Parish News | St Peter's Great Berkhamsted

The Church of St Peter Great Berkhamsted

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St Peter's News

St Peter's Parish News
Volume 11 Number 7
Friday 8 January 2021
View on Parish website |  View latest Service Booklet
From Olivia

In the opening lines of the Old Testament God separates the light from the dark and assigns to each of them a purpose – day and night. At this time of the year we know that the days are getting longer and sunset is inching later each day, yet as Covid 19 figures climb and we enter another national lockdown, it may feel as though the darkness is outweighing the light.

At Christmas much of our readings and reflections focus on the light: Jesus coming as the light in the darkness, to bring good news to all people. So what happens when it feels as though the lights have come down and been packed away with the Christmas tree?

In the beginning God gave the darkness purpose: Night. For people who work shifts, and many of those are the ones who have been identified as key workers during this pandemic: NHS staff, lorry drivers, supermarket stackers, the night and the darkness signals the beginning of a shift. The night signals their professional responsibility, and purpose, beginning.

There are some parts of the world where the daylight hours are completely unbalanced. Even just living off the west coast of Scotland, I can remember a month going by in the summer where I never saw it get dark but in return there would be days, even weeks, in the winter months when the sun would not make an appearance.

We cannot control the Earth’s orbit and the subsequent effect this has on daylight hours, but we do have a little more awareness of what shapes the light and darkness in our own lives. At the beginning of the first lockdown, almost ten months ago, the Church of England encouraged people to light a candle in their window as a sign of hope. It is understandable if our hope is wearing thin by now and gestures such as these may seem futile. But in these weeks ahead, when social activity is again restricted, it may be necessary to remind yourself what brings light and hope to your day; a comedic television programme or film, a treasured spot on a walk, a favourite biscuit with a cup of tea. And if none of these things seem to do the job, embrace the darkness. Be at peace in the darkness. There is a time and season for everything. God had a purpose for the darkness and God has a purpose for you.
Olivia Davies

Sunday Services

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Worship with us

Reading :  Genesis 1: 1-5 

In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day. 


Gospel:  Mark 1: 4-11 

John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’ 

 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.’ 

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

The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

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

Frank Norman, Nigel Franklin, James Anderson, Paul Beard


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News from our church schools

Happy New Year from all at Victoria! It's been an unusual start to the spring term, but all our teachers and most of the children are getting into the swing of using MS Teams for remote learning. There are plenty of memorable and fun experiences taking place and we're determined not to let the lockdown disrupt our learning. Lots of children are accessing our in-school provision, so at least the classrooms are still full of the chatter and laughter that makes school such a special place to be. In collective worship this week Mr Halls talked to the children about Epiphany and next week we'll be introducing our new value, Perseverance. 

This week our whole school worships have been led by Father Stuart, Mr Halls and Mrs Cutler.  Our value for this half term is Perseverance and we have explored what perseverance means and how it is important to persevere even when we find things difficult.  Different versions of the story of the magi were used to explore how the wise men needed determination and perseverance to follow the star for so many miles, and how we are all on our journey with our own gifts looking for our own light.
The start of the spring term has brought new challenges to our school community with a switch to remote learning.  Staff, parents and pupils have all shown great perseverance in the challenges the lock down has presented.  Over 40 key worker and vulnerable children continue to attend school.  Like those children learning from home, they are in daily contact with their class teacher through our Microsoft Teams learning platform. 

Church Notices

Sunday morning bookings
To book for Sunday mornings, please continue to use links on our website to book via Eventbrite This gives us greater control on ticket numbers as we start to get busy.  If you find you can't come to a service please also cancel on Eventbrite so that someone else can take your tickets.  There is no need to print anything out as we'll check names against a list on Sunday mornings.  

St Peter’s 800th  -  The Churchyard
TODAY 8th January is the last day on which you can send in your ideas for making the churchyard more welcoming and valuable for everyone in Berkhamsted.  Please send your thoughts for enhancing this space to   Pick up a leaflet in the back of church.

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

Contact us
Fr Stuart Owen
Team Vicar (St Peter's)
01442 879739
(day off Saturday)

Parish Office
Hilary Armstrong  
01442 878227

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
Who's Who at St Peter's
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Parish Office

 01442 878227