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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity, 8th October 2017.

.171008 Pew Sheet

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Harvest Lunch!

A big thank you to St Ippolyts Parish Council who hosted a Harvest Lunch in the Parish Hall today. Approximately 50 members of our community enjoyed a splendid lunch starting with Pumpkin Soup, then macaoroni Cheese and sausage and finishing with Pineapple upside down cake. Photos of the lunch can be found in the gallery.

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Revd Paul Lanham celebrates 50 years in the Ministry

St Ippolyts Church welcomed Revd Paul Lanham to the Harvest Festival Service today. At the beginning of the service Revd Ginni spoke of the love our congregation has for paul and how he was part of our Church. Paul was presented with a gift to celebrate his 50 years and went on to sing for his supper by giving a thought provoking service about the Harvest.

IMG 2750 Revd Paul Lanham 1st October 2017-2750

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity, 1st October 2017.

.171001 Pew Sheet

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Link to Hope


Thank you to everyone who has taken/requested shoeboxes and leaflets for this year’s appeal.

As you will see from the new leaflets, filling a box this year is much more straightforward.  You simply choose what you want to include in your box (using the guidelines on the leaflet) and fill in the contents list once you have decided. 

After packing your box wrap the whole thing in Christmas paper like a parcel and, with the leaflet open, attach the contents list to the outside of the box with sellotape but only on the three red sides marked.  Close the leaflet, fill in the gift aid section

if appropriate, attach £2 towards transport costs and fix shut with sellotape at the

top and bottom of the page where shown.  (Whilst all this seems very complicated

to describe it will all become very clear once you see the leaflet).  The donations can then be removed by the charity before sending out the shoeboxes each with their own contents list still attached.

Due to the fact that a number of you have kindly been very busy over the last few months, we have a supply of knitted items available for people to take to use in their boxes (including home-made knitted hand puppets, which have been shown to the charity and have been approved to go into the boxes).  We will aim to have all of these items available at the 9.15am. services at St. Ippolyts (or call Christine and Arthur Sibun on 01462-459145 for more information).

Link to Hope needs to have all of the boxes by early November (as stated on the leaflet) so, if you get your completed box to church or to Christine and Arthur on

or before Sunday 5th November at the very latest, we will ensure that this happens.

This means that if you haven’t already done so, there is still plenty of time to do a box for a needy family or for a needy elderly person this Christmas.

Please, can you help?  Thank you.


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Reinventing the Vicar!!!!!


This past month has seen the diet very much back on track!  I've managed

to lose another stone in weight despite my fortnight's holiday.  If I'm honest, it was the thought of having to report back to you lovely lot that stopped me from overindulging whilst I was away so I would thoroughly recommend 'going public' if any of you are trying to get trimmer!

I've been amazed by some of the comments I've had from people who think I'm 'brave' for being open about my weight and diet regime but, to me, there's nothing brave about it.  We all have something that we struggle with and it's often too hard to deal with on our own.  We all need support and encouragement and I've certainly found that by sharing my own personal battle, I've had no end of help and encouragement.  My grandma always used to say "a problem shared is a problem halved" and I think she was right.  So thank you all for noticing when I've lost some weight and cheering me on when I'm struggling - I'm getting there!!  Two and a half stone gone and only another four to go!!!  

With love Ginni

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Friends of St Ippolyts Church, Church decorating for Harvest Festival


We will be decorating the Church for our Harvest Festival on Saturday 30th September from 9.30am.  Flower and/or basket arrangements will be most welcome as will gifts of produce and non-perishable items.

We will need help packing up the Harvest gifts on Monday 2nd October from 9.30am.  Please come if you possibly can.  The non-perishable items will be shared between the North Herts. Shelter for the Homeless in Grove Road, Hitchin and the Food Bank in Letchworth.  Boxes of fruit and vegetables will be taken to people living in the parish so some small boxes would be most useful.

Diary Date:

Our next meeting will be held on Monday 22nd January 2018 at 10.30am. for 11.00am. at Little Almshoe House, St. Ippolyts.


                                              Frances Williams, Carol Scott and Joan Pinkstone

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Community Lunches, 4th October & 1st November 2017

The next Community Lunches will be on Wednesdays 4th October and 1st November from 12.45pm. till 2.00pm. in St. Ippolyts Parish Hall.  (Serving time 12.45pm. till 1.00pm.)  Cost £3.  Everyone welcome.

                                                                                                Anne Steel

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Changing Seasons, from Howell Davies


In their spoof on the 1834 children's poem 'January brings the snow' by Sara Coleridge, the wonderful 1960’s musical comedy team of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann, after bemoaning September's mist and mud, sang 'Then October adds a gale, wind and slush and rain and hail'.  Actually, Coleridge had written 'Fresh October brings the pheasant, then to gather nuts is pleasant', which doesn't fit the bill so well as, at the time of writing this introduction to Pax, things appeared far less cosy.  And that's just the hurricanes, tornadoes, storms and floods.

Still, the year is moving on - indeed, in the old Celtic calendar, October is the last month of the year.  That calendar was a continuing Wheel of the Year, with each of the three-month seasons centred on the shortest or longest day or one of the two equinoxes, and October completes the season of harvests, which we know as the Lammas, from the Anglo-Saxon 'hlaef-mas', the Mass Loaf, made from the first flour ground after the harvest.

The Celtic church was very much rooted in the countryside, in rural communities, unlike the Christianity brought by converts in Caesar's legions and later by missionaries from Rome that belonged more to the hierarchy of the cities and which later stifled what had been the British church.  The Celts, rather as the Buddhists do now, regarded sin as consisting largely of being uncaring and heedless, so to live a good life was to be mindful, keeping one's eyes open, and it's been suggested that if the old church had survived, the gap that has widened over the centuries between Christianity and nature might not have led to the west's current lack of care for our world.

Yet this year churches throughout the world have been asked to

pray, reflect and act on the care of all creation, the environment and the world we live in, all during Creationtide 2017, a period ending on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.  To explore this, and not just until

4th October, the Irish Franciscans have an attractive website you may wish to visit:

And if we think that we can't do much to help there, let's widen our scope to our interaction with people too.  We as individuals can't do much about North Korea or Burma or the EU either;  we don't all have equal power, but we do all have the opportunity, and responsibility, to make the lives of other people better, to help instil respect for all living things.  We are all choosers:  every interaction offers a choice between compassion or contempt.  Nothing is too small to matter:  a greeting, a kind word, a helping hand, sorting out our recycling.  So, extra to any New Year resolution we might make for 2018, let's add another for the Celtic New Year starting next month with All Saints' Day:  let's remember, nothing is too small to matter.

                                                                                            Howell Davies

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Harvest Festival and Parish Praise & Celebration of the 50 years anniversary of the ordination of Revd Paul Lanham

This Special Service will be at St Ippolyts at 09:15.


Come and along and celebrate with Paul.

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity, 24th September 2017

.170924 Pew Sheet

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity, 17th September 2017

.170917 Pew Sheet

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the thirteenth Sunday after Trinity, 10th september 2017

.170910 Pew Sheet

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COMMUNITY HARVEST LUNCH Sunday 1st October at 12.45pm. in St. Ippolyts Parish Hall

This will be hosted by St. Ippolyts Parish Councillors and will include a three-course meal followed by coffee or tea.  If you would like to drink wine with your meal please bring your own with appropriate glasses.  Tickets are £5 adult, £3 children 5-11 years.  Tickets must be purchased in advance, from Pam Skeggs, Barbara Thomas (tel. 01462-421647) or St. Ippolyts Stores.

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NATIVITY CRIB FESTIVAL - Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd December

We will once again be starting the Christmas season with our wonderful Crib Festival.

Can you help?  Do you have a crib set that we can borrow?  It doesn't have to be shiny and glamorous, the battered family treasures often have a fascinating "story"

to tell.  Could you put up posters in one of the surrounding villages or hand out flyers at a group you attend?

As usual "sign-up sheets" for cakes and help to man the event will be up at the back of the church nearer the time so keep your eyes open!  Most importantly the best way of advertising this is by people spreading the word.  So if you think that it is as lovely as we do, tell everyone!  Many thanks.

     Barbara Thomas

     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01462-421647

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This year’s Harvest Appeal is called Full of Beans.  Money raised will support a community programme offered by the church which is transforming the lives of families living in the Tingalayan Mountains of the Philippines.  They have discovered that the soil there is perfect for growing high quality beans.  With a good harvest of beans families are able to eat healthily and also produce a surplus to sell.

If you would like to support this year’s appeal cheques made payable to St. Albans DBF can be sent to The Bishop of St. Albans Harvest Appeal 2017, c/o Holywell Lodge, 41 Holywell Hill, St. Albans AL1 1HE.   Donations can also be made via

the website

                                Information taken from The Diocese of St. Albans website

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Christmas Shoebox Appeal, from Arthur Sibun

As you are all aware, we have supported Operation Christmas Child as a Benefice for quite a few years now.  So this year our vicar, Ginni, thought that it would be good to support another, different charity that operates a similar scheme sending boxes to Romania, Moldova, The Ukraine and Bulgaria.  As a result of this, our boxes this year will be going to ‘Linked to Hope’ which is a Christian charity based in Sussex.

As usual the concept is very similar.  To fill a box you will of course need an empty shoebox (size 8 or similar), an instruction leaflet and some gifts.  Empty boxes and leaflets will be available in church or from Christine and Arthur Sibun (tel: 01462-459145), but if you already have your own box, even better!  Completed boxes should be returned to church as usual and we will arrange for their onward transportation.  (More details to follow next month).

All that you need to do is to follow the instructions on the leaflet.  However, there are one or two differences in the way that Linked to Hope does things, so please read the leaflet carefully before you start.  You will be very pleased to learn that you no longer have to cover the lid and the box separately with gift wrap, but you just have to wrap up the finished closed box (like a Christmas present) after you have filled it.

The really big difference this year though is that, rather than being for a

child (of a particular age) the boxes are either for a family or for an elderly person.  This is all explained in the leaflet (and means that if you do one for

a family, it can still have all of the usual children’s things in it).  There is a contents box to tick, which gives guidelines of what can go into your box.  This is then attached to the outside of the box to give the organisers an idea of what’s inside and where they can best send it.

           Please help us if you can.

                                                                                                Arthur Sibun

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Happy Holidays, from Ginni

By the time you read this the summer holidays will be almost over and the children preparing to go back to school.  I hope you all managed some time together with those you love and are feeling refreshed - although,

in reality, those of you who care for young children over the

holidays probably need another holiday just to get over it!!

I realised when I looked back over my previous offerings in PAX, that I often mention things that have happened on my own holidays.  This doesn’t help diminish my churchwarden, Michael Hooper’s, frequent jibe that ‘you’re always on holiday’ (rich, coming from him!) and this month is no exception although I feel I ought to put the record straight and say that I only take the usual amount of holiday, I just tend to do it over a short space of time! 

My latest escapade was what I like to call a ‘working holiday’ - ok, it was more holiday than work, I admit but it did take me out of my comfort zone in more ways than one!  I went to a Christian Festival called New Wine held on the Bath and West Showground in Somerset.  Now if you are thinking that a ‘Christian Festival’ sounds a bit like church-speak for a handful of nice people sat around a CD player knitting squares for patchwork blankets and drinking Horlicks then you are about as far off the mark as you can get!!  The people were nice actually - but there were about 25,000 of them and although there could possibly have been some who knitted, I didn’t spot any!

I have been to New Wine before but I have always taken the ‘soft option’ and booked myself into a B & B just up the road but this time, I took the bull by the horns and joined the majority of people in camping - yes, camping!  Now I know there are people who love camping but as someone who’s only previous experiences of camping have involved vast amounts of rain and a soggy sleeping bag, I’m not a great fan so I did set off with some trepidation.

It was certainly ‘interesting’ camping with such a large number of people, quite cosy at times and rather odd to find myself brushing my teeth next to someone wearing a nightie and wellies.  Some things never change though and there was again a vast amount of rain.  However tents have improved somewhat and I did at least stay dry!  I also learned that driving rain, gale force winds and a heavy framed gazebo next to your tent require plenty of guy ropes, upper body strength and many uttered prayers if disaster is to be avoided!!

The New Wine week is pretty full-on with something for absolutely everyone, different styles of worship, over 30 seminars to choose from each day, activities for children of all ages, crafts, food halls and a market place.  There was far too much going on to do it justice in a few words so you’ll just have to google it if you’re interested!

For me, I loved being challenged by the seminars I attended.  It was inspiring to hear some of the speakers and how their faith is lived out in everyday life and enriching to listen and learn from discussions on a vast range of topics.  But the thing that struck me most was the worship.  Morning and evening we all came together to worship God, all 25,000 of us!  25,000 people singing and praying together is a powerful experience, it makes you realise that you are just one of many, it gives you a sense of how great God is and just how much we are in need of other people on our journey of faith.  Too often we try to figure things out for ourselves when what we need most is to share our thoughts and feelings with others and wrestle it through together.  Anyway, I learned a lot, gained some inspiration and motivation and have returned home recharged and enthusiastic so it was definitely worth a few nights in a tent!!

Next month you’ll have a break from my ramblings as Howell Davies will be sharing his (rather more interesting) words of wisdom with you because I will be - yes, you guessed it - on holiday again!!!

  With love - Ginni

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Tenth Sunday after Trinity, 20th August 2017

.170820 Pew Sheet

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Horse Blessing Service

Thanks to Robert Halliday there are now even more photos of our Horse Blessing Service in our web site gallery. Go to page two of the gallery to see them.

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