Remember to purchase your quiz tickets for an evening of fun and a little bit of mental stimuli in St. Ippolyts Parish Hall. Make up a team of 6 to 8 friends or family and enjoy a Ploughman’s Supper washed down with wine, beer or soft drinks from the bar. Doors open at 7pm. for a prompt 7.30pm. start. Tickets are now available from Jane Veasey (H.434254) or Mary Hooper (H.457350) at £10 per person.
TALENT At the time of writing, at the end of August, Ginni was off on her summer holidays. Well-deserved of course following a busy period culminating in successfully achieving her challenge of taking the Horse Blessing Service sitting on a horse. Well done to horse and rider as well as the other 22 horses that attended. Indeed, following this success, it was rumoured that she went off on a fortnights pony trekking holiday. Ok, maybe that bit is fake news! As I write this what is sadly not in dispute in the news is the endless revelations of child abuse that are again coming to the fore with the Pope’s visit to Ireland. Such terrible historic disclosures are not restricted to the Catholic Church as the Anglican Church also has an awful burden of guilt. Clearly, we all share a responsibility to rebuild trust in our church and as an important part of that many of us have been undertaking our safeguarding training on line and through attending courses. The training has been put together very thoughtfully and is well-presented given the sensitivity of the subject matter and the challenging role the church has in helping both the abused and the abusers. We are all better prepared to fulfil our roles in rebuilding trust by making our churches safer places in the future. We must give particular thanks to our safeguarding officers and pray that they are given the guidance they need in such important roles. Time to move to a more upbeat subject. As we work on our church in Great Wymondley and move to the next stages in our master plan, at each point that we hit a tricky situation I have been very grateful for the ideas, practical support and initiatives that come forward from within our community. This makes me realise what a wonderful breadth and depth of talent we are blessed with within our benefice. I am reminded of the parable of the talents, indeed talent which means our natural ability is derived from the parable, where Jesus teaches us that we must use our gifts wisely. If we all heed the lesson of the parable that we must use our talents and abilities, as well as our wealth, in God's service, with the enormous talent we have we can look forward very positively to the ways in which we can enrich our churches and communities. In my role as Churchwarden in a church under renovation I would not surprisingly highlight a quote from Exodus “Let every skilful craftsman among you come and make all that the Lord has commanded.” We must also of course compliment Reverend Ginni on her many talents, including now horse riding and the one that I am very aware of as I write this PAX preface, that of delegation! Looking back to what I said in May my hopes have only partially been fulfilled. Certainly, the rain stopped and the sunshine came out but with such enthusiasm that I fear the crops have suffered. However, as we hold our Harvest Festivals throughout the benefice I am sure that we will be able to give thanks to the talented farmers and growers who have made the best of our Mediterranean summer to grow and harvest our crops. Best wishes for the autumn season - Paul Harding
BIBLE STUDY GROUP
Bible Study Group meetings resume this month and our meetings will take place on Wednesdays 12thand 26thSeptember. We meet at 2.30pm. at Oakhurst (behind Kingshott School) home of Margaret Edmonds. We will be continuing our study of The Book of Genesis. Refreshments are served after the meeting.
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).
CHRISTMAS SHOE BOX APPEAL
With the summer we are having this year it seems almost impossible to speculate on which day might be the hottest. But it does seem rather ironic to be sitting here on oneof the hottest days of the year trying to write an article about Christmas! However, believe it or not, in a couple of weeks it will be time to start thinking about this year’s Christmas Shoebox Appeal.
Once again, in our benefice, we shall be supporting the Link to Hope charity in Sussex who send boxes to Romania, Moldova, The Ukraine and Bulgaria. I know that that many of you, whilst enjoying filling a box for a family/child, last year also enjoyed the opportunity of doing one specifically for an elderly person (as their needs are often rather overlooked). The other BIG plus with this scheme is that you just wrap up your box like a present once it is ready, rather than having the fiddle of covering a box and a lid separately with wrapping paper as in the past. We have already had a number of enquiries from people wanting boxes and leaflets for this year and have also already been given some lovely knitted items in anticipation.
Christine and I have been busy too over the last few months acquiring a stock of suitable shoeboxes and getting all of the necessary leaflets. To take part you will need an empty shoebox (or boxes) - ours or yours, some gifts and an instruction leaflet for each box that you intend to fill. The leaflets are very clear and helpful, so do read one through before you start. By the time this article appears boxes and leaflets will be available in each church. (Or ring Christine and Arthur Sibun on 01462-459145 if you need any help). Completed boxes should be returned to church for onward transportation. Further details and dates for deadlines etc. will be published in next month’s PAX.
Please do help us if you possibly can. Thank you.
WEDNESDAY WORSHIP SERVICE AT ST. IPPOLYTS
Our midweek Holy Communion service at St. Ippolyts has seen a significant change in attendance over the last few months for various reasons and is unsustainable in its present format. Rather than cancel it altogether, we have decided to make some changes. It will now be called Wednesday Worship as it will be either a Holy Communion service or a service of Morning Prayer depending on those attending and whether there is a priest available to celebrate Holy Communion. The time will also change from 11.00am. as it is at the present, to a new time of 10.00am.
There will be no service during the winter months, from 1stNovember until 1stMarch. The changes will come into effect from 1stNovember 2018.
In the meantime, the service will remain at 11.00am. but please do check your weekly pew sheet before attending, as the service will be cancelled if the regular attendees are unable to come. There will be NO services on 29thAugust and
5thand 12thSeptember due to holidays.
COUNT YOUR BLESSINGS
I hope you have all had a wonderful summer. We have been blessed with some lovely weather and I have really tried not to moan that I was too hot, having spent the last few months whinging about the cold and rain!! I also felt blessed when the hot weather broke and we got some refreshing rain but after a couple of days, I was back to moaning about the rain and praying for sun!! I guess that’s just how it is in England but it did provoke some thoughts about what we think of as blessings and how quickly we move on from our thankfulness and want even more.
I remember my Grandma telling me that I should ‘count my blessings’ whenever I was moany and grumpy and I think there is a lot of wisdom in her words. As a society, we are quick to moan and complain but how often do we sit back and actually think about the many positives in our lives? Perhaps if we resolved to counter every complaint with a positive then we would realise just how blessed we really are. I have decided to ‘practise what I preach’, so to speak, and now whenever I find myself moaning, I make myself remember something that I feel I’ve been blessed with - it’s quite a sobering experiment.
One of the things that I have been hugely blessed with over the summer has been the experience of overcoming a fear of mine and that blessing has gone far beyond my expectations.
So what exactly is a blessing?
A blessing is a prayer asking for God’s favour and protection and also the receiving of God’s favour and protection. We gather in church every Sunday to worship God and to ask for His blessing on ourselves, our communities and each other and we also ask God to bless the work that we do in His name. Sometimes priests are also asked to bless houses or ships, or in my particular case this August, horses!
But a blessing is a funny thing......because when we ask God to bless something or someone and trust in His promise to hear us when we ask something of Him, we often find that the blessing reverberates and rebounds and goes far further than we ever imagined.
As you may have read in the last edition of PAX, Sunday 12thAugust saw my third Horse Blessing Service in the two years since I have been here.......the first one being just two weeks after I arrived in this parish.
Having always been fearful of horses, the blessing services were a challenge but I discovered last year that horses were less scary than I had first thought and I foolishly declared that I would attempt to take the service on horseback this year!
Never one to back down from a challenge, I went along to the stables where I was patiently and gently coaxed onto the back of a beautiful cob called Ringo. I was terrified! For several weeks, I went along to the stables and each time I hoped that my fear would ease - it didn’t. I knew that Ringo could tell how scared I was, I think it was the quivering knees that gave me away, but this wonderful horse was so placid and calm that I began to learn to trust him.
Each time I got on his back I would tell him how scared I was and ask him to please be nice! I could sense the power in his muscles and I was under no illusion that I had any control over him whatsoever. If Ringo had decided to rid himself of this quivering vicar then there was nothing I could have done to stop him! It was a very humbling experience to be gifted the generous compliance and tenderness of such a powerful beast.
Anyway, the long and the short of it was that I did indeed manage to learn enough to take the Horse Blessing Service on horseback. The turnout was magnificent, with 60 people and 22 horses in attendance and over £200 raised for ‘Riding for the Disabled’. Each horse was blessed - and given a carrot of course - but the reality was that I received the biggest blessing. You see, I had simply continued with the Horse Blessing Service because it was a tradition and important to the community here but, in doing so, that blessing has rebounded and gone further than I ever imagined it could.
I, for one, have been blessed by the kindness and generosity of all the people at the stables and the many others who have encouraged me to conquer my fears, but I also know that many other people have felt blessed to be part of this whole experience. From the conversations that were had at the stables, to the people who were glad of the chance to share their passion for horses with those they met at the service. There was an acknowledgement that we can all learn something when we are prepared to step into another person’s comfort zone and out of our own and that was a blessing to everyone - not just the horses - and has led to discussions on what else we can do together.
I am still a little scared of horses but also rather sad that this experience has ended. I have certainly learned that God moves in mysterious ways and that if we just trust in Him and work together to offer ourselves to be a blessing to others, God will take that blessing and make it rebound and reverberate in ways that we can barely imagine. Thanks be to God.
With love - Ginni
Whilst Revd Ginni is on holiday we welcome Revd Don Dowling and Doug Richardson to St Ippolyts who will be taking the 08:00 and 09:15 services
Revd Ginni is on holiday until 14th September and during this period Wednesday Holy Communion is cancelled. Thank you for your understanding