The Arts Society Haslemere

Formerly known as Haslemere
Decorative & Fine Arts Society


As a follow on from the work carried out on the St. Christopher's Church Record, a Church Trail has been compiled by Jan Wickens and Frankie Gaiter, the leaders of the original Church Recorders Group. The trail, taking the form of a questionnaire (a double-sided A4 sheet), guides children round the church looking at the architecture, history and furnishings. A corresponding double-sided sheet is provided for accompanying parents and teachers, with answers and explanatory notes. The questionnaire is designed in a child friendly format for ages 8 - 12 years.

St. Christopher's has plenty to interest children and, for example, the questionnaire asks children to search for the church mouse and to see how many representations of St. Christopher they can find. It gives information on the history of the building and past rectors and aims to stimulate further thought about local history as well as about the church itself.

With the help of Brian Wickens, the trail questionnaire was set-up in Microsoft Word and was tested on a small group of children of different ages during the Autumn of 2012. The Trail could not be immediately put to use owing to a delay caused by work carried out at the Church, during which the font was re-located. As a result, the order of the questions had to be rearranged to take this into account. The final copy was approved by NADFAS House in October 2013.

THE FIRST CHURCH TRAIL: 13th March 2014, at St. Christopher's Church.

30 Year Three children from St. Bartholomew’s Church of England Primary School took part in the launching of the Church Trail.

Mr Clive Hawkins and Mrs Sarah Barnes


Mrs Sarah Taylor, St. Bartholomew’s Religious Instruction Teacher, led 30 pupils from Year Three into the church, along with Mrs Sandy Clarke, the Parish Youth Minister, Gideon Bridgman, Trainee Youth Minister, and four staff members. They were welcomed by the Church Warden, Mr Clive Hawkins. Mrs Sarah Barnes, HDFAS Chairman, formally handed over the Trail to the Church and declared the Trail open.

Mrs Frankie Gaiter then explained how the children should use the trail and they were divided into 6 groups of five, each group accompanied by an adult. Adult guides giving clues and background knowledge included Mrs Liz Cook, Mrs Liz Hawkins and Mrs Celia Gregory, members of St. Christopher’s.  The groups started at different points around the trail so that they would have plenty of room to explore.

Also present were several members of the HDFAS Church Recorders group who compiled the St. Christopher Church Record, HDFAS President Mrs Rocelyn Rees and Mrs Barbara Naylor, in charge of NADFAS West Surrey Area Church Recording. Mr Brian Wickens also attended.


The trail involved quite a lot of crawling about on the floor, looking up at the ceiling, some counting and much discussion.

HDFAS Church Trail

Once the questionnaires were completed the children sat down and refreshments were handed round by Carol Boxall and Heather Berry, both members of the Parish. Mrs Barnes thanked everyone involved and the children in turn thanked the organisers - it was the loudest thank you of the day.

The Trail was received with great enthusiasm by children and teachers alike. It is hoped that other classes from St. Bartholomew's and other local schools will also come to try it out. The question about the church mouse proved to be the most popular. Many of the children also said that they liked counting how many representations of St. Christopher they could find.

Some comments:

"I had a fantastic time! Learning about St Christopher and Christopher Tanner. I met a lovely man called Clive who told me about the history of the church. It was just amazing!" (William Barnard)

"I had a wonderful time at St Christopher's Church. I thought the church trail was so much fun! I would say it's a 10/10!" (Issie Berg-Rust)

"I had a really good time doing all the questions and going inside St Christopher's Church. My favourite part was seeing the mouse in the corner." (Laila Southerden)

"I enjoyed it because I was give clues to where things are. My favourite bit was the mouse in the corner. I think St Christopher's church trail was epic! It was a fun way to teach us about the church." (Poppy Hunt)

HDFAS Church Trail

From left to right:
Mrs Jan Wickens;

Mrs Frankie Gaiter;

Mrs Liz Cook, group guide;

Mrs Liz Hawkins, group guide.

HDFAS Church Trail

From left to right:
Mrs Barbara Naylor,

member of the NADFAS West Surrey Area Team in charge of Church Recording;

Mrs Sarah Taylor,
St. Bartholomew’s Religious Instruction Teacher

Mrs Sandy Clarke, Parish Youth Minister, who received a special cake as it was her birthday.
The children sang happy birthday to her before she blew out her candle!

HDFAS Church Trail
From left to right: children at work; the Church Mouse, mural painted and donated by Sue Rogerson of Cowes,1992; drawing a mouse on the questionnaire.