November 2022 Services and Readings

Sunday 6th November 9.30am

 

 

11am

St Martin’s All Age Holy Communion

2 Thessalonians 1-5,13-end

Gospel: Luke 20:27-38

All Saints All Age Holy Communion

Sunday 13th November

Remembrance Sunday

9.30am

 

 

10.50am

St Martin’s Holy Communion

Romans 8:31-end

Gospel: Luke 21:5-19

All Saints Sunday Worship

Sunday 20th November 9.30am

11am

 

St Martin’s Family Service

All Saints Holy Communion

Colossians 1:11-20

Gospel: Luke 23:33-43

Sunday 27th November

Advent Sunday

9.30am

 

 

11am

St Martin’s Holy Communion

Romans 13:11-14

Gospel: Matthew 24:36-44

All Saints Holy Communion

Sunday 4th December

 

9.30am

11am

St Martin’s All Age Communion

All Saints All Age Communion

October 2022 Services and Readings

Sunday 2nd October 9.30am

 

 

11am

St Martin’s All Age Holy Communion

2 Timothy 1:1 – 14

Luke 17: 5 – 10

All Saints All Age Holy Communion (with Oscar’s Baptism)

Sunday 9th October

Harvest Festival

8am

9.30am

 

 

11am

All Saints Holy Communion (BCP)

St Martin’s Holy Communion

Philippians 4: 4 – 9

John 6: 25 – 35

All Saints Sunday Praise, followed by Harvest Lunch at All Saints at 12

Sunday 16th October 9.30am

11am

 

St Martin’s Family Service

All Saints Holy Communion

2 Timothy 3: 14 – 4: 5

Luke 18: 1 – 8

Sunday 23rd October 9.30am

 

 

11am

St Martin’s Holy Communion

2 Timothy 4: 6 – 8; 16 – 18

Luke 18 : 9 – 14

All Saints Holy Communion

Sunday 30th October

All Saints Day

10am Joint Parish Communion Service at All Saints

November 2022

November is the month for memory and for looking back – sometimes with sadness, as we remember those who have died, especially the fallen in war, and often with thanksgiving as we recall people we have known and loved. The book of condolence for the late Queen was a vivid reminder of this remembering, with both sadness and thanksgiving.

November is also a time for looking forward to the season of Advent which is the season of hope. We need this hope amid all the pressures which bear down on us, pressures domestic, local, national and international.

And we can say to ourselves that strong communities depend on this combination of memory and hope.

Meanwhile, we said goodbye last month to our Reader, Dawn, who has now moved to Hampshire to be near her son and grandchildren.  I have been so grateful to her since my arrival, and I know that church and community have benefited greatly from her care and concern.  We presented her with a cheque and a picture after the recent pet service as a sign of our gratitude.

I have also very greatly valued Tracey Papworth’s support since I came here in October 2019.  On top of her increasingly demanding  full time job, Tracey has produced virtually every pew sheet and order of service for us every week since then, and this has been tremendous. Tracey, thank you!

My role as a part- time vicar involves a lot of admin, most of which does not need to be done by an ordained priest.  We have therefore recruited a part-time Parish Administrator to take the weight of most of this admin.  Emma Fisher is the Parish Administrator and I am really looking forward to what Emma brings to this role.  Welcome!

With every blessing,
Stephen

October 2022

A Letter from Dawn Jenkins This Season of Autumn, Is my favourite month. It always reminds me of Keats ‘s poem Ode to Autumn which starts with the line “Seasons…

September 2022

September is often a month of new starts. A new term begins for our children, and maybe we think back to our school days and the start of the September…

August 2022

August is a month of transition, a quieter month. Youngsters have finished the summer term at school and are now having a rest as are their teachers. Some are moving…

There is very little on record of worship in the village from the dissolution of the Knights Hospitaller in 1542 until the mid-19th century. However there are strong links with John Bunyan, who held regular services in a natural amphitheatre – still known as Bunyan’s Dell – in Wain Wood in the 1660s. The villagers were staunch followers of Bunyan, and they built a chapel in 1877 which was regularly used for worship until about 1985.

As far as Anglican worship is concerned, Preston was not large enough to support a church and was part of the Parish of Hitchin. However the curate of St Mary’s, Hitchin, who was responsible for the spiritual welfare of Preston, the Rev. B.N.Switzer, suggested that a Mr Pryor should donate one acre of his land for a Church and Burial Ground.

On January 28th 1899, Mr T.B.Carter, submitted a design with an estimated cost of £1200. This was accepted by the church committee and the people of Preston undertook to raise the money. The foundation stone was laid by Mrs MacMillan (an aunt of Sir Harold MacMillan), who was then living at Temple Dinsley, on St Martin’s Day, 11thNovember 1899. The church was consecrated as St Martin’s by the Bishop of St Albans on 14th July 1900. It has been described as:

“A simple little building set in a formal churchyard, with curiously domestic details reminiscent of C.F.A. Voysey (a prominent turn-of-the-century architect). With a pebble-dashed exterior, steep slate roof and plain nave windows between battered buttresses linked by segmental arches. At the west end is a stumpy towerlet with a gable for bells.”

Recently two new stained glass windows have been installed. Both designed by Peter Caller, a local stained glass artist.  In the south nave wall is the Centenary Window, depicting the life of St Martin and in the south wall of the porch is the Memorial Window to William Palmer, installed on 28th June 2001.

The East window was erected in memory of Thomas Warrin (Mrs McMillan’s father) who died in 1888. It was designed by Christopher Whall and represents the Tree of Jesse. This beautiful window was completely restored in 2005.

With the retirement of the Revd Elizabeth Bunker, St. Martin’s has entered a period of interregnum until a new Parish Priest is appointed.

The Churchwarden at St Martins is Malcolm Lowle who can be contacted on 01462 456664 or or via our Contact Us page.

There is a Friends of St. Martins society – For further details please contact Sue Griffiths via our Contact Us page.

A “120″ Club prize draw each month to raise funds for the ongoing maintenance of St Martins is run by Richard Blockley on behalf of the church. Monthly winners will be announced in the Church and Village Newsletter. Please contact Richard Blockley for further details via our Contact Us page.

Although there are more than one Saint Martin, our church is named after St Martin de Tours -‘The Glory of Gaul’.

St.Martin is the Patron Saint of many, including: beggars; soldiers (mainly of Infantrymen); conscientious objectors; prisoners; tailors; geese; vintners / innkeepers; alcoholics and of France.

There is some controversy on whether Saint Martin was born in 316 or 336. It is known that his place of birth was Savaria which is in modern day Hungary. At the age of 10 St Martin became a Christian, even though at that time both of his parents were pagans. Many years later under St. Martin’s tutelage his mother converted to Christianity, but his father never did. Coming from a military family (his father was a high-ranking officer in the Imperial Horse Guard) St.Martin joined the cavalry corps of the Roman Army when he was 15,serving throughout Gaul (now France), Treves and Milan.

Whilst riding through Amiens in Gaul St Martin met a man who was begging for alms. Even though he was shivering with the cold no one was stopping to help the beggar. St Martin  had nothing to give apart from the clothes he was wearing. The Saint cut his heavy cloak in half and shared it with the man. He later had a vision of Christ, surrounded by angels, wearing the half of the cloak. He heard Jesus saying to the angels “Martin, as yet only a catechumen, has clothed me.” This had such an effect on the young St Martin that he was baptised soon afterwards, at the age of 18.

At 20 Martin left the Army as he felt he could no longer fight. He became the first recognised conscientious objector in recorded  history and was ordained as a deacon by the Bishop Hilary in Poitiers. He then spent many monastic years meditating on the Scriptures, sharing his beliefs, teaching and helping others. When Lidorious the bishop of Tours died the people acclaimed Martin to be their new bishop. It was known that Martin was reluctant so he was tricked into going to the city by being told he was needed to administer to someone who was sick. On his arrival he was taken to the church ,where the bishops present were not impressed by the scruffy monk the people had brought to them to be ordained as a new bishop. St.Martin  had not given any thought to his appearance. His aim was simply to arrive as quickly as possible to aid and bless the sick man.

Once ordained St.Martin was a holy, compassionate and hard working bishop. He established a system of parishes in his diocese and visited all of them at least once a year. He was deeply committed to his responsibilities, which included missionary work. He travelled around sharing his love of God and helping converts to Christianity set up communities with a priest or a monk. He helped the people of Tours in many different ways, settling disputes, answering questions ,not all of them to do with spiritual concerns. He was dedicated to freeing prisoners and healing, including a young girl who had never spoken.

In 372, having established an abbey in Marmoutier, St.Martin and his many disciples were able to spend time in retreat there, praying and leading a monastic life.

St.Martin died on the 8 of November 397 and was buried on the 11 November – generally recognised as his Feast Day (although some now regard it to be the 12th).

Prayers of and to St.Martin include:

Prayer of St.Martin of Tours

Lord, if Your people still have
need of my services, I will
not avoid the toil, Your will be
done. I have fought the good
fight long enough. Yet if You
bid me to continue to hold
the battle line in defence of Your
camp, I will never beg to be
excused from failing strength.
I will do the work You entrust
to me. While You command,
I will fight beneath Your banner,

Amen

St. Martin of Tours
Dear well-beloved Saint,
you were first a soldier
like your father.
Converted to the Church,
you became a soldier of Christ,
a priest and then
a Bishop of Tours.
Lover of the poor,
and model for pagans
and Christians alike,
protect our soldiers at all times.
Make them strong,
just, and charitable, always
aiming at establishing peace
on earth.  Amen
Blessed Saint. You were born
under pagan ways but since your
childhood you were chosen to be
a Prince of the Church and, as
Bishop of Tours, many souls were
redeemed and liberated from
the satanic forces through your
prayers, austerities and blessings.
We humbly ask for your
intercession before Our Lord
Jesus Christ because we want to
be worthy of the grace and
mercy of the Holy Spirit that
lead us from darkness to light
into the eternal kingdom,
forever and ever. Amen

Blessed St Martin of Tours,
obtain for us not only
forgiveness, but also a spirit
of love towards neighbours,
enabling us to be compassionate.

Obtain for us the grace to
love all people as brothers
and sisters with a pure
and disinterested heart

May we, like you, one day
enjoy the blessed vision of
God, forever and ever

Amen

The Church Committee of St Martins  is responsible for the financial affairs of the church and the maintenance of its assets, as well as for promoting the mission of the church.

At the 2022 Annual Parochial Church meeting, held at All Saints, the following two reports were given;

one from our Team Vicar

and one from the outgoing Churchwarden of St Martin’s.