Fr Edwin Barnes, 1935-2019

February 11th, 2019

We were sorry to hear of the death of former Rector of Farncombe, Fr Edwin Barnes, on the eve of his 84th birthday a few days ago. Fr Edwin came to Farncombe in 1967 after serving curacies in Portsmouth and Woodham, and at the age of 32 was a huge contrast to Charles Allingham, who had retired having been Rector since 1946. Edwin ushered in an era of great change in the church, adopting modern liturgy, reordering the interior of the building, and generally cementing a ‘modern Catholic’ identity for St John’s. It was Edwin who brought about our friendly relationship with the Roman Catholic congregation, allowing them to use the church for Sunday services. He moved in 1979 to Hessle in Newcastle, and then became Principal of St Stephen’s House in Oxford, one of the Church of England’s training colleges for priests. Edwin¬†was appointed a ‘flying bishop’ to minister to congregations who opposed the ordination of women as priests in the Anglican Church, and retained this role until retiring. Eventually, when the Church of England voted to appoint women bishops, Edwin’s search for certainty took him into the Roman Catholic Church and he spent his last years ministering in retirement to a group of congregations around Lymington, where he and his wife Jane had gone to live. Later on they moved to Salisbury. It was wonderful that they were both able to return to Farncombe in 2014 for the service celebrating the 40th anniversary of our sharing the church with the Roman Catholics, and in December last year for Corinne Cooper’s funeral.¬† He was a good and faithful servant of God and we honour his memory and pray for his entry into eternal glory!

Corinne Cooper

November 23rd, 2018

We’re sorry to have to say that our friend Corinne Cooper died in the early hours of Tuesday morning. Corinne’s involvement with St John’s went back to the 1940s and it would be hard to list the activities she took part in – most notably, perhaps, the Mothers’ Union at Branch and Diocesan level, organising the Spring Fair, and as governor of Farncombe Infants School (as she always used to say, before they were even called ‘governors’!). So many people will miss her. We don’t yet know when her funeral will be, but will let people know once we do.


November 14th, 2018

On Sunday 18th November we’re trialling our new TakeTime venture. TakeTime (devised by Reigate Methodist Church) is a way of using ‘Ignatian Meditation’ techniques to help people encounter God in their own way. Each session includes a led meditation on a Bible story, silent reflection time, refreshments, and sharing of whatever thoughts we may have had. The advantage of TakeTime is that you don’t need any religious knowledge or belief to take part – everyone can do it. What would you ask Jesus? What would he say? Come and you may find out! The first session will last an hour.

taketime banner

Ecumenical Ventures

October 5th, 2018

Part of our mission at St John’s is to build links with local churches of different traditions to ourselves and we are delighted that this month we are hosting the Farncombe members of the Emmaus Road church fellowship in Guildford who will be using our facilities for their Saturday fellowship group. Hopefully this can be the start of a fruitful partnership!

Ten years ago St John’s hosted a community arts project organised by Watts Gallery. Let’s Face It! encouraged local people to explore how they felt about Farncombe using a variety of artistic techniques from ceramics to embroidery. The exhibition which came out of this project was on show in the church entrance area for a number of years but was dismantled when the room was refurbished in 2016.

Now the remaining panel has gone back on display in the Church Room as a permanent reminder of the project. Thanks to John Preston for doing the work.

Let's Face It display

Harvest 2018

September 18th, 2018

It’s Harvest season coming up! We celebrate at St John’s with special harvest services for the Infants School at 9am on Wednesday 26th September & Ladybirds Nursery at 9.30am on Tuesday 2nd October, Songs of Praise at the Day Centre at 2pm on 26th September, and the main Harvest Festival service at 10am on Sunday 7th October.
This year our theme is ‘Food’ and so we wanted to support a charity working in the area of sustainable agriculture. We picked Send A Cow and you can find out more about their current campaign here:
Our offerings will go to the Food Bank at St Mark’s. We’re not aware that they want anything in particular at the moment, but dry goods (including toiletries), tins, washing up liquid and so on will all be welcome – no fresh or home-made goods, please.


The Village Show is this Saturday. Judging is from 11am and the Show is open to the public from 2pm with prize-giving at 3.30pm – details of how to enter (it’s still possible) are in flyers and posters you can find around the village. The Show is usually a great splash of colour and fun in the Summer season but given the adverse growing conditions this year we hope plenty of folk will have managed to produce *something* …!

Yesterday, on Monday August 6th, we managed to achieve an ambition (at least of the Rector’s) and celebrate the Eucharist for the Transfiguration outside (much to the bemusement of various commuters making their way along Church Path)!

This Saturday at 10am is our quarterly Requiem Mass for the souls of the departed. We’ll be remembering especially our friend Creina Kybett who died a few weeks ago. If there’s anyone else you’d like to be prayed for, please let us know.

And finally a reminder that there’s NO 10AM SERVICE at St John’s this Sunday, August 12th. Instead we’re joining with the other Godalming churches for the annual Churches Together Open-Air Service at the Bandstand – it starts at 10.30am.

We’re working through the implications of the General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force tomorrow, Friday 25th May 2018. As part of this we’ve produced a Data Privacy Statement, describing the principles controlling how we store and process personal details. This isn’t the end of the process as we will carry on reviewing the data we hold and the means of collecting it. You can read the Data Privacy Statement here.

We’re a bit late reporting it, but on the 17th of February the Church Council spent a day at S. Nicholas’s Church, Peper Harow, thinking about the next steps and priorities for the development of the church community over the course of the next couple of years. We were helped through the process by Revd Steve Cox from Guildford Diocese, who also facilitated our previous Away Day two years ago. Our deliberations are far from complete and will carry on over the coming months.