4. - 2 -
PETER D HANNABY
Painter & Decorator
Interior and Exterior work
For competitive quotations
Mobile: 07765 250092
Home: 01442 288956
MAGAZINE ADVERTISING COSTS
Why not use this parish magazine to advertise your business. There
are eleven issues per year with double issue in December/January.
Charges are: Full Page £115 per annum
Half Page £80 per annum
Quarter Page £60 per annum
For part year charges are pro rata of the annual rate rounded up to
the nearest whole pound (e.g. 1 month/issue full page 115/12 =
9.58 rounded up = £10 charge)
To discuss your requirements or for further information, please
contact Sally Bates, 01442 266912 or 07792 768236
or email: email@example.com
5. - 3 -
THE VICAR’S LETTER
The recent hot weather took nearly all of us by surprise,
despite all the weather warnings, because we’re so used to
the weather forecast being wrong. The modern need to sensationalise
everything has perhaps given rise to a culture of seeing and believing. As a
child I remember hot summer days, parched meadows, and breathless
nights. But mid-July was something else! We are told by scientists that this
is what we are now to look forward to over the coming years as Global
Warming changes our weather pattern. For many of us, 38C+ is just too
hot. We are not used to extremes in temperature and yet that is the way
things are heading unless real and radical change is made.
The Church of England, via our General Synod, has committed for the
Church to be carbon neutral by 2030. This is an ambitious target which I
cannot help but wonder how it will be achieved. And yet I applaud and
commend the motivation and goal. There is so much more we, as a Church
community, can do to reduce our footprint: from recycling and not using
single-use plastics to sourcing food that is locally produced to reduce ‘food
miles’; from turning the thermostat down a degree in our homes in winter
to getting better insulation; from using our cars less to investing in renewa-
ble energy supplies. This is just the tip of the iceberg.
As a Parish we have made it one of our MAP (Mission Action Plan) priorities
to reduce our carbon footprint by 2024 and to take part in the Eco-Church
initiative. This will only be achieved if we are capable of changing our think-
ing and actions, often through small steps in the right direction. Over the
coming months you will therefore see some more Eco-friendly products
being used around church; you may even be asked to consider car-sharing
or perhaps even using your car less; we may need to think again about our
sources of energy and heat. But why are doing this?
The obvious answer is because of Global Warming and the desire to
preserve the planet. But for whom are we preserving it? Future genera-
tions? Yes… and God! As Christians we know that this earth is a gift from
God and that we are charged to exercise stewardship. Cont’d…...
6. - 4 -
Sadly our stewardship has been decidedly lacking in recent decades and
our care for God’s gift – creation – negligent to say the least. Everything
we have is a gift from God and yet we often take it for granted. Now is
the time for us to get real about the imminent crisis we are facing and our
lack of gratitude to the God who loves the world so much he came to
earth to be one of us in the form of Jesus Christ.
Even if the science was inconclusive on this issue, our theology of a
creator, sustainer, and redeemer God should motivate us to act – and act
now. Our response to the command to love God and love our neighbour
as ourselves must now be routed in action to combat the effects and
causes of Climate Change. Together we can do this but we must each take
a step in the right direction.
I hope you all have a very good and restful summer.
Prayer for August
Dear Heavenly Father,
In this month of August, thank you for your presence. Whether we’re at
home or on holiday, in one place or travelling, working or resting, happy
or sad, young, middle-aged or elderly, you are with us.
As we journey through the different stages of this life on earth, help us to
know that wonderful assurance of your presence, by putting our trust in
Jesus now. No matter what ups and downs come our way, we will never
be alone. You are with us, sharing it all day by day – and leading us home.
Thank you, Lord of all our journeys, In Jesus’ name.
By Daphne Kitching
7. - 5 -
PARISH DIARY FOR AUGUST 2022
Enquiries regarding baptisms weddings or marriage blessings are
Please contact the Vicar or the Parish Office.
Morning Prayer is said Daily at St John’s at 9.00am.
You are most welcome to join the clergy in prayer.
Evening Prayer is said privately for the life of the Parish unless details are below.
St John’s is open daily 9.30am-5.00pm for private prayer
(10.30am-5.00pm on Saturdays)
Wed 3 10.00am Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s
5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’
Sun 7 The Transfiguration of our Lord (Eighth Sunday after Trinity)
8.00am No Service
10.00am All-Age Eucharist St John’s
10.00am Sung Mass St Francis'
11.30am Morning Worship St Stephen's
12noon Holy Baptism St John’s
Mon 8 Lunchtime TOM’s Lunch at Redbourn Golf Club
Tues 9 8.00pm Church Meeting: PCC Standing Committee tbc
Wed 10 10.00am Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s
5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’
Sun 14 The Blessed Virgin Mary (Ninth Sunday after Trinity)
8.00am No Service
10.00am Parish Eucharist St John’s
10.00am Sung Mass St Francis’
11.30am Morning Worship St Stephen’s
Wed 17 10.00am Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s
3.30pm Friendship Tea St John’s
5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’
Fri 19 2.00pm Wedding: Danielle Jackman and Gary Mullery
8. - 6 -
Sun 21 Tenth Sunday after Trinity
8.00am No Service
10.00am Parish Eucharist St John’s
10.00am Sung Mass St Francis’
11.30am Morning Worship St Stephen’s
3.00 -5.00pm Junior Church picnic St John’s church-
Open to all children and families - B.Y.O.
Wed 24 St Bartholomew, Apostle
10.00am Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s
5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’
Sun 28 Eleventh Sunday after Trinity
8.00am No Service
10.00am Parish Eucharist St John’s
10.00am Sung Mass St Francis’
11.30am Morning Worship St Stephen’s
Wed 31 10.00am Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s
5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’
How prayer reaches God
An anxious mother confided in her minister: “My 10-year-old daughter
says her prayers every night, but I am not sure they are reaching heav-
Touched by her worry, the minister spent some time explaining to her
about God’s omnipresence. But still, the mother looked worried. So
finally he asked the mother why she thought her daughter’s prayers
would NOT be heard by God.
She explained: “Because when my daughter finishes, instead of saying
‘amen’, she says ‘click, send’.”
10. - 8 -
Summer Fair – Thank you
A very big thank you to all who worked so hard to make our summer fair the
success it turned into. The weather once again smiled upon us and blessed us
with brilliant sunshine. A lovely Village Fair atmosphere was created and enjoyed
by our many friends and visitors. Stall holders and helpers sold and chatted and
welcomed. I got wet and refreshed (in equal measure) in the Stocks! The Police
and Fire Brigade put in an appearance. Folk were fed and watered. All of which
helped raise a fabulous £2,300 for church funds. A great team effort – Well done!
– especially considering there were 4 other fairs in our local area. Here’s hoping
the weather will be kind to us again next year!
Sunday 3 July was the Junior Choir’s last ‘outing’ for the summer term, and what a
special rendition they gave. I’ve never seen them look so animated and enthused
in what they were doing. Special thanks are due to Katherine Cox (nee Boyce) for
her leadership of the Junior Choir and to Marian and Keith for their respective
significant contributions. Katherine will now be on Maternity Leave from the
Junior Choir and we are very hopeful that by September a substitute leader will
have been appointed. I am very much looking forward to Junior Choir singing
again on Harvest Sunday, 2 October. If you know anyone aged 4-11 who enjoys
singing and might like to give our Junior Choir a try, please either contact me or
Keith, our Director of Music.
Thank you, Junior Choir.
Junior Church Picnic & Messy Church
In a break from tradition our summer picnic will be for all our Junior Church on
Sunday 21 August – 3.00pm-5.00pm. We hope for fine weather and for all availa-
ble members of our Junior Church (Tiny Tots, Messy Church, Junior Choir and Sun-
day Junior Church) will be able to attend. It will be a Bring Your Own picnic in the
churchyard near the Hall (in the hall/church if weather is not great!). We hope to
see you there!
For the Diary: Our next Messy Church will be on Sunday 25 September, 3.00pm –
Please do invite your neighbours, family, and friends so they don’t miss out on the
11. - 9 -
Writing in the basking heat of July it doesn’t seem possible to be thinking about
Harvest, and yet the fields are turning golden and the farmers are bringing in the
harvest. As usual we shall offer to God our thanksgiving for his gifts in creation
and those who bring-in the harvest.
Our celebrations will include a special All Age Eucharist on 2 October; a Quiz Night
on Saturday 1 October at 7.30pm, and a collection for the Bishop of St Alban’s
Harvest appeal: Not Forgotten! This Appeal will help change the lives of people in
Mozambique who have been traumatised and displaced by conflict. Having fled to
safety, life still isn’t easy, and many are losing hope. Your support will help on-the
-ground, local church partners to reach the most vulnerable; helping to change
lives, transform communities and show God’s love where it is needed most. More
details of these events in the September issue.
Autumn Sermon Series: The Sacraments of the Church
During September and October, the Ministry Team will be running a Sermon
Series on The Sacraments of the Church. This series will be for the whole Church –
Regular and Junior. It is hoped that it will serve as a refresher to many and foun-
dational teaching to others. At the end of the series, it is hoped that those who
have yet to be Confirmed in their faith will come forward and be confirmed. A
booklet to accompany this series will be available for everyone at the back of
church and details of what is to be covered each week will be published. I hope
you will find this series helpful in your journey of faith.
St Francis Patronal Festival and Open afternoon: Sunday 9 October
On Sunday 9 October at 5.00pm there will be Sung High Mass with Benediction in
celebration of the Patronal Festival of St Francis, Hammerfield. All are welcome to
join in giving thanks to God for the life and ministry of St Francis of Assisi, and for
the witness of the Church in that part of the Parish. Refreshments will be served
after the Service. Guest preacher will be announced. The service will be preceded
by an Open Afternoon at St Francis combined with Cream Tea. Please do come
along and support.
Our Grand Draw 2022 will be drawn at the Christmas Fayre, but before then we
need to sell as many tickets as possible. Please help in this task over the summer
and sell to as many friends and family as possible. This is an essential fundraiser
for the Parish this year. Top prize of £1000 is not to be decried. Books will be
available after all our services.
12. - 10 -
A reminder that during August this there will be no 8.00am Service of Holy
Communion. Although I am not away for the whole of August my time off is quite
bitty. To save confusion of one service and here and there, it is simpler for all
concerned to cancel for August. Sadly, finding cover has also proved a bridge too
far. All our other services (both on Sundays and Wednesdays) will continue as
Thank you to our Editor
There are not many jobs in our parish that have been undertaken by the same
person for so long than Sally-Anne Bates being Editor of our Parish Magazine. As
you will read elsewhere in this edition Sally-Anne took on the editorship 30 years
ago. And ever since she has done a fabulous job producing our excellent
Magazine. During her time, she has worked with at least 3 vicars – coping with
our many eccentricities – and helped enable good communication within the
Parish and wider community. I am most grateful for all she does month after
month, and on behalf of us all express our sincere thanks for the interesting and
well put together editions with which we are blessed. Thank you, Sally-Anne.
A Service of Thanksgiving for Mary, Queen of Heaven, and Elizabeth, Queen of
If you missed this service, you really missed a treat! To crown the musical year off
our Director of Music arranged for a stunning performance of John Rutter’s
Magnificat and Handel’s Zadok the Priest within a liturgical context. The service
was filled with joy and prayer as we gave thanks for Her Majesty The Queen, the
Blessed Virgin Mary, the Church, and our community. My special thanks to Keith,
the St John’s Ensemble, and all our singers who really are going from strength to
strength at each evening service. Bravo.
I am most grateful for all the work that has taken place to make our choir stalls
more fit for purpose, more moveable, and more storable. In particular to Rob
Porter and Job Rombout who have done the lion share of the work. For the
majority of time, with our depleted choir, the stall fronts are not required for how
we are using the Quire space, and therefore will be moved and stored. However,
for big choral services the fronts will return to make things easier for the choir.
This has been quite a time intensive process but I’m sure you’ll agree the end
result is worth it. The fronts were used again for the first time for the special
Evening Service last month.
13. - 11 -
Photos from the Summer Fair held on 9 July
Photo by kind permission of
Carole Lewis and Anne Lyne
15. - 13 -
Going off to Uni
This month thousands of young people will be preparing themselves for
the exciting prospect of going off to what they all call ‘Uni’ in the autumn.
Parents, grandparents and godparents will enjoy a mixture of pride and
apprehension. This is a major step in life: leaving home, making new
friends, study without compulsion and the heady gift of ‘freedom’. Amaz-
ingly, the vast majority of students survive it and love it.
As for parents, there are a few basic rules that it is well to adopt. Firstly,
don’t get too involved in the choice of university. Modern students are a
savvy bunch. They actually do talk to their teachers, and they know their
way around the internet and social media. It’s highly likely that they will
correctly identify the ‘right’ course and place for themselves.
Secondly, be available (on the end of a phone) but leave them space to
make the odd silly mistake. Make sure they carry on their person the
number of a reliable taxi service, for that occasion when they find them-
selves in the early hours and far from their digs. Thirdly, don’t worry
about their being ‘lonely’. The average student makes a friend or two in
the first ten minutes of arriving in their digs – and sometimes it’s for life!
Look forward to their coming home for the odd weekend, probably with
some washing, but don’t regret it when they go back. In fact, enjoy the
experience at second-hand. And lastly, there’s a lot to be said for a little
daily prayer for them.
So far so good
So far today, God, I’ve done all right. I haven’t gossiped, haven’t lost my
temper, haven’t been greedy, grumpy, nasty, selfish, or over-indulgent.
I’m really glad about that. But in a few minutes, God, I’m going to get out
of bed, and from then on I’m going to need Your help. Amen
18. - 16 -
HALLS FOR HIRE
ST JOHN’S HALL - Well equipped hall suitable for use by special interest
groups, clubs and societies. Ideal for family parties and special occasions.
Please contact Hall Bookings Secretary on 07939 226977 or email:
firstname.lastname@example.org for further information and availabil-
ST STEPHEN’S HALL, CHAULDEN - (opposite Tudor Rose) - Sunny Hall with
tiled floor suitable for dancing and exercise groups as well as being ideal for
children’s parties. Please contact Jean on 01442 257023 for further
information and availability.
ST FRANCIS HALL, HAMMERFIELD - Well equipped hall suitable for use by
special interest groups, clubs and societies. Ideal for family parties and
special occasions. Please contact Hall Bookings Secretary by email: stfran-
email@example.com for further information and
availability. More urgent queries can be handled by leaving a message on Paul
Davies mobile phone: 07802 442908
Please Note: St. John's Church PCC cannot accept any responsibility for goods or services
19. - 17 -
Safe, hygienic, friendly service for all the family
For the treatment of corns, callus,
ingrown or thickened nails,
nail trimming, cracked heels
In the comfort of your own home
Call Graham Spendlove, MCFHP, MAFHP
Qualified Foot Health Professional
Book now 07799 033974
20. - 18 -
Since the lifting of the Covid Restrictions in 2021, the friends of Friendship Teas
have gathered nine times to enjoy an afternoon of delicious refreshments, heart-
warming conversation and interesting interactions with one another. I take this
opportunity to thank everyone who has supported our Friendship Teas this year
by attending, contributing and helping to make this such an amazing success
every month. Without you there would be no Friendship Teas. Your support is
Some of the friends attending have had recent bereavements and have found the
company of familiar and new friends very comforting during their time of mourn-
ing and adjusting to life without their loved ones.
Others who are going through stressful and trying times have found the love and
empathy shown them an incredible uplifting and touching experience.
Friendship Teas is a space created for everyone to feel welcomed and special for
the afternoon. We pray for every family represented at the gathering and for
those who arrive feeling burdened by the cares of life, to leave feeling ‘lighter’
and lifted in spirit. This has been evident as on many occasions there is a feeling
of reluctance to leave the joyful and peaceful atmosphere.
At the June Friendship Teas, we had guests from the Hemel Police Constabulary
to give us tips on how to keep safe in our homes and when we are out and about
during these troubled times. Those who attended were able to ask questions and
obtain first-hand information on ‘what is happening’ in Hemel’ at the moment.
Our guests brought a box full of handy little gadgets which were made available
for everyone to avail themselves of.
These gadgets ranged from ‘a remote panic alarm’ which is easily activated if you
feel threatened by anyone whilst out on your own, a ‘light timer switch’ to
activate lights on and off when you are not home, little bells to attach to your
purse – as there has been an increase of ‘purse dipping’ in the High Street, and a
light up box which gives the impression that a TV is on when you are out of your
property at night. Some of these ‘gadgets’ are still available at the church on
request from the vicar or at the office. Please feel free to request them.
Friendship Teas are going to become more interesting, as we will be getting in
guests on a more regular basis from charities and organisations in the community
to give us basic information on what they are doing, and how they are impacting
21. - 19 -
We will also find out how their services can benefit not only us personally, but our
families and friends, and if what they are doing sparks an interest in each one of
us to find out more.
We encourage those who have not yet attended Friendship Teas this year to join
us every 3rd
Wednesday of the month in the Church Hall at St Johns Boxmoor,
from 3.30pm – 5pm. Everyone is welcome.
Hear a Story – Tell a Story - Bring a Friend – Make a new Friend
When morning in russet and saffron clad
Is mantling the hills in a dew-soft plaid
To the song of the moorland two-wings glad
Let my heart upraise;
When light creeps in through the chinks of the door
When the mist ascends from the mountain floor,
When the ocean shimmers like burnished ore,
Let me give Thee praise.
O God of the morning, Christ of the hills,
O Spirit who all the firmament fills,
O Trinity blest who all goodness wills,
Keep us all our days.
From Prayers of the Western Highlanders
22. - 20 -
PAROCHIAL CHURCH COUNCIL MEETING ON TUESDAY 12 JULY 2022
The PCC met in St John’s Hall on Tuesday evening 12 July 2022, chaired by the
Vicar. He was pleased at the growth in numbers at the St John’s main Sunday
service and that they were holding firm on Wednesday morning and at the daugh-
ter churches. The re-introduction of the chalice has gone smoothly with a take-up
of some 30% at St John’s, 80% at St Francis and nil at St Stephen’s. He was glad
people were doing what they were comfortable with.
The Vicar was delighted with the Summer Fair, with great teamwork from the
parish and a super friendly atmosphere. The colourful gazebos made it seem to
passers-by that something interesting was happening. Despite rival attractions,
the event raised £2,300 with some more to be added from electronic payments.
The PCC was updated on the informal consultations taking place on a proposed
pastoral reorganisation. In discussion, it was felt that one of the options – Warn-
ers End joining Boxmoor as a new Benefice – was not viable because the addition-
al support offered, of ½ a priest, was woefully inadequate. The Vicar was author-
ised to write to the Archdeacon conveying the PCC’s views.
Due to the Treasurer’s illness (the meeting wished Chris Angell a speedy recov-
ery), the PCC was only able to consider the financial position up to the end of
May. This was that due to legacies and donations, the parish was £11k up on
budget and expenditure was £5k down. This allowed a little wiggle room should
we not meet the breakeven budget that we had set ourselves for 2022.
The meeting was informed that agreement had been given in principle for us to
use the empty Curate’s house in Beechfield Road to house a family of Ukrainian
refugees for six months and we now awaited the paperwork. The PCC approved
the purchase of a defibrillator for St John’s church. We were still waiting for Open-
reach (BT) to improve our internet/Wi-Fi connection.
A discussion took place on our Mission Action Plan 4th
priority – courses and
spiritual education. The Vicar asked PCC members to sound out the congregation
on what they wanted on courses, away-days, home groups and so on. There was
also further discussion on the 3rd
priority – music, the choir and the high cost of
the music budget. No one had heard any complaint about the recent absence of
the choir on Sunday morning. The use of recorded music, drums musical
instruments accompanying the choir were all discussed but it was felt that we
should not move too far from our traditional way of doing things. Cont’d……..
23. - 21 -
The Vicar would reflect on what had been said and revert to the next meeting to
suggest a way forward. The importance of hymn selection was underlined by the
Vicar, who was glad that the recent use of service sheets had made more variety
possible. It was felt unfortunate that some contemporary hymns had been sung
around the giving of communion when it was not always possible to sing or
appreciate them. A possibility was to switch the order of Anthem and Hymn
around and the Vicar would discuss with the Director of Music.
The PCC addressed the new topic of succession planning, noting that many of our
key office holders were increasingly senior citizens. It was decided that job
descriptions were needed from those concerned before a recruitment exercise
was to be conducted in the autumn. This discussion highlighted the curious posi-
tion of the Deputy Church Wardens who were not taking any work off the Church
Wardens nor were being trained as Church Wardens designate.
The Vicar said that the 150th anniversary of the St John’s church building on
7 April 2024 was an occasion for celebration and we should all treat it as such. He
had invited the Bishop of St Albans to attend and envisaged a jubilee year of
celebratory events – he would welcome ideas on this. One was that we should
invite all those married at St John’s or who had previously been members of the
choir back to an event.
The Vicar thanked Sandy Cutts for facilitating the donation of some CCTV equip-
ment to St John’s. He and Sandy would take this forward. St Francis’ planned to
hold a fundraiser Fayre with refreshments to mark their Patronal Festival on
9 October 2022.
Reports were received from PCC Committees, daughter churches, the Deanery
Synod, and the wider church in Hemel Hempstead.
This is of necessity a summary of the meeting, but if anyone on the Parish
electoral roll would like to see the full minutes of this PCC meeting, then the PCC
Secretary would be glad to provide them.
24. - 22 -
'Music Percentage Club Update’
Congratulations to the winners of the June Music
Percentage Club draw:
Sheila James 1st £15
Richard Lyne 2nd £8
Gill Williams 3rd £4
If you know of someone who would be interested in joining the Music
Percentage Club and supporting Music at St John’s in this way there are
forms in church or please contact Mark Harbour on 01582 841019 or see
him in church. Mark Harbour - on behalf of MASJ
Zoe Harbour, who most of you may know from the St John’s choir (she is a
former head chorister and sometimes joins the choir at selected services)
has received a last minute place to run in the London Marathon in October
for Great Ormond Street Hospital.
She is over the moon to have got a place as she has been trying to run in it
for many years !
She needs to raise £2,000 so would be delighted if anyone would consider
a donation – you can donate and see updates by typing in this link to
Google or other search engines.
25. - 23 -
SEPTEMBER 2022 - PRICE 60p
Please note the deadline for articles for the September 2022 edition of the maga-
zine is Sunday, 7th August.
You can e-mail direct to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave articles in
magazine pigeonhole or deliver direct to 27 Beechfield Road. Please note any
articles sent by email should be in A5/A4 format (MS Word or MS Publisher
preferred). Thank you. Sally Bates, Editor, Tel No. 266912 or Mobile 07792
Website for St John’s Boxmoor is:
Website for Music at St John’s is http://masj.org.uk
Facebook Page: St Johns Church, Boxmoor
NEWSLETTER: If you would like to receive a copy of the weekly Newsletter by
e-mail, please contact Alan Munford - email@example.com with your
e-mail address and he will arrange to send it to you.
Please send any items for inclusion in the Newsletter to the Parish Office at the
email address: firstname.lastname@example.org
SUBSCRIPTION TO MAGAZINE
If you would like to receive a copy of St John’s Parish Magazine on a regular
monthly basis, please email email@example.com or telephone him on
01442 242543 or complete your details below and return tear-off slip to:
Mr. Alan Munford, 16 St Nicholas Mount, Hemel Hempstead HP1 2BB
Contact Telephone Number ………………………………………………………………………...
26. - 24 -
'Nick Kyrgios hit me in the head and I was booted off court by John McEnroe!':
Graham Liddle is bowing out after 50 years of Wimbledon officiating with memo-
ries of Nastase’s antics and Murray’s glory.
When Graham Liddle began his tennis officiating career at Wimbledon Ted Heath
was Prime Minister and Ilie Nastase was the scourge of tennis officials everywhere.
It was 1972 and John McEnroe was still at high school in New York but - as Liddle
would come to learn first hand - another enfant terrible of the Centre Court was on
Brushes with both, and the many highs such as being a line judge for Andy Murray’s
historic 2013 final, are among the features of a remarkable 50-year stint of service
that will end at the All England Club in the coming fortnight.
Like the large majority of officials, he has combined an outside career with being a
linesman and umpire, first working in local government and for the last two
decades as a coach driver.
While there have been concerns this year over standards of player behaviour, Liddle
believes it has improved overall. Certainly since the innocent days of the Seventies
it was comparatively like the Wild West, with the influx of big money and personali-
ties like Nastase and Jimmy Connors.
‘The problem was there was no code of conduct back then and the authorities did-
n’t have the power to clamp down,’ says Liddle, 72, from Hemel Hempstead.
‘It has actually got a lot better now because there are more rules in black and white.
There were no weapons at your disposal in the 70s, you felt quite relieved to get
through the match.’
He did a lot of umpiring in that decade, and it was not long before his path crossed
with the famously temperamental Nastase.
‘He was probably the most difficult. In 1976 I was umpiring the old John Player tour-
nament at Nottingham in the semi-final, playing Stan Smith.
‘Whenever Stan was ready to serve Ilie was deliberately fiddling about. I told him
you have got to be ready to receive or I might consider these to be stalling tactics,
but we had no power to inflict time violations.
27. - 25 -
‘The crowd were all pro Smith and against Nastase and his antics. He smashed his
racket into the grass, which would now considered a serious offence because it
damages the surface. Really all you could do was try and stay calm and appeal to his
Five years later he got to experience peak McEnroe, in the summer of his infamous
‘You cannot be serious!’ outburst at Wimbledon.
‘I did one of his matches in 1981 as what we called a ‘court captain’ I was on the
side of the court, but not actually part of the line crew. He noticed me for some
reason, and asked the umpire what I was doing there.
‘He couldn’t seem to get me out of his head and made more remarks about me
being on court. I ended up being asked to leave, which was annoying, but there was
not much I could do.
‘But I wouldn’t say anyone has lost it with me. You have to try and be cool when
they look you in the face, you are told not to respond. Others like Borg, Federer and
Nadal, never a problem, real gentlemen.
‘Connors could be difficult as well but you have to say the crowd loved to see them,
and enjoyed it when they blew up. As a crew we never talked about it beforehand,
but you could feel a bit more tension and adrenaline before those matches.
‘I had an incident with Nick Kyrgios when he tried to hit the ball back to the ball kid,
misdirected it and it hit me on the forehead. It took me by surprise but was never a
default situation. He actually apologised and asked me if I was alright.’
There have also been moments of slapstick, such as when he fell from the umpire’s
chair when officiating a clay court match on the lower level Futures circuit.
‘The technique is that you have to keep your eye on the mark you are inspecting on
clay when the player asks you to check. I came down the chair staring at it, lost my
footing and fell off, the whole court found it hilarious.’
His personal highlight was the heady afternoon in 2013, when he had the best seat
in the house for Murray becoming the first British male champion in 77 years at
28. - 26 -
‘It was a blistering hot day and the atmosphere was brilliant. I’m always apprehen-
sive about making a mistake, you are obviously hoping Andy would win but would
never be biased. Andy was incredibly focussed that day. Some days he can be a bit
distracted but this time he was so keyed in. The crowd was amazing, it was electric.
I never thought he was going to lose on the day and I will always remember that.’
Tennis has, naturally, changed enormously in his time and so has the world of line-
judging, now far more professionalised. An example is that his level of official will
be paid £182 per day for working at Wimbledon this year, plus allowances for such
things as dry cleaning.
As in football the development of technology has brought with it incumbent pres-
sures. Mistakes made when judging hairline decisions, often with a tennis ball
landing at speeds of more than 100mph, are instantly highlighted on big screens.
‘Last week at Queen’s I got what we call ‘Hawkeyed’ - I got a couple of close ones
wrong, but you have to try and blank it out and you try not to react whatever the
screen shows. Your heart is always a bit in your mouth when it gets referred. The
umpire will mark you after every match, but it doesn’t necessarily get counted
against you if you missed a very close one.’
He cheerfully accepts the rough with the smooth of the modern world, but is more
concerned about the trend of big tournaments - such as the Australian and US
Opens - using technology to replace line judges altogether.
‘It does worry me how it is going to affect recruitment at the lower levels. People
join up because their ultimate goal is to work the big events. If that is taken away a
lot of people will leave, and that is going to affect things like club and county level
or the lowest rungs of the circuit.
‘It might save big tournaments money but the grass roots will suffer. I hope Wim-
bledon and the French don’t do it. It won’t affect me but it could be damaging.’
He will always be able to look back on a phenomenally long career among the
sport’s essential supporting cast.
‘I’m really going to miss the camaraderie and the friends I have made. My eyes are
still good but my legs get quite sore now so I think it’s time to finish,’ says Liddle,
who this weekend will receive a long service award from the Lawn Tennis Associa-
29. - 27 -
‘Only a small percentage can make a living out of this. I’ve met so many interesting
people, including players, but there have also been airline pilots, actors, navy,
those from every walk of life, it has been a wonderful thing to do.’
Article written by Mike Dickson, Tennis Correspondent for the Daily Mail
Published on Thursday, 23rd June 2022
(Permission obtained to re-produce this article in our Parish Magazine, Editor)
In Every Corner Sing – the Diary of a Country Vicar
By Timothy Biles, Canterbury Press, £9.99
In the literary tradition of Parson Woodforde and
Georges Bernanos, here is the moving, wise and
funny diary of a country vicar. It raises profound
questions about the nature of ministry and the
future of the church through its gentle yet acutely
observed portraits and stories. A good summer
30. - 28 -
FROM THE ARCHIVES: AUGUST 1992
We are fortunate in Boxmoor that we have had a Parish Magazine which has been
published monthly since 1886, even during two world wars. The earliest ones we
have are for the year 1892, which in those days were bound into book form at the
end of each year. We only have a limited number of editions of the parish maga-
zine which cover the time before the 1960s. All the magazines are, however, a
wonderful archive of church life in Boxmoor for 136 years, together with what was
going on in the wider community and reflections on national events and those
taking place worldwide. They all make interesting reading.
Recently I was given a number of magazines for the last decade of the 20th centu-
ry and I thought I would share with you the details to be found in the Parish Maga-
zine for August 1992 - thirty years ago.
The Vicar was then The Reverend Canon Alan Freeman with The Reverend Leslie
Oglesby as an Honorary Priest. He held a position in the Diocesan Office in St
Albans but lived in Linden Glade. Leslie later became Rector of St Mary’s, Hitchin.
Carole Wood was our Reader, but she was about to marry John Lewis and move to
Berkhamsted. In 2012 she became our Reader again when having been widowed
she returned to Boxmoor. The church wardens were Dr Michael Boyes and Karen
Turner, who was the first female to hold that post. The deputies were Mike
Horsnell and Ian Williams, Derek Frost was the PCC Secretary, while our Treasurer
was someone we still know well - Chris Angell. Peter Twitchin was the Organist
and Choirmaster, while I was then 23 years into being Senior Server! Adult groups
included the Women’s Fellowship run by Dorothy Stokley, Home and Family
Group with Marion Roff in charge, Young Wives Group for which Julie Boyce was
responsible, the Men’s Club with its long serving secretary David Stevens and the
Poetry Group, the brainchild of Jean Stevens. Jo Andrews, who had succeeded
Marjorie Moseley, supervised church flowers, while Margot Freeman at the Vicar-
age took charge of wedding flowers. Believe it or not, we did have a Parish
Administrator in those days, who was Margaret Whiting working in the Parish
Office in the vestry on Tuesdays between 2.00 and 4.00 pm and Wednesdays
11.00 am to 12.30 pm and 6.30 pm to 8.00 pm. Annie Mitchell organised the Tiny
Tots and the Youth Group, while Di Tovey led the Sunday School.
In his Letter Alan announced his “plan to retire towards the end of the year.” (He
did so on 22 November 1992). He goes on to say, “I am sorry that this announce-
ment has come so soon after Ivor Dowse’s retirement (as Curate) and that our
both going will leave the parish in a difficult situation for a while… However I have
to believe that it is time for a new and younger man to take over.” (This was in
31. - 29 -
the time before the ordination of women). “He will not only bring greater ener-
gy of his own, but I believe he will stand a better chance than me of finding a
suitable successor to Ivor… There are some big decisions to be made in the near
future - regarding the proposed church extension and possible pastoral reorgan-
isation of the church in the town, for instance. It seems wrong I should be help-
ing to make those decisions and then leaving my successor to live with the con-
sequences…. We shall be sad to leave you all, especially after the wonderful
kindness we have received, particularly in the last couple of years.” (Margot had
been unwell). He ended with the words: “Please support us with your prayers.”
As now, there was a report on the latest Parochial Church Council meeting,
which Derek Frost provided. Three items stand out:
“It was reported that the children’s area at the back of the church was taking
shape. A carpet had been laid with tables and chairs shortly to be in place. Chil-
dren are our future and we must welcome them on their terms.”
“The Council was made aware of a generous donation in memory of Ray and
Ruth Findlay. Just before he died Ray took particular interest in the new Book of
Remembrance and suggested a special window be installed through which the
book could be viewed with complete protection.” (I know this facility is much
appreciated by those who visit our Garden of Remembrance).
“The current financial situation was placed before the Council and a shortfall for
the year forecast. It is essential that steps are taken speedily to find ways of
increasing income and the Stewardship Committee will formulate plans.”
Choir Notes were written by David Mitchell. The most recent major event had
been the retirement of Ernie Hannant from the choir after 76 years of service.
Several Royal School of Church Music awards had been presented to choir mem-
bers. A new choir management team had been appointed with Melissa Rhodes
as Head Chorister, Matthew Horsnell as Head Choirboy and Lisa Gunnell as Head
Choirgirl. As usual the Choir Outing to Margate had taken place, noting “the two
mini-buses are now £85 each including insurance and fuel” and we are grateful
to everyone who contributed to make this event possible.” Ernie Hannant sup-
plemented the article with memories of his own. He had joined the choir on 20
December 1915 at the age of seven. Even then choir practice was on Fridays as
it is now. He recalled life during the First World War, the annual outings ranging
from the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1924, to travelling by boat
from Tower Bridge to Southend but “the favourite one was going to Lyons Cor-
ner House for a meal and then to a theatre, returning to Boxmoor on the 12.15
am train! ”Ernie noted that until 1936 ladies formed part of the choir along with
men and boys, made up of four sopranos and four contraltos, who were not
robed and sat in the front choir pews.” Cont’d on page 32
32. - 30 -
at St John’s
in the month of June 2022
19 June Leo Ronnie Tilbury Lawn Lane
19 June Lucas Michael Edis Crouchfield
26 June Amara Jayne Clarke The Cornfields
26 June Florence Cerys Gemmell Puller Road
May the Lord of his great mercy bless these children and give them
understanding of his wisdom and grace.
10 June Henry Welbourn and Yvette Allen
FUNERAL & MEMORIAL SERVICES
20 June Geoffrey Donovan Adeyfield Road
23 June Margaret Elizabeth Covill Green End Road
28 June Violet Rita Cooper Wood Crescent
May these souls and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy
of God, rest in peace.
BURIAL OF ASHES
7 June Ian Fraser Williams Green End Road
28 June Patricia Ann Gregory Bathurst Road
34. - 32 -
FROM THE ARCHIVES: AUGUST 1992 cont’d….
However once George Cheshire arrived the ladies disappeared.” Girls and ladies
again became choir members during Derek Jackson’s time as Vicar. Ernie said
there had been five Vicars and eight Choirmasters in the time he was in the choir.
Other articles which appeared in the August 1992 magazine are ones with which
we are familiar today such as the Sponsored Bike Ride for the Beds and Herts
Historic Churches Trust taking place in September, the Tiny Tots Picnic arranged
as usual in August and a reminder about the Autumn Fayre.
Finally, I want to return to the production of the Parish Magazine. In 1992 adver-
tising was in the hands of Leslie Lunn, while Marion Roff was responsible for the
distribution. Like today, it was produced “in house”, but then each month teams
of volunteers gathered together in the Vestry to collate and staple it as the pages
came off the photocopier! There was a message from the Editor, Sally Bates, who
said “I would like to introduce myself as the new Editor of St John’s Parish Maga-
zine and would welcome any suggestions or ideas for articles of interest” and she
looked forward to hearing from parishioners. That was thirty years ago and we
would like to say how grateful we are to Sally for all her hard work and diligence
in seeing that a stimulating and interesting magazine is regularly produced each
month. Thank you, Sally.
A “Thank You” Prayer
Dear Lord, Heavenly Father, so often we come to you in prayer, asking for your
help, your guidance knowing that you are always there for us, - that in your own
time our prayers are answered. Today, however, as I sit in the shade in a peace-
ful, sunlit garden with roses, lavender and hollyhocks all around with a warm,
gentle breeze for company, I thank you for the glory of the nature you created.
For all your goodness and mercy in time of stress. Thank you for this respite in a
busy life - this time to forget problems and relax.