Why is the website coming down?

Chilworth2gether, the community group, has been active for ten years. It has committed itself to making Chilworth a great place to live, to work, and to bring up a family.

Before Chilworth2gether, the original group of four local Mums formed Chilworth Massive, a year-long project to raise awareness of the village, raising funding through a community activity every month and installing Millstone replicas at the entrances to the village.

Ten years on, and the Chilworth2gether community group has achieved a huge amount. It has been very successful in raising funds through local events. Perhaps the Chilworth Duck Race was the biggest and most successful of these, but there have been fetes and dog shows, dances and beetle drives – all the things you would expect in village life.

As a result of these efforts, Chilworth2gether has been able to fund three defibrillators for the village; instal wooden benches at the Gunpowder Mills picnic area and at Brookswood Sport field; support local organisations, especially our local Brownies; buy a trophy cabinet for the village hall; buy Christmas lights and decorate the Village Christmas tree, kindly given to the village each year by a local benefactor. We have cleared vegetation in the Gunpowder Mills, removed invasive Himalayan Balsam in partnership with the GBC Countryside warden; we have run Heritage open days, bought a stag beetle sculpture, and much much more.

We tried the ambitious projects too. We tried in vain to get GBC to agree to a boundary change, so that Chilworth village and its surroundings could be served by a single Parish Council, rather than being split in two. We also tried to buy a field that was under threat of development; though unsuccessful in purchasing it for the village to use, this field is now banked by the trustees of the Village Infant School, for future use if the school expands. So a successful outcome none the less, with the iconic view to St Martha Church preserved.

After ten years, we are getting tired. Core supporters have moved from the village, and other wonderful amenities have sprung up, notably the successful Community Cinema. Many core volunteers from Chilworth2gether now support this enterprise. It meets once a month. With the help of our local benefactor, Chilworth2gether was allocated the proceeds from a Picnics and Pimm’s evening, and with this, was able to commission a sound and media system to be installed in the village hall. This has paved the way for the Cinema, and other activities at the hall that can benefit from the improved amenities.

So, we have achieved a lot. We are hoping that a group of younger people in the village may pick up the baton and reinvent the community group for the next decade. But for now, the website will be taken down, the accounts closed and properly audited and activity will be discontinued.

The best bit about Chilworth2gether is that its activities are always fun, and thanks to the retiring team, always well organised. Maybe those of us who are still living in the village will get the chance to take five on the new picnic benches that will be installed in the Gunpowder Mills this summer, as Chilworth2gether’s final flourish.

Final Chilworth2gether project – buying new benches for the Gunpowder Mills site

Chilworth2gether is retiring this year. We are now in the process of finalising our very last project, which is to purchase a set of picnic benches for the Gunpowder Mills.

The new benches will replace the existing benches, which have come to the end of there life. Buying these original benches was one of our first projects, using proceeds from our fundraising events.

The new benches, the design of which has been approved by GBC, are made of recycled materials and come with a 25 year guarantee. When they finally reach the end of their working life, they will be recycled again.

The benches will remain a popular resource for the community of Chilworth, and as a place to rest or have a picnic, and for walkers exploring the Gunpowder Mills and the Surrey Hills. They will also continue to be used by Chilworth C of E Infant School, who use the space as an outdoor classroom for Forest School activities.

This project will use nearly all the funds held in the Chilworth2gether accounts. Any funds remaining will be spent supporting other local organisations, such as Chilworth Brownies.

The accounts will be audited, as they always are, by an external qualified person who lives in the village. It is hoped that the successful closure of the accounts can be reported on the website before it is closed in September.

The new benches should be ready for delivery and installation in August, which will be done on site with the help and support of the GBC Countryside Wardens.

It is hoped that Chilworth2gether will be able to report the completion of its last project at the annual Gunpowder Mills meeting, which is held in Chilworth Village Hall in November.

Horseman’s Sunday – a report from Surrey Hills

Horseman’s Sunday returns to St Martha’s Church for a celebration of horse riding in the Surrey Hills

Horseman’s Sunday returned to the picturesque church of St Martha-on-the-hill for a unique and special event, celebrating horse-riding in the Surrey Hills.

Both horse riders and members of the community on-foot gathered at the top of St Martha’s Hill for a beautiful service lead by the new vicar, David Oakden. During the short service, he blessed the horses, and they received a commemorative Surrey Hills rosette. Reverend David Oakden comments;

“It was a joy to once again welcome horses and riders to the Horseman’s service.  This is an historic annual event which acknowledges the work of the horse from long before cars took over the roads.  It is a rural service and helps to bring the community together, so what better way than to celebrate the horse and welcome so many people, their dogs and of course horses and ponies, who all stood so patiently to receive their blessing.

Horseman’s Sunday is embedded in rich history, the first event occurring at Hyde Park in 1967, which still attracts increasing crowds. This was the first Surrey Hills Horseman’s Sunday since 2019 due to the pandemic, and participants were thrilled to be reunited finally for such a meaningful event. This occasion was especially prominent, as part of the celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

A brilliant congregation of horses and over 50 spectators took part in the service, overlooking the stunning landscape. Mark, an attendee of the event comments;

“I really enjoyed being able to take part in the event. Seeing the horses line-up outside the church walls was such a spectacle, and what better setting than in the heart of the Surrey Hills. Horseman’s Sunday is a fantastic event to celebrate horses, horse riding and community in the Surrey Hills.”

Horse riders lining up at St Martha’s Church ready for the service to begin

Not only does Horseman’s Sunday celebrate horse-riding in the Surrey Hills, but also looks help enable all our communities to connect with their passion for horses. After the service, a collection was made of kind donations to go towards the running and protection of the historic St Martha’s Church, and for local charity Big Leaf Foundation. Big Leaf supports displaced young people in providing opportunities and activities to increase their sense of safety, belonging and purpose in their new environment. The Surrey Hills have been working on a variety of projects with Big Leaf during the last few months, including taking part in the Nature Connections programme, to welcome and connect people with nature. The collections made at Horseman’s Sunday will go towards their equestrian programme which gives displaced young people the chance to spend time with horses- developing skills in communication, coaching, horsemanship and English language.

The Surrey Hills has great pride in the committed equestrian communities that enjoy and help protect the landscape. Later in 2022, the Surrey Hills will be launching a new website which features high quality equestrian routes for all to enjoy. They will also utilise support from their conservation volunteers to help keep the trails safe and protect surrounding habitat.

Visit the webpage here for more information on horse-riding and hacking trails across the Surrey Hills.

News from Chilworth Care Committee -April

News from                                 Chilworth Care Committee 

Following on from our last news update – coffee mornings did indeed recommence on Thursdays with     effect from 3rd February in St Thomas’ Church Room – however, due to closure of the church building following damage caused by Storm Eunice, they are currently being held in the Village Hall on Thursday mornings until such time as the church building is open for use once again. We continue to get regular requests for lifts to doctors’ surgeries and other medical appointments and are grateful to our team of drivers who so willingly undertake to offer the lifts. Currently we still have in place quite stringent Covid precautions but hope to soon agree that they can be safely relaxed at our next committee meeting.

It is our intention to do something a bit special to celebrate the Platinum Jubilee at the Coffee Morning on Thursday 2nd June and again for the monthly St Martha’s Court Afternoon Tea on Monday 6th June – look out for posters nearer the time as well as our regular news update in the       Village Magazine.

For lifts to local doctors / hospital appointments, or to the weekly Thursday Coffee Morning / St Martha’s Court Afternoon Tea, and to find out more about what we do please call 01483 538886 or email ChilworthCareCommittee @outlook.


Horseman’s Sunday in Chilworth – April 25 2pm

The long tradition of horses being blessed is being carried on in Chilworth village at the iconic St Martha Church. The event, held by Surrey Hills is a free event, open to all riders and their horses, with the public invited to watch the spectacle from the security of the church grounds. Our new vicar, Reverend David Oakden will officiate this year. There will be a collection for the church and to support displaced young people.

Horses will be allowed to climb right up to St Martha Church for the ceremony at 2pm, enjoying the far reaching views on the way. They will line up outside the cemetery walls for the short ceremony, poem and blessing. There will be mounted and foot stewards to assist.

Riders are asked to register for this free event, as numbers will be limited. Please visit the Surrey Hills website where all details will be found.

Details below

Chilworth Care Committee news – and open for business!

Chilworth Care Committee News

At our March Meeting we noted that the Management Committee has met 6 times since August and 9 times since March 2020 to keep adapting the provision of the services we can offer as the circumstances keep changing. Many of these have been via Zoom.

We are so pleased to be able to offer lifts to medical appointments again and continue our good neighbour scheme picking up prescriptions and undertaking basic shopping and are just so grateful to all our willing volunteers who undertake these tasks. To provide a lift you do need to be DBS’d, wear the PPE provided and agree to our Covid-safe policies but if you are currently working from home with the flexibility to take a break for an hour just once a month it would be great to have you on-board. So far we have provided just 9 lifts to Vaccination and other appointments.

We have once again refreshed our posters to reflect this – at no cost thanks to the generosity of Pauleen at Flippinimage Ltd – and remain grateful to St Thomas’s Church who have allowed us the use of their notice board in this respect for so long

Our buddy scheme put in place last March is still in place and we have the capacity to pair up more couples if anyone would like to receive a regular phone call just for a chat.

Our AGM remains on hold but we remain hopeful that we can arrange a summer date safely. We have noted the resignation of our current Chair Tim O’Hanlon with thanks for all his contributions and are grateful to Cathy Browning for stepping up from Vice Chair to Chair so if you can help with the management of our activities it would be great to have someone with organisational / administration skills at the meetings. (We hope to be back to just 4 a year plus the AGM soon!)

As always we can be contacted on 01483 538886 – all calls will be returned – and at chilworthcarecommittee@hotmail.comThere is also information on our page on the Chilworth2gether website.

Chilworth2gether plans to retire – public announcement

Public announcement – the future of Chilworth2gether

With one of the founding members of Chilworth2gether retiring and moving away from the village, a consultation of others who’ve been part of the core team has taken place to determine the future of Chilworth2gether.

We have decided that it is now time for the original team to retire, happy to leave a permanent and lasting legacy to remind us of the wonderful years we have had together, making the village of Chilworth a great place to live and work in.

The village now has public benches, an improved picnic area in the Gunpowder Mills, three defibrillator machines, and a thriving Community Cinema, as a direct result of the village’s efforts.  With the support of a local benefactor, we’ve also decorated Christmas trees in the village, and installed a media centre in the village hall.  There have been fetes and dog shows, barbeques and Heritage days, and the famous Chilworth Duck Race.  It’s been fun, and many, many villagers have contributed as volunteers or participants, together with the schools and the wider community, young and older.  Thank you!

Chilworth2gether has one outstanding commitment, which will provide another lasting legacy for the village.  This is to support St Martha Parish Council as it finds a way to retain West Lodge as part of the Gunpowder Mills site, but with a new future as a community resource.  Chilworth2gether will pledge its residual funds, together with any proceeds it receives from next year’s Picnic and Pimm’s celebration, as a community contribution to this project, run by the Parish Council.  This community contribution will be needed as part of the Parish Council’s bid for Heritage Lottery funding, which hopefully will provide sufficient funding to refurbish West Lodge for its future use. Contribution to this bid will be our biggest, final project, if it comes off.  This will be a decision for the Parish Council.

If this project doesn’t come to fruition, then the funds won’t be taken up, or an alternative project will be found, to use this funding, before the Chilworth2gether books are closed.  The books will continue to be inspected until they are finally closed.

We are looking for someone, an individual or a group, to take over the Chilworth2gether website, so it can continue to be a communication channel for the village.  We hope it will remain and be reinvented, to continue to support village life.  Please contact Maggie.scott@me.com if you are interested or have a suggestion.

From the Chilworth2gether Core Team