Reflections Blog

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FLOWER FESTIVAL - 27th 28th and 29th August

ST. IPPOLYTS FUND RAISING EVENT

FLOWER FESTIVAL - 27th   28th and 29th August

A Flower Festival is planned for the August Bank Holiday weekend with a theme of illustrating the names of pubs using flowers and props.  The pubs can be local, one that you have visited or one that has an unusual name. We also wish to involve our parish community groups and to offer them publicity at the festival.  You do not have to be an excellent flower arranger, just keen to be involved and to create a fun and interesting display.  If you would like to participate, the fund raising group has lots of ideas if you are unsure of what to do.

To for more information, or to offer help, please contact Mary Hooper (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). 

                                                                                    Mary Hooper

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COFFEE MORNING - WITH PLANTS!

COFFEE MORNING - WITH PLANTS!

At the home of Audrey and John Burr

15 Grange Close, Hitchin SG4 9HD

10.00am. - 12 noon on Thursday 26th May

In aid of Send a Cow

Please come - and bring your friends and help rural 

families in Africa to grow their own futures

       Audrey Burr

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CHRISTIAN AID - TEA AND CAKES

CHRISTIAN AID - TEA AND CAKES 

Sunday 15th May - 2.00pm. - 4.00pm.

As you know we are no longer doing a door-to-door collection for Christian Aid in St. Ippolyts so I thought I would have a “Tea and Cakes” afternoon.

Everyone is invited to 1 Ash Drive to enjoy a slice of cake, a cuppa and (hopefully) some sunshine in the garden to raise some money for this very worthwhile charity.

Donations of cakes or raffle prizes would be very welcome, just let me know what to expect!  I look forward to seeing everyone.

       Barbara Thomas

        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  (07443-228468)

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VOLUNTEERING IN GHANA

VOLUNTEERING IN GHANA

In 2005, after many years wondering about it, I decided at last that I wanted to volunteer abroad.  So I started looking into it.  Eventually I found a company where you could go for 1 month or 3 months.  I decided on 3 months as I thought that one month would not be long enough to contribute anything.

They had placements in various parts of the World and all looked tempting but eventually I chose Ghana and the start date was January 2006.  I set off with a mixture of excitement and terror!  I arrived in Accra and was met by a driver.  Besides myself and two others from the UK the other volunteers were all from America.

I had chosen to go to a small fishing village called Woe.  We were taken by local bus to the school where I was volunteering with 3-4 year olds.  The children were great and all happy to come to school - they usually arrived at school before the local bus got me there and ran to meet me and drag me into the classroom.  Depending on what they were learning, we were either in the classroom, or if they were being read to, outside under a large tree for shade, usually after lunch.  They were taught in a mixture of English and their local dialect.

The way of life was simple - no television, usually not enough signal for a mobile phone, no internet access so I couldn’t send or receive emails and it was total bliss!

Five of us decided to take the last two plus weeks off and hire a van and driver to take us round Ghana.  This was amazing - seeing so many different aspects of Ghana from region to region, punctures galore from going down potholes, different dishes, staying at a game reserve where one elephant would come every morning to drink from the fresh water swimming pool, the monkeys who stole all my washing off the line and strewed it all around the camp, hearing the local folklore handed down from generation to generation but never written down, the vibrant colours of their dresses and outfits and above all, their innate friendliness, kindness and interest in us.

A remarkable 3 months and if it hadn’t been for my two lovely dogs and obvious commitments back home, I would have been very happy to stay far longer!

                                                                                          Clare Reid

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BIBLE STUDY

BIBLE STUDY

The next Bible Study Group meetings will take place on Wednesdays 4th and 18th May.  We meet at 2.30pm. at Oakhurst (behind Kingshott School) home of Margaret Edmonds.  We will be continuing our study of the Letter of Paul to the Galatians.  Refreshments are served after the meeting.  Do come and join us - all welcome.

For further information please contact Margaret Edmonds (01462-452340) or Clare Larsen (01462-453541). 

                                                                                 Clare Larsen

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EVENSONG WITH SUPPER - Sunday 15th May at 6.30pm

EVENSONG WITH SUPPER

We thought it might be a nice idea to follow on from our Evensong service at St. Ippolyts Church with a light supper to give people a chance to chat and catch-up with one another.  If you haven't been before then Evensong is a sung service using traditional language and lasting around 45 minutes.

Supper following our service on Sunday 15th May at 6.30pm. will be quiche and salad and a dessert.  It would help to know numbers so please either sign up on the sheet in church or let Reverend Ginni know by email or phone.  There is no charge for supper.

                                                                                    Reverend Ginni

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ASCENSION ? A thought from Revd Paul Lanham.

 

ASCENSION ?

Writing this at Eastertide reminds me of a scene in the film 'The Greatest Story Ever Told' (the one where John Wayne as the centurion at the crucifixion immortally drawls the words 'Truly this was the Son of God' as only he could).  The disciples have fled from the crucifixion and stand beside the Sea of Galilee.  A stone is thrown into the water and the ripples flow silently outwards in circles, graphically showing their sense of helpless despair and confusion.  It is memorable in its understatement.

May 2022 marks part of this six week period where the disciples seem to be in limbo.  Jesus was still alive but His ministry with them is clearly in transition;  we know so little of what happened in those days, but then at the Ascension Jesus parts from them (we mark it this year on Thursday 26th May).  The way is then set for the gift of the Spirit at Pentecost and the start of all that follows.

We speak of Jesus in terms of ascending into heaven, just as we speak of Him rising again from the dead.  We use the word because we have no alternative.  Going up is the alternative to going downwards or sideways;  they are as much about the spirit of their direction as their physicality, the direction as much of why it took place as how it took place.  Just as Jesus physically died and rose again, so He left this earth physically in some way that we do not understand.  In both cases the meaning of the events speaks as well as what actually happened.

For us this represents a problem, summed up by the first astronaut, the good Communist Yuri Gagarin.  When he reached orbit it is said that he radioed that now he could prove that God did not exist because he had gone up and there was no heaven to be seen.  One of the problems lies in the conflict between religion and the way we are trained to think.  Everything today has to add up, to be rationalised, to be logical.  Religion however speaks of faith.  So we must convince the world of something that we cannot prove and cannot understand.  How could Christ (as God made man) physically die and physically rise again?  How could He leave this earth alive into that state which we call heaven (whatever that is)? April and May seem full of confusion and mystery and while it is arguably the most beautiful month of the year it is also perplexing for those who believe (or try to believe).

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Or is it?  During these warm summer months I may be found on our swing seat on a dark evening, gazing up into the sky - and pondering.  What lies beyond what I can see?  Does space go on for ever and if not what lies beyond it?  This to me is the start of an exploration into faith.  Because I cannot understand what lies beyond what I am looking at, it does not mean that it does not exist;  it tells me that my mind has human limitations.  It recognises that fact is not the answer to everything and we have to accept that such limitations exist.  My favourite passage of the Bible is the closing chapters of the Book of Job.  Job has been seeking answers to what has happened to Him with ever growing intensity.  Suddenly the Lord answers Job out of a whirlwind, claiming the right to be mysterious and not to answer Job's questions.  The book closes with Job finding peace in not having answers, that he must love and believe. 

                                                            With my very best wishes - Paul

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EASTER LILIES

EASTER LILIES

Please would anyone who would like to remember a loved one at Easter make a small donation towards the cost of our Easter lilies.  Donations can be placed in the envelopes provided at the back of the church.  Print the name on the envelope and Reverend Ginni will read out all the names on Easter Day. 

Please give your envelope to Jane Veasey either at church or deliver to Gosmore Cross, Newlands Lane.  Or deliver to Carol Scott, Bow Cottage, Gosmore.  Thank you all!

             Frances Williams

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Decorate the church for Easter on Saturday 16th April from 9.30am

FRIENDS OF ST. IPPOLYTS CHURCH

Come and help us decorate the church for Easter on Saturday 16th April from 9.30am.  Everyone welcome to bring flowers to arrange in the church and pre-arranged baskets will also be appreciated.  Please don’t forget to come and remove your arrangements and containers when the flowers have faded.

                                                                                     Frances Williams

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BIBLE STUDY

BIBLE STUDY

The next Bible Study Group meeting will take place on Wednesday 20th April.  We meet at 2.30pm. at Oakhurst (behind Kingshott School) home of Margaret Edmonds.  We will be continuing our study of the Letter of Paul to the Galatians.  Refreshments are served after the meeting.  Do come and join us - all welcome.

 

For further information please contact Margaret Edmonds (01462-452340) or Clare Larsen (01462-453541).

                                                                                       Clare Larsen

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MUSICAL MEDITATION IN LENT - The Jubilate Choir 6th April

MUSICAL MEDITATION IN LENT

A remarkable piece of music, written over 260 years ago

to accompany the solemn services in Lent in Cadiz Cathedral, is to be performed in St. Ippolyts Church as part of our own Lenten celebrations.

Joseph Haydn’s “PASSION”, based on the SEVEN LAST WORDS of Christ on the cross, is a poignant and emotional piece which will be performed, not as a concert but, in the form of an hour-long musical vigil. 

The Jubilate! Singers, directed by John Edwards, will be performing this beautiful cantata on Wednesday 6th April at 7.00pm.  Please join us for this unique service of music and silent reflection.

It is sure to be a very special evening and NO TICKETS REQUIRED.  There will be a retiring collection in support of those affected by the war in Ukraine.

                                                                                             Ginni Dear

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April Services and Events

SERVICES FOR APRIL

HOLY WEEK AND EASTER

SUNDAY 10th APRIL - PALM SUNDAY

9.15am.           Holy Communion           St. Ippolyts Church

11.00am.         Holy Communion           Great Wymondley Village Hall

MONDAY 11th APRIL

6.00pm.           Compline                          St. Ippolyts Church 

     (also live-streamed to Facebook)

TUESDAY 12th APRIL

6.00pm.           Compline                          St. Mary’s, Little Wymondley 

     (also live-streamed to Facebook)

WEDNESDAY 13th APRIL

6.00pm.           Compline                          St. Ippolyts Church

     (also live-streamed to Facebook)

THURSDAY 14th APRIL - MAUNDY THURSDAY

11.00am.         Chrism Eucharist                              St. Albans Cathedral

6.30pm.           Holy Communion with Washing of Feet

                                                                                 St. Ippolyts Church

FRIDAY 15th April - GOOD FRIDAY

2.00pm.           Good Friday Meditation                   St. Ippolyts Church

This service will last approximately one hour and include a mix of Bible readings, poetry and music.  It will be led by The Reverend Paul Lanham.

SATURDAY 16th APRIL - EASTER EVE

10.00am. - 11.00am.   Children's Easter Workshop    St. Ippolyts Church

2.00pm. - 3.00pm.      Children’s Easter Workshop and Easter Egg hunt

    Great Wymondley Community Garden

7.30pm.                       Easter Vigil            Great Wymondley Churchyard

Wrap up warm and bring a chair as we gather in the churchyard around the fire to hear the story of Easter.

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SUNDAY 17th APRIL - EASTER DAY

8.00am.           Holy Communion (BCP)         St. Mary’s Church,

     Little Wymondley

9.15am.           Easter Holy Communion         St. Ippolyts Church

Join us for this joyful service of celebration, which will be followed by fizz, cake and an Easter Egg hunt for the young and the young at heart!!  There will also be an Easter Bonnet parade with a prize for the winner - get making those bonnets!!

MONDAY 18th APRIL - Bank Holiday

11.00am. - 1.00pm.     St. Mary’s Church Café and Easter Egg Hunt

         St. Mary’s Church, Little Wymondley

Come along and join us for tea/coffee and cake, catch up with friends and neighbours.  There will be an Easter Egg hunt for the youngsters.

SUNDAY 24th APRIL

9.15am.           Holy Communion                           St. Ippolyts Church

11.00am.         Parish Praise    Great Wymondley Community Orchard

Bring our own chair.  There’ll be cake!!

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MONDAY 25th APRIL

4.00pm.                Annual Parochial Church Meeting

         St. Mary’s Church, Little Wymondley

TUESDAY 26th APRIL

7.30pm.           Annual Parochial Church Meeting

              St. Ippolyts Church

WEDNESDAY 27th APRIL

6.30pm.           Annual Parochial Church Meeting

       Great Wymondley Village Hall

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LIGHT CONQUERS DARKNESS - A thought from Revd Paul Lanham

LIGHT CONQUERS DARKNESS

Whenever I read St. John's account of the Last Supper I am struck by those words as Judas Iscariot leaves the room to betray Christ - 'And it was night'.  There can be so few words with so much meaning.  The darkness is physical but it is full of tragedy and menace.  There is the darkness of the disciples who feel the atmosphere of impending tragedy but cannot understand what is going on.  Then there is the darkness of Jesus facing Gethsemane - the realization of what lies ahead and how He can resist that ultimate temptation there before the final journey to Calvary.  Then there is the darkness of Judas Iscariot who I am sure is a far more complex figure than he appears in the Gospels.  'And it was night';  you can feel the dark evening air as the figure hurries out of the room, a robe around him, the moonlight casting eerie shadows.

If I am fascinated by Judas then I am also fascinated by the crowd in the days before the crucifixion.  We see them crying out for Jesus as King when He enters Jerusalem on a donkey - yet within a week they are baying for His blood.  If ever there were an example of mass hysteria this is it, but there is also evil reflected in their change of heart.  The priests achieve their evil ends by manipulating the mob but they need the mob - and the mob plays a part with the priests by forcing Pilate to condemn Christ.  They surely represent a hypocrisy that is breath-taking.  I know that this is an over-simplification of the events that week but it stares us in the face and makes the crowd as guilty as the priests and Pilate in what happened at Golgotha.  So to look at that period is to see both a tragedy but also a reflection of so much darkness, so much evil, so much of the image of fallen man.  The cumulative darkness and the cumulative evil become focussed on an innocent Man hanging from a cross, God made man.  It is indeed night in those 24 terrible hours.

And yet darkness is only darkness if it is seen in the context of light, for without darkness there cannot be light.  This is what April means in 2022.  For death is followed by resurrection and without resurrection there cannot first be crucifixion.  This theme is in the first few words of the Bible as light emerges from darkness, just as in the physical sense the dawn follows the night, and winter changes to spring.  At the heart of Christ's death and resurrection is the contrast between the two themes and the victory of the one over the other.  Light conquers darkness.  Healing binds up wounds.  Love overcomes hatred.  Life conquers death.  These things, what's more, are eternal, that love, light and life are all conquering, they will always reign.  This is what this month is all about.  This lies at the heart of the Easter message of hope. 

                                                Wishing you all a Happy Easter - Paul Lanham

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St Ippolyts Parish Hall The 24th Annual General Meeting - Wednesday 23 March 2022

St Ippolyts Parish Hall The 24th Annual General Meeting of the 1998 St Ippolyts Parish Hall Charity to be held on Wednesday 23 March 2022 at 7.30pm in the Committee Rooms. AGENDA 1. Apologies for absence. 2. Approval of the minutes of last AGM held on Tuesday 23 March 2021 on Zoom. 3. Matters arising. 4. Chairman’s Annual Report. 5. Trustees’ Report & Financial Statement for year ended 31 December 2021. 6. Appointment and election of management committee: a. Election of Charity Trustees (4 positions). b. Appointment of Charity Trustees (2 positions). c. Co-option of Charity Trustees (2 positions optional). 7. Appointment of Independent Examiner. 8. Hire charges. 9. To consider any other business raised by user group representatives. 10 Date of next AGM. Diary dates: Management Meeting on Wednesday 15 June 2022 at 7.30pm. Management Meeting in September date to be arranged. Christmas Fair with User Groups on Saturday 26 November from 2pm to 4.30pm. For enquiries, please contact Sam Kelly, Bookings Secretary, on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 07389-891417 or visit www.stippolyts-hall.co.uk and/or Facebook.

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Daffodils, a thought from the Revd Paul Lanham

DAFFODILS I've always especially loved daffodils. For a start they are the symbols of spring and after the winter that is as good a reason as any. They have a kind of golden dignity and they quietly keep on going, year after year. They also don't take any maintenance - while I annually toil on the second Tuesday of March pruning the roses (a ritual, weather permitting) the daffodils just stand up and glow at me. Somehow March looks forward in a way that doesn't happen at any other time of the year. Daffodils also remind me of the Lake District and William Wordsworth. 'I wandered lonely as a cloud that floats on high o'er vales and hills, while all at once I saw a crowd, a host of golden daffodils'. When we lived in industrial Lancashire in the mid-1970’s we often drove sixty miles, walked ten miles over the fells and returned in the evening, with petrol costing three gallons for £1 (remember that?!). One particular walk will never leave me, during a post Easter break about 45 years ago. We escaped the crowds on a brilliantly sunny Sunday, leaving Buttermere to the Scarth Gap and Haystacks. We worked our way round towards the Honister Pass and set between two ranges of hills and at our feet there was a breathtaking view to Buttermere, Crummock Water and Loweswater. Behind us was the Scafell range, the highest peaks in England. The silence was almost deafening. Nobody else was in sight and I could feel God around us in a way that I have never felt since then. Of course there had to be a let down because the crowds had gathered at the foot of the pass on our return. I wonder why I felt so smug when one yelling child slipped and fell fully clothed into a pool. Very unchristian no doubt but I am sure that God had mischief in His eyes that day. Happy memories. We are tempted to confuse solitude with loneliness. Loneliness is a curse of our times. There are countless people who just want a voice, someone knocking at the door - someone to care about them, to matter to them. Loneliness is brutal, it speaks of nobody caring about them. Solitude is about pausing and listening to our inner selves and what is spiritually around us. It is about tuning into the world around us, into God. 'What is life if full of care we have no time to stand and stare?' wrote the poet W. H. Davies. 2   As spring makes its welcome appearance after winter and we can look ahead to the summer with its warmth and long evenings we may remind ourselves of the importance of solitude and be willing to listen to silence and to listen perhaps too to God. For silence is arguably the most life affirming sound there can be, the most revealing one, the most peaceful one. To end a thought from a book I have just read telling of how the tomb of the Unknown Warrior was created. There was a quotation by one of my spiritual heroes, the Great War padre Geoffrey Studdert Kennedy. He wrote this: 'Love is eternal, death does not touch it. Morning gleams through the dark. Today - with me - paradise'. I used it recently when conducting the funeral of a dear friend; I leave it especially with you as the days start to lengthen and the air warms - but it applies to any day of any year. My very best wishes, Paul Lanham
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MUSICAL MEDITATION IN LENT - by the Jubilate Choir 6th April 2022

MUSICAL MEDITATION IN LENT A remarkable piece of music, written over 260 years ago to accompany the solemn services in Lent in Cadiz Cathedral, is to be performed in St. Ippolyts Church as part of our own Lenten celebrations. Joseph Haydn’s “PASSION”, based on the SEVEN LAST WORDS of Christ on the cross, is a poignant and emotional piece which will be performed, not as a concert but, in the form of an hour-long musical vigil. The Jubilate! Singers, directed by John Edwards, will be performing this beautiful cantata on Wednesday 6th April at 7.00pm. Please join us for this unique service of music and silent reflection. Ginni Dear
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Link of Hope

LINK TO HOPE Here is an extract from a letter which I received recently from Link to Hope: “Fortunately through the amazing support of yourselves we managed to continue to support all of our projects at the same financial level and even found funds for new projects such as food parcel deliveries and birth certificates, etc. We also managed to send out nearly 25,000 Family and Elderly Shoeboxes to Eastern Europe. Although we were not able to send a UK team out again last year the project managers have started to get more confident with a camera and have sent back some really good photos. Unfortunately due to COVID escalating, many boxes had to be given to people outside and we weren’t able to gather their stories in order to write the Delivery Diary. We are absolutely determined to get out there this year, so in the meantime we have assembled some of the best photos which are now on display on the notice board in St. Ippolyts Church porch.” Thank you very much to everyone who filled or contributed to a shoe box. Your continued support is much appreciated. Arthur Sibun
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Community Lunches

COMMUNITY LUNCHES We are planning to start Community Lunches in the Parish Hall again on the first Wednesday of each month, starting on Wednesday 4th May. It will be great to be able to gather together once more. It would be helpful if we had an idea of numbers so, nearer the time, please contact Jane Veasey if you are planning to be there: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01462-434254. We’ll look forward to seeing as many as can be there. Anne Steel

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ELIZABETH OUR QUEEN

ELIZABETH OUR QUEEN 70 years ago as a schoolgirl in Hitchin, I was given a book by Richard Dimbleby 'Elizabeth our Queen' and I quote from the chapter about her Father's coronation: ‘To an eleven year old Princess, no matter how well she may have been primed by her grandmother or aunt in the ancient rites of the ceremonial, the moment, thrilling above all, was the moment that she and her sister must have been awaiting. It was the moment when she saw the Archbishop of Canterbury raise aloft the Crown of England. As the Crown was lowered on to her father's head a thousand voices in the Abbey acclaimed him with the cry "God save the King!" A cry that at once sped round the world as silver trumpets, rolling drums, saluting guns and pealing bells heralded the news that a new sovereign had been crowned.......... One more presentation to the King remained, the gift of the Bible - ‘the most valuable thing that this world affords: wisdom, royal law, and the lively oracles of God’. Marjorie McCarley
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News from great Wymondley

ST. MARY’S GREAT WYMONDLEY March like winds are coming early in the middle of February and the snowdrops seem late with daffodils almost catching them up. Spring is on its way. MARMALADE A great many jars of marmalade have been made over the last few weeks and there are just two batches of fruit left to prepare and cook. Plain marmalade, Three Fruit, Ruby and Ginger are all done. I can make Lemon & Lime later as they do not need the short season Seville Oranges. CHURCHYARD CLEARING St. Mary’s Church has recently had a tree survey carried out on the trees in the churchyard. We were advised as some of the actions to cut back and grub out brambles and ring bark the ivy growing on many of the trees. On Saturday morning, the day after Storm Eunice swept in, a group of about fifteen volunteers gathered to tackle various jobs. The ivy which had very thick stems was cut low down to inhibit further growth. Dead wood was cut and pulled out from hedges and trees and the wood that had blown down in the storm picked up. The grubbing out of brambles will have to wait until the snowdrops have finished but we were able to cut some of the tangled stems out. There will be more work to do in the next few months, though any major tree maintenance will have to wait until later in the year because of nesting birds. We luckily finished for the morning just as the rain started. Very many thanks to all the kind volunteers who gave up their morning.
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