ST. IPPOLYTS CHURCH FLOODLIGHTING
It is the time of year when we offer the opportunity for you to sponsor the church floodlighting for the coming year. It was installed just in time for Christmas 1999 and has run every evening since then apart from some Good Fridays. Maintenance is a problem now as the luminaries originally purchased are no longer available. If you would like to sponsor a week or more to celebrate an anniversary, or an event,
it is still £15 per week. There is a sign-up board at the back of church and an associated calendar showing the week numbers. We would appreciate having cheques as it is easier to see who has paid. These should be given to Roger Cox.
How many of you have ever watched The Simpsons? I have never been much of a fan but I have often used the catchphrase of one of the characters, Homer Simpson, the one where he exclaims ‘D’oh!’ whenever he realises
he’s done something stupid or not noticed the obvious!
I had a ‘D’oh!’ moment when I went to the Post Office the other day to post one parcel and collect another one. It had been a busy week, I was rushing around gradually getting grumpier and moaning to anyone who would listen about how busy I was so I wasn’t best pleased to see a huge queue in front of me. Sighing inwardly I joined the queue, mentally noting how slowly everyone seemed to be moving and wishing they would keep their jolly conversations with the counter staff to a minimum to speed things up! I smiled outwardly of course, mainly because I was wearing my clericals and nobody wants to see a tetchy vicar!!!
Finally, it was my turn and I handed my parcel over to be posted, closely followed by the card that indicated the package I had come to collect. ‘Oh I’m sorry’ said the cashier, ‘you have to collect parcels from that counter over there’. I turned to where she was pointing and was greeted by a queue longer than the one I had just been standing in. I confess that my smile did not reach my eyes and I’m not sure I managed to hide my displeasure completely as I flounced (my mum tells me I do that!) to join the back of the ‘collection queue’.
I stood behind a little old lady who looked far too cheerful for a dreary Monday morning and prepared to waste another twenty minutes in impatient grumpiness. Alas, or so I thought at the time, my clerical collar seemed to be an invitation to engage in conversation (I told you I was grumpy!!) and the little old lady started to chat. ‘How lovely to see a young lady of the cloth’ she remarked, winning me over from the word ‘young’ and proceeding to tell me about her life from birth to the present day!!
Despite her cheerfulness, it turns out that this little old lady had had quite a harrowing life with much grief and hardship along the way but she told her story without a hint of bitterness, frequently saying how grateful she was for the many blessings she had received, including the chance to have a conversation with me that morning as she had no family and hadn’t spoken to anyone since the last time she was shopping three days ago.
That was the ‘D’oh!’ moment. The moment that God dropped the thought into my head that my life really wasn’t all about the micro-universe I had chosen to inhabit that morning, the one that revolved solely around my needs and my wants. My impatience to get through my busy day was blinding me to the joy that could be had within that busy-ness, moment by moment. I was rushing to get to the end of the day without cherishing the minutes and hours along the way.
Before I knew it, it was my turn to be served at the counter and I hadn’t noticed the length of my wait, thanks to the little old lady with the beaming smile who took the time to jolt me out of my grumpiness and who had unknowingly changed the mood of my whole week for the better.
It was a timely reminder as the church begins the season of Advent, the season of expectation and anticipation, as we prepare to celebrate the coming of Christ in his incarnation. It’s a busy time for all of us and it is so easy to get swept up in our ever-increasing ‘to do’ lists as we look ahead to Christmas Day. But before Christmas, comes Advent. God’s invitation to be patient, to prepare and take stock and to anticipate, with growing excitement, the joy that is promised through our saviour, Jesus Christ.
So, I thank God for that little old lady, and I pray that we may each be reminded to enter into the joy that is offered in every moment of our day.
In our busy-ness, in our quiet times, in our obviously happy moments and
in the times where there seems little to be happy about, Christ walks with each of us, patiently waiting for us to notice his presence.
May you too have many ‘D’oh!’ moments!!! I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a joyful New Year.
With love - Ginni
Wednesday,22nd November 2017. Holy Communion Service is unfortunately cancelled
There will be an open house at Audrey and John Burr's home, 15 Grange Close, Hitchin, in two sessions - 10:30 to noon and !4:00 to 15:30 on Wednesday 22nd November.. The UK Government will match all donations so doubling whatever is raised for this hard working and effective charity. do come and bring your friends too.
A big thank you to everyone who supported and helped at the Quiz Night in our Parish Hall last Saturday. Everyone appeared to enjoy themselves, in spite of the quizmaster. Well done to the winning team 'Four Candles x 2', interlopers from Clifton and surrounding villages. They will have to have a significant handicap next year!!
The event helped raise over £1300 towards church funds, thank you to everyone for being so generous.
LINK TO HOPE
Here are just a few of the 90 Christmas shoeboxes that we sent this year.
Thank you to all who have contributed in any way.
A wonderful evening of entertainment and head scratching! This is an event not to be missed, a bar with very reasoinably priced drinks and a wonderful supper from the gastronomic House of Veasey and friends!
Please purchase tickets in advance from Jane Veasey (01462-434254) or Mary Hooper (01462-457350). Doors open at 7.00pm. for a prompt start at 7.30pm.
Make up a team of 6 to 8 friends or family and enjoy a ploughman’s supper included in the price of £10 per ticket. Each ticket has a number and you might be the lucky one to have your number drawn
at the beginning of the evening to win a bottle of wine. There will be
a bar selling beer, lager, wine and soft drinks. Come along and enjoy some fun and
a bit of mental stimulation!
Our wonderful Nativity Crib Festival is now in its 10th Year!
If you’ve still never been come along and see why for so many it now marks the start of the festive season. The church will be filled with crib sets (over 150 last year) and the variety is truly astounding. Big and small, old family treasures and newly bought or even home-made, they come from all over the world (well almost) and are made from everything from wood to newspaper, metal to glass and from banana leaves to citrus peel (yes really!).
Beside each crib is a card telling its own unique “story”. Which one will you like best? It might be the shepherd from one made of newspaper that had its nose nibbled by mice in the attic. Or perhaps the olive wood one owned by a local
farmer whose grandchildren scour the house each year for ornaments of farm animals to add to the scene. Or possibly the one hand made from Fimo by a youngster who ran out of time and patience and who has never managed to
make a third king?
Tea and delicious cakes will be available in our little “café” area and you will
have the chance to win your own crib. Entry is £2.50 and children are free.
If you have a crib set that you would like to lend us (it doesn’t have to be new
and glamorous, the old, tatty ones often have a wonderful “story”) or if you are
If you are able to help steward over the weekend or to provide a home baked
cake please keep your eyes open for the sign-up sheets at the back of the church.
As many of you will know, our fabulous Crib Festival takes place in St. Ippolyts Church on the first weekend in December. This means that our Advent Family Service will be conducted in the Parish Hall on Sunday 3rd December at the usual time of 9.15am.
Advent Sunday is the first day of the church’s liturgical year and starts the season of Advent which is a season of expectation and preparation, as the Church prepares to celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ.
Our Advent Family Service will be a little different this year and, we hope, will be
an exciting start to a new style of monthly worship that will encourage more families and children to engage with our Christian faith and build on their relationship with God.
Everyone is welcome, young or old and anywhere in between! The service will be approximately 30 minutes long, with music and hymns and story-telling - oh and
did I mention breakfast?!! Want to know more?.......Come along and join us and
see for yourself!
NOVEMBER IS MAP MONTH!
As a Benefice, we are beginning to look to the future and trying to discern what
that might look like for us as individual churches and as communities. One of the things we are looking at first is our Mission Action Plan, or MAP as it is known in ‘church-speak’.
MAP is a process which enables a local church to prayerfully discern the priorities God has for it, and to plan the mission activities it is going to undertake over the coming months and years. It is an accessible form of strategic planning, and as
such builds on the insights of businesses, schools, hospitals and other organisations, which have to plan carefully if they are to thrive in a complex and challenging environment. A key part of the process is involving the whole church in seeking God and developing a clear vision statement. A vision statement is different from
a mission statement - a mission statement describes what an organisation or church is for now, whereas a vision statement describes what the church wants to become over the next five years. And that process involves everyone. Your opinion matters and will be a vital part of what we as a church decide to do.
So, how can you make your voice heard? What we would really
like you to do is to imagine what your ideal church looks like.....no matter how far-fetched or wacky that may be (ordinary is acceptable too!!). What would you like to see your church doing? Would you
like a choir or contemporary music? Would you like it to be very traditional or
have coffee served whilst you worship? Would you like to see the church used for social activities or even have services outside? If there were no barriers like money, the structure of the building, rules and regulations, what would your ‘perfect’ church look like? Feel free to let your imagination run away with you, we want to hear what you have to say! Your answers will help us to prayerfully work out what our communities want in order to draw us closer to God and build on our relationship with him and one another.
During the month of November, St. Ippolyts Church will be focussing on our specific MAP so look out for the explanatory and (hopefully!) inspiring posters
that will appear in church and be prepared to be politely accosted by a PCC member with a short questionnaire asking for your views!
Great Wymondley and Little Wymondley will be focussing on their own MAP’s in the New Year but don’t let that stop you expressing your views in advance.
With love, Ginni
We will be decorating the church for Christmas on Saturday 23rd December from 9.00am. so 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
The next Community Lunch will be on Wednesday 1st November from 12.45pm. till 2.00pm. in St. Ippolyts Parish Hall. (Serving time 12.45pm. till 1.00pm.) Cost £3. Everyone welcome.
The Community Lunch on Wednesday 6th December will be a ticket only event.
Tickets will be on sale at the November Community Lunch.
After a blissful two weeks on the Norfolk coast, I’m back in the Benefice and feeling very much recharged. My thanks to Howell for his enlightening article in last month’s PAX which felt very apt for me personally as I had spent much of my holiday reflecting on the beauty of nature and how blessed we all are to live where we do. If you were hoping for tales of action-packed adventures upon my return then I’m afraid you’ll be sadly disappointed as I spent the majority of my time doing absolutely nothing!!
But I have other news!! To my great joy, I am now a proud grandma! Little Edward was born on 29th September weighing a strapping 8lb 6oz to my son Luke and his partner Kirsty and I have to say that I am smitten already! It’s funny how the birth of a baby triggers many thoughts and emotions that break into the usual routine of everyday life. Edward’s arrival made me acutely aware of the passage of time and it was an odd feeling to realise that another generation had been added to our family history, pushing me further up the ranks of the family tree. There is now only one more generation alive above me and I am now ‘nanny’ whilst the nanny and granddad I knew until relatively recently are gone.
My granddad was known as Ted (Edward) and I gave my son the same middle name which has now been passed on to my new grandson who will be affectionately called Teddy. I am very grateful for this link, this continuity, as it triggers memories of my own childhood and the love and respect I felt for my grandad and the gratitude I now have towards him for the things he taught me, even though I didn’t realise what they were at the time. Our history, our past, is important. Whether our experiences are good or bad, they form us into the people we are today and give us a sense of belonging and identity.
It’s important that we remember the generations before us, whether we are directly related to them or not. Their lives and experiences allow us to draw on a wealth of knowledge that help us to form our lives in the present day, to mirror and build upon their positive and life-giving examples and to learn from the damaging or negative ones.
This is never more poignant than in the month of November when we commemorate Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday. 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 which 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 is important. For the sake of our future, ‘Lest we Forget’.
With love Ginni