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St Peter's News

St Peter's Parish News
Volume 10 Number 07
Friday 10 January 2020
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From Fr Tim
Do oil and water really mix together?
I pose this question because this coming Sunday we celebrate an event in the life of Jesus - his baptism in the River Jordan by his cousin John.  Perhaps it’s not an inappropriate moment to consider what you see happening at a baptism in St. Peter’s in addition to the pouring of water.  To answer the question about mixing oil and water, the short answer is yes.  In fact two different oils are used, one before the actual baptism and one after.  Both of these Oils, together with a third, the Oil for Anointing the Sick, are blessed by the diocesan bishop on the morning of Maundy Thursday at a special mass when the deacons and priests gather in St. Albans Abbey for the Chrism Eucharist.  (These Oils are then received into St Peter’s at the beginning of the evening Mass of the Lord’s Supper you may recall.)  The pre-baptismal anointing is with the Oil of Catechumens, but it is the Oil of Chrism that I want to explain further.

In the gospel we shall hear this Sunday as Jesus rises from the River Jordan, a voice from heaven pointed him out as the Son of God.  “Listen to him” it said.  What possible connection is there with our lives?  Dare I suggest that there is a River Jordan running past each of our doors?  We know it’s there and we can choose whether or not to step into it whenever we go out, or else side-step around it.  For to step into the river means that we immerse ourselves in the business of baptism.  We should never say, “I was baptised,” but “I am baptised”.  Baptism is not a one-off event, about being “done”, but the beginning of an ongoing lived vocation for every Christian.  So this is not about babies, christening gowns and nice parties, but the nuts and bolts of what makes each and every one of us tick.  Baptism commits us to a way of living, breathing and relating to each other.

Where does the Oil of Chrism fit in with this?  (Incidentally, this is the same oil with which the sovereigns are anointed at their coronation service).  We say that Jesus’s baptism marked him out in three ways: he was shown to be a priest, a prophet, and a king.  When we are baptised we too are to have these hallmarks in our lives.  What might it mean for us?

To be baptised as priests, (we call this the priesthood of all believers), means to offer God a life that is pleasing, to worship and praise him, to bring to him our needs and those of others to God in prayer: some deep water here to be sure.  Perhaps we would not normally think of ourselves as prophets but that’s what the baptism rite tells us we are.  So without ramming our faith down people’s throats, living a life of integrity and care for others is in itself being prophetic, as well as speaking out against that which is wrong and unjust at work, and making a practical contribution to help those in need.  To be thought of as kings sounds very strange these days.  In the days of Christ a king had a kingdom and was responsible for the citizens of that kingdom.  As members of the kingdom of God we are called to rule by protecting the weak and vulnerable, caring for the environment and really getting involved at the deep end.  To be a priest, prophet and king means to get into the River Jordan each day.  When you go out and then return home, ask yourself how wet your feet are.

Fr. Tim



Sunday Services

See our website for a full list of services coming up

Worship with us


First Reading: Isaiah 42:1–9

Thus says the LORD:  Here is my servant, whom I uphold, my chosen, in whom my soul delights; I have put my spirit upon him; he will bring forth justice to the nations.  He will not cry or lift up his voice, or make it heard in the street; a bruised reed he will not break, and a dimly burning wick he will not quench; he will faithfully bring forth justice.  He will not grow faint or be crushed until he has established justice in the earth; and the coastlands wait for his teaching.   

Thus says God, the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread out the earth and what comes from it, who gives breath to the people upon it and spirit to those who walk in it: I am the LORD, I have called you in righteousness, I have taken you by the hand and kept you; I have given you as a covenant to the people, a light to the nations, to open the eyes that are blind, to bring out the prisoners from the dungeon, from the prison those who sit in darkness.  I am the LORD, that is my name; my glory I give to no other, nor my praise to idols.  See, the former things have come to pass, and new things I now declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them. 

Gospel: Matthew 3:13–end

Jesus came from Galilee to John at the Jordan, to be baptized by him.  John would have prevented him, saying, ‘I need to be baptized by you, and do you come to me?’   

But Jesus answered him, ‘Let it be so now; for it is proper for us in this way to fulfil all righteousness.’  Then he consented.  And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove and alighting on him.  And a voice from heaven said, ‘This is my Son, the Beloved, with whom I am well pleased.’ 



    + Alan, Bp of St Albans   +Justin, Archbishop
The Anglican Church of Australia & Archbishop Philip Leslie Freier
Sick & Bereaved
  Long term: Christina Billington, Judith Hill, Yvonne Rix,
Margaret Taylor, Len Bennett
and immediate: Diane Luckraft, Keith Dawson, John and Philip Jennings, Julie Painter, Peter Lindley, Lorna Sargaison, Geraldine Wright, Bill Stead, Alice Jullien, Trudi Bouquet, Ella Bartholomew, Marion Crawley
Memorial   James Anderson, Paul Beard
Send a Prayer Request


  The children have made a great start to 2020 by coming back to school full of enthusiasm and excitement this week; it was a pleasure to welcome them back on Tuesday morning. Our new value is Courage and they have been thinking about being brave enough to step outside their comfort zones in one way or another. We had a lovely service at the church on Wednesday when Olivia extended this idea by likening it to going through a new door to find out what lies on the other side. We had our final open morning for prospective Reception parents on Wednesday as applications for places in September 2020 close on 15 January and are now looking forward to showing round groups of parents looking for Nursery places. 

 This week our whole school worships have been led by Mrs Cutler and the Year Reflective Leaders as well as Olivia Davies.  Our value for this half term is Courage and we have explored with the Reflective Leaders what courage means: facing danger and opposition, overcoming fear, making a stand for what is right and encouraging others to persevere.  Mrs Cutler used the story of Moses and burning bush to show how stepping out of our comfort zone is not always an easy option. 


BRING AND SHARE LUNCH 12:30 on Sunday 26 January - Please sign the list at the back of the church if you would like to come.  All are welcome!  We are looking for contributions of lasagne and crumble which should be brought to the Court House cooked and ready to be reheated.  Salad, custard and cream will be provided and please bring your own drinks.  Any queries to Rachel Below (, Alison McMunn or Hilary Elliott. 
WALSINGHAM PILGRIMAGE 2020: This year’s Pilgrimage will take place from Friday 24th until Monday 27th April and will be led by Fr David.  For information, prices etc, please see Philippa Seldon in Church on Sunday or contact on
HOLY COMMUNION In the Spring of 2020, Olivia and Fr. Joe Roberts will be leading 6 sessions to prepare young people for receiving Holy Communion. If you would like your child to, or know a child who would be interested, please speak to or email Olivia for more details:

LENT TALKS 2020 - advance notice: This year, Fr Simon is going to be leading the weekly Lent Talks which will begin in the Court House at 8pm on Wednesday 4th March.  Over the course of four hour-long Wednesday evenings, we'll be reflecting on the Church's age-old statement of beliefs: The Creed.  A sign-up sheet, so that we have a sense of approximate numbers, will appear at the back of church at the beginning of February.
800TH ANNIVERSARY MEETING:  It is the 800th anniversary of St Peter’s in 2022.  We are holding a short initial meeting on Tuesday 14th January at 7:45pm in the Court House to start thinking about how we might celebrate the event.  If you would like to attend, please come along on the evening (we anticipate it being not much longer than 1- 1.5 hrs) or send any thoughts through to:  Thank you.
KNIT AND NATTER The next meeting of the Knit and Natter group will be on Tuesday 14th January at 2.30pm at 17 Hall Park.  If you would like to join the group please phone Kathie Lally (863526) to find out more.  If anyone has any wool they no longer need the group would love to receive them for their current knitting projects.

Notices for the Pew Leaflet & Parish Email
Please send your notices copy-ready & rota swaps by 2pm Wednesday.
Send your notices
Full Parish Calendar

Meeting this week:

Choral Evensong & Benediction     Cathedral style Choral Evensong and Benediction in St Peter’s, 6:00pm Sun 12 Jan
Grief and Loss Support Group   Sylvia Banks 871195. Monthly Lunch 12:30pm at The White Horse, Bourne End Wed 15 Jan
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 15 Jan
Little Fishes   Tracy Robinson 863559 Fridays in term time:  9:30-11:15am Court House. With today: Jesus is lost Fri 17 Jan
Prayer Breakfast    Peggy Sear
01442 877341
8:00am at the Way Inn; third Saturday of the month.  Prayer requests to Peggy Sear by the previous Monday, please Sat 18 Jan
PEW LEAFLET notices copy-ready & rota swaps by 2pm Wednesday please


12 January 2020
8am Said Eucharist
Clergy Fr Chris    
Server David Northcott    
Sidesman Sarah Hyde    
Reader Sarah Hyde    
9.30am Sung Eucharist
Clergy President Fr Anthony  
  Deacon Fr SImon  
  Sub-deacon Olivia  
  Preacher Fr SImon  
Welcomers Rachael A Cathy I  
Sidesmen Gwen Roberts Michael Mumford  
  Sue Ruggles Elinor Mumford  
Sound operator Michael A    
Servers MC Jane Bartholomew  
  Thurifer Mark Grego  
  Crucifer Jonathan Below  
  Acolytes Chris Pritchard Hayley Khazaneh
Reader Jos Newell    
Chalice Assistants Christopher Green Kate Hennessey Dagna Horner
Intercessions 0    
Sunday Club Olivia Baptism of the Lord
6.00pm Evening Prayer/Choral Evensong  
Service type Choral & Benediction    
Clergy Fr Simon    
Sidesman Christopher Green    
Cleaning Team Cleaning Leader Carole Dell  
  Cleaner 1 Miles Nicholas  
  Cleaner 2 Rosslyn Laidler  
  Cleaner 3    
19 January 2020
8am Said Eucharist
Clergy Fr David    
Server Alan Conway    
Sidesman Jean Koch    
Reader Anthea Lepper    
9.30am Sung Eucharist
Clergy President Fr Simon  
  Deacon Fr Joe  
  Sub-deacon Olivia  
  Preacher Fr Joe  
Welcomers Christine Cowie Liz Wright  
Sidesmen Carole Dell Kathie Lally  
  Helen Pope Stephen Lally  
Sound operator Christopher    
Servers MC Richard Currie  
  Thurifer 0  
  Crucifer Libby Grundy   
  Acolytes Katy Hyde Tilly Armstrong 
Reader Dagna Horner    
Chalice Assistants 0 Bev Jullien Paul Jullien
Intercessions Caroline Waterstone    
Sunday Club Heather The First Disciples of Jesus
6.00pm Evening Prayer/Choral Evensong
Service type Evening Prayer    
Clergy Olivia    
Sidesman Gerry Bertolotti    
Cleaning Team Cleaning Leader Cathy Imber  
  Cleaner 1 Helen Pope  
  Cleaner 2 Anna Bombik  
  Cleaner 3 0  

Contact us

Fr Tim Pilkington 

01442 879739
(day off Friday)

Fr John Russell
Team Vicar (Gt Gaddesden, Lt Gaddesden, Nettleden)
01442 214898

Fr Joe Roberts
Team Vicar (Potten End)  Director of Schools' Ministry
01442 865217

Parish Office
Hilary Armstrong & Kate Perera      
01442 878227
Fr Simon Vivian
Assistant Curate
01442 864199
(day off Thursday)
Who's Who at St Peter's
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Parish Office

 01442 878227