December 2023

Deadline for the January 2024 newsletter is 21 December.

Christmas Tree Lights Switch On – Sunday 3 December

starting at 4:30pm on the Village Green in front of The Red Lion

The ‘Christmas Tree Lights Switch On’ by the winners of our JMI School and Preston Trust’s Christmas Competition will be followed by us coming together to sing some joyous Carols- There may even be a really special surprise …

Ray and Jo have once again kindly agreed to prepare the mulled wine and mince pies. There will also be juice and nibbles, including “free from” alternatives for those with allergies)

Carol sheets will be available to help you remember the words and, for those of you who prefer technology, you will be able to download them onto your phones or to access them from the Village website if you’d prefer. There will also be battery operated candles to hold whilst singing. – please return them afterwards, so that they can be enjoyed for many years to come.

After the tree is lit, and we have sung some carols, the wonderful Preston Village Voices will be performing, for our and their enjoyment, inside The Red Lion. Can those of you who wish to do so, please join them to sing a few more carols, including The 12 Days of Christmas?

Please wrap up warm, bring your voices and phones, and come along to join in!

We look forward to seeing you there

The Preston Trust committee – Adrian, Christina, Jax, Liz, Vicky, Wal and Rae

Parish Council Meeting: Thursday 7 December

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 7 December at 8pm in the village hall. Any member of the public who would like to raise an issue to be discussed at this meeting should contact the Clerk.

Members of the public who would like to speak to the Parish Council in person should register with the Clerk prior to the meeting.

Contact details are: Lisa Lathane, Clerk to the Parish Council:

Preston News Service (PNS)

Advance Notice of Limited Availability

It is expected that the PNS will be unavailable from the evening of Monday 18 December until late on Wednesday 20 December. There will then be a limited service until at least after Boxing Day 26 December. We will do our best to get any messages about missing people, pets & parcels, blocked roads, dangerous trees etc out quickly.

If you could let us have your diary dates, items wanted / for sale or free etc well before the 18th or after Boxing Day that would be a great help.

Many thanks, Wal

Preston Paws are now your local stockist for the CSJ range of dog food

CSJ food isn’t found on the shelves of your regular dog food shops – The only way to get hold of this fantastic range is via the company website or through their network of local stockists. Check out the link below or scan the QR code which takes you to the main website where you can read up on the range of feed available.

We can cater for all tastes and dietary needs throughout the three ranges produced.

There really is a feed for every dogs taste and every humans budget with prices ranging from £20.50 for the Champ! adult through to the Original Lamb & Rice at £27.50 and the Command Performance All rounder at £44.50 (all bags are 15kg). Requirements include, for example:

  • Grain free diet = CP No Grainer @ £43.50 (15kg)
  • Over weight /greedy dog = Lamb Senior @ £27.50 (15kg)
  • Puppy = CP27 Puppy @ £44.50 (15kg)
  • Sensitive tummies = CSJ ‘original’ Lamb and Rice which is wheat gluten free @£27.50 (15kg)
  • Older dogs = Old Champ @ £19.50 or the ‘Original’ Lamb Senior @£27.50 (both 15kg)

Please refer to the website for the CSJ full range and descriptions. Other rations can be ordered on request.

Not only do we offer food for your dog but CSJ do a wide range of herbal supplements.

A favourite is ‘Billy No Mates’ which provides herbal protection against fleas, ticks and mites.

‘Hold It’ is a herb supplement for those with weaker bladders and I am loving using ‘Solid Result’ on my spaniel !!

(All prices above are correct at October 2023)

Card and cash payments accepted. Collection by appointment or can deliver locally.

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services

Sunday 3rd December






St Martin’s All Age Communion

1 Corinthians 1: 3 – 9

Mark 13: 24 – 37

All Saints All Age Communion

Sunday 10th December








All Saints Holy Communion (BCP)

St Martin’s Holy Communion

2 Peter 3: 8 – 15

Mark 1: 1 – 8

All Saints Sunday Praise

Sunday 17th December 9.30am


St Martin’s  Christingle Service

All Saints Holy Carol Service

Christmas Eve 24th December





All Saints Crib Service

St Martin’s Holy Communion for Christmas Eve

Hebrews 1: 1 – 14

John 1: 1 – 14

Christmas Day 10.00am All Saints Holy Communion
Sunday 31st December 10.00am 5th Sunday Joint service of Holy Communion at All Saints

Galatians 4: 4 – 7

Luke 2: 15 – 21

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

Letter From The Vicar

When war rages in many parts of the world, not least in Gaza, Ukraine, Myanmar and in many parts of Africa, it may sound naive or over-optimistic to recall us to the truth of Christmas – of Jesus as the Prince of Peace. But it is a reminder salutary and necessary.

We should think of those shepherds who came to find Jesus, guided by the call of an angel, and singing Glory to God in the highest and peace to his people on earth. Peace remains the aim and the focus of this season.

Of course, our powerlessness as onlookers to the world’s conflicts may blind us to the fact that we can pray, and we can hope.

We can pray that the God whose Son came into the world at Christmas will once more intervene for our good. We might say, Lord bring peace to your world. And let it begin with us – in our relationships and in our differences.

The weeks leading up to Christmas – the season of Advent – are for Christians weeks of penitence, a period of preparation and self-examination. We ask that the searching light of God’s presence may enable us to be honest about our failings, to be genuinely sorry for them and to resolve to amend our lives in the light of them.

But Advent is also a period of hope – of looking forward with confidence, because Jesus is the Advent hope.

Peace, then, and hope for the future – these are the gifts we pray that God will give us this Christmas.

With every blessing,


St Martin’s Church 150 Club 2023/2024

The winners in the November draw in the 2023/24 150 Club (£30 each) were:

No. 131 Mr & Mrs M C Waters
No. 142. Mr D Outen

Prayer Meeting Tuesday 5th December

St. Martin’s informal prayer group will take place on Tuesday 5th of December at 9.40am in the church.

Everyone is welcome to join us in this peaceful time of prayer and quiet reflection. Refreshments will be served afterwards. Whilst there are church services throughout Christmas, which you are all warmly invited to, the prayer group will not be held until it resumes in the New Year.

The Red Lion – Dates in December

First Monday of the Month QUIZ NIGHT – 4 December at 8pm

Please book your table, no more than 6 per team.

Christmas Carols – 22 December at 8pm

All welcome – song sheets will be provided.

Christmas Opening Hours
  • Christmas Day… 12 noon – 2pm
  • Boxing Day……. 12 noon – 4pm

Kings Walden Stores –

Shop hours: Mon 7.30 -1pm Tues 7.30 -12 noon Thurs 7.30 -12 noon Sat 8am – 10.30am

Christmas Shopping Appointments
We have a few slots available in December for appointments to look round when the shop is closed. This was hugely popular during the dreaded covid, but a lot of people still like to do this, just pop in or give me a call on the number above.

Newspapers are available to pick up all over the Christmas period except Christmas Day. Please ring or pop in to order any.

Christmas opening hours will be published on PNS nearer the time.

Post Office

hours: Mon, Tues & Thurs 8am -12 noon

Do remember you can deposit or withdraw cash and pay cheques in through the post office.

Last posting dates

  • UK 2nd class is Monday ………… 18th December
  • UK 1st Class Wednesday ………. 20 December
  • most International last dates are .. 6th December
  • most Europe are …………………. 11th December.

Leaflets available in the shop for all countries’ details & parcel force & Royal Mail special delivery dates. Royal Mail are advising to post early!

PVS Christmas Get-Together – Thursday 14th December

7pm at the Village Hall. Mulled wine and mince pies and an evening of fun and frivolity.
All welcome.

Preston Trust Diary Dates For 2024

  • Spring Litter pick and Green Clean – Saturday 09 March
  • Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday 30th March
  • Beating the Bounds, a series of walks along the parish boundary – April / May TBC
  • Village Day – provisionally Saturday 06 July dependant on other events in the Parish

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. If you use the What3Words app, please include the three words for the location of the fly tipping.

PCSO Heather Burrows can be contacted regarding local community issues.
Contact details are as follows:

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.

Reporting suspicious activity

Please report any suspicious activity or vehicles you may witness in the locality.
Call the police on the non-emergency number 101 or report it online by using the website and follow the links.

Police Surgery – Village Hall – Friday 8th December

A Police Surgery will be held in Preston Village Hall on 8th December from 10.30 am – 12 noon. PCSO Heather Burrows from our Safer Neighbourhood Team will be happy to meet residents and discuss any concerns.

Preston Website Contact Forms Issue

Other than new PNS subscribers, there are very few genuine messages received each year via the contact forms. However, genuine messages are getting lost in those from spammers and scammers trying to get us to buy dodgy products and services or click on links that could damage the site. I will be turning off all of the contact forms on the Preston website until I can resolve this issue.

In the meantime, please use the published contact details for any messages to Preston Parish Council. Please use the published Preston Trust email addresses for any other contacts and we will forward your message as appropriate. As with the contact forms please do not put any sensitive information in your initial message but wait until you get a reply from the person or body you are trying to reach.

The only exception will be the form for subscribing to the PNS – which will stay online since the spammers do not seem to be interested in abusing it.

Apologies for any inconvenience, Wal