saving Christmas

By Rev. Kate Whiting Minister of QE Park Baptist Church

When my daughter was little one of her favourite activities was 
cutting and sticking. One Christmas she presented us with a collage of pictures 
cut from catalogues to show us what she was hoping for at Christmas.

On examining this wish list in detail, I realised that it had been compiled solely from the Argos catalogue (although other catalogues were available). I don’t really enjoy shopping, and so I was delighted to think that my job was going to be relatively simple. However, I scoured my catalogue in vain! Upon further examination I was distressed to discover that the catalogue the preschool children were cutting up was three years out of date.

Today as we worry about shortages of turkeys, trees and toys this Christmas because of issues with global shipping containers, the lack of HGV drivers and shortages of poultry workers –the list of ‘crises’ goes on – perhaps we need to remind ourselves that there are more important things in life than material possessions. Many of the things that we can be grateful for don’t come with a price-tag and can’t be found in Argos or any other catalogue. Family, friends, our health, the crunch of autumn leaves, looking at a wonderful sunset all remind us that the best things in life really are free.

Family, friends, our health, the crunch of autumn leaves, looking at a wonderful sunset all remind us that the best things in life really are free.

Every day we have opportunities to value such gifts. We are of course all too often distracted by all our modern paraphernalia—the things that are anything but free. Countless studies have demonstrated that cultivating an attitude of gratitude is good for us in terms of our health, our emotions and our relationships.

Countless studies have demonstrated that cultivating an attitude of gratitude is good for us in terms of our health, our emotions and our relationships.

Why panic buy this November and December to stockpile things when you could plan to remember the good things of life, the things that really matter? Our insatiable desire for the newest gadgets, the latest mobile phone, the must have toy, and designer perfume can eclipse the real gift that Christmas was invented to celebrate.

It’s not the government’s job to save Christmas. It’s not your job to save Christmas. The real Christmas has happened. The gift of Jesus means that it is Christmas that saves.

The first Christmas found the newlywed couple Mary and Joseph with an accommodation crisis. The gift of a baby son, and having a roof over his head, was all they were worried about. Soon after his birth they heard from local shepherds, of all people, that their son Jesus was a gift to all humanity. Having learnt that he was this gift, and the bringer of peace, they chose the name Jesus, which means God saves. It’s not the government’s job to save Christmas. It’s not your job to save Christmas. The real Christmas has happened. The gift of Jesus means that it is Christmas that saves.

Church Office: 01483 235185
www.qeparkbaptist.org.uk


How to prepare your property for the market

Recently, despite the various social and economical restrictions and lockdowns, the property market in this area has been particularly busy with some estate agents even complaining of a ‘lack of stock’. Whilst this may seem extreme, it is always worth investing time in preparing your property to sell and making sure it is presented at its best for when it is listed.

Stoughton Pages spoke to Lucy Moulton, Owner & Branch Director of EweMove Guildford Sales & Lettings, to get her advice on how to prepare your property for the market.

“Have you been thinking of putting your property on the market, but waiting until your children are heading back to school? If so, now is your time to get into action. To help, we have put together a list of tips on how to prepare your property to sell or let.”

Tips for the Exterior

Neat, well maintained gardens will appeal to buyers and tenants. When they see that little work is required, your outside space becomes all the more attractive.

  • Weed the garden and sweep up leaves
  • Jet wash pathways and driveways
  • Repair broken fences and gates
  • Paint exterior woodwork and metalwork (e.g. gates, fences and doors)
  • Clean windows inside and out
  • Plant seasonal flowers and/or hanging baskets to lift your property’s street appeal

Tips for the Interior

Your home should feel happily lived in and look neat, clean and clutter free.

  • A full de-clutter is essential to increase the sense of space. (Anything you do not wish to take with you, clear it out beforehand)
  • Clean and vacuum, paying particular attention to the kitchen and bathrooms. Clean all kitchen appliances and keep bench tops clutter free
  • In bathrooms, clean the shower screen, remove personal hygiene items and minimise the hanging of towels/dressing gowns
  • Re-grout and re-whiten all tiles in the kitchen and bathroom(s)
  • Touch up paint work on the walls and skirting boards
  • Wash down all window frames, clean blinds and wash around light fittings
  • Add pops of colour for neutral tones (e.g. a throw and cushions on the sofa and bed, a vase of fresh flowers in the kitchen)

Our final tip – Talk to your agent to make sure you can check your listing before it goes live. If you’re not happy with the quality of the listing (photographs, floor-plan and marketing description), ask for changes to be made until you are. After all, for many, your property is your biggest asset. Therefore, it is important that it is marketed to the highest standard to seize the attention of buyers, so that you can achieve the best price you can.

www.ewemove.com/estate-agents/guildford/


Guildford ghosts & their stories

By Alex Rose

Although Halloween is behind us, the ghouls and ghosts of Guildford and its neighbouring towns still lurk. If you have a steady nerve, read on to hear their haunting stories.

For 20 years, ghost tours of Guildford have uncovered a darker side of the town centre to tourists and locals alike. In this article we’ll explore some of the most intriguing tales from our local area, including the chilling sightings of Guildford Castle, an unexplainable A3 apparition, the infamous legend of Silent Pool and more.

Nestled in the Surrey Hills – an area of outstanding beauty – lies Silent Pool near Shere, a well-known walker’s hotspot boasting a popular gin distillery company of the same name. The serene and mysterious Silent Pool is a spring-fed lake secluded by trees and shrouded in an eerie stillness said to be haunted by the presence of a woodcutter’s daughter. It was near here that Agatha Christie’s car was discovered whilst she was missing for eleven days before being discovered at a hotel in Harrogate with apparent memory loss, a mystery likened to her own novels. It was also here that the 19th century poet, Alfred Tennyson used to visit and muse over his poems.

A Victorian artist’s sketch of Silent Pool.

There are many variations of the legend of Silent Pool, but most begin with the woodcutter’s daughter, Emma – sometimes Alice – bathing in the tranquil water. It is generally believed that a nobleman on horseback approached her, and in an attempt to escape his advances, the girl swam to a deeper part of the lake and drowned. The nobleman, frightened, made his escape, leaving behind his hat which would be discovered by the woodcutter the next day, in search of his daughter. The hat bore the royal crest of Prince John, who later became Bad King John. The ghost of the woodcutter’s ill-fated daughter is said to be seen at midnight, dressed in virginal white, floating over the surface of the water and at times, the silence of the pool has reportedly been broken by Emma’s (or Alice’s) screams for mercy. However, the most common phenomena experienced at Silent Pool are strange noises and the feeling of being followed.

More recently, on December 11, 2002, Surrey police received a frenzy of calls reporting a car veering off the road near the A3 turn off to Burpham. This was no regular accident, and what unfolded afterwards has become local folklore.

In this article we’ll explore some of the most intriguing tales from our local area, including the chilling sightings of Guildford Castle, an unexplainable A3 apparition, the infamous legend of Silent Pool and more.

When the police went to investigate the incident, no trace of a crash was found, despite the numerous sightings. No tyre marks were on the road, nor any flattened foliage where the car was said to have crashed, and it took until the next morning, when dawn broke, for a car to be found. However, this car, a maroon Vauxhall Astra was covered in undergrowth, indicating that it had been there for much longer than one night. The wreckage was nose down in a ditch, invisible to the road above, and nearby lay the decomposed body of the driver who seemed to have survived the crash and managed to drag himself part way up the embankment in an attempt to get help, before dying. When he was discovered along with the car five months later, he was no more than a skeleton. The driver was eventually identified as Christopher Chandler, an alleged robber on the run from the police, who had been reported missing in July 2002 by his brother. But how could this be, when a multitude of witnesses saw the accident only the evening before? How could so many people have witnessed a crash five months after it occurred? Many believe that it must have been some sort of ghostly re-enactment of that fateful night.

One of Surrey’s most impressive ruins is the mighty Guildford Castle. Now known for its beautiful grounds, it was built shortly after the Norman conquest of 1066, and renovated around 2003. It seems to be these renovations that have stirred the slumbers of the castle’s oldest residents. In recent years, there have been a number of reports that visiting families have come running out of the castle’s ground floor carrying near hysterical children. These children have described witnessing an emaciated figure chained to the castle walls. Chillingly, the apparition was sighted in the part of the castle used as a prison for those incarcerated accused of serious crimes such as murder, and any prisoners would await their execution here, if found guilty. None of the children, of course, would have been aware of this.

Guildford Castle, site of a chilling apparition. Image of Guildford Castle above and in header of this article by Richard Nevell, London, United Kingdom https://www.flickr.com/people/100323845@N06/

The highest point to be seen from Guildford town centre is The Mount, where, in the 18th century, executions would be carried out in view of the high street. Halfway up The Mount sits The Mount Cemetery, where Alice’s Adventures In Wonderland author, Lewis Carrol, is buried. The Mount happens to be the setting for one of the most convincing photographs of a ghost. The picture features an unidentifiable spectral figure looming in the centre of a path, surrounded by spindly trees, and half obscured by the heavy fog. These were taken by Mark Baker, and the Director of The Ghost Finder Paranormal Society, Barri Ghai said “I am stuck for words on this one – these images have caused quite a stir among my team. We are actually convincing ourselves that this could be genuine, a real ghost, but obviously for us to say that without a full investigation of the area is a tough one.”

Mark Baker’s photograph taken at the Mount Cemetery.

Guildford appears to be littered with paranormal attractions like The Angel Hotel and The King’s Head pub as well as the aforementioned locations and many more. Clearly, the town we live in boasts a rich and ghostly past of people who were once as alive as we are now, so what will our presence today create for the future?


Getting back to ‘Normal’!

Sunday March 15th 2020 was the last time Manor Road Evangelical Church in Stoughton had a ‘normal’ church service – but now things are starting to get back to ‘normal’.

Sadly we also had to cancel our Little Sunbeams Parent & Toddler Group the Friday Ignite Group for Primary School Children and the Friday Youth Group for Secondary School Young People. The church moved as many things on-line as possible, but it’s not the same as it was pre-Covid.

We hope that September will be the month we get back to something like ‘normal’ activities again. Hence we would like to invite you to the following activities at our church, assuming that restrictions will ease sufficiently for them all to take place again at the church.

Sundays 11.15am
All Age Service

On Sunday at 11.15am, every week, we have our All Age Service, everyone is welcome. Tea, coffee & biscuits are served from 10.45am. For approximately the first half hour we sing and enjoy other activities together. Then, for the next half hour we listen to a Bible-based talk, which is relevant and challenging for life in the 21st century. During this time there is a crèche for pre-schoolers, Sunday Club for primary school children and, alternate weeks, a Bible class for secondary school young people. This service is already taking place, with risk assessments and other precautions in place, based on the government guidelines.

Fridays 7.30pm
Youth Group

On Friday at 7.30pm, in term-time, the Youth Group will meet. This group is for Secondary school young people and will start from Friday September 10th. Each week the young people will enjoy a variety of games and activities and also time to socialise. Each session concludes with a short talk on some aspect of the Christian faith.

Week day evening TBC 6.00pm
Ignite Group

One evening in the week (which is yet to be decided) at 6.00pm the Ignite Group, for children in the reception to year 6 age group, will meet in term-time. Children, in that age group, are invited to get together for about an hour of fun activities, including games, crafts, quizzes, Bible stories and prizes.

Tuesdays 9.00-11.15am
Little Sunbeams

Little Sunbeams is for pre-schoolers, and will meet on Tuesdays between 9.00 and 11.15am, in term-time, starting on Tuesday September 14th. Parents may bring their toddlers and babies to the group anytime during the morning. Tea and coffee are available for adults. At approximately 10.15am we have mat and snack time for the children, when we enjoy singing and listening to a Bible story together. (Parents make a contribution of 50p per child, if they can afford this.)

For more information about any of these activities:
Phone: 07498 211384 or 07914 322988
E-mail: AbrahamDebbarma@manorroad.church or JohnKnight@manorroad.church


Girl Chorister at Guildford Cathedral wins BBC Young Chorister of the Year 2021

Guildford Cathedral is delighted to announce that a member of the Girl Choristers, Ruby has won the prestigious joint BBC Radio 2 and Songs of Praise Young Chorister of the Year 2021.

The final, held in Salisbury Cathedral, was broadcast on BBC 1 at 12.30 pm on Sunday 5 December and on BBC Radio 2 at 7.00pm.

The programme was hosted by Songs of Praise presenter, Aled Jones, and the panel of expert judges – Lesley Garrett, Howard Goodall, and David Grant – selected the winner and the runner-up.

Ruby said, on winning the final: “I still can’t believe I won. I feel very lucky and have loved every minute. I’m so excited for the future. Huge thank you to all those who have supported me, especially Katherine.”

Katherine Dienes-Williams, Organist and Master of the Choristers of Guildford Cathedral said ‘We are all hugely proud of Ruby and are delighted to celebrate her fabulous achievement.

Congratulations to her and to all the competitors and thank you to all who have supported her on this journey. We look forward to continuing to enjoy her singing here at the Cathedral on a regular basis.

“I still can’t believe I won. I feel very lucky and have loved every minute. I’m so excited for the future. Huge thank you to all those who have supported me, especially Katherine.”

In summing up the competition, the judges gave Ruby glowing comments. David Grant said: “It was translucently brilliant”. Lesley Garrett said: “She’s got this fantastically free, powerful, gorgeous lyrical sound.”, while Howard Goodall, on making the announcement that Ruby was the winner said: “In a very, very tight field we felt that this singer gave a performance that was truly outstanding and flawless.“

When thinking of which Christmas Carol to sing for the final of the BBC Young Chorister of the Year, Ruby was very keen to sing ‘The Shepherds Sing’ by renowned composer and former Kings singer, Bob Chilcott. However, the piece only existed in a four-part choir version. The Cathedral reached out to Bob who very kindly made an arrangement of his own piece for solo voice specifically for Ruby to sing! Huge thanks must go to him for this generous gift.


Community group receives funds to support local wellbeing

An Eden People Body blessing session

As we head towards the end of 2021 as a local community wellbeing focused group, Eden People are very aware of how recent events have affected people’s physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual wellbeing.

As a response to this, for local people we have been granted several funding amounts to help support our work in the community and as part of this we are able to bring new focus activities to people in the daytime and evening; these include our ‘body positive’ Body Blessing & Positive Postures sessions and our ‘calming & relaxing’ LifePeace Meditation space. Both are held locally in the QE Park Centre.

We would like to open opportunity for people to engage with us and others through some of the following activities:

  • Body Blessing & Positive Postures Sessions
  • Life Peace: Meditation / Contemplation space
  • LifeWalks walking group
  • Art & Creative workshops
  • Dream Interpretation, Insight & Destiny, Encouragement & Healing.

All activities are offered for free or with a donation from participants. To find out more about Eden People and their current activities join the mailing list via their website:

www.edenpeople.org.uk

Email:
edenpeople@edenpeople.org.uk

Text:
07866 247919

Find us on:
Twitter: @edenpeople
Facebook: Eden People

Eden People

Eden People are a local community wellbeing & spirituality group based in the Stoughton area of Guildford. They have over 20 years’ experience of facilitating & running wellbeing spaces & activities around Guildford.

This group look to support people’s mental, emotional, physical and spiritual health through a range of activities accessible to people of all ages, gender or ethnicity; with any, no or some belief or faith basis – everyone is welcome.

The group creates different wellbeing & spirituality activities to bring rest & peace to the body, mind & spirit, encourage participants to build self-worth and awareness of their uniqueness & identity.


The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde at the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre

From the 1st – 5th of February the Blackeyed Theatre, in association with South Hill Park, bring their thrilling adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s dark psychological fantasy, The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde to the Yvonne Arnaud Theatre.

Doctor Henry Jekyll is a good man. Successful within his field and respected by his peers, he’s close to a neurological discovery that will change the face of medical science forever. However, his methods are less than ethical, and when a close friend and colleague threatens to expose and destroy his work, Jekyll is forced to experiment on himself, whereupon something goes very wrong… or very right. And suddenly Jekyll has a new friend, the brutal Edward Hyde.

One of the great classics of British literature brought to life on the stage, this adaptation of the iconic Gothic novella revives the compelling characters and riveting moral dilemmas of Robert Louis Stevenson’s The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

Immerse yourself in the myth and mystery of 19th century London’s fog-bound streets where love, betrayal and murder lurk at every chilling twist and turn. Gripping, stylish and thought-provoking, this is unmissable theatre. Go on… treat your dark side!

For more information and to book tickets, visit: www.yvonne-arnaud.co.uk. Alternatively, contact the Box Office on 01483 440 000 (Mon-Fri, 10am to 5pm).


Local Community Café & Fairtrade Shop Supports Global Care

Lynne Wright, café manager, samples some of the quality coffee on offer.

For well over 10 years, Emmanuel Church has run a Café and Fairtrade Shop serving the local community of Stoughton and the wider Guildford area.

Our focus is on providing a friendly, cosy place to meet whether you are on your own or with friends; a place to relax and catch up with yourself and others. With freshly cooked food, quality coffee and teas, and original fairtrade goods for sale – we open our doors Monday to Thursday, 9.15-2.15, during term-time for everyone to enjoy. If your time is limited, you can just pop in to pick up a drink and takeaway café food, as well as pre-order your Fairtrade goods from our dedicated ‘click and collect’ website.

Whilst we seek to serve those who live close by with a friendly smile and personal customer care, our vision has developed over the years to go beyond our own doors to support our global community and natural environment. Emmanuel Café not only stocks fairtrade coffee and teas, but ensures it provides biodegradable takeaway packs, and purchases ingredients from our Fairtrade Shop wherever possible. Emmanuel’s Fairtrade Shop is beginning to build on our range of environmentally friendly goods, starting with our ‘Refill station’ providing means to refill your existing plastic bottles with sustainable household cleaning products. The Fairtrade shop is run entirely by volunteers ensuring that all the profits from the shop can be reinvested into global development projects – supporting those in greatest need in our world.

So why think about buying from suppliers that help others? Well, Fairtrade seeks to live by its name – to ensure that people who produce the food and goods we buy receive a fair wage and fair treatment; to stop exploitation of both adult and child workers. Likewise, goods that aim to minimise waste and pollution, avoiding the detrimental impact on the world’s environment, help support the global efforts to look after our beautiful natural world. In visiting Emmanuel’s Café and Fairtrade Shop, you don’t just enjoy some time to chat and a great cappuccino, but every purchase goes towards making a better world.

Our focus is on providing a friendly, cosy place to meet, with freshly cooked food, quality coffee and teas, and original fairtrade goods for sale.

As the Autumn term begins on Monday 6th September, we are excited to be opening our doors again to provide a warm welcome for all our visitors and thank all those who shop with us in supporting our vision to care for our community locally and around the world.

Find us at:
Emmanuel Church Parish Centre, Shepherds Lane, Stoughton GU2 9SJ or visit our websites: www.emmanuelchurch.co.uk/cafe/ and fairtradeshop.emmanuelchurch.co.uk/ You can also find us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/emmanuelcafefairtrade and Instagram www.instagram.com/emmanuelcafefairtrade/


Fountain Centre chosen as Charity of the Year 2022 by Tunsgate Quarter

The Fountain Centre team are delighted to announce that they have been appointed the official Charity of the Year by Guildford’s Tunsgate Quarter.

The partnership will see the Fountain Centre as the beneficiary of charity fundraising throughout the year and enable the Fountain Centre to participate in events and activities in Tunsgate Quarter which importantly will raise the profile of the charity and spread the word of the many support services provided for cancer patients and their families.

Fountain Centre Chairman Martin Read said: “This is a really big deal for the Fountain Centre and will go a long way to repair the funding shortfall of the last 2 years. We are so incredibly grateful to the team at Tunsgate Quarter for choosing us as their charity, and I know our fundraising team are really looking forward to working with them. It is especially valuable to us to be able to work with Tunsgate Quarter in the heart of Guildford as a way of spreading the word about the work the Fountain Centre does with cancer patients and their families. We are inspired by their plans for 2022 and look forward to community partnership working at its best.”

Claire Suggitt, General Manager of Tunsgate Quarter said: “We are thrilled to be supporting such an important and worthwhile local charity and are looking forward to building a special partnership with the Fountain Centre. We are privileged to operate our beautiful and aspirational shopping and dining destination in the heart of Guildford, and are delighted that all future events at the centre will be helping support such an important cause.”

Tunsgate Quarter’s support of the Fountain Centre started with all the centre’s Christmas festivities and will continue throughout 2022. Details of the work carried out by the Fountain Centre can be found at www.fountaincentre.org and you can find out more about Tunsgate Quarter here: www.tunsgatequarter.com

The Fountain Centre is an independent charity established in 1998 and based at St. Luke’s Cancer Centre at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. The charity supports over 2500 cancer patients and their families as they go on their cancer journey with counselling, complimentary therapies, wellbeing, family service and more.

Tunsgate Quarter is situated between the historic cobbled High Street and medieval castle, Tunsgate Quarter is Guildford’s most stylish place to shop and eat. Set out over three levels, the retail line-up includes Loaf, OKA, The White Company, Design Vintage, Nespresso, Bobbi Brown, Clark’s, Seasalt Cornwall and David Clulow. Restaurants include the world-famous The Ivy, Vietnamese street food restaurant Pho, award-winning GAIL’s Bakery and Cosy Club and also premium gym GU1 Fitness Studios.

Tunsgate Quarter provides you with a safe shopping experience. They employ a number of overt security measures, but also operate a number of unseen, covert security measures for your protection.

The Fountain Centre is an independent charity established in 1998 and based at St. Luke’s Cancer Centre at the Royal Surrey County Hospital. The charity supports over 2500 cancer patients and their families as they go on their cancer journey with counselling, complimentary therapies, wellbeing, family service and more.

Tunsgate Quarter is situated between the historic cobbled High Street and medieval castle, Tunsgate Quarter is Guildford’s most stylish place to shop and eat. Set out over three levels, the retail line-up includes Loaf, OKA, The White Company, Design Vintage, Nespresso, Bobbi Brown, Clark’s, Seasalt Cornwall and David Clulow. Restaurants include the world-famous The Ivy, Vietnamese street food restaurant Pho, award-winning GAIL’s Bakery and Cosy Club and also premium gym GU1 Fitness Studios.

Tunsgate Quarter provides you with a safe shopping experience. They employ a number of overt security measures, but also operate a number of unseen, covert security measures for your protection.