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Church Services

Church Services

1. On this page you will find the details of Church contacts.

2. Church services for the month within the Benefice.

3. The monthly news letter.

1.CHURCH CONTACT DETAILS

Priest-in-charge – Rev Alison Jackson – 01279 790145 / 07833 667707

1 Dovedale, High Wych, Sawbridgeworth CM21 0DT

Mission Enabler:

Rosemary Davis 01279 419763

Reader

June Denton 01279 723714

Lay leaders of worhsip

Janet Bellingham 07882743627

Rosemary Davis 01279 419763

Churchwardens

Michael Shaw - 01279 726792

We have a vacant post for Church Warden

Secretary

Christine Law - 01279 411646

Treasurer

Werner Marx – marxwerner2@gmail.com

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Benefice of High Wych and Gilston with Eastwick

Church website: stjameshighwych.org.uk

Facebook: eastwick and gilston church’s

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SERVICES FOR JUNE    

2nd June

1st Sunday after Trinity

8.00am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

10.00am

 for breakfast followed

Family Service

St James, High wych

6th June

D-Day

Commemoration

7.00pm

Bell Ringing at 9.00pm

With bubbly and food

St Mary’s, Gilston

8th June

Saturday

7.30pm

D-Day Event

Gilston & Eastwick

Village Hall, Pye Corner

9th June

2nd Sunday after Trinity

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

 

 

2.30

DOG WALK

From St Mary’s, Gilston to Hunsdon Airfield Memorial followed by refreshments

16th June

3rd Sunday after Trinity

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

23rd June

4th Sunday after Trinity

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Morning Prayer and Dog Walk

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

30th June

5th Sunday after Trinity

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

JUNE  LETTER

Determined to be grateful

As we travel through May (when I am writing this) we as a church are holding five people before God who we want to come to know Jesus better.   The point is to pray from Ascension to Pentecost (9th – 19th May) – 10 days in total, it is called ‘Thy Kingdom Come’.  I find it really hard to stick to 5 people.  During my week I meet so many people who I bring before God, to name them, for help, for hope, for healing, to bring them joy in their everyday.  ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ give us written resources and films we can watch online and today’s was to go deeper into Thanksgiving.

And that got me thinking – how important it is to have an attitude of thankfulness. (The world at the moment seems so dark and we can get caught up in the misery of our world around us and feel powerless to help).  Being thankful is really important for our own mental health and wellbeing and for those around us, who have to live with us, as is prayer.  We can always pray about everything and bring our requests to God.

We were asked today What three things are we thankful for?

And that got me thinking as I was walking Bean.

What 3 things am I thankful for today……..

First of all it is hard to limit it to 3.

But today I am thankful for living in such a lovely place, the countryside that I can walk in, the lovely people that I meet daily, my church family – all very precious to me, and the fact that it is not raining and I am not walking through mud!

I am also thankful for my family, my husband, my sons, their girlfriends, their happiness and health.

I am at this moment in time really thankful for Ali Geller and Christine Law who take my words and share them through the Link and the G and E Parish magazine and give me the hope and the opportunity that you might read them and stop and think of God for a moment.

As we look at June we are coming up to the D Day celebrations when we remember 80 years since the Second World War ended.  What a time of celebration that was …it followed years of misery for our country.  We remember this so that we do not forget – forget the misery and horror of war.  We are losing that shared memory of how horrible it was, when we lost so many of our family members, when we didn’t have enough to eat, to wear, when sleeping was not safe.  When our water supplies, heating, etc were all difficult and interrupted – it is becoming harder and harder to imagine a time that our grandparents or great-grandparents endured.  We have the opportunity to come together on 6th June and again on 8th June (see flyer)  when we can have sometime together remembering, sharing food and looking at the experiences that others had of the Second World War.

Now, I take for granted so many things. I don’t often think to be grateful for my daily needs such as clean water, electricity, gas and food and supermarkets to shop in.  They are just part of daily life, but perhaps that will be my Thanksgiving prayer for tomorrow…

My question to you is what are you grateful for, try and name 3 things every day  and see if this helps you to have a positive mindset to see the good things that we are surrounded by.  I hope this helps you in your daily life.

Psalm 136:1 says ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good, for His steadfast love endures forever’.

One song that goes around in my head and I would like to share with you is ‘The Goodness of God’ by Jenn Johnson the words and music say it all for me really and you can often hear me singing it as I walk round the Orchard when I think I am on my own!!

Goodness Of God (LIVE) - Jenn Johnson | VICTORY (youtube.com)

10,000 reasons by Matt Redman is another great favourite.  Hope you enjoy these as much as I do.

The sun came up - its a new day dawning - youtube video - Google Search

My prayer for you all is that you can see all the things and people and gifts you can be grateful for and that you lift them to God and say simply ‘thank you’.

Your Priest

Alison

Just a reminder I am here for you should you need to talk and share life a little with me.

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SERVICES FOR MAY     

5th May

6th Sunday of Easter

8.00am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Breakfast with 10.00am for Family Service

St James, High Wych

12th May

7th Sunday of Easter

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

followed by APCM at 12.15pm

St Mary’s, Gilston

19th May

WHIT SUNDAY

PENTECOST

9.30am

Holy Communion

followed by APCM at 10.45am

St James, High Wych

26th May

Trinity Sunday

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

Alternatively a

Community Dog Walk

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

With tea and cake afterwards.

See flyer in magazine

GILSTON WITH EASTWICK PARICHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL

ANNUAL PARISH MEETING AND ANNUAL PAROCHIAL CHURCH MEETING

SUNDAY 12TH MAY 2024

12.15PM after the church service. Residents are most welcome to join us.

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MAY LETTER

 Walking for Dementia, and all good gifts around us

As you all probably know by now I walk my dog, Bean every day, many of you have seen me out and about and always say ‘Hello’ which is lovely.  March saw me walking as I normally do but walking for Dementia UK as part of their fundraising campaign.  In March I walked 225 kms (I was asked by the charity to walk 100 km) which is the equivalent of 104 miles I think, and because of people’s generosity I raised £311 when I was hoping to raise £150.00.  So thank you to all those of you who sponsored me.  What I was doing was using something that I do anyway to benefit someone else.  This got me thinking about all the things that people in our villages do.  I have someone who very kindly gives people eggs because their chickens lay more eggs than they can eat.  People who give away fruit and vegetables because they have grown more than they can eat. There are people who give of their time and skills to keep our churchyards, open, mown and beautiful. There are people who like being with children who volunteer and help with our toddler group and we have a new team building for our new ministry, Wednesday Welcome (which will start on 1st May see ad), we very kindly have the gifts of Ali and Christine who pull all our parish magazine info together so that the rest of us can benefit by knowing what is happening around us, those who serve on the Village Hall Committee, the Parish Council etc, and so many more people giving of the gifts and talents that they have that they can use for the benefit of others.

With all the uncertainty in the world at the moment with wars, and talks of retaliation which can be very unsettling, my heart is warmed by the goodness that is experienced in each one of our villages, where loving your neighbour really means something.

I know also as we head towards the Scarecrow Festival, all sorts of gifts and skills will be called in to help with cake making, building scarecrows, building other things…barbeques, putting up marquees, setting up tables and chairs, painting, designing and Bee Aware…we are calling all knitters and crafters to help us (after our success with the knitted/sewn mice that overran St James, one of our church’s last year!!!!) The plan this year is to knit/craft mini bugs and patterns will be found at the back of St James church or you can get in touch with me and we can drop a pattern and wool round to you….but that is all in the future, but good to start early.

For now let me tell you a little more about Wednesday Welcome.  The idea is that we are creating an opportunity for people to gather once a month for tea, cake and companionship and friendship at 2-32 Mabeys Walk in High Wych – CM21 0HN.  (Thanks to the generosity of our local housing association)  It is a beautifully decorated space with some new chairs, is lovely and warm with a great kitchen.  This invitation is extended to all our villages of High Wych, Allens Green, Gilston and Eastwick. Perhaps you would enjoy this for yourself, or have a neighbour or family member who would really appreciate this.  The first session will be on Wednesday 1st May 2024 from 2.00 – 4.00  pm.  Why not come along to the first one to help shape what this time together will look like – we thought music might be part of it, but if so, what sort, style etc, games, maybe but what games etc.  This time together will be shaped by the people who come to enjoy it and we hope to see many of you there.  There is no charge for this currently, but if you are able, you may want to give a small donation towards the freshly made cakes we will have every session.  If you want anymore information please contact me on revajacksonhwge@outlook.com 01279 790145 or mobile:0783 366 7707.

So the message I want us all to hear today is that keep up this great work of helping your neighbour, of using the things that God has given you to share with others and above all know that we are all called to be children of God – that God loves each and every one of us – made in his image to love and care for the people and the world we live in.  Where we see love we see God.

God’s greatest commands to us all are…

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.  This is the first and greatest command. And the second is like it…Love your neighbour as yourself – everything hangs on these two commandments Matthew 22:37-40.

May each day be filled with hope, love and care for each other.

Every blessing

Your Priest

Alison

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7th April

2nd Sunday of Easter

9.30am for

Breakfast

St James, High Wych

 

 

10.00am start

Holy Communion

 

14th April

3rd Sunday of Easter

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

21st April

4th Sunday of Easter

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

28th April

5th Sunday of Easter

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

Or Community Dog Walk. Meet at War Memorial

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

With tea and cake afterwards.

See flyer in magazine

 

APRIL LETTER

 Holy Habits

As you are all probably aware by now I have a dog and I can be found walking Bean in my big red coat, regardless of the weather and the mud factor.  In March I decided to take on walking 100k for Dementia Awareness, I thought it would be a tough challenge but after the first week I realised I would probably be ok as I had already walked over 50k.  As I walk Bean, I pray, I thank God for all that he is doing in my life, our villages, for the people that I meet, for the people that I have been asked to pray for, for the people that God puts on my heart…there are so many people to pray for.  I go to the Orchard a lot as I find that an amazing place to pray – it feels like the nearest thing to the Garden of Eden I can find.  When was the last time you prayed?  Have you ever prayed?  Do you need prayer?

God asks us to pray, to talk to him, in a very ordinary way, just like a friend, throughout our day.  To say thank you for all that he has done for us and the many blessings we have received and to ask for help when we need it.  The Bible is full of songs (Psalms) which express every mood you can possibly think of, joy, sorrow, anger, despair, fear, hope, praise and thanks and are a great way of helping us to express how we feel if we cannot find our own words.

Just a few as an example (you can google these for the full readings):-

Are Afraid – Psalm 4:8                                                           Joy – Psalm 33:3

Grieving – Psalm 119:50, Psalm 34:18                                  Hope – Psalm 31:24

Trust – Psalm 25:1-3                                                               Strength – Psalm 18:1-3

Easter is a time of hope.  It’s Springtime,  a time of new possibilities – the Easter Story is one filled with hope and new life.  That is what we will just be celebrating as you read this, through Messy Church both at St James and St Botolph’s, and all the other services published in this edition.  My prayer is that this Easter will be significant for you, it will create in you a desire to start the Holy Habit of prayer, if you would like to join us at our online Prayer meet up on Tuesday mornings just drop me a message and I will send you the Zoom link. If you would like me to pray for you, just drop me a message,  If you just want to spend time with us and have fun we have Community Dog walks, a music evening, a churchyard clear up (which involves lots of hot dogs and cake as well as some much needed gardening), to look forward to.  Your local community church is here for you, whatever age you are and we are going to be introducing our new project ‘Wednesday Welcome’ at the beginning of May (see flyer).

As Easter people, we are people of hope and so our bible verse for this year makes even more sense…

Romans 15:13

May the God of hope fill you with joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Your Priest, Alison

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SERVICES FOR MARCH                  

1st March

Friday

10.00am

 World Day of Prayer

St James, High Wych

3rd  March

3rd Sunday of Lent

 8.00am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service –

For Breakfast and 10.00am start

St James, High Wych

 

 

2.30pm

Community Dog Walk

St James, High Wych

10th March

4th Sunday of Lent

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

Mothering Sunday

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

17th March

5th Sunday of Lent

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

23rd March

Saturday

2.00pm

ST BOLOPH’S CHURCHYARD TIDY UP

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

24th March

PALM SUNDAY

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

28th March

Maundy Thursday

7.30pm

Maundy Thursday Service

St James, High Wych

29th March

Good Friday

10.00am-12.00pm

Easter Messy Church

St James, High Wych

 

 

2.30pm

Service at Rivers

Rivers Hospital

 

 

 

Station of the Cross

 

 

 

2.00pm

Last House

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

30th March

Easter Eve

10am -12noon

Easter Messy Church – Lite

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

 

 

7.00pm

Easter Vigil

St Mary’s, Gilston

31st March

EASTER DAY

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MARCH LETTER

 Yesterday I saw snowdrops and a few cowslips as we move from winter into spring.  The birds were singing and the sun was warm on my face and I felt my heart lift at the thought of longer days and not having to walk Bean in the dark in a dayglo jacket so I can find her when she is off the lead!!

We are journeying towards Easter, to all those joyful times of longer days, warmer evenings, not perhaps as much rain and mud, being able to get out in the garden, the allotment or play in the park, long dog walks, time off school, time off work, spending special time with our families and friends, all on our horizon.  We have so much to be thankful for. We have already had our Pancake Party

Thank you to all the helpers – children that attended – and the winner.

and our Ash Wednesday service to mark the beginning of Lent, and……   

We now have the Quiz Night to look forward to at Gilston and Eastwick Village Hall on Saturday 24th February at 7.30 pm, where you can bring your own drink, although we will serve tea and coffee and I believe there may be cake! (see flyer for full details).

Our next dog walk leaving from St James Church, High Wych will be Sunday 3rd March at 2.30 pm

However, as we journey towards Easter with all our services to look forward to we are experiencing Lent, that journey that is of personal self-reflection as we journey with Jesus as he walks towards the Cross, asking ourselves - where do we fall short? what can we do that is better? Who can we help?, etc

This year I am asking you all to think carefully about taking on the Lent Challenge as our way of giving thanks for all that we have and for serving others who are struggling at this time.  There are many ways we can do this, here are 3 different ways we can do this (see below):-

2024 The Lent Challenge

During the 40 days of Lent we may give things up – to fast – from sugary or fatty foods, while others choose a well-loved treat, social media, alcohol, or TV the idea being that we remember Jesus’ time in the wilderness when he went without and we are called to give more attention to God, in prayer and reading the Bible.

We are also called during Lent to remember those worse off than ourselves and there are so many ways we can do this.  We can give our money to charity, maybe sending help to children in Gaza who are struggling without food and basic necessities:-

Children in Gaza crisis appeal - UNICEF UK – (follow this link to financially give).

Or you may consider using the Count your Blessings project that helps you work through Lent thoughtfully, giving to the poorer countries around the world who are dealing with the onslaughts of climate change and poverty:-

count-your-blessings-2024-v1.1.pdf (christianaid.org.uk) – (follow link to download the 40 days challenge – printed out at back of church (St Mary’s) for you to look at)

Or you may want to look closer to home and take up the Lent Challenge for our own area.  We are committing to give generously to the Pop-Up shop during Lent, focussing on a particular area of food/household products each week as follows:-

Week 1 - we focus on bringing soft drinks  for that week.

Week 2 – cans of food.

Week 3 – dried goods

Week 4 - Cereals or household products.

Week 5 – chocolate (small Easter eggs)

Week 6 – Special Easter food

This will call us to sacrifice some of our wealth but it will benefit others who are struggling.  The church (St James, High Wych) or (St Mary’s, Gilston) is open every day from 9.00 am to 4.00 pm for you to bring food and place in the box provided, and we will make sure this food gets to the Pop-Up Shop.  Or if this is difficult for you, you can give the Pop Up Shop money directly at:-

Barclays Bank – Account Number 60797029 – Sort Code 20 36 98

Account Name:  Sawbridgeworth Congregational Church

My hope for each one of us over this Easter period is that we will say this prayer:-

Father, help me to live each day to the full,

Being true to You, in every way.

Jesus, help me to give myself away to others,

Being kind to everyone I meet.

Sprit, help me to love the lost,

Proclaiming Christ in all I say and do.  Amen.

I leave you with our Bible verse for the year to encourage us to find the joy in each day that we are given.

Your Priest

Alison

Romans 15:13

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.

SERVICES FOR FEBRUARY

4th  February

2nd Sunday before Lent

8.00am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service

St James, High Wych

11th February

Sunday next before Lent

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

14th February

ASH WEDNESDAY

7.30pm

Ash Wednesday Service

St James, High Wych

18th February

1st Sunday of Lent

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

25th February

2nd Sunday of Lent

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

FEBRUARY LETTER

 Countdown to Easter

I don’t know about you, but I am still remembering Christmas and all that it meant to us this year.  The amazing Christmas services, the opportunities to meet and share life together and the fantastic amounts of money raised for the 2 charities we agreed to support this year.  All the Outdoor services supported The Winter Night Shelter in Bishop Stortford and we have been able to give them over £600 and we also supported the Children’s Society with the collections from our Christingles to the tune of over £600 as well.  How generous are you all, thank you so much. 

And now, already, we are on the countdown to Easter…, we left the story of Jesus on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day being born in a manger and now we move to remembering Jesus not as a baby but as a grown man who was killed savagely, (which we remember on Good Friday), and rose again (which we celebrate with joy on Easter Sunday).   You see Jesus is not just for Christmas.  He is for our everyday – our Monday to Friday, our weekend, our everyday life.  He promises to be with us in the joy of our life but also through those difficult times when we really don’t know what to do, how to cope, or what to do next.  This is why we offer the Alpha course, to help you get your head round what Jesus really did for us and what we believe as Christians.  The Alpha Course, which starts on 15th January for 6 weeks is to help you think this through for yourself, so if you are curious about the Christian faith and want to know more, just join us online. (again see flyer for more information).

This year Shrove Tuesday happens on 13th February and we are inviting you with your children to our annual pancake party taking place in the Gilston and Eastwick Village Hall, see the flyer in the magazine for more info.  We are also having a Quiz Night at Gilston and Eastwick Village Hall on 24th February, I love a Quiz Night – I am not particularly good at them, but they are great fun. (again see the flyer for more information).

Our Ash Wednesday service will happen at St James on Wednesday 14th February in the evening at 7.30 pm – all are welcome.  We will also be starting our Lent Bible Study sessions on 21st February for 8 weeks at 7.30 pm at the Rectory, where we will be demystifying the Bible and getting straight in our heads how it all fits together.  Good Friday will be 29th March (look out for our Messy Church invite on that day) with Easter Sunday taking place on 31st March.

As always in the countdown to Easter we are offering you friendship and hope, times to come together and share food and fun to be a community filled with care for each other as we share this time and space together.

I leave you with the following verse, which is our verse for this year, which encourages us to hold onto joy, peace and trust in God to sustain us through all the ups and downs of life:

Romans 15:13

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.

Your Priest

Alison 

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SERVICES FOR JANUARY

7th January

Epiphany

8.00am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service

St James, High Wych

14th January

2nd Sunday of Epiphany

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

21st January

3rd Sunday of Epiphany

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

28th January

4th Sunday of Epiphany

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Service & Community Activity

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

ON-LINE PRAYER MEETINGS

On-line prayer meeting will be held on Tuesday 9th, 16th and 30th January 2024.  For more information please contact Rev Alison Jackson for the zoom link

JANUARY LETTER 

Looking backwards and looking forwards – searching for Joyful moments.

Examen

As always at this time of year we look back on the year that has just been and look forward to the year that is still to come.

We a