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PAX March 2021

Pax            MARCH  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 -




On 1st February Judy and I had our first Covid vaccinations (we are that age!).  There was nothing but kindness, efficiency and friendliness from everyone and it was very quick.  We came back none the worse apart from a couple of sore arms (and in my case 24 hours of being lead weighted).  Even for a needle coward like me it turned out to be nothing to be afraid of.  So if you have not had your jab yet, please don't worry about the thought of it.

So here we are at last in March.  If I wrote of saints’ days in the last issue my mind this month is firmly on the secular, the Cheltenham Steeplechasing Festival.  I am a Gloucestershire lad through and through, and while I have never been to it I love watching that kind of horse racing, while the hills above the course have romantic memories from days long gone.  The Cheltenham Festival is also a gateway to spring and that makes it even more special.

For every horse that wins there are hundreds of also rans, but the Festival wouldn't be the same without them.  That leads my wandering mind to another great Gloucestershire 'sporting' event, the annual Coopers Hill cheese rolling which takes place just behind Judy's family home.  This famous English custom (dating back centuries) encourages the mad to race down a steep bumpy slope in pursuit of a runaway cheese.  What is less known is that there are also races up the slope and they too are not for the faint hearted.  When I last saw it there was a small boy struggling far behind the others;  he was roared on, and got an ovation as great as any of the winners. It was an afternoon of pure lunacy, a reminder that Britain can't be that bad if this kind of thing takes place within it.

What that boy taught me and what can be seen in any sporting event like the Cheltenham races is that it is not necessarily winning and succeeding that is important, it is being a part of it.  Society today is rooted in success - being important, achieving things.  So there is this pressure to succeed and not be a failure (whatever we mean by that word).

By contrast St. Paul painted a picture of the Church as the Body of Christ, a unity composed of parts of different values and sizes, each essential to its health.  Humanity likewise needs its also rans as well as its winners, and each are equally important.  Above all, this principle applies to God.  Everyone is important to Him, regardless of who they are and what they achieve - those who the world might regard as failures as well as those who are successful, the also rans as well as those first past the post.  As a psychotherapist friend said to me many years ago, you have value for being you.  If you feel down at the end of this long dark winter this may be of comfort and support to you.  You matter to your fellow men and to God, regardless of who you are and how high (or low) your sense of self-esteem is.

March is the season of Lent and it leads to Easter.  As with last month it is not for me to say what will be happening in the life of our three churches - especially as the situation is still fluid.  Please look at the website and on the church noticeboards for information about what we will be doing in this important Christian season.

                                                                                                                               Very best wishes, Paul





There will be a service of Holy Communion at 9.15am. on Sundays in St. Ippolyts Church.  It will also be

live-streamed on Facebook.

                                                                                                                                    Ginni Dear



The Bible Study Group will be meeting on Zoom on Wednesdays 10th and 24th March and we will be 

continuing with our study of The Acts of the Apostles.  The meetings will start at 2.20pm. with a cup of

tea and we begin our studies at 2.40pm.  If you would like to join us please telephone Margaret Edmonds (01462-452340) or Clare Larsen (01462-453541).

                                                                                                                                    Clare Larsen



I have recently received a communication from Link to Hope in which they say that:

‘We would like to say a huge thank-you to all of you who took part in our Christmas 2020 shoebox appeal.

We sent a total of 20,768 boxes.  Whilst normally 20,768 boxes would be a disappointing number, considering the extremely difficult circumstances, we are delighted with this total.’

Due to the Covid-19 restrictions no delivery team was able to go out from the UK and so the boxes had to be sent.  It then fell to the project managers in the countries concerned (Bulgaria, Romania, Moldova and Ukraine) to think very creatively as to the best way to safely give out the shoeboxes.  They all managed this successfully and reported back that people were shocked to receive a shoebox this year, as they didn’t think that they would receive anything at all given the situation.

There were lots of tears and many smiles.  Fortunately, the project managers managed to obtain some photos using their mobile phones and the picture below shows part of our thank-you poster to give an idea of some of them.

So thank you all for all of your help - a truly AMAZING result all round.

This year (2021) Link to Hope will be celebrating their 30th Birthday, (perhaps not quite in the way that they may have anticipated);  but who knows, as they continue to do what they do best - Rebuilding Lives and Communities in Eastern Europe - just what impact they will go on to have in the lives of all of these people.


210301 shoebox

Arthur Sibun






I’m sure we are all getting weary of this lockdown, having our dog has been my salvation, walking her twice a day gets me out and eats up the day.

Apparently lots of people are turning to craft and have taken up sewing and household repairs, this is nothing new to me, I was raised in a make do and mend house.  My maternal grandmother was the queen of making things last, living through two world wars and raising three children, she was well practiced at it.  She would be horrified at todays ‘throw away’ society.

From an early age she taught me to knit, a challenge, as I am left handed but she succeeded.  She showed me how to darn, turn collars on shirts and patchwork.  Nothing was wasted, clothes were gradually demoted from best, to everyday, gardening and decorating, and when she finally decided they were no longer fit for purpose (a hard decision) they would be cut up for aprons, dusters or anything else she could think of.  Bed sheets were her speciality, the centres wore thin but the outsides still had mileage, so the sheet would be cut in half, the outsides put to the centre joined by a huge run and fell seam, which wasn’t very comfortable to sleep on, but no good complaining.

Ironing was something she was very particular about, the use of electricity was kept to bare minimum;  garments were pressed on top of a sheet or table cloth so that you pressed two items at once.  When you got to the last item the iron was unplugged, ‘there’s enough heat in the iron to finish that’ she would tell me.  She must have had a sixth sense because she would always appear as you were getting to the end, and I still do this today.  If I should forget I find myself saying ‘sorry Nan’.

My Mum used to tell me the tale of the banana trifle.  On one of her birthday parties Nan produced this trifle;  bananas were a rare treat and very expensive then and everyone was excited and in awe of how she achieved it.  It was years later that she confessed that she had cooked and sliced some small parsnips and soaked them overnight in banana essence, but the trifle must have tasted good!

                                                                                                                                    Rosemary Stratton



The next Parish Council meeting will take place remotely using Zoom on Monday 15th March 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.




210301 IMG 4251 St Marys great Wymondley

Marmalade production is almost completed with just two batches to do from the remaining Seville oranges.

There are still many walkers taking their daily exercise in the village, through the churchyard and up to the Community Orchard.

We have just carried out the formative winter pruning on the apple and pear trees with the help and advice 

from Paul and Diane Kennedy.  An important procedure so that the framework of the trees is good for the years to come.  The plums, gages and damsons will be pruned during the summer.

The snowdrops around the village are beautiful especially on the Graveley Road and in the churchyard.

What contrasts in the weather.  So cold earlier on.

Then warm sunshine and a rise in temperature.  Spring has sprung!

Our honey bees were out in full force, loving the crocus in the garden and flowering shrubs around the village.  We saw the first yellow brimstone butterfly in the garden on the day of the crocus photo.

210301 IMG 4431 Crocuses

Earlier on we took part in the RSPB Garden Bird Watch and saw 15 species in the front garden.  Sadly the wren and greenfinch did not turn up and luckily neither did the sparrow hawk that sometimes sits on the fence and sends all the birds into a panic.

Hopefully the vaccine is getting administered to more and more people and soon the restrictions will gradually be lifted and life will be easier for everyone.

                                                                                                                                              Cherry Carter



Barbara Billingham, nèe Westwood, born in Great Wymondley, sadly passed away on 12th February aged

74.  Barbara had shown amazing strength to overcome many health issues.

                                                                                                                                      Linda Westwood




Every day we are fed with news - be it from our radios, TV sets, newspapers or social media.  We hear about statistics, sadness, sacrifice, science, sport, sickness, staying at home, struggles, success, supermarkets, and so we could go on.......  As we approach March we are feeling a sense of the coming of Spring and that better times are coming.  The birds are singing louder and the flowers are arriving.

In the past few days there has been good news as we heard from the PM that more than 19 million people in our country have received the Covid 19 vaccine and that the numbers of Covid sufferers is starting to go down.  We are told that certain restrictions will gradually be lifted and we can see light at the end of the tunnel.  The lock down has been a great factor in this so it's good news with more to come.

Christians are very blessed because God's Good News is permanent and we have it recorded in Scripture.  Gospel actually means Good News so this is for each and every one who believes that Jesus is our Good News.  The Christian message of Good News is described in the four Gospels and relates to the saving act of God due to the work of Jesus on the cross and His resurrection from the dead which brings reconciliation between people and God.  Remember Jesus reading the scriptures in the synagogue from the book of Isaiah:  "The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because the Lord has anointed me;  He has sent me to bring Good News to the oppressed, to bind up the broken hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and release to the prisoners;  to proclaim the year of the Lord's favour".  Jesus closed the book and then said "Today this scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing."  Luke 4:v21.

We started the year with 'God's Love' being our theme and we are now doing a series on the Good News of Jesus from Mark's Gospel.  This is the best Good News of all as it is a gift from God to every single person who puts their trust in Jesus Christ.  A warm welcome to all who wish to join us on zoom.  The Chapel will be open for any who wish to attend so please book on the church email address - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or on the church phone 07531-081621 when the usual guidelines will apply.  If you are joining us from your home on zoom dial in at 10.30am. for a 10.45am. start on 01314-601196 or 02030-512874.  Use the link https/ or down load the zoom app and join using ID 867575268.  Any problems phone 07531-081621.

As soon as we get the 'go ahead' we will announce when activities in the hall re start.  Meanwhile we are thankful to use zoom for so many of our meetings.

Tuesday is our time when we pray together (without zoom) and in this past year this has been a blessing as we believe that many join us in this as we pray for our community, our loved ones, our country and our Queen and Government and for the Covid situation.  We are so thankful for the amazing number of vaccines which have been delivered and we keep the NHS in our prayers.  We pray for all who are suffering and for all who have been bereaved and for so many other needs.

First Tuesday is on 2nd March when we have coffee and discussion on zoom from 10.30am.  For the link for this phone 01438-228232.

Bible Study on the same zoom as the Church service is on Wednesday at 7.30pm. (weekly) and Friday at 11.00am. (fortnightly).

Community Bible Study on 10th and 24th March from 2.20pm.  For the zoom link for that phone 07841-825521.

Our thoughts and prayers are especially with those in our villages who have lost loved ones in recent weeks.

Our hearts go out to them in sympathy.

Services on Sundays in March:

7th       Martin Watson                                         14th        Julia Funnell    (Mothering Sunday)

21st     Rev. David Ronco                                    28th        Sue Lutman     (Palm Sunday)

"How beautiful upon the mountain are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings

GOOD NEWS, who announces salvation, who says to Zion your God reigns."    Isaiah 52v.7.

                                                                                                      Marjorie McCarley  (01438-727050)





The next meeting takes place on Monday 8th March 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



The 23rd Annual General Meeting of the 1998 St. Ippolyts Hall Charity will be held on Tuesday 23rd March 2021 at 6.00pm. on Zoom.

The Agenda is on the website.

If you would like to attend please email me on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and I will forward the link.

At the time of writing due to the coronavirus pandemic and the Government’s national restrictions (Lockdown 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 website

Diary dates:

Management Meetings on Wednesdays 30th June and 29th September

                                                                                                                                         Pam Skeggs


ST. IPPOLYTS - An Early History

I was looking at a North Hertfordshire Museum recent blog and was pleased to find as promised the early history to about 1400 of our parish.  ‘St. Ippollitts:  A Village of Many Spellings’ by Keith Fitzpatrick-Matthews.  Visit

                                                                                                                                         Pam Skeggs


100 CLUB

The winners for February were:

No. 46             Julian Cox                   £20

No. 49             Sue Sykes                    £15

No. 172           Isaac Driver                 £10

                                                                                                                                      Shelagh Cox



Material for the APRIL 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 March, please.  Or given to Rosemary Stratton by Friday 12th March.



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