Parish News | St Peter's Great Berkhamsted

The Church of St Peter Great Berkhamsted

Parish News

News Bulletin for Eighth Sunday after Trinity

Volume 9, Number 33 Friday 9th August 2019

From Fr David

I have just returned from a holiday in the small town of Vence in the south of France. It is situated in the Alpes Maritimes region between Nice and Antibes. It is not to be confused with nearby St Paul de Vence, very much a tourist attraction. Vence is a much more authentic French town, though it is officially a city with a cathedral, the smallest in France. One significant attraction of Vence for art lovers is the Chapelle du Rosaire which was designed by Henri Matisse. The story of its design and construction is lovely.


Henri Matisee was living in Nice in the early 1940s when he underwent major surgery for cancer. He advertised for a nurse to help him convalesce and Monique Bourgeois applied successfully for the post. She was not only his nurse but on occasions was a model for some of his paintings. They developed a close friendship which came to an end when he moved to Vence in 1943. Monique meanwhile was professed as a Dominican sister, much to Matisse’s chagrin, but they renewed their friendship when she moved to the Dominican convent opposite Matisse’s home in Vence. The sisters in the convent at that time were using a garage as their chapel and Matisse offered to design a completely new chapel for them as a thank you for Monique caring for him when he was unwell. Matisse, Monique and a Dominican priest set to, planning, designing and constructing a new chapel which was finally consecrated and dedicated on 25 June 1951. Matisse died in 1954 and is buried in Nice and Sister Jacques Marie, as Monique was now known, died in 2004 and is buried in Vence.


The chapel is beautiful and Matisee said in his own words it was ‘the conclusive achievement of a whole life of labours.’ He also said: What I have done in the chapel is to create a religious take an enclosed space of very reduced proportions and give it, solely by the play of colours and lines, the dimensions of infinity.’ Inside the chapel itself, on the west wall are the painted Stations of the Cross, on the south wall there is an image of the Madonna and Child and on the wall behind the altar is a large image of St Dominic, the founder of the Dominican Order. The altar is made of warm brown stone to resemble the colour of the bread of the eucharist and the reserved sacrament is on the altar itself. The stained glass is of three colours only – yellow, blue and green – and when the sun strikes the glass the interior of the chapel is flooded with colour. There are on display in a series of rooms, vestments for the different liturgical seasons which Matisse designed himself and for use in

the chapel. Currently the entrance charge is only 7euro! Matisse himself was an atheist but once said: ‘My only religion is love of the work to be created.’ The chapel is open to visitors at set times and daily and Sunday mass is open to the public.



Fr David



8:00am Eucharist Pr Fr David Lawson

9:30am Sung Eucharist Pr Fr David Lawson

6.00pm Evening Prayer Penny Fray


First Reading Genesis 15:1-6

The word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram, I am your shield; your reward shall be very great.’ But Abram said, ‘O Lord God, what will you give me, for I continue childless, and the heir of my house is Eliezer of Damascus?’ And Abram said, ‘You have given me no offspring, and so a slave born in my house is to be my heir.’ But the word of the Lord came to him, ‘This man shall not be your heir; no one but your very own issue shall be your heir.’ He brought him outside and said, ‘Look towards heaven and count the stars, if you are able to count them.’ Then he said to him, ‘So shall your descendants be.’ And he believed the Lord; and the Lord reckoned it to him as righteousness.



Gospel Luke 12:32-40

Jesus said to his disciples: ‘Do not be afraid, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give alms. Make purses for yourselves that do not wear out, an unfailing treasure in heaven, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.

‘Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them.

If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves.

‘But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.’







+ Alan, Bp of St Albans +Justin, Archbishop

The United Church of South India & Bishop Thomas Kanjirappally Oommen




Sick & Bereaved



Long term: Christina Billington, Judith Hill, Yvonne Rix,

Margaret Taylor, Len Bennett, Priscilla Watt

and immediate: Diane Luckraft, Keith Dawson, John and Philip Jennings, Julie Painter, Peter Lindley, Lorna Sargaison, Geraldine Wright, Bill Stead






Morgan Rix











Morning Prayer Monday 9:00am; Tuesday 9:00am at All Saints Shrublands Road;

Wednesday 8:00am; Thursday & Friday 9:00am

Eucharist Tuesday 9:30am at All Saints’ Shrublands Road; Wednesday 8:30am in St Peters

Evening Prayer Monday – Friday 5:00pm; Saturday 6:00pm




During the school summer holidays, a more low-key SUNDAY CLUB will take place in the Children's Corner. We'll be looking at the Lord's Prayer and there will be different activities laid out each week for children and young people. So do come along, help yourself and find out more about a very special prayer.


BOOK GROUP: If you’re interested to read about and/or share your views on a variety of topics on theology, do come and join our animated discussions in St Peter’s Book Group. Next book: ‘From the Bottom of the Pond’ by Simon Small, published by O Books ISBN 978-1-84694-066-8. We’ll discuss it at our next meeting on Tues 17 September, 8:00pm in the Court House. For more information please contact Caroline Waterstone: or Fr David: 

TEA DANCE! Wednesday 28 August, 1:30 – 4:00pm in Berkhamsted Town Hall. Join us for a delightful afternoon of dancing and music provided by our host Mr Wonderful. Tickets £6, which includes tea / coffee, cake and biscuits. Reservations / enquiries at or phone 07970 737807. Come and enjoy the atmosphere!


THE BIKE 'N HIKE fundraising event for the Beds & Herts Historic churches Trust is on Saturday 14th September 2019. Last year the event raised £101,784 in sponsorship money. Chris Clegg, the organiser for St. Peter’s, would be pleased if you could:

-          Ride or walk on the day

-          Sponsor riders and walkers

-          Help at the church for one hour on the day.

Contact 01442 875818 or, and see more information about the event on:


READ IN PEACE seat in the Cemetery: The Friends of St Peters are seeking Pledges of £100 before 17.00 30th August as part of a Big Give campaign to raise funds for the installation of a specially designed circular seat in the lower cemetery.  This beautiful seat will encircle a Liquidambar tree and have an integrated mini-library for the community to enjoy in the peaceful, green setting.   Pledges this August will increase the chances of additional funds from Big Give philanthropists and double the value of donations received as part of an online donation campaign they will launch later in the year (3rd – 10th December).  It’s easy to make a pledge – just follow this link: Thank you.



Sundays Together Lunch


Carolynne Charman


12:30pm in the Court House. For anyone on their own on a Sunday. No meeting in August.

Sun 1 Sept






Pastoral Network


Philippa Seldon 871534

7:45pm in the Court House

Mon 19 Aug






Tuesday Club


Rosslyn Laidler


7:30pm Court House. No meeting in August

Tues 3 Sept






Mothers’ Union


Margaret Burbidge 862139

(9 August is Mary Sumner Day.)

Next meeting is 2:30pm, venue TBC– Eucharist with Fr Tim Pilkington

Tues 24 Sept






Mothers’ Union Prayers


Margaret Burbidge 862139

2:30pm at 120 Valley Road, Northchurch Prayer requests to Margaret Burbidge

Tues 17 Sept






Julian Meeting


Ruth T-B 863268

11:30am 3 Sherwood Mews

Wed 14 Aug






Grief and Loss Support Group


Sylvia Banks 871195.

Monthly Lunch 12:30pm at The White Horse, Bourne End

Wed 21 Aug






Little Fishes


Tracy Robinson 863559

Fridays in term time: 9:30-11:30am Court House. No meetings until September







ABC Prayer Breakfast


Peggy Sear


8:00am at the Way Inn; third Saturday of the month. Prayer requests to Peggy Sear by the previous Monday, please

Sat 17 Aug






Choral Evensong



Cathedral style Choral Evensong in St Peter’s, 6:00pm

Sun 22 Sept









The Sunday Service for families, 4:00pm in St Peter’s with tea afterwards






Fr Tim Pilkington

Rector (day off Friday)

tel 01442 879739

Fr Simon Vivian

Assistant Curate (day off Thursday) Tel 864199

Fr John Russell

Team Vicar (Gt Gaddesden, Lt Gaddesden, Nettleden)

Holy Trinity Church Potten End: please contact the churchwardens Rob Ferneyhough (01442 864772)

or Julie Griffiths (01442 864687 )




Parish Office. Hilary Armstrong and Kate Perera 01442 878227

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    Parish Office

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