Reflections Blog

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Holy Week in the Benefice.

St. Ippolyts Church will be open for private prayer and reflection from

9.00am. - 6.00pm. each day during Holy Week.  There will be reflective spaces set up within the church using art and poetry to create an intimate space for you to spend time in prayer.


7.00pm.                       Compline                                                 Little Wymondley


7.00pm.                       Compline                                                 St. Ippolyts


7.00pm.                       Compline                                                 Great Wymondley


7.00pm.                       Holy Communion with Washing of Feet  St. Ippolyts


2.00pm. - 3.00pm.      Liturgy of Good Friday                 St. Ippolyts


9.30am. - 10.30am.      Children’s Easter Workshop          St. Ippolyts

Come and help make our Easter garden.  Crafts, games and snacks too!

8.00pm.                                   Easter Vigil                                  Great Wymondley


Maundy Thursday - 18thApril - 11.00am. - Chrism Eucharist

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Beer and Hymns

Many thanks to those of you who joined me at The Buck’s Head last month for our first Beer and Hymns service.  What a wonderful occasion it was!

Tony, the lovely landlord, had kindly agreed to let us have the service in the pub and had set aside a room for us to use.....however, such were the numbers that we ended up filling the conservatory instead! It was wonderful to have such a crowd and, once our vocal chords had been loosened, we raised the roof with many of our favourite hymns.  It was good to worship God with people from across the benefice and particularly encouraging to see some new faces and get to know other members of our community. We ended the service with prayers and a blessing and an invitation from Tony to ‘do it every month’!!!

I’m definitely planning another Beer and Hymns service....or maybe if the weather is warm, a Pimms and Hymns service......but it won’t be until after Easter so keep your eyes peeled for the announcement and please do come and join us.

With love - Ginni

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LENT UPDATE - How is your Lent going? A thought from Revd Ginni.

Last month, I wrote about my intention to try to slow down a little bit in Lent or, at least to try and live a bit more in the present, taking time to notice what’s around me rather than just rushing on to the next thing.  Well, I’d be lying if I said I’d cracked it and that I am now almost zen-like in my awareness but I have definitely improved!!  I guess that I have been more aware of my intention through Lent and so have made an effort to create space rather than just make excuses as to why I haven’t.

One deliberate effort was to sign up for a Clergy Quiet Day at the Bishop’s house in St. Albans....the theory being that I was less likely to cancel on my boss!!  It worked and I duly turned up at Abbey Gate House along with some other clergy colleagues and we spent the day in quiet study and reflection.

The theme of the day was Journeying with the Psalms and we reflected on three of them, Psalms 29, 22 and 51.  Bishop Alan led us in a study of each of the Psalms in turn and then there was time for us to sit back and meditate on our thoughts in front of a rather splendid log fire in his

    drawing room.

The theme of Psalm 29 was ‘Giving Praise to God’, Psalm 22 ‘How to pray when you are suffering’ and Psalm 51 ‘How to pray when you’ve messed up’.  I was particularly taken with the last one, Psalm 51, and David’s total realisation of just how much he had stuffed up.  The magnitude of the damage he had caused brought David to a place where he knew that there was no repairing what he had done, he just had to face it and trust that God would make something new and good come out of his place of brokenness.

I think that there is a lesson in that for all of us, that sometimes we don’t get things right and sometimes the consequences of our actions have very far reaching effects and there is little we can do to make amends.  But that if we, like David, allow God to meet us in the depths of the mess we have created, and give up trying to dig our own way out, then God will help us to build up something new and good from the wreckage.

I got a lot from the quiet day, it was good to have the time and space to really reflect and it has encouraged me to keep on making the effort to carve time out of the day to day busyness. Mind you, I might just skip ‘reflecting’ in front of a log fire as there was a point when I lost a whole hour and was only awoken by my own very loud snore, which was only surpassed by the snores of another nameless vicar who was ‘reflecting’ in the other chair!!!

With love - Ginni

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Third Sunday in Lent, 24th March 2019

.190324 Pew Sheet

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Weekly Pew Sheet, the Second Sunday in Lent, 17th March 2019

.190317 Pew Sheet

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CHRISTIAN AID WEEK - Sunday 12thMay to Saturday 18thMay

CHRISTIAN AID WEEK - Sunday 12thMay to Saturday 18thMay

Christian Aid History

Christian Aid’sground breaking work began in 1945, when it was founded by British and Irish churches to help refugees following the Second World War.

For more than 70 years, they have provided humanitarian relief and long-term development support for poor communities worldwide, while highlighting suffering, tackling injustice and championing people’s rights.

Where Christian Aid works

Christian Aidworks with people living in poverty in some of the poorest communities around the world.  Christian Aid also works with some of the world's most vulnerable communities in 37 countries in Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and the Caribbean.  When emergenciesstrike in these countries, they are there before, during and after to save lives and support people in the long term.   They also work in other countries and regions through the ACT Alliance and other partners, particularly around humanitarian emergencies such as the refugee crisis.

What Christian Aid does

Christian Aid works with local partners and communities to fight injustice, respond to humanitarian emergencies, campaign for change, and help people claim the services and rights they are entitled to.

Can you help us to do our bit?

In St. Ippolyts and Gosmore we collect for Christian Aid by delivering envelopes on one day and then going back and collecting them a day or so later.  Last year we raised almost £800 for this very worth-while charity. If you would be prepared to help collect (just in a small area) please contact Barbara, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.or tel. 01462-421647.

                                                                                    Barbara Thomas


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We need as many people as possible to come and help spring clean the church.  The high up areas will be done on Tuesday 12thMarchfrom 7.00pm. and the lower clearing up, cleaning and polishing on Wednesday 13thMarchfrom 9.30am.  All welcome on either day so that the church will be looking at its best in time for our Easter celebrations.

                                                                                                 Jane Veasey

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Lent Lunches

We will be serving Lent Lunches in St. Ippolyts Parish Hall from Ash Wednesday 6thMarch until Wednesday 17thApril, at 12.45pm. 

till 2.00pm.  A minimum donation of £2.50 per serving is requested, with donations for seconds.  Proceeds will be shared between the USPG and the Motor Neurone Disease Association. Everyone welcome so please come along and enjoy our delicious homemade soups and fresh bread.

Easter Decorating

We will be decorating the church for Easter from 9.00am. on Saturday 20thApril. Further details will be in April Pax.

Dates of next meetings:

Monday 8thJuly - 2.00pm. - to discuss arrangements for the Flower Festival.

Tuesday 10thSeptember - 10.30 for 11.00am.

Both meetings to be held at Little Almshoe House.

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Easter Lilies


Donations towards the cost of Easter lilies can be placed in the envelopes provided at the back of the church.  If you would like to make your donation in memory of a departed loved one please write their name on the envelope.  The envelopes should then be placed in the wall safe by the South Door.  A list of all the names will be placed on the Altar and read out on Easter Day.

                                                                                              Jane Veasey

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“The Annual Parishioners Meeting” (to elect churchwardens) and “The Annual Parochial Church Meeting of the Parish of St. Ippolyts” will be held in St. Ippolyts Church at 7.00pm. on Tuesday 9thApril 2019.  Everyone is welcome to attend but only those on the St. Ippolyts Church Electoral Roll may vote at the second meeting.  The meeting is the Church’s AGM and there will be a review of 2018 with reports from the Churchwardens, our Treasurer, and St. Ippolyts School, as well as the appointment of officers, sidesmen and independent financial examiners. To make the evening ‘go with a flow’ there will be wine, soft drinks and nibbles available.

The Church Electoral Roll is closed before the Annual Parochial Church Meeting, on Monday 18thMarch 2019.  This year everyone has to renew their application to be on the church electoral roll, so please make sure you complete one of the forms, which are available at the back of the church. 

We are looking for new members of our Parochial Church Council.  If you are interested in playing a key role in the future of our church please consider putting yourself forward for election, it is not a particularly onerous task!  Those wishing to be elected can put their names on the election list at the back of the church.  In addition we are still seeking a treasurer to take over from Michael.  If you feel you could spare the time to play an important roll in the life of our church please consider taking on this task.

             Michael Hooper


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News of 2018 Shoe Box appeal


No, it’s not time to start thinking about this year’s one just yet, but I have just received an update from Link to Hope about the 2018 appeal which reads as follows:

‘A huge thank you to everyone that took part - we couldn’t have done it without you.  Sending 40,000 shoeboxes to Eastern Europe is no mean feat and we are so grateful to all the schools, churches, businesses and individuals who sent their love in a shoebox to poor and marginalised people in over 400 locations in Romania, Moldova, Bulgaria and the Ukraine.’

                                                                                             Arthur Sibun

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Weekly Pew Sheet, Quinquagesima, the Sunday next before Lent, 3rd March 2019

.190303 Pew Sheet

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"Time Flies", a thought from Revd Ginni.


It seems only 5 minutes ago that I was writing my letter for the first edition of PAX for 2019 and thanking everybody for their help over Christmas.....and now, in the blink of an eye, I’m focussing on Easter!  How did that happen so fast?!!  Sometimes it seems like the world is on ‘fast-forward’.  My grand-mother often said that time goes faster the older you get and I’m beginning to believe that to be true!  Since I returned from my post-Christmas break, this last month has certainly seemed to gallop by at an alarming rate.

I spent a glorious week in Norfolk at the end of January and whilst much of Hertfordshire seemed to shiver in the snow, I was strolling on the beach with my dog in the blazing sun......well ok, perhaps not exactly ‘blazing’ but it did feel more like spring than winter!  That week seemed to go on for ages.  I enjoyed leisurely breakfasts as I watched the sun rise, walked for miles along the coast with Toby, my dog, taking in the peaceful beauty of empty beaches that seemed to go on for ever.  I read books in the afternoon and sat with a glass or two of wine to watch the sun set, marvelling as the bright red ball of fire seemed to extinguish itself in the sea. It was like someone had pressed the pause button on life and I could really take in every minute detail of the world.  I guess that’s what holidays should really be about.

And then I came home!  As soon as I picked up my diary, the world seemed to gather speed at an alarming rate and before I knew it I was back to eating my breakfast whilst I worked at my computer, juggling regular commitments with whatever crisis had just arisen and squeezing in a hurried dog walk before he drove me mad with his sad little eyes and annoying whine!!  And here I am, one month on, Christmas forgotten and Easter looming, wondering just how we all came to live life at this mad pace.

I think that perhaps the answer that came to me was that we, as a society, have lost the knack of simply enjoying each moment as we live it, always looking to the next thing rather than savouring what is in front of us.  When did that become the norm, and how can we as individuals fight against it in order to reclaim a little more balance in our lives?

I remember when I was a child that I was never allowed to gobble my food whilst doing something else, nor was I allowed to get away with shovelling down a meal quickly in order to get out to play sooner as, even if I finished first, I still had to wait ‘until my dinner went down’ before I could go out!  It occurred to me as I pondered the pace of my life now that I was still in a rush to get to the next I am, bemoaning how quickly time passes and looking forwards to Easter.....whilst forgetting that in order to get to the joys that come at Easter, we

have to journey through Lent first!


Lent is a time when we should stop and take stock of where we are at, a time for reflection and change and a refocussing on Christ and his ultimate sacrifice for us all.  Traditionally, the forty days in Lent were marked by fasting, both from foods and festivities, and by other acts of penance.  However, in modern times, observers often choose to give up an action of theirs considered to be

a vice, or add something that helps them to come a little closer to God, and also to give of their time or money to a charitable purpose or organization.

So I think that this year, at the grand old age of 53, I may finally take some advice from my mother and grand-mother and try to learn to slow down a little!  I’m going to try to journey through Lent at a gentler pace and give up looking at the next thing before I’ve had time to enjoy the present.....or that’s the plan at least!!  Perhaps if I can make my Lenten discipline the promise to spend breakfast each morning savouring the moment, noticing what I am eating and allowing God the chance to get a word in edgeways before I launch myself into the day, I might just arrive at Easter looking a little less dishevelled!!

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Church Electoral Roll

To be eligible to vote on church matters you must be registered on the St Ippolyts Church Electoral Roll. This is renewed every three years so it is important that you reapply to be on the Electoral Roll. Forms are situated at the back of the Church. Just complete and leave in the box provided

We look forward to you joining those already registered.

If you have any questions speak to either, Ginni, Howell, Michael or Jane.

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Weekly Pew Sheet, Sexaesima, the Second Sunday before lent, 24th Febraury 2019

190224 Pew Sheet


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Please don’t forget that annual subscriptions are now due and will be collected shortly.  The magazine costs 40p. per issue, making the annual subscription £4.  (Additional donations always welcome so that the printing cost can be fully covered.)

If you live in the Benefice and don’t currently have PAX delivered and would like this to be arranged, please contact me on 01462-453541.

                                                                                          Clare Larsen

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Sunday 3rdMarch - 6.00pm.

at The Buck’s Head, Little Wymondley.

Reverend Ginni and the congregation of St. Mary’s Church, Little Wymondley, warmly invite you to join us at The Buck’s Head pub for a service of Beer and Hymns on Sunday 3rdMarch at 6.00pm. It is exactly what it says on the tin - although you are welcome to swap the beer for a drink of your choice! Everyone is welcome to what promises to be a lively evening and if you have a favourite hymn that you feel could be sung with gusto with a pint in your hand then drop me an email by Sunday 24thFebruary and I’ll do my best to include it.

With love - Ginni

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Every six years there has to be a revision of the church electoral roll.  It was last done in 2013.  All the churches in the benefice will have to revise their rolls.

Every person already on it as well as anyone who is not already on and would like to be needs to fill in an electoral roll application form from the church that they attend.  This has to be done before the closure of the electoral roll revision which takes place between 15 - 28 days before the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.

There is also an Ethnic Monitoring Form for the diocese to be completed.

Please see in your church when that is and when you need to have handed in your application form by.  There will be notices about all of this as well as the application forms inside St. Ippolyts Church and in the porches of both Little and Great Wymondley Churches.  There will also be notices about the APCM’s and about who can be on the Electoral Roll. 

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Happy New Year, a thought from Revd. Ginni.

I hope you’ve all had a lovely Christmas and managed to find some time to relax and enjoy time with those you love.

Christmas seems a long time ago already but it was lovely to see so many of you at our various services.  St. Ippolyts started early with the Crib Festival at the beginning of December which was, as usual, a wonderful event attended by many families, and then we celebrated our Service of Nine Lessons and Carols on Sunday 16th.  This was closely followed by the Nativity Procession at Little Wymondley which saw over 150 people processing through the village led by Angelica the goat and Fanando and Hector the fairy-light festooned Alpacas, who I called my ‘happy camels’ - because they had no hump!!  Boom Boom!  

There were Christingle Services in both Little Wymondley and St. Ippolyts, who also had a Crib Service, all topped off by Great Wymondley’s Living Nativity service which saw your gullible Vicar here playing the Angel Gabriel.  What’s so bad about that you may ask?  Well, the villagers of Great Wymondley decided in their wisdom that the Angel had to proclaim her words ‘from on high’.......and as a zip wire wasn’t a viable option, they sent me up a rather large ladder in the churchyard!!  Alas, the ground was soft and the Vicar large, and the forces of gravity predictable, and by the time I had recited my lines, the ‘Angel Gabriel’ was leaning at a precarious 45 degree angle, propped up heroically by a brave parishioner (Mike Bradley Russell, you are a hero)!!!

As Christmas Eve drew to a close, we gathered at St. Ippolyts Church for Midnight Mass where our Benefice Reader, Howell Davies preached the best sermon I’ve heard in years and brought us all beautifully back to what Christmas is really all about.  I went to bed tired but happy and awoke refreshed and ready for our joyful Christmas Day service where the whole Benefice came together to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ.  Thank you to everyone whose faith, hard work, and dedication made these services possible.


And now, by the time you read this, we will be a whole month into the New Year.....and probably three weeks away from when we first forgot our New Year’s resolutions!!!  I must admit, that I decided NOT to even attempt to make any resolutions this year because it just seems to set me up for failure, and no-one needs that in January!!  I do however plan to

get back on my diet again after my holiday - I am nothing if not a ‘trier’ - so you may yet see a resurgence of the Reinventing the Vicar slot!

Whatever you have planned for this year, I pray that you will take time out to do the things that energize you and find time for the people who matter most.

Wishing you all a blessed and happy New Year.

          With love - Ginni


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Weekly Pew Sheet - The Second Sunday after Epiphany, 20th January 2019

.190120 Pew Sheet

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