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St Peter's Parish News
Volume 11 Number 13
Friday 19 February 2021
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From Rob

           When someone is giving a presentation, you want to pay attention to the first thing they say because it tells you why they are speaking and why it is important that you listen. Sunday’s reading (Mark 1:12-15) is at the very beginning of the Gospel of Mark. The words act as an opening statement, explaining why Jesus is here and why it is important that we listen to him. These words are the foundation for his ministry and give us a glimpse of what is to come.
Mark’s is the shortest of the three synoptic Gospels. His brevity of the account of Jesus' temptation in the desert highlights the most important points in brief and action-filled statements. The Spirit drives Jesus into the desert, where he will remain for forty days. Mark does not say what our Lord ate or drank, where he rested his head and found shelter, or what he did during those long, lonely days. However, Mark does give us some context for Jesus' situation - there are wild beasts as well as angels. As to what happened during the time, Mark simply says Jesus faced temptations by Satan. But Jesus is not alone; the Spirit is with him. When Jesus emerges after forty days, the message he proclaims is clear: God's reign is at hand. Repent and believe the Gospel. 
As we begin our Lenten journey, we are invited to spend these forty days in reflection and preparation learning the ways of God. We are not alone. The Spirit is with us. 
Now is the time to reflect on our relationship with God and decide how we wish to move forward throughout the season of Lent. Just as Jesus overcame those temptations before beginning his ministry, we are called to turn away from sin and place our complete trust in God. Maybe God is inviting us to spend more time in quiet prayer. Maybe God is reminding us to show respect to others, even when it is difficult. Maybe God is urging us to think critically about the consequences of the decisions we make each day. Now is the time. What is God saying to you?
You may like to listen to a recording of the Lent Prose (words: - a liturgical chant dating from the 10th century - ( or use this prayer:
Holy God,
during these Lenten days of preparation and waiting,
help us renew and deepen our devotion.
May we commit ourselves to serving and loving others during this time
so that we may rejoice in the Resurrection at Easter.
We ask this through Christ our Lord.
  Mr R Halls
Executive Headteacher
Castle Church of England Federation 
Notices News from our church schools

  Victoria and Thomas Coram schools are enjoying their half term break this week.

Church notices

Lent Courses start next week
On Monday afternoons at 2.30pm, starting on Monday 22nd February,  there will be an opportunity to join in this year’s  York Course for Lent, ‘Caring for Creation.’ The course is an opportunity to learn more about the realities of climate change and the damage being done to God’s Creation. The course seeks to end with a message of hope, which whilst taking seriously the enormity of the challenge we face, helps us to recognise the changes we can make and the difference we can make. As some of you will know, St Peter’s Church Council agreed recently to start exploring the possibility of becoming an Eco Church, and so this is an excellent time for us to be reflecting prayerfully on these issues.  If you'd like to know more, or to sign up please contact Richard Hackworth
You can find out more about the York Course here:   
You can find out more about Eco Church here:
On Wednesday evenings at 7.30pm, starting on Wednesday 24th February, there will be a course on the theme, ‘Faith in the face of a global pandemic.’ During the course of Lent this year, we will reach the first anniversary of the UK going into a lockdown, and as you’ll be aware, this week saw us pass the figure of 100,000 COVID-19 deaths in this country. Over the past twelve months we’ve found ourselves repeatedly having to react to difficult and frequently changing circumstances, but there has been very little time and space to stop and reflect.  It seems to me that this might be the right moment for such reflection, and so this course will aim to offer us all an opportunity to reflect in faith on what we have experienced, how we have been changed, and what we might have learnt.   If you'd like to know more, or to sign up please contact Fr Stuart 

Stations of the Cross – Lent 2021  Please join together on Facebook Live (either the Holy Trinity page or the Berkhamsted Team page) or by visiting ( on Wednesdays at 7pm (starting on the 24th February) as we journey through the Stations of the Cross. Each week we will visit three stations, hear from scripture and have time to reflect on an image accompanied by original music specially composed by Daniel King Smith and Andy Smith. The services will last approximately half an hour and should be available to view afterwards to watch in your own time. If you don’t have access to view online, then you are welcome to join us in person at Holy Trinity. Please try and contact Fr. Joe ( if you would like to attend. Let us all have a holy Lent and take time to pray on the immense sacrifice of Christ’s redemptive act on the cross.

Rosary from TODAY  Friday 19th February Fr Stuart will be praying the rosary in the Lady Chapel at midday.  If you would like to join him or are interested to know more please contact him (email or telephone 879739)

Parish Planting Despite recent falls of snow and chilly weather spring bulbs are beginning to appear.  The Rectory Lane Cemetery would be delighted to receive contributions of sprouting bulbs of snowdrops, winter aconites and tete-a-tete narcissi to create a beautiful welcome at the Rectory Lane entrance.  
If you can spare bulbs from your own garden or are happy to purchase potted varieties from nurseries to donate to our bare beds, please bring them along to the Cemetery on Sunday 21st February between 2 and 4pm when volunteers will be on hand to pop them into the ground.  You are also very welcome to come along then and plant them yourselves but if you prefer to donate and go, then our volunteers can take care of the rest.  We will be gardening in a socially distanced way.  Thank you from the Rectory Lane Cemetery Project Team

Many congratulations to John and Dorothy Key who celebrated their golden wedding anniversary on Wednesday!

MOTHERS’ UNION’S Make A Mother’s Day gives the opportunity to purchase a “virtual gift” for Mothering Sunday. “Gifts of Togetherness” will empower other women to gain confidence and give opportunities to fulfil their potential.
Details of the virtual gifts, how to donate and receive a card of appreciation can be found online at  or by phoning MU on 020 7222 5533
Also please contact me if you have any queries: Margaret Burbidge on 01442 862139, or at

Notices for the Parish Email Bulletin
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Readings Old Testament  

Genesis 9: 8-17 

A reading from the book of Genesis.  

Then God said to Noah and to his sons with him, ‘As for me, I am establishing my covenant with you and your descendants after you, and with every living creature that is with you, the birds, the domestic animals, and every animal of the earth with you, as many as came out of the ark. I establish my covenant with you, that never again shall all flesh be cut off by the waters of a flood, and never again shall there be a flood to destroy the earth.’ God said, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I make between me and you and every living creature that is with you, for all future generations: I have set my bow in the clouds, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. When I bring clouds over the earth and the bow is seen in the clouds, I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. When the bow is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth.’ God said to Noah, ‘This is the sign of the covenant that I have established between me and all flesh that is on the earth.’ 

Gospel    Mark 1: 9-15

In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’ 

And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness for forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him. 

 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, ‘The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.’  


+ Alan, Bp of St Albans, + Michael, Bp of Hertford,  +Justin, Archbishop, 

The Church of the Province of Central Africa


Sick & Bereaved

  Long term Christina Billington, Judith Hill, Len Bennett, Lorna Sargaison, Alex Evans, Alice Jullien
and immediate: Diane Luckraft, Keith Dawson, John and Philip Jennings, Bill Stead, Nigel Halsby, Jeanette Hopkins, Eric Ward




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Dates for your diary

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Contact us
Fr Stuart Owen

01442 879739
(day off Saturday)

Parish Office
Hilary Armstrong
01442 878227

Fr John Russell
Team Rector and Vicar of Gt Gaddesden, Lt Gaddesden and Nettleden
(day off Wednesday)

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

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