Parish News

News Bulletin for 23 April Low Sunday

Volume 7, Number 22 Friday 21st April 2017

From Richard


It sometimes needs a little courage to confess one is Christian. In my experience it is not unusual for this admission to be met with surprise, or even bewilderment. We live in a secular society and there is a head-wind against any form of religious faith. But the disciples experienced this too. Thomas showed them it was OK to stand by their faith and proclaim it to a sceptical world.

Jesus’ disciple Thomas had doubts when his friends told him they had seen the risen Christ. Before he would believe them he wanted to confirm their experience for himself by touching Jesus’ wounds. A week later he got his chance when Jesus appeared to the disciples again when Thomas was with them, and Jesus invited him to do as he wished.


Caravaggio - The Incredulity of Saint Thomas.jpgI have often wondered if Thomas actually did touch Jesus’ wounds. There are many paintings of this scene. Here is one by Caravaggio. Nearly all of them show Thomas putting his hand into Christ’s wounds. But there are exceptions. In a painting by Rembrandt Thomas’ questions are answered simply by looking at Jesus. I assume that Thomas didn’t actually touch Jesus’ wounds. If he had I think John would have left no doubt about it. Everyone in that room, including Thomas, who met the Risen Christ shared a compelling and personal revelation. Thomas showed the courage and honesty to question what others told him, and to change his mind only when, and if, he was convinced. He was convinced of the risen Christ and then his faith was steadfast, and he encouraged others who were maybe less confident to state their faith.


And I think Peter was one of those. When Jesus was alive Peter was a committed and enthusiastic disciple. But when Jesus was arrested, discipleship became too risky and he denied Jesus three times. Peter knew the cold grip of fear. The room where the risen Jesus first appeared to his disciples was locked for fear of their opponents. They hid their faith from the world. But perhaps Thomas’ example showed Peter that it was OK to think for oneself and that faith meant courage and freedom from fear. At Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to them, the room was not locked anymore and it was Peter who found the courage and resolve to go out to address the crowd, no longer afraid to proclaim his faith. Better to remember Thomas for his example of honesty and integrity, than for his doubt.





8:00am Eucharist Pr Fr Tim Pilkington
9:30am Sung Eucharist Pr Fr Tim Pilkington

6:00pm Evening Prayer Fr Tim Pilkington


First Reading Acts 2:14a & 22-32

On the day of Pentecost, Peter, standing with the eleven, raised his voice and addressed the crowd,

‘You that are Israelites, listen to what I have to say: Jesus of Nazareth, a man attested to you by God with deeds of power, wonders, and signs that God did through him among you, as you yourselves know – this man, handed over to you according to the definite plan and foreknowledge of God, you crucified and killed by the hands of those outside the law. But God raised him up, having freed him from death, because it was impossible for him to be held in its power. For David says concerning him, "I saw the Lord always before me, for he is at my right hand so that I will not be shaken; therefore my heart was glad, and my tongue rejoiced; moreover my flesh will live in hope. For you will not abandon my soul to Hades, or let your Holy One experience corruption. You have made known to me the ways of life; you will make me full of gladness with your presence.

Fellow Israelites, I may say to you confidently of our ancestor David that he both died and was buried, and his tomb is with us to this day. Since he was a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him that he would put one of his descendants on his throne. Foreseeing this, David spoke of the resurrection of the Messiah, saying, "He was not abandoned to Hades, nor did his flesh experience corruption. This Jesus God raised up, and of that all of us are witnesses.’


Gospel John 20:19-31

When it was evening on that day, the first day of the week, and the doors of the house where the disciples had met were locked for fear of the Jews, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ After he said this, he showed them his hands and his side. Then the disciples rejoiced when they saw the Lord. Jesus said to them again, ‘Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, so I send you.’ When he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.’

But Thomas (who was called the Twin), one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came. So the other disciples told him, ‘We have seen the Lord.’ But he said to them, ‘Unless I see the mark of the nails in his hands, and put my finger in the mark of the nails and my hand in his side, I will not believe.’

A week later his disciples were again in the house, and Thomas was with them. Although the doors were shut, Jesus came and stood among them and said, ‘Peace be with you.’ Then he said to Thomas, ‘Put your finger here and see my hands. Reach out your hand and put it in my side. Do not doubt but believe.’ Thomas answered him, ‘My Lord and my God!’ Jesus said to him, ‘Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have come to believe.’

Now Jesus did many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not written in this book. But these are written so that you may come to believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that through believing you may have life in his name.





+ Alan, Bp of St Albans +Justin, Archbishop

Muranga South (Kenya) & Bishop Julius Karanu Wa Gicheru




Sick & Bereaved



Long term: Christina Billington, Judith Hill, Yvonne Rix,

Anna Gibbs, Omid Tatiae, Margaret Taylor, Christine Danson, Len Bennett, Priscilla Watt, Matthew Baynes, priest.

and immediate: Ken Thorne, Diane Luckraft, Gordon Hufford, Wendy Halls, Mary Smith












Hilda Northcott, Ian Franklin, Patrick Lepper





Morning Prayer Monday 9:00am; Tuesday 9:00am at All Saints Shrublands Road;

Wednesday 8:00am; Thursday & Friday 9:00am

Eucharist Tuesday 9:30am at All Saints’ Shrublands Road; Wednesday 8:30am in St Peters

Evening Prayer Monday – Friday 5:00pm; Saturday 6:00pm




A CONFIRMATION CLASS (also suitable for anybody wanting to explore Christianity in general) will be beginning at the end of May, with a view to a confirmation service at the end of September. The meetings will be held in the Court House each second and fourth Sunday of the month from 3-4.30pm (though we won’t meet in August). For more details and to sign up, please speak to or email Fr Simon.


Do come to the QUIZ NIGHT ON SATURDAY 29 APRIL in the Court House, 7pm for a prompt 7:30pm start. Quiz plus supper all for £8 per person. To book your place please put your payment in a sealed envelope with your name and menu choice (fish, vege burger or spring roll, and chips) on it and give it to Hilary Elliott, Alison McMunn or Rachel Below on Sunday mornings or bring it to the Parish Office. Bring your own drinks and glasses. All welcome!


READING AT THE 9.30 EUCHARIST. If you would like to be on the readers’ rota, probably about 3 or 4 times a year, please contact Philippa Seldon

THE CRAFT GROUP OF THE HOSPICE OF ST FRANCIS are having a Craft Stall in the Courthouse on Saturday 22nd April.  Come and enjoy a coffee and piece of cake and buy some of our latest items to support the hospice at the same time.


Cowper Society presents MAY MADRIGALS: In accordance with ancient tradition, an intrepid body of singers will sing madrigals on the church tower next MONDAY MAY 1, May Morning, starting at 6:15am. Come and listen and welcome in the month of May, and join us for breakfast – WITH BACON BUTTIES! - afterwards in the Court House. A small donation is requested to help cover costs of breakfast.


CONCERT IN AID OF CAFOD: On Thursday May 11 at 8:00pm Chiltern Chamber Choir will be giving a concert of music for the church year in Berkhamsted’s Sacred Heart Church. The concert is being given at Fr John Boland’s request, to help raise money for CAFOD, the Catholic Agency for Overseas Development which campaigns for global justice and helps people living in poverty, whatever their religion or culture. Free entry, donations welcome.












Mothers’ Union Prayers


Margaret Burbidge 862139

2.30pm at 1 Castle Mews, Chapel Street. Prayer requests to Jenny Wells tel: 870981

Tues 25 April






Julian Meeting


Ruth T-B 863268

Meet for about half an hour of quiet prayer. All are welcome. 3 Sherwood Mews, Park Street 11:30am

Wed April 26






Little Fishes


Tracy Robinson 863559

Fridays in term time: 9:30-11:15am Court House. With today: A long walk

Fri April 28






PEW LEAFLET notices copy-ready & rota swaps by 2pm Wednesday please

PARISH OFFICE hours: Mon – Fri 9.30am – 12.30pm





Fr Tim Pilkington

Rector (day off Friday) 01442 879739

Fr Simon Vivian

Assistant Curate (day off Thursday) 01442 864199

Fr John Russell

Team Vicar (Gt Gaddesden, Lt Gaddesden, Nettleden)

Revd Penny Nash

Team Vicar (Potten End and Youth Minister)

Parish Office

Hilary Armstrong and Kate Perera 01442 878227