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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Second Sunday in Advent, 9th December 2018

.181209 Pew Sheet

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Collection for the Reverse Advent Calendar displayed at Advent Service.

.IMG 1558 Gordon Hewer with goods collected Advent Service 1st Dec 2018-1558

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Revd Ginni gets her nose foamed during Advent Service

After embarrassing our Churchwarden, Michael, with a demonstration of how to wait, Revd Ginni demonstrates how to wait patiently for a face of foam!


IMG 1555 Revd Ginni Advent Service 1st Dec 2018-1555

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Come along and get into the festive spirit!

On Friday 21stDecemberwe will once again be carolling our way around the Broad Meadow estate to raise funds for the UK Sepsis Trust.  We meet at Barbara's (1 Ash Drive) at 6.15pm. and work our way around the estate. All carollers are invited back to Barbara's for mulled wine and mince pies (or squash and biscuits) when we finish.  Everyone is invited to come along and join in, the aim is to be loud enough to be heard and to enjoy ourselves - we make no pretence at being a choir so it doesn't matter if your singing voice is not great. The more carollers we have the better we sound and young children really enjoy the excitement of being out after dark! Children of primary school age or younger need to bring their own adult.

If you live on the estate please listen out for us and be prepared to answer the door to our team of collectors.

      Barbara Thomas (H.421647)

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FRIENDS OF ST. IPPOLYTS CHURCH - Decorating the Church for Christmas

We will be decorating the Church for Christmas on Saturday 22ndDecember from 9.30am.  Please bring greenery to put around the church and on the window sills and white or silver flower arrangements.  Come and help if you possibly can so that the Church will be ready for our Christmas celebrations.

We will need plenty of help to clear up the Church on Monday 

7thJanuaryfrom 9.30am.  Please make a note in your new diary and don't leave this important task to the 'faithful few'! 

Date of next meeting:

Our next meeting will take place on Tuesday 22ndJanuary 2019 at 10.30am. for 11.00am. at Thistley House, Gosmore, home of Anne Steel. 

                                 Frances Williams, Carol Scott and Joan Pinkstone

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With the New Year not far away it is time to ask people if they would like to sponsor/continue to sponsor the church floodlights that are on every evening.  The current floodlights were installed and ran on Christmas Eve 1999 for the first time.  We have had some problems over the years, but the lights are now 19 years old. Some may have noticed that one of the lights which lights the west end of the tower is missing as it was found smashed.  Needless to say, the same type of light is no longer available.  

We have therefore decided to replace all the floodlights with LED systems and the contractor who installed all the LED lighting in church is going to do this. One of the benefits of doing this is that all the lamps will give the same colourand this should not change whereas the metal halide lamps in the current fixtures become more yellow and less bright as they age.

This year we are continuing our sponsorship programme for the lights.  It is still £15 per weekand you may want to sponsor in memory of people, events, etc.  You may select as many weeks as you wish.  I ideally like cheques made out to ‘St Ippolyts Church’ so that I can keep accurate track of payments.  If you would like to sponsor as ‘anonymous’ then that is fine too.

By the time you see this the sign-up board will be at the back of the church along with a calendar showing the week numbers highlighted.  If you have any queries, please let me know.

        Roger Cox

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All of your wonderful shoeboxes have now left on their journeys to the people who will receive them but, when I drafted this article for PAX, I was surrounded by all 68 of them stacked in my living room for safe keeping.  It really is quite amazing just how much room 68 shoeboxes take up.  (Many more and I would have been in danger of losing sight of Christine)!!

A huge thank you to all of you who have contributed in so many ways by knitting, donating and actually doing all of the boxes. This year roughly of the boxes were for families and were for the elderly.  What a huge difference they are going to make to so many people (both young and old) once they arrive this Christmas.  So, on behalf of Link to Hope, THANK YOU EVERYONE.

                                                                                         Arthur Sibun

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THE SPIRIT OF CHRISTMAS - a thought from Revd Ginni.


As is usual at this time of year, I’ve already started to flap and twirl as my ‘to do’ list grows longer and Christmas looms ever nearer.  I’m someone who takes a while to get things into perspective sometimes and until that moment happens I have a tendency to do what my children call my ‘headless chicken’ act!!  This usually involves stomping purposefully from room to room whining about how much I have to do whilst not actually doing anything productive at all!!  

This was the scene in The Vicarage the other day as witnessed by my 14 month old grandson Edward and faithful hound Toby.  Toby is well used to moments like these and sensing that a walk was probably not on the cards right now, took himself sensibly off to his bed in the other room.  Edward, on the other hand, found it hilarious and decided that blowing dribbly raspberries at me whilst throwing his toys over the fireguard was the best way forward! 

It’s hard not to laugh when faced with an innocent child who thinks your adult paddy is funny, so I picked him up for a cuddle and as he diligently smeared my clergy shirt with drool, I found myself thinking of just how little a child needs to be happy.  Warmth, food and someone to love them and they’re pretty content most of the time.

With the writing of this article at the forefront of my mind (I was late for the deadline yet again - sorry Clare!) my thoughts turned to Christmas and another baby - Jesus.  All our depictions of the baby Jesus show him tucked up snugly in soft, warm straw being gazed upon by adoring people and surrounded by cute fluffy animals.....but it simply wasn’t like that really, was it?

For a start, Joseph and the heavily pregnant Mary traipsed for miles on a donkey to register for the census.  Now, having ridden a horse myself this summer, I can assure you that being heavily pregnant and bouncing along on a donkey wouldn’t have been a pleasurable activity!!  Once there, they had the stress of finding somewhere to stay and ended up with the ‘budget room’, bedded down with the livestock where Mary gave birth to her baby. The chances of the straw being clean and smelling of freshly talcum-powdered baby or that there wasany real warmth, given that stable doors aren’t known for being draught proof, are all highly unlikely.  But this is the image that we all, 

me included, conjure up for ourselves at Christmas as we celebrate the birth of Jesus our Saviour.  

Our ideals and our realities rarely match up;  they didn’t when Jesus was born and they don’t for us today.  Often this is even more evident at Christmas when our ideals of the whole family sitting down together for

a lovely meal and snuggling down in a cosy room to open presents from under the fairy light festooned tree are met with the realities of frazzled, overworked parents praying that the turkey will cook before

the kids murder each other with the latest gadget that someone thought to be a suitable present, whilst the dog is fusing the Christmas tree lights with his leg-cocking antics.......or is this just MY Christmas!!!

My point is that, if we go along with the ‘commercial’ images of a clean and sparkly baby Jesus, we lose sight of his reality.  Jesus didn’t come into the world to fulfil our human ideals and ignore our realities.  He was born in a filthy stable, to parents who must have been fraught with worry and unsure of their future, in order to show us the love of a God who isn’t an ideal but rather a true reality and who will guide us through whatever life throws at us.

So, this year, whether your Christmas is warm and cosy or whether it is frazzled, fearful and uncertain, remember that Jesus knows your reality and offers you a love and a hope that no amount of money can buy.

Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a Joyful New Year!

                With love - Ginni

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NATIVITY CRIB FESTIVAL - This weekend! 1st and 2nd December!

.181201 Nativity Crib Festival Poster

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Sunday next before Advent / Christ the King / Stir up Sunday, 25th November 2018

.181125 Pew Sheet

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Anne Steel stars as a Saint, well at least for a day!

Anne Steel, our intrepid Director of Music and PCC member, volunteered to be framed as a Saint during todays service. Well done Anne it was well deserved!

IMG 4440 3

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Fourth Sunday before Advent ( the Twenty Third Sunday after Trinity), 4th November 2018

.181104 Pew Sheet

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CHRISTMAS FAIR TOMBOLA St. Ippolyts Church will be running a Bottle and Jar Tombola at the Parish Hall Christmas Fair on Saturday 24th November. We would be very grateful for any contributions of bottles or jars of food or preserves, or why not fill a jar yourself with toys, sweets, stationery etc. Contributions can be brought to church or given to Jane Veasey. Thank you. The PCC
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Saturday 1st and Sunday 2nd December - 11.00am. till 5.00pm. Could you help in any way? If you could help with stewarding on the days or if you could bake a cake, keep your eyes open for sign-up sheets at the back of the church. If you have a crib set that we could borrow (the church is always manned or locked when the cribs are there) please contact Barbara on 01462-421647 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Please 'spread the word'. Word of mouth is the very best advertising so tell everyone you can about how wonderful it is. Finally, come along over the weekend and try to work out which cribs are new! Barbara Thomas
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QUIZ NIGHT - Saturday 17th November at 7.30pm

QUIZ NIGHT - Saturday 17th November at 7.30pm. Don’t forget to purchase your tickets for an evening of fun and a little bit of mental stimuli in St. Ippolyts Parish Hall. Make up a team of 6 to 8 friends or family and enjoy a Ploughman’s Supper washed down with wine, beer or soft drinks from the bar. Doors open at 7pm. for a prompt 7.30pm. start. Tickets available from Jane Veasey (H.434254) or Mary Hooper (H.457350) at £10 per person. Mary Hooper
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COMMUNITY LUNCH The next Community Lunch will take place on Wednesday 7th November from 12.45pm. till 2.00pm. in St. Ippolyts Parish Hall. (Serving time 12.45pm. till 1.00pm.) Cost £4. Everyone welcome. The Christmas Community Lunch will be held in the Parish Hall on Wednesday 5th December. It will be a ticket only event and tickets, price £5, will be on sale at the November lunch or from Anne Steel (Tel: H.432117). There will not be a Community Lunch in January.

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ST. IPPOLYTS PARISH HALL CHRISTMAS FAIR Come along on Saturday 24th November from 2.00pm. to 4.30pm. There will be lots of stalls with everything from toys and games to a tombola and cakes. Father Christmas will be visiting to see the children in his lovely grotto. Light refreshments available. Last chance to buy raffle tickets before the draw at about 4.15pm. Everybody is most welcome. Diary dates: Management Meeting Tuesday 15th January 2019 at 7.30pm. 21st Annual General Meeting Tuesday 26th March 2019 at 7.30pm. Pam Skeggs

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Thank you to everyone who helped to make our Harvest Festival such a special occasion. All the arrangements looked very beautiful and with the fresh produce alongside the church looked astounding and smelled wonderful too. Thank you to those who helped clear and box all the produce afterwards. Boxes of groceries were made up by St. Ippolyts school children for elderly folk and those needing support. Boxes of groceries were also taken to the Sanctuary in Hitchin and The Food Bank in Letchworth for which they were very grateful. We will be decorating the church for Christmas on Saturday 22nd December from 9.30am. Please put the date in your diary now and come along and help if you possibly can. There will be further details in December Pax. Frances Williams, Carol Scott and Joan Pinkstone
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Memory, a thought from Revd Ginni.

MEMORY Memory is a strange thing, isn’t it? I say this following on from a conversation I had with my grown-up children recently where we were reminiscing about family life when they were much younger. I was remembering one particularly difficult winter when I had three children under the age of ten, a husband whose job demanded extremely long hours of him, my own job which required me to work night shifts and the struggle I had to hold on to my sanity! To my mind, it was one of my toughest times and I commented to my children that I wasn’t a particularly good mum then as I was permanently tired and grumpy and that I was always moaning at them. They looked at me as if I was mad!!! “What are you on about, Mum” exclaimed my youngest. “Don’t you remember when we had that massive storm and when you came in from work late at night, we were all awake and crying because of the thunder? You and dad got out all the blankets and sheets in the house, moved all the furniture around in the lounge and made a den downstairs for us to sleep in. Each of us had our own little ‘cave’ and you and dad slept in there with us - it was the best night EVER”!!! There then ensued a very animated conversation about this warren of caves that Colin and I had constructed and it seemed that I was the only one who had viewed it as a last desperate measure to get even a couple of hours sleep before the school run in the morning, even if it did leave the house looking like a tornado had hit! It appears that my desperation had turned me into a hero! The same memory viewed from different perspectives. It reminded me that each of us can only hold on to our own personal recollections of times and events and from them we form opinions which can influence us for the rest of our lives. If, however, we seek out other perspectives on the same story, we can often see things we had previously missed, gain insights that hadn’t occurred to us and have a less narrow view on the events that unfolded. 2   This year, on Sunday 11th November, we mark the centenary of the end of World War 1. One hundred years since the end of the war that was thought to be the war that would end all wars. Of course, there is no one left alive who can recall first-hand the events of that war but their memories, shared and passed on to each generation, endure to remind us of the cost of war and to influence our thoughts and actions in the future. For many of us, we will never have known the horrors of war nor do the younger generations have any relatives to recall the memories first-hand. How then can they hope to understand the bravery, fear, courage and self-sacrifice of the generations before us, especially in a world that increasingly glamorises violence? How can they understand how fortunate we are to live in this country and to empathise with other countries that are in the midst of conflict? If lessons are to be learned, peace to be cherished, repetition avoided then it is vital that this generation remembers and passes on that knowledge. Our history, our past, our memories are important for the sake of our future, for a wider perspective - ‘Lest we Forget’. With love - Ginni

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity, 7th October 2018

.181007 Pew Sheet

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