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February PAX

Pax         FEBRUARY  2021

Price:  40p.


The Parish Magazine for the Benefice of St. Ippolyts with Great and Little Wymondley



The Reverend Ginni Dear, The Vicarage, Stevenage Road, St. Ippolyts SG4 7PE                   01462-237032

Email:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.



St. Ippolyts

Michael Hooper, Hillrise, Stevenage Road, St. Ippolyts SG4 7PE                                           01462-457350

Jane Veasey, Gosmore Cross, Newlands Lane, Gosmore SG4 9BD                                        01462-434254


Great Wymondley

Cherry Carter, 2 Church Green, Great Wymondley SG4 7HA                                               01438-724919

Little Wymondley

Mike Allardyce, 81 Whitney Drive, Stevenage SG1 4BL                                                        07967-831968

David Palmer, 198 Cleveland Way, Great Ashby, SG1 6BY                                                   01438-367912

Visit our website -



IMG 0255 St Ipps Park Lake in Lockdown-0255 1 



Ginni has rashly invited me to take over this first page of Pax for the foreseeable future.  Although I live in Clifton I have been helping to lead worship in the benefice for about 20 years as a retired priest and I am delighted to help her in this way.

February reminds us of two of Christianity's many martyrs - one barely known, the other a household name. There will not be a special service in the benefice to remember St. Polycarp of Smyrna on 23rd February.  Yet

he has been my inspiration ever since I discovered his story while researching the martyrs of the early Church

in the mid-1960’s for a post graduate degree which I never got.  It is too long for this column but suffice it to say that in 155 AD he was ordered by the local magistrate (in a time of persecution) to sacrifice before an image of the Roman Emperor and revile Christ, or be burned to death.  The 86 year old bishop replied 'Eighty and six years have I served Christ and he has done me no wrong.  How then can I blaspheme my King and Saviour?'  He was then put to death in this particularly horrible way.  There are pages of the story and it is worth looking up in search engines.  He has been both an example and a challenge to me all through my ministry and I always think about him this month.

A few days before St. Polycarp's Day, on 14th February we remember St. Valentine, who was martyred in Rome in 270 AD at the age of 42.  He ministered to persecuted Christians in Rome and became one of them in due time;  that is about all we know for certain about him.  These days of course his day is associated with love and romance.  It's the day when couples get sentimental with each other, the makers of greetings cards enjoy major sales and the writers of their contents are at their gruesome worst.  For we older ones it is a day when we look back on the past and smile - happy memories.........!

Above all, St. Valentine's Day is a reminder that spring is on its way.  I am writing this in mid-January.  The Covid-19 virus is rampaging, the days are cold and dark, and there seems no end to these depressive conditions. It remains to be seen whether this will be one of the colder winters but few surely can be so miserable.  St. Valentine's Day reminds us that spring is not that far away and that there will hopefully be an easing of all this. Whether it will mark the lessening of the Covid crisis remains to be seen, but it is a sign of hope.

Throughout the winter the clergy have received many instructions about the nature and conduct of worship, what precautions to take, and the use (or non-use) of church buildings.  I am not in a position to comment on this, and even if I were the situation may have changed before Pax comes out.  I would suggest that you keep

in touch with what is going on through the St. Ippolyts Church website.  But whatever happens in these coming weeks please remember two things.  One is that we will be doing all we can to ensure the safety of those who attend our three churches.  The other is that even if they have to close at any time (as they did in the first lockdown) the Church is always there for YOU.  There is hope for the future and the light is beginning to shine at the end of a long dark tunnel - and your church will always be there for you whenever you need it.

Very best wishes, Paul Lanham


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Now that we are back in Lockdown once again regrettably it has been decided that Pax will remain on line

only on the St. Ippolyts Church website (  If you know of anyone who is 

unable to find it please point them in the right direction or contact me on 01462-453541 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

                                                                                                                                             Clare Larsen



The Bible Study Group will be starting again on Zoom and we will be returning to The Acts of the Apostles.

Meetings will start at 2.20pm. with a cup of tea and we shall begin our studies at about 2.40pm.  The dates for February are Wednesday 10th February and Wednesday 24th February.

New members would be most welcome so if you would like to join us please telephone Margaret Edmonds (01462-452340) or Clare Larsen (01462-453541).

                                                                                                                                                Clare Larsen






Reverend Ginni is working very hard to keep the services going, within the margins of safety, and has become very skilful at streaming services online, which has proved very popular.  We all look forward to being able to open our dear church again for worship, we are nearly there, the vaccine is being rolled out, and soon we will

all be able to meet again. 


I hope you have remembered to save the stamps from all those Christmas cards, although our list has shortened with the rising cost of postage, but I’m sure the charities who receive them will be even more grateful.  Please save them or you can always leave them in the church porch.


I have written about our dog on many occasions but not mentioned the cats.  We are not really cat people but have two by accident.  The first one came from a litter of a feral cat who we used to leave food out for one winter.  She had three kittens in one of our out houses, but we couldn’t get near them until a few days later one of them got its head stuck in the chicken pen, to such an extent I had to get wire cutters to free her.  She looked very bedraggled but after some food and water and a warm bed she perked up.  ‘Oh, we must keep her’, said my husband, so then we had a cat and called her Safe.

In our ignorance we didn’t realise how quickly cats mature.  I noticed she was getting big but thought Tony was feeding her too much, but no, when we went in one morning there were five kittens looking at us.  ‘We must keep one’, said my husband, so then we had two cats and we called her Sound.  The other kittens were homed by the cat rescue service, and we whisked Safe and Sound off to the vets to ensure no more additions.

They enjoy a wonderful life, having a summer house to themselves, best food, they don’t care too much to engage in the trivial pursuit of chasing mice, far rather recline in their wicker chairs basking in the sun and teasing Lola. 

                                                                                                                                         Rosemary Stratton



The next meeting will take place remotely using Zoom on Monday 8th February at 7.30pm.  Full details will be on the Parish Council's website at  Members of the public are welcome to attend the meeting and should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for further information.

Sharon Long

Clerk to Wymondley Parish Council

Phone:   07733-853263

E-mail:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.




Dear Irene ('Rene) Hart, though not born in the village, lived in it for most of her life and was still there when in April 2020 she achieved her century.  Good company, 'Rene had the gift of taking an interest in events because of her lively, intelligent and sympathetic cast of mind.  Whatever challenges and adventures came her way, she met them and made the most of them.

At the age of 18, she got her driving license (uncommon for women in those days) so that she could enable her father to visit the various places where he had cattle pastured, some of them distant from Wymondley.

School days were not particularly rewarding for 'Rene;  remembering poetry was not easy.  She would have much preferred the chance to learn mathematics but that wasn't on offer for girls at her school at the time.

Come the war she was ordered to the ESA factory in Stevenage where she and another young woman were put to work constructing aeroplane wings from wood and canvas.  The men who worked there greeted their arrival somewhat scornfully - but only until 'Rene and her companion proved to be rather good at what they were doing.  Then the criticism fell silent and there were no more foolish remarks.

Blessed with a fine sweet singing voice she used to attend Evensong at St. Ippolyts where George was in the choir before they were married.  One day after the service she felt a tap on her shoulder, followed by the instruction "You should be in the choir!" - and so it came about that on that very day she was enrolled as a member of St. Ippolyts choir.  This was in the Reverend Mr. Symington's time.  'Rene recalled with amusement the occasion when her father, in the choir at St. Mary's Little Wymondley on apologizing to the vicar, the Reverend Mr. Thomas, for being late for Matins and explaining that he had been delayed by having to milk the cow, was admonished with the words "You shouldn't milk the cow on Sunday!"

The garden and the birds in it were always a joy for her.  One day in July 1974 she made a long list of all the birds she had seen there on that afternoon - it included tree creeper, spotted flycatcher and goldcrest.  What a sadness it was to her that a few years ago the list was so much shorter when she did the BBC Birdwatch.

Tennis; the game and its stars, was an abiding interest.  A good player and a keen member of Wymondley tennis club from youth, her enthusiasm for the game never dimmed and she continued to be knowledgeable about it and loved discussing it.  A suitable epitaph would have been ‘Game, Set and Match’.

Thank you, Irene for being one of us for so long.

                                                                                                                                                Pat Fry





 IMG 0659

 The snowdrops in the churchyard are already beginning to show through the grass and fallen leaves.  A beacon of light and hope in these dark times.  The wonderful thing about Nature is that it usually follows its regular cycle while our normality has been knocked sideways.  It helps us to realise that things will get better if we are patient.

IMG 4756 1

There have been so many people taking their daily exercise in the churchyard and along the surrounding footpaths that in these wet weeks everything has got very muddy and wet underfoot.  Some are familiar faces but many are coming to the village for the first time and have taken great delight in exploring the area. 

IMG 0661 1

Jam and marmalade sales are booming as people come to choose their pot or two to take home.  I have so far made four different types of marmalade, Plain Seville, Ginger, Three Fruit and Lime and Lemon.  I will make more but have run out of jam jars.  If you have any jars, with lids if possible, though I do have some spare, please return them to 2 Church Green or the Church Porch.  I can also collect if you ring me 07814-837773 or 01438-724919.  Thank you very much to everyone who returns jars already and are such good customers.

                                                                                                                                                Cherry Carter


It is great to see the snowdrops beginning to appear giving us the first sign of spring and progress out of our long locked in winter and so it is for our church restoration.

After a long time of slow progress, I am pleased to say we do have the next phase of work progressing.  It is good to finally be able to pin up the Diocesan Advisory Committee’s Notification of Advice.  Working with our new architect Francesca Weal we now have a scheme for the levelling of our nave floor with agreed Norfolk Pamment tiles and the re-installation of our electrics, heating and lighting.

We have now received the green light following consultations with Historic England, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, the DAC’s Archaeological Advisor and the North Herts. Conservation Officer.

A few hurdles yet but at last we look forward optimistically to Spring bringing signs of progress and to dream of our church opening again to our community as we come out of lockdown.  We will keep you updated.

Paul Harding




‘What the world needs now, is love sweet love! .....’ and so goes the well-known song.  As we started 2021 our verse which has been highlighted in our series on 'God is love' for the next few months, is John 3 16:  'For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.'

God's love is the greatest we can ever experience because he made us and we are precious to Him.  His love endures for ever and we have a faithful loving God who does not want us to ever feel alone, but to reach out to Him in faith and trust.  This has been a great strength to many people during these weird and often lonely days. We are thankful for all our preachers who bring God's word to us on Zoom.  This time last year we'd never heard of Zoom but it has been a lifeline for us as we have met together, albeit in our homes, every week.  So like so many churches we have been able to have regular services, meetings, quizzes, Bible studies and children's activities on line.  But won't it be wonderful when we can all meet again in the normal way!

As we hear the daily news and the rising number of coronavirus casualties in this third lockdown we continue to pray for our nation and indeed for the world.  We are SO thankful for the vaccine which has been given to so many and so efficiently and for the NHS who have worked round the clock to make sure as many as possible get vaccinated.

We pray every Tuesday at 7.30pm. in our homes without zoom and it is good to know that many join us in this. Bible Studies have restarted and these can be joined on zoom on Wednesdays at 2.30pm. or 7.30pm. or Friday at 11.00am.  Details can be obtained on the Church phone - 07531-081621 or on the website.  First Tuesday on 2nd February is our time of coffee and discussion from 10.30am. (on zoom).  The Church is now open for any who wish to join the service there on a Sunday.  Please phone or text first if you wish to attend as all the usual guidelines apply and we all want to stick to the rules.

If you want to join us from your home on zoom dial in at 10.30am. for a 10.45am. start on 0131-4601196 or 0203-0512874.  Use the link HTTPS/ or download the zoom App and join us using meeting ID 8675752648.  Any problems phone Craig on 0753- 081621.

Our prayers are with all who are ill, especially for those with covid 19 and for all suffering with other health problems or through bereavement.  God's love for his children is far more deeply imprinted than we could ever imagine.  "See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands".  Isaiah 49:16.

Irene May (Lindsey) Hart

Quite a number of people will have known or heard of Mrs. Irene Hart who died in December at the age of 100. Her late husband George Hart was manager of Spurrs Department Store in Hitchin where she worked too.  They were married in 1940 and he died in 1995.  Irene Hart saw many changes in her 100 years and one of them was the arrival of the car.  She remembered when there were just 3 in Little Wymondley, one of which belonged to her father Mr. Jack Lindsey and which as a teenager she was allowed to drive.

The funeral service was held on 29th December at Little Wymondley Parish Church where she was a devoted attender for many years.  A beloved mother, grandmother and great grandmother, she will be much missed.  Our thoughts and sympathy are with Kay her daughter and all the family.

Our preachers on Sundays in February (on Zoom):

7th        Will Andrews               14th      Phil Jackson

21st      Sir Les Ebdon              28th      Kieran Murphy

                                                                                                            Marjorie McCarley  (01438-727050)




IMG 0255 St Ipps Park Lake in Lockdown-0255 1


As everybody is aware most charities are going through a difficult time with the coronavirus pandemic causing the amounts of money they receive being severely reduced.  St. Ippolyts Church is no exception and for the year of 2020 we have had a deficit of approximately £9000 and as a result we are delving deeply into our dwindling reserves to keep our beautiful church running.

Our regular Church expenses are about £60,000 each year and include our Parish Share to the Diocese of St. Albans (which in turn pays for Reverend Ginni), our worship costs, regular maintenance, utility bills, churchyard maintenance and administration costs.

Over 90% of our income comes from members of our church family and local community.  We receive nothing from either Government, the central church or from other charities to meet our regular expenses.

We are fortunate that a number of people give regularly via regular standing order payments.  This has been a Godsend during the pandemic and without these payments our finances would have been even more severely compromised.  Regular giving enables people to plan their giving and support our valuable work even if they are unable to attend a service and put money in the collection plate.

We are therefore asking that you:-

  • Consider making a commitment to our church by setting up a standing order to give to our church on a regular basis whatever amount you feel is within your means.
  • If this is not possible make a one off donation to help us through this difficult period.
  • For those that already give on a regular basis perhaps you may feel it is possible to increase your monthly amount.

If you decide to make a one-off donation there is a facility on our web site to make a gift though we are unable to collect gift aid through the web site donations. 

An alternative is to make a donation by text.  To make a text donation,

Text - STIPPSCHURCH 5 to 70085 to donate £5 or if you wish to donate a larger amount then substitute the

5 with the amount you would like to donate up to a maximum of £20.

Texts cost the amount you have donated plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS.

If you’d like to give but do not wish to receive marketing communications, 

Text - STIPPSCHURCHNOINFO 5 to 70085 to donate £5 etc.

If you are able then a direct bank transfer can be made to the church bank account details of which can be obtained from our treasurer.  For those who are able to give regularly then please contact our treasurer, Michael Hooper on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. who will let you have details of ways to set up a standing order and how to gift aid any donation. 

Thank you. 

                                                                                                                                            Michael Hooper




Thank you to everyone who “engaged” with our Virtual Nativity Crib Festival.  (If you didn't you can still see all the cribs at  The posts reached at least 20,000 people from as far away as Wellington in New Zealand, Vietnam and India.  We were also on Instagram.  We posted 51 times and had 67 followers in the three weeks.  Many thanks to Tracey Pastor for this - and for being my Facebook guru!

We posted over 100 cribs 3-4 a day during Advent!  Next year we (hopefully) will be back in the real world and our Nativity Crib Festival will be held at St. Ippolyts Church on the first weekend of December with even more cribs to see (over 200 in 2019).  If you have a crib you could lend us send an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Festival is a major fundraiser for our ancient church and thus far the Virtual Festival has raised over £700.

If you have enjoyed looking at all the beautiful cribs there is still time to donate:

Or Text STIPPSCHURCH 5 to 70085 to donate £5 or if you wish to donate a larger amount then substitute the 5 with the amount you would like to donate up to a maximum of £20.  Texts cost the amount you have donated plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS.

If you’d like to give but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text

STIPPSCHURCHNOINFO 5 to 70085. to donate £5 etc.

or send a cheque made payable to St. Ippolyts Church to Michael Hooper, Hillrise, Stevenage Rd. St Ippolyts SG4 7PE.  A gift aid form can be found on the St Ippolyts Church website.

If donations are given anonymously we will not be able to thank you personally but THANK YOU!

                                                                                                                                          Barbara Thomas



This is a reminder that we are hoping to floodlight the church in 2021.  A good number of people have already signed up for the weekly sponsorship scheme and many thanks to those.  However, we still have a lot of weeks to fill.  With all the pandemic problems and with the church only open once per week for the Sunday morning service it has been difficult to remind our 'usual' congregation of this.  The sign-up board is usually at the Sunday service but otherwise held at my house.

The cost is still £15 per week.  I can be contacted at 6 Ransom Close, Hitchin, by telephone at 01462-432445 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  I can then let you know which weeks are available.  If you see other church members who do not take PAX please do not hesitate to remind them.  Let us hope that by continuing to floodlight the church we can bring a bit of extra cheer in these difficult times. 

Roger Cox




The next meeting takes place on Monday 8th February at 7.30pm. on Zoom.  Copies of the Agenda and Approved Minutes are displayed in the council notice boards and on website  There is always an Agenda item for Public Participation where residents can ask questions and raise issues.  Please contact clerk on 01462-421409 or mail to:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with your questions if you would like to join this meeting.

                                                                                                                                                Pam Skeggs



At the time of writing due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Government’s national restrictions (Lockdown No. 3) the Parish Hall is still closed to the public.  Trustees hope to welcome back users in due course.

For enquiries please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., or visit our website,

or Facebook.


Diary date:  AGM on Tuesday 23rd March at 7.30pm. on Zoom.

                                                                                                                                                Pam Skeggs


100 CLUB

The winners for DECEMBER were:

No. 12             Doreen Smith              £50

No. 8               Lynn French                £30

No. 9               Kate Wells                   £20

No. 26             Anne Reilly                 £20

No. 29             Patricia Reid                £10

And for JANUARY:


No. 81             John Cowlishaw          £20

No. 153           Mary Bradbeer                        £15

No. 83             David Cowlishaw        £10

                                                                                                                                                Shelagh Cox




Funeral and Cremation                    29th December:                                    Irene May Hart



Material for the MARCH issue of Pax should reach Clare Larsen, 24 Ninesprings Way, Hitchin SG4 9NN

(tel. 01462-453541 or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.) by Monday 15th February, please.  Or given to Rosemary Stratton by Friday 12th February.



Church Services during lockdown - January 2021
SPRING IS ON THE WAY - A thought from Revd Paul La...