The winners for February were:
No. 18 Gillian Russell £20
No. 104 Diana Driver £15
No. 10 Anne Scott £10
As you can see, the organisation of the 100 Club has changed in that Jean Williams has, after many years, decided to hand the running of it on to me, Shelagh Cox. I feel privileged to be given this task and I hope to run the club in the same, very successful way, that Jean instigated, and I will uphold the original aims of the Club.
Decorating the Church for Easter will take place on Saturday 31st March from 9.30am. All will be welcome to bring their flowers to arrange in the church and pre-arranged baskets are also welcome. Tea, coffee and Hot Cross Buns will be served. Please don’t forget to remove your arrangements and containers when
the flowers have faded.
We will be Spring Cleaning the Church on Tuesday 20th March at 07:00pm followed by the Friends cleaninbg on Wednesday 21st March from 9.30am.
This will involve all the cleaning and polishing and the lower clearing up. The high up cleaning will be done the evening before. Please come and help if you possibly can - many hands make light work.
Our last Bible Study Group meeting before Easter will be held on Wednesday 14th March when we shall conclude our study entitled ‘Christian Living’. We will resume on Wednesday 25th April. Meetings are held at 2.30pm. at Oakhurst (behind Kingshott School) home of Margaret Edmonds. New members would be most welcome so do come and join us. For further information please contact Margaret Edmonds (01462-452340) or Clare Larsen (01462-453541).
Don’t forget to come and join us for this special service. It has been prepared by the women of Suriname and the theme is ‘All God’s Creation is Very Good’. The service will be held at St. Mary’s, Little Wymondley at 2.00pm. and led by Reverend Ginni.
As we pray with and for the people of Suriname we will be part of a great wave of prayer encircling the globe. This service will be celebrated in 170 countries and here in the British Isles over 6000 services will be taking place. Please come and join us and be part of this wonderful occasion.
My grandmother always used to tell me to make the most of being young because time went by faster the older you got. Like many teenagers faced with the unfathomable sayings of the older generation, I smiled indulgently, pretended I knew what she meant and secretly wondered if she was really from this planet!! This memory came back to me as I sat down to write this article and realised that despite it seeming like we had only just finished with our Christmas celebrations, it was almost Lent………where did the time go………and does the speed at which this year seems to have gone by now mean that I am officially part of that unfathomable older generation and, in my own words, am I really from this planet!!
It’s funny isn’t it how sometimes the things people say to you only make sense years later. I wonder now what else went through my grandmother’s mind as she watched her grandchildren charging around her garden, carefree and untroubled by the practicalities of life, confident that they would be fed when they were hungry, comforted if they fell and wrapped up in loving arms if anything should spoil their day. I never questioned the love my grandmother had for me, I accepted it, relied upon it and trusted that she would find a way to help me through whatever fix I had got myself into. So if I could accept the unconditional love my grandmother had for me, surely trusting in God’s unconditional love for me would be a breeze…………wouldn’t it?!!
Maybe that’s what my grandmother meant about making the most of being young, of having the innocence and ability to accept the gift of love freely given without question, not for a second stopping to wonder if I deserved it nor question the generosity of the giver. Yet now that I’m older I seem to have lost the ability to accept a gift unquestioningly, to wonder what I have done to deserve it and worse, even wonder what I might have to do in return should I accept it. It’s this realisation that has brought me back into the present, to the approaching season of Lent, a time when we take stock of where we are at, a time for reflection and change and a refocussing on Christ and his ultimate sacrifice for us all.
Traditionally the forty days in Lent were marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance. The three traditional practices to be taken up with renewed vigor during Lent are prayer, fasting, and almsgiving.
However, in modern times, observers give up an action of theirs considered to be a vice, add something that is considered to be able to bring them closer to God, and often give the time or money spent doing that to charitable purposes or organizations.
So, what does this Lent hold for you? Will you be giving up chocolate maybe? Or alcohol or coffee? Perhaps putting aside the money you would have spent on these luxuries and donating it to charity? I can’t help but think that the recollection of the memory of my grandmother at this particular
time wasn’t simply a coincidence, rather a ‘God-incidence’, a prompting of what God would like me to reflect on this Lenten period. To think again about the time when I freely accepted the gift of love from another with the innocence of a child, of when I allowed myself to be fed, comforted and consoled without wondering if I deserved it. This is, after all, precisely what our Lord offers to each one of us, his children, day after day, week after week, year after year.
Whatever discipline you choose to give up or take up this Lent, my prayer for all of us is that we find the time to build on our relationship with God, to come before him with child-like openness and a willingness to accept his unconditional love, to be fed when we are hungry, to be consoled when we are hurt and to be guided through the storms of life, trusting that even when we are unsure of the path ahead, he knows the way and will bring us to a place of safety and peace.
With love - Ginni
ANNUAL CHURCH MEETINGS - ST. IPPOLYTS
“The Annual Parishioners Meeting” (to elect churchwardens) and “The Annual Parochial Church Meeting of the Parish of St. Ippolyts” will be held in St. Ippolyts Parish Hall at 7.30pm. on Thursday 26th April 2018. Everyone is welcome to attend but only those on the St. Ippolyts Church Electoral Roll may vote at the second meeting.
The meeting is the Church’s AGM and there will be a review of 2017 with reports from the Churchwardens, our Treasurer, and St. Ippolyts School, as well as the appointment of officers, sidesmen and independent financial examiners. To make the evening ‘go with a flow’ there will be wine, soft drinks and nibbles available.
The Church Electoral Roll is closed 15 days before the Annual Parochial Church Meeting and this means Wednesday 11th April 2018. Please check on the roll, which is in a file at the rear of the church, to see that you are registered and your details are correct. If you are not on the roll and wish to be, there are forms available at the back of church, which should then be handed to Michael Hooper, our Electoral Roll Officer, or Jane Veasey the other Churchwarden.
We are looking for new members of our Parochial Church Council. If you are interested in playing a key role in the future of our church please consider putting yourself forward for election, it is not a particularly onerous task! Those wishing to be elected can put their names on the election list at the back of the church. In additional we are seeking a treasurer to take over from Leanne. If you feel you could spare the time to play an important roll in the life of our church please consider taking on this task.
BEARS AND PRAYERS TODDLER SERVICE
I am sorry to say that the Bears and Prayers Toddler Service will no longer be running at St. Ippolyts Church. Despite attempting various days and times, we failed to attract new people and with some of our existing members moving on to nursery, there were only a couple of little people left.
However, following the success of our ‘Light Party’ in October, I intend to start a new half-termly event for the young people of our parishes which I hope will start just before Easter.
The vision is that we will meet after school between 4.30pm. and 6.00pm. and enjoy stories, games and crafts and have a short act of worship before sharing tea together. It will be open to anyone of primary school age or under and we will even let them bring their grown-up’s with them too!!
We will be serving Lent Lunches in St. Ippolyts Parish Hall every Wednesday throughout Lent, starting on Ash Wednesday, 14th February, from 12.45pm. till 2.00pm. A minimum donation of £2.50 per serving is requested and proceeds will be shared between USPG (renamed United Society Partners in the Gospel) and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Everyone welcome.
NEW STYLE FAMILY SERVICE
We have a new style Family Service at 9.15am. on the 1st Sunday of every month at St. Ippolyts Church and we would love you to come and join us!
The service lasts approximately 30 minutes with a mix of lively hymns, songs and stories as we worship God together. Breakfast is available afterwards if you would like to stay and get to know one another better. Whether you are new to church or have been going for many years, we promise you a warm welcome.
THE EASTER JOURNEY
This year St. Ippolyts Church and St. Mary’s Church, Little Wymondley will be hosting an exciting schools project called The Easter Journey. The resources and teaching for this project are given to us by a Stevenage-based Christian charity called Bridge Builders who I have worked closely with for a number of years and who have carefully built up a trusted reputation with local churches and schools.
Who are Bridge Builders?
Bridge Builders Christian Trust is a charity which goes into local schools and teaches RE lessons, takes assemblies and mentors children who need extra support. It is also a local church resource centre which has a wealth of props, costumes, equipment and lesson/assembly outlines which can be lent to any church that needs them free of charge. The charity relies solely on donations to fund the organisation.
What is the aim of The Easter Journey?
Working in partnership with the host churches, the aim of the Easter Journey 2018 is to provide the opportunity for 1500+ Year 6 children from local primary schools to hear an account of the events of Holy Week and Easter and to explore the relevance of this festival for Christians today.
How The Easter Journey project began.
From their experience of working with children, the Bridge Builders team knew that most young people connect best with things they can see, smell or touch so, in 2010, they devised an interactive story that would enable the children to share something of their own lives and relate it to a story in the Bible whilst being surrounded by exciting colours, smells and sounds which would help them to remember the experience later. Bridge Builders then approached local schools and asked them if they would like to bring their students into church to see this Easter Journey as part of their RE lessons. The response was huge and well over 1000 primary aged children poured into their local churches each year and came to understand Jesus a little better.
Part of the reason for this success was because, using their knowledge of schools and the curriculum, Bridge Builders actively related the stories and people of the Bible to the everyday lives of the children, cross-referencing this with what the children learn in their lessons.
How can you get involved?
Whilst Bridge Builders provides the resources and the training, this project can only happen if we get enough volunteers to help. It’s down to each host church to set up the resources, welcome the children, tell the stories and provide refreshments. Volunteers will be required to attend a short training session so they know how the project works and there will be on-going support from myself. It is expected that our churches will run 4 sessions of The Easter Journey, each lasting 90 minutes, over 3 or 4 days between the 12th and 15th March. Exact days to be confirmed but volunteers can commit to attend any number of sessions and the more volunteers we have, the easier it will be!!
Please email me if you think you would like to be involved in this exciting project. From experience, I know that the volunteers get as much out of The Easter Journey as the children do and keep coming back year after year! Age or infirmity is no barrier - there’s a place for everyone!!!
HAPPY NEW YEAR!!
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and got to spend time with those you love and care about. Mine was a bit frantic but I enjoyed time with my children and my gorgeous new grandson and New Year’s Eve was spent hosting a party for my youngest daughter Erin’s 21st birthday. Erin decided that cocktails and nibbles were appropriate for such an occasion and you can guess who was tasked with the job of ‘Cocktail Waitress’!!! Your vicar has acquired new skills and I can confidently say that I make a mean Tequila Sunrise and a pretty amazing Woo Woo, although the Hairy Navel is definitely an acquired taste!! Bookings through my agent please!
December and January saw the start of our new style Family Service at St. Ippolyts on the first Sunday of each month. The aim was to create a relaxed and informal space for families, especially those with young children, to worship God together and to get to know other families in the community over breakfast after the service. I confess that I had no idea whether it would work or not but I have been blown away by the response so far. Our church was packed and it was an absolute delight to see so many people staying to chat and engage with each other over breakfast. It was a timely reminder to me that even though we may not see the path ahead clearly, if we follow where God is leading then he will do the rest!
And this year will see a lot of things happening in our Benefice. St. Mary’s in Great Wymondley will be undergoing major restoration works and will need to raise a substantial amount of money in order to cover the costs. St. Mary’s in Little Wymondley are struggling to find ways to engage with the local community when resources are thin on the ground and there are only a handful of people able to help. St. Ippolyts Church is trying to find ways to engage with the growing number of families in our parish and trying out new styles of services. All these things are a challenge which can sometimes seem too huge to even begin to attempt and our human nature is such that we think we have to do it all under our own efforts. It’s at times like these that we need to remember, more than ever, that if we seek God’s will in all that we attempt and have the courage to trust in where he is leading us then there is nothing that is impossible.
“Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." (Deuteronomy 31:6). I would be very grateful if someone would think to remind me of this the next time you see me flapping and twirling because I am trying to do everything myself!!
JOURNEY THROUGH LENT
I will be hosting a series of evening meetings throughout Lent where I hope we can explore and discuss our faith together in an informal setting. The meetings will be held at The Vicarage on Monday evenings from 7.30pm. - 8.30pm. on 19th and 26th February and 5th, 12th and 19th March. Each evening will have a different focus but we will begin on 19th February with the theme of Exploring Prayer.
With love - Ginni
The annual subscription for PAX is now due. Pax remains at 40p per issue or £4.00 for the year, amazingly good value! If you currently do not receive PAX and would like a copy please contact Clare Larsen, our PAX editor, on H 453541 and she will ensure you receive a copy