Memorial Update

Re-erection of the War Memorial has taken place over the last few days this week.

Now cleaned and dry it looks magnificent once again in time for its re-dedication on Remembrance Day this year.

We would extend our grateful thanks to the stonemasons, Anstey & Stone of Farnham, for their co-operation and skill in achieving the Memorial’s restoration.

War Memorial Appeal – Great News

The Friends of StJohn’s (FoStJ)are delighted to report that the target of the Appeal for monies to repair the storm damaged War Memorial was reached this week !

The support from the Merrow Community and Church members has been amazing with well over 60 donations amounting to over £2,400. However, this week Guildford Borough Council, seeing how much effort had been made by the community, stepped into the breach and made a ‘Matched Fund’ donation of £1700 to take us to our target of £4,078 with a small surplus to allow for the total clean of the Memorial, not just its repair.

FosStJ would like to thank everyone for their generosity and commitment to the valuable community asset that is the War Memorial standing within the StJohn’s Churchyard.

Percy Lewis

We are pleased to record that Percy´s funeral on the 3rd May was very well attended.

At his service, our Rector Rona Stuart-Bourne, said that “Percy’s life was an extraordinary one… gave his family, friends and the whole community the opportunity to thank God for his service both during the war and more recently to veteran organisations…..Percy was also such an amazing part of our parish, rolling his sleeves up and doing work in the churchyard. He was tireless.”

He married wife May in 1952, with whom he is now buried in St John’s churchyard.

See also the Surrey Advertiser´s record of his passing. Click here

Results of Wine Tasting on 4th December for SOS

We are pleased to report that the wine tasting fund raising event to help Save Our Stones (SOS), held on the 4th December, was well attended and a great success despite pandemic restrictions.
Over £400 pounds was raised and our thanks go to Majestic Wine for suggesting the wines used and the supply of glasses.

Our wine expert for the evening, Shaun Parry-Jones, gave a fascinating talk on the process and nuances of wine tasting and then helped everyone to assess each wine and gave an informed critique on each wine.

Please see for details of the repairs and where you can make a donation towards the cost of the stone repairs.

War Memorial Clearance

Many thanks to our Sat 6th November volunteers who have cleared the approaches to, and around the Memorial in advance of Remembrance Sunday on 14th November.

Illustrated History and AGM

18th November 2021 7:30 pm in the Church (Note changed date )

Join us for an Illustrated Church History on the evening of Thursday 18th November 2021, preceded by a brief AGM for The Friends of St. John’s Charity

Please take your seats by 7:30 pm

Open to everyone.

A fascinating history from the 12th Century origins of the Church in the reign of King John through the Victorian expansion of the 1880s to the 2012 reordering and ongoing work today.

We will take you on a journey through the history illustrated by images, the Church fabric itself and important artifacts.

This will also be an opportunity to raise questions in relation to the artifacts and architecture visible in the Church.

Wine Tasting 4th December

4th  December 2021 7:00 pm Wine Tasting in St John´s Hall

What an opportunity! A post covid lockdown, pre-Christmas social evening to taste and hear about a range of wines provided by the Majestic Wine Co. A chance to catch up with friends, stock up with wines for Christmas and to provide funds for some essential repairs to the crumbling stonework of the tower of your Parish Church.

Tickets are £15/head (£10 for Members of FoStJ ). Tables of 6 with your friends can be organised or just join a table to share the fun. Buy your tickets here on the FoSTJ web site or from the Parish Office (01483 454621 9am-12noon )

There will be a raffle for the prize of a mixed box of 6 of the wines tasted in the evening

Basic Covid precautions will be taken in terms of hygiene, reasonable spacing of tables and ventilation.

Update from the Churchyard

Hopefully many of us will have seen the new “Re-wilding” signs around the churchyard and the lovely illustrated poster on the notice board explaining what we are doing at St Johns. We have Jane Stevenson and David Hunt to thank for these and we are hoping to now erect several more of the posters at the key entry points to the churchyard to further help to explain what is going on. Jane is now also involved with the wider Eco Church initiative and is great to have another enthusiastic, knowledgeable and creative source of inspiration.

Now that the unmown areas of wildflowers and chalkland grasses are growing and the grass paths more clearly visible we can start to see how the project is evolving. Most exciting in mid-July was discovering three beautiful Pyramid Orchids which to my knowledge have never been seen before under the old mowing regime, one particularly fine example is beside the small path from Trodds Lane on the North side. Other wildflowers include varieties of Vetch both yellow and the taller purple tufted variety and Oxe Eye daisies which have produced a wonderful display in June and July. The areas sown with a special chalkland flower and grass mix have frustratingly yet to show significant germination so we will have to review this for next year when the anticipation is to have greater variety and colour including cornflowers and poppies in our midst. Another idea is to plant more Spring bulbs this Autumn.

I meet with Karen, who carries out our mowing every 2 weeks at this time of year, to review the paths and mown areas and have met with several people who have graves that they visit to discuss refinements to what we are doing.

Peter Tappin. July 2021