St Peter's newsThis week's parish news for you from St Peter's Great Berkhamsted
St Peter's news
Volume 13 No. 53
Friday 17 November 2023
Church news & notices
Wednesday 22 November - Wednesday 13 December at 10:30 am
Advent course: Searching for Home
Richard Hackworth will be hosting a four-week Advent course. The topic centres on immigration and the challenges immigration presents us as a country and a church. Everyone and anyone who is interested is welcome to come along. We will meet once a week for four weeks. Each week we will read a short section from the course book (details below). When we meet, we will also listen to a short recorded discussion, before discussing the ideas and thoughts raised by the course.
The book we have chosen is Searching for Home by Cole Moreton. This is not a long book, and the reading won't take long to read a section each week. The book is published by Eden in paperback for £11.84. If you would like someone to get the book for you that would be no trouble – please let Richard know.
I suggest we will meet at 10.30 am until no later than 12.00 on four Wednesday mornings 22nd November until 13th December. We will meet in the Square room of the Court House (with tea / coffee and biscuits of course!) I hope you will be able to come, and I look forward to meeting with you. If you are interested in this course, please contact:
During the town’s Festival of Light street party next Sunday, we throw open our church doors to the public. We will again welcome thousands of visitors who come in to experience our beautiful historic church lit by thousands of candles. Many will come into a church for perhaps the first time, many will pause for a moment of reflection in this calm, sacred space, and light a candle prayerfully. This is a wonderful opportunity for us to welcome our community into St Peter's, and offer hospitality with our famous mulled wine stall outside!
If you would like to help on the day with selling drinks, lighting candles, fetching or carrying, please speak to:
Christmas is for most of us a time of cheer, but sadly, many people in our Berkhamsted community do not spend Christmas surrounded by friends or family. There is one small way you can help - by writing Christmas cards to send to people who may be isolated or going through a difficult time at Christmas. Cards of Christmas Hope have put a posting box inside St Peter's at the back of the church. Please support this lovely initiative by writing cards with a little message of seasonal hope, and pop it into the posting box at the back of church any time before Saturday 2 December. You could use cards you've already bought, buy a pack of St Peter's cards in the the church, or even make your own cards for a personal touch!
Now that winter is upon us, some people may be concerned about a seasonal rise in COVID. We have some COVID tests available to pick up at the back of church, or on request from the Parish Office. This is especially important if you have elderly or clinically vulnerable family members, or if you are visiting care homes etc.
It’s beginning to look a lot like….
Advent and Christmas season is just around the corner, and as usual there will be lots happening at St Peter's. There will be news about all the services and concerts coming up in the parish news soon, but if you'd like some dates for your diaries, our website has them all, along with ticket links where appropriate:
Carolynne is organising a Christmas raffle in aid of the Roof Fund! She is collecting luxury gift food items so that she can put together a large Christmas hamper as a prize. Suggestions for items you could donate:
Biscuits for cheese
Mincemeat in a jar
olives (in jars)
After Eight mints
... or anything needed for Christmas would be welcome.
Once again Mary, Joseph and their donkey will be travelling round the parish during Advent and are looking for families to host them overnight. (They are small knitted figures travelling in a basket). If you would like to host them Kathie Lally will be collecting names after the 9.30am Mass on 12th and 19th November. Alternatively, you can phone/email her:
On Remembrance Sunday, the Berkhamsted community gathered to stand in silence, and remember those who fell in war, all who serve today, and civilians whose lives are disfigured by war or terror. At 11am there was a ceremonial laying of wreaths and 2-minute silence at the war memorial in Rectory Lane Cemetery, attended by Gagan Mohindra MP. In the afternoon, the Royal British Legion march concluded with the Last Post and silence at the war memorial, and a Remembrance service in St Peter's. Our choir sang Greater Love by John Ireland.
"Calling to mind the anger and hatreds of humanity, we commit ourselves to work in penitence and faith for reconciliation between the nations, that all people may, together, live in freedom, justice and peace."
"They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. At the going down of the sun and in the morning We will remember them."
- For the Fallen (Laurence Binyon)
Thursday 23 November at 11:00 am
Victoria School Reception Parent Tours
Victoria School are holding tours for the parents of prospective pupils, for entry in September 2024. There is one more tour taking place on Thursday 23 November at 11am. If you would like to take part, please ring the school to book onto a visit:
This is one of my favourite weeks of the year, Kindness Week. The children started the week with Odd Socks Day celebrating how everyone is unique and we should work together to shout out against bullying of any kind. We then had a Positive Noticing Day on Wednesday using the power of positive praise where we all 'noticed' something about someone else, then wrote it on a label for them to take home. The week ended with our Wacky Hair Day for Children in Need with a whole range of wacky hair styles from both the children and staff. The staff have been doing random acts of kindness for their wellbeing buddy which has gone done really well with all the treats 'appearing' to brighten our day.
Mrs Lisa Freeman Head of School, Victoria CE Infant and Nursery School
Sunday 3 December at 3:00 pm
Hospice Christmas Carol Concert at St Albans Cathedral
The Hospice of St Francis invite you to a magical afternoon of popular carols at the Cathedral, with special performances from talented local choirs, festive readings and plenty of opportunity for merry audience participation! The money raised from this concert will help the Hospice to continue to provide free, expert care, ensuring everyone is able to live their precious life well. For tickets contact:
Saturday 18 November at 7:30 pm
Jeneba Kanneh-Mason Piano Concert
This Saturday, Jeneba Kanneh-Mason plays Chopin’s Piano Concerto No. 2 with the Bridgewater Sinfonia. A BBC Young Musician finalist and one of Classic FM’s "Rising Stars", Jeneba recently made her Proms debut and has featured on BBC Radio 3. It will be quite an occasion to hear her playing here in Berkhamsted. The exciting programme will also feature DvoÅák's Three Slavonic Dances and Tchaikovsky's 4th Symphony - an evening of symphonic greats!
Please note: this concert will take place at the Centenary Theatre on Kings Road and notat St Peter's. Tickets are selling fast! Book online for £18, or £20 on the night, under-18s get in FREE!
Monday 20 November at 7:30 pm
Wildlife talk at Northchurch Baptist church
The Creation Care team at Northchurch Baptist Church (NBC) is putting on a series of three talks connected to nature during the winter. In the first talk, "The Changing Nature of Britain's Wildlife", Speaker Ian Gamble explore the flowers, animals and birds in various habitats around Britain with slides. There will be an interval with hot drinks and cake. Free entry.
Thursday 23 November - Saturday 25 November
Berkhamsted Art Society Winter Exhibition
Berkhamsted Art Society invite you to their Winter Exhibition at Berkhamsted Civic Centre. Come and browse the exhibition of paintings, prints, ceramics and cards by local artists, with free demonstrations and children's activities, and maybe purchase a distinctive Christmas gift or two!
Saturday 25 November at 3:30 pm
Tring Christmas Festival
Tring is holding its annual (pre-Christmas) Christmas Festival on Saturday 25th November (the day before the Berkhamsted Festival of Light). It's always a lovely event with market stalls, late night shopping, open Churches, live performances, Father Christmas, reindeer and a magical light display in the Memorial Garden. An abundance of merriness is promised! Open from 3:30pm until 8pm.
The Hospice of St Francis are holding a special event of celebration and remembrance, with music, children’s craft activities, refreshments, readings, a time for reflection and the lighting of the Hospice Christmas lights. Parking available. Pre-booking is essential.
Sunday 26 November
Meet Santa’s Elves at the Festival of Light!
The Festival of Light is coming soon! There's an opportunity for your little ones to meet Santa's Elves at the Elves' Posting House at the Civic Centre during the Festival of Light. Get ready to write, colour, or create a super special message for Santa Claus. To make sure everyone has a great time and stays safe, there are a limited number of spots available, so you'll need to pre-book a time slot ticket for £2.50:
Wednesday 6 December at 7:30 pm
Age UK Dacorum Community Christmas Concert
Age UK Dacorum's annual fundraising Community Christmas Concert will be at St Peter's Church, led by Fr Stuart. The festive event will include music sung by the Castle Choir, Christmas chart-toppers performed by local musicians, traditional congregational carols, and of course mulled wine and mince pies! Seasonal readings both sacred and secular will be given by local celebrity guests, including comedian Robin Ince, food writer Nigel Barden, rugby commentator Miles Harrison, the High Sheriff of Hertfordshire Liz Green, and a number of other local community figures.
Please come along and support the wonderful work of our local Age UK - advance tickets are £8 and include the mulled wine and mince pies!
Herts for Refugees support people who have, for whatever reason, fled their home country in search of a better life. As the cold winter months are upon us, they are working to support people living in camps and new arrivals in the UK and prevent deaths from hypothermia. They are appealing for donations of waterproof winter coats - if you have an old coat that you could spare, please drop it into the large collection box inside St Peter's Church (next to the noticeboard).
Sunnyside Rural Trust are running fun family events in the run-up to Christmas at their Hemel Food Garden site on Two Waters Rd, Hemel Hempstead:
• from Saturday 25 November: Christmas Trees sale at the Hemel Food Garden site
• Saturday 25 November: Christmas pudding workshop (book online for £25 per person)
• Saturday 9 December: Christmas Wreath-Making Workshop (book online for £40 per person)
• Saturday 16 of December: Santa's Grotto (free - pre-book your time slot online)
Sunnyside Rural Trust is a social enterprise supporting adults with learning disabilities (they also look after our churchyard) - do please support this excellent local charity in your Christmas preparations.
Open Door, Berkhamsted's community arts space, is running festive pottery painting evenings - come and paint your own bauble at The Studio on Park Street whilst enjoying a glass of fizz! Your bauble will then be glazed and fired and ready for you to collect in time for Christmas. Various dates in November & December - selling out quickly! Aprons provided, suitable for over-18s only.
St Mary's Northchurch have announced a scheme to convert the disused primary school playground area into a community garden. They are working with Northchurch Parish Council, St Mary's C.E. Primary School, the Diocese of St Albans and Hertfordshire & Middlesex Wildlife Trust to deliver the project, and hope to get members of the community involved. If you can support with fundraising, hosting events or legal work, they'd love to hear from you!
All Saints Berkhamsted Church Administrator vacancy
All Saints’ Church on Shrublands Road is looking for a Church Administrator.
Fixed term contract for 2 years, with possibility for continuation if finances allow
Hours - 10 hours per week, to be worked flexibly, occasional evening work
Location - Office available in the church / potential for some home working
Pay - £12.50 per hour
All Saints’ is an established Anglican/Methodist partnership (LEP) based in a residential area of Berkhamsted and within 1 mile of the High St/train station. The role offers the chance to be at the centre of our community interacting with our members, volunteers and local community.
The role involves:
Coordinating lettings of the halls
Managing Health and Safety, Safeguarding and GDPR policies and compliance
Supporting the minister and congregation in the administration of church activities
Ensuring property work and risk assessments are completed
DBS check will be required
Closing date is 23rd November. Interviews will be held on Tues 28th November
The autumn newsletter of the Beds & Herts Historic Churches Trust is out now, with an article about this summer's sponsored Bike 'n' Hike, and news about historic churches in North Bedfordshire and a forthcoming snowdrop tour of St Albans abbey in spring 2024. Pick up a free copy at the back of church this week.
Worship with us
This Sunday: 19 November 2023
2nd Sunday before Advent
9:30am Sung Eucharist
You are invited to join us at our main Sunday service
Music this week
Listen, sweet dove - Grayston Ives
Toccata & Fugue in d - J. Walther
Be silent before the Lord God! For the day of the Lord is at hand; the Lord has prepared a sacrifice, he has consecrated his guests. At that time I will search Jerusalem with lamps, and I will punish the people who rest complacently on their dregs, those who say in their hearts, ‘The Lord will not do good, nor will he do harm.’ Their wealth shall be plundered, and their houses laid waste. Though they build houses, they shall not inhabit them; though they plant vineyards, they shall not drink wine from them. The great day of the Lord is near, near and hastening fast; the sound of the day of the Lord is bitter, the warrior cries aloud there. That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of ruin and devastation, a day of darkness and gloom, a day of clouds and thick darkness, a day of trumpet blast and battle cry against the fortified cities and against the lofty battlements. I will bring such distress upon people that they shall walk like the blind; because they have sinned against the Lord, their blood shall be poured out like dust, and their flesh like dung. Neither their silver nor their gold will be able to save them on the day of the Lord’s wrath; in the fire of his passion the whole earth shall be consumed; for a full, a terrible end he will make of all the inhabitants of the earth.
1 Lord, you have been our refuge from one generation to another. 2 Before the mountains were brought forth, or the earth and the world were formed, from everlasting to everlasting you are God. 3 You turn us back to dust and say: ‘Turn back, O children of earth.’ 4 For a thousand years in your sight are but as yesterday, which passes like a watch in the night. 5 You sweep them away like a dream; they fade away suddenly like the grass. 6 In the morning it is green and flourishes; in the evening it is dried up and withered. 7 For we consume away in your displeasure; we are afraid at your wrathful indignation. 8 You have set our misdeeds before you and our secret sins in the light of your countenance.
Gospel: Matthew 25.14-30
‘For it is as if a man, going on a journey, summoned his slaves and entrusted his property to them; to one he gave five talents, to another two, to another one, to each according to his ability. Then he went away. The one who had received the five talents went off at once and traded with them, and made five more talents. In the same way, the one who had the two talents made two more talents. But the one who had received the one talent went off and dug a hole in the ground and hid his master’s money. After a long time the master of those slaves came and settled accounts with them. Then the one who had received the five talents came forward, bringing five more talents, saying, “Master, you handed over to me five talents; see, I have made five more talents.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” And the one with the two talents also came forward, saying, “Master, you handed over to me two talents; see, I have made two more talents.” His master said to him, “Well done, good and trustworthy slave; you have been trustworthy in a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.” Then the one who had received the one talent also came forward, saying, “Master, I knew that you were a harsh man, reaping where you did not sow, and gathering where you did not scatter seed; so I was afraid, and I went and hid your talent in the ground. Here you have what is yours.” But his master replied, “You wicked and lazy slave! You knew, did you, that I reap where I did not sow, and gather where I did not scatter? Then you ought to have invested my money with the bankers, and on my return I would have received what was my own with interest. So take the talent from him, and give it to the one with the ten talents. For to all those who have, more will be given, and they will have an abundance; but from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away. As for this worthless slave, throw him into the outer darkness, where there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”
ââJustin, Archbishop of Canterbury, âAlan, Bishop of St Albans, â Jane, Bishop of Hertford, and Charles, Archdeacon of St Albans
Sick & bereaved
Christina Billington, Alice Jullien, Bill Stead, Margaret Douglas, Judith Hill, Douglas Hill, John Malcolm, Clare Wallington, Denis Beard, Mary Beard, Patricia Cody, Jo Neale, Ghullam Mutaheri, Nola Frost, Betty Beggs, Audrey Higginbotham, Teddy Higginbotham, Alys Pilkington with thanksgiving
Sick & bereaved
Frozan Mutaheri, Leah Holdroyd, John Pike, Len Bennett, Sue Beuttler, Barbara Conway, Geoffrey Pope
(next four weeks)
called this Sunday
(next four weeks)
Felicity Lidderdale, Sandy Brownlie, Jean Cooper (Smith), Sister Rachel of Quidenham, Stephen James, Marion Crawley
Memorial (year's mind)
Worship during the week
Church is not just for Sundays! You are warmly invited to join us at services throughout the week at St Peter's, including Morning and Evening Prayer and celebation of the Eucharist. The weekly list of services is displayed on the parish website and on the church noticeboard.
Please note that weekday service times may change on the day, but it's easy to get daily updates online:
No sound? Click the mute icon in the video player to switch the audio on. Also, remember to check your computer/tablet volume settings, and the mute switch on the side of your phone/tablet.
The video may automatically play fullscreen if you're watching on a tablet (e.g. iPad). If you want to follow the order of service on-screen at the same time, use two fingers to "pinch" the video and it will pop back into place, so you can see the order of service on-screen.
Order of Service
Click the arrows to turn the pages in the order of service.
If you can't read the order of service, click the zoom button to enlarge the text.
Depending on your computer setup, you may find it easier to open the order of service in a popup window…