February 2018

Dates to Remember

Sat 3 Feb Community Book Swap – Village Hall – 10.00-11.00am
Tue 6 Feb Church Cleaning 4.00pm
Thur 8 Feb Neighbourhood Plan Consultation – Village Hall – 6.30-8.30pm
Sat 10 Feb Neighbourhood Plan Consultation – Village Hall – 10.00-12.00
Sat 17 Feb Community Book Swap – Village Hall – 10.00-11.00am
Wed 17 Feb Preston Village Society – 8.00pm – Rosebank
Sun 25 Feb Quiz in the Red Lion – 7.00pm
Tue 6 Mar Church Cleaning 4.00pm

Neighbourhood Plan Regulation 14 Consultation

The Steering Group would like to thank everyone who has already responded to the Neighbourhood Plan Regulation 14 Consultation which is open until Sunday 18 February. This is an online consultation and is accessible via the Neighbourhood Plan website: www.preston-np.org.uk, then follow the link to Your Say.

To support this process the Steering Group are holding consultations in the village hall on the following dates:

  • 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.

A paper copy of the draft plan is available on loan for anyone without online facilities and who cannot attend on one of the above dates. Please phone: 434403 to organise this. A paper copy is available in the Red Lion.

Anyone who has any queries about the draft plan at any time during the consultation period is welcome to contact the Steering Group:  434403.

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services

February Service Sidesman Reader
4th10.00 amMalcolm LowleTim Liddell
   Colossians 1:15-20, RCL p.499 Gospel: John 1:1-14
Intercessions: Hugh Reeves   Chalice: Di Blockley
11th9.30amMike KellardSue Griffiths
   2 Corinthians 4:3-6,RCL p.502 Gospel: Mark 9:2-9
Intercessions: Doreen Sansom   Chalice: Mike Kellard
11.00 amHoly Communion at All Saints’
14th7.00pmAsh Wednesday. Holy Communion
   Psalm 51:1-18, 2 Corinthians 5:20-6:10, John 8:1-11
18th8.00amHoly Communion (BCP) at All Saints’
9.30amLent 1Richard GillPaul Constantinidi
   1 Peter 3:18-end, RCL p.508 Gospel: Mark 1:9-15
Intercessions: Elizabeth Bunker   Chalice: Liz Hunter
11.00amSunday Praise at All Saints’
25th9.30amLent 2Liz HunterHugh Reeves
   Romans 4:13-end RCLp.511 Gospel: Mark 8:31-end
Intercessions: Meta Reeves   Chalice: Liz Hunter
11.00amHoly Communion at All Saints’
4th10.00amMalcolm LowleVeronica Williamson
   1 Corinthians 1:18-25, RCL p.517 Gospel: John 2:13-22
Intercessions: Elizabeth Bunker   Chalice: Carolyn Hill
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 10.00 am. There will be NO SERVICE AT ALL SAINTS’.

Weekday services in Whitwell:
Alternate Wednesdays 9.30am   Holy Communion   Lime Tree House   14, 28 February

Parish of St Paul’s Walden with Preston

Soup Lunches 12- 2 followed by Lentwise discussion group from 2-3

Wednesday 14th February   Whitwell Village Hall
Wednesday 21st February Shirley Ockenden, 6 Cresswick Whitwell
Wednesday 28th February Jenny Vaughan, 12 Codicote Road Whitwell
Wednesday 7th March Renate Mathers, 56 Horn Hill Whitwell
Wednesday 14th March Meta Reeves Crunnells Green House, Preston
Wednesday 21st March Liz Williams, The Tannery, The Valley Whitwell

Spiritual essentials for real life! After lunch please stay for the Lentwise discussion on life’s journey and what we need to take with us.

Lunch donations for All Saints’ or St Martin’s Church.

A Letter From Our Team Vicar

 01438 871658 or  01462 686808

Dear Friends,

My January letter was, of course, written before Christmas itself and before most of the Christmas services. It was good to see so many of you at All Saints’ and St Martin’s and I am delighted to let you know that we have sent £100 to the Children’s Society given at the Christingle Service and £350 to the Garden House Hospice given at the Christmas Eve service.

During January churches world-wide mark the Week of Prayer for Christian Unity and this year’s theme is That All may be Free. This reminds us that slavery still exists in many parts of the world and, although the Abolition of Slavery Act became law in 1833, situations of people living as slaves still occur in the UK today. This Week of Prayer challenges us to reflect on such injustices and the divisions they create and to pray that ways may be found to end them.

This year Easter Day is Sunday 1 April and Ash Wednesday, the start of Lent, is on 14 February. We will be holding Wednesday Soup Lunches again in 2018 between 12noon and 2pm beginning on 14 February in Whitwell Village Hall. It is Half-Term that week so do bring children along – there will be plenty of activities for them as well as soup etc. Subsequent lunches will be in local homes in Whitwell or Preston. The Soup Lunch on Wed 14 March will be held in Preston at Crunnells Green House the home of Hugh and Meta Reeves.

The Lent Course (Wednesdays 2-3pm) also begins on Ash Wednesday in the Village Hall and will take place in the same homes as the Soup lunches. We are basing our discussions this year on the book Lentwise by Paula Gooder.

The Hitchin churches are launching The Millers Café as a venue for anyone who has ‘been through the mill’ with life-changing conditions recently. The café is open at Walsworth Road Baptist Church twice a month on the 1st Monday 2-4pm and the 3rd Wednesday 10am-12noon. This is open to everyone in this parish too. If you want more information about this, please get in touch with me by email or phone.

As I wrote last month we are looking for a new Parish Office in Whitwell and we will let you know details as soon as we can. My email and telephone contact details are at the top of this letter.


With my prayers and good wishes to you all


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.

Preston Village Society

The next meeting is being held on Wednesday 21 February at Caroline Walford’s, Rosebank, Back Lane. There will be a talk by Derek Niemann entitled: The Prisoners and their Bird Watching.

Dog Fouling

The Parish Council were angry and disappointed to receive a photograph from a resident on Friday 12 January showing dog pooh on the path leading to their front door. The dog was allowed to do this and the owner did not pick it up but left it there for the resident to deal with. The Parish Council were also angry when they heard that the same thing had happened at the same house the following day.

In addition to the above incidents, the Parish Council has been informed that dog pooh is being left on the Recreation Ground and on the footpath between Chequers Lane and Butchers Lane. As well as dog mess being left on the path, bags containing it have been left on the side of the path or hidden in the hedge.

This behaviour is anti-social, unacceptable and unnecessary. Dog owners should realise that they are responsible for their animals, either on or off the lead, and they should follow the “bag it and bin it” policy. There are several dog bins in the village for this purpose and dog owners can also take the bags home and put them in their own purple bin.

Dog fouling is not only unpleasant, it is also potentially harmful. Dog faeces can contain a parasitic worm called Toxocara; if transferred to humans, this can cause blindness, especially in children.

If anyone knows of any dog owners who do not clean up after their dogs they should report them to North Hertfordshire District Council: 01462 474000 or email: service@north-herts.gov.uk, and action will be taken against the culprits.

The Parish Council realise that the vast majority of people are responsible and always clear up after their dogs. They would like to ask all dog owners to be responsible and clean up after their animals all the time so that incidents like this never happen again.

Open Gardens Day – Sunday 27th May – The 27th Year!

The second Bank Holiday Sunday in May as usual. Many of our lovely Preston Gardens will be open to admiring visitors again. If you have never opened your garden before but would quite like to this year, we will be delighted to hear from you. Do remember that visitors are looking for variety rather than perfection and ‘wild’ areas can be just as interesting as designer borders!

Liz 433859, Pam 422315 or Meta 456567

St Martin’s Church 120 Club

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

No. 55 Mrs S E Bannon
No. 126 Mr & Mrs J D Campbell

Children In Need – Ramble

A HUGE thank you to those people who very bravely turned out for our Children in Need Ramble on 27 December 2017.  The day dawned and there was snow on the ground and a blizzard blowing and I’m amazed anyone ventured out to be honest,  but there  were 19 of us (and quite a few dogs)!  It was intended for there to be 2 walks of differing lengths but in the conditions we all decided on the short walk, which proved to be snowy, very wet and muddy and a challenge for all concerned.

Money was collected from those on the walk and some was donated to me through the post and in the pub.  In total £305 was raised and has been sent to Children in Need.

Well done everyone and thank you for your support.

Hitchin Foodbank

Many thanks for your ongoing support and contributions to the Hitchin Foodbank.

The most urgent needs are for tea bags, toothpaste, deodorant and shower gel. Please ensure items are undamaged and in date.

Donations can be deposited in the blue box in the garage at Lychgate House, Church Lane.

Red Lion Quiz

There will be a quiz in the Red Lion on Sunday 25 February starting at 7.00pm. Proceeds will go towards the Albany Bassets.


Potholes should be reported to Hertfordshire Highways at: www.hertsdirect.org/highwaysfaults or  03001234047.

The greater the number of reports, the more likely it is that the pothole will be repaired.

Preston Village Voices

Preston Village Voices would like to say a big Thank You to everyone that supported our Christmas Concert at St. Martins Church. It was a thoroughly enjoyable evening for both Audience and Choir.

We raised a staggering £792 for Tilehouse Counselling Hitchin. This will go directly into paying Counsellors to provide additional sessions for local young people.

If you are interested in joining the choir please contact Diane  07495541624.