March 2018

Dates to Remember

Sat 3 Mar Community Book Swap – Village Hall – 10.00-11.00am
Tue 6 Mar Church Cleaning 4.00pm
Wed 7 Mar Parish Council – Village Hall – 8.00pm
Sat 17 Mar Community Book Swap – Village Hall – 10.00-11.00am
Sat 17 Mar Parish Spring Clean – The Gree 10.00am – 12.00
Wed 28 Mar Preston Village Society – 8.00pm – 19 Chequers Lane
Tue 6 Mar Church Cleaning 4.00pm

Deadline for the April 2018 newsletter is 20 March.

Thank You from The Steering Group

The Steering Group would like to thank everyone who responded to the recent Neighbourhood Plan Regulation 14 Consultation. They are now working with the Independent Consultant to analyse the comments received and amend the draft Plan, ensuring that it takes into account the NHDC emerging Local Plan as well as national and local planning law.

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

Many of our lovely gardens will be open to visitors this year again. There will be Teas in the Village Hall and BBQ and Plants on the Green as well as Preston honey and bees. Please bear the Plant Stall in mind when you divide or propagate your plants this Spring!

If you have never opened your garden before but would like to do so this year, we would be delighted to hear from you!

Liz 433859, Pam 422315 or Meta 456567

Preston Village Society

Our next meeting will be held on WEDNESDAY 28 MARCH at Ita Leaver’s, 19 Chequers Lane. Richard Thomas will give a talk entitled” From Flanders Fields to the Tower”

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services

March Service Sidesman Reader
4th10.00amLent 3Malcolm LowleVeronica Williamson
   1 Cor. 1:18-25, RCL p.517 Gospel: John 2:13-22
Intercessions: Dawn Jenkins   Chalice: Carolyn Hill
11th10.00amFamily Service for Mothering SundayAndy Cole
11.00amMothering Sunday Praise at All Saints’
18th9.30amLent 5Malcolm LowleAnna Lawson
   Jeremiah 31:31-34, RCL p.522 Gospel:John 12:20-33
Intercessions: Doreen Sansom   Chalice: Di BLockley
11.00amSunday Praise at All Saints’
25th9.30amPalm SundayRichard GillRichard Blockley
   Psalm 118:1-2,19-end RCLp.528 Gospel:Mark 11:1-11
Intercessions: Hugh Reeves   Chalice: Meta Reeves
11.00amHoly Communion at All Saints’
6.00pmVillage Churches Music and Readings for Holy Week at All Saints’
26th7.00pmCompline with meditation at St Martin’s
27th7.00pmCompline with meditation at All Saints’
1st9.30amEASTER DAYMalcolm LowleRichard Gill
   Acts 10:34-43, RCL p.541 Gospel:Mark 16:1-8
Intercessions: Dawn Jenkins   Chalice: Liz Hunter
11.00am Family Communion at All Saints’
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 10.00am. There will be NO SERVICE AT ALL SAINTS’ on these Sundays.

Weekday services in Whitwell:

Alternate Wednesdays 9.30am   Holy Communion   Lime Tree House   14, 28 March

SOUP LUNCHES followed by LENTWISE discussion, 12.00 – 2.00pm and 2.00-3.00pm
Wednesday 7 March Renate Mathers, 56 Horn Hill Whitwell
Wednesday 14 March Meta Reeves Crunnells Green House, Preston
Wednesday 21 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,

I am writing this on the day after Ash Wednesday. Yesterday we held the first Soup Lunch in Whitwell Village Hall followed by the first Lent Group. We had a good number for lunch including some children who enjoyed the activities provided. In the evening a few of us gathered at St Martin’s Preston for a Communion service with ashing. On subsequent Wednesdays in Lent there will be Soup Lunches between 12 noon and 2pm with the Lent Group following on at 2pm. Thank you to all those who are kindly hosting these lunches and the group meetings. Donations this year will be given to church funds.  Do join us for lunch and/or the group.  The lunch and Lent Group will be at Meta and Hugh Reeves’ home. Crunnells Green House on Wed 14 March.

The Women’s World Day of Prayer this year is on Friday 2 March. The Villages Service will be held at 1.30pm at St Mary Magdalene Offley.

The Family Service this month is on Mothering Sunday, 11 March at 10am. We hope you will be able to join us.  Flowers will be distributed to all women in the congregation and refreshments will be available after the service.

Looking ahead: on Good Friday (30 March) there will be the usual Children’s Activities and Worship (Messy Good Friday) at 10.30am at All Saints’ and we will have a Communion service at 9.30am on Easter Day (1 April) at St Martin’s.  Writing of which …

The Real Easter Eggs are on sale again for the ninth year.  This is the first and only Fairtrade chocolate egg to explain the meaning of Easter. Inside is an illustrated 24 page Easter story activity book, a milk chocolate egg (125g) and a bag of Fairtrade Chunky buttons (25g).

A charity donation is made from each sale.  For more details see To be sure of getting an egg or eggs please order by phoning or emailing me by 8 March.


Finally I thought you might like advance notice of two visiting preachers.

The Rev’d Dan Drew will be preaching at both churches on 8 April, the Sunday after Easter. Dan is part-time curate at St Mary’s Hitchin and he also leads the Hub Church in Hitchin. He is married to Alex and they have a baby daughter born just before Christmas.

The Bishop of Hertford, Bishop Michael, will be visiting the parish on Sunday 13 May when he will preside and preach at both services.

I hope that many of you will be able to join us on both these occasions.


With my prayers and good wishes to you all


St Martin’s Church Hymns

It is always difficult to choose hymns for our services which please everyone – we do our best, but if you have some favourite hymns which you would like to be included, or a special hymn to mark a birthday or anniversary, please add them to the list in church or drop a note in to Lychgate House.

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.

The 2018 Spring Clean of Our Parish

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

Do, please, come and join us on The Green, on Saturday 17 March, 10.00am – 12 noon. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and do please bring your rubber gloves! and a HiVis jacket, if you have one. I will have plenty of black plastic sacks to give out to you. As usual, we will work in pairs along each lane and footpath, and then bring the filled sacks back to The Green.

A special task this March is to tackle the rubbish in the copse alongside Back Lane, between Holly Cottages and Reeves Cottage. We have permission from the landlord, the Kings Waldenbury Estate, to do this.

We had 30 people out helping with our Spring Clean last year, and so I do hope that the same number of ‘volunteer litter pickers’ will come and help again, on Saturday 17 March, at 10.00am.  Just come along, please…………..

Liz Hunter, PT committee member

Carolyn Hill – Nepal Trek In Aid Of Macmillan Cancer

This year I will be undertaking the biggest challenge of my life in memory of a beautiful lady my mother who lost her battle against cancer 25 years ago at the age of 59.

I have signed up to do a weeks trek & camping in Nepal in October in aid of Macmillan cancer support who enabled Mum to spend her final weeks at home with my Dad.

I’m hoping to raise as much money as possible for this very deserving charity and I’ll be truly grateful for any donations I receive Thank you – Carolyn Hill.

St Martin’s Church 120 Club

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

No. 67 Mr & Mrs M Atkinson
No. 122 Mrs C A Hill

This is the final draw in this year’s 120 Club.  Tickets for 2018/19 are being distributed by members of the church committee to the current participants.  The funds generated by the 120 Club – approximately £1600 per year – support the general running costs of our church and churchyard and contribute towards their on-going maintenance.

Tickets cost £20 for the year and there will be 2 prizes of £30 each month and 3 in December.  We do ask regular participants, who have not done so already, to pay by standing order – this simplifies things for future years.  If anyone would like to join this year or are willing to take an additional ticket please contact Richard Blockley, Lychgate House, Church Lane   457631.