LIFE IN TRIPLICATE
This month has been something of a learning curve for me and one of the things I have learned is that, when you have three churches and parishes to look after, there are times when everything happens in triplicate!! I am writing this following my third Harvest Festival of the month, each of which I have thoroughly enjoyed. However if you add that to the three Care Home Services all with a Harvest theme and the many repetitions of ‘We Plough the Fields and Scatter’, the words of which I am now so familiar with that I could sing them in my sleep, you may understand why I’m glad it’s all over!! I can only imagine what Christmas in triplicate will look like!!
The Picnic on the Green at Great Wymondley and the Harvest Lunch at
St. Ippolyts were both great events and it was good to be able to chat with so many people I hadn’t had a chance to meet before. My thanks go to all of you who worked so hard to arrange and cater for these events - and clear up afterwards! Special thanks go to those at St. Ippolyts who gathered up and distributed the massive haul of harvest offerings that the school children brought in at their Harvest Festival Service. The non-perishable produce went to the local Food Bank which I know they will be grateful for, so thank you all for your generosity.
Another thing I have learned is that whilst I have come to terms with the fact that I was last in the queue when God handed out singing voices, there really is no truth in the saying ‘practise makes perfect’ as the dear residents of the local care homes will testify!!! Rosemary Stratton from Little Wymondley stoically agreed to accompany me on my visits to Wymondley, Sloe Hill and Gosmore Care Homes in the attempt to bring some harmony to my singing but I rather feel that she has bitten off more than she can chew - have a read of her article to find out more!! Our exploits in the care homes, whilst hilarious, have made me question how much longer
I can torture my parishioners before taking action so I have a cunning plan!
Can you sing? I am looking for relatively willing volunteers who would like to join an informal singing group, the more the merrier, with a view to occasionally joining me on my visits to care homes and other events which happen around the benefice. I’m not looking to ask for a heavy or even regular commitment from anyone but if we could get a group of people who love singing together from across the benefice then not only would our care home residents benefit but it would also be a great way for us all to get to know each other and have fun. Interested?.....email me!!!
With love - Ginni
On Monday 7th November, the Bishop of Bedford, will be spending the day in our deanery. In the evening there will be a celebration event from 19:30 at St Paul's Letchworth. All the churches in the deanery are invited to come along to celebrate all the good things which are happening in our deanery.
It would be great to have a good representation from our Benefice - it will be fun (honestly!), there will be decent nibbles (Rev Gonni's words) and alcohol and even more important it will make our new vicar look good if lots of people turn up!!. (do we have to waer a badge saying we are from this Benefice?). If you would like to join Revd Ginni please add your name to the list at the back of of our churches.
Our All Souls Service will be held on Sunday 30th October at 5:00p.m, in St Ippolyts Church.
It will be a candlelit service at which we will remember the names of the departed loved ones. If you would like a name or names to be offered in prayer at this special service please add them to the list which is at the back of each of our three churches.
St Ippolyts Church Nativity Crib Festival
3rd and 4th December 11-5
Aren’t Crib sets a bit boring? Come along to our Nativity Crib Festival and we’ll prove otherwise!
Every year we get more and more cribs (last year we lost count at 130) and they are all different!
Different in size from a scene carved inside a wooden egg the size of a quails egg to ones over a foot high.
Different in age from family heirlooms to the scenes made by The Beavers or Brownies.
Different in the materials they are made from, who knew you could make a Nativity set out of citrus peel?
Above all they each have a different story written on a card beside them. One wonderful story told about a set at our first festival in which the twin boys who owned the Playmobile Nativty set had found that baby Jesus fitted inside their toy cars and went zooming around the house. Another, made of newspaper told of how a poor shepherd had been nibbled by the mice.
All these sets are displayed in our lovely medieval church with as many fairy lights, baubles and tinsel as we can possibly squeeze in.
If you have been before will your favourites be there? Who knows? We certainly don’t until they arrive at the church when we set up. We do know that we will have some different sets, one of the organisers has inherited quite a few sets, another was given another one last Christmas (yes everyone knows we are a little obsessed with them). We will also have a Mystery Crib set, I received a phone call last Christmas saying that they had a crib set for us for the next festival and this was duly left on my doorstep, unfortunately my household was in considerable turmoil and no details were taken – whose it is remains a mystery!
Entry is £2.50, children are free. Tea/ coffee and delicious cakes are available.
Over 50 members of our local community enjoyed a splendid Harvest Lunch at St Ippolyts Parish Hall today.
A big thank you to all the ladies that helped prepare the food and make the event such a success. A special thankyou to Jane and Jennifer Veasey and Mary Hooper for all their hard work in arranging the lunch.
More photos can be seen in the gallery.
From The Venerable Paul Hughes – Archdeacon of Bedford
I am writing to ask if you would kindly please pass on details both to your PCC’s and other members of your congregation (through your pew sheets and magazines if possible) of a pilgrimage to the Holy Land from 16 – 25 May next year which I am leading with my wife, The Revd Canon Liz Hughes, Senior Chaplain at London Luton Airport.
As a diocese we have a huge collective experience of organising and running pilgrimages in collaboration with our Travel Agent McCabe and we sincerely believe that this programme is our best yet.
The pilgrimage will spend five nights in Jerusalem and four in Tiberias by The Sea of Galilee. We will visit many of the principal holy sites including the Mount of Olives, The Garden of Gethsemane, The Via Dolorosa, The Church of the Holy Sepulchre, Bethlehem, Nazareth, The Church of the Beatitudes and Tabgha (The Church of the Loaves and Fishes). The Friday in Jerusalem allows the choice of a free day in the Old City or a full day tour by coach to Masada, Qumran and the Dead Sea. A boat cruise on the Sea of Galilee is also included.
The full brochure and booking form can be viewed/downloaded at the link below.
A professional English-speaking guide will be present throughout the pilgrimage and the hotels have been carefully selected and are well known to us. Travel is by luxury air-conditioned coach.
Those travelling alone and / or for the first time are very welcome, and a supportive friendly and safe setting is assured. Parish groups are encouraged! The pilgrimage is fully ecumenical and we warmly welcome friends from all Christian denominations.
Anyone interested (without obligation) is warmly invited to an informal meeting at St Margaret’s Church Parish Centre Streatley on Saturday 8 October @10.30 am.
It would be very helpful in estimating numbers if anyone hoping to attend the above event could please email :
Full directions and a map will be sent by return.
You may also be interested in a further Diocesan pilgrimage to Rome and Assisi from 11 to 18 October next year led by Canon Dennis Stamps, Rector of Harpenden, previously Director of Ministry for the Diocese of St Albans . Details are again available on the Pilgrimages website as above.
Thank you for your kind assistance,
The Venerable Paul Hughes
Archdeacon of Bedford
As well as the usual Harvest Festival services in Church there will be a Harvest Lunch at 12:30 in the Parish Hall. To enable the catering team to make their plans beforehand, attendance will be ticket only, available now from Jane and Jennifer Veasey (Hitchin 434254), Anne Steel (Hitchin 432117) or Roger Cox (Hitchin 432445) at £5 per head, £3 for children aged 5-11 and no charge for younger lunchers.
A big thank you to everyone who supported our annual quiz night held in the Parish Hall last night Saturday 17th September. Over 110 people formed a total of 17 teams to compete in this annual quiz fun night. The winners were a team of semi professionals (at least that is what some say!!) called the Bridgemates, well done to them but not far behind was the 'Wrays of Sunshine" and "the Gossips".
A special thank you to Mary Hooper for setting the questions and to Jane and Jennifer Veasey and Jane Guppy who prepared and supplied the food.
The bar, which was manned by Andrew Russell and Roger Cox, "sold out' which either goes to show that your churchwarden underestimated quantities or our contestants were "just a boozy lot"!
The event raised over £1400 for the church fabric fund.
Well done everyone!
The Herts and Beds Historic Churches Trust's annual Bike 'n Hike around local churches takes place on Saturday. Riders and hikers will aready be training but helpers to greet and refresh the participants are also needed. If you can help at St Ippolyts call Shelagh Cox (Hitchin 434445) or at Great Wymondley contact Nicky Gilbert (01438 353512 )
There will be a quiz night on Saturday 17th September in St Ippolyts Parish Hall, 7:00pm for 07:30 start. There will be a ploughmans provided and there will be a bar serving wine and beer plus soft drinks. Make up a team of 6 to 8 people or join a table. This is an annual event and is always a great evening
Tickets are £10 each from Jane Veasey 434254 or Mary Hooper 457350.
We had an e mail this week from Robert Halliday of Bury St Edmunds who had visited this years horse blessing service. He kindly sent some more photos which can be accessed via the following links IMG_0667.JPG IMG_0668.JPG IMG_0669.JPG IMG_0682.JPG IMG_0686.JPG IMG_0690.JPG IMG_0691.JPG IMG_0692.JPG IMG_0693.JPG IMG_0694.JPG IMG_0695.JPG IMG_0696.JPG IMG_0697.JPG IMG_0698.JPG IMG_0699.JPG IMG_0700.JPG IMG_0701.JPG IMG_0702.JPG IMG_0703.JPG IMG_0704.JPG IMG_0705.JPG IMG_0706.JPG IMG_0707.JPG IMG_0708.JPG IMG_0709.JPG IMG_0710.JPG IMG_0711.JPG
Robert wrote -
"It was good to be able to come to the horse blessing service this month. I had enjoyed previous services, and I think this year had the biggest turn-out of horses (and riders) and congregation yet. Congtarulations to the Rev. Ginni for taking this on so soon into her ministry, and many congratulations for overcoming her nervousness with horses to perform the blessing. It was brilliant that she was able to take the task in hand and approach the horses, despite her nerves. The Rev. Ginni 'came through like a trooper' (to use a hackneyed expression) and certainly performed the blessing as if she had been doing it all her life. I was impressed and I am sure that everybody else was impressed too. It was a very good start to her ministry which I am sure will be a big success."
Robert had visited previous horse blessing services conducted by Revd Ann and he managed to make videos of the proceedings. These can be seen on :-