Reflections Blog

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QUIZ NIGHT 18th November St Ippolyts Parish Hall

A wonderful evening of entertainment and head scratching! This is an event not to be missed, a bar with very reasoinably priced drinks and a wonderful supper from the gastronomic House of Veasey and friends!


Please purchase tickets in advance from Jane Veasey (01462-434254) or Mary Hooper (01462-457350).  Doors open at 7.00pm. for a prompt start at 7.30pm.

Make up a team of 6 to 8 friends or family and enjoy a ploughman’s supper included in the price of £10 per ticket.  Each ticket has a number and you might be the lucky one to have your number drawn

 at the beginning of the evening to win a bottle of wine.  There will be

a bar selling beer, lager, wine and soft drinks.  Come along and enjoy some fun and

a bit of mental stimulation!

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ST. IPPOLYTS CHURCH NATIVITY CRIB FESTIVAL- Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd December 11.00am. - 5.00pm.


Our wonderful Nativity Crib Festival is now in its 10th Year!

If you’ve still never been come along and see why for so many it now marks the start of the festive season.  The church will be filled with crib sets (over 150 last year) and the variety is truly astounding.  Big and small, old family treasures and newly bought or even home-made, they come from all over the world (well almost) and are made from everything from wood to newspaper, metal to glass and from banana leaves to citrus peel (yes really!).

Beside each crib is a card telling its own unique “story”.  Which one will you like best?  It might be the shepherd from one made of newspaper that had its nose nibbled by mice in the attic.  Or perhaps the olive wood one owned by a local

farmer whose grandchildren scour the house each year for ornaments of farm animals to add to the scene.  Or possibly the one hand made from Fimo by a youngster who ran out of time and patience and who has never managed to

make a third king?

Tea and delicious cakes will be available in our little “café” area and you will

have the chance to win your own crib.  Entry is £2.50 and children are free.

If you have a crib set that you would like to lend us (it doesn’t have to be new

and glamorous, the old, tatty ones often have a wonderful “story”) or if you are

able to distribute flyers or posters please contact Barbara at 'This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.')%3B">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01462-421647.

If you are able to help steward over the weekend or to provide a home baked

cake please keep your eyes open for the sign-up sheets at the back of the church.



171202 Crib Festval Poster

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As many of you will know, our fabulous Crib Festival takes place in St. Ippolyts Church on the first weekend in December.  This means that our Advent Family Service will be conducted in the Parish Hall on Sunday 3rd December at the usual time of 9.15am.

Advent Sunday is the first day of the church’s liturgical year and starts the season of Advent which is a season of expectation and preparation, as the Church prepares to celebrate the coming of Jesus Christ. 

Our Advent Family Service will be a little different this year and, we hope, will be

an exciting start to a new style of monthly worship that will encourage more families and children to engage with our Christian faith and build on their relationship with God.

Everyone is welcome, young or old and anywhere in between!  The service will be approximately 30 minutes long, with music and hymns and story-telling - oh and

did I mention breakfast?!!  Want to know more?.......Come along and join us and

see for yourself!


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As a Benefice, we are beginning to look to the future and trying to discern what

that might look like for us as individual churches and as communities.  One of the things we are looking at first is our Mission Action Plan, or MAP as it is known in ‘church-speak’. 

MAP is a process which enables a local church to prayerfully discern the priorities God has for it, and to plan the mission activities it is going to undertake over the coming months and years.  It is an accessible form of strategic planning, and as

such builds on the insights of businesses, schools, hospitals and other organisations, which have to plan carefully if they are to thrive in a complex and challenging environment.  A key part of the process is involving the whole church in seeking God and developing a clear vision statement.  A vision statement is different from

a mission statement - a mission statement describes what an organisation or church is for now, whereas a vision statement describes what the church wants to become over the next five years.  And that process involves everyone.  Your opinion matters and will be a vital part of what we as a church decide to do.  

So, how can you make your voice heard?  What we would really

like you to do is to imagine what your ideal church looks matter how far-fetched or wacky that may be (ordinary is acceptable too!!).  What would you like to see your church doing?  Would you

like a choir or contemporary music?  Would you like it to be very traditional or

have coffee served whilst you worship?  Would you like to see the church used for social activities or even have services outside?  If there were no barriers like money, the structure of the building, rules and regulations, what would your ‘perfect’ church look like?  Feel free to let your imagination run away with you, we want to hear what you have to say!  Your answers will help us to prayerfully work out what our communities want in order to draw us closer to God and build on our relationship with him and one another.

During the month of November, St. Ippolyts Church will be focussing on our specific MAP so look out for the explanatory and (hopefully!) inspiring posters

that will appear in church and be prepared to be politely accosted by a PCC member with a short questionnaire asking for your views! 

Great Wymondley and Little Wymondley will be focussing on their own MAP’s in the New Year but don’t let that stop you expressing your views in advance.

Be bold!  Send your thoughts and suggestions to me at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or contact one of your Churchwardens.

    With love, Ginni 

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We will be decorating the church for Christmas on Saturday 23rd December from 9.00am. so please put the date in your diary now and come along and help if you possibly can.  There will be further details in December Pax.

                                              Frances Williams, Carol Scott and Joan Pinkstone

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The next Community Lunch will be on Wednesday 1st November from 12.45pm. till 2.00pm. in St. Ippolyts Parish Hall.  (Serving time 12.45pm. till 1.00pm.)  Cost £3.  Everyone welcome.

The Community Lunch on Wednesday 6th December will be a ticket only event.

Tickets will be on sale at the November Community Lunch.

                                                                                                     Anne Steel

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After a blissful two weeks on the Norfolk coast, I’m back in the Benefice and feeling very much recharged.  My thanks to Howell for his enlightening article in last month’s PAX which felt very apt for me personally as I had spent much of my holiday reflecting on the beauty of nature and how blessed we all are to live where we do.  If you were hoping for tales of action-packed adventures upon my return then I’m afraid you’ll be sadly disappointed as I spent the majority of my time doing absolutely nothing!! 

But I have other news!!  To my great joy, I am now a proud grandma!  Little Edward was born on 29th September weighing a strapping 8lb 6oz to my son Luke and his partner Kirsty and I have to say that I am smitten already!  It’s funny how the birth of a baby triggers many thoughts and emotions that break into the usual routine of everyday life.  Edward’s arrival made me acutely aware of the passage of time and it was an odd feeling to realise that another generation had been added to our family history, pushing me further up the ranks of the family tree.  There is now only one more generation alive above me and I am now ‘nanny’ whilst the nanny and granddad I knew until relatively recently are gone. 

My granddad was known as Ted (Edward) and I gave my son the same middle name which has now been passed on to my new grandson who will be affectionately called Teddy.  I am very grateful for this link, this continuity, as it triggers memories of my own childhood and the love and respect I felt for my grandad and the gratitude I now have towards him for the things he taught me, even though I didn’t realise what they were at the time.  Our history, our past, is important.  Whether our experiences are good or bad, they form us into the people we are today and give us a sense of belonging and identity.

It’s important that we remember the generations before us, whether we are directly related to them or not.  Their lives and experiences allow us to draw on a wealth of knowledge that help us to form our lives in the present day, to mirror and build upon their positive and life-giving examples and to learn from the damaging or negative ones.

This is never more poignant than in the month of November when we commemorate Armistice Day and Remembrance Sunday.  For many of us, we will never have known the horrors of war nor do the younger generations have any relatives to recall the memories first-hand.  How then can they hope to understand the bravery, fear, courage and self-sacrifice of the generations before us, especially in a world that increasingly glamorises violence?  How can they understand how fortunate we are to live in this country and to empathise with other countries which are in the midst of conflict?  If lessons are to be learned, peace to be cherished, repetition avoided then it is vital that this generation remembers and passes on that knowledge.

Our history, our past is important.  For the sake of our future, ‘Lest we Forget’.

         With love Ginni


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St Ippolyts Parish Hall Fair 25th November 2017

.171125 St Ippolyts Parish Hall Fair poster

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Weekly Pew Sheet, Nineteenth Week after Trinity 22nd October 2017

.171022 pew Shhet

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Eighteenth Sunday after Trinity, 15th October 2017

.171015 Pew Sheet

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Seventeenth Sunday after Trinity, 8th October 2017.

.171008 Pew Sheet

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Harvest Lunch!

A big thank you to St Ippolyts Parish Council who hosted a Harvest Lunch in the Parish Hall today. Approximately 50 members of our community enjoyed a splendid lunch starting with Pumpkin Soup, then macaoroni Cheese and sausage and finishing with Pineapple upside down cake. Photos of the lunch can be found in the gallery.

IMG 2757

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Revd Paul Lanham celebrates 50 years in the Ministry

St Ippolyts Church welcomed Revd Paul Lanham to the Harvest Festival Service today. At the beginning of the service Revd Ginni spoke of the love our congregation has for paul and how he was part of our Church. Paul was presented with a gift to celebrate his 50 years and went on to sing for his supper by giving a thought provoking service about the Harvest.

IMG 2750 Revd Paul Lanham 1st October 2017-2750

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity, 1st October 2017.

.171001 Pew Sheet

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Link to Hope


Thank you to everyone who has taken/requested shoeboxes and leaflets for this year’s appeal.

As you will see from the new leaflets, filling a box this year is much more straightforward.  You simply choose what you want to include in your box (using the guidelines on the leaflet) and fill in the contents list once you have decided. 

After packing your box wrap the whole thing in Christmas paper like a parcel and, with the leaflet open, attach the contents list to the outside of the box with sellotape but only on the three red sides marked.  Close the leaflet, fill in the gift aid section

if appropriate, attach £2 towards transport costs and fix shut with sellotape at the

top and bottom of the page where shown.  (Whilst all this seems very complicated

to describe it will all become very clear once you see the leaflet).  The donations can then be removed by the charity before sending out the shoeboxes each with their own contents list still attached.

Due to the fact that a number of you have kindly been very busy over the last few months, we have a supply of knitted items available for people to take to use in their boxes (including home-made knitted hand puppets, which have been shown to the charity and have been approved to go into the boxes).  We will aim to have all of these items available at the 9.15am. services at St. Ippolyts (or call Christine and Arthur Sibun on 01462-459145 for more information).

Link to Hope needs to have all of the boxes by early November (as stated on the leaflet) so, if you get your completed box to church or to Christine and Arthur on

or before Sunday 5th November at the very latest, we will ensure that this happens.

This means that if you haven’t already done so, there is still plenty of time to do a box for a needy family or for a needy elderly person this Christmas.

Please, can you help?  Thank you.


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Reinventing the Vicar!!!!!


This past month has seen the diet very much back on track!  I've managed

to lose another stone in weight despite my fortnight's holiday.  If I'm honest, it was the thought of having to report back to you lovely lot that stopped me from overindulging whilst I was away so I would thoroughly recommend 'going public' if any of you are trying to get trimmer!

I've been amazed by some of the comments I've had from people who think I'm 'brave' for being open about my weight and diet regime but, to me, there's nothing brave about it.  We all have something that we struggle with and it's often too hard to deal with on our own.  We all need support and encouragement and I've certainly found that by sharing my own personal battle, I've had no end of help and encouragement.  My grandma always used to say "a problem shared is a problem halved" and I think she was right.  So thank you all for noticing when I've lost some weight and cheering me on when I'm struggling - I'm getting there!!  Two and a half stone gone and only another four to go!!!  

With love Ginni

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Friends of St Ippolyts Church, Church decorating for Harvest Festival


We will be decorating the Church for our Harvest Festival on Saturday 30th September from 9.30am.  Flower and/or basket arrangements will be most welcome as will gifts of produce and non-perishable items.

We will need help packing up the Harvest gifts on Monday 2nd October from 9.30am.  Please come if you possibly can.  The non-perishable items will be shared between the North Herts. Shelter for the Homeless in Grove Road, Hitchin and the Food Bank in Letchworth.  Boxes of fruit and vegetables will be taken to people living in the parish so some small boxes would be most useful.

Diary Date:

Our next meeting will be held on Monday 22nd January 2018 at 10.30am. for 11.00am. at Little Almshoe House, St. Ippolyts.


                                              Frances Williams, Carol Scott and Joan Pinkstone

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Community Lunches, 4th October & 1st November 2017

The next Community Lunches will be on Wednesdays 4th October and 1st November from 12.45pm. till 2.00pm. in St. Ippolyts Parish Hall.  (Serving time 12.45pm. till 1.00pm.)  Cost £3.  Everyone welcome.

                                                                                                Anne Steel

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Changing Seasons, from Howell Davies


In their spoof on the 1834 children's poem 'January brings the snow' by Sara Coleridge, the wonderful 1960’s musical comedy team of Michael Flanders and Donald Swann, after bemoaning September's mist and mud, sang 'Then October adds a gale, wind and slush and rain and hail'.  Actually, Coleridge had written 'Fresh October brings the pheasant, then to gather nuts is pleasant', which doesn't fit the bill so well as, at the time of writing this introduction to Pax, things appeared far less cosy.  And that's just the hurricanes, tornadoes, storms and floods.

Still, the year is moving on - indeed, in the old Celtic calendar, October is the last month of the year.  That calendar was a continuing Wheel of the Year, with each of the three-month seasons centred on the shortest or longest day or one of the two equinoxes, and October completes the season of harvests, which we know as the Lammas, from the Anglo-Saxon 'hlaef-mas', the Mass Loaf, made from the first flour ground after the harvest.

The Celtic church was very much rooted in the countryside, in rural communities, unlike the Christianity brought by converts in Caesar's legions and later by missionaries from Rome that belonged more to the hierarchy of the cities and which later stifled what had been the British church.  The Celts, rather as the Buddhists do now, regarded sin as consisting largely of being uncaring and heedless, so to live a good life was to be mindful, keeping one's eyes open, and it's been suggested that if the old church had survived, the gap that has widened over the centuries between Christianity and nature might not have led to the west's current lack of care for our world.

Yet this year churches throughout the world have been asked to

pray, reflect and act on the care of all creation, the environment and the world we live in, all during Creationtide 2017, a period ending on the feast of St. Francis of Assisi.  To explore this, and not just until

4th October, the Irish Franciscans have an attractive website you may wish to visit:

And if we think that we can't do much to help there, let's widen our scope to our interaction with people too.  We as individuals can't do much about North Korea or Burma or the EU either;  we don't all have equal power, but we do all have the opportunity, and responsibility, to make the lives of other people better, to help instil respect for all living things.  We are all choosers:  every interaction offers a choice between compassion or contempt.  Nothing is too small to matter:  a greeting, a kind word, a helping hand, sorting out our recycling.  So, extra to any New Year resolution we might make for 2018, let's add another for the Celtic New Year starting next month with All Saints' Day:  let's remember, nothing is too small to matter.

                                                                                            Howell Davies

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Harvest Festival and Parish Praise & Celebration of the 50 years anniversary of the ordination of Revd Paul Lanham

This Special Service will be at St Ippolyts at 09:15.


Come and along and celebrate with Paul.

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