February 2020

Dates to Remember

Fri 7 Feb Preston Neighbourhood Plan Referendum Date announced
Sat 15 Feb Open Gardens Photoshow – 10.00am to 12.00noon – Village Hall
Wed 19 Feb Preston Village Society – Windrush – 8.00pm
Thurs 20 Feb Neighbourhood Plan Drop-in session – Village Hall – 6.30 to 8.30pm
Sat 22 Feb Neighbourhood Plan Drop-in session – Village Hall – 10.00am to 12.00
Sat 14 Mar Spring Litter Pick – The Green – 10.00am to 12.00noon
Fri 20 Mar Posh v Plonk – Preston Trust Wine Evening – Village Hall
Sat 4 Apr The Great Easter Egg Hunt
Sat 27 June Scarecrow Festival

Forthcoming Preston Trust Events

There will be more details in coming newsletters, via the PNS and on the website at www.prestonvillageherts.com

Posh vs Plonk Wine Evening – Village Hall – Friday 20 March

The 2020 wine evening will be on the theme of comparing posh wines vs plonk – but which is which – and which do you prefer?

The Great Easter Egg Hunt – Saturday 4 April

Follow a short trail through the village to where the Easter Eggs are, with things to do along the way… Will there be Easter Chicks hiding, bunny paw prints to hop along, questions to answer and challenges to try? Come and find out!

The Scarecrows are coming – Saturday 27 June

This year The Trust and PHC are organising a joint community fun day to celebrate Village Day and the 200th anniversary of the founding of Princess Helena College.

The Scarecrow trail will extend across the village and into the grounds of PHC.

Whether you’ve made a scarecrow in the past or this will be your first time, it would be great if you could make one to join this special, happy band of parishioners. Once again there will be Scarecrow Hotels – If you don’t want to make a scarecrow, why not host one?

St Martin’s Church And All Saints’ Church Services

February Service Sidesman Reader
2nd10.00amParish CommunionMike KellardFran Bowes-Lyon & Hugh Reeves
   Malachi 3:1-5, RCL p.60, Hebrews 2:14-end  Gospel:Luke 2:22-40
Intercessions: Dawn Jenkins   Chalice: Dawn Jenkins
9th9.30amHoly CommunionMalcolm LowleSue Griffiths
   1 Corinthians 2:1-12, RCL p.68  Gospel:Matthew 5:13-20
Intercessions: Alec Dickinson   Chalice: Alec Dickinson
11.00amHoly Communion at All Saints’
16th8.00amBCP, at All Saints’
9.30amHoly CommunionMike KellardDi Blockley
   Romans 8:18-25, RCL p.87  Gospel:Matthew 6:25-34
Intercessions: Meta Reeves   Chalice: Mike Kellard
11.00amFamily Praise at All Saints’
23rd9.30amHoly CommunionLiz HunterRichard Blockley
   2 Peter 1:16-end, RCL p.92  Gospel:Matthew 17:1-9
Intercessions: Hugh Reeves   Chalice: Liz Hunter
11.00amHoly Communion at All Saints’
26th8.00pmHoly Communion with imposition of ashes at All Saints’
March Service Sidesman Reader
1st10.00amParish CommunionAndy ColeVeronica Williamson & Liz Hunter
   Genesis 2:15-17; 3:1-7, RCL p.105, Romans 5:12-19 Gospel:Matthew 4:1-11
Intercessions: Dawn Jenkins   Chalice: Chalice:Dawn Jenkins
All services are at St. Martin's unless stated otherwise
Church cleaning at St Martin’s.

Every first Tuesday of the month at 4.00pm.

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

A Letter from Our Team Vicar

We are fortunate to have two lovely and very distinctive churches in our parish – at St Paul’s Walden and Preston – both of them a testament to the love and care spent on them in the past and right up to the present.

By contrast, of course, Christians of the 1st century met in one another’s houses, to share the holy communion, to listen to letters from an apostle and to be in fellowship with one another generally

In my three months as a vicar, it has been my real joy to celebrate the holy communion not only in the churches, but at Lime Tree House (fortnightly on a Wednesday morning), and monthly with some of the residents of the Sue Ryder home at Stagenhoe, and of course in individual houses with those who are sick or unable to get out.

The Christian faith, then, can be expressed in church or at home or in the community. And this is to make a point about where God is, and indeed where God always is, namely, where you are. In fact, and without doubt, it is the people  who make the Church of God.

On Saturday 8 February, from 9.30 to 12.30 at All Saints, we will be asking – what is our vision for All Saints and St Martin’s 5 years from now? We will be thinking aloud about how our churches and all of us can serve our communities effectively. All are welcome. If you would like to come, please let me know, or email me with your thoughts. This is a chance to think creatively and with imagination about our vision for the future. Blue sky thinking, yes!

Jesus said, “Let the people come to me “. It was an open invitation to all when he said it, and it remains an open invitation today. We can come to Jesus just where we are, whether at home, at work, or of course in worship at church.

With every blessing,


February 21st – 28th: Cpre : The Annual Star Count in Orion!

The Council for the Protection of Rural England are repeating their annual campaign, asking us all to count the numbers of stars which we can see in the Orion constellation, and then to send in our results. From this data, a national map of ‘dark skies’ and levels of light pollution can then be drawn. See their website at www.cpre.org.uk for details on how to register and sign up for ‘Star Count 2020’. Anyone can take part – it is all free! Just have a go and become a ‘Citizen Scientist’!

Without street lights, this village and parish provides a narrow zone of slightly darker sky between the glow of lights from the urban areas of Luton, Hitchin and Stevenage. The Preston Trust is a member of the Hertfordshire branch of the CPRE.

Liz Hunter

Open Gardens And Tea: St Pauls Waldenbury: Sun 29 March 2.00 -5.00 p.m.

Further information will be provided in next month’s newsletter.

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 www.north-herts.gov.uk, 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 Johnie Streeter and PCSO Heather Burrows can be contacted regarding local community issues. Their contact details are as follows:

PC Johnie Streeter: 07525 905431 or 01438 757604 Johnie.streeter@herts.pnn.police.uk

PCSO Heather Burrows: 07740 745168 or 01438 757604 or heather.burrows@herts.pnn.police.uk

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

Police Surgery – Village Hall – Saturday 22 February

A Police Surgery will be held in Preston Village Hall on 22 February from 10am – 12 noon. PCSO Heather Burrows from our Safer Neighbourhood Team will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have.

A Photoshow of our 2019 Gardens Open Day in May –


You are all invited to come along to the Village Hall on Saturday, February 15th 10.00am – 12 noon for a PHOTOSHOW. Wally Steele will very kindly be showing us his superb photos of the activities and scenes on May 26th last year – elegant compositions in St. Martin’s and in the ‘Open Gardens’, close-ups of individual plants, views along some shrub and flower borders and across The Green.

The photos will be projected on a big screen in a repeating loop, so come along at any time and stay as long as you like, without missing the start or the end! All is free. Coffee, tea and shortbread will be available.

Come and be impressed, inspired and just delighted!

Wally, Meta, Pam and Liz

The 2020 Spring Litter Pick: Saturday, March 14th, 10.00am – 12 noon

The Preston Trust committee would, once again, like to invite you to come and help pick up litter around the village and the parish.

Wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and bring your gardening/DIY gloves. Our helpful colleagues at NHDC/Urbaser will provide us with HiVis jackets, ‘litter-picker’ tools, black plastic sacks and disposable gloves. As usual, we will work in pairs along each lane and footpath, and bring the filled sacks back to The Green.

Just come along and lend a hand, please! This task does not take too long, nor require too much effort, and it really does make a difference! You are all very welcome!

Liz Hunter, Preston Trust committee member

Preston Village Society

Our next meeting will be held on Wednesday 19th February at Sue Griffiths, Windrush, Back Lane: Margaret Trinder will give a talk entitled: An African Journey

Preston Neighbourhood Plan Referendum

The Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan has been underway since June 2016. It has been through all the required consultations and last August went to the Independent Examiner who recommended that the Neighbourhood Plan should go to Referendum, subject to his suggested modifications being made. The Plan was amended to include these modifications and at their meeting on December 19th, the NHDC cabinet of District Councillors agreed that it should go to Referendum.

North Hertfordshire District Council will publish the “notice of election” for the Referendum on the Preston Neighbourhood Plan on Friday 7 February. After the “notice of election” is published, Electoral Services will follow the standard procedures for issuing polling cards and information about postal and proxy votes. On Referendum day, the polling station will be in the village hall open from 7am to 10pm.

There will be ONE question on the ballot paper:

Do you want North Hertfordshire District Council to use the Neighbourhood Plan for Preston to help it decide planning applications in the neighbourhood area?

All residents are encouraged to vote on this important issue for Preston. Everyone on the electoral register will have the opportunity of voting, either Yes or No. If 50% of those voting answer Yes, the Neighbourhood Plan will be made, and will become part of local planning law until the year 2031.

The Neighbourhood Plan can be viewed online at: www.preston-np.org.uk. A printed copy is available to view in The Red Lion during opening hours. A loan copy is also available to borrow from Wally Steele, see contact details below.

Two drop-in sessions have been arranged on Thursday 20 February from 6.30 to 8.30pm and Saturday 22 February from 10.00 to 12.00 in the village hall. Members of the Steering Group will be available to answer any queries on the Neighbourhood Plan prior to the Referendum.

If you have any questions about the Neighbourhood Plan or Referendum we are also happy to answer them by phone or email. Please feel free to contact either


St Martin’s Church 120 Club Draw 2019/2020

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

No. 29 Mr & Mrs R G M Young
No. 35 Mrs G S Edwards

Preston Parish Council: Land Off Castlefield

Preston Parish Council has recently been informed that the NHDC Cabinet of District Councillors, having followed the required legal procedures, has decided that their 2.5 acre piece of land off Castlefield is surplus to their requirements and that it will be placed on the open market for sale on a subject to planning basis for residential development. The land in question does not include the public footpath and Church Meadow.

The report which was presented to Cabinet can be accessed via the link below:


then click on the Public Reports Pack pdf. The land off Castlefield is Item 14, pages 205 to 229.

NHDC expect to advertise the land towards the end of February in the Estates Gazette which is a trade publication. Normal sales procedure will be followed to get the best deal and the one which seems likely to be successful. They hope to have agreed a price with a developer in late Spring. Once the price is agreed, contracts will be exchanged subject to planning permission.

A planning application must conform to the policies of the Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan and the emerging Local Plan. The Housing and Development Policies in the Neighbourhood Plan will be particularly relevant to any planning application. These can be found in the Neighbourhood Plan, pages 37 to 42, which can be accessed at:


A copy of the planning application will be received by the Parish Council who, as usual, will have the opportunity to comment, whilst it is NHDC who will subsequently make their decision on it. Details of this planning application will be posted on the Preston website and residents will be informed via the Parish Council Database. Everyone is entitled to respond and make their views known to the planning officer. Once planning consent has been granted, the purchase will be completed. The whole process of selling the land is expected to take about 18 months.

Anyone who would like to be added to the Parish Council database should contact:

Anyone who would like to discuss the content of this message further should contact Margaret Trinder, Vice-Chair, Preston Parish Council

Babysitter Required

Unfortunately our regular and much loved babysitter left for uni this autumn so we are looking for someone local to the village to occasionally babysit for our six year old. Please contact us via for more details if you are interested. We are the Princess Helena’s side of the village.

Emma Curran