This New Year we are-branding the Family Service as ‘Sunday Space’. This rethink has been mainly brought about by the awareness that families have largely stopped coming to it over the last four years. It seems to make sense to stop trying to shape the liturgy and the clergy talks around the presence of children who are not likely to be there; at the same time we want to retain a less formal, non-eucharistic service as part of the diet at St John’s, and to emphasise that family groups are still welcome. The worship band will still play and at first the format won’t look very different. However over time it might diverge further in the direction of informality. As we go on, at least some of the Sunday Space services could be themed around suggestions from the congregation, and if we successfully install a new audiovisual system, this will be the perfect context to make good use of it. It should be fun!

Christmas Services

December 10th, 2019

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Big Group Sing Christmas Concert

November 26th, 2019

There will be many special events at St John’s over the Christmas season but one of the most exciting will be the concert by our friends of Big Group Sing! They’ll put on an eclectic mix of musical theatre songs and Christmas carols, with proceeds from the concert going to the church. You can buy tickets on Eventbrite here.


Rood Returned

October 4th, 2019

The great Rood Window at the east end of the church has now been restored by John Mahoney, a stained-glass specialist based in London, after damage earlier in the year. You can’t see the join! We may be running a fundraising campaign to cover the cost of the restoration and security measures to protect the window for the future. IMG_4083  IMG_4085  IMG_4086

Harvest at St John’s 2019

September 21st, 2019

Go to the What’s On page to see the Harvest dates for this year.
As in previous years, we’re collecting dry goods for the Godalming Food Bank at St Mark’s Church, Ockford Ridge. At the moment they’re especially asking for:

Bags for Life and proper shopping bags to take family parcels

Tins: Tinned vegetables – peas, carrots, sweetcorn; Baked Beans; Tinned Spaghetti; Tuna, Salmon; Custard; Rice Pudding.

Liquids:  Squash, Juice, UHT Milk (500ml)

Instant food & dry goods: Pasta, Sugar, Pot Noodles, Instant Noodles, Microwave Rice, Mash Potato, Cup a Soup, Pasta meals like Mugshots, Savoury Rice, Angel Delight, Teabags (40s), Couscous, Jam, Chocolate spread, paste etc, Meatballs, Hotdogs, Mince, Rice Crispies, Weetabix, Cornflakes, Cheerios (not Porridge or Fruit & Fibre/Granola-type cereals), Savoury Crackers

Toiletries: Shampoo/Shower Gel, Razors, Shaving Foam, Roll-on Deodorants

Cleaning materials: Washing-up Liquid, Washing tablets/Powder, Bleach, Anti-bacterial spray cleaners, J Cloths

Our money gifts this year will go to the development charity Practical Action, which supports small projects in developing countries, especially in the fields of sustainable energy and agriculture.

If you read the entry in this month’s free magazine Vantage Point about St John’s offer for this year’s Heritage Open Days you’ll discover things like the church’s windows by famous artist Edward Burne-Jones, a display about WW1 and WW2, children’s activity trails and the ‘creepy mausoleum’ in the churchyard. This is all very exciting, but sadly it was news to us because it’s THE WRONG CHURCH. You will find these things at St John’s Milford, not Farncombe.

Unfortunately it would be hard for the churchwardens to knock up a creepy mausoleum in the time available. However we will be open from 10am to 1pm on Saturday 14th for a display of photographs of ‘Farncombe Then and Now’, and again on Sunday 15th from 12.30pm to 5pm. There’ll be refreshments available on Saturday.

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.

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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!