January 2022

Parish Council Meeting: Thursday 13 January

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 13 January at 8pm in the village hall. This will follow a detailed risk assessment to ensure everyone’s safety. Any member of the public who would like to raise an issue to be discussed at this meeting should contact the Clerk.

Numbers who can attend this meeting are limited so any member of the public who particularly needs to speak to the Parish Council must register with the Clerk prior to the meeting and be prepared to follow the safety measures which are in place. Contact details: Lisa Lathane, Clerk to the Parish Council:

NHDC’S Free Tree Scheme

If anyone would like a free tree for their garden as part of the NHDC scheme to help climate change, there are still some available for collection on a first come first served basis on Saturdays in January from Arborcare’s depot at Todds Green, Stevenage (SG1 2JE) from 7.30am to 11.00am.

Film Show 8 January – Postponed due to Covid Situation

A New Year Treat with a Film, a Raffle and some Tea (and other refreshments) in St Martin’s church, on Saturday 8 December, 4.00pm – c.7.00pm

Have you SAVED THE DATE, in your new 2022 diary and calendar?

The Preston Trust has planned this new event, and we are all hoping that it can go ahead. Obviously, it is subject to any COVID 19 restrictions which may apply on that date.

The film is ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’, suitable for family viewing. The Raffle prizes sound
to be generous and super. The Teas will be very delicious!

Do come along, and join in! Admission is free. Please reserve your seat by contacting

To buy raffle tickets and to see what the prizes are, please read the flier within
your newsletter.

We do look forward to seeing lots of you there – there is lots of socially distanced space available in the church and its gallery.  Just SAVE THE DATE!

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services

Sunday 2nd January

For the Epiphany

9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s
Isaiah 60:1-6, p.38
Gospel: Matthew 2:1-12
11.00am Holy Communion at All Saints
Sunday 9th January 8am Holy Communion (BCP) at All Saints
9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s
Acts 8:14-17, p.775
Gospel: Luke 3:15-17, 21-22
11.00am Family Service at All Saints
Sunday 16th January 9.30am Family Service at St Martin’s
1 Corinthians 12:1-11 p.777
Gospel: John 2:1-11
11.00am Holy Communion at All Saints
Sunday 23rd January 9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s
1 Corinthians 12:12-31a, p.781
Gospel: Luke 4:14-21
11.00am Holy Communion at All Saints
Sunday 30th January 10.00am Joint Parish Communion
1 Corinthians 13:1-13, p.784
Gospel: Luke 2:22-40
Sunday 6th February 9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s
11.00am Holy Communion at All Saints

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

A Letter From Our Team Vicar

It was unfortunate that COVID restrictions prevented children from the school coming to sing carols at the church. Fewer assemblies also meant that they missed a bit of the retelling of the wonderful Christmas story, which is part of the enchantment of the Christmas term. Even so, I hope they and you managed to have as good a Christmas as possible.

Sadly, for the second time, we go into a New Year under the shadow of pandemic restrictions, with further strains on our teachers, parents, doctors, nurses and pharmacists, not to mention all who work in hospitals. So our New Year thoughts will be with them, as they are also about navigating the restrictions and thinking of others.

Despite the pandemic, I urge all of us to hold on to the hope that should underline the start of every New Year. Let us look forward to the other side of our present woes when they are behind us.

For the hope is that, in and through adversity, there will be a good outcome, that all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well (Julian of Norwich).

With every blessing

St Martin’s Church 120 Club Draw 2020/2021

The winners in the December draw in the 2021/22 120 Club (£30 each) include, as in previous Decembers, an extra ticket from those who have not won in the past 5 years:

No. 18 Mrs M T Drumm
No. 74 Mr D I Clark
No.133 Mr M Mercer

Carols Near The Christmas Tree on the Green

Thank you to so many of you who gathered to meet, greet and sing our five carols, on that dry mild evening – Sunday 5 December. Our thanks are due to the Preston Trust committee for a very glamorous tree, to Phil for a new smart and safe Christmas Tree Light switch box, to Ray and Jo, once again, for preparing all the refreshments and to Richard, Nick, Rod, Nick and Sarah, a simply super,outstanding band of instrumentalists.

A Happy Christmas to you all, and PLEASE do try to stay SAFE!

Our Second Autumn Litter Pick

The Parish Council and the Preston Trust would like to thank very much the 20 adults and the 5 children who turned out on 4 December to tackle the second clearing of leaves and twigs on The Green and around The Pond. Equipped with rakes and enthusiasm, the task was completed in under 2 hours! Special thanks to those who brought out their leaf blower tools and, once again, to Tom for taking all the debris, in his lorry, down to Wain Wood. Another good morning’s work!

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

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

PC Claire Ross: 01438 757604 claire.ross@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.

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 www.herts.police.uk/report and follow the links.

​Reporting Scam Emails and Texts

Please report suspicious emails to Action Fraud at: report@phishing.gov.uk
Scam text messages should be forwarded to 7726.

    –    ECHO – a new way to report local issues to Police

This is a feedback platform which allows you to voice thoughts and opinions regarding policing in your local area. No sign-up is required and all feedback is completely anonymous. Comments are sent through to your local Safer Neighbourhood Team who will review the feedback and use it to help build patrol plans, events and local activity.

The Hitchin Team can be contacted on: www.bit.ly/police-hitchinrural

​New PC on our Safer Neighbourhood Team

Please welcome PC Claire Ross who replaces PC Johnie Streeter on the Hitchin Safer Neighbourhood Team. Many thanks to PC Streeter for his support during the last couple of years which has not been easy during the current COVID-19 pandemic. He is moving on to take up a new position.

PC Ross is transferring from the Letchworth Safer Neighbourhood Team.

Our SNT can be contacted by emailing: SNTHitchinRural@herts.pnn.police.uk

Hitchin Foodbank Shortages

Thank you for your support over the past year. January and February are especially difficult months for many and all donations are welcome; the following items are the most urgently needed: UHT Milk Longlife [not skimmed]; Juice Longlife; Jam/Marmalade; Dried Potatoes; Dried Milk; Sponge Puddings.

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.

For more information please visit letchworth.foodbank.org.uk

COVID-19 and the Newsletter

Producing our Parish Newsletter is a community initiative. Between us, we have taken steps to protect both the volunteers who produce and deliver as well as our readers. We have reduced the number of people involved in production – Howard edited the newsletter and e-mailed it as a Word file for printing; Rae and Wal printed, folded and sorted into delivery rounds this month; then distributed, contact free to the volunteers who deliver.