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St Peter's News

St Peter's Parish News
Volume 9 Number 49
Friday 29 November 2019
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From Fr Tim
I must admit that whilst last Sunday’s Festival of Light was a great occasion for the town and a wonderful opportunity for us to invite folks into a beautiful candlelit St Peter’s, it did feel rather odd singing Christmas carols before Advent had begun.  However, with this coming Sunday we mark the beginning of the new Church year with the First Sunday of Advent.
Advent brings both a familiar feeling with all the echoes of encouragement and promise that Christians have celebrated over the centuries.  Yet we must never forget that until the 17th of December, the emphasis is less on preparing to celebrate Christ’s birth than a challenge as we journey towards the end of time.  The recent protests concerning the effects of climate change have, to my mind, brought the stark possibility of a terrible end to things within this century a distinct possibility.  I certainly fear for my young grandchildren and the world in which they will have to make their way.
Advent then is also a season to challenge us both in the bible readings and in the music sung in our worship.  Advent warns us to stay awake, not to become complacent about our world and our faith, to keep watch, to change our ways and to remain vigilant for the coming of Jesus BOTH at the end of time and as the Christ child.
Yet Advent is about patience.  The word “patience” is about waiting and if we can recapture this sense of waiting - not easy in our impatient age of instant technology - then we shall come pretty close to the heart of Advent.  This is not merely a passive waiting, like waiting for a train, but an active trust-filled hope.  So when we celebrate Advent we don’t just mark time, we increase hope.
Hope is one of the great Advent themes.  Hope means trusting even when it seems that no progress is being made.  It means hanging on to the promise of Jesus that he will come again (the word “Maranatha” is used in our Advent worship: it means, “Come Lord, come.”)  This means believing that our lives really do have a purpose and that the way we act towards each other matters.  This Advent waiting is really a mature expectation and far more than just hanging around; it is about a deep yearning.  As the Advent season progresses over four Sundays, our hope is strengthened by the prophecies of scripture.  We long for God to deliver us from all that prevents us deepening our relationship with him.  Each time we share in the sacrament of the holy eucharist, we pledge ourselves to prepare for him in our hearts and lives as we wait in joyful hope.
May I invite you to our special Advent evening service at 6 pm, when in the beauty of our candlelit worship we take time to reflect and to ask for that sense of hope-filled yearning to return to each one of us.  You see, in the end, our Christmas will only be as happy as our Advent has been expectant.
Fr Tim
From Fr Anthony:
This Advent Sunday’s 9.30  homily is built around Bach’s use of the hymn “Wachet Auf” (Wake up).  He wrote this cantata for the Sunday before Advent in 1731. Both the hymn tune and words were popular and written by Philipp Nicolai some 150 years before so they would be familiar to the congregation.  The Gospel reading was the parable of the wise virgins who waited for the bridegroom to come.  You will notice that when we sing the hymn. The cantata was a response to the Gospel reading.  When he was in Leipzig Bach wrote one for each Sunday of the year. (Services lasted quite a long time with longer sermons too!)  At the end of today’s service Jon will play, Kommst du nun, Jesu, von Himmel herunter auf Erden.  (Are you coming now, Jesu, from heaven down here to earth).  This was written in 1725 for Advent Sunday itself.  Spot the wonderful use of another earlier and  familiar hymn tune, “Praise to the Lord the Almighty”!


Sunday Services

Sun 1 Dec at 8:00am: Eucharist
Sun 1 Dec at 9:30am: Sung Eucharist
Sun 1 Dec at 6:00pm: Advent Carol Service

Weekday Service Times Next Week

Mon 2 Dec at 9:00am: Morning Prayer
Mon 2 Dec at 5:00pm: Evening Prayer
Tue 3 Dec at 9:00am: Morning Prayer at All Saints
Tue 3 Dec at 9:30am: Eucharist at All Saints
Tue 3 Dec at 5:00pm: Evening Prayer
Wed 4 Dec at 8:00am: Morning Prayer
Wed 4 Dec at 5:00pm: Evening Prayer
Thu 5 Dec at 9:00am: Morning Prayer
Thu 5 Dec at 5:00pm: Evening Prayer
Fri 6 Dec at 9:00am: Morning Prayer
Fri 6 Dec at 10:00am: Little Fishes service
Fri 6 Dec at 5:00pm: Evening Prayer
Worship with us


First Reading: Isaiah 2:1–5 
The word that Isaiah son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.
In days to come the mountain of the Lord’s house shall be established as the highest of the mountains, and shall be raised above the hills; all the nations shall stream to it.  Many peoples shall come and say, ‘Come, let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, to the house of the God of Jacob; that he may teach us his ways and that we may walk in his paths.’  For out of Zion shall go forth instruction, and the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.  He shall judge between the nations, and shall arbitrate for many peoples; they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks; nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.  O house of Jacob, come, let us walk in the light of the LORD!

Gospel: Matthew 24:36–44
Jesus spoke to his disciples: ‘About that day and hour no one knows, neither the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.  For as the days of Noah were, so will be the coming of the Son of Man.  For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking,  marrying and giving in marriage, until the day Noah entered the ark, and they knew nothing  until the flood came and swept them all away, so too will be the coming of the Son of Man.  Then two will be in the field; one will be taken and one will be left.  Two women will be grinding meal together; one will be taken and one will be left.  Keep awake, therefore, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.  But understand this: if the owner of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.  Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’ 


    + Alan, Bp of St Albans   +Justin, Archbishop
On World AIDS Day, for those with HIV and those who support them
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, Kris Collins, Ella Bartholomew, Marion Crawley
RIP   Sir Stephen Cleobury
Memorial   David Hamilton
Send a Prayer Request



Lots of Victoria pupils were excitedly talking about the lighting up festival on Sunday when they came into school on Monday and it is definitely beginning to feel a lot like Christmas! On Monday Margaret and Hilary from the Mothers' Union came to our collective worship to tell the children about the travelling crib. Lots of them are hoping to host it on its journey around the parish during advent and have already entered the colouring competition. Reception and Nursery classes are busy getting ready for their annual nativity shows; everyone has been reflecting on our current value of compassion and how it was shown to Mary and Joseph as they looked for places to stay on the way to Bethlehem.

.This week, our whole school worships have been led by Mrs Cutler with the Year 6 reflective leaders, Olivia and 4LC.  Mrs Cutler used the story of the Good Samaritan to help us think about who our neighbours are.  4LC helped us to understand that it is important to treat other people the way you would like to be treated yourself: if you want people to be kind to you, you have to be kind to them. If you want others to respect you, you have to respect them.
This week, we were delighted to be visited by David Baddiel, the author and comedian, who spoke to the children about his new book, ‘The Taylor Turbochaser’.  He explained what had inspired him to write this book and answered questions from the children.

ADVENT CAROL SERVICE is this Sunday, 1st December at 6pm.  A beautiful candlelit service of music and readings for Advent.

THANK YOU to all who came and supported us at the FESTIVAL OF LIGHT last Sunday.  We had 3500 visitors!  There are a few photos on display at the back of church and also on the website


STOP PRESS: The Friends of St Peter's is hosting a Pop-Up shop in the former Coral premises ,227-229 High St 3-10 December. Please come in and see us to donate to our 'Read in Peace' Seat appeal for Rectory Lane Cemetery, pick up or donate a book. Storytelling sessions and games available at the weekend.

ST PETER’S BOOK CLUB: Tues Jan 7, another opportunity to discuss the book, ‘Be Not Afraid’ by Sam Wells.  We started to discuss the book in Nov but felt there was so much more to talk about, hence this 2nd opportunity!

CHRISTIAN AID BIG SING Come and sing carols on Saturday 14th December between 10.30 and 12.00 in the market outside Tesco.  Please come for as much time as you can spare and join Christian Aid’s Christmas fund-raise: Help mothers use their God-given gifts. Margaret Burbidge tel: 862139
PARISH LUNCH - There will be a bring and share lunch on Sunday 26 January 2020 with lasagne and crumble on the menu.  Put the date in your diary now and there will be more details after Christmas. All welcome!

BREAKFAST BEFORE CHURCH, 15th December. Why not take the chill out of a pre-Christmas morning and come along to the Court House to enjoy a delicious choice of bacon and/or egg butties and croissants with coffee, tea or squash?  Served from 8.30 -9.15 am in aid of Church funds.

JAMBOREE PRESENTATION on Sunday 8th December at 11am, Jonathan Below and Sophie Armstrong will give a short presentation in the Court House (long room) of their experiences at the World Scout Jamboree in USA this summer.  All welcome!

The memorial service for Anna Gibbs will be on Thursday 5th December at 2.30pm at St Peter's.

There's a full programme of music and concerts coming up:

BRIDGEWATER SINFONIA tomorrow, Saturday 30th November 7.30pm Hancock, Mozart and Mahler

BEHIND THE MIRROR Sunday 8th December 7.30pm A Night in Vienna

CASTLE CHOIR  Wednesday 11th December at 8.30pm.  Christmas music and festive readings read by Adrian Scarborough

BERKHAMSTED CHORAL SOCIETY Saturday 14th December 7.30pm Behold New Joy

CHILTERN CHAMBER CHOIR Monday 23rd December 7.30pm Monteverdi Vespers

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

Dates for you diary

Other events coming up this week:
Tue 3 Dec at 12:00pm: Berkhamsted School visit (OD)
Tue 3 Dec at 5:15pm: Choir (trebles) - term time only
Thu 5 Dec at 2:30pm: Memorial - Anna Gibbs
Thu 5 Dec at 8:00pm: Bellringing
Fri 6 Dec at 11:30am: Funeral David George
Full Parish Calendar

Meeting this week:

Sundays Together Lunch   Carolynne Charman
12:30pm in the Court House.  For anyone on their own on a Sunday.  Every first Sunday of the month. Sun 1 Dec
Advent Carol Service     St Peter’s choir sings by candlelight at 6:00pm Sun 1 Dec
St Peter’s Ladies Club   Rosslyn Laidler 879992 7:30pm Court House: Christmas Dinner Tues 3 Dec
Little Fishes   Tracy Robinson 863559 Fridays in term time:  9:30-11:15am Court House. With today: Service 10:00am in St Peter’s.  St Nicholas Fri 6 Dec


01 December 2019
8am Said Eucharist
Clergy Fr Chris    
Server David Northcott    
Sidesman Liz Prosser    
Reader Liz Prosser    
9.30am Sung Eucharist
Clergy President Fr Simon  
  Deacon Fr Anthony  
  Sub-deacon Penny Fray  
  Preacher Fr Anthony  
Welcomers Clive F Carole D  
Sidesmen Barbara Northcott Helen Pope  
  Liz Pearce Sue Ruggles  
Sound operator Julian     
Servers MC Richard Currie  
  Thurifer 0  
  Crucifer Stephen Lally  
  Acolytes Hayley Khazaneh Will Gore
Reader Richard Newell    
Chalice Assistants Paul Jullien Hilary Elliott Rob Halls
Intercessions Caroline Waterstone    
Sunday Club Olivia Keep Awake, Keep Watch
6.00pm Evening Prayer/Choral Evensong  
Service type Advent Carol    
Clergy Fr Tim    
Sidesman Christopher Green    
Cleaning Team Cleaning Leader Carole Dell  
  Cleaner 1 Miles Nicholas  
  Cleaner 2 Rosslyn Laidler  
  Cleaner 3    
08 December 2019
8am Said Eucharist
Clergy Fr Simon    
Server Mike Hart    
Sidesman Jean Koch    
Reader Anthea Lepper    
9.30am Sung Eucharist
Clergy President Fr Anthony  
  Deacon Fr Simon  
  Sub-deacon Olivia  
  Preacher Penny F  
Welcomers Rachael A Cathy I  
Sidesmen Gwen Roberts Neata Thomson  
  Philippa Seldon Liz Wright  
Sound operator Michael A    
Servers MC Jane Bartholomew  
  Thurifer 0  
  Crucifer Stephen Lally  
  Acolytes Katy Hyde Tilly Armstrong
Reader Chris Beauchamp    
Chalice Assistants Carole Dell Nicky Evans Uli Grego
Intercessions Simon Lawson    
Sunday Club Sarah Hyde The Proclamation of John the Baptist
6.00pm Evening Prayer/Choral Evensong
Service type Evening Prayer    
Clergy Penny F    
Sidesman Richard Currie    
Cleaning Team Cleaning Leader Cathy Imber  
  Cleaner 1 Helen Pope  
  Cleaner 2 Anna Bombik  
  Cleaner 3    

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