December 2017

Dates to Remember

Sat 2 Dec Community Book Swap – Village Hall – 10.00-11.00am
Sun 3 Dec Christmas Tree Lights Switch on – The Red Lion – 6.00pm
Tue 5 Dec Church Cleaning 4.00pm
Mon 11 Dec Parish Council – Village Hall – ,8.00pm
Wed 13 Dec Preston Village Society – Windrush – 8.00pm
Sat 16 Dec Community Book Swap – Village Hall – 10.00-11.00am
Thu 21 Dec Preston Village Voices – St Martins Church – 7.30pm
Fri 22 Dec Carols in the Red Lion – 8.00pm
Wed 27 Dec Children in Need Walk – Village Green 10.00am
Tue 2 Jan Church Cleaning 4.00pm

Christmas Tree Lights Switch On

The Preston Trust warmly invites you to the Christmas Tree lights switch-on which will take place on Sunday 3rd December, 6.00pm outside The Red Lion.

There will be free mulled wine to keep you warm, along with mince pies and some other treats. The winners of the Preston Primary art and poetry competitions will switch the lights on, followed by some carols outside, then moving inside for the Ladies’ choir to kick-start the festive season. We do hope you can join us at this special event.

Preston Village Voices – Christmas Celebration

Preston Village Voices warmly invite you to our Christmas Celebration of Music and Words at St Martins Church, Thursday 21 December @ 7.30pm

Please join us for an entertaining evening of new and old carols and some words of Christmas Cheer!Mince pies and wine will be served afterwards, proceeds in aid of Tilehouse Counselling, Hitchin.

Tickets £5 Please contact Diane Hayhurst 07495541624 or

Preston Village Society

The next meeting will be a Christmas get together on Wednesday 13 December at 8.00pm at Sue Griffiths, Windrush, Back Lane.

St. Martin’s Church and Parish Service

December Service Sidesman Reader
3rd10.00aAdvent 1Richard BlockleyVeronica Williamson
   Isaiah 64:1-9 RCL p.441 Gospel: Mark 13: 24- end
Intercessions: Meta Reeves   Chalice: Di Blockley
10th9.30amMeta ReevesRichard Blockley
   Isaiah 40:1-11 RCL p. 444 Gospel: Mark 1:1-8
Intercessions: Dawn Jenkins   Chalice: Dawn Jenkins
11.00amHoly Communion at All Saints’
17th8.00amHoly Communion at All Saints’ (BCP)
4.00pmChristingleAndy Cole
6.00pmCandlelit Carol Service at All Saints’
24th10.00pmChristmas EveMalcolm LowleVarious
   Isaiah 52:7-10 RCL p. 23 Hebrews 1:1-4 John 1:1-14
Intercessions: t.b.a.   Chalice: t.b.a.
25th10.00amFamily Communion at All Saints’
31st10.00amElizabeth HunterSue Griffiths
   Isaiah 61:10-62:3 RCL p. 457 Gospel: Luke 2:15-21
Intercessions: Doreen Sansom   Chalice: Elizabeth Hunter
7th10.00amMalcolm Lowle
   Isaiah 60:1-6 RCL p. 38 Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12
Intercessions: Meta Reeves   Chalice: Di Blockley
All services are at St. Martin's unless stated otherwise


NB From November 2017 until March 2018 inclusive the service on the first Sunday in the month will be held at St Martin’s Preston at 10am.

There will be NO SERVICE AT ALL SAINTS’ on these Sundays.

Weekday services in Whitwell

Alternate Wednesdays 9.30am . Holy Communion at Lime Tree House.

6 and 20 December.

St Martin’s Church 120 Club

The winners of the November draw in the 2017/18 120 Club (£30 each) were:

No. 14 Dr T Win
Nr 62 Mrs M P Clark

Preston Open Gardens. Sunday 27 May 2018

By kind permission of PHC the visitors will be able to park in the college grounds as in previous years.

Plans can now be made and seed catalogues can be studied for another year of floral splendour! Preston Open Gardens are well known and admired far beyond the borders of Hertfordshire.

A Letter From Our Team Vicar

 01438 871658 or  01462 686808

Dear Friends,

Advent, as a church season, begins on Sunday 3 December this year and it is almost a week shorter this year. So we have less time to prepare for Christmas, less time for sorting out community Christmas trees and fitting in Carol Services. On Advent Sunday the lights will be switched on the Christmas tree outside the Red Lion on 3 December.

During Advent our knitted Mary and Joseph will be travelling round the parish again as they journey towards Bethlehem. You may spot them, or a sheep perhaps, on some window-sills in the village. And they will arrive back at All Saints for the Parish Crib Service at 4pm on Christmas Eve. We hope the children are in church to greet them.

At Christmas we celebrate, of course, the birth of God’s Son, Jesus, the Prince of Peace, and we remember Jesus’ words: ‘Love your neighbour as yourself’ and ‘Love one another as I have loved you’ as we particularly think of families and individuals whose struggle to manage becomes even tougher at this time of year. Please take time in this busy month to pray for those in need and to give in some way towards the work of a charity. The collections at our church services will be given to charity.

We begin Christmas at church on Wednesday 13 December with Preston School Carol Service at St Martin’s at 7.00pm. Then on Sunday 17 December we have the Christingle Service at St Martin’s Preston at 4.00pm which is a lovely service for young families who help us with creating our version of the stable in Bethlehem ready for Christmas. The following week Preston Village Voices have a concert in church on Thursday 21 December at 7.00pm and the Red Lion has its traditional carol-singing on Friday 22 December.

Also on 17 December at 6pm our traditional Candlelit Carol Service takes place at All Saints’ with refreshments afterwards. We are delighted that St Paul’s Walden School choir and Whitwell Village Voices are joining us once again. Thank you Mrs Johnson.

Our traditional St Martin’s Communion service with carols takes place on Christmas Eve at 10.00pm and we have a joint Communion service at St Martin’s at 10.00am on 31 December. Details of all services in the Parish Christmas card.

So it will be a busy December in Preston with switching the lights on the tree, the various school events and services, the Christingle Service, the concert in church and the Red Lion carol-singing, and our special Communion service on Christmas Eve. I hope to see you on some of these occasions.

With my prayers and best wishes to you and your families for Christmas and the New Year.


Neighbourhood Watch

The number to contact at North Herts Police for all non-emergencies (including witnessing of fly-tipping) is 101 or  01707 354000.

For removal of fly-tipping which has already occurred, call Veolia 0800 328 6023.

PC Matt Jenkins and PCSO Heather Burrows can be contacted regarding local community issues –  01438 757604.

In the event of an emergency or if you witness a crime taking place please call 999.

Neighbourhood Plan Regulation 14 Consultation

The next stage in the Neighbourhood Plan process is the Regulation 14 consultation which will take place from Monday 8 January to Sunday 18 February. This is an online consultation and will be accessible via the Neighbourhood Plan website: To support this process the Steering Group are holding consultations in the village hall on the following dates:

Thursday 11 January: 6.30 – 8.30p.m
Saturday 13 January: 10.00 – 12.00
Thursday 8 February: 6.30 – 8.30 p.m
Saturday 10 February: 10.00- 12.00

If you have any questions about the consultation or you do not have access to online facilities, please come along on one of these dates and the Steering Group will be very pleased to offer their assistance.

Hitchin Foodbank

Many thanks for your ongoing support and contributions to the Hitchin Foodbank.  They are very grateful for all the harvest and other gifts and their only needs at present are for tinned or dried potatoes, dried milk and shampoo. Donations can be deposited in the blue box in the garage at Lychgate House, Church Lane.

Walk For ‘Children In Need’  27 December 2017

Come and join our walk on 27 December to raise money for Children in Need, to chat to friends and to walk off the Christmas pounds!

We are organising 2 circular walks to start and finish at the Village Green.  One will be about an hour the other about 2-2.5 hours.  No need to get sponsorship instead we are asking for a donation and suggest £5 per adult and £2 per child.  This will be a lovely opportunity to raise some money for a very worthy charity and to also meet up with fellow people in the village.  If you have friends and family staying all are welcome to join in but we do ask that all children must be accompanied and everyone be mindful  and respectful of the countryside code.

So that we have a rough idea of numbers for the day it would be appreciated if you could email and say if you/your family will be attending.

Please meet on the Village Green at 10.00am to sign in and get your map

Carols In The Red Lion

There will be Carols in the Red Lion on Friday 22 December from 8.00pm . Come along, join in the singing and get Christmas off to a great start. There will be a collection on behalf of Garden House Hospice.