Reflections Blog

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I have recently received a letter on behalf of St. Ippolyts Church from Link to Hope and I quote: 

„Thank you so much for taking part in the 2019 Family & Elderly Shoebox Appeal. We really do appreciate it. Our final total was 37,400 shoeboxes which we were very happy with considering the changes we made to the appeal last year. 

We were particularly pleased that we were able to send extra funds and resources out to our project managers in Eastern Europe thanks to the increase in the shoebox donation. Many people not only benefited from your shoebox but also received wood to see them through the winter, food parcels and necessary house repairs to keep them warm, fed and safe.‟ 

They also sent a copy of their 2019 Shoebox Delivery Diary which makes very interesting reading. The delivery team went to Iasi in Romania and visited a kindergarten and some homes in the Dallas Shanty Town where, (and I quote): „They met 8 year old David who lives at home with his parents in one room. They have no electricity or running water and they use a wood stove to keep warm, cook, heat water and bathe; but he is lucky, he has both parents.‟ 

Elsewhere at a homework club, „The team brings in the shoeboxes and we hand them out. There are some wonderful gifts in the shoeboxes and the children‟s eyes are wide as they go through them. Alcoholism and domestic violence are very high in these isolated villages and the children have a rough existence with very little to take them away from their lives. The shoeboxes were that moment of joy when they were in a safe place.‟ 

At another school the headmistress estimates that 20% of her pupils are from a „normal‟ family, ie. two parents and no major issues (other than just trying to survive). So, what of the other 80%? If you would like to read these stories (and more) in full, and see the accompanying photos, you can do so by going to: 


Our shoeboxes may only be a small drop in a large ocean but they really do make a HUGE difference. Thank you once again to everyone who took part. 

Arthur Sibun 


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Don’t Forget 


The next Bible Study Group meetings will take place on Wednesdays 11th and 25th March when we will be continuing our study of the Book of Exodus. We meet at 2.30pm. at Oakhurst (behind Kingshott School) home of Margaret Edmonds. Refreshments are served after the meeting. 

New members are always welcome so if you would like to join us 

please contact Margaret Edmonds (01462-452340) or Clare Larsen 


Clare Larsen 


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FROM DARKNESS INTO LIGHT - A thought from Revd Paul Lanham


I made a rare visit to London at the start of February for a travel exhibition at Olympia. As a country bumpkin I usually avoid the place like the plague but you don't waste free tickets to such an event so off we went on the train for the day. You pass through seven tunnels between here and Kings Cross (excluding the final ones into the terminus) and in each case you explode from darkness into light; at least in these days of electric trains there isn't the choking pollution of the steam era but the contrast is very noticeable. 

March is about a transition from darkness to light. Winter is finally coming to an end, having dragged its weary length interminably over the past four months. Spring flowers may have softened the blow this year by arriving early but the darkness and cold have only just started to relent. Now spring is imminent, that season of rebirth after the apparent death of the winter months. Time to have the mower serviced, to prune the roses, to see green shoots on trees, to witness reawakening, to do the garden again. For me spring is the most wonderful season of the year, with the promise of summer ahead with all that that stands for - 

I am very much a summer person rather than a winter one. 

For the Christian Church, March marks the season of Lent, a transition from the Christmas to the Easter season. Most people associate Lent with giving things up and nothing but good can come from that (as long as it doesn't include giving up church attendance!). But this is a time of preparation, of looking ahead to Holy Week and on to Easter. We prepare ourselves spiritually for the tragedy that is the trial and death of Jesus Christ the Son of God, that darkest day in all history. But three days later darkness turns to light in Christ rising again to conquer death, bringing light and hope to all as they contemplate the end of their own lives or mourn those they love. The Church mirrors the season of the year in its theme of darkness becoming light, apparent death leading to rebirth - so this is very much a springtime season for it. This month we look forward to the events that lead up to that tragedy that is Holy Week. As spring reaches its climax next month darkness leads to light - in both the natural and in the spiritual sense. 

Very best wishes, Paul Lanham 


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Bible Study Group Meeting 26th February CANCELLED!

Bible Study Group Meeting 26th February CANCELLED!

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Weekly Pew Sheet, Quinquagesima, the Sunday next before Lent, 23rd February 2020

.200223 Pew Sheet

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Weekly Pew Sheet, 16th February 2020, the Second Sunday before Lent

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Look out for our “bird watching and nature church” on Sunday 17th May at 7.45am. We will be meeting outside St. Ippolyts Church for a short walk around St. Ippolyts looking for spring migrants and resident birds that should be in full swing rearing their young. Michael Hooper who will point out as many bird species as possible will lead the group. Do you think we can see over 25 species? Of course we can! It is expected the one-mile walk will last about 75 minutes and will finish back at the church. Everyone, young or not so young, is welcome to join us. Michael Hooper
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Lent Lunches

Lent Lunches We will be serving our Lent Lunches of delicious home-made soups and fresh bread every Wednesday from Ash Wednesday, 26th February till 8th April from 12.45pm. till 2.00pm. Serving time 12.45pm. till 1.00pm. A minimum donation of £2.50 per serving is requested, with donations for seconds. Proceeds will be shared between USPG and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Everyone welcome so do come and join us. Frances Williams, Carol Scott and Joan Pinkstone
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ST. IPPOLYTS CUB SCOUTS Congratulations to our Assistant Cub Leader Andrew Russell who has been awarded the Award of Merit by the Chief Scout in recognition of his significant contribution to Scouting not only in our own Group but to the District in general. Andrew is also an Assistant Explorer Leader in Hitchin, a member of the District Water Activities Team and a Climbing Instructor. A very well-deserved award for all that Andrew does for the young people in the village and the wider community. Jeff Phillips GSL
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PAX SUBSCRIPTIONS Please don’t forget that annual subscriptions are now due and will be collected shortly. The magazine costs 40p. per issue, making the annual subscription £4. (Additional donations always welcome so that the printing cost can be fully covered.) If you live in the Benefice and don’t currently have PAX delivered and would like this to be arranged, please contact me on 01462-453541. Clare Larsen 5 
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WORLD DAY OF PRAYER Friday 6th March at 2.00pm. This years’ service has been prepared by the Christian women of Zimbabwe and the theme is ‘Rise! Take up your mat and walk’. It is Great Wymondley’s turn to host this year and due to on-going building work on our church, the service will be held in the Village Hall next to the Green Man PH. We will be joining with people in over 120 countries and islands and we will all be taking part in the same service. This is a joint service for all the churches in our benefice and everyone is very welcome. Jackie Harding
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Morning Prayer during Lent

MORNING PRAYER This year, during Lent, we will be meeting for Morning Prayer at 8.30am. - 8.50am. (Monday - Thursday) in St. Ippolyts Church. What is Morning Prayer, I hear you ask?!!! Well, it’s the morning!!! Seriously though (if I have to!) the Church of England has a short service called Morning Prayer made up of Bible readings, psalms and prayers which are said every morning often by the Priest alone but, on a good day, with others too! We also pray for our own communities, those who have asked us to pray for them and any important events that are happening around us. During Lent, I’m really hoping that more of us can gather together to pray so perhaps you would consider committing to join me for one or more morning a week? Sometimes we will use the formal Morning Prayer service but sometimes we will have a more casual style of prayer, depending on who is leading the service. Either way, everyone is welcome to join us - no praying experience required!!! We begin on Thursday 27th February - hope to see you there. With love - Ginni
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RESOLUTIONS - a thought from Rev Ginni Dear with help from Lauren!

The New Year didn’t start too well for me......I caught the dreaded lurgy over Christmas and it chased me into the first part of the year, making me sleep for hours and still wake up tired (not to mention grumpy!).  The result of this is that I am still playing ‘catch-up’ with my admin and my enthusiasm seems to have gone on a long holiday!!

I was moaning about all of this to my eldest daughter Lauren yesterday, saying I didn’t know what I was going to do about it and adding that I had this article for PAX to write, the Editor’s deadline had already passed and I was feeling guilty for keeping her waiting but that I was really struggling for anything to write about.  ‘What about New Year’s resolutions?’ said Lauren, ‘we all make a vain attempt at them.’  ‘No point’, I replied ‘mine’s always the same - get better at admin - and it lasts about a week!!’  ‘I’ve been thinking a lot about that lately’ replied Lauren ‘about how we set ourselves up to fail’.  ‘Well, you write the article then’ I she did!!!

January 2020 - New Year, new me.

It feels the same every year, everyone starting new resolutions and giving up ‘bad’ habits.  I do it every year too, only to set myself up for failure.  This year, my life took a very unexpected turn and in a way that I had never, ever imagined.  Instead of resorting to my usual ‘quick fixes’ to give myself a temporary boost, I wanted to create a sustainable way to live my life in the best way that I can.  No fad diets or mad gym dashes, just good food and enjoyable exercise.  I no longer wanted to be that stressed-out Lauren with no way to control my anxieties besides making endless ‘to-do’ lists.  So I decided to go to mindfulness classes to try to understand how my brain works and find ways to manage life in a way that won’t give me short-term ‘fixes’ but will hopefully bring long-term relaxation and peacefulness.

I am now finding that I am spending more time with my friends and family and have discovered a deep and fulfilling relationship with my mum that I wouldn’t have found if I hadn’t taken a look into what I really want and what really is important.  By taking a step back from the quick fixes and honestly working on ourselves with a long-term vision, we won’t always feel like we have failed or that we didn’t manage to do this or that.  We will be gentler with ourselves and find what really makes us happy and content.

As this is the church magazine and my mum is the vicar, I suppose I ought to at least mention God!!  I guess, for me, I can see how an awareness of my own self and how I relate to others is not so far apart from a journey of faith and how that is lived out every day.  It’s not about your New Year’s resolution being that you

go to church every week or commit to reading the Bible every day because you will set yourself up to fail.  It’s more about reflecting on what is important in your 


faith and focusing on making that sustainable - making more time for prayer, giving yourself some space for reflection, becoming more aware of how things you do daily link back to your faith.

It doesn’t have to be spectacular, I just think we should all be kinder to ourselves and celebrate the small, sustainable ‘wins’ - life is hard enough already without us adding to our own load!!


(PS - this being a Vicar stuff is easy!)

Well, when did she become all grown-up!!!  Seriously though, I could’ve kissed her!  I had no motivation to write anything and was feeling very much a failure.  My lovely daughter has taught me several things this week.....1.  Life is better when it’s shared with someone who cares.  2.  Help comes from the most unexpected of places.  3.  Even one tiny step in the right direction is still one step closer to the ultimate goal.  4.  The only time you fail is when you fail to try.  And 5.  I am one lucky woman to have the love and support of my family 

and friends.  So this year, I have just one resolution......simply to notice each day something I have to be grateful for.  Thanks Lauren!!

  With love - Ginni

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Look back to St Ippolyts Church 900 Years Celebration in 1987

On 11th July 1987 St Ippolyts Church celebrated  900 years. The village held a Pageant to mark the day and these are three photos from the event.

You can see the programme for the day in "About us" History Section of this web site.


870711 St Ippolyts Pageant photos

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the First Sunday after Epiphany, 12th January 2020

.200112 Pew Sheet

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Second Sunday after Christmas, 5th January 2020

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A Very Happy New Year and may God Bless us All


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Weekly Pew Sheet, The Sunday after Christmas Day, 29th December 2019

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Third Sunday in Advent, 15th December 2019

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Jubilate Choir give a wonderful start to Christmas

A big thank you to John Edwards and the Jubilate choir for entertaining us on Sunday afternoon with "Rejoice and be Merry". We were treated to an eclectic mix of different Christmas songs including John's own rendition of Nine Lessons. 

Well done to everyone and thank you to the audience of over 50 that turned out on a cold and blustery afternoon.

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