St Peter's Church, Great Berkhamsted

The Church of St Peter Great Berkhamsted

St Peter’s Parish News

St Peter's Berkhamsted Parish News

St Peter's Berkhamsted Parish News


Volume 14 No. 24 Friday 10 May 2024

The Friday Thought

Fr Stuart Owen Fr Stuart Owen
Rector & Rural Dean

People who travel a lot on business tell me that it’s really not all that glamorous. I’m never convinced. When someone tells me that they’re flying out to Beijing next week and then Boston the week after, I’m open-mouthed in childlike wonder. Perhaps it’s because for me a ‘business trip’ is usually a visit to Watford General. Or, it might be because I’m one of those strange people who actually quite likes airports. Once I get airside, I love the liminality of neither being quite home or away and that delicious anticipation of arriving at my destination.

Perhaps it’s that fascination with in between places which draws me towards Holy Saturday and to this period of the Church’s year between Ascension Day and Pentecost. Both these ‘in between’ times speak to profoundly important experiences in our lives. On Holy Saturday and in these days following the Ascension, the disciples found themselves facing a world without Jesus in it, found themselves bereft of the presence of the Word of God. That sense of God’s absence is something that many of us (most of us?) find ourselves wrestling with at points in our lives. The Psalmist cried to God, ‘How long will you hide your face from me?’ At Gethsemane, Jesus cried out, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’ It’s a plea that has echoed down the centuries, and one which I’ve heard repeated in countless pastoral encounters. On Holy Saturday, Christ’s absence is a source of grief and loss.

However, whilst this period following Ascension is also a time in which the disciples experience Jesus as gone out of their lives, this time is shaped less by loss and more by anticipation. The question ‘Where are you God?’ is uttered not in a tone of lament, but with a sense of hope. The disciples had no idea of what was to come, could not have imagined the rushing wind and tongues of flame of Pentecost, but they knew that God’s Spirit was coming to them, life was about to change.

There is a lot of truth in George Santayana’s words, ‘Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.’ However, sometimes I think we risk over-emphasising the importance of understanding our past, and rather underplay the importance of being inspired by a vision of the future. The Good News that Jesus brought is a vision of the future He called ‘the kingdom of heaven,’ and the hope of the Christian is that through faith in Christ we can experience the reality of that future-heaven in the here and now. 

In these few days between Ascension and Pentecost, what vision of heaven’s kingdom inspires and motivates us?

Church news & notices


Friday 10 May at 11:15 am
Friday Mass

Mass will be now celebrated on the second Friday of the month in the Lady Chapel, and this is then followed by the weekly Rosary at midday. Everyone is welcome to attend. Please note that the Mass is now at 11:15am.


Sunday 12 May - Saturday 18 May
Christian Aid Week


Sunday May 12th is the start of Christian Aid Week. There are envelopes available in church if you would like to donate. The other way to help is to supply a cake, biscuits or preserves for the stall in the market next Saturday 18th May. Please let Dorothy Key know if you can help.


Dorothy Key    email:   


Sunday 12 May at 6:00 pm
Choral Evensong

This Sunday the choir will be leading a service of choral evensong at St Peter's. Everyone is welcome to this service, where our worship is exalted with glorious music from the rich tradition of Anglican choral music. 

305 Soul of my Saviour, sanctify my breast
388 Jesus shall reign where’er the sun (476)
Responses: Rose
Psalms: 47
Canticles: Noble in B minor
Anthem: Cantate Domino - Pitoni
Organ voluntary: Chromatic Fugue (3rd mvt from Sonata No. 4) – J. Rheinberger

An evensong date for your diary: Sunday 9 June 2024 - Choral Evensong for RSCM Music Sunday, when St Peter's joins with the Royal School of Church Music and church choirs all over the UK to celebrate chuch music and musicians.


Saturday 18 May
Christian Aid cake stall

Christian Aid logoThere will be a cake stall on the Saturday Market on Berkhamsted High Street, raising money for Christian Aid Week.  Do please come along to support this  - there will be a tempting range of home-made cakes, biscuits and preserves on sale.


Dorothy Key    email:   


Sunday 19 May at 9:30 am


Pentecost is "the birthday of the Church". We would love to welcome back any children who were baptised at St Peter's, with their families, as we celebrate the presence of the Holy Spirit in the world. Join us for Sunday School during the 9:30am service, and there will be cake and garden games after the service!


Saturday 1 June
Walsingham Cell Mass

The next Walsingham Cell Mass will be held on Saturday 1 June 1st and not on 25 May, as previously advertised. All are welcome to this service in the Lady Chapel. 


Saturday 29 June at 7:30 pm
Chiltern Chamber Choir Summer Concert


Chiltern Chamber Choir will be holding their summer concert in St Peter's Church, under the jubilant title Gaudete Omnes - "let everyone rejoice". The programme will be a selection of joyful sacred anthems, including works by Monteverdi, Brahms, Gabrieli, Parry, Fauré and many more, conducted by Calum Zuckert (the CCC choral director and a minor canon at St Albans Cathedral). We are most grateful to the CCC for the generous offer to donate all proceeds from this concert to the St Peter’s Roof Fund, so do please come along and support this wonderful event. There will also be a glass of wine on offer (included in the ticket price).

Tickets: £15 advance/online, £17 on the door, under 18s and full-time students free. Book your ticket now!



St Peter’s Working Party

St Peter's Working Party does lots of DIY jobs around the church. We enjoy doing them and save the church a lot of money. We are gathering for a few outside jobs when the fine weather comes and we have volunteers for painting, digging, etc. You are very welcome to join us. Nobody has volunteered for brickwork pointing - all at ground level. If you'd like to learn how to do this, or you're an expert, please join our merry band. To talk it through and arrange a time to suit you, please contact:


Stephen Lally    email:   


Plants wanted!

Wanted - plants for the church garden. Do you have any perennial plants or small shrubs that could be planted in the church garden on the High Street? Please let Sarah Dawson know. Collection can be arranged.


Sarah Dawson    email:    email:  07788 843186


Coronation Anniversary

coronation photo collage

On Monday it was 1 year since the King’s Coronation! Berkhamsted had a great big street party, and St Peter's held a thanksgiving service and laid on afternoon tea and bellringing. Photos and videos have been saved on our website for posterity – do have a look and enjoy the memories of a great weekend!



Royal Visit 2016

Queen visiting St Peter's

Another royal anniversary on Monday was the visit of HM Queen Elizabeth II to St Peter's, eight years ago on 6 May 2016. We also have photos and videos of the day kept for posterity on our website:



A dazzling performance

ardakov applause

Last Saturday, visitors to St Peter's were treated to a truly dazzling piano recital in the Lady Chapel by Russian virtuoso Alexander Ardakov. Some fruitful promotion drew an audience of 30 people from far and wide to hear a selection of Beethoven piano sonatas. The recital was warmly received with rapturous applause, and our director of music, Adrian Davis, congratulated Ardakov on his spectacular performance.


Music list

Our church musicians continue to work hard rehearsing music which will enrich our worship and glorify God. The music list for the next few months is now available on the church website, and will be updated on the noticeboard very soon. 



Schools news

thomas coram
Victoria School news

We have been out and about this week with Reception visiting the library. They got an opportunity to see what books there were and learn about how to check out and back in the books. They really liked being able to choose their own book and scan it out. We are hoping that lots more children will be inspired to visit the local library again.

Our Spiritual Ambassadors have been busy coming up with ideas to have the children more involved with collective worship. They want to help set up the hall and greet children as they enter the hall, making the occasion special for all. They are also starting to come up with different prayers they can say at the end of worship, as they want to be more involved with the delivery of our collective worship. It is inspiring to see our Year 2s with creative ideas to involve everyone.

We would like to invite you all to our Summer Fair on Saturday 8 June at Victoria School. It starts at 12pm to 3pm. Tickets to enter are £1.50, (children are free) and there will be a BBQ, bar, live music, crafts, tombola, games and loads more. It is a brilliant day for all and we look forward to seeing you there.

Mrs Lisa Freeman
Head of School, Victoria CE Infant and Nursery School


Castle Federation

The Castle Federation is the governing body responsible for our two Church of England schools in Berkhamsted
More about our schools:

Diocese of St AlbansDiocesan news

Youth survey

The voices of young people are so important in shaping mission and ministry in our diocese. As we continue to prioritise Growing Younger and More Diverse, Bishop Jane is really keen to hear the thoughts and experiences of 11 – 18 year olds across the diocese. There's a short online survey - do please pass this on to any young people in your family and encourage them to take part.



Peregrine falcon chicks hatch at the Cathedral

Ornithological excitement abounds at St Albans Cathedral, where three peregrine falcon chicks have hatched in their nest high up on the roof. This is the third year that peregrines have nested at the cathedral - peregrine falcons often remain loyal to their nest site each year, which means the cathedral is now an established breeding ground. The Dean of St Albans, Jo Kelly-Moore, said: "We’re beyond excited. We’ve been waiting for this moment, to have two chicks up there is a wonderful."

These large, powerful falcons became endangered in the 1960s due to human persecution and the impact of pesticides in the food chain, but populations are now recovering thanks to legal protection of the species.



Alban Devotions

alban devotion

Did you know that St Albans Cathedral provide a weekly video devotion? The Alban Devotions offer informal moment of evening prayer and reflection, led by the clergy of St Albans Cathedral on Facebook Live. They are streamed every Wednesday at 7pm, and you can catch up at any time on the St Albans Cathedral Facebook page. Last Wednesday, the Cathedral Youth Chaplain Fr Calum Zuckert (who also conducts the Chiltern Chamber Choir) presents a short devotion remembering the 14th/15th-century Christian mystic Julian of Norwich and her revolutionary work.

(NB: You don't have to have a Facebook account to watch these - simply close the login popup when it appears, press the play button and click the sound icon at the bottom-right to un-mute the video.)

"All shall be well, and all shall be well, and all manner of thing shall be well"
- Julian of Norwich



Berkhamsted community news & events


Friday 10 May - Sunday 12 May
Berkhamsted Art Fair

Berkhamsted Art Society are holding their Spring Art Fair in the Civic Centre on the High Street. There will be an inspiring exhibition of paintings, ceramics, glasswork, prints and cards by local artists, with artworks on sale. Plus a family art activities and live art demos. Free entry.

Friday 10 May, 9am–6pm
Saturday 11 May, 10am–6pm
Sunday 12 May, 10am–4pm



Saturday 11 May
Open Door Garden Day with Cream Tea

Open Door invites you to come and enjoy their newly created garden for an afternoon of music from the Ukulele Band, activities and an opportunity to enjoy a traditional English cream tea with homemade scones, cream, and jam in the tranquil space that has been created. There will also be a raffle in support of Open Door’s ongoing community efforts.



Sunday 12 May
The Berkhamsted Walk


The Berkhamsted Walk is taing place again this year. This organised country walk raises money for The Children's Society, a UK charity which supports young people facing abuse, exploitation and neglect. To take part, you need to register online and make a donation. Optionally, you can also get people to sponsor you.  Individuals, families and groups are welcome to join.

There are three routes (6/12/18 miles) to suit different abilities and fitness levels, and route instructions and signposts are provided. Refreshments are on sale at checkpoints and at the end.



Friday 17 May at 7:30 pm
The Bowie Experience

Not a reference to a previous St Peter's incumbent, but a David Bowie tribute act. Laurence Knight performs Bowie's greatest hits supported by a four-piece band at Berkhamsted Civic Centre. Expect an evening filled with Ziggy Stardust, Life on Mars, Space Oddity and other odd ditties. Tickets £18.00.



Saturday 18 May
Hospice of St Francis Plant Sale

hospice of st francis logoThe Hospice of St Francis will be holding a Plant Sale & Open Gardens day at the Hospice (Spring Garden Lane, off Shootersway, HP4 3GW) 10am - 4pm. There will be perennials, bedding plants & vegetables on sale, with music, refreshments and cake, plus garden tours and sessions of Gardener's Question Time in the marquee.



Sunday 19 May at 10:00 am
Ashridge Plant Fair

If you just can't get enough plant stalls, then head up to Ashridge House for their annual green-fingered event, in partnership with the National Garden Scheme. Browse hundreds of plants, flowers and vegetables on sale in the historic gardens designed by Humphry Repton. Refreshments and food on sale. Book advance tickets online, or you can just turn up and pay on the day. Open 10am-5pm.



Sunday 19 May at 6:00 pm
Classical guitar at Little Gaddesden Church

Classical guitarist Craig Ogden "A worthy successor to Julian Bream" presents music from Domenico Scarlatti via Joaquin Rodrigo to Django Rheinhardt at Little Gaddesden Church, Church Road, Little Gaddesden, HP4 1NZ.

Tickets: £25 on the door, or £20 if booked in advance by contacting:

Ian Hamilton    email:    email:  07491 654 415

Sunday 19 May at 7:00 pm
Bach at the Town Hall

Behind the Mirror return to Berkhamsted's Old Town Hall for a concert featuring violinist Daniel Pioro and harpsichordist David Gordon, playing Bach’s Partita no 2 in D minor, interspersed with improvisations and sonic meditations. 



Saturday 8 June - Sunday 16 June
Great Big Nature Hunt

Next month is the Great Big Green Week,  and in Berkhamsted there will be all sorts of activities, including a Great Big Green Berko Bake Off in the Civic Centre, an Eco Fair, also in the Civic Centre, and a Great Big Nature Hunt in Rectory Lane Cemetery, an opportunity to discover trees, wildflowers and wildlife in our historic cemetery. Details to follow soon.....



Cartoon Church

This week's cartoon courtesy of CartoonChurch

Cartoon Church image

Copyright © 2024 Dave Walker

Sunday Eucharist at St Peter's

Worship with us


This Sunday: 12 May 2024
7th Sunday of Easter

9:30am Sung Eucharist
You are invited to join us at our main Sunday service

Next Sunday: 19 May 2024
Pentecost (Whit Sunday)

9:30am: Sung Eucharist
View the worship calendar

Music this week

Hymns: 332, 130, 352
Anthem From the rising of the sun - F.A.G. Ouseley
Voluntary March on a theme of Handel – A. Guilmant
At Evensong:
Responses: Rose
Psalms: 47
Canticles: Noble in B minor
Hymns: 305, 388 (476)
Anthem: Cantate Domino - Pitoni
list View the latest St Peter's music list online


Acts 1.15-17, 21-26

In those days Peter stood up among the believers (together the crowd numbered about one hundred and twenty people) and said, ‘Friends, the scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit through David foretold concerning Judas, who became a guide for those who arrested Jesus— for he was numbered among us and was allotted his share in this ministry.’ So one of the men who have accompanied us throughout the time that the Lord Jesus went in and out among us, beginning from the baptism of John until the day when he was taken up from us—one of these must become a witness with us to his resurrection.’ So they proposed two, Joseph called Barsabbas, who was also known as Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed and said, ‘Lord, you know everyone’s heart. Show us which one of these two you have chosen to take the place in this ministry and apostleship from which Judas turned aside to go to his own place.’ And they cast lots for them, and the lot fell on Matthias; and he was added to the eleven apostles.


Psalm 1 (vv 1-6)

1 Blessed are they who have not walked in the counsel of the wicked, nor lingered in the way of sinners, nor sat in the assembly of the scornful. 2 Their delight is in the law of the Lord and they meditate on his law day and night. Response 3 Like a tree planted by streams of water bearing fruit in due season, with leaves that do not wither, whatever they do, it shall prosper. 4 As for the wicked, it is not so with them; they are like chaff which the wind blows away. Response 5 Therefore the wicked shall not be able to stand in the judgement, nor the sinner in the congregation of the righteous. 6 For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked shall perish. Response


Gospel: John 17.6-19

‘I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know that everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours. All mine are yours, and yours are mine; and I have been glorified in them. And now I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them in your name that you have given me, so that they may be one, as we are one. While I was with them, I protected them in your name that you have given me. I guarded them, and not one of them was lost except the one destined to be lost, so that the scripture might be fulfilled. But now I am coming to you, and I speak these things in the world so that they may have my joy made complete in themselves. I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from the evil one. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.



Missed a service?

St Peter's services are videostreamed live on our Facebook page. If you've missed a service, you can watch past services on the parish website:


In our prayers this week

Anglican Cycle of Prayer:

The Anglican Church of Burundi


Diocese ✚✚Justin, Archbishop of Canterbury, ✚Alan, Bishop of St Albans, ✚ Jane, Bishop of Hertford, and Charles, Archdeacon of St Albans
In our
continuing prayers
Christina Billington, Margaret Douglas, Judith Hill, Douglas Hill, John Malcolm, Clare Wallington, Denis Beard, Mary Beard, Patricia Cody, Ghullam Mutaheri, Nola Frost, Betty Beggs, Audrey Higginbotham, Teddy Higginbotham, Jo Neale
In our
immediate prayers
Frozan Mutaheri, Leah Holdroyd, Len Bennett, Yvonne Hart, Barbara McKenna, Barbara Conway, Peter Kirk, Laura and Ashleigh Smith, Jenny Hackworth
(next four weeks)
Wedding banns
called this Sunday
(next four weeks)
RIP Stephen Lings, David Burbidge
Memorial (year's mind) Walter Sargaison, Margaret Naisbett,

☩ Funeral notices


weekday Mass in the Lady Chapel

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:
Facebook page


View the worship calendar


churchyard fete

Parish dates for your diary

parish website on a laptop

Visit the St Peter's website to see what's coming up in St Peter' Church and the Court House in the coming week and further ahead.

View the parish calendar

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Pentecost Sunday Party

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Concert: Beethoven Violin Concerto

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Chiltern Chamber Choir Summer Concert

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St Peter’s Sunday School

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Hire the Court House




You can also check future rota dates on the parish website at

This Sunday
12/05/2024 Easter 7  
8.00am Eucharist
Clergy President Stuart
Reader Ruth Worboys
9.30am Sung Eucharist
Clergy President Stuart (Chris) ((Anthony))
  Preacher Anthony
Sidespeople Liz Bellamy Hilary Elliot
MC Mark Grego  
Acolytes Hayley Khazaneh Kiril Sotnykov
Thurifer 0  
Cruficer Richard Currie  
Reader Hilary Armstrong  
Intercessions Bev Jullien  
Eucharistic Ministers Nicky Evans Bev Jullien
Sunday School Jo  
Sound Jeremy  
Next Sunday
19/05/2024 Pentecost  
8.00am Eucharist
Clergy President Stuart
  Preacher Stuart
Reader Mike Hart
9.30am Sung Eucharist
Clergy President David (Stuart)
  Preacher Stuart
Sidespeople Bev Jullien Kathie Lally
MC Peter Matthews  
Acolytes Hayley Khazaneh Holly Gosling
Thurifer 0  
Cruficer Mark Grego  
Reader Liz Bellamy  
Intercessions Sarah Elder  
Eucharistic Ministers Kate Hennessey Nicky Evans
Sunday School Beth  
Sound Jeremy  

hassocks in pews

Support St Peter's

St Peter's Church has been at the heart of Berkhamsted life for 800 years. We rely on donations to keep running as a place for worship and community events.

Join our Planned Giving scheme to make a monthly donation:

calendar Find out about Planned Giving

Make a one-off donation online or with your mobile:

mobile donation Donate online

Parish contacts

photo of Fr Stuart Owen Fr Stuart Owen
Rector & Rural Dean
email:  01442 879739
photo of Fr John Russell Fr John Russell
Team Vicar (Nettleden, Little Gaddesden, Great Gaddesden)
email:  01442 214898
calendar Who's Who in the Parish

St Peter's Berkhamsted St Peter's Great Berkhamsted
Parish Office Church Lane
United Kingdom HP4 2AX

email:  01442 878227
Berkhamsted Team Worship Diocese of St Albans The Church of England


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photo of Parish Office

Parish Office

 01442 878227