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Link of Hope

LINK TO HOPE Here is an extract from a letter which I received recently from Link to Hope: “Fortunately through the amazing support of yourselves we managed to continue to support all of our projects at the same financial level and even found funds for new projects such as food parcel deliveries and birth certificates, etc. We also managed to send out nearly 25,000 Family and Elderly Shoeboxes to Eastern Europe. Although we were not able to send a UK team out again last year the project managers have started to get more confident with a camera and have sent back some really good photos. Unfortunately due to COVID escalating, many boxes had to be given to people outside and we weren’t able to gather their stories in order to write the Delivery Diary. We are absolutely determined to get out there this year, so in the meantime we have assembled some of the best photos which are now on display on the notice board in St. Ippolyts Church porch.” Thank you very much to everyone who filled or contributed to a shoe box. Your continued support is much appreciated. Arthur Sibun
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Community Lunches

COMMUNITY LUNCHES We are planning to start Community Lunches in the Parish Hall again on the first Wednesday of each month, starting on Wednesday 4th May. It will be great to be able to gather together once more. It would be helpful if we had an idea of numbers so, nearer the time, please contact Jane Veasey if you are planning to be there: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01462-434254. We’ll look forward to seeing as many as can be there. Anne Steel

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ELIZABETH OUR QUEEN 70 years ago as a schoolgirl in Hitchin, I was given a book by Richard Dimbleby 'Elizabeth our Queen' and I quote from the chapter about her Father's coronation: ‘To an eleven year old Princess, no matter how well she may have been primed by her grandmother or aunt in the ancient rites of the ceremonial, the moment, thrilling above all, was the moment that she and her sister must have been awaiting. It was the moment when she saw the Archbishop of Canterbury raise aloft the Crown of England. As the Crown was lowered on to her father's head a thousand voices in the Abbey acclaimed him with the cry "God save the King!" A cry that at once sped round the world as silver trumpets, rolling drums, saluting guns and pealing bells heralded the news that a new sovereign had been crowned.......... One more presentation to the King remained, the gift of the Bible - ‘the most valuable thing that this world affords: wisdom, royal law, and the lively oracles of God’. Marjorie McCarley
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News from great Wymondley

ST. MARY’S GREAT WYMONDLEY March like winds are coming early in the middle of February and the snowdrops seem late with daffodils almost catching them up. Spring is on its way. MARMALADE A great many jars of marmalade have been made over the last few weeks and there are just two batches of fruit left to prepare and cook. Plain marmalade, Three Fruit, Ruby and Ginger are all done. I can make Lemon & Lime later as they do not need the short season Seville Oranges. CHURCHYARD CLEARING St. Mary’s Church has recently had a tree survey carried out on the trees in the churchyard. We were advised as some of the actions to cut back and grub out brambles and ring bark the ivy growing on many of the trees. On Saturday morning, the day after Storm Eunice swept in, a group of about fifteen volunteers gathered to tackle various jobs. The ivy which had very thick stems was cut low down to inhibit further growth. Dead wood was cut and pulled out from hedges and trees and the wood that had blown down in the storm picked up. The grubbing out of brambles will have to wait until the snowdrops have finished but we were able to cut some of the tangled stems out. There will be more work to do in the next few months, though any major tree maintenance will have to wait until later in the year because of nesting birds. We luckily finished for the morning just as the rain started. Very many thanks to all the kind volunteers who gave up their morning.
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Bible Study Group

BIBLE STUDY GROUP Bible Study Group meetings will take place on Wednesdays 9th and 23rd March. We meet at 2.30pm. at Oakhurst (behind Kingshott School) home of Margaret Edmonds. We will be starting a new study of the Letter of Paul to the Galatians. Refreshments are served after the meeting. Do come and join us - all welcome. For further information please contact Margaret Edmonds (01462-452340) or Clare Larsen (01462-453541). Clare Larsen

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Pax Subscriptions


We are now able to support a local charity with a donation from Pax subscriptions.  This year we will be supporting The Herts. Charity for Deprived Children.

The Herts. Charity for Deprived Children was founded in the early 1960’s by John Stroud, Social Services Assistant Director, as a way of dealing with monies that were given to him for “poor children”.  Local Authorities were unable to take money so this Charity established itself and accepted donations from inheritances, gifts, etc.

We only provide for people who are Hertfordshire residents and are under the age of 18 and we make no further judgement on our applicants.  We see ourselves as a charity of last resort when applications to all others have been exhausted.  All applications must come from a professional agency.  In the main we provide white goods, beds and mattresses and one-off specials.  For example, a pair of size 14 trainers for a young man who at 11 years old brought up by a single parent on benefits could only be obtained through a specialist and at some considerable cost.  We do not provide things that aren’t transportable i.e. carpets, fitted furniture, etc. as often initially the families are in temporary accommodation following domestic violence.

We are a registered charity (200327), which provides annual accounts and can respond to a referral within 24 hours if necessary.  Currently amongst the trustees are a Judge, a County Treasurer, a Special Educator, and Social Services staff, all of whom have now retired.  We take no fees or expenses.  All the money raised is for the Charity.  

    Mrs. Patricia A. Read

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WORLD DAY OF PRAYER (Formerly Women’s World Day of Prayer) Our World Day of Prayer Service will take place on Friday 4th March at St. Ippolyts Church. Please note that it will start at the earlier time of 11.00am. The service has been prepared by the women of the United Kingdom which will make it extra special and the theme is ‘I know the plans I have for you’. We will be joining with people in over 120 countries and we will all be taking part in the same service but at many different times of the day. This is a joint service for all the churches in our benefice and everyone will be very welcome to join us. Refreshments will be served after the service. Jackie Harding

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Please don’t forget that the annual subscription for PAX is now due and will be collected shortly.  As mentioned in October 2021 the price per issue will now increase to 50 pence, making the annual subscription £5.  As we now have a printer who has cut the cost of our printing we will be able to send a donation

from the subscriptions to a charity each year.  Our chosen charity for the coming year is The Herts. Society for Deprived Children.

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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St. Ippolyts Church has set up a collecting facility for empty pill blister packs.  These packs go to a specialist recycling company which separates the plastic from the aluminium and in return the company donates money towards local Hitchin charities.

The collecting box can be found on the shelves, just inside the Church doors.  If you just throw these into the refuse bin, just think, they could benefit local charities instead and save more waste from entering landfill.

                                                                                             Mary Hooper

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The Bible Study Group meetings this month will take place on Wednesdays 

9th and 23rd February.  We meet at 2.30pm. at Oakhurst (behind Kingshott School) home of Margaret Edmonds.  We will be continuing our study of The Acts of the Apostles.  Refreshments are served after the meeting.

If you would like to join the group please contact Margaret Edmonds (01462-452340) or Clare Larsen (01462-453541).

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WORLD DAY OF PRAYER (Formerly Women’s World Day of Prayer)


(Formerly Women’s World Day of Prayer)

This year our World Day of Prayer Service will take place on Friday 

4th March at St. Ippolyts Church.  Please note that it will start at the earlier time of 11.00am.

The service has been prepared by the women of the United Kingdom which will make it extra special and the theme is ‘I know the plans I have for you’.  We will be joining with people in over 120 countries and we will

all be taking part in the same service but at many different times of the day.

This is a joint service for all the churches in our benefice and everyone will be very welcome to join us.

                                                                                      Jackie Harding

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Well despite all our concerns about whether anyone would turn up it was a great success!

The "host of angels" were amazing and attracted a lot of admiration and we had almost 240 cribs - another record.  Many of the children from the school came across on the Friday to enjoy a sneak preview, we had a steady stream of visitors over the weekend and did a roaring trade in jigsaws!

Many thanks to everyone who helped, folding angels, lending cribs, helping set up and clearing away, donating cakes and jigsaws and manning it - it is a real team effort and we couldn't have done it without you.

Thank you also to everyone who came along and looked around, without you it would have all been a bit pointless!

   The Fund Raising Committee

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Got questions about life and the Christian faith?  The benefice churches of St. Ippolyts, Great and Little Wymondley warmly invite you on a journey with us as we explore life together. 

If you’re looking for answers then maybe it’s time to make a START. Normally run in groups of about 6 to 10 people, each session involves video clips, exercises, group discussion and time for reflection.  Sessions last for about an hour and are free to attend. 

Our journey began on Wednesday 19th January but it’s not too late to join us.  Sessions continue on Wednesdays 2nd, 9th, 16th and 23rd February at 6.00pm. in Great Wymondley Village Hall.

For further details and to sign up please contact Caroline on 


                                                                              Caroline McDonnell 

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News from St Mary's Little Wymondley by Rosemary Stratton



We are blessed at St. Mary’s to have two Nativity sets, the first consisting of quite large figures which we place near the altar.  I don’t know where they originate from, but they must be in excess of eighty years old.  One of my earlier memories of going to church was at Christmas when I remember staring in wonder into the crib, there was a light at the back which set a glow over the scene.  That crib was built by the late Chris Allardyce who lived in Church Path, it came into church every year but age finally took its toll and it was kindly replaced by Brian Murphy from the parish.  The figures are very heavy and I think made of clay.  A few years ago Tony Maddren, our late organist, gave them a complete makeover, repainting their robes and bringing out all their facial features. 

Last year, although we were in lock down, I still set the figures out by the altar, it didn’t seem right keeping them packed away.  We have a bag of straw which we keep each year, it is so old and dry, I think it should be included on the inventory!

The second set I am given to understand is quite old and the figures were carved by a parishioner, again very beautiful, all in white and complete with sheep and donkeys.  A few years ago Michael Gray, a parishioner kindly made a stable which completed the setting, so if you haven’t seen it, be sure to pay a visit next Christmas.  If anyone knows a bit more about the history of these figures, I would be very pleased to hear from you.


Due to Covid, sadly we had to miss our Lent Group last year but would love to go ahead this year, but with safety in mind.  We usually meet in Hitchin at one of our parishioner’s houses, but I think we should be prepared to do a lateral flow test before attending each meeting, possibly starting on Thursday 3rd March.  If you are interested in joining the group, please give me a call.

                                                              Rosemary Stratton - 01438-871592


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ST. MARY’S GREAT WYMONDLEY News from Cherry Carter


Another new year has begun so let us all hope that it is a better one than the last two.  The days are slowly starting to lengthen which lifts the spirits and brings a chance to get a few more outside tasks done before dark.  The pond needs clearing and water plants cutting back before the frogs and toads arrive to spawn.  We have had days of rain, sunshine and blue skies and then mist and damp chill as I write.  The birds certainly know that Spring is on its way and are in full voice in the mornings and early evenings.  I hope we will have had many different birds visiting the garden for the Big Garden Birdwatch at the end of January.  In the churchyard snowdrops are pushing up through the grass and amongst the dead leaves with some white tips showing.  A joyous sight. 


The Seville Oranges are in the shops already though more expensive than last year.  It must be due to Brexit as they come all the way from Spain!  I have made two double batches so far, that is 12 or 13 jars in each batch so many more to go!  They will be on sale in the church porch soon.

CHURCHYARD CLEARANCE - Saturday 19th February 

Great Wymondley has now received the results from their Churchyard Tree Survey done just before Christmas.  This has highlighted some remedial work to be carried out which needs to be done before Tuesday 1st March because of the nesting birds.  We will have a Churchyard Clearing Session on Saturday 19th February to carry out some of the work.  We will be assisted by the Community Garden Club and as many of the village and indeed Benefice who would like to help.  Times from 9.00am. till 12.00 noon with a break for refreshments.  If you can only spare an hour or so come when you can.  The main jobs will be ring barking ivy on the trees, pulling out ground ivy, wild hop, elder and wild plum saplings, cutting back brambles and grubbing out.  Bring gardening gloves, loppers, secateurs, a pruning saw and a mattock if you have them, trugs, etc. to put cuttings in and if you are local and have one, a wheelbarrow.  There will be cake!

                                                                                      Cherry Carter



We start 2022 in a positive frame of mind in terms of our church restoration work.  It has been a while since we have updated everyone but that does not mean we have been idle!

In the summer last year we concluded that we really needed to raise further funds before work could start, particularly as our own fundraising efforts had been so curtailed over the past two years due to Covid.  We are now pleased to say that after much form filling we have secured grants from Herts. and Beds. Historic Churches Trust, All Churches Trust, St. Albans Diocese, Laing Foundation and the Francis Coales Charitable Foundation.  This has brought us additional funds of around £25,000 for which we are incredibly grateful.

This has enabled us to give instructions to contractors to commence work to the floor though be aware we have to wait some weeks before they can start.  We will keep you updated on progress over the next few months.

                                                                                           Paul Harding

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Looking Back a reflection from Revd Paul Lanham

Can you remember 6th February 1952?  Not many of us can remember the young queen in black descending the steps of the de Havilland Comet (I think) from Kenya 70 years ago.  I was starting my first term at boarding school a few days later and my memory of that is clearer.  I saw the tail lights of my parents' Austin Ten vanishing down the drive and feeling utterly alone;  it vividly remains with me to this day.  The princess becoming a queen was irrelevant to a nine year old boy in short trousers.  Just that car vanishing down the drive with its lights vanishing and entering a strange new and frightening world.

Remembering the Coronation, 2nd June 1953.  A tiny flickering black and white television, the event going on for ever and incredibly boring.  Our friends had one and we only had a radio.  Their son was a friend called Ronnie Ring (I wonder what happened to him?).  He had bicycle pumps which we filled and refilled from a water butt.  We spent the Coronation hosing one another with these pumps and from time to time reminding our parents that we were still alive.  Then back to prison in Bath (I hated school).  In 1954 we watched a film called 'A Queen is Crowned' (remember that?!) and colour film was new to me.  The Bishop of Bath and Wells who had played a key role in the Coronation later confirmed me.  His chaplain wanted to borrow the Bishop's confirmation sermon the next week at Gloucester Prison but found himself unable to do so because my clergy father was at both services, being the prison chaplain - that's another story! 

Now 70 years later we remember the same dedicated queen who has broken every royal record for longevity.  Always Queen Elizabeth, unshakeable, always there.  This month we remember her with thanksgiving as arguably the greatest lady the world has ever known, the most loved and respected.  This year will hopefully be a time when we can give thanks for her and rejoice with her - not as a duty but as someone we genuinely want to celebrate.  This is my first columnfor 2022.  The lasttwoyears have been difficult;  if these celebrations can shine a brighter light on this year, then we can look forward with optimism.


Forgive my sentimentality but illustrating these memories may show how far we have come since the young queen came down those steps.  That aircraft, that car and the television were all state of the art, now they are only seen in museums - even the 'water pistol' is a far more sophisticated weapon of mass saturation than the one that Ronnie and I improvised to the despair of our parents 70 years ago.  It is as though we are experiencing a second (or even third) Industrial Revolution and the world changes at an astonishing speed year by year - my five year old grand daughter is teaching me things that I can never understand while I speak of slide rules and logarithms (remember them?) to people who have no idea of what I am on about.  Queen Elizabeth has remained constant while the world has changed in a way that children who watched the Coronation could never have visualised as such future things.  After all, remember Dan Dare from 'The Eagle'?  At least The Beano remains.

But not even she can last for ever while God is eternal.  Remember that hymn - 'Change and decay in all around I see, O Thou who changest not abide with me'.  God never changes, nor does His love for us.  2022 may be a difficult year for organised religion and for the Church of England as a whole, but He will always be with us, a spiritual rock in what lies ahead. That is our hope and we have confidence in Him.

                                                                                        Paul Lanham

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The two crib services on Christmas Eve, one at St Ippolyts Church and the other at Great Wymondley Village Hall have been cancelled.

Revd Ginni has decided to cancel the two crib services on Christmas Eve, one at St Ippolyts Church and the other at Great Wymondley Village Hall because the current concern regading the spread of the omicron variant. All other Christmas services will continue but we rerquest that all those attending wear face masks and use the hand santiser privided.

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Parish Hall Fayre 27th November.

.211127 Parish hall Fayre Poster

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All Hallows Eve -Fun and games for all the family

Next Sunday - 31st October - All Hallows Eve - There will be fun and games for all the family from 2pm at The Community Garden in Great Wymondley and then after dark there will be a bonfire, candles and food to warm you up!  For more details contact Caroline at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. (booking essential if you want to stay for food)

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NOTE - 08:00 BCP Holy Communion 5th Dec. Change of Venue!!


8.00am – BCP Holy Communion – St Mary’s Church, Little Wymondley

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