Reflections Blog

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Bible Study Group

BIBLE STUDY GROUP Bible Study Group meetings will take place on Wednesdays 9th and 23rd March. We meet at 2.30pm. at Oakhurst (behind Kingshott School) home of Margaret Edmonds. We will be starting a new study of the Letter of Paul to the Galatians. Refreshments are served after the meeting. Do come and join us - all welcome. For further information please contact Margaret Edmonds (01462-452340) or Clare Larsen (01462-453541). Clare Larsen

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Pax Subscriptions

PAX SUBSCRIPTIONS

We are now able to support a local charity with a donation from Pax subscriptions.  This year we will be supporting The Herts. Charity for Deprived Children.

The Herts. Charity for Deprived Children was founded in the early 1960’s by John Stroud, Social Services Assistant Director, as a way of dealing with monies that were given to him for “poor children”.  Local Authorities were unable to take money so this Charity established itself and accepted donations from inheritances, gifts, etc.

We only provide for people who are Hertfordshire residents and are under the age of 18 and we make no further judgement on our applicants.  We see ourselves as a charity of last resort when applications to all others have been exhausted.  All applications must come from a professional agency.  In the main we provide white goods, beds and mattresses and one-off specials.  For example, a pair of size 14 trainers for a young man who at 11 years old brought up by a single parent on benefits could only be obtained through a specialist and at some considerable cost.  We do not provide things that aren’t transportable i.e. carpets, fitted furniture, etc. as often initially the families are in temporary accommodation following domestic violence.

We are a registered charity (200327), which provides annual accounts and can respond to a referral within 24 hours if necessary.  Currently amongst the trustees are a Judge, a County Treasurer, a Special Educator, and Social Services staff, all of whom have now retired.  We take no fees or expenses.  All the money raised is for the Charity.  

    Mrs. Patricia A. Read

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WORLD DAY OF PRAYER

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER (Formerly Women’s World Day of Prayer) Our World Day of Prayer Service will take place on Friday 4th March at St. Ippolyts Church. Please note that it will start at the earlier time of 11.00am. The service has been prepared by the women of the United Kingdom which will make it extra special and the theme is ‘I know the plans I have for you’. We will be joining with people in over 120 countries and we will all be taking part in the same service but at many different times of the day. This is a joint service for all the churches in our benefice and everyone will be very welcome to join us. Refreshments will be served after the service. Jackie Harding

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PAX SUBSCRIPTIONS

PAX SUBSCRIPTIONS

Please don’t forget that the annual subscription for PAX is now due and will be collected shortly.  As mentioned in October 2021 the price per issue will now increase to 50 pence, making the annual subscription £5.  As we now have a printer who has cut the cost of our printing we will be able to send a donation

from the subscriptions to a charity each year.  Our chosen charity for the coming year is The Herts. Society for Deprived Children.

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

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BLISTER PACKS

BLISTER PACKS

St. Ippolyts Church has set up a collecting facility for empty pill blister packs.  These packs go to a specialist recycling company which separates the plastic from the aluminium and in return the company donates money towards local Hitchin charities.

The collecting box can be found on the shelves, just inside the Church doors.  If you just throw these into the refuse bin, just think, they could benefit local charities instead and save more waste from entering landfill.

                                                                                             Mary Hooper

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BIBLE STUDY GROUP

BIBLE STUDY GROUP

The Bible Study Group meetings this month will take place on Wednesdays 

9th and 23rd February.  We meet at 2.30pm. at Oakhurst (behind Kingshott School) home of Margaret Edmonds.  We will be continuing our study of The Acts of the Apostles.  Refreshments are served after the meeting.

If you would like to join the group please contact Margaret Edmonds (01462-452340) or Clare Larsen (01462-453541).

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WORLD DAY OF PRAYER (Formerly Women’s World Day of Prayer)

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER

(Formerly Women’s World Day of Prayer)

This year our World Day of Prayer Service will take place on Friday 

4th March at St. Ippolyts Church.  Please note that it will start at the earlier time of 11.00am.

The service has been prepared by the women of the United Kingdom which will make it extra special and the theme is ‘I know the plans I have for you’.  We will be joining with people in over 120 countries and we will

all be taking part in the same service but at many different times of the day.

This is a joint service for all the churches in our benefice and everyone will be very welcome to join us.

                                                                                      Jackie Harding

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NATIVITY CRIB FESTIVAL - St Ippolyts

NATIVITY CRIB FESTIVAL

Well despite all our concerns about whether anyone would turn up it was a great success!

The "host of angels" were amazing and attracted a lot of admiration and we had almost 240 cribs - another record.  Many of the children from the school came across on the Friday to enjoy a sneak preview, we had a steady stream of visitors over the weekend and did a roaring trade in jigsaws!

Many thanks to everyone who helped, folding angels, lending cribs, helping set up and clearing away, donating cakes and jigsaws and manning it - it is a real team effort and we couldn't have done it without you.

Thank you also to everyone who came along and looked around, without you it would have all been a bit pointless!

   The Fund Raising Committee

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START

START

Got questions about life and the Christian faith?  The benefice churches of St. Ippolyts, Great and Little Wymondley warmly invite you on a journey with us as we explore life together. 

If you’re looking for answers then maybe it’s time to make a START. Normally run in groups of about 6 to 10 people, each session involves video clips, exercises, group discussion and time for reflection.  Sessions last for about an hour and are free to attend. 

Our journey began on Wednesday 19th January but it’s not too late to join us.  Sessions continue on Wednesdays 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd February at 6.00pm. in Great Wymondley Village Hall.

For further details and to sign up please contact Caroline on 

07975-798132.

                                                                              Caroline McDonnell 

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News from St Mary's Little Wymondley by Rosemary Stratton

ST. MARY’S LITTLE WYMONDLEY

THE NATIVITY

We are blessed at St. Mary’s to have two Nativity sets, the first consisting of quite large figures which we place near the altar.  I don’t know where they originate from, but they must be in excess of eighty years old.  One of my earlier memories of going to church was at Christmas when I remember staring in wonder into the crib, there was a light at the back which set a glow over the scene.  That crib was built by the late Chris Allardyce who lived in Church Path, it came into church every year but age finally took its toll and it was kindly replaced by Brian Murphy from the parish.  The figures are very heavy and I think made of clay.  A few years ago Tony Maddren, our late organist, gave them a complete makeover, repainting their robes and bringing out all their facial features. 

Last year, although we were in lock down, I still set the figures out by the altar, it didn’t seem right keeping them packed away.  We have a bag of straw which we keep each year, it is so old and dry, I think it should be included on the inventory!

The second set I am given to understand is quite old and the figures were carved by a parishioner, again very beautiful, all in white and complete with sheep and donkeys.  A few years ago Michael Gray, a parishioner kindly made a stable which completed the setting, so if you haven’t seen it, be sure to pay a visit next Christmas.  If anyone knows a bit more about the history of these figures, I would be very pleased to hear from you.

LENT GROUP

Due to Covid, sadly we had to miss our Lent Group last year but would love to go ahead this year, but with safety in mind.  We usually meet in Hitchin at one of our parishioner’s houses, but I think we should be prepared to do a lateral flow test before attending each meeting, possibly starting on Thursday 3rd March.  If you are interested in joining the group, please give me a call.

                                                              Rosemary Stratton - 01438-871592

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ST. MARY’S GREAT WYMONDLEY News from Cherry Carter

ST. MARY’S GREAT WYMONDLEY

Another new year has begun so let us all hope that it is a better one than the last two.  The days are slowly starting to lengthen which lifts the spirits and brings a chance to get a few more outside tasks done before dark.  The pond needs clearing and water plants cutting back before the frogs and toads arrive to spawn.  We have had days of rain, sunshine and blue skies and then mist and damp chill as I write.  The birds certainly know that Spring is on its way and are in full voice in the mornings and early evenings.  I hope we will have had many different birds visiting the garden for the Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of January.  In the churchyard snowdrops are pushing up through the grass and amongst the dead leaves with some white tips showing.  A joyous sight. 

MARMALADE  

The Seville Oranges are in the shops already though more expensive than last year.  It must be due to Brexit as they come all the way from Spain!  I have made two double batches so far, that is 12 or 13 jars in each batch so many more to go!  They will be on sale in the church porch soon.

CHURCHYARD CLEARANCE - Saturday 19th February 

Great Wymondley has now received the results from their Churchyard Tree Survey done just before Christmas.  This has highlighted some remedial work to be carried out which needs to be done before Tuesday 1st March because of the nesting birds.  We will have a Churchyard Clearing Session on Saturday 19th February to carry out some of the work.  We will be assisted by the Community Garden Club and as many of the village and indeed Benefice who would like to help.  Times from 9.00am. till 12.00 noon with a break for refreshments.  If you can only spare an hour or so come when you can.  The main jobs will be ring barking ivy on the trees, pulling out ground ivy, wild hop, elder and wild plum saplings, cutting back brambles and grubbing out.  Bring gardening gloves, loppers, secateurs, a pruning saw and a mattock if you have them, trugs, etc. to put cuttings in and if you are local and have one, a wheelbarrow.  There will be cake!

                                                                                      Cherry Carter

 

RESTORATION UPDATE

We start 2022 in a positive frame of mind in terms of our church restoration work.  It has been a while since we have updated everyone but that does not mean we have been idle!

In the summer last year we concluded that we really needed to raise further funds before work could start, particularly as our own fundraising efforts had been so curtailed over the past two years due to Covid.  We are now pleased to say that after much form filling we have secured grants from Herts. and Beds. Historic Churches Trust, All Churches Trust, St. Albans Diocese, Laing Foundation and the Francis Coales Charitable Foundation.  This has brought us additional funds of around £25,000 for which we are incredibly grateful.

This has enabled us to give instructions to contractors to commence work to the floor though be aware we have to wait some weeks before they can start.  We will keep you updated on progress over the next few months.

                                                                                           Paul Harding

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Looking Back a reflection from Revd Paul Lanham

Can you remember 6th February 1952?  Not many of us can remember the young queen in black descending the steps of the de Havilland Comet (I think) from Kenya 70 years ago.  I was starting my first term at boarding school a few days later and my memory of that is clearer.  I saw the tail lights of my parents' Austin Ten vanishing down the drive and feeling utterly alone;  it vividly remains with me to this day.  The princess becoming a queen was irrelevant to a nine year old boy in short trousers.  Just that car vanishing down the drive with its lights vanishing and entering a strange new and frightening world.

Remembering the Coronation, 2nd June 1953.  A tiny flickering black and white television, the event going on for ever and incredibly boring.  Our friends had one and we only had a radio.  Their son was a friend called Ronnie Ring (I wonder what happened to him?).  He had bicycle pumps which we filled and refilled from a water butt.  We spent the Coronation hosing one another with these pumps and from time to time reminding our parents that we were still alive.  Then back to prison in Bath (I hated school).  In 1954 we watched a film called 'A Queen is Crowned' (remember that?!) and colour film was new to me.  The Bishop of Bath and Wells who had played a key role in the Coronation later confirmed me.  His chaplain wanted to borrow the Bishop's confirmation sermon the next week at Gloucester Prison but found himself unable to do so because my clergy father was at both services, being the prison chaplain - that's another story! 

Now 70 years later we remember the same dedicated queen who has broken every royal record for longevity.  Always Queen Elizabeth, unshakeable, always there.  This month we remember her with thanksgiving as arguably the greatest lady the world has ever known, the most loved and respected.  This year will hopefully be a time when we can give thanks for her and rejoice with her - not as a duty but as someone we genuinely want to celebrate.  This is my first columnfor 2022.  The lasttwoyears have been difficult;  if these celebrations can shine a brighter light on this year, then we can look forward with optimism.

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Forgive my sentimentality but illustrating these memories may show how far we have come since the young queen came down those steps.  That aircraft, that car and the television were all state of the art, now they are only seen in museums - even the 'water pistol' is a far more sophisticated weapon of mass saturation than the one that Ronnie and I improvised to the despair of our parents 70 years ago.  It is as though we are experiencing a second (or even third) Industrial Revolution and the world changes at an astonishing speed year by year - my five year old grand daughter is teaching me things that I can never understand while I speak of slide rules and logarithms (remember them?) to people who have no idea of what I am on about.  Queen Elizabeth has remained constant while the world has changed in a way that children who watched the Coronation could never have visualised as such future things.  After all, remember Dan Dare from 'The Eagle'?  At least The Beano remains.

But not even she can last for ever while God is eternal.  Remember that hymn - 'Change and decay in all around I see, O Thou who changest not abide with me'.  God never changes, nor does His love for us.  2022 may be a difficult year for organised religion and for the Church of England as a whole, but He will always be with us, a spiritual rock in what lies ahead. That is our hope and we have confidence in Him.

                                                                                        Paul Lanham

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The two crib services on Christmas Eve, one at St Ippolyts Church and the other at Great Wymondley Village Hall have been cancelled.

Revd Ginni has decided to cancel the two crib services on Christmas Eve, one at St Ippolyts Church and the other at Great Wymondley Village Hall because the current concern regading the spread of the omicron variant. All other Christmas services will continue but we rerquest that all those attending wear face masks and use the hand santiser privided.

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Parish Hall Fayre 27th November.

.211127 Parish hall Fayre Poster

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All Hallows Eve -Fun and games for all the family

Next Sunday - 31st October - All Hallows Eve - There will be fun and games for all the family from 2pm at The Community Garden in Great Wymondley and then after dark there will be a bonfire, candles and food to warm you up!  For more details contact Caroline at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (booking essential if you want to stay for food)

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NOTE - 08:00 BCP Holy Communion 5th Dec. Change of Venue!!

Sunday 5th  December  **PLEASE NOTE THE CHANGE OF VENUES FOR THIS WEEK ONLY AS THE CRIB FESTIVAL IS BEING HELD IN ST IPPOLYTS CHURCH **

8.00am – BCP Holy Communion – St Mary’s Church, Little Wymondley

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Commemoration of the Faithful Departed (All Souls’ Day) – St Ippolyts Church, 2nd Nov 19:00

A service of hymns and readings where we remember by name our loved ones who have departed this life and light a candle in their memory.  If you would like the name of your departed loved one read out at this service please write their names on one of the sheets in each of the churches or let Revd Ginni know.

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ST. IPPOLYTS CHURCH NATIVITY CRIB FESTIVAL

ST. IPPOLYTS CHURCH NATIVITY CRIB FESTIVAL

Saturday 4th December - Sunday 5th December - 11.00am. - 5.00pm.

We are very much looking forward to having our wonderful Nativity Crib Festival back in the Church this Christmas (all other things being equal).

Last year we realised very early on that our beautiful medieval church with its narrow spaces between the pews was not going to allow social distancing.  We decided to hold a Virtual Crib Festival instead so that everyone could still enjoy this amazing event which marks the start of Christmas in St. Ippolyts and beyond.

We managed to conquer the complexities of scheduling on Facebook and discovered how difficult it is to take a good photo.  We posted several cribs and their "stories" each day during advent (over 80 in total) to create a wonderful on line event that reached over 20000 people from as far afield as India, Vietnam and New Zealand.

It will be fabulous to be back in the church this year with,

hopefully, more cribs than ever to see (we had 200 in 2019).

Entry is £3, children are free.  Sadly we have decided that it would

be safer not to sell refreshments this year.  However, we will be having a tombola.  We will have a box for contributions in the back of the church from the beginning of November.

If you have a Nativity set that we could borrow for the weekend please could you contact Barbara - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01462-421647.  It doesn’t need to be a stunning hand carved set (although that would be lovely as well) it could be an ancient family one that has been added to over the years or a brand new one bought because it appealed to you.  It could be home made by the children or hand crafted by an expert.  All are welcome and all have a “story” to tell.

If you are able to help man the Festival please keep your eyes open for sign-up sheets at the back of the church or contact Barbara.

                                                                                    Barbara Thomas

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IN MEMORIAM SUE SYKES (February 1938 to June 2021)

IN MEMORIAM

SUE SYKES    (February 1938 to June 2021)

Sue Sykes (nèe Allen) was a long-time member of the St. Ippolyts church congregation and she also sang in the choir.  A memorial service will be held for her in St. Ippolyts Church at 2.30pm. on Friday 22nd October.  

Sue was born in New Zealand and brought up in the farming community of Morrinsville.  She came to England in 1959, when she married, and to Hertfordshire (initially Langley and then St. Ippolyts) in 1962.  She remained in 

St. Ippolyts until 2018 when she moved to a care home in Cambridge, nearer two of her daughters.

Sue’s father was a farmer and an MP.  He was also Lieutenant-Colonel in the New Zealand Expeditionary Force and was killed in action in Libya in 1942.  Sue and her older brothers, John and Michael, were largely brought up by their mother;  her childhood involved horses and seems to have been a mixture of wild and idyllic.  Sue boarded for her secondary education at Nga Tawa (the Wellington Diocesan School for Girls), where she made many lifelong friends.

In 1957, Sue sailed to Europe with her mother and visited her brother Michael at Pembroke College, Cambridge.  She met her future husband, Richard, at the college’s May Ball.  Sue returned to New Zealand and, once qualified as a barrister, Richard came to NZ to propose.  They were married six weeks later.

Sue and Richard had four children and their household was always a busy and welcoming one, full of pets, ponies, friends, relatives and itinerant Kiwis.  Sue was very energetic and had lots of friends and a busy social life.  She played and organised tennis, was involved in the pony club and shared many other activities with her dear friend, Anne Scott (In Memoriam Pax July/August 2021).  The family also spent happy summers in their house in France, visited by many local and Kiwi friends.

Once her children were grown up, Sue travelled more frequently to New Zealand to visit family, friends and her dairy farm.  She and Richard took up golf and also spent time in London, enjoying the Lincoln’s Inn social life.  They both adored their grandchildren, the first born in 1997. 

Richard and their son died in 2007, but Sue carried on bravely maintaining her social life, travelling and making new friends, despite being diagnosed with dementia and eventually needing full-time care.  She remained sociable and cheerful to the end. 

                                                            A Tribute from The Sykes Family

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ST. IPPOLYTS CHURCH FLOODLIGHTING

ST. IPPOLYTS CHURCH FLOODLIGHTING

We have continued to illuminate the church each night which has been made possible thanks to the sponsorship of many people.  With all the Covid regulations of the past months access to the church has been difficult.  We still have 19 weeks for which we have had no sponsorship including 8 weeks still to come.  We hope that we can fill these weeks.  It costs just £15 per week.  The sign-up board is now in church but if you are unable to 

get to church you can call Roger Cox Tel: 01462-432445 or email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

         Roger Cox 

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