December 2019

Dates to Remember

Sun 1 Dec Christmas lights switch on – The Red Lion – 6.00pm
Mon 9 Dec Parish Council – Village Hall – 8.00pm
Wed 11 Dec Preston Village Society – Kilnwood Cottage – 8.00pm

Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan

The Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan has been examined by Andrew Ashcroft and his report can be viewed on the Neighbourhood Plan website: The outcome is that, subject to the recommended modifications set out in the report, the Examiner concludes that the Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan meets all the necessary legal requirements and should proceed to referendum.

NHDC Cabinet will make the final decision as to whether the Neighbourhood Plan can proceed to referendum at their next meeting on Tuesday 17 December. Their decision will be made public early in the New Year. If the decision is in favour of a referendum, Electoral Services will decide on the date and the usual procedures for elections will follow. To be successful, 50% of those voting in the referendum must vote in favour of the Neighbourhood Plan.

The Steering Group are in the process of modifying the Neighbourhood Plan as recommended by the Examiner. This will be posted on the Neighbourhood Plan website as soon as it is complete.

Further information will be provided to Preston residents as soon as it becomes available.

Preston Village Society

Our next meeting will be a Christmas get together at Sue Kellard’s, Kilnwood Cottage, School Lane on Wednesday 11 December at 8.00pm. Please share transport.

Parking Outside The Red Lion

For the benefit of wheelchair users and those with prams and push chairs, the Parish Council would like to ask people NOT to park on the dropped kerb or the pavement outside the Red Lion. Thank you for your co-operation.

St Martin’s Church And All Saints’ Church Services

December Service Sidesman Reader
1st10.00amAdvent 1Malcolm LowleTim Liddell
   Romans 13:11-end, RCL p.2 Gospel: Mt 24:36-44
Intercessions: Hugh Reeves   Chalice: Meta Reeves
8th9.30amAdvent 2Mike KellardMike Kellard
   Romans 15:4-13 RCL p.6  Gospel:Matthew 3:1-12
Intercessions: Alec Dickinson   Chalice: Alec Dickinson
11.00amHoly Communion at All Saints’
15th8.00amBCP, at All Saints’
9.30amAdvent 3Richard BlockleyHugh Reeves
   James 5:7-10, RCL p.10  Gospel:Matthew 11:2-11
Intercessions: Meta Reeves   Chalice: Carolyn Hill
6.00pmCarol Service at All Saints’
22nd11.00amHoly Communion at All Saints’
4.00pmAdvent 4 – Christingle and Crib Service at St Martin’s
24th3.30pmCrib service at All Saints’
9.00pmChristmas EveMalcolm LowleSue Griffiths
   Hebrews 1:1-4, RCL p.24  Gospel:John 1:1-14
Intercessions: Alec Dickinson   Chalice: Alec Dickinson
10.30pmHoly Communion at All Saints’
25thNo Service at St Martin’s
10.00amChristmas Day – Holy Communion at All Saints’
29thNo Service at St Martin’s
11.00amService of Reflection at All Saints’
5th10.00amParish Communion at St Martin’s
All services are at St. Martin's unless stated otherwise

Weekday services in Whitwell:

Alternate Wednesdays 9.30am. Holy Communion at Lime Tree House:11th December, 18th December
Stagenhoe:, 11th December, 11.00am Christmas Carol Service

Church cleaning at St Martin’s.

Every first Tuesday of the month at 4.00pm.
3rd December: Brass cleaning.

From The Church Registers

17th November 2019. Baptism of Oscar Benjamin Peter Grey, age 7 months

A Letter from Our Vicar

The Vicarage, Whitwell SG4 8HX. 01438-871121. Email:

In November, I was delighted to baptise Oscar at St Martin’s and Demelza at All Saints – the more so as very large numbers came to be part of this happy and significant occasion. It really is wonderful when a family and friends and the church congregations entrust a young life to the hands of God.

If we are planning to have our children christened, it obviously takes a bit of planning, and I’ve no doubt most of us are thinking about or planning for Christmas at the moment – thinking about presents or food or who is coming to stay – or just how much we are going to be able to afford in these very difficult times. Some of our planning is great and some of it is quite stressful – and I know that many would simply prefer a quieter run up to Christmas and a simpler celebration of the Christmas season.

In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus encourages us to ask for certain things. One of them is ‘our daily bread’. Here we are asking that we should have enough – enough to see us through the day and beyond. At the simplest level, enough to eat. As we pray that God will give us our daily bread, we will think of those who have no bread, whose lives are very much harder than our own.

But we will also think that the bread we are really asking for is the bread that doesn’t run out – the life and spirit of God himself.

Jesus is the bread of Life. Christmas is the celebration of God’s confidence in the world he made by the sending of his son Jesus to be like us. The days and weeks leading up to Christmas Day may be busy with planning or anxiety. I hope that you will pray for God’s help as you prepare, and that you will join us in one or more of the Christmas services. You will be very welcome.

With every good wish


Looking and Longing

The Advent study course continues

Come and join us for a fun and lively discussion, as over four weeks on a Wednesday afternoon from 2-3pm followed by tea and biscuits!

Advent is an important season in the Church; it celebrates the eternal coming of our God to us and to the world. Advent calls for us to be alert and awake, to open our eyes and ears at what is going on around us, and Gods love. This year we will be looking at characters from the Old and New Testaments to see where we stand in relationship with them.

December 4th – Seeking and finding @ Crunnells Green House, Preston
December 11th – Finding and seeing @ Vicarage, Bendish Lane , Whitwell
December 18th – Seeing and worshipping @ Crunnells Green House, Preston

Please contact me if you would like more information- Dawn 01438-871831

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 NHDC 01462 474000 or online at, then follow the links to Transport and Streets, Street Cleaning and Fly Tipping where there is a form to complete to report the details.

PC Matt Jenkins and PCSO Heather Burrows can be contacted regarding local community issues. Their contact details are as follows:

PC Matt Jenkins: 07590 460263 or 01438 757604 – (until mid-December)

PCSO Heather Burrows: 07740 745168 or 01438 757604 or

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

PC Matt Jenkins is retiring

Matt has been serving us here in Preston and the rural area since 2007 and will be retiring in mid-December. As a member of our Safer Neighbourhood Team he has been extremely supportive and helpful over the years. We thank him for his hard work and dedication and wish him a very happy retirement.

Hitchin Foodbank

Many thanks for your ongoing support and contributions to the Hitchin Foodbank. Due to continuing, increasing demand the following items are most urgently needed:

tea bags, tinned vegetables, tinned potatoes, dried potato (instant mash), sponge puddings, tinned fruit, tinned rice/custard, jam/marmalade, longlife juice, dried milk, deodorants.

Please ensure items are undamaged and in date. Donations can be deposited in the blue box in the garage at Lychgate House, Church Lane, or at Waitrose and Sainsbury’s.

The 2019 Autumn Litter Pick, 26 October

Damp weather and a clash with a certain international Rugby match limited the turnout of villagers for this task, but 6 splendid stalwarts came and completed all that needed to be done! Other kind people cleared School Lane, the Footpath to Wain Wood, and Dead Woman’s Lane on other days, at their convenience. Very many thanks to you all.

Please continue to report to the police any fly-tipping which you witness happening, in the usual way: 101 or 01707-354000.

Liz Hunter, Preston Trust committee member

St Martin’s Church 120 Club Draw 2019/2020

The winners of the November draw in the 2019/20 120 Club (£30 each) were:

No. 7 Miss A Constantinidi
No. 47 Mr I D Clark

Quiz And Chips

Thank you to everyone who supported Quiz and Chips which raised £284 for the Friends of St Martin’s.

Carols At The Red Lion

Friday 20 December at 8.00pm – come along and join in with Sue Griffiths and her accordion. There will be a collection on behalf of the Garden House Hospice.