March 2019

Dates to Remember

Wed 6 Mar  Parish Council – Village Hall – 8.00pm.
Wed 20 Mar  Preston Village Society – 19 Chequers Lane – 8.00pm.
Fri 22 Mar  Wine Tasting Challenge – Village Hall – 8.00pm.

Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan

On the advice of NHDC, the Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan was put on hold last year because of delays to the NHDC Local Plan 2011-2031. As a result of further discussions with NHDC and the publication of the main modifications to the Local Plan, it is now possible to proceed with the Neighbourhood Plan. 

The Preston Parish Neighbourhood Plan Second Submission has been sent to NHDC. The next step is the formal round of public consultation (Regulation 16) which will be organised by the District Council and last for 6 weeks. This is expected to start on Tuesday 12 March and will be available on the NHDC website: 

The Neighbourhood Plan and associated documents are on the Preston Neighbourhood plan website:

Open Gardens Day – Sunday 26th. 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 or if you will be free to give a hand on the day,  we would be delighted to hear from you! 

Liz ☎433859, Pam ☎422315 or Meta ☎456567.

Preston Village Society

Our next meeting will be held at Ita Leaver’s, 19 Chequers Lane  on Wednesday 20 March at 8pm. Richard Thomas will give a talk entitled ‘A Day in the Life of a Thames Tug’. 

St Martin’s Church And All Saints’ Church Services

March Service Sidesman Reader
3rd10.00amMalcolm LowleVerity Liddell
   Exodus 34:29-end, RCL p.811  Gospel: Luke 9:28-36
Intercessions: Dawn Jenkins   Chalice: Alec Dickinson
6th7.00pmAsh Wednesday Communion at St Martin’s.  Richard Blockley, Celebrant & preacher; Bishop of Hertford
   Isaiah 58:1-12, RCL p. 98 Gospel: John 8:1-11
10th9.30amLent 1Andy ColeAnna Lawson
   Romans 10:8b-13, RCL p.820  Gospel: Luke 4:1-13
Intercessions: Alec Dickinson   Chalice: Di Blockley
17th8amHoly Communion (BCP) at All Saints’
10.00amLent 2, Family Praise at St Martins.
11.00amFamily Service at All Saints’
24th9.30am Lent 3Richard GillRichard Blockley
   1 Cor. 10:1-13 RCLp.829  Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
Intercessions: Hugh Reeves   Chalice: Meta Reeves
11.00amHoly Communion at All Saints’
31 st9.30amMothering SundayMalcolm LowleDi Blockley
   Colossians 3:12-17, RCL p.129  Gospel: Luke 2:33-35
Intercessions: Doreen Samson   Chalice: Alec Dickinson
7th11.00amFamily Communion at All Saints’
All services are at St. Martin's unless stated otherwise

NB From November 2018 until March 2019 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’.

Weekday services in Whitwell:

Alternate Wednesdays 9.30am   Holy Communion   Lime Tree House
6th, 20th March

Stagenhoe – 6th March, 11.00am Holy Communion

St Martin’s Church 120 Club

For the January draw in the 2018/19 120 Club there is an extra winner drawn from members who have not won in the past 5 years.  The winners (£30 each) were:

No.  2 Mrs F J Cole
No.  24   Mrs J Waters

This is the final draw of the 2018/19 year. Tickets for 2019/20 are now being raised automatically for those participants who have taken standing orders, others are being distributed to past participants for renewal. We welcome any new participants – tickets cost £20 for the year, with 25 prizes of £30. This is an important source of income for St Martin’s church to help maintain the building and churchyard.  If you would like to join please call Richard Blockley ☎ 457631.

A Letter From Tim Liddell, Churchwarden, All Saints’

Hello everyone

The thought of clocks changing and longer days takes us gladly into Spring, a wonderful time of the year in our village and countryside.  The church is generally quite quiet in February, partly as it between the busier Christmas and Easter festivals, but also because it is so cold, one of the challenges with such an old building.

We are now well into the Vacancy and working with the Hitchin Team of churches to help maintain weekly services.  One of the advantages of the Vacancy is having visiting priests, including welcoming back Revd David Dewey and Revd Tom Purchas in the last few weeks. They will be visiting us again over the next few months and with other local priests who very generously support us.

We are currently advertising for a new vicar, but we have no indication as to how long it will take. There are plenty of other churches also looking, so we have to be realistic and be prepared for this taking a while.  During this period the Hitchin parish office*(details at the end) will be the main point of contact for arranging baptisms, funerals and weddings.

In April we have our Annual Parish Church Meeting, when we review what has happened over the year. Thinking about it makes me realise and be thankful for the considerable amount of support we receive, but also being realistic as to what can we can do.  I know much of this support comes from a few people who are as equally involved in other village societies.  It would be a pity to see fewer things happening in the village, so if you feel able to offer a few a hours or be contacted to support activities then please to do let us know – this could be as simple as handing out these monthly Parish Magazines or the Christmas card (only once a year!) to your street. The more adventurous might be like to arrange flowers in memory of someone.  Thankfully the village parish council contributes half of the cost of cutting the church grass, the churchyard is a wonderful space that many people visit during the week, so keeping it maintained is important.

At All Saints’ we have recently revived the Church Preservation Trust to raise money for the considerable amount of Fabric work that needs to take place, my thanks to those involved. If you feel able to support and be involved please do get in contact, we will be putting more details into the Parish Magazine over the next few months.

All the best


* Church House, Churchyard, Hitchin, SG5 1HP. Tel. 01462 452758

Church Cleaning

The church is cleaned on the first Tuesday of every month starting at 4.00pm. Anyone wishing to assist please contact Margaret Cashin 420073

St Martin’s Church Committee AGM

Monday 1st April  at 7.30pm at the church. All on the church’s electoral roll are welcome to  attend.

The Church Electoral Roll

This contains a list of anyone who is baptised and over 16years old who can vote at the Church Annual Meeting.  This year it is being refreshed to ensure it is up to date.  We will be issuing forms to all existing members. We do encourage people to become members, even if you do not attend weekly services regularly to demonstrate to the diocese how involved the village is in the church.  

Lent Lunches

This year will take place in the Village Hall in Whitwell. The first will be on Wednesday 13th March between 12.30pm and 2.00pm and every Wednesday thereafter until Easter. 

Lent Course – Who is the Christ?

This will begin on the 20th March at 2.00pm – 3.00pm at the house of Sue Flind, 3 Roberts Court, Whitwell. For further information call Dawn on

☎ 01438-871831

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 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.

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

PC Matt Jenkins: 07736 225349 or 01438 757604

PCSO Heather Burrows: 07847 364955 or 01438 757604 or

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

Police Surgery – Village Hall – Saturday 9th. March

There will be a Police Surgery in Preston Village Hall on 9 March from 

10am – 12 noon. PCSO Heather Burrows from our Safer Neighbourhood Team will be happy to discuss any concerns you may have. 

Visit the Hertfordshire Police Crime Prevention website for up to date information about how to secure your vehicle, home and property at:

If you see suspicious behaviour, please report it to Police on 101.

If you witness a crime in progress call 999.                  Preston Neighbourhood Watch

The 2019 Spring Litter Pick – Saturday 16th. March 10.00am – 12 Noon.

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

Do, please, come and join us on The Green, on Saturday, 16 March, at 10.00am. Wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and do, please, bring your rubber gloves! The HiViz jackets and ‘litter-picker’ tools have been requested from NHDC. As usual, we will work in pairs along each lane and footpath, and then bring the filled plastic bags back to The Green.

This short and simple exercise, twice a year, really does help us to clear away the ongoing nuisance of litter in our ‘green and pleasant’ patch.  The long established ‘Keep Britain Tidy’ campaign is organising this year a new venture: ‘The Great British Spring Clean’ from March 22nd – April 23rd. The organisers are hoping that c. 500,000 people across the nation will pick up litter in their own areas, concentrating particularly on the ‘single use plastics’. At long last, people are becoming more aware of the ugliness and the danger of litter of all sorts, and the possibility of recycling of materials is being organised. 

Just come along, please, and lend a hand with our capable team here, this March. Many thanks.

Liz Hunter, PT committee member.

The Preston Trust Wine Tasting Challenge – Friday 22nd. March – Village Hall – 8.00pm

There will be a selection of 8 quality wines to be tasted (wines retail £6 to £30), with cheese and biscuits served throughout the evening.

Answer questions regarding the wines to compete in the Challenge. The winner will be crowned the Preston Trust Wine Connoisseur 2019 and win a bottle of Champagne. You don’t have to be an expert to attend, just enjoy the wines. Open to all Villagers aged 18+

Ticket Cost:  Trust Member £7.50,  Non-Member £12.50

Please visit or ☎ 434403 to book.

Floral Arrangement Workshop – Friday 29th. March – Village Hall – 7.00pm

Join Caroline Clark from independent and local florist Phlox, for a relaxed and friendly evening workshop in Preston Village Hall on 29 March (7-9.00pm) to create a beautiful seasonal floral arrangement busting with colour for yourself or to give as a gift for a loved one.

All materials are provided along with refreshments and cake! Cost £50pp.

For more information or to book please call Caroline ☎ 07935921301 or email