Reflections Blog

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PAX December 2020 / January 2021



DECEMBER  2020 and

                 JANUARY  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 -




Well, here we are in the final month of the year - and what a strange one it has been!  I’m not going to labour too much on the obvious - we all know that 2020 has been one long, revolting round of Covid - and I think we will also most likely agree that it’s a wearisome subject right now.  We still can’t plan anything in certainty, nobody knows when it will get better, and the 2020 Christmas stocking filler of choice is likely to be that elusive luxury - loo roll!!

It hasn’t all been awful though, I know many of us have found much to be grateful for and that being forced to do things differently has opened our eyes to many new possibilities.  For me, the thing I have missed most is the face to face contact with people.  Most of the church services are live-streamed (even when we are allowed to have a reduced congregation) so I am constantly seeing my own face in the lens of my mobile phone camera.  Then there are the Zoom meetings, video calls and so on, all requiring me to be in front of the camera.  I think it’s fair to say that I am sick of the sight of myself!!!  I long for the time when I can knock on someone’s door 

and go in for a cup of tea and a chat or be able to give someone a hug if they need one.

One positive side though is that I have been forced to look at the way I work and rather than just continuing with ‘the things we’ve always done’, I’ve had to think about how I can make our ministry and presence as a church in this community sustainable in the long term, regardless of whether we are in Covid restrictions or

not.  Certainly, our increased online presence has effectively doubled our congregations.  We are managing to connect with far more people online than we ever did through Sunday services alone.  It is exciting to realise that people really are interested in the Christian faith; they really do want to connect with us as a church......

they are just a little overwhelmed sometimes about our Sunday services and are more comfortable taking things at their own pace.  I’m sure there will continue to be a place for both ‘physical’ and online services going forward.

On a personal level, I have also had time to think about what sustains me in my ministry and also what drains me.  Without doubt, it’s you, the real people, who sustain me.  But one of the things that really drain me is the paperwork, especially having to write reports or articles so I have decided that the time has come for me to take some action and do something to change things for the better.

I’m going to be honest and trust that you will understand.  You are all really kind about my articles in PAX, telling me you enjoy them and commenting on how well I write them - thank you!  However, I struggle hugely every month to produce them and I spend an inordinate amount of time staring at the computer screen trying to get the words out of my head and onto paper.  I am always late submitting them - very late!  Clare, your Editor, is very gracious but I know she finds it frustrating.  The fact that I struggle to write them and that I cause Clare difficulties in doing so makes me feel bad, then because I feel bad I criticise myself for not being better at ‘such

a simple thing’ and feel worse.......and - well, you can see the vicious circle!  Something has to change.  It was last month when, for the second time this year I procrastinated for so long that I actually failed to produce an article, that I took a step back and assessed the situation.  Why on earth was I doing this to myself every month?  A miserable Vicar is no good to anyone!

And so, I have decided to take the pressure off myself and not commit to writing a PAX article in 2021 in the hope that I can break the negativity.  I have asked our dear friend the Reverend Paul Lanham to do them for me.  He says that they are the easiest thing in the world for him (and they are always good!) and that he would be delighted to play such a regular part in the life of our parish.  He is often early with his contributions too so Clare will have far less stress as deadlines loom, especially as I’m hoping we will be able to go back ‘into print’ soon - and I won’t have to beat myself up any more!  Of course, should I suddenly have a ‘light bulb’ moment and produce something unexpectedly then I’m sure it can be added in alongside Reverend Paul’s as a ‘bonus article’!!  So, I thank you for your understanding and I hope that I’ll be able to contribute to PAX regularly again in the future.

Finally, as the year draws to a close and Christmas is almost upon us, I pray that we will all get to spend this most precious of times with our family and friends.  Please do check the St. Ippolyts Church website, our Facebook page, or sign up for regular emails if you don’t already get them, in order to find out when and where our Christmas services are as we won’t know before this issue is completed.

Please know that you are always in my thoughts and prayers and I wish you and those you love a very Happy Christmas and joyful New Year.

Much love - Ginni





We are unable to make plans for our Christmas services until after the current lockdown has ended and 

we have been given new instructions for the Christmas period.  Please check the St. Ippolyts Church website,

our Facebook page or sign up with Ginni for her regular emails in order to find out when and where our

Christmas services are to be held.  You can contact her on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01462-237032.

                                                                                                                                                Clare Larsen


PAX 2021

As mentioned by Ginni I am hoping to have the February 2021 issue of Pax printed and distributed as before.

However it might have to be a slimmed down version until our various events and group meetings can be resumed.

Please note that the deadline remains the 15th of the month so if you have information which you would like to be included please post or email it to me in good time.  Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., telephone Hitchin 453541

or post to 24 Ninesprings Way, Hitchin SG4 9NN.

                                                                                                                                                Clare Larsen






Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting was held on Saturday 31st October.  This was a first for our church meeting via Zoom, the dawn of a new era maybe.  I am very pleased to report that Mike Allardyce and David Palmer remain as our Churchwardens.  All members of the P.C.C. have agreed to continue, Angie Tether remains as Treasurer, I as Secretary, and we are pleased to welcome Peter Steele to join our team.


A special event we mark every year to remember the fallen and the sacrifices they made.  This year we were

in lockdown restrictions but still managed to have a very moving and meaningful service.  We all met outside the church door;  it was good to see so many people there from youngsters to the more mature of us.  Robert Howard came and kindly read the poem he had written, a gentleman from St. Ippolyts sounded the last post,

the sun shone for those glorious ten minutes we were allowed and everyone remarked how lovely it was.


One of the things I missed most while we were between dogs was walking.  I still went out occasionally, but 

it is not the same, and I gained a few lockdown pounds, but now, oh, it is so wonderful to be out every morning. Tony and I say morning prayers and as soon as Lola hears the final blessing and Amen, she’s up at the door ready to go.  Every day is special but at this time of the year, it is glorious with all the autumn colours, the sun is low in the sky and as it rises the picture is ever changing.  We are lucky to live with this beauty on our doorstep; we can walk across the stubble fields, we don’t see another soul, occasionally we hear the sound of a distant car or aircraft, but nothing else to distract us.

We walk for about forty minutes and cover about a couple of miles, this dog is built for walking!  My waistline has shrunk, we come back with a good appetite for breakfast, and relaxed and set up for the day ahead, well for Lola that’s a post breakfast nap, which shouldn’t be confused with her pre-lunch nap.  Me, I head to the garden.

                                                                                                                                            Rosemary Stratton





The next meeting of Wymondley Parish Council, and the first of 2021, is on Monday 11th January starting at 7.45pm.  As before this will take place remotely using Zoom.  Information on how to join the meeting is given

in the relevant agenda, which will be available approximately 5 working days before the meeting on the Parish Council page of the Parish Council's website, or via the link on Wymondley Parish Council's Facebook page.

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.





Many in the community made poppies to decorate this splendid cross on the Village Green and hung.

201111 poppies

poppies on the Lychgate and Church Porch for Remembrance Sunday and Poppy Day.  Howell Davies

took the Remembrance Sunday service at the Lychgate which is the Great Wymondley War Memorial.

A poppy wreath was hung there where the names of the five young men from Great Wymondley who died serving their country during the First World War are written on the high cross beam.  Doug Richardson

led the service at the Lychgate on Wednesday 11th November with the two minutes silence and finished 

the service around the Poppy Cross on The Green.





201111 Jam 1


There is a large selection of jams and jellies for sale in the Church Porch although marmalade stock is

getting rather low and there will not be any more until January when the Seville oranges are available.  

These make very good Christmas presents to be put in a Christmas bag or box.  There will also be a small 

selection of chutney available in December.

I give warning that there will be a small price increase in the New Year.  At the moment the jars are

£2.80 each but will go up to £3 in January.  Very many people already kindly give £3 as it is a more 

convenient sum for such a worthwhile cause.  Although Derek and I grow or are given most of the fruit,

we do have to buy in Seville oranges, lemons, strawberries and apricots, sugar, apple pectin, wax discs and labels.  Everything has gone up in price and post Brexit this may well continue. 

Christmas greetings to everyone for a happy and peaceful Christmas with a better year to come in 2021. 

                                                                                                                          Cherry Carter





Looking back over this unforgettable year we realise how precious is 'normal' and suddenly life was no longer our 'normal'.  Things changed overnight as planes stopped flying, stores closed, work places shut down and the sports stadiums and theatres were silent and there was uncertainty about the future because of Covid-19.  We had to stay home and not do the 'normal' things.  But one thing we did discover is that we can experience peace and hope in challenging and anxious times, because we are assured that in the midst of it all God is in control. As we read in Isaiah 'So do not fear, for I am with you;  do not be dismayed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, and help you;  I will uphold you with my righteous right hand'.  And in the midst of the second lockdown we have now learned that there is a vaccine soon to be available.  The first century certainly had its challenges and struggles for Mary and Joseph as they were living in Roman occupied Judea.  The journey to Bethlehem would in itself be a challenge, but they had to do it and in the midst of problems, danger and in an unknown place and after an unwanted journey Mary gave birth to the Saviour of the World.  The most amazing and wonderful news that had ever been.  And what was the message of the Angel?  'Don't be afraid.....'  In a struggling world there were suddenly ‘Good tidings of great joy’ and this amazing news was for all people, including those caught up with the worldwide pandemic in 2020, because a Saviour has been born to us.

This Christmas will be different but we will decorate the Chapel and there will be window displays in the village and although we won't have a Carol Service and mince pies in the Chapel we will be having a Carol Service on Zoom and hopefully in the Chapel too with a screen and restrictions where places would have to be booked in advance.  Our Zoom services since March have been a great blessing and our 'congregation' has grown through the year.  A warm welcome to all who wish to join us on Sundays from your homes.

Dial in at 10.30am. for a 10.45am. start on 01314-601196 or 02030-512874.  Use the link https/ or download the Zoom app. and join using meeting ID 86775752874.  Any problems phone 07531-081621.

Prayer has been an important part of our year and we are sure that many join with us from home as we pray

on Tuesdays at 7.30pm. for our community, our friends and families, for the Queen, the Country and the Government;  for the Covid situation and the new vaccine, for the NHS and for all who are suffering from ill health or bereavement and for those other things you want to bring to God.

First Tuesday still happens on Zoom when there is a chance to meet for 'coffee and chat' and the next one is

on Tuesday 1st December.  For the link details please phone Will Andrews on 01438-228232.

Bible Study on Zoom on Wednesdays at 7.30pm. (weekly) and on Fridays at 11.00am. (fortnightly) on the

same link as the Sunday services.

Sundays in December (10.45am):

6th        Revd. Jane Robson                                                      13th      Jeff Potter (London City Mission)

20th      Craig and Joanna Bacon (Carol Service )                     27th      Judith Nugent

......and in January:

3rd        The Deacons                                                                10th      Adrian Bagg

17th      Dr. Barry Funnell                                                        24th      Father Tom O'Brien (Pulpit Exchange)

31st      Revd. Janet Graham

Wishing you all a Very Happy Christmas and God's Blessing in 2021.

'May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope

by the power of the Holy Spirit.'                                                                                  Romans 15: 13.

Marjorie McCarley  (01438-727050)





The next meeting takes place on Monday 11th January at 7.30pm. on Zoom.  There will not be a meeting

in December.  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 the Parish

Hall is closed again up to and including Wednesday 2nd December.  Trustees hope to welcome back users soon. 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.

                                                                                                                                                      Pam Skeggs



We would like to thank Ginni for arranging our virtual church services and the occasional café that have been much appreciated.  Thanks also to Howell and Paul and the organists.

   Pam and Ray Skeggs



Just a quick reminder that our Virtual Nativity Crib Festival opens its doors on Tuesday 1st December.  You can find us on

Many thanks to everyone who has already taken part and sent me photos and words for their cribs - there is still time to do so!!!  (Could I have landscape photos please!)

As you know the Crib Festival is the main fund raising event for the church this year so if you would be willing to make a donation either follow the link

or send a cheque to Michael Hooper, Hillrise, Stevenage Road, St. Ippolyts SG4 7PE.


                                                                                           Many thanks - BarbaraThomas




I am sure that many of you will have seen my article last month about the Link to Hope Christmas Shoebox Appeal.  At the time of writing I said that we already had some completed shoeboxes ready to go.  You may remember that, because of the Coronavirus pandemic, Link to Hope had widened their appeal this year from just completed shoeboxes to, in addition, offering to pack a shoebox on your behalf, accepting donations of items to be used in shoeboxes, or to accepting a donation of money instead.

As a result of this the number of completed shoeboxes that we sent this year was greatly reduced (eight in total), BUT in addition we also sent four large bags of donated items, as well as a not inconsiderable sum of money.  (All of this in addition to what I am sure many of you may have already done on-line direct with the charity itself).

Whilst overall at our local centre the number of boxes was a little down in number, the lady in charge expressed her delight at the magnificent response in the current circumstances.  She also sent us these pictures of the boxes being loaded up (including ours) for their journey to Worthing.

201201 Hope parcels 1        

201201 Hope Parcels 2


201201 Hope Parcels 3 2




So, once again, thank you to all of you who took part; but for anyone who did miss the deadline, I am sure that you could still make a difference by making a donation on the Link to Hope website.

Happy Christmas.

Arthur Sibun


For any of you who may want to spread the cost of doing your shoebox over the year next year AND stay

ahead of the game, Link to Hope have issued the following chart to help you.  Good luck.

Arthur Sibun



201201 Shoebox 2021 - Calendar 2 


100 CLUB

The winners for NOVEMBER were:

No. 31             Margaret Dines            £20

No. 163           Fitz Larsen                   £15

No. 18                         Gillian Russell             £10

                                                                                                                                                Shelagh Cox



Material for the FEBRUARY 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 Friday 15th January 2021, please.  Or given to Rosemary Stratton by Tuesday 12th January.


Pew Sheets for November 2020