Reflections Blog

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Happy Holidays, from Ginni

By the time you read this the summer holidays will be almost over and the children preparing to go back to school.  I hope you all managed some time together with those you love and are feeling refreshed - although,

in reality, those of you who care for young children over the

holidays probably need another holiday just to get over it!!

I realised when I looked back over my previous offerings in PAX, that I often mention things that have happened on my own holidays.  This doesn’t help diminish my churchwarden, Michael Hooper’s, frequent jibe that ‘you’re always on holiday’ (rich, coming from him!) and this month is no exception although I feel I ought to put the record straight and say that I only take the usual amount of holiday, I just tend to do it over a short space of time! 

My latest escapade was what I like to call a ‘working holiday’ - ok, it was more holiday than work, I admit but it did take me out of my comfort zone in more ways than one!  I went to a Christian Festival called New Wine held on the Bath and West Showground in Somerset.  Now if you are thinking that a ‘Christian Festival’ sounds a bit like church-speak for a handful of nice people sat around a CD player knitting squares for patchwork blankets and drinking Horlicks then you are about as far off the mark as you can get!!  The people were nice actually - but there were about 25,000 of them and although there could possibly have been some who knitted, I didn’t spot any!

I have been to New Wine before but I have always taken the ‘soft option’ and booked myself into a B & B just up the road but this time, I took the bull by the horns and joined the majority of people in camping - yes, camping!  Now I know there are people who love camping but as someone who’s only previous experiences of camping have involved vast amounts of rain and a soggy sleeping bag, I’m not a great fan so I did set off with some trepidation.

It was certainly ‘interesting’ camping with such a large number of people, quite cosy at times and rather odd to find myself brushing my teeth next to someone wearing a nightie and wellies.  Some things never change though and there was again a vast amount of rain.  However tents have improved somewhat and I did at least stay dry!  I also learned that driving rain, gale force winds and a heavy framed gazebo next to your tent require plenty of guy ropes, upper body strength and many uttered prayers if disaster is to be avoided!!

The New Wine week is pretty full-on with something for absolutely everyone, different styles of worship, over 30 seminars to choose from each day, activities for children of all ages, crafts, food halls and a market place.  There was far too much going on to do it justice in a few words so you’ll just have to google it if you’re interested!

For me, I loved being challenged by the seminars I attended.  It was inspiring to hear some of the speakers and how their faith is lived out in everyday life and enriching to listen and learn from discussions on a vast range of topics.  But the thing that struck me most was the worship.  Morning and evening we all came together to worship God, all 25,000 of us!  25,000 people singing and praying together is a powerful experience, it makes you realise that you are just one of many, it gives you a sense of how great God is and just how much we are in need of other people on our journey of faith.  Too often we try to figure things out for ourselves when what we need most is to share our thoughts and feelings with others and wrestle it through together.  Anyway, I learned a lot, gained some inspiration and motivation and have returned home recharged and enthusiastic so it was definitely worth a few nights in a tent!!

Next month you’ll have a break from my ramblings as Howell Davies will be sharing his (rather more interesting) words of wisdom with you because I will be - yes, you guessed it - on holiday again!!!

  With love - Ginni

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Tenth Sunday after Trinity, 20th August 2017

.170820 Pew Sheet

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Horse Blessing Service

Thanks to Robert Halliday there are now even more photos of our Horse Blessing Service in our web site gallery. Go to page two of the gallery to see them.

IMG 1785

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Horse Blessing Service 13th August 2017

What a splendid service we had with 16 horses and riders coming to our annual horse blessing in St Ippolyts Churchyard today. Revd Ginni having overcome her fear of horses conducted a short service and then blessed and fed each horse with a carrot!

The horses and riders were joined by over thirty others attending the service who all enjoyed tea and home made cakes afterwards.

A big thank you to all those who came and made the event such a big success. A collection was made and the generous offering was donated to the "Riding for the Disabled Charity"

A special thanks to Robert Halliday who travelled from Bury St edmunds for our service. Robert had earlier this year written an article expalining the history of our annual service for the summer edition of "County Living Hertfordshire" Magazine.

Finally thank you to Jennifer Veasey, Shealgh Cox and Mary Hooper for baking the delicious cakes

More photos on page 2 of this web sites gallery 

IMG 9623 Horse Blessing Service  Ginni Feeding horses 5  13th August 2017-9627

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The Ninth Sunday after Trinity - Hippolytus of Rome died 235

We celebrate St Hippolytus on this Sunday and we have our annual horse blessing service in the churchyard.


Also this day : Florence Nightingale, nurse and social reformer died 1910

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Ninth Sunday after Trinity, 13th August 2017

.170813 Pew Sheet

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Eighth Sunday after Trinity, 6th August 2017

.170806 Pew Sheet

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Bishop Michael gives approval for 5 stalwarts from our Benefice to give home communion.

Fabulous news!!  Bishop Michael has given authorisation for 5 members of our care home singing group to take home communion to the sick and housebound - this includes leading our care home services and also for them to serve as chalice assistants in our Sunday services.
This means that there will be no disruption to our care home services when Ginni is on holiday in September. 
It is hoped that, in the future, this small team will join Ginni in taking Holy Communion to those who are too unwell to attend church.
Approval was given in the following e mail from Bishop Michael
 Dear Ginni,

Thank you so much for your message – I was absolutely delighted to read about the developments you describe.

Your practice is 100% in line with the spirit and letter of Bishop Alan’s Ad Clerum which can be found here. So on that basis I am glad to authorise 

Rosemary Stratton (Little Wymondley)

Jenny Sheach (St. Ippolyts)

Clare Larson (St. Ippolyts)

Anne Swift (Great Wymondley)

Pauline Hinks (St. Ippolyts)

as chalice assistants in your benefice and as people charged with the distribution of home communion. 

All good wishes,


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Community Lunch 2nd August 2017

Thirty Four parishioners arrived at the Parish Hall to enjoy a splendid lunch of Sausage Plait, new potatoes and salad prepared by the St Ippolyts Church PCC. For vegetarians a splendid quiche on offer as an alternative. There was a delicious summer pudding for dessert.

IMG 2033 Community Lunch 2nd August 2017-2033 1

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Weekly PewSheet, the Seventh Sunday after Trinity, 30th July 2017

.170730 Pew Sheet

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Weekly Pew Sheet. The Sixth Sunday after Trinity, 23rd July 2017

.170723 Pew Sheet

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Weekly Pew Sheet, 5th Sunday after Trinity, 16th July 2017

.170716 Pew Sheet

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Horse Blessing Service

.170813 Horse Blessing Service Poster

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The Bishop of St Albans' Harvest Appeal 2017

Details of the Bishops Harvest Appeal 2017 can be found in church.

170709 Bishop of St Albans Harvest Appeal 2017

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Weekly pew Sheet, the Fourth Sunday after Trinity, (Sea Sunday) 9th July 2017

.170709 Pew Sheet

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Third Sunday after Trinity, 2nd June 2017

.170702 Pew Sheet

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Pet Blessing Service and Horse Blessing Service - 13th August 2017

A For all you animal lovers, this is a date not to be missed! 

There will be a Pet Blessing Service at 11.00am. on the Green at Great Wymondley and the whole Benefice is invited.  Bring your pet along to a short service during which we will give thanks for their loyal companionship and ask God to bless each one of them.  All creatures are welcome and well-behaved owners can join them too!!  Refreshments will be served afterwards.

Then at 3.30pm. at St. Ippolyts Church there will be our Annual Horse Blessing Service with a collection for Riding for the Disabled.  Come along with or without your horse - there will be tea and cake.....and carrots!!!

DATE FOR YOUR DIARY - Sunday 13th August

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St. Ippolyts Community Harvest Lunch

St. Ippolyts Community Harvest Lunch on Sunday 1st October at 1.45pm. in St. Ippolyts Parish Hall.  To be organised by Parish Councillors.

                                                                                                Pam Skeggs

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Community Lunch 5th July


The next Community Lunches will be on Wednesdays 5th July,

2nd August and 6th September from 12.45pm. till 2.00pm. in St. Ippolyts Parish Hall.  (Serving time 12.45pm. till 1.00pm.)  Cost £3.  Everyone welcome.

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Summer Escapades by Revd Ginni

I seem to have packed quite a lot in since last month’s letter in PAX.  A holiday, a birthday and a week-long conference alongside all the usual things that crop up in the Benefice.  It feels a bit like I’ve been in a whirlwind for the last few weeks and have finally been spat out in a heap by the roadside, dusty, slightly dishevelled and wondering what just happened!!!

Every year, my best friend Tracy and I take our disabled mums away for a bit of a break.  We always end up having a lot of fun, mainly at the expense of our mums if I’m honest, but as they keep on agreeing to come with us I can only assume that they are happy to be gluttons for punishment!!  Something about being with my mum brings out the child in me and Tracy and I entertain ourselves by doing the daftest of things.

This years’ escapade saw us take our mums to the beach.  They are both reliant on mobility scooters and tend to head off at full speed, two abreast, chatting endlessly and scattering oncoming pedestrians in their wake.  Tracy and I follow at a more leisurely pace some way behind, relishing the chance of a catch-up and a little relief from our mums who are making the most of having two captive ‘slaves’ at their beck and call!!

Keeping a distant eye on the ‘wheeled wonders’, we noticed that a large pile of sand had been washed up on the promenade.  I can only assume that my mother must have thought she was riding a dune buggy rather than a mobility scooter as she ploughed into it at full speed and looked rather startled to find herself well and truly ‘beached’, wheels spinning helplessly as she sat perched like a giant windmill adorning a sandcastle!

Any good daughter would have rushed to her aid but alas I was never ‘good’!  The sight was just too funny!  Tracy and I found ourselves convulsed with laughter and my mum’s efforts to attract our attention to her plight whilst trying not to yell like a fish wife only added to our hysteria and we laughed until our sides hurt.  We did eventually regain our composure enough to ‘unbeach’ my mum and I think she has just about forgiven me!!  It was a lovely holiday and good to spend some quality time with my mum.

Early June found me at the two-yearly Clergy Conference, something that all full-time clergy are required to attend.  It’s one of those things that we all groan about having to go to but once we get there, find that we thoroughly enjoy.

It was good to catch up with colleagues I haven’t seen for ages and to forge new links across the Diocese and there were workshops and seminars to ensure that our brains were kept busy.  The keynote speakers included Reverend David Wilkinson, Reverend David Runcorn and Reverend Lucy Winkett, all of whom engaged and challenged us in their seminars.  I’ve returned home full of ideas and enthusiasm and now all I have to do is find the time to put them into action!

By the time you read this, the summer holiday season will be about to begin and you’ll get a break from my waffling until September - and our lovely Editor Clare will have a month’s reprieve from the stress of chasing me for a contribution!  I hope you all have a fabulous summer and get to spend some time with those you love and I look forward to boring you with more of my exploits later in the year!

    With love Ginni

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