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PAX May 2020

Pax                          MAY  2020

Price:  40p.

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 7PE                                                                   01462-237032

                                    Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


St. Ippolyts

Michael Hooper, Hillrise, Stevenage Road, St. Ippolyts SG4 7PE     01462-457350

Jane Veasey, Gosmore Cross, Newlands Lane, Gosmore SG4 9BD 01462-434254

Great Wymondley

Cherry Carter, 2 Church Green, Great Wymondley SG4 7HA     01438-724919

Paul Harding, The Old Rectory, Church Green, 

     Great Wymondley SG4 7ES                                                  01438-729219

Little Wymondley

Mike Allardyce, 81 Whitney Drive, Stevenage SG1 4BL              07967-831968

David Palmer, 198 Cleveland Way, Great Ashby, SG1 6BY         01438-367912

Visit our website -


By the time you read this, we will have been in lockdown for well over a month.  I’m sure that you, like me, never envisaged this state of being even in your wildest dreams - but yet, here we are.  No doubt, you have also gone through the same range of emotions as I have, from enjoying a much slower pace of life to panic about what the future holds and every conceivable emotion in between!!  I’m very much aware though that lockdown is much easier for me than it is for so many other people and I feel grateful and guilty all at the same time.  I suspect though, that for most of us, the hardest part has been the ‘not knowing’.  Not knowing how long this will continue, not knowing whether we can work or not work, or whether we will have jobs to go back to, not knowing if what we class as ‘normal life’ will ever be the same again, not knowing if a simple thing like going to a shop will put us at risk of catching the virus, and so on.

But as we live with the tension of uncertainty, something else has emerged - thankfulness.  Boy do we have so much to be thankful for!  In amongst all the chaos, have emerged our heroes......our dedicated NHS staff, the shop workers, refuge workers, postal and delivery workers, our teachers and teaching staff, our gardeners, our pubs and restaurants (turned take-away) workers, our emergency services, funeral directors, care home staff and garden centre and home improvement workers......and all those I’ve missed!!!  And the biggest heroes of all - our neighbours!  Especially the ones who keep an eye out for us, shop for us, chat over the fence to us and cheer us on.  

Out of darkness comes new life......out of the dark uncertainty of Covid 19 comes a new reconnection with our shared humanity.  We have realised that we need each other, that we can all play our part, that we all matter - and that really is something to be thankful for!

Doug Richardson, our Lay Leader of Worship has written a lovely reflection on Psalm 46 (see page 4) which I commend to you and which will I hope comfort and encourage you as it did me.

With love - Ginni



As I’m sure you are aware by now, it’s not just the shops that have shut during lockdown but also our churches.  This has taken every Vicar I know completely out of their comfort zone and forced them to work out ways of doing church differently.........and that, I feel, is a very good thing even if it is terrifying!!!

So, what have I been up to during lockdown?  Well, spending an awful lot of time on Facebook!!!  All in the line of duty of course!  Our services are now live-streamed from my lounge at 9.15am. on Sundays via Facebook live, so if you have a Facebook account then search for Ginni Dear or St. Ippolyts Church with Great and Little Wymondley and you’ll find me.  I’ve summarised below where you can find information regarding our churches during lockdown - please do find us and join us!

Reverend Ginni can be contacted by:

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Phone:  01462-237032

Facebook:  Search for Ginni Dear or St. Ippolyts Church with Great 

                   and Little Wymondley and leave a message

Services via Facebook Live:

Morning Prayer at 9.00am. every day from Monday to Thursday

Evening Prayer at 6.00pm. every day from Monday to Thursday

Holy Communion every Sunday at 9.15am.

St. Ippolyts Church website

Any new services or changes to service times will be advertised here.  There will also be a sermon or reflection posted weekly.

We are hoping to host a weekly Café via Zoom along with something to engage with our young people in the near future - see website or Facebook for details.

Future editions of PAX will only be available on the St. Ippolyts Church website ( until further notice.  Our regular printer is currently closed and we are also concerned to safeguard those who deliver Pax from door to door.  If you do not have internet access please ask a family member, friend or neighbour to print it and post it to you.  If that is not possible please contact Ginni (as above) or Clare Larsen (01462-453541) and we will do our best to help you.




Although I am writing this in the second week of April, I am sure that the way we are being asked to live our lives in lockdown will not have changed by the time you come to read this at the beginning of May.

Our churches are closed, and we are not able to meet together for any of our normal church activities.  In fact, apart from immediate family life all social contact is now on hold.

Occasionally we will meet someone on a walk or perhaps have a delivery, and suddenly we find there is someone to talk to, and amazingly they always want to talk back;  strictly at 2 meters of course.  Even the most self-reliant of us have discovered that we are in fact very social creatures. We really do need each other.

This enforced style of living has been easier for some than others.  With access to a garden or even local countryside, some are able to easily take outdoor exercise.  Even then the highlight of the day has often become a home delivery, or perhaps the excitement of a “click and collect” slot.

But for those in medically enforced isolation or for those living in city tower blocks, this will have been a very hard time indeed.  However, our Bible is filled with promises of help from our Heavenly Father for all who trust in him.  With that thought in mind let’s take a short walk through Psalm 46.

The Psalms are the Old Testament hymnbook.  There are 150 of them and they cover the whole range of human feelings and experiences, from dark depression to exuberant joy.  Although they were written for particular circumstances, they remain timeless.  As we read them we find that even in our modern age we are stirred by the same emotions, puzzle over the same fundamental problems of life, cry out in need to the same God as the Psalmist of old.  We find it easy to identify with them.

In reading the Psalms these words of C. S. Lewis are important:

“The Psalms are poems, and poems intended to be sung:  not doctrinal treaties, nor even sermons.  They must be read as poems if they are to be understood.  Otherwise we shall miss what is in them and think we see what is not.”

Psalm 46 begins:

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling.”


The Psalmist describes poetically the worst calamity he can picture, with even mountains slipping into the sea.  Things which he had always felt were secure are suddenly gone.

Right now, our own world is suffering a similar vulnerability as so many things we have always taken for granted are disrupted.  The Psalmist is telling us, that even when our own security is suddenly gone, we can seek refuge in God himself.

The psalm continues:

“There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.  God is in the midst of her;  she shall not be moved;  God will help her when morning dawns.  The nations rage, the kingdoms fall;  He utters his voice, the earth melts.  The Lord of hosts is with us;  the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

Here we have the promise that we don’t have to go far to find our Lord, in fact he is right here with us.  We are reminded of the picture of heavenly perfection described in Revelation chapter 22, where within the new Jerusalem there is “the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb down the middle of the great street of the city.”  A very powerful reference to the Spirit of God’s continuing presence amongst us.

The psalm finishes as if God himself is speaking to us:

“Come, behold the works of the Lord, how he has brought desolations on the earth.  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth;  he breaks the bow and shatters the spear;  he burns the chariots with fire.  “Be still and know that I am God.  I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”  The Lord of hosts is with us;  the God of Jacob is our fortress.”

God is here describing his power.

So, I hope that as we remain in the middle of this pandemic, this Psalm will remind us that Jesus Christ is God and Lord of history.  Nothing has happened outside of his plan.  Nothing ever leaves him bewildered or astonished.  Nothing ever catches him by surprise.  Those who know Jesus Christ have nothing to fear, even if the coronavirus leads to more catastrophe and confusion our God is our refuge.

As a benefice we praise God for his power and together affirm the central truth of Scripture that he is supremely powerful and will be exalted among the nations.

                                                                                    Doug Richardson





What a difference a month makes, all our service and event plans shelved and social engagements cancelled.  I have always regarded social media as the curse of this century, Facebook and WhatsApp are a mystery to me, I would rather be out in the fresh air than posting tweets or whatever it is everyone seems to do.  I do possess a mobile phone, which, I admit has been useful, but I always forget where I have left it, and if it rings, it’s a frantic hunt for it.  However, in these difficult times we find ourselves in, it is the only way of keeping in touch with family and friends.  Thank goodness Reverend Ginni is up to speed with it all and able to continue her ministry to us all, especially during Holy Week.  Tony and I have managed with her weekly prayers via e-mails, a great comfort.

Similarly, I often come in after a hard day in the garden, back aching, hands like sandpaper, and think wouldn’t it be good just to have a window box, but oh!, I take that back many times over, our garden has been our salvation.  At this time of the year there is much to do, and it is full of green shoots.  We get so much pleasure from seeing seeds germinating, listening to the dawn chorus, enjoying the warmth of the sun.  Our resident robin has quickly caught on that we are now full time gardeners and eagerly waits to join us, being the first one in to survey newly turned earth and harvest any tasty morsels, we are really truly blessed and you will not hear me moan again. 


Standing on the front step every Thursday evening and making lots of noise in recognition of our valiant N.H.S. and front line workers.

Our new neighbours, whom we have hardly spoken to, offering to get us 

    anything we need.

A friendly wave from the postman.

Our local shopkeeper opening extra hours and going 

    out of his way to get what we need.

The kind volunteer who delivers our medication.

Seeing the farm workers busy drilling fields, a sense of things carrying 

    on as normal. 

Luton Airport strangely quiet.  Think how much we are reducing our 

    carbon footprint.

Spring cleaning a cupboard (which has probably missed a spring or two) 

    and discovering a pack of toilet rolls, now that made me chuckle. 

                                                                                    Rosemary Stratton

Please Note:

Future editions of PAX will only be available on the St. Ippolyts Church website  (See note on Page 3).




The church here was closed on 18th March as were all the churches in the country as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.

The Annual Parochial Church Meeting and Meeting of Parishioners did not take place on 26th April and will be held at a later date.

In the same way the Service of Blessing for the Community Orchard after the APCM followed by a picnic will not happen because of Social Distancing.


The Plant Sale on Church Green will not take place for the same reason.

There may well be the opportunity to buy plants around the middle of May as some have already been sown and propagated.  When the Lock Down is over there may be some plants for sale on the Stall on the Green from time to time.  Please ring Cherry if you are interested.  The number is on the front cover of Pax.


Sadly the Fête in June has also been cancelled because of the Covid-19 pandemic.


The church porch is open every day for sales of Jam and Marmalade and also bottles of Barbecue Sauce donated by Andrew Harding.  There has been a steady stream of walkers and cyclists passing through the churchyard for their daily exercise which has increased sales.  Thank you to everyone who returns empty jars and lids. 

This new season’s fruit is developing well with all the fine weather and we are hoping for abundant crops.

     Stay Safe and Good Wishes to everyone from St. Mary’s PCC

                                                                                        Cherry Carter

Please Note:

Future editions of PAX will only be available on the St. Ippolyts Church website  (See note on Page 3).



Did we ever imagine how much the past weeks would have changed the lives of the whole wide world!  The global outbreak of COVID-19 has impacted the lives of everyone and our hearts and prayers are with all being treated in hospital and for all whose loved ones have lost their lives.

At Chapel we have had regular Sunday morning services since 22nd March and we have Craig Bacon to thank for setting up the Zoom system and enabling us to see and sing and talk to each other and to praise and worship together.  Our preachers have all joined in with us and have delivered their sermons from their homes.  So we give a special thank you to Pauline Wade, Will Andrews, Jonathan Welch, and Sir Les Ebdon.  We look forward to hearing our booked speakers in May.

Sadly Cyril Darley died on 8th April and will not now be receiving his telegram from the Queen on his 100th birthday.  Cyril was a beloved member of our Church as well as being a devoted and loved Father, Grandfather and Great Grandfather. He will be greatly missed but is now in the presence of the King of Kings, where there is joy unspeakable.

Our prayers continue for our Government as they guide us through this Pandemic and we are thankful for the recovery of the Prime Minister.  We pray for all in our village who are feeling lonely at this time.  We are all, I'm sure, busy using our phones, laptops, tablets, mobiles, etc. to keep in touch with each other.  What a blessing social media can be at such times and it has been good for all who have 'Facebook' to see Reverend Ginni's 'Thought for the Day' and other messages.  The wonders of technology mean we can also talk to people thousands of miles away and my son has found that extremely uplifting and helpful speaking to far away friends through the Zoom system.  These times, like Wars, bring us all close together and we have all applauded our NHS as we've joined in at a safe distance on Thursdays in our roads to express our heartfelt thanks.  Of course 8th May is VE Day which reminds us of our deliverance in the 2nd World War and brings to mind the Day of Prayer when George VI called the Nation to prayer.  

We still pray every Tuesday so join us at 7.30pm. as we pray for each other, for the Country, for the sick and bereaved and indeed for the world.  Our hearts are with the friends and family of Mrs. Sue Knight who died on 5th April after just 8 days in hospital.  As a friendly neighbour of mine she will be much missed.

Our preachers in May (on Zoom) are as follows:

3rd             Michael Resta  (All Nations Christian College)

10th           Judith Nugent                                             17th           Doug Richardson

24th           Craig Bacon  (Thanksgiving)                  31st           Pentecost Sunday

Join the Sunday service at 'Church on the Internet'. at 10.30am.  Dial in on

01314-601196 or 02030-512874 and meeting ID 8675752648 (#) use the link or download the Zoom app and join using ID8675752648. (any problems phone 07531-081621).

                                                                                         Marjorie McCarley  (01438-727050




The Parish Council Meeting and Parish Annual Assembly scheduled for 20th April were cancelled to minimise the potential health risk to members of the public, councillors and staff from Coronavirus/Covid-19.  Arrangements will be made for "virtual" meetings to be held during the remainder of the Coronavirus crisis and the dates for these will be published on the Council's website at

The Parish Council and I welcome its new Clerk, Sharon Long, who took over from me on 23rd April.  She can be contacted by post at 23 Ampthill Road, Flitwick, Bedfordshire, MK45 1AZ;  by telephone on 07733-853263;  and by 

e-mail on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

I will stay on as the Council's Responsible Financial Officer (RFO);  and can be contacted about finance matters on 07963-093441 or by e-mail on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

                                                                                              Cathy Kerby



Did you know that there is a Facebook group and associated WhatsApp group for St. Ippolyts and Gosmore?  We are using the groups to help people out and to try and stay positive during this time.  There are people on these groups who may be able to help you with shopping, collecting medication, etc. if you are self-isolating.  If you would like to be added to the WhatsApp group, please send me an email.  You can find the Facebook group by searching for “St. Ippolyts” in the Facebook search box.  You will be asked a couple of questions just to confirm that you are connected to St. Ippolyts.  Anyone from the Wymondleys is of course also welcome to join!

If you are self-isolating and don’t use either of these platforms, I will still try to help by posting to these groups on your behalf so please send me a message!

       Best wishes, Cathy Beach

        This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. - 01462-454782


ST. IPPOLYTS FLOWER FESTIVAL - 29th, 30th and 31st August

We are hoping that the flower festival will go ahead but it will all depend on how the virus develops and government advice closer to the date of the event. 

                                                                                             Mary Hooper



The Annual Meeting of St. Ippolyts Parish Council is scheduled for Monday 11th May but at the time of writing the medium to be used has not been agreed.  Please visit website for updates, for enquiries email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or phone 01462-421409.                                         Pam Skeggs




This message is to say 'Thank you' to Ginni for the daily inspirations which are shared with us all.  Also thank you for the beautiful Good Friday service and the Easter Day Service too.

A 'Thank you' also to our choir master John Edwards who has led the 'Melodic Miracles' for a long time now and we have all very much enjoyed our practise time in the church once a month on a Thursday afternoon.  John had also planned for us to sing an anthem at the Easter Service and we were looking forward to singing this together.  Hopefully we can still sing this at services to be enjoyed when all these strange days have passed. 

'Thank you' to Friends for all the flowers in St. Ippolyts church and for the cleaning which everyone takes part in.

Thank you to everyone who we normally see;  for the smiles, the cheery waves - which are being missed very much as at the moment many of our friends in the village may be isolated and there are current restrictions keeping us apart.

'Thank you' to all those involved in caring for the elderly, needy, and those with special needs and all who are in the NHS and involved with nursing or GP surgeries.

THANK YOU TO EVERYONE - God bless and we will all be together for celebrations soon.

                                                                                           Joan Pinkstone



Due to the Government directive regarding the Coronavirus (COVID-19) Pandemic our hall is currently closed to the public.  (Closed from 23rd March). Our March trustees' meeting was done electronically.  Frank Harding was elected Chairman, Pamela Skeggs elected Secretary and Michael Fisher elected Treasurer.  Other trustees are Phil Byford, Barbara Thomas and Carl Watson. Sam Kelly - Bookings Secretary and Kerry McManus - Cleaner. 

2019 was a very active year for our charity with the major project being the conversion of the lighting in the main hall to one based on LED.  We now have a very flexible system, including surrounding coloured mood lighting.  The other major work on the hall was the re-sanding and sealing of the floor.  At the end of the year we said goodbye to Paul Adams a trustee and Mike Skinner caretaker. Carl also took over caretaker duties. 

The final draft of the Report of the Trustees and Unaudited Financial Statement 

for the Year Ended 31st December 2019 was agreed.  This showed the total income generated was £23,340 with outgoings totalling £26,974, giving a deficit £3,634.  This deficit was acceptable as trustees had agreed that with good funds we should undertake necessary projects to improve the hall.  Please visit or for updates and for enquiries email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..                               Pam Skeggs



As many of you know my parents live in a tiny hamlet just outside Hexham in Northumberland, it’s a beautiful place, full of peace and quiet.  At the best of times it seems a very long way away from me and my sisters (the nearest is still just over a hundred miles away) and now it seems so much worse.  They have no computer or smart phone but are being very good about self-isolating:  our biggest challenge has been trying to find ways of getting groceries to them. 

So, you can imagine my relief when I received an email from one of their neighbours “We are in touch with most of our neighbours and they have expressed a willingness to help Tom and Jill should the need arise.  We are aware that they are ruggedly independent and reticent to ask for help.  If in your regular conversation with your parents you glean something that is needed please “tip us the wink”.  We would be glad to help either directly or through our neighbours - and no one need ever know!”  A WhatsApp group has been set up and a new neighbour who they barely knew is collecting a paper for them every day (not exactly a necessity but they love their Daily Telegraph!).

It is wonderful to know that people are keeping an eye open for Mum and Dad and that people care about them.  The only problem with all this is my Mum - “we don’t want to be a burden” and “it seems wrong, I’ve always been the one to give help” - too right Mum, you have always been there to give help, it’s one of the reasons everyone is so willing to help you now! 

Like many others at the moment I have been trying to do my bit and I keep hearing Mum’s refrain.  It is always from people who have been in the past, and still are, stalwarts of our community;  they should not feel guilty that in this instance they are the ones receiving help, they have helped so many people in the past!! 

If anyone does need help with shopping, picking up prescriptions or just wants a good old fashioned natter on the phone please get in touch.

    Barbara Thomas - 01462-421641, 07443-228468, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



At this strange, difficult, and worrying time, we are very grateful for technology and the internet, phone calls, letters and cards, neighbours helping each other out, and time to pause, reflect, prioritise and pray.

I miss going to our lovely church, fellowship, and singing hymns together, but I am grateful for Ginni's daily vlog, her words of comfort and wisdom, and the services from The Vicarage.

It is a great comfort to know we can still pray and worship at the same time, even if we are all doing so from our own homes.

                                                                               Jenny Sheach


Please Note:  Future editions of PAX will only be available on the St. Ippolyts Church website  (See note on Page 3).




Burial of Ashes             9th January:            Nora Irene Pateman


Funeral at the Crematorium       18th February:    Betty Joyce Sings



I think most of us know that Ginni is seldom keen to write her contribution to this magazine - unless of course it is to regale you all with stories of all her mother’s failings and misfortunes!  Well, I am her mother and she has asked me to write a contribution this month!  My first reaction - to get my own back?  Second reaction - I don’t do anything much that I could possibly write about.  Then I thought about the little that I am able to do, and realized that in these worrying times most of us are in the same boat.  No one can come and go as they please, the vast majority of us are having to self-isolate.  Self-pity really isn’t an option.

If the weather is fine I can wrap up and go outside, take a little ride on my mobility scooter (I draw the line at rain, however!).  Providing we keep our distance (2 metres) I can even talk (louder than normal because of the distance!) to fellow residents of the retirement complex I live in and I can also be visited by my daughter for an impromptu chat in the gardens.  The grand-children are a different matter, however, so I have to make do with video chats and “virtual” video walks.  They are quite inventive with their “keeping in touch” techniques and I do sometimes have difficulty in responding in kind with their technological knowledge, but they seem to find it quite amusing to painstakingly give me instructions!

I now realise that I am VERY lucky to have the things I have and the ability to do what I do.  Some people have NONE of this.  They have virtually no contact with the outside world, they have no one to phone them or wave through the window at them and the technical ability to communicate via email or the web.

If you are one of these people, then I send you my kind thoughts and very good wishes.  If you are like myself and have limited contact then please be patient and grateful for what you have - there are so many people far worse off than us - it will, I am sure, come right in the end.

    Christine (Ginni’s mum!)



Material for the JUNE issue of Pax should reach Clare Larsen, 

24 Ninesprings Way, Hitchin SG4 9NN (tel. 01462-453541 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by Friday 15th May, please.  Or given to Rosemary Stratton by Tuesday 12th May.

Please Note:  Future editions of PAX will only be available on the St. Ippolyts Church website  (See note on Page 3).


Revd Ginni's "on line" services
A Reflection on Luke 24:13-33 by Charmaine Sabey-C...