Spectacular Return of the Cathedral Illuminations

Guildford Cathedral rounds off Diamond Jubilee Celebrations with a spectacular return of the Cathedral Illuminations

Guildford Cathedral will be staging five days of illuminations, starting on 9 February 2022 to round off the celebrations of their 60th Anniversary.

Sound and light art is projected onto the internal architectural features of Guildford Cathedral transforming and enveloping the inside space. Visitors will stand in the Nave and view the spectacular light and sound show which is digitally and artistically created by artistic collaboration ‘Luxmuralis’. Viewers are immersed in the sound they hear and will be enveloped in the light art that is all around them in the sacred space.

Firstly, the artwork features a journey through space, light and time, which takes viewers on a journey to the very edge of the galaxy and asks viewers to contemplate their own personal journeys and reflects on the wonder that is our planet earth.

The artwork then explores ’Life’ which is designed to enable people to explore and contemplate and reflect upon life on today’s planet that occurs in a single 24-hour period. The viewer is taken from Sunrise to Sunset, journeying through the beauty of planet earth, witnessing the sun, the oceans and the clouds reflected inside the majestic sacred space giving the viewer moments of awe and wonder.

As a celebration of the 60th Anniversary of the consecration of Guildford Cathedral, there will be a special 7-minute show, curated just for Guildford Cathedral so will not be seen anywhere else.

Previous Illuminated events by Luxmuralis have sold out (Poppies and Star of Wonder), and indications are that Space and Light will be no exception. The events give visitors a sense of wonder when they can see the inside of the cathedral transformed with this light and sound spectacular.

The Luxmuralis team behind this spectacular are Artist Peter Walker and Composer David Harper. Through Son-et-Lumiere installation and sound art pieces they transform and reinterpret the sense of place and space creatively helping members of the public to take a physical and emotional journey to identify with the subject and message of the artwork.

Tickets are £7 for adults and for children 2-16 years £5. There are various time slots available each evening, and all children must be accompanied by an adult. 

Tickets cannot be used for a different time slot.

To Book Tickets  CLICK HERE 

Plan B Measure End 27th Jan 2022

Due to the success of the booster programme, with over 30.5 million boosters given in England, the Government announced that Plan B measures end on Thursday 27th January 2022. But what does this mean?

The new guidance are:

      • Face coverings are no longer required by law in any setting. Public health guidance will remain in place, suggesting individuals should continue to wear a face covering in crowded and enclosed spaces, where you may come into contact with people you do not normally meet

      • People will no longer be advised to work from home


      • Venues and Events will no longer be required by law to use the NHS COVID Pass. The NHS COVID Pass can still be used on a voluntary basis

BUT… be prepared and keep a mask with you. For example masks will still be mandatory on TfL services after the changes on 27th January. You could be turned away from TfL services like the Tube and buses if you don’t have a face covering on.

Supermarkets and retail stores are encouraging their customers to wear a mask. Helen Dickinson, chief executive of the British Retail Consortium, said: “The Government’s decision to remove Plan B restrictions, including wearing face coverings in a retail setting will enable shopping to return to more normal experience for customers, employees and businesses. Retailers ask customers to be considerate to those around them when choosing whether to wear a face covering and to respect the decision of other customers.”

As Plan B comes to an end the latest data from Surrey County Council highlights a rise in cases across all of the boroughs in the last 7 days. With a 27% increase of cases. For more information click on the image below. 

To protect yourself and your family the best thing to do is to make sure you have your 1st, 2nd, 3rd and Booster jabs. For more information and to book your vaccination CLICK HERE

Alpha Course, St Barnabas Church, Epsom (2nd Feb)

Got questions about life and faith? Live near Epsom? Try Alpha, a series of informal discussions on Wednesday evenings at St Barnabas Church, Temple Road, Epsom KT19 8HA. Come to our introductory evening on Wednesday 2nd February, without commitment, to find out more. Book free places at www.alpha-epsom.org

Alpha video https://vimeo.com/654928066

Residents Enraged By Surrey Planners Regarding Epsom Chalk Pit

****UPDATE 28th Jan 2022****


No official reason was given why the Chalk Pit application was not presented to the Committee, but the Committee Chairman, Tim Hall, confirmed that the Council had received two legal opinions from residents’ advisors, together with a huge number of emails to Committee members with representations on the planning papers (issued a few days before)

There have also been other significant interventions to the Leader of The Council and the Planning Committee Chairman from Epsom MP, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP and SCC councillors, together with a joint letter of objection from all local councillors in wards affected. The EEBC, as the local authority , has also submitted a detailed objection to the proposals. On 26th Jan, the Rt Hon Chris Grayling MP raised the whole issue in the House of Commons.

Message From Chris Grayling MP:

“The planning meeting on Wednesday did not hear the application as Surrey does now seem to realise that there are a number of serious issues which the officers were not addressing. On Monday I lodged a formal complaint about the lack of detailed information about the adverse effects of the current usage in the papers that were due to be considered by the Committee.

The County has now agreed to review the situation again, and hopefully will develop a better understanding of what a serious situation this is. I also spoke on the issue in the Commons yesterday and the response from the Minister may well prove very useful. He was very clear that retrospective planning applications should only be used in cases where an applicant has made a genuine mistake.”


Green belt and hundreds of residents ‘sacrificed’ by Surrey Planners for Epsom waste recycling facility Residents enraged by planners recommendation which allows harm to be caused to Green Belt and destroy residential amenity

Hundreds of residents living in the Epsom College area are enraged with Surrey County Council’s initial planning recommendation to grant permission for a huge, 2,000sqm waste recycling

industrial building on Green Belt land at the Chalk Pit. They vow to fight it at Wednesday’s Planning Committee meeting in Reigate on 26th Jan 2022

The Council’s papers, six times delayed, admit the proposal, by NJB Recycling Ltd, will “cause harm” to the openness of the Green Belt, but have overruled this, and many other planning policies, citing “very special circumstances” invoked by an overriding need for local recycling facilities.

Yet the Council also admits in the planning papers any gain will be “small”. Despite having six designated strategic waste material recycling sites in the county under the Surrey Local Waste Plan, these have been ignored as alternatives as they have to consider any planning application outside these sites “on their merit”

Despite being one of the most contentious planning applications seen in the County, planning officers are set to overrule over 700 formal objections and a petition signed by 3,320 people. Epsom & Ewell Borough Council ; Epsom MP, Chris Grayling, and all local councillors are united in support for residents, having submitted objections.

The operator took matters into his own hands in summer 2020 and started site construction without any planning permission. This changed its use from waste transfer to waste recycling, involving huge revolving metal “trommels” and sorting machines. This has caused intrusive noise and dust misery to many hundreds of residents for over 18 months now, intensifying a tiny 1.8 hectare site from which residents have counted as many nearly 400  HGV movements daily.

However, the Surry County Council’s reliance on unsubstantiated assurances from the site operations regulator , the Environment Agency,  that noise “mitigations” pass permit conditions, may now mean that the planners’ recommendations themselves are compromised. This is because of a devastating Internal Review carried out by the EA itself, which finds evidence of bias towards the operator, and a failure to “take adequate action to control the impacts from the activities it regulates on the lives of people living nearby”.

Both the EA and SCC failed to take proper account of an expert noise assessment  (the Tofts Report) by the EA itself in July, 2021, which concluded that the NJB site was creating a “serious CICS2” noise incident, with average noise 18 dB over background noise. Operator mitigations included some old mattresses and some acoustic foam sheets under corrugated iron, which were surprisingly approved by the EA with a 30 min subjective check, rather than a full noise data test. Residents’ health, wellbeing and mental health concerns are at stake.

“ The planning and regulatory authorities ought to be ashamed of themselves,and could be in as big a mess as the Chalk Pit is itself ” says Nigel Collin, an affected resident and local Councillor, who has been working across party with all the Councillors to avert the application. “ Planning policies and expert noise reports appear to have been jettisoned to allow industrial recycling machinery to devastate an undesignated and obviously unsuitable residential environment. The Council says a Green Belt-busting building can be controlled with conditions, but everyone knows their monitoring and enforcement is not fit for purpose. We feel residents and the Green Belt is being sacrificed on the altar of local recycling wokery”

Any final decision by the SCC Planning Committee on Wednesday has to be referred to the Secretary of State for the Environment.

Article and images supplied by Epsom & Ewell RA

Help Shape Cock Lane Playground Refurbishment

Residents and users of the existing facilities in Fetcham are invited to take part in a consultation to help inform the style, theme and type of new equipment as part of Mole Valley District Council’s proposed extensive refurbishment of the playground at Cock Lane Recreation Ground this year.

Mole Valley District Council (MVDC) is working towards the new and improved inclusive playground being ready for the summer holidays later this year. To achieve this timeframe, MVDC is pressing ahead with a four-week public consultation starting in January, while awaiting the final agreement on the budget. The projected £90,000 budget for the refurbishment is due to be confirmed the following month.

The playground will remain in the same location as the existing facilities, within the existing railing fence at the Recreation Ground. MVDC proposes to provide new play facilities at the site for a range of ages, from toddlers up to 12 years old, that will both excite and engage children for years to come.

Visit molevalley.gov.uk/cocklanerefurb to complete a short online survey. The responses will help provide a clear steer to play companies bidding for the opportunity to build the playground as to the style, theme and type of new equipment that is wanted. The survey is open until 5pm, Friday 18 February 2022.

The feedback from residents and users of the existing playground will be reflected in the designs MVDC receives from interested play companies. A winning scheme will be selected from those submitted.

Cabinet Member for Leisure, Councillor David Draper, said: “These are exciting and ambitious plans for this playground. A substantial amount of money is being proposed to completely transform the tired equipment currently on offer and I do hope that the proposed budget will be approved in February. It seems very fitting that, in the year of Her Majesty’s Jubilee,  we are set to refurbish the play facilities at Cock Lane Recreation Ground; a designated Queen Elizabeth Field. I do hope that the local community get involved in this refurbishment and the winning design and build is a spectacular success.”


What if there was a building in the heart of our community just waiting to be filled with wonderful community projects? What if you could be involved?
Well here’s the good news – there is!

Have you heard of CHiP? It stands for Community Hub in Pippbrook House. It is a campaign started by two local women who couldn’t bear to see this beautiful grade two* listed building, formerly known as the library and also council headquarters, go to an outside owner. So, they campaigned. They nagged. They persuaded. Five years on we are almost there. The council has signed to say they agree in principle. The final agreement is being hammered out.
But what could it mean for you? What does it mean for individuals, families, community groups, charities and businesses?
It means a space for the community to fill, with 39 rooms including the fabulous ground floor reception rooms where you may have chosen your library books, or tried to persuade the housing officer to give you a home!
It means that for example, our local Men’s Shed currently looking for a new base, might come to rest and not only find a home but also help us with the restoration of the building.

It means a potential home for local charities currently struggling to pay rents on the high street. It means a place where an idea, perhaps your idea, for a new business or community project might take root, germinate and develop into something wonderful and productive.
It means a place where you might enjoy yoga or tai chi or baby massage and meet your friends afterwards for a cuppa and cake. It might mean a place where the community can address more challenging issues such as initiatives for mental health or twelve-step groups.
It will be good for the town and it will bring in people from further afield. We have artists, writers, poets, potters, and photographers in short many talented artisans and makers locally who would love to connect and create together. Let’s invite the rest of the world into view and enjoy their work. Pippbrook House will be able to offer space for the hive-mind to buzz and create.
One of the many hidden treasures of this building is the extensive basement including its own cell! We haven’t even started to plan what might happen there!
In short, this is a project that is an open invitation to get involved. Our invitation to you is to start now by clicking on a link to a community fund being offered by Surrey County Council. The more support is shown the more chance CHIP has of receiving funding and starting the initial renovations.


Invite to ‘Chat to Transform Leatherhead’

Residents and business owners of Leatherhead are invited to ‘Chat to Transform Leatherhead’ at two drop-in sessions being held at the Swan Centre in Leatherhead on Thursday 27 January and Saturday 5 February 2022.

The Transform Leatherhead team from Mole Valley District Council will be outside the Mole Valley Employment & Skills Hub from 11am-2pm on Thursday 27 January and from 10am-1pm on Saturday 5 February, to provide updates on key projects, listen to views and answer any questions.

Councillor Keira Vyvyan-Robinson, Cabinet Member for Projects, said: “Behind the scenes the key projects of Transform Leatherhead have been progressing steadily. We are now working towards announcing our partners for two of the largest projects – the developer taking forward the redevelopment of Claire House & James House and our Joint Venture partner for the redevelopment of the Swan Centre and Bull Hill – in the coming months.

“In the meantime the team is looking forward to hosting these open drop-in sessions in the centre of Leatherhead, providing local residents, workers, and business owners with the opportunity to find out more about the regeneration scheme and ask any questions.

“We have now successfully completed the package of short-term works for the Swan Centre that were outlined in the Transform Leatherhead Masterplan, including the renovation of customer lifts and toilets as well as improvements to make the car park more user-friendly and installation of card-accepting payment machines. We were of course disappointed that the retailer Next recently chose to close at the Swan Centre; the forthcoming redevelopment of the Swan Centre limits the length of lease that can be granted in the short-term. However we are pleased to have welcomed a number of new businesses into Leatherhead town centre in recent months (including Jackie Quinn, Violet London, Trend 1 and office occupants Rock & Alluvium) and will continue to explore further and alternative options to maintain high levels of occupancy.”

For further information please visit the Transform Leatherhead website.

Sutton Council opposes Viridor’s plans to increase waste activity

Sutton’s environment lead Member has announced he will strongly oppose plans by waste management company Viridor who are seeking permission to increase the tonnage of waste that can be processed at the Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) in Beddington.
Cllr Abellan, Deputy Leader of the Council said:
“I am very disappointed about this application. Sutton has long been a borough which prides itself on recycling and on reducing waste to landfill. Our recycling rates are some of the highest in London and the ERF avoids the need of sending waste to landfill. However this is too much and will increase the amount of traffic congestion and vehicle emissions in the area.
On behalf of Sutton residents I will strongly oppose this application from Viridor. I will be contacting the Environment Agency who have the final say in the matter, to urge them to carry out a full public consultation before making any decisions about the application.”
The proposed additional commercial and industrial waste that will be processed at the plant, will not come from Sutton or from our partners in the South London Waste Partnership (Croydon, Kingston and Merton) but from other parts of the country..The increase in vehicle movements and emissions in the Beddington area that will result from the increase in tonnage, is not in the best interest of Sutton residents.
Our borough already makes a significant contribution to the management of waste from the South London area, and we certainly do our bit for the environment, but we will oppose plans to process a greater amount of additional waste from other areas.

Mole Valley’s Community Lottery – £1,000 Sainsbury’s Voucher Prize!

Win-Win for Community Groups and Individuals
Play The Mole Valley Community Lottery Today!

Mole Valley’s Community Lottery currently has an additional prize for any tickets purchased and in the draw for the 26th February 2022 – a £1,000 Sainsbury’s Gift Card!

Buying tickets for the Community Lottery will give you a chance to win weekly cash prizes up to the £25,000 jackpot, but if you enter during January or February (in time for the 26th February draw), you will be in with the chance of winning a £1,000 Sainsbury’s Gift Card too, all for £1 a week! 

The Mole Valley Community Lottery is a fun way to help Mole Valley’s good causes. Tickets are £1 a week each, and you get to choose which good cause will benefit from what you spend on playing the lottery. The odds of winning a prize are an amazing 50:1. It really is a win-win, even if you don’t win a prize, you can be content in knowing that you are making a real difference to Mole Valley, with a proportion of your ticket money going directly to the good cause you have chosen. 

Why not start your New Year knowing that you are making a real difference to a good cause and have the chance of winning £25,000 and an £1,000 voucher?

50% of your ticket spend is paid directly to your chosen charity and 10% goes to an Environmental Fund run by Mole Valley District Council which benefits climate change initiatives in Mole Valley.  20% covers the prize fund and the remaining 20% covers the administration costs associated with running the lottery.

Councillor Claire Malcomson, Cabinet Member for Climate Change said: “Since its launch in July 2021, the Mole Valley Community Lottery has raised more than £10,000 for local charities and so far, 47 local groups have signed up. If you know of a local group that is looking for a fun way to raise funds, tell them it’s easy and free to sign up and by selling 50 tickets a week they can raise over £1,300 every year!”

To buy tickets and for more information visit: www.molevalleylottery.co.uk

Investing in our countryside

Horton Country Park is a rural landscape that includes woods, orchards, fields, hedgerows, streams, ponds and several miles of paths to help visitors explore the natural landscape.

Epsom & Ewell Borough Council has announced a further investment in the Country Park that will include improvements to drainage, roads and lighting and a third phase of path restoration.

Councillor Alex Coley, Chair of the Community & Wellbeing Committee, said “To ensure that the green space can be fully enjoyed by local residents and visitors, the council is undertaking further investment in the country park infrastructure; work will commence this year on resurfacing work on the car parks and security lighting will be installed around the main car park.

“The public conveniences have been re-plumbed and new toilet units have been installed to better able resist vandalism and anti-social behaviour.

“I’m particularly pleased with the work we have undertaken, and continue to undertake, on the footpaths, allowing better access for all, whilst at the same time protecting fragile habitats”.

The Country Park is a Site of Nature Conservation Importance (SNCI) and designated as a Local Nature Reserve.

In 1973, Epsom & Ewell Borough Council purchased two of the farms that were part of the Epsom Hospital cluster. This land was named Horton Country Park after the former Horton Manor Estate. Over the last 50 years, the council has increased the biodiversity of the Country Park, with additional tree planting and specific initiatives to support native bats, birds and invertebrates. It has also undertaken considerable work to protect and enhance the ancient woodland within the public space.

Ancient woodland is as biodiversity-rich as tropical rainforests and is defined as an area of land where there has been a continuous cover of trees since 1600. Horton Country Park has six sites of ancient woodland – Great Wood, Pond Wood, Four Acre Wood, Butcher’s Grove, Stone’s Copse and Long Grove Wood.