March 2022

Preston Parish Council

Luton Airport Counsultation

A new statutory consultation on the long-term proposals to expand Luton airport is now open at: The closing date is Monday 4 April.

The proposal is to increase the capacity of the airport to 32 million passengers per year by building a new terminal and making the best use of the existing runway.

Members of the public will be able to see the proposals and ask questions at 13 in-person consultations. The list of venues is on the website. Those closest to Preston are:

  • Thursday 10 March, 14:00-21:30: Hitchin Town Hall, Brand Street, Hitchin SG5 1HX
  • Saturday 19 March, 9:00-16:00: Whitwell New Fellowship Hall, Bendish Lane, Whitwell, SG4 8HT

Following the consultation, an application for a Development Consent Order will be submitted towards the end of this year. A lengthy process follows and the outcome of the application, decided by the Secretary of State for Transport, will be published in the middle of 2024.

Information on how to respond to the application can be found on the website.

Parish Council Meeting: Thursday 3 March

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 3 March 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 are: Lisa Lathane, Clerk to the Parish Council:

The 2022 Spring Litter Pick And Green Clear: Saturday, March 5th, 10.00am – 12noon

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

As usual, please wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and bring your gardening/DIY gloves. We will have the supply of HiVis jackets, litter picker tools, black plastic sacks and disposable gloves. We will work in pairs along each lane and footpath,and bring the filled sacks back to Wal’s front garden, at St. Martin’s Place in Church Lane.

We will have a team raking up and picking up the twigs and leaves on The Green, so that the grass can soon start to thrive again.Please bring your own rakes, and If you have spare, others can use, them too!

Please do just come along and lend a hand with this task! It does not take too much effort, and it really does make a noticeable difference! You are all very welcome!

Liz Hunter, Preston Trust committee member

Do you have any of the following ?

Although the entry about the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, in this newsletter, says the new committee will be in touch with how, those who would like to, can get involved with the preparations for the village/parish celebrations,this is the first ” please do you have ” request…

The children at Preston Primary School are making bunting and decorating table cloths for the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations.Do you have any of the following they may have please?

Material any – platinum (silvery) red,white or blue
Fabric paint- platinum (silvery) gold, red, white or blue

If you do, please will you drop it off at the Primary School on Back Lane or in the porch at St.Martin’s Place in Church Lane.

Thank you very much.
Rae Reynolds – Preston Trust committee member

February 26th – March 6th:    CPRE: The Annual Star Count in Orion!

Once again, the council for the Protection of Rural England are repeating their annual campaign, asking us all to count the number of stars which we can see in the Orion constellation, and then to send in our results. From this data, the national map of ‘dark skies’ and levels of light pollution can be updated with this year’s results. See their website at for details on how to register and sign up for ‘Star Count 2022’. Anyone can take part – it is all free! Just have a go, become a ‘Citizen Scientist’, and make a real contribution to a national research project.

WIthout street lights, this village and parish provide a narrow zone of slightly darker sky between the glow of light from the urban areas of Luton, Hitchin and Stevenage. The Preston Trust is a member of the Hertfordshire branch of the CPRE.

Wednesday 6th July 2022 At 7.30pm
The International Organ Festival and The Hertfordshire Lieutenancy are delighted to present A Concert At St Albans Cathedral in celebration of HM The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee

A unique and thrilling concert of popular and ceremonial music from across The Queen’s reign will be given in St Albans Cathedral to mark Her Majesty’s Platinum Jubilee.We are honoured that a member of the Royal Family will be attending this special event.

International choirmaster and broadcaster Gareth Malone will present the evening.

Headlining the concert will be London’s Southbank Sinfonia,described as an ‘orchestra like no other’ comprising thirty-three of the world’s most promising graduate musicians. Conducted
by their founder, Simon Over, the orchestra will be joined by a massed choir of 160 singers, a 60-voice children’s choir, fanfare trumpeters and other guest musicians.

Music will include Handel’s Zadok the Priest, William Walton’s spine-tingling Te Deum, Pete Letanka’s Hope and Glory, Hubert Parry’s I was Glad, John Williams’ Harry Potter Suite, and Paul Mealor’s Military Wives anthem, Wherever You Are.

After concert costs are covered, net proceeds will be divided equally between Hospices serving Hertfordshire communities and St Albans International Organ Festival

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services

Wednesday 2nd March

Ash Wednesday

8pm Holy Communion at All Saints
Sunday 6th March 9.30 Holy Communion at St Martin’s

Romans 10:8b-13

Luke 4:1-13

11.00am Holy Communion at All Saints
Sunday 13th March 8am Holy Communion (BCP) at All Saints
9.30am Holy Communion at St Martin’s
Philippians 3:17- 4:1
Gospel: Luke 13:31-end
11.00am Sunday Praise at All Saints
Sunday 20th March 9.30am Family Service at St Martin’s
1 Corinthians 10:1-13
Gospel: Luke 13:1-9
11.00am Holy Communion at All Saints
Sunday 27th March

Mothering Sunday

9.30am Family Service at St Martin’s
2 Corinthians 5:16-end
Gospel: Luke 15:1-3, 11b-end
11.00am Holy Communion at All Saints
Sunday 3rd April 9.30


Holy Communion at St Martin’s

Holy Communion at All Saints

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

A Letter From Our Team Vicar

One of the many joys of being vicar here is that I get to take school assemblies. Every Tuesday morning is assembly day for me. Why do I love going to the schools to take the assembly?

First of all, the children are sunny, attentive and engaged. All credit to the head teachers and staff who encourage this. The children keep me on my toes, with their questions and comments.

Then of course it is wonderful to share some of the great Bible stories with the children. To introduce them to the figure of Jesus – his life and teaching. Of course, the challenge is to keep the language clear and simple, avoiding jargon. But most important the content has to come alive.

And of course, we sing. Up go the words on the screen, we learn a new song or sing a familiar hymn, and there’s real energy and enthusiasm unleashed. As we all know, singing is good for us, and all the more so when what we are singing is life-affirming.

My hope is that the children catch something of the love of God and what loving our neighbour means in practice. It is lovely when they also can come to church and participate, whether by reading, saying prayers or indeed handing round the biscuits.

Meanwhile, on Mothering Sunday, 27th March, we shall celebrate family life and especially think about our mothers and what they mean or have meant to us. Services on that day are listed opposite. Please do join us – you will be very welcome.

With every blessing

St Martin’s Church 120 Club 2021/2022

The winners in the February draw in the 2021/22 120 Club (£30 each):

No. 13 Mrs R Brown
No. 77 Mrs H Wragg

This is the final draw of the 2021/22 year. Tickets for the 2022/23 120 Club 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 in – tickets cost £20 for the year, with at least 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 .

The Preston Trust Easter Egg Hunt 2022 – Saturday April The 16th

It’s nearly time; the Easter Bunny is on his way
With Easter Eggs and lots of games to play

Saturday April the 16th will be the date
So, it’s really not that long to wait

Arrive in the afternoon to have lots of fun
Enjoy yourselves as you hop, skip and run!

The Preston Trust committee would like to invite you all, once again, to its Easter Egg Hunt.

We will be sharing more information on how to book (so that we have enough eggs and so that any child with dietary needs, allergies or intolerances can still take part in the fun) in the April Newsletter and before then via the PNS and the Preston Primary School email.

The Queen’s Platinum Jubilee, 1952 – 2022

This year, Great Britain is planning a special celebration of the unique Platinum Jubilee of our Queen’s reign.We owe her warm thanks for 70 years of amazing diligent service to the people of this country, and of the Commonwealth.

We are to have two consecutive special Holidays, Thursday June 2nd and Friday June 3rd. There is, thus, a great opportunity for some form of celebration in this village and parish! What would you all like to do, to celebrate this milestone, and to commemorate this long span of the ‘Elizabethan Age’ of the 20th and 21st centuries?

The Preston Parish Councillors, The Preston Trust Committee, representatives of The Red Lion and the St Martin’s Church Committee have all agreed to ask two of their members to form a Queen’s Platinum Jubilee Committee to receive ideas and to co-ordinate activities. This committee’s first meeting will be on Friday March 11th.The Preston Primary and Nursery Schools will also be involved in the preparation of this special celebration.

Some of us are mature enough to remember, quite clearly, as a young child, a sunny afternoon of ‘Coronation Sports’, when adults and children joined in egg and spoon races, obstacle races, relay races, wheelbarrow races and a giant size tug of war! Are some of these activities worth playing again, in June this year?

Can any of our older residents remember how the village celebrated the Silver Jubilee in 1977 or the one twenty years ago, in 2002, for Her Majesty’s Golden Jubilee? I seem to remember a long lunch at picnic tables across The Green. What other activities did we have, on those days? Can anyone remember? Would like to see them repeated?

Preston has a special item, which is a legacy of the 1953 Coronation – this is the Preston and Langley Women’s Institute Scrapbook, an A3 size book, bound in the same blue leather by Percy Russell of The Tanyard, Bancroft, Hitchin, which that firm had used to bind Her Majesty’s own Bible and Prayer Book for her Coronation Service in Westminster Abbey. This book has text, drawings, paintings and photographs, all created by the WI members from both villages. This delightful volume is housed at Rose Cottage, and may be seen and borrowed by appointment. Maybe you would like to see this, alongside other mementos and photographs from the Coronation, and our village’s celebrations of the Silver and Golden Jubilees…

Please consider how we can all create some enjoyment for everyone this June. Send your ideas, and which of the 4 days you would prefer, to the new QPJ Committee at

Once the Committee has had its first meeting or two, and up until the event, you will be contacted with different ways you can get involved and help, should you wish, to create a wonderful celebration of the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee and our special community.

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

PCSO Heather Burrows can be contacted regarding local community issues.
Contact details are as follows:

PCSO Heather Burrows: 07740 745168 or 01438 757604 or

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 and follow the links.

Preston Community Shop & Café

Following the request for volunteers to help assess the viability of a community shop and café in Preston, a working group of 11 people has now been formed. Our first task is to consult with the village, via a questionnaire, to gather your opinions and ideas.

We are in the process of finalising the questionnaire, which we plan to send out in March. The questionnaire will  be sent electronically and also hardcopy, for those unable to access the online version.

Once feedback has been collected and analysed, we will hold a public meeting to present our findings and discuss the next steps.

If you have any questions regarding this community project or wish to volunteer, please do not hesitate to contact a member of the working group.

Hitchin Foodbank Shortages

The following items are the most urgently needed: Juice (longlife); Jam/Marmalade; Dried Potatoes; Coffee; 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