October 2023

Deadline for the November 2023 newsletter is 25 October

Parish Council Meeting: Thursday 19 October

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on Thursday 19 October at 8pm in the village hall. Any member of the public who would like to raise an issue to be discussed at this meeting should contact the Clerk.

Members of the public who would like to speak to the Parish Council in person should register with the Clerk prior to the meeting.

Contact details are: Lisa Lathane, Clerk to the Parish Council:

Parish Council Survey

As representatives of the whole community, the Parish Council will be undertaking a survey in October to find out the views of residents on the proposed village facilities to ensure that all voices are heard. Parish Councillors will hand deliver some relevant information and voting papers with envelopes for every adult in the Parish. An adult is anyone aged 18 or over and eligible to be on the electoral register. Parish Councillors will arrange a day and time to come back and collect the sealed envelopes from each household.

The envelopes will be opened at an Extraordinary Parish Council meeting to be held on Thursday 2 November at 8pm in the village hall. The votes will be publicly counted by Lisa Lathane, Clerk to the Parish Council, who is not a resident of Preston. Anyone who would like to witness the count must book their place by contacting the Clerk by email:

Any resident who is going to be away during October should contact the Clerk (details above) who will make arrangements for them to vote either prior to departure or on their return.

The results of the survey will be circulated via PNS and the Parish Council database on Friday 3 November and will be in the December newsletter. The Parish Council will discuss the results and decide on any necessary action at their meeting on Thursday 7 December.

St Martin’s Church and All Saints’ Church Services

Sunday 1st October






St Martin’s All Age Communion

Philippians 2: 1 – 13

Matthew 21: 23 – 32

All Saints All Age Communion

Sunday 8th October







All Saints BCP Holy Communion

St Martin’s Holy Communion

Philippians 3: 4b – 14

Matthew 21: 33 – end

All Saints Sunday Praise for the Harvest

followed by harvest lunch in the annex

Sunday 15th October 9.30am


St Martin’s  Family Service

All Saints Holy Communion

Philippians 4: 1 – 9

Matthew 22: 1 – 14

Sunday 22nd October






St Martin’s Holy Communion

Thessalonians 1: 1 – 10

Matthew  22: 15 – 22

All Saints Holy Communion

Sunday 29th October

Bible Sunday. Clocks go back one hour.

Joint Service of Holy Communion at St Martin’s



Colossians 3: 12 – 17

Matthew 24: 30 – 35

Team Vicar of St Paul’s Walden with Preston:

Letter From The Vicar

I’m frequently told what a lovely place Preston is to live in. There are its many excellent amenities, like the pub, the cricket club, and the primary school which I have the pleasure of going to every week to lead the singing assembly. There is the church, offering regular services, fellowship and the marking of life events, like weddings and funerals and baptisms. And behind all this, there is the important fact of neighbourliness – the support people give to each other which I hear about all the time.

When we come together, whether for the cricket club dinner, or the harvest supper, we are sharing in something valuable and really worth doing. And we can say the same when we assemble to worship God on a Sunday, whether for holy communion three times a month, or once a month for our family service, well attended by children and families.  All very welcome, by the way!

What we focus on grows. If our village in Preston has very much going for it, as it does, it’s also worth saying that we as a nation have a huge amount to be thankful for, even as we criticise aspects of the nation’s life which are imperfect and need to be improved.  (When was that not the case?)

Last month, at St Paul’s Walden Church, we held our open-air annual Pet Service. And I talked at that service about the celebration of life: animal life, yes, and human life too – and the love that connects them, which flows to and fro and back again.

For love is what we need. And if we can go a bit further, we can surely say that the world needs love and care – the big world of God’s creation, as well as every family and every community.

Love and care build the Kingdom of God, which is God’s promised new future: and love and care are its values and hallmark.

With every blessing


St Martin’s Church 150 Club 2023/2024

The winners in the September draw in the 2023/24 150 Club (£30 each) were:

No. 25 Miss A M Marshall
No. 36 Mrs I C Leaver

The Autumn Litter Pick and The Green Clean 2023:

Saturday, 7 October – 10.00 am- 12 noon

The Equinox has passed, the Harvest Supper has been enjoyed, and so Autumn has now arrived! The Preston Trust committee would once again like to invite you to come and help pick up litter around the village and parish. We also need volunteers, who would like to rake up and clear the twigs and leaves on The Green and around the pond.

Please wear appropriate clothing and footwear, and bring your own gardening/DIY gloves. We will bring the Hi-Viz jackets, the litter picker tools, the black plastic sacks and some disposable gloves. As usual, we will work in pairs along each lane and footpath, and bring the filled sacks back to St Martin’s Place in Church Lane.

Just come along and lend a hand, please! This ‘good housekeeping chore’ does not usually take too long, nor require too much effort, and, of course, it makes a noticeable difference. You are all very welcome!

Liz Hunter and Rae Reynolds, The Preston Trust committee members.

The Preston Trust: the first of our Autumn Talks for 2023:-

The Rev. Canon Stephen Fielding on ‘Being a mediator – the other side of my working life’ Thursday, October 12th, 7.00pm for 7.30pm – 9.00pm, in the Village Hall.

Stephen is our priest and Vicar, living in Whitwell, and serving the two parishes of St. Paul’s Walden and Preston. His non-stipendiary post is part of the Team Ministry with the four churches in Hitchin. His parish work keeps him busy on Sundays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

Stephen is also a lawyer and, for 20 years, he has been a practicing mediator, helping people in disputes reach a settlement and move on. He will talk about his experiences, and about what matters for mediation to be successful.

Do come and join us – it will be interesting! Refreshments – wine, juices, coffee and biscuits – will be available. It is all free! To help with the catering, do please let Rae know if you plan to attend:

But do come along anyway – you will all be very welcome!

Liz Hunter and Rae Reynolds, The Preston Trust committee members

The Preston Trust – Upcoming Dates:


Autumn Litter Pick & Green Clean – Saturday 7th – 10.00 am- 12 noon

A Talk by the Rev. Stephen Fielding- Thursday 12th  – 07.00 pm for 07.30 pm start – 09.00pm
“Being a Mediator- The Other Side of my Working Life”

The Preston Trust AGM – Sunday 22nd – 11.00am


A Talk by Keith Fitzpatrick, Hitchin Museum Service -Thursday 16th– 7.00pm for 7 30pm start
‘Prestune’ and The Knights Templar -More information in the November Newsletter

Red Lion Harvest Auction

The annual Harvest Auction will be held on Friday 6 October at 8.00pm. Would those donating produce for the auction bring their contributions to the pub in the afternoon – preferably after 3.00pm.

Please come along and support this event – it’s always a fun evening and proceeds will be shared between Preston Primary School, Dynamos Cricket and St Martin’s Church.

Preston Village Society: Thursday 26 October

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 26 October at 7pm in the Village Hall. Jane Campbell will give a talk about RSPB’s work to save threatened species

New members are very welcome to come along.

The Preston Trust AGM – Sunday 22 October

The Preston Trust Committee warmly invite you to the AGM at 11:00am in the Village Hall.

The Trust plays an important role in our community and provides some key services. The committee need your help to continue the work of The Trust – fulfilling its commitment to every person in the village and in the parish. Our main objectives, which have remained constant since The Trust’s creation, as a registered charity, in 1990, are as important today as they were then. These are:

To enhance and preserve Preston for the benefit of all the villagers and visitors.
To secure the preservation and protection of features of historic or public interest, including the village’s history.
To promote high standards of planning and architecture.
To support financially and promote any purpose for the benefit of villagers and in particular, its children and senior citizens.
The committee are very proud of the PNS with the way that it helps in so many ways and the Litter Picks which help keep the parish free from rubbish, but it is also delighted with the ‘fun’ events it organises for the enjoyment of this special community, from walks, and talks to Village Day, with its band of happy scarecrows, and the upcoming Christmas Tree Light Switch On.

The Preston Trust committee really needs new members to help keep the parish the way in which people hope for it to be kept. If you’ve ever thought to yourself ‘Why don’t they do this, or why do they do that’ then why not join the committee and help make the difference you desire. The AGM is a great event at which to learn more about our work, being part of The Trust and maybe a committee member.

If you have any queries or items you would like us to consider for the Agenda, please contact Rae

We look forward to seeing you, so please join us to find out more about what we have done in the last year, our plans for the next and what it entails to be a member. There will be some tasty refreshments, good company, and a laugh or two – or more…

Adrian, Jo, Liz, Rae, Tim, Vicky and Wal – The Preston Trust committee.

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.

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

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.

Beds & Herts Bike ‘N Hike 9 September 2023

My sincere thanks to all who sponsored me on the Beds & Herts Historic Church Trust bike ride this year.
On one of the hottest days of the year I visited 22 churches on a 31-mile round trip and raised £675. With Gift Aid added the total will be about £820.

Half of this will be donated to St. Martins’ Preston and the remainder to needy churches in the diocese.
Ita Leaver

New Community Facilities

The next meeting to discuss new community facilities in Preston will be on Sunday 22 Oct in the village hall at 5.00pm. The manager of the Wigginton Community Shop & Café has very kindly agreed to come to the village, to share her experiences of setting up and running the business. She will be happy to take your questions about all aspects of the operation.

We will discuss how the shop & café has been a commercial success, even though it is only 1 mile from a Tesco superstore and next door to the local pub. How the café has proved popular and how the system of volunteers has worked. And much more………!

Further documents have been added to the village web site, this time focussing on the commercial viability of the shop & café. Several examples of community businesses in villages similar in size to Preston have been shared, along with their company accounts. This data demonstrates commercial viability is achievable and is aimed at those who are concerned with this aspect of the proposal.

Just follow this link to the page, which is being managed by the Parish Council. https://www.prestonvillageherts.com/community-facilities-project/

We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.