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December Pew Sheets

.201206 Pew Sheets for December

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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.


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Pew Sheets for November 2020

.201101 Pew Sheets for November 2020

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Revd Ginni's Sermon Sunday 15th November 2020

Sermon 15.11.20

Matt. xxv.  Trade with this until I come back

         'It's not fair'.  I can't recollect this cry going around the vicarage all those years ago when the girls were growing up but if so then ours must have been the only house in the world where it didn't. It's the warcry of the frustrated child who can't get their own way, the cry of a teenage girl who is torn between childhood and adulthood, a teenage boy who has been left out of the first team.. It's also the cry of many an older person when looking at some aspect of their lives, crying out to a world that seems cruel. 

         Life is not fair, fact. It never has been, ever since primitive man walked this earth.  Some are born with great gifts that give them the potential for wealth, a high position in life, power; others are born to be unemployed all their lives because they lack the qualities to have such skills. One person is born a prince in a palace, another to a girl in a refugee camp or in the poorest part of the world. One is born incredibly healthy, another is born physically or mentally disabled. One is born handsome or beautiful, another is disfigured. One lives to be over a hundred in perfect health, another dies young of a chronic condition. Add your own examples, these are only the ones that come immediately to mind. It's not fair.

         Some people blame God for this, they want the world to be equal, people to start life on a level playing field. Countless people must have looked at themselves and looked around them and thought 'Why me?'. Why didn't God give me the skills to be like X or Y? Or even more sinisterly, 'Why am I disabled when my neighbour is perfectly healthy?'.The parable that forms today's Gospel raises so many questions that you could preach a dozen sermons about it and still not cover the issues raised by it. But today there can only be one!

         Life's not fair. In this parable of the talents Christ bypasses this issue and accepts it as a fact. To one servant the nobleman lends ten talents, to another five, to another one, each according to their ability, perhaps their position in his service. There is no debate about fairness, about whether they should all have the same amount; each has a different amount. Then he goes off and he trusts them to use the money responsibly in his service. It's not theirs, it remains his; it's a loan not a gift. 

Then when he comes back there is the reckoning. The first has made a huge profit. Brilliant, his faith in him has been justified. The next servant has also made a huge profit, he too will be rewarded. Then he comes to the third. The third has looked at the others. He hasn't had the same amount as the other two and he has sulked. So he has just put the money in a safe place and done nothing with it – here, have it back, it's yours. And understandably the nobleman is furious. He may only have had a little but he could have at least done the best he could with it. He is lazy, ungrateful. He at least had something even if it was only a little. Instead he has thrown the equivalent of a child's tantrum, thrown his toys out of the pram; he is utterly useless.

         And the root of it all? The third servant is negative. He has looked backwards at what others have rather than honestly at what he has.

So this parable is not strictly about the inequality of the world; it takes this for granted. It is about two things. One is the fact that all that we are and all that we have is a gift from God. The other is about how we use those gifts, to what end. In other words, it's about being positive and forward looking, not negative and backwards looking. 

Now if you read the more modern translations of the Gospels they try and translate this word 'talents' into contemporary monetary terms – pounds or euros or dollars, depending on which part of the world you live in.  The trouble is that the value of an ancient talent changes in relation to contemporary currency as the years go on and these translations soon go out of date. So I prefer to see the word for what it is. God you see has given us talents, opportunities. Yes I know you can talk about genetics and families and all the rest of it. But all that we are and all that we have is a gift from God, and God has given these gifts, these situations to be used in His service, not our own alone. 

Now this does not mean that we should spend our entire lives and all our efforts serving him to the exclusion of all else – after all He has also given us families to care for and be a part of. But what it means is that our lives, our talents are not for our own use alone. 

         So this parable is a call to serve Him according to what we can do according to the skills and talents that we have. Some are greater than others and yet those with smaller talents can achieve incredible things. 

When I was a very young curate I used to visit a home for those with cerebral palsy to talk to the residents and take prayers. I shall never forget a girl called Mary who like me was in her 20's. She could barely speak, she could not use her hands, yet she was deeply religious in spite of her catastrophic disabilities. She would type letters to me using her toes, sitting on the floor – and she could see into my mind as we talked. She has been an eternal inspiration to me and was a great help in the first two very difficult years of my ministry. 

Perhaps you know people like that, who have risen above the situation in which they find themselves by using what few talents they might seem to have and achieving great things with them. 

God needs us to use our talents, our skills in His service and not exclusively for our own ends. And he needs the skills of all of us, working together in His service, not just those who are most gifted or can do the most or have the greatest opportunities. So in a sense this parable foreshadows that picture that St Paul painted of the Church as the Body of Christ, with people seeing themselves as a part of something much greater, the whole Body of Christ, serving Him faithfully together. Not looking negatively at what others can do but rather at what they can do. Whether our gifts are greater or smaller, God needs them – small as well as big.

         And there is no point in thinking about achievements because that too is negative. We simply do not know what we are achieving, the effects of what we are doing. I may have told this story before but many years ago I was taking a course of confirmation classes in a parish in Manchester where I was working at the time. There was a teenage boy who just sat and never said a word in three months of weekly sessions. I wondered if it had all gone in one ear and out the other, whether he had been bored stiff all the time. After the confirmation his mother told me that he had never enjoyed anything so much in his entire life. We make a great mistake in looking for results, or thinking about results. 

What God wants from us is what the nobleman wanted from his servants – faithfulness. Faithfulness to Him, faithfulness in our use of those gifts which He has given to us. Faithfulness regardless of what we can or cannot do – because everything is important in His service. 

There is a saying, 'Without God we cannot, without us God will not'. 

We are God's servants, God's children, doing his work on earth in His strength and using the gifts which he has given us. He calls us to be faithful. Not to look negatively at what we can't do but positively at what we can do – and then to get on with it.

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Pax    NOVEMBER 2020 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 -






8.00am. Holy Communion (Book of Common Prayer) St. Ippolyts

9.15am. Holy Communion (Common Worship) Great Wymondley


10.30am. Act of Remembrance St Ippolyts

10.45am. Act of Remembrance Great Wymondley

12.30pm. Act of Remembrance Little Wymondley


9.15am. Holy Communion (Common Worship) Little Wymondley


9.15am. Holy Communion (Common Worship) St. Ippolyts


9.15am. Holy Communion (Common Worship) To be confirmed (See St. Ippolyts Website or Facebook)

All 9.15am. services are also live-streamed to Facebook.

Monday - Thursday - live on Facebook Morning Prayer at 9.00am. Evening Prayer at 6.00pm.


7.00pm. All Souls Day Service (ticket only) St. Ippolyts 





The next Council Meeting will take place on Monday 30th November starting at 7.45pm. It will be the last one for this year. Information on how to join the meeting is given on the agenda, which is available approximately 5 working days before the meeting on the Parish Council page of the Parish Council's website 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.




Thank you to all of you who have been involved with this year’s appeal. At the time of writing we have already received some completed shoeboxes which will be forwarded to Link to Hope. Thank you to those who have already completed boxes, to those who are currently working on one and to those of you who may have donated items or money directly to the charity. Just a reminder that this year, if you are doing a shoebox that you would like us to return for you, we will need it to be back with Christine and Arthur Sibun (tel. 01462-459145) by Monday 2nd November at the very latest in order to get it to the centre in time. (If getting it to us is a problem, just give us a ring in good time and we will try and collect it from you, if that would help). Despite these very strange times in which we find ourselves, it is so good that we are still able to help others in such a practical way. Thank you all. Arthur Sibun .




We have always kept dogs, having eight at one time but slowly reducing to a more manageable one. We try to help rescue dogs now and our last dear lady left us over a year ago. We felt ready to start again just as lockdown was introduced, so our search was a difficult one, but at last we found an ideal candidate and set off early one morning, a three hour trip to Stoke on Trent to a rescue kennel. Within an hour we were happy with our choice and back down the M6 to bring her to a new home. It is always a difficult time the first few months, you are never sure what the dog’s history is and what they are used too, so we were both prepared to dedicate time and patience to settling her in, but we never imagined what a task it was going to be. Within twenty four hours of having her we were rushing her to the vets; she was very poorly and the first week she spent more time in veterinary hospital than she did with us. Poor dog didn’t know where she was, and we have had to be patient in winning her trust and love, but I’m pleased to say we are on the right track now. She has turned out to be quite a character and she goes by the name of Lola (a Rottweiler). She has taken over the best settee, loves getting out in the garden and has discovered the mole. She frantically digs enormous holes in hot pursuit, to no avail, but it keeps her amused. We go out for some lovely walks every day, and I give thanks to the Lord for letting us find her. I don’t think she has ever seen a squirrel or a deer before, the first time she spotted one I came the closest I have ever been to becoming airborne, so now I have learnt to be ready to apply the brakes. She has an amazing tail, when she is happy it is up and over her back, like a flag, a good sign and it helps us find her in the garden. Last month we took her to church. She soon made friends with everyone, especially the church warden who had a pocketful of dog treats. Reverend Ginni gave her a blessing, so she is well and truly part of the family now and we love her dearly. Rosemary Stratton




Autumn is here although we don't seem to have had very much of that Indian Summer which is always such a treat. The trees are beginning to glow with autumnal colours and squirrels are everywhere storing nuts for the winter. The hedgerows are laden with hips and haws. Will this be a sign that the winter will be harsh? There are so many gardening jobs to do before the weather gets really cold. Pots to get put away in the greenhouse, baskets and containers to plant up with winter bedding and bulbs to plant. Apples and quinces are picked and quince jam and jelly are made.

201101 GW 1


The Garden Working Weekend went really well with a great many helpers throughout the day clearing the ground that Digger Dave was working on with his machine dragging out dead undergrowth and brambles. Wood chip paths were laid, vegetable and flowering plants set and wooden seats constructed.

201101 GW2


A few evenings ago I was locking up the church at twilight and as it was a fairly warm evening the Churchyard had dozens of our bats swooping around the building.

There must have been insects out in the warm air for them to hunt. We have, according to the Bat Survey we had done when the tower was restored, three kinds of bats, Pipistrelle, Long Eared and a third that they were not sure of. They are roosting above the purlin in the nave and rearing their young. I like bats though they do make a mess on surfaces in the church and the floor is often littered with butterfly wings which they leave after eating the bodies. We see a lot of them in the summer in the churchyard, over The Green and in our gardens. I was surprised though to see them so late in the year. The strange thing was that I could not see in the gloaming exactly where they were flying back in to the church. They seemed to fly into the wall, window or west door and vanish. It was rather like Platform 9¾ at King's Cross when Harry was going to Hogwarts School in the Harry Potter books. I know there are gaps around the doors and broken glass in some of the windows as well as the louvres and slit windows in the tower but flying into stone walls and solid doors was most uncanny. I put the key in the inner door one morning to unlock the door and managed to push a Pipistrelle bat out of the keyhole the other side and on to the floor. It did not seem hurt so I picked it up with a gardening glove that was in my pocket and put it on the seat in the porch in a dark corner half under an empty flower pot to recover. I went back a few hours later and it had gone so it must have been all right.


Now is almost the time to make Sloe Gin. Sloes are the fruit of Blackthorn and distinguishable from bullace or wild plum by the thorns. They are best after they have been frosted or you can freeze them for 24 hours and then use. The frost helps break down the skin.


450g. sloe berries

450g. caster sugar

70cl. gin (a cheap bottle is fine) A large jar sterilised.

I use a kilner jar. Wash and prick the sloes all over with a darning needle or a cocktail stick. Add the sloes, sugar and gin to the jar and seal. Turn the jar every day for the first week or so to dissolve the sugar and colour the gin evenly. Keep for at least 3 months. When it is ready strain through muslin in a sieve then pour into a clean sealable bottle.

I make damson gin as well which is really delicious. Both are excellent for sore throats, coughs and colds.


Plans are being made for celebrating Advent and Christmas in the village.   

Sunday 8th November

There will be a short Act of Remembrance at the Lychgate starting at 10.45am. There will be a collection split between The British Legion Poppy Appeal and St. Mary's Church.

Wednesday 11th November

There will be a short Act of Remembrance at the Lychgate starting at 10.45am. There will be a collection for The British Legion Poppy Appeal. Cherry Carter





In this pandemic climate, we get daily updates on how the Coronavirus is affecting our world, our country and our location and how we need to observe certain guidelines in order to help prevent the spread of the virus. As I listened to one of the broadcasts by the PM and his team the words which I kept hearing were 'if everyone complies' and 'if we do this together'. When we were in the midst of a world war the country felt united in the purpose of winning the war as we were exhorted to work together with a united effort. This is surely as important as ever and winning the war against Covid is a 'together' issue and requires a united effort. I was reminded recently of Admiral Nelson's words before the battle of Trafalgar in October 1805: 'England expects that every man will do his duty'.

In this present isolated world, 'together' is a lovely word. There are still things we can do together, like prayer for example. When the Church was born we read in Acts that 'they were all together in one place.......' and all the believers were one in heart and mind and the Church grew and miracles happened. It is always exciting to read the Book of Acts and the series we have had on Sundays on 'The Holy Spirit’ has indeed been a great blessing and we thank our preachers for bringing us God's word on Zoom. There are still two Sundays left in November to complete the series on the 1st and the 22nd to which we look forward.

We have been very thankful for Zoom and just a reminder of how to use the link - Dial in at 10.30am. for a 10.45am. start on 0131-460-1196 or 0203-051-2874. Use the linkhttps// or download the zoom app. and join using meeting ID 8675752648. Any problems phone 07531-08162.

On the first Tuesday we meet for 'coffee and chat' with Will and Lynne Andrews and the next one will be on Tuesday 3rd November from 10.30am. Contact Will for link details on 01438-228232.

On Tuesday evenings we pray 'together' from our homes at 7.30pm. without zoom. So please join us from your home as we pray for our community, our families, and the country and the government, the Covid situation and for all who are suffering from illness, bereavement or extreme poverty. We pray for our Queen and her family and for all those things you wish to bring to God. On Wednesdays at 7.30pm. we have a chance to dial in to zoom again to join 'Christianity Explored' which explores the best news you could ever hear from Mark's Gospel. Zoom on the link as above for the Sunday Service.

Sundays in November:

1st    Dr. Barry Funnell 8th Doug Richardson (Remembrance Service)

15th  Will Andrews (Good News)

22nd Margaret Edmonds 2

9th   Sir Les Ebdon (Advent). He is coming ! "Come, let us bow down in worship. Let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for He is our God and we are the people of His pasture, the flock under His care." Psalm 95: 6,7. Marjorie McCarley (01438-727050).




In the coming year we are very keen to keep floodlighting the church, so it shines out in the village. The LED floodlights that are installed give an exceptionally good light with a greater consistency of colour. So, we would like to continue the lighting sponsorship that so many people have done over the past years. The cost is still £15 per week and we have 52 weeks to fill. You may sponsor as many weeks as you like. You may wish this to be in memory of a loved one, to celebrate a birthday, a wedding or anniversary, etc. With the church only being open for services the usual process will be difficult to do. I therefore plan to keep the list at home, but if there is a service and we are present, we will take the board to church. Cheques please, if possible, made payable to ‘St. Ippolyts Church’, as it makes it easier to track who has paid. If you wish, you can book weeks as Anonymous. I can be contacted on 01462-432445, at 6 Ransom Close, Hitchin (please call us if you plan to visit) or at ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.’. Below is a 2021 calendar with the week-numbers on the left-hand side. Here’s hoping that we can fill the list up quickly. Thank you very much for your support. Roger Cox




Very many thanks to the small number of boxholders who continue their generous support of The Children’s Society by contributing to a home box. The total amount donated this year was £184.50. Well done to you all! Diane Blundell




The next meeting which takes place on Monday 16th November at 7.30pm. will be on Zoom. Copies of the Agenda and Approved Minutes are displayed in the council notice boards and on the 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 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




We have welcomed some more user groups back and two new groups. 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 page. Pam Skeggs




The Hitchin Society was founded in 1962 by local residents concerned about the loss of fine, historic buildings in Hitchin. In 2000, a Civic Award scheme started and in 2004 it became the local organiser of Heritage Open Days, a highly successful, Europe-wide scheme. In 2002, the Society became a Registered Charity, with the defined area of benefit Hitchin, and the neighbouring civil parishes of Ickleford and St. Ippolyts. The fiftieth anniversary of the Society was marked in 2012 by the presentation of a bench to the town that is situated on the grass near the river, a lovely spot to sit. Talks on a possible merger were held with other societies but this was impossible so the committee considered it had no alternative but to recommend winding-up the society. This was put to the membership and the society was finally closed at the end of September. The remaining funds have been given to our Hitchin British Schools Trust and the archives to HALS. Pam Skeggs




With the school understandably not collecting for harvest this year all donations that were given were taken to The Haven where they were very gratefully received. As a result, we were unable to send out boxes of goodies to local residents. The Friends decided that this wouldn't do, especially this year when so many people are lonely and need a little cheering up, so we baked a few cakes and took them round to those on the list. Everyone was thrilled to receive an unexpected cake and even more pleased to have a jolly good natter with the deliverer. We are planning to do the same thing at Christmas, so if you know of someone that we need to add to our list please let Franie know. Telephone 01462-233488. Barbara Thomas






Sadly, we have decided that we are unable to hold the Nativity Crib Festival in the church this year, our ancient church with its narrow aisles and social distancing just don’t mix. However, we have decided to have a go at a Virtual Crib Festival. The plan is that we will upload at least one photo of a crib plus a few words about it every day from 1st – 24th December (so it will be a sort of Advent Calendar as well!). We are hoping that everyone will be able to join in posting photos of their cribs together with a few words about what makes it special to its owner. It will be great to see the Cribs in their positions at home and fascinating to see how far it will spread (we know there are ex St. Ippolyts people in Australia and New Zealand!) As the Crib Festival is a big fund raiser for us we will also include a link to our Give a Little page - and, hopefully, people will be generous in giving to help us to maintain our beautiful, but expensive, church. So, keep an eye open for us from the beginning of December on Please join in and share as far as you can. If you have a crib it would be great if you could email me a photo of it in its position in your home together with a couple of sentences about what makes it special to you. Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Barbara Thomas



100 CLUB

The winners for OCTOBER were: No. 157 Jan Hawkins £20 No. 20 Frank Harding £15 No. 90 Amelia Cowlishaw £10 Shelagh Cox




The next Pax will be a double issue covering DECEMBER and JANUARY. Material 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 Sunday 15th November, please. Or given to Rosemary Stratton by Thursday 12th November.  *************************************************************************************************

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