Magazine July 2018

Parish Magazine ~ July 2018

The Rev'd Dr Gordon Giles

As the NHS celebrates its 70th birthday, most of us have no conception of what life without penicillin, surgery and medicine would be like. Clearly it would be painful and short, especially at the end. Similarly, even only a few centuries ago people could not have conceived of our world of hospitals, surgery and chemotherapy. A hospital was, after all, a place of hospitality, where people were fed and given shelter, or tended to while they nursed injuries or hardship. Illness was a sort of death sentence, the slightest wound could become septic, and the common cold could kill. The person on whom Alexander Fleming first tried penicillin, a 43-year old policeman called Albert Alexander died from sepsis brought on after scratching the side of his mouth while pruning roses. That was in 1941. So what the ancients would have thought of as healing miracles are happening countless times in the midst of a National Health Service that we moan about, criticize and say costs too much. 100 years ago people died after an afternoon’s gardening.

Miraculous modern century medicine aside, this touches on something both obvious and profound, which is that illness is part of the human condition. This is particularly true of ageing. There is something in the way we are built that degenerates. We were built to fall apart as we get older. So what does healing mean in this context? In this day and age, many people, of any age, have fallen into the belief that the world owes them a favour; that they have certain rights, and that society exists for the benefit of the individual who seeks to benefit from it. Education is for the benefit of my child, healthcare so I can be cured, policing so that I am safe. This attitude is not in itself wrong, but it is prevalent. But it does not make distinctions between what is possible and what is acceptable. Politicians will tell us that having access to a cure for a particular disease does not make it either necessary or imperative to provide that cure. I am not a politician and am not very interested in that kind of argument. But I am interested in its spiritual equivalent, which often sounds something like: God can cure people, why doesn’t he cure me?

Let’s just remember a few facts: We are all going to die. Most of us want to be alive rather than dead. Pain hurts – we don’t like it. We want to be better. At the same time, we find ourselves as the occupants, or owners of bodies that naturally ail, creak and groan, break and slow down. In seeking healing we are also following our human nature, even when our desire to live and the inevitability of death come into conflict. That is how we tend to hope against hope, that one day we might not die, that somehow we can escape our human nature and be cured of the incurable. Most of the healing miracles of Jesus were done as signs to show that he, Jesus Christ, commanded human nature, that he was more than human, was divine and could transcend, overrule and turn upside down the principles that governed human nature. Healing miracles were one of the ways in which Jesus showed himself to be God.

But healing is as much about wholeness and hope as anything else. In the church we often speak not just of healing, but of wholeness and healing, which reminds us that not all healing is physically manifested as a cure or relief. We are not machines, but spiritual beings, and we have something that no machine or animal can ever have, and that is hope. We can have hope of healing and hope of heaven. In the face of our natural responses to pain and fear, we have a God who shows us in Christ that there is another way. For when we approach God directly for healing, whether here in church, or quietly at home or in agony in a hospital bed, that hope distinguishes us from those who have no faith, and whose attitude to their own life, health and death is ultimately self-centred, mechanistic and hopeless.

Every day we pray for the sick. What’s that all about? Well, it’s about hope. And we can and do have hope, because we have seen healing, in ourselves and in others, in answer to prayer. And whether it looked dramatic and involved low-flying crutches and white sticks or was a quieter inner working of the Holy Spirit, the healing is real, and, through hope, leads to an ultimate wholeness that no-one other than our heavenly Father can offer or provide.


From the Parish Registers

Interment of Ashes in the Memorial Garden
12 July 2018
Alan Henstock

If anyone is celebrating a birthday or anniversary and wishes to take up the elements please inform the churchwardens.

For a PDF file of the Parish Magazine for this month please click here.

Regular Weekly Events

Sunday8:00 amHoly Communion
10:00 amEucharist (Second Sunday in month Family Service)
6:30 pmEvensong (or other ‘special’ service)
Please see the Google calendar for any further information regarding Sunday Services
Monday10:00 amMattins (BCP)
Tuesday7:45-9:00 pmBell Ringing Practice
Wednesday8:30 pmDrama Group
Thursday10:30 amHoly Communion (BCP)
7:30 pmChoir Practice

A Day Out Visiting Lovely Hertfordshire Villiage Churches

Angela Davis third from left.

Another Saturday outing for our cheery bell ringers. We met up as usual in Waitrose car park on Windmill Hill. It was a rather cold and grey day but we were determined to enjoy it. We had five churches to ring at during the day and the first would be at 10.00. Our merry band included Peter, Janet, John, Jason, Bea, Gill, David, Derek, Emma, Mark, Angela, Joy and me. It was great to welcome Joy back to our team. Joanne would be joining us later. We set off just after 9.00 with drizzle in the air. This would be Emma and Mark’s first ringing outing. I am sure they were quite apprehensive.

With Jason driving we tore up the A10 as if our lives depended on it, arriving at 9.55 for our first ring of the day St Mary the Virgin at Westmill. There were ewes with their lambs just on the other side of the fence from the church yard, a lovely setting. This was a ring of six bells with a long draught although it did have guides halfway up to the 20 foot ceiling! The bells here were not as heavy as our bells at St Mary Magdalene. The heaviest being the No.4 weighing in at 8cwt 1qt 3lbs (in old money) and also the oldest bell of our trip dating back to 1460. We all like to have a go on the oldest bell if we can. The church was quite plain inside but with some amazing wood carving behind the altar in the lady chapel.

We rang the bells up and most of us coped well with the flighty ropes and rang some call changes to get our outing underway. Emma rang the No.2 bell, her first outing ring and did very well. Mark managed his first go as well but he looked terrified! We have all been there and can remember what it felt like. We were happy with our first ring of the day but mustn’t linger the next church is expecting us at 11.00.

It was just a short way to our next church, St Mary’s Aspenden. This was a ring of 8 bells, all dating from late 1600s to mid-1700s except for the No. 7 which was a youngster by comparison made in 1936. The heaviest here was the tenor which is usual. Weighing in at about the same weight as our tenor. The church yard was very pretty and full of cowslips. We had to enter the tower by a small side door down some steps. It felt as though we were entering a dungeon. We were greeted by a nice lady who explained that their water had been turned off due to a dreadful leak somewhere yet to be detected which had cost the church over £300 in water bills! (Restricted flushing was discussed!)

The bell tower was accessed by a ladder through a trap door. It was a galleried ring with a lovely view of the church. Eight of us got the bells up ready to ring. We did Plain Hunt on 7, Bob Doubles on 6 and Bob Doubles with the three tenors (not the singers!). We all enjoyed a good ring here. In the ringing chamber there were several old oak plaques on the wall one of which dated 1721 was inscribed “Beware this is God’s House”. We were suitably well behaved. Mark had another good go and Emma managed rounds and call changes well.

We enjoyed this church but lunch was calling so we adjourned to the Fox Pub in Aspenden, very handy, for a delicious meal, where Joanne joined us. Thank you Joy for buying us all a drink. The food was good and some of us, not all, had magnificent puddings! We set off after lunch to St John the Baptist at Cottered. The weather had not improved over the lunch period and if anything was getting colder. There was still rain in the air occasionally but nothing like the rain that had fallen the previous night.

There were only five bells at Cottered and we had to remember to disconnect the clock from the workings so as not to cause damage. We weren’t sure which string to pull for the disconnection but we chose correctly fortunately. The churchyard was extensive and beautifully kept, the inside was again quite plain and there was a small organ just next to the ringing chamber. There was also an amazing new stained glass window erected for the millennium with pictures of John the Baptist and in contrast some original wall paintings dating from around 1500. A lovely church in a quiet backwater.

The draught here was another whopper! Such a long way for the ropes to travel before the sallies disappeared. The ropes felt very soft and as there were only five bells it was necessary to ring faster than usual. I rang the treble and all the other bell ropes were arranged in a line on the other side of the chamber with everyone looking towards the treble. Very disconcerting! Jason, Angela, Joy, John and Peter had a go next and did some call changes. In the bell chamber there was an amazing piece of equipment – a big blue fluffy ball shape on the end of a stick which must have been at least 18 feet long. We decided that it was a device for getting the cobwebs off the very high ceiling – ingenious.

2018 Bellringers Outing 01

We were due at our next church at 15:00 and off we set with Jason taking up the lead. The lanes were quite narrow and overtaking was not an option so we processed to Ardeley in an orderly queue. The countryside was very green following all the rain we had had so it wasn’t a surprise when we rounded a corner in the lane and going down hill encountered an extensive puddle, more the size of a pond, completely covering the lane at the bottom of the small hill. We paused. Discussion was had about the inconvenience of turning round and finding another way, after all our schedule would take a beating if that were to happen. Tentatively Jason set the car towards the waters. It was probably only about 8 inches deep however great caution was necessary to avoid too much backwash. I assume the other cars followed at a sensible distance as we all arrived at St Lawrence at Ardeley and parked along the side of the road against the wall to the churchyard. The path to the church passed a village pond and through a lovely lych-gate. The church dated back to the 15th century and like the others that we had been in today was mostly built with flint and clunch! Clunch is a soft limestone which was used for domestic buildings as it was easy to cut into shape. (I thought I would mention this as I like the word Clunch!).

St Lawrence church was another ground floor ring, so no steps to negotiate. This was a ring of six bells and the sallies looked lovely and fluffy but despite looking welcoming the ropes were very lively. A brave team got the bells up ready to ring but we all found it quite difficult to ring them, and not one of us enjoyed the ringing here. On the plus side when it was time to ring them down I had no trouble at all as my bell seemed to ring itself down. We used the time that we didn’t ring having the group photograph taken, kindly, by Emma. It was raining so we sheltered at the front of the little village hall which was opposite. Then we all piled back into the cars for the last ring of the day at Albury.

It seems that there is a pattern developing with our team outings and that is after a busy day ringing in all sorts of different churches and contending with many sorts of bells arrangements, our illustrious organisers manage to keep the heaviest bells of the day for the last church, just when we are all exhausted.

A very pleasant gentleman greeted us as St Mary the Virgin Albury and kindly showed us where the loo was, around the back of the church and through a little arched doorway, most useful as this was our last ring of the day and our journey home would soon be upon us. He also explained to us on our arrival that only experienced ringers would be allowed to ring here – he stayed to make sure we were obedient. However these were definitely the best bells of the day and it was really good to finish the day feeling pleased. The three heavier bells dated from the mid 1600s and the other three were cast in 1984. Quite a contrast in age but they sounded lovely. Some of us had a go at call changes and then Gill, Jason, Joy, Jo, John and Peter brought the ringing day to a close with some more call changes and then ringing the bells down in peal! (?)

We had all had a good day despite the unpleasant weather. It was finally time to head home and Jason kindly drove me and Angela to our respective front doors.

Thanks are due to Jason and Bea for organising the churches and the excellent lunch venue. I think they particularly enjoyed the lunch sampling. It was good to see our new recruits, Emma and Mark, doing so well and being brave enough to ring in different churches. I wish them well. Thanks also to Peter for keeping us all on our best behaviour.

Some of you will be pleased to know that this will be my last ramblings for the time being unless I am invited back, as I am moving away to live by the sea and will be ringing hopefully at St. Mary’s at Felpham, West Sussex, if they will have me. Thank you to Peter for teaching me to ring and putting up with my panicking from time to time over the last few years. I never thought I would be able to ring but I think I can manage well enough now. All the best.

Angela Davis

June Coffee Morning

Thanks to the 31 people who came along to the June Coffee Morning at our house and enjoyed a convivial morning in extremely pleasant weather. Lots of chatting and laughter in a relaxed atmosphere! Gordon brought along two students from Oak Hill College showing them the everyday life of a Vicar (!) and everyone gave them a very warm and welcoming reception.

£230 (before tax additions) was raised for the Organ Fund so a really big 'thank you' to all who attended and sent donations.

Carol and Peter Lamb

Parish Concert - Change of Date

The Parish Concert will now be at

5 o’clock on
Saturday 22 September

followed by tea. This year, in order to shorten the concert, all items will be limited to a maximum of five minutes – so please time your presentation. However, we do not wish to put performers off and do hope that if you can sing, dance, recite or play an instrument, you will join in the Parish fun.

Let me know.

Eleanor Pritchard


News from The Home Group

(cont… from June’s Parish Magazine) Part 2:

During an arduous, lengthy and time consuming process involving hours of interim governing body (aka IEB Interim Executive Board) meetings, negotiations and reams of printed documents, oh my goodness! Our PCC’s are a breeze by comparison. I was involved with overseeing the amalgamation of the two, (one infant school and one adjacent junior school), into the creation of one new primary school! Even clinching it’s new name!

Technically, both schools closed but like butterflies, re-emerged as a new entity. Physically requiring only the demolishing of a connecting wall, once planning permission was granted, and the rearrangement of rooms etc. As one of a panel of four, I enjoyed interviewing potential head teachers for the new post, engaging a “super head” who to this day remains in situ. It was then wonderful to witness such a turn around to become, at the time, one of the top four primary schools in the country, how amazing is God’s provision! Continuing to flourish, now celebrating it’s 18th year, it’s relocated to a nearby brand new purpose built building. As the original site was confining further expansion having more than doubled in size to around more or less 914 pupils! The right school after all then!

During this period the sporadic adherence to and application of the aforementioned daily act did not escape my notice. According to GOV.UK’s 63 page document on collective worship in schools, it should be “wholly or mainly of a broadly Christian character”. In 2004 Ofsted abandoned inspecting collective worship, claiming 76% of secondary schools were found to be non-compliant and generally schools are left to interpret this guidance as they see fit. However, in a statement issued last year the CofE’s Chief Education Officer, the Revd Nigel Genders, explained “... schools tell us that, quite apart from any legal obligation, daily collective worship has proved a powerful tool in bringing pupils together, giving them a rare opportunity to pause and reflect in the midst of a busy day… Around one million children in England – a quarter of primary pupils and one in 16 secondary students – attend Church of England schools where worship is and will remain Christian.”

Furthermore, increasingly schools are inviting external Christian organisations to assist in this matter, “Open the Book” amongst them. Growing each month by an average of 83 new storytellers and 25 new schools in 2017. In the UK there are currently around 2600 primary schools taking part in the project involving over 15,000 volunteers. More than 700,000 children are regularly hearing Bible stories, many for the first time, in school. The project comes at no charge to schools and often involves children and staff.

“Part of Bible Society, Open the Book’s vision is to bring the Bible to life to every child in every one of the 18,280 schools in England and Wales – reaching 4.5 million pupils.” Currently, they’re expanding in North London, working with Birmingham City Mission, developing Welsh translations of material and have a new website and video.

What a mighty God we serve,
what a mighty God we serve,
angels bow before him,
heaven and earth adore him,
what a mighty God we serve!
(Don Moen, from the 1986 album “Give Thanks”)

Film Night on the 30th:The Prince Of Egypt”. This PG certificated, 1998 DreamWorks animated epic musical is an adaptation of the Book of Exodus. Executive producer Jeffrey Katzenberg, whilst previously working for The Walt Disney Company, (“Beauty and the Beast” and “The Lion King” to name a few), had frequently suggested an animated adaptation of the 1956 film “The Ten Commandments”. Not until co-founding DreamWorks in 1995 was he finally able to, often described as a labour of love for him, put the project into production. Desiring to keep the film as accurate and faithful to the original story as possible, around six hundred religious experts were conferred with. Taking some artistic licence to make it work as an animated feature, the film has an opening disclaimer, that all to follow is true to the “essence and values” of the Bible story. Besides music composed by Hans Zimmer (“The Lion King”) and original songs by Stephen Schwartz (“Pocahontas”), Val Kilmer as the voice of Prince Moses and Ralph Fiennes as Rameses. Not to mention a four minute parting of the Red Sea sequence that took ten animators two years to complete! This four years in the making, 1hr 35 minute (approx…) feature, set in the thirteenth century B.C. was, it’s no surprise, at the time, the most expensive non-Disney animated feature film ever made!

God bless.

Laura, Ken and Dawn Cope

Patronal Festival 2018

North Enfield Food Bank

Week by week we make regular donations to the North Enfield Food Bank and obviously their needs and requirement change with the passage of time. Below please find details of their latest requirements:

Urgently needed items:

Tinned tomatoes, tinned meat, tinned fruit, tinned vegetables, tinned meat soup, tinned spaghetti/spaghetti hoops, instant mash, instant noodles/noodles, savoury snacks – crisps/popcorn/crackers, chocolate/snack bars, biscuits, tinned puddings, rice pudding, custard, shampoo/conditioner, shower gel, toilet roll, washing powder.

We’ve got plenty of:

Beans, pasta, cereal, beans/pulses (kidney, black-eyed peas and lentils) tea and sugar.

Michael Dixon

Coffee Morning dates

17th July ~ Kate and Bob Bissett

21st August ~ Betty Buck

18th September ~ Bernard Quinn

29th October ~ Gordon Giles

20th November ~ Maureen and Keith Rew

18th December ~ Rita Barker

Please note that the date of the October Coffee Morning has changed to Monday 29th October.

Coffee mornings commence at 10:45 am.

Rita Barker

The next coffee morning in aid of the organ restoration will be held on Tuesday 17th July 10:45 a.m. at Kate & Bob Bissett’s house which is 75 Park Drive N21 2LT.

Kate & Bob will be very happy to see lots of you there.

Lunchtime Recitals

At the June recital we were privileged to hear Catherine Leonard play the piano. She once again presented a very professional and moving performance, this time of Chopin’s Sonata No 3. Future and past performance include at Blenheim Palace, Southwark Cathedral and the Edinburgh Festival.

At 12.30 pm on Wednesday 11 July Sandra Sinclair with a pianist will play the viola, not the violin as advertised. Do come along for some live music followed by a salad lunch in you wish.

Eleanor Pritchard

12:30 pm - 1:00 pm
Retiring Collection
Ploughman’s Lunch £3.50, if required, in the Choir Vestry afterwards
Do come along if you are free. Ploughman’s lunch with hot soup will be available afterwards at the very reasonable price of £3.50.

Concert Programme For 2018

11th July Sandra Sinclair ~ violin

August ~ no concert

12th September Bush Hill Recorder Consort

10th October Serafini Trio

14th November Michael and Marion Smith ~ organ and piano

12th December Carols from The Cambridge Carol Book

Fellowship News and Programme for 2018

In May we were treated to a very interesting talk from Jessica Giles about her work as a Barrister, and her passion for religious freedom across the world.

Jackie Fish has entertained us royally this month with a Quiz and a great afternoon. July 18th we will have a bring and share picnic lunch in our garden, there will be a sign-up sheet in church. There is an open invitation to all to join us.

July 18th A bring and Share Picnic lunch in the Church Garden.

We don't meet in August.

September 19th Church Warden, Catherine, will talk to us about her Mental Health Nursing career.

October 17th Songs of Praise but with a twist.

November 21st TBA.

December 19th We will be celebrating with our usual Christmas Lunch at a venue to be confirmed.


Items for the August 2018 edition to the editor by Sunday 15 July, please. Documents should be in Microsoft Word or plain text. Please use the magazine section of the pigeon-holes or you can email:

If you know of any lady or gentleman who would be able to help with stapling or if you are unable to keep the above dates please contact either Michael or Janet Dixon or Janet Whelpdale.

Stapling Rota 2018

28 July 2018
Ken & Laura Cope, Gill Bird

25 August 2018
Peter & Carol Lamb, Eleanor Pritchard

29 September 2018
Vic Harrington, Pam Hagan, Helen Clarke

27 October 2018
Ju (Yezi) Len Zhen, Val Hayes, Shivane Woodger

(10.00 am Saturday Morning in the Church or earlier as arranged)