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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 – Vacant

Associate Priest:

Su Tarran – su.tarran@ntlworld.com

Readers

Joy Galliers-Burridge 01279 444870

Roger Burridge 01279 444870

June Denton 01279 723714

Lay leaders of worhsip

Janet Bellingham 07882743627

Rosemary Davis

Churchwardens

Sarah Bagnall 01279 441644

Michael Shaw - 01279 726792

Secretary

Christine Law - 01279 411646

Treasurer

Judith Denton 01279 723714

Safeguarding Officer:

Sarah Bagnall 01279 441644

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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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SEPTEMBER SERVICES

5th September

Trinity 14

8.00am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service

St James, High Wych

12th September

Trinity 15

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

19th September

Trinity 16

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

26th September

Trinity 17

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

HARVEST FESTIVAL – FOLLOWED BY LUNCH

St Mary’s, Gilston

Dear Friends

I am writing my September letter in mid-August, so please forgive me if anything I say no long applies.

At the beginning of July, Janet Bellingham started preparation for the Scarecrow Festival by holding several artistic events getting the street decorations made and painted.  The first event was in the village hall at High Wych and the room and surrounding areas outside were full of enormous brightly coloured butterflies, then later in the month on two Tuesday’s mornings in St James Church, traffic cones and umbrellas were transformed into outsized mushrooms.  I just can’t imagine what is going to be designed next.  But will wait with excited expectation.

Another exciting event was a village picnic on the playing field at High Wych at the end of July, most people brought their own picnics, chairs and some brought gazebos, there was a BBQ and tent with a local musical group using the time to practice together, this was the first time they had been together since the beginning of the covid pandemic, although they said they were just practicing their music, it was very entertaining.  This event was designed to bring the villagers back together after the pandemic, and it was a massive success.

On the 1st August there was a Flower Festival at St Botolph, Eastwick.  This event was organised by the parish council as a get together for the villagers of Gilston and Eastwick.  It was a popular event only marred by the exceedingly heavy rain during the afternoon. Congratulations to the organisers of both of the ‘get together’ events.

The churchyard at St Mary, Gilston had a makeover on 8th August, what a difference that has made, well done to the gardening team.

The Pet Service at St Marys, Gilston on Sunday 15th August at 11.15am for all four legged furry and hairy animals, and two legged feathered animals along with the families they own and live with were made very welcome. All the animals were very well behaved, in their own way they joined in the singing and assisted with the readings and sermon. It was a very interesting, noisy and fun service and the fellowship was enjoyed by all.  Refreshments were served after the service.

The Scarecrow Festival at St James, High Wych is on the 11th and 12th of September, There are going to be lots of stalls, music, a BBQ, a tea tent, children’s activities and much, much more.  Please come along to enjoy the spectacle of our decorated church and village. We are expecting a lot of visitors to attend this year as we were unable to hold a festival in 2020, so if you can assist, please contact Janet Bellingham.

The benefit of water is something that is mentioned many times in the Bible, in the New Testament the Bible tells the story that Jesus turned water into wine at a wedding (John 2’ 1-11) another is Jesus being baptised with water by John (Mark 1). There are stories of Jesus healing by using water and I am sure we all know the story of Jesus walking on water and controlled the waves.  These are just a few of the many instances when water is mentioned.  And today children and adults are still baptised with water as a symbol of their faith.  We just cannot live without water.  With this in mind it is very appropriate that this year’s Bishop’s Harvest Appeal is entitled ‘Water is Life’, collection bowls will be available at each of the Harvest services to enable clean, safe water to be brought to the communities in the Democratic Republic of Congo, because more than 70% of that population drink unsafe water and suffer the consequences of doing so.  Clean, fresh, abundant water is something we in this country take for granted, but just imagine not having that regular supply of water on tap in abundance. Donations to this worthwhile appeal can also be made directly.  Visit the Bishop of St Albans Harvest Appeal 2021 page and at the bottom is a gift link.

The Harvest Festival service at St Mary’s, Gilston is on the 26th September and the one at St James, High Wych is on the 3rd October.  Please come. 

May God bless you all

Joy Galliers-Burridge (Reader)

 

AUGUST SERVICES

1st August

Trinity 9

8.00am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service

St James, High Wych

8th August

Trinity 10

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

15th August

Trinity 11

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High wych

 

 

11.15am

Patronal / Pet Service

St Mary’s Gilston

22nd August

Trinity 12

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

 

 

12.45pm

Holy Baptism

St James, High Wych

29th August

Trinity 13

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

 

 

 

Dear Friends,

The summer season has arrived, and we have experienced sun, rain, cold spells, warm and sometimes hot spells and so reminded me of the book of Genesis which tells about the creation, what God has done, beginning with the affirmation that God created the universe and ends with a promise that God will continue to show His concern for His people.

As I look out of our patio doors, I can see the birds feeding their newly fledged chicks which is an indication of new life, the beauty of the flowers and shrubs, busy bees, fresh cut grass and a sense of wonderment at God’s provision and all that He created for our enjoyment. The Pet service at St, James, has been postponed but the service on 15th August at St. Mary’s Gilston at 11.15am, when we will give thanks for all the pets that share our lives, will be held.

 As we constantly give thanks to God for so many opportunities to share His goodness, we enjoyed coming together as a community to remember Jo Cox and to start the process of preparing the decorations for the forthcoming Scarecrow Festival that is to be held in High Wych this coming September. A grateful thanks to all who enjoyed the fellowship and working together on this occasion.

As I write this letter, we are still in a state of lockdown during this covid pandemic crisis, and we are very mindful of the affects it has had on so many. We thank once again our NHS and all who have assisted in many ways in providing help to so many at this time of uncertainty, and for those recovering in or out of hospital, and please continue to pray for healing and comfort for those who have lost loved ones. The restrictions placed on us are due to be lifted and some normality to our life structure is to be implemented, which will restore family connections and our ability to interact with friends and neighbours once more. But let us not forget that covid has not gone away and that we must still be mindful and take care of self and others. Once more God provides and cares for us all, and we must never forget His love and protection.

August is the time of the year when many are taking or thinking about holidays. It has been a difficult time to be doing so this year but with the lifting of travel restrictions many of you will be making plans, perhaps not going to other countries but staying here in our beautiful country. The children have long summer holidays, families need time for relaxation and what’s better than spending time with loved ones. Enjoying the wonderment of His creation. Keep safe and healthy and catch up on the times that have been missing during this difficult time.

In the church’s year, we are in the season of Trinity. Christians believe in One God, but they believe he exists in three parts or ‘persons’ These are the Father, the Son, and Holy Spirit known collectively as the Trinity. The Trinity is first mentioned in Genesis as part of the creation story, where all three persons of the Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are present. Today it is mentioned during many Christian ceremonies and is a central belief of Christianity.

The Father- the creator of everything-the sustainer of all -transcendent

The gospel narratives reveal that God the Son came into the world in the person of Jesus, who is:-

The Son-both fully divine and fully human-immanent-personal and so understands human suffering- a model for Christian behaviour-The Saviour

Importantly, the Gospel of John makes clear that Jesus has always been God’s son, even from before his birth:

The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the guiding part of the Trinity, Christians believe the Holy Spirit is –

A presence of God in the world today, as stated in the gospel of John: I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you for ever-the Spirit of truth (John 14:16-17) -the immanent part of God guiding the church-a source of strength, courage and wisdom.

Always perhaps a difficult aspect to understand but central to our faith. The love of God, who made all things, keep us steadfast in prayer and faith, in happiness and sorrow and on the pathway of the journey of life.

Many Blessings to you all.

 Roger    (Reader)

 

JULY SERVICES

4th July

Trinity 5

8.00am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service

St James, High Wych

11th July

Trinity 6

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

 

 

10.30am

Holy Baptism

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

18th July

Trinity 7

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.00am

Holy Baptism

St James, High Wych

 

 

3.00pm

Pet Service

St James,High Wych

25th July

Trinity 8

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Botolph’s Eastwick

Letter for July 2021

Summer has definitely arrived! As I write this the sun is shining, and the garden is flourishing and hope is high that the future whilst different, may have a few more freedoms than we have had for a while.

Looking back a little, on the 3rd of June the church celebrated Corpus Christi, a wonderful occasion each year to give thanks for the institution of Holy Communion, Lords Supper, Eucharist, or Mass (which ever term you prefer). It was particularly special for me this year as Janet, Archdeacon of Hertford joined our Benefice service at Eastwick and licensed me to the Benefice as Associate Priest.

But what is an Associate Priest?  Well, we come in all shapes and sizes, - all are ordained priests, so we do all the things you would expect, but many like me have a full-time job elsewhere and give of our free time to serve in a parish/benefice.  I hope that now I am staying with the benefice I will meet and get to know more of you in the coming weeks and months.

Looking forward a little, you will see in the church calendar that we will have Pet Services at St James on 18th July and on 15th August at St Mary’s.  Please do come along and say hello.  I love animals and if he promises to behave, I’ll bring my much-loved Westie along too!

Pet services are fun, and families are now making plans with us for Baptism’s and weddings put on hold during lockdown, so there is a feeling of hopeful expectation in the air. However, there are those for whom the future seems more challenging as they process loss and bereavement, and this is a time of mourning and sadness.

Our faith teaches us that in both our joy and sadness we are never alone, in that we can be surrounded and upheld by the love of God.  The invitation he offers to everybody is ‘Come to me, all you that are weary and are carrying heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.’  I’m sure all of us know how welcome such an invitation has been at certain points in our life.

We are blessed to have three beautiful churches in the benefice, and you are always welcome to come along and find out more about what and why we do what we do. I remember how hard it was to step into a church on my own as a young adult, so full of insecurities about would I stand or sit at the wrong time, and would I understand what was going on, but it was worth all the trepidations. We try to live stream one of the Sunday services each week, as well as evening prayer services on Tuesday and Fridays, so you could always visit one of our websites/facebook pages to catch up on what we are doing, but it would be lovely to meet you in person too.

Blessings and good wishes – stay safe and ‘see you soon’.

The Reverend Su Tarran

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JUNE SERVICES

3rd June

Corpus Christi

7.00pm

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

6th June

Trinity 1

8.00am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service

St James, High Wych

13th June

Trinity 2

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

20th June

Trinity 3

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

27th June

Trinity 4

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

June Letter 2021

Greetings dear neighbours and readers.

   Recently I was saying morning prayer at home and found that a bible reading set for the day was from the old testament prophet Ezekiel.   I know that he lived well over two thousand years ago but what he had to say seemed so relevant.

    Ezekiel was a man who dreamed dreams and saw visions.  He felt called to speak to his fellow Israelites who were in exile in Babylon having been forced out of their own country and taken further East to an area we now call Iraq.

    This vision was of streams trickling out from the walls of the temple in Jerusalem and very gradually getting deeper and wider until they became a river.  This river turned desert into fertile land.  Trees grew up along the river bank, trees which bore all kinds of fruit in different months.  The fruit was to be eaten and the leaves of the trees used for medicine. There was an abundance of all kinds of fish in the river, so many that plenty of fishermen could safely catch them without diminishing the supply.  All kinds of animals came down to drink from the river.  There were even marshy areas to be left for salt.

     It was a vision of a world prospering as it should not just for humans but also for all other creatures.  A world full of plants of all sorts.   It was also a vision to give hope to a people far from home and far from familiar things.

    A vision so relevant to the present with Climate Change and its effects on crops, animals and people everywhere.   A vision so relevant to a world reeling from the effects of Covid.

    This great river started from small trickles coming from a place of worship, a place of quiet, a place of stillness and peace, a place where people could think of more than their everyday lives.      We all need this sort of place, and the local churchyards and church buildings, when open, can provide it for everyone local.

    This great river started from small trickles.  It started as something small but became something huge.   I hope that for all of you a small trickle of hope, for a better life and world, will now be starting.

      May God bless us all.               Judith.        Reader ( High Wych and Gilston with Eastwick)

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MAY SERVICES

2nd May

5th Sunday of Easter

8.30am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service

St James, High Wych

9th May

6th Sunday of Easter

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

16th May

7th Sunday of Easter

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

23rd May

DAY OF PENTECOST

(Whit Sunday)

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

30th May

TRINITY SUNDAY

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

May Letter 2021

Greetings in Eastertide: the church season which runs from Easter Sunday through to Pentecost and this year, falls on Sunday 23rd May. It recalls the Holy Spirit descending on the apostles and giving them the gift of tongues to share the Word of God in the languages of the many cultures that surrounded them (Acts 2).

Jerusalem then, as now, was a melting pot of cultures - as are the communities in which we live. Holy Week last month reminded us of our commandment to love one another (John 13, 34) and that remains the key challenge to us all today.

Through these difficult times of the last year, where we have all experienced the impact of COVID and others have also been coping with the painful challenges of raising issues of race and oppression, it has been heart-warming to see the kindness and care people have shown one another. Let us pray that this support may continue always.  

As we look to Pentecost we acknowledge that our Jewish neighbours will be looking towards the festival of Shavout and many of our Muslim residents will have been fasting to mark the Holy month of Ramadam. May we all celebrate the diversity in our villages and the mutual respect we have for each other’s beliefs.

I hope the better weather and easing of restrictions will allow us to start our more regular village events again and we plan to have a Community Dog Walk leaving from St Mary’s Church, Gilston on Sunday 2nd May at 3pm followed by afternoon tea back at the church. Do look out for further details of this and other events on our Benefice Facebook pages and churches website in the coming weeks and months.

We have some building repairs starting at St Mary’s church this week so our 2nd and 4th Sunday services will be reversed in May with the 2nd Sunday being at Eastwick and the 4th Sunday at Gilston – both 11:15 starts. (Midweek services of Evening Prayer will continue as scheduled.)

In closing: as things begin to return to normality I hope that we will all still find time to keep up our local walks and enjoy the blossom & bluebells.

Godspeed
Sarah Bagnall - Churchwarden (Gilston & Eastwick Churches)

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APRIL SERVICES

1st April

MAUNDY THURSDAY

8.00pm

Maundy Thursday Service

St James, High Wych

2nd April

GOOD FRIDAY

2.00pm

Good Friday Service

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

3rd April

EASTER EVE

8.00pm

Easter Eve Service

St Mary’s, Gilston

4th April

EASTER DAY

8.30am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service

St James, High Wych

11th April

2ND SUNDAY OF EASTER

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

18th April

3RD SUNDAY OF EASTER

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

25th April

4TH SUNDAY OF EASTER

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Botolph’s, Eastwick

April Letter 2021

He is risen!

Many people think of Christmas as being the ‘big one’ for the church, and despite being really significant it falls a long way behind Easter as the most important celebration of the year.

The period before Easter that we call Lent, can be a gift of time to us, to take a hard look at ourselves and be honest about our shortcomings and then make a conscious effort to change in readiness to meet the risen Christ on Easter morning. Some people do this by ‘giving up’ something that they enjoy, and others by ‘taking up’ something which is challenging or difficult or requires a discipline of commitment.

The week before Easter, known as Holy week starts on the Sunday with Palm Sunday celebrations as we recall Jesus’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem.  Things rapidly change and the roller coaster of emotions intensifies, so that by Thursday we are marking the last supper, the arrest in the garden of Gethsemane, and the stripping of the altars, removing all the symbols and adornments from the church. Good Friday sees the crucifixion and the emptiness of the worlds light, continuing through Holy Saturday, until the evening when we hold the vigil, recalling Gods creation and deeds which reached fulfilment in Jesus.

It can be a dark time, before the dawn of the very best light.

Reflecting on this I can’t help but make connections with this last year of trials and tribulations, of fear and loss, or reduced freedoms and isolations. I’m sure that we have all learnt a lot about ourselves, and how we deal with these unusual circumstances. For many this has been a time of deep darkness and difficulty, but we must never forget that there has been so much new light shining through as well.

Let’s not forget the sacrificial actions of so many to keep us safe, healthy, fed and watered. The emergence of new friendships and closer relationships with neighbours and former strangers as we each looked out for each other, and when we asked ‘how are you?’ we actually really wanted to know and paid attention to the answer.

My parents, both Londoners and in their late teens when the war broke out, would probably have referred to it as the ‘spirit of the blitz’. They would often tell me of the strength of community spirit, the shared enemy and the acts of quiet generosity and kindness that were demonstrated day after day.  Each small act bringing a light of hope into another persons life.

As we approach Easter this year there is a real hope that we can see the dawning of new freedoms and a new beginning.  I for one do not want to return to the old ‘normal’ if that means going backwards to how things were before March 2020, I want a new normal that retains all the good that we have found in each other, where neighbours and strangers alike, look out for each other simply because we are fellow ‘humans’ and if we have learnt anything then it has to be that this is more important than ‘all the other stuff’ that used to be the main focus.

As Christians we believe that Jesus came that we might have life, and that we might live it in all its fullness. This is not just a gift for ourselves as we are charged with sharing that gift of love with the world in all that we do.  We don’t always get it right, but we keep on trying and we have each other to support and help each other on the way. 

During the Easter vigil service on Saturday evening ( 3 April 2021 at 8pm St Mary’s), I am privileged to be the one to announce that Easter has begun with the words “Alleluia he is risen”.  I fully expect that the normal joy felt at this moment will be magnified this year as the sense of hope and new beginnings will be even more tangible than ever. 

You would of course be most welcome to join us, and share in that joy, but always know that we are there and are praying for you.

May you know the love of the risen Christ this Easter.

The Reverend Su Tarran

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MARCH SERVICES

7th March

3rd Sunday of Lent

8.30am

BCP Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

 

 

9.30am

Family Service

St James, High Wych

 

 

 

 

 

14th March

4th Sunday of Lent

9.30am

Holy Communion

 

St James, High Wych

 

 MOTHERING SUNDAY

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Mary’s, Gilston

21st March

5th Sunday of Lent

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

28th March

PALM SUNDAY

9.30am

Holy Communion

St James, High wych

 

 

11.15am

Holy Communion

St Botolph’s,

Eastwick

 

 

 

Holy Communion

St James, High Wych

               March Letter 2021                                                                        

 Dear Friends,

As you drive into our villages some things are still the same. The sign by High Wych allotments telling you if you’re driving too fast, relatives still tending graves in the churchyards and the bin men still dutifully collecting our  refuge. Other things have changed. No lights on in our pubs. Village hall car parks  on a Saturday night empty of cars to take party revellers home. The school playground is eerily quiet.

I have just read Professor Tom Wright’s book called “God and the Pandemic” where he makes comparisons with the pandemic and the Second World War. Speaking about 1930s Germany, Pastor Martin Neimoller said: First they came for the Jews; but I did nothing because I am not a Jew. Then they came for the socialists, but I did nothing because I am not a socialist. Then they came for the Catholics, but I did nothing because I’m not a Catholic. Finally, they came for me, but by then there was no one left to help me.

 

 So in some way it may have been with the British and American reaction to the coronavirus. First it hit the Chinese, but we aren’t Chinese and China is a long way away and strange things (like eating pangolins) happen there. Then it hit Iran, but we didn’t worry because Iran, too, is far away, and anyway it’s such a very different place. Then it struck Italy, but we thought, Well, the Italians are sociable, tactile people, of course it will spread there, but we’ll be alright. And then it arrived in London and New York...And suddenly there was no safe space on the planet. Then there is that inevitable question of “Where is God in all this?”

At present I have the privilege of working in one of the vaccination centres in Harlow. From the window I can see the queue snaking round the car park and wonderful volunteer stewards supporting and encouraging in the freezing weather. It reminds me that the last time I stood in such a queue was at Heathrow Airport clutching my passport. Here the queue is a for a passport that mercifully you cannot buy with money and where humanity reaches out to give hopefully  a passport to life beginning with the most vulnerable. I am intrigued by the diversity of the queue. There are those with portable oxygen and indeed those who may have benefitted from the same followed by folk in their eighties sporting track suit and trainers who have run a couple of miles to reach their appointment. Others hide their faces from the advancing needle whilst a few want to watch the vaccine drawn up in case you are injecting them with some unknown substance. Jokers screech before being jabbed - unhelpful to the person behind who confides they have been awake all night worried about the anticipated event. The computer temporarily crashes and the slow forward momentum of the queue halts . A  man frustratingly remarks “Jesus Christ! Is this the queue?” No one  replies and no one answers back; after all it’s not as if we are queuing at Primark for the January Sales! This is a queue in which you obey the rules where we are aware there are many out there that would take our hallowed place. And  I think “Jesus why don’t you surprise him and the whole queue and answer him and say out loud “What bothers you my friend? You look upset – come and tell me all about it.”

Then a  95 year-old gentleman  trips over his walking stick as he hurries forward and falls smashing his  face and knee on the ground. No social distancing  now – humanity reaches forth to offer tissues for his bleeding nose  - someone removes their coat to pillow his head. The angry man stairs at the ground. Having mentioned your name on arrival, he does not realise that you are also in the queue and that you stand alongside each one of us sharing our day – loving us and wanting you to be part of our day even when we show no acknowledgement.

Finally to refer back to that question “Where is God in all this “ I conclude with the end of a poem written by  Malcolm Guite.

And where is Jesus this strange Eastertide?

He slips away from church, shakes off our linen bands

To don his apron with a nurse: he grips

And lifts a stretcher, soothes with gentle hands

The frail flesh of the dying, gives them hope,

Breathes with the breathless, lends them strength to cope.

On Thursdays we applauded, for he came

And served us in a thousand names and faces

Mopping our sick room floors and catching traces