Pax JUNE 2020
The Parish Magazine for the Benefice of St. Ippolyts with Great and Little Wymondley
The Reverend Ginni Dear, The Vicarage, Stevenage Road, St. Ippolyts SG4 01462-237032
Michael Hooper, Hillrise, Stevenage Road, St. Ippolyts SG4 7PE 01462-457350
Jane Veasey, Gosmore Cross, Newlands Lane, Gosmore SG4 9BD 01462-434254
Cherry Carter, 2 Church Green, Great Wymondley SG4 7HA 01438-724919
Paul Harding, The Old Rectory, Church Green, Great Wymondley SG4 7ES 01438-729219
Mike Allardyce, 81 Whitney Drive, Stevenage SG1 4BL 07967-831968
David Palmer, 198 Cleveland Way, Great Ashby SG1 6BY 01438-367912
Visit our website - www.stippolytschurch.org.uk
CELEBRATING A NEW NORMAL
Well, here we are, over two months now into lockdown and week by week, restrictions are being lifted. In a couple of days’ time, we will be able to meet in our gardens with our family members and I’m sure many of you will, like me, be very excited at the prospect of finally getting to see the grandchildren again. But sadly, I think the reality won’t quite match the expectation. The virus is still out there and we still have to be careful. My visions of my grandchildren running joyfully around my garden are marred by the reality that I will probably be running away from them saying ‘no hugs darling, just play over there’, and I can already imagine the confusion on the face of my uncomprehending 2 ½ year old grandson. It’s not going to be easy, is it?
And what about church? If shops are starting to open, surely it can’t be too long before our churches open their doors again? But what does the reality of that look like? Your guess is as good as mine but visions of socially distanced queuing to get in, staggered seating, face masks, no singing and no after-service interaction spring to mind and make me shudder more than a little. It’s not going to be the way we remember or want it to be for a very long time, is it?
As I look back on what I’ve just written, I’m aware of a deepening sense of gloom descending, a feeling of normal life being something of an uphill battle. Yes, I think I am right in what I say but it really isn’t the whole story, is it? Lockdown has also given us much to be thankful for. I know I am luckier than many as I have a nice Vicarage and a big garden but I rarely appreciate it as I’m never in. These last few weeks have given me time to enjoy the gift of living here, time to reassess what is important, time to make changes. It’s made me panic about how I’m going to interact with those who need me in our parishes and work on solutions earnestly rather than hold my hands up helplessly. It’s made me imagine the possibilities rather than only seeing the obstacles.
And as for church......well yes, I miss.....oh how I miss.....seeing you all each week, coming into church to be greeted by smiles and hugs, worshipping together, singing (badly in my case!), sharing Communion, etc...but look what a church we’ve gained online!!! Morning and Evening Prayer were not something that happened publicly because nobody wanted to come and yet now we have a lovely community of people who join me online every day for a few minutes of prayer to start and end our days.....becoming familiar with one another’s presence just as they would have if they had met physically in church. And then there is the unity......we have three churches in our benefice and, quite frankly, getting the congregations all together from time to time was a bit like herding cats!!! But now, here we are, week after week, together online and united with others who have sought us out for various reasons to join us in worship but who perhaps wouldn’t have physically attended church otherwise. Our churches are growing rapidly......isn’t that what we’ve always wanted?
Now we are celebrating Pentecost, the gift of the Holy Spirit, sent to help and guide us. And boy do we need the help right now!! I urge you to pray with me, earnestly and continuously, that the Holy Spirit will guide us out of lockdown. That we may be patient and take with us all that we have learned through this challenging situation. Pray that we will not ‘go back to normal’ but rather, go into the future with renewed hope and clearer vision, conscious and thankful once more of all that we do have and prepared to continue to help those around us who have lost much during this pandemic. Pray also that we may find ways to incorporate our online community with our physical community and continue to build a bigger, stronger community of faith. And above all, pray that our hearts and minds will be opened to the leading of the Holy Spirit and the endless possibilities ahead of us.
Much love - Ginni
HERE AND THERE
THE VOLUNTEER AND PEOPLE ASSISTANCE CELL
This has been created as a countywide partnership by Hertfordshire County Council to help manage and implement a coordinated effort to support those affected by coronavirus.
These are the main points of contact for those wishing to help and those in need of support from volunteers:
- Residents, services and community groups who would like to volunteercan visit
- Residents who are self-isolating and in need of support from volunteers can visit
- Anyone currently using a social care service should expect that to continue, however they should speak to their care provider first or call on 0300-123-4042 for other urgent care needs.
Frequently asked questions for people with care and support needs can be accessed online at www.hertfordshire.gov.uk/serviceupdates.
NEWS FROM THE WYMONDLEYS
ST. MARY’S LITTLE WYMONDLEY
The new normal?............... let’s hope not.
My husband and I discovered very early on in our marriage, that if it was going to succeed, we shouldn’t shop together - recipe for disaster.
I write a list, go in, get what I need, twenty minutes, job done. My husband makes a day out of it, he walks up and down every aisle, looks at all the products, gets the latest use by dates, is a grand master at buy one, get one free, and can compute a multi buy deal without pausing his trolley. So every Saturday morning he sets out, I get a lay in, on his return, I rush out to help him in with the bags and make sure there is a pot of coffee ready, perfect harmony, until…
We spend what seems like hours trying to get a delivery slot, try going on line at ridiculous hours but to no avail; it’s not a problem, because, thanks to him, we have a well-stocked freezer. Then, salvation, ASDA contact us and we can now shop. Even on-line we really don’t work well together. There are vast lists; let’s get fruit and veg. first, I suggest, hoping I can escape back to garden. Do we want ripe bananas, green bananas, what apples, are you clicking on the right button, you have just ordered 6 kilos, not six apples. Let’s stop for a break, and move onto comfort food. Have you any idea how many varieties of biscuits there are? Please make up your mind which ones you want, it’s a lovely day out there.
Twenty four items in our basket and we are two hours in, isn’t this fun? Now go to checkout, confirm order, did I click the finish button? I can’t remember, but I really want to finish now. We speak to a very helpful, patient lady on the helpline, she talks us through it, and we have done it, and now we can look forward to doing it all again next week.
ST. MARY’S GREAT WYMONDLEY
LOCKDOWN IN GREAT WYMONDLEY
These are strange times through which we are living with the normal pattern of life disrupted and changed in so many ways for everyone. Despite all of this, new patterns are evolving as we adjust the spending of our time and getting things done in a different way.
Here are some observations from our small community:
The reduction in traffic through the village has been a wonderful bonus and is now back to what it was when we first came to live here over 45 years ago. This has meant that we can walk, cycle and push buggies safely in the village where there are sections without pavements and traffic fumes are no longer polluting the air we breathe. There are very few vapour trails in the sky from the air traffic that used to cross our skies.
We can now hear the birdsong so much better. The swallows and swifts have safely returned and the garden birds all seem to be thriving as the warm weather and earlier growth in plants and insects has meant that their breeding is going really well.
The village is now a mass of cow parsley, daisies, buttercups, dandelions and white May blossom. Gardens have had an abundance of apple and plum blossom and roses and wisteria festoon cottage walls. This makes everything all the prettier for the numerous people who have cycled and walked the roads and footpaths, often for the first time as they find new routes for their daily exercise. So many visitors have said when we see them that they had never known that the church and churchyard existed or that the Recreation Ground was here or that there were so many footpaths in the area. We often see them scanning their phones with a footpath map on it as they try and find their way. Children with their families have taken to the footpaths and green spaces to get their daily exercise between their home schooling sessions and recreational time at home. The extra visitors have boosted the sale of jam and marmalade in the church porch to which has been added Andrew Harding’s Barbecue Sauces and for all of this we are very grateful. There are also books in the porch for people to borrow and return when read.
Empty buses travel through the village to Hitchin and Stevenage on their normal timetable and the trains down by the Arch Road Bridge and footpath go past virtually empty like ghost trains. Everyone seems to have been gardening, especially as the weather has been so good and people have more time. There has been a lot of interest in growing crops to eat. A great deal of clearance work has been done on the Community Garden with a lot of volunteers working very hard. Brambles, weeds and self-set small trees have been dug out and the first beds for crop growing have been laid out. In the Community Orchard up at the far end of the Recreation Ground the trees have blossomed and been watered in the very dry weather. They have each been mulched at their base with grass cut last year from the wildlife areas in the churchyard. Winding paths have been cut through the grass so that people can walk through the orchard and see the trees close up. Orchids are growing
in the longer grassed areas which may bloom this year
New technology has enabled Zoom Meetings to take place for the Men’s Breakfast Group and the Book Group, helping people to keep in touch. People are also following the Facebook Church Service on Sundays and Morning and Evening Prayer during the week from The Vicarage in St. Ippolyts and the Chapel in Little Wymondley holds Zoom services.
The Green Man has had to close for the time being but has been providing Take Away Meals ordered by phone that people are enjoying. Delivery vans are a very common sight in the village regularly delivering food and other supplies. There have been so many acts of kindness as people offer to get items when they go to the shops, add items to their food delivery or Click and Collect order and share other deliveries as some of us self-isolate or people just reduce their trips to the shops. Every Thursday people stand outside their houses to Clap for Carers and there is a lovely feeling of community with that as we show our immense appreciation and thanks for all that they do in these difficult times.
Doug Richardson circulates a Village Prayer on Sundays that we can use when at 8.00pm. many houses light
a Candle of Hope in their window. So we find that life has changed for all of us as we spend our days creating new patterns of daily activities. We do not know what the future will bring but we do know that we live in a caring community and will continue to help each other, especially those who have troubles or who are unwell
We are so grateful that we live in such a lovely village with clear skies, trees and green spaces. The knowledge that the seasons, nature and wildlife continue in their wheel of normality, regardless of the Coronavirus pandemic, is a great comfort when we feel anxious and fearful for the future.
WYMONDLEY BAPTIST CHURCH
We shall always remember March 2020 when life changed for us all and now we have reached June and still we are living in this isolated world but gradually things are beginning to change, albeit quite slowly. But one thing the coronavirus pandemic has taught many of us and it is how to appreciate so much that we may have taken for granted. I know we may miss a lot of things during this time of lock down and we do sometimes feel weary and wondering 'how long....' but although we miss a lot of things (and people!) I made quite a discovery the other day. I decided to make a list of all the things for which I was thankful and I found the list very very long! and yes, we have much to be thankful for .
When Jesus promised the disciples that the Holy Spirit would come to them and for us after His Resurrection and Ascension, this was something we shall always be thankful for. At Pentecost the Church was born and the sorrowing, despondent disciples became bold, bright and empowered as they set out to share the news of Jesus with the world. 'Thy Kingdom come' is something which Pentecost has inspired and is happening in our land and indeed, in our world. This year we are going to pray for the people in our villages - in different roads, from Little and Great Wymondley. If you want us to pray for something specific please write it on a piece of paper and put it in the Chapel letter box.
We are thankful for all our preachers who have joined our Zoom Church preaching their sermons from their homes and it has been so good to join together in our homes but all together. This is when modern technology is a blessing. We also pray together on a Tuesday evening at 7.30pm. (without Zoom) but there is also the opportunity to join Zoom at other times. On 2nd June 'First Tuesday’, which is usually at The Orange Tree, will be on Zoom - this time Will and Lynne's link and of course we make our own coffee! Any enquiries phone 01438-228232.
It has also been a blessing to join with our neighbours applauding the NHS on Thursday evenings and in our road on VE (75) Day we even heard music from one of the houses as well as seeing our flags and bunting so we could manage to sing together 'We'll meet again'!
We pray for our Queen, for our Government, for our nations, for the world and for each other. Especially we think of all who are suffering through ill health or bereavement and we trust God through the whole of this pandemic experience.
Our preachers for June:
7th Dr. Barry Funnell 14th Leslie Message (Belgian Evangelical Mission)
21st Clive Bacon (Fathers' Day) 28th Reverend Jane Robson
Join us at our Internet Service on Sundays at 10.30am. (for a 10.45am. start).
Dial in at 10.30am. on 0131-4601-196 or 02030-512874 and meeting ID8675752648#.
Use the line https://zoom.us/j8675752648. Meeting ID 8675752648. Any problems in joining phone
07531-081621. This link can also be joined for a Bible Study on Wednesday evening.
"Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good; His love endures for ever." Psalm 107v.1
Marjorie McCarley (01438-727050)
NEWS FROM ST. IPPOLYTS
ST. IPPOLYTS PARISH MEETING
Due to the coronavirus pandemic the postponed April meeting was held on Zoom on Monday 11th May. Thanks to those who joined and presented reports. The draft minutes will be on the Parish Council website.
ST. IPPOLYTS PARISH COUNCIL
The Annual Meeting followed the above meeting on Zoom.
ST. IPPOLYTS PARISH HALL
Due to the coronavirus pandemic the hall is closed to the public.
Good news! Following a suggestion from a resident who provided some grant funding, and in partnership with St. Ippolyts Parish Council a defibrillator is now operational at the hall.
For updates please see www.stippolyts-hall.co.uk or www.facebook.com/stippolytsparishhall
Thank you very much to Ginni for her emails and services on Facebook, they are much appreciated.
VE DAY CELEBRATIONS
V.E. Day Celebration in Ash Drive
Like a lot of people, I suspect, we hadn't given much thought to VE Day celebrations on Ash Drive until two days before. I was chatting to neighbours as they passed by when another neighbour opened her window "what shall we do for VE Day? Prosecco and scones at 4.00?" and so it was agreed, bunting up at 12.15pm. and sitting on our drives at four. Bunting was dug out of cupboards - or hastily made (that household no longer has any red, white or blue T shirts) and within a few minutes the cul de sac was looking very festive, we just had to hope no delivery lorries wanted to come in.
At four every household was sitting outside with table and chairs and their drink of choice from tea to gin or champagne and the music was playing. We had a lovely time indulging in socially distanced chatting and getting to know neighbours we have lived beside for well upwards of ten years but have seldom chatted to before. We all agreed it had been a positive outcome for lockdown as without it we doubted very much if we would have bothered, who knows we might get outside again to celebrate the end of lockdown when it finally comes.
V.E. Day Celebration in Newlands Close West
Friday 8th May 2020 was a beautiful sunny day for the celebrations of the 75th anniversary of VE Day and perfect weather for our street party - maintaining social distancing, of course!
We are lucky that we live in a small close where neighbours know each other, and since lockdown those relationships have been enhanced by a Close WhatsApp group formed to help one another with shopping and information. Through this WhatsApp group we were able to plan our VE Day celebration.
Neighbours decorated the walls and hedges of their front gardens with bunting, flags and streamers, and put out their tables and chairs on the pavement just outside their houses, keeping well apart from others. We all tried to wear patriotic red, white and blue colours, and even Jenny’s dog, who enjoyed watching the celebrations, wore a red harness and sat on a blue mat!
We ate 1940’s-style lunches of sandwiches, jellies, fairy cakes and had cups of tea or squash. We even had 1940’s music, interspersed with speeches by Winston Churchill, played from an iPod with speakers perched precariously on the top of a wall.
After lunch we had fun with individually timed egg and spoon and bean-bag-on-head races; all applying hand sanitizer or washing hands as required. Some neighbours even danced and everyone ate chocolate lollies wrapped in union flag metallic paper from M&S!
Only one neighbour with mobility problems was unable to join us but we were able to speak with her individually through her front room window.
It was a hugely enjoyable day which has enhanced relationships with our friends and neighbours and left us all with some very happy memories.
Jenny Sheach and Ina Machin
WHAT IT IS TO BE A PILGRIM
Firstly…. what do you think it is? It’s been very interesting while thinking about this myself, to ask others what they think it is to be a Pilgrim. Over the past few months, I have asked a selection of people and of course as you would expect, have got a variety of answers! Here are a few of them:
To travel in Hope, an individual journey, to have sore feet! to put yourself out, to push yourself,
small steps in Faith and Hope, a Spiritual journey and Orientation of the Spirit.
Throughout history societies, cultures and civilisations have had within them the idea of some sort of pilgrimage. Perhaps even the natural world has this deep within it too. Take those huge migrations of birds and fish and other animals, something of a pilgrimage each year! Well something to ponder anyway. Pilgrimages have been a feature of all the main religions for as long as they have existed. Today something like 330 million people go on pilgrimages each year.
Probably one of the most obvious ideas of pilgrims is that of the Medieval Pilgrim, written about by Geoffrey Chaucer. Christian pilgrimage was first made to sites connected to the life of Christ and his Resurrection and early followers. So, journeys to the Holy Land, Rome and Santiago de Compostela were some of the main places to go. However here too in Britain were some of the top pilgrim routes. The Pilgrims Way - Winchester to Canterbury (more of which later) and St. Cuthbert’s Way to name a couple. But these pilgrimages were not an easy undertaking. Often dangerous due to illness, robbery and even murder. A pilgrimage was a great leveller from Kings and Queens to farmers and peasants. Sometimes a wealthy person would pay someone else to do the pilgrimage - so a sort of virtual pilgrimage! The difficulty it presented was part of the point of the pilgrimage to step out of daily routines to encounter God. To make penance for something, to ask for healing, to assist in getting into heaven. For some it was the only journey they ever made, and the only time they may have left their town or village. The mass movement of pilgrims ended at the Reformation. But in the 19th and 20thcentury there was a gradual rediscovery and not just the big routes. But also, more local paths to prehistoric sites, ancient churches, holy wells, waterfalls and anything else considered sacred or significant.
Although at the moment with the restrictions in place, we are unable to go on a pilgrimage that involves actually putting on walking boots, and having rucksacks packed…..we can perhaps get out a map, look up Winchester and follow the road to Canterbury (not on motorways!) that is the route of the famous Pilgrims Way. Or St. Cuthbert’s Way - Melrose Scotland to Lindisfarne Northumberland. Or the Two Saints’ Way - Chester to Lichfield Cathedrals. Noticing the towns and villages along the route, and thinking about the communities there. Those from long ago to now, all that history and prayers of past pilgrims as they travelled along the route.
Or if you have a garden try a mini pilgrimage around the garden. Stopping to notice plants, flowers and insects. A great opportunity to give thanks for Creation and our part within it.
Pilgrimages can be made in all sorts of ways and all kinds of lengths taking a short time, or as that great hymn written by John Bunyan (actually taken from his spiritual classic Pilgrims Progress) suggests, a lifetime venture. Fearing not what people have to say, but to labour night and day to be a Pilgrim, to follow the Master.
Reverend Charmaine Sabey-Corkindale
The next Pax will be a double issue covering JULY and AUGUST. Material should reach Clare Larsen,
As there are no events as such taking place in our three parishes, if you have any items of interest or stories to tell do please send them to me in time for the next issue of Pax.