St. John's Magazine - March 2023

C

St. John's Magazine - March 2023

St. John's Magazine - March 2023
St. John's Magazine - March 2023
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PETER D HANNABY
Painter & Decorator
Interior and Exterior work
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Please call
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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: magazine@stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk
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THE VICAR’S LETTER
Dear Friends,
Over the past 30 years the Church of England has very
publicly debated matters of human sexuality and identity.
From deciding whether to admit women to the holy priest-
hood and to the episcopate to same-sex marriages and issues of identity,
the Church has faced schism and in-fighting as liberals and conservatives,
traditionalists and modernists, male and female, straight and gay, and
every position in between, have sought to advance their position.
Most recently this has centred on same-sex relationships. You may recall
that last January and February, we (in collaboration with the wider
Deanery) took part in the Living in Love and Faith conversations where we
(and thousands of others throughout the Diocese and Church of England)
prayerfully and respectfully listened to those with strong views on either
side of the debate concerning human sexuality – and those with no fixed
view – to try to determine what God’s Spirit was saying to the Church on
this issue. After a year of collating and sifting the data, the Bishops of the
Church of England have put to the Church’s governing body (General
Synod) their recommendations, which were formally adopted at their
meeting last month. You may well have seen this in the newspapers.
To sum-up, the Bishop’s reiterated the Church’s doctrine that Christian
Marriage is between one man and one woman and therefore it would not
permit same-sex marriages to be conducted by its clergy or in its churches.
However, the Bishops acknowledged that since many clergy were already
blessing same-sex marriages/relationships they felt this needed to be
‘normalised’ and they have now issued and provided official prayers and
material for clergy to use in these services.
This is a typical Anglican fudge – trying to find the middle way. It has pained
people on both sides of the debate and left many thinking that the Church
either does not recognise them for who they really are and consequently is
excluding them or does not take seriously the sanctity of marriage and
Biblical teaching. These pains need to recognised. For what it’s worth, I
welcome these new materials but lament that the Church has not gone
further on this issue. Cont’d….
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I regret the Church’s official position that denies a Sacrament to any of
God’s children and I pray that over the coming years God’s grace will
continue to prompt the Church towards embracing same-sex marriage as
well as bringing healing and consolation to all who are hurting over this
issue.
As a Parish, we are now officially permitted to bless same-sex unions
(provided it does not go against my (the Incumbent’s) conscience!). This is
a natural extension of our open and inclusive nature to welcome and
nurture everyone who comes through our doors. Every one of us is made
in the image of God and loved by him, we are unique and cherished, and
known by name. May God, in his grace and mercy, continue to enable us
to welcome everyone and anyone regardless of gender, age, sexuality, or
race to worship him. For God is love: and those who live love live in God,
and God lives in them, and Whenever two or three are gathered together
in my name, says the Lord, I am there in the midst of you.
May God continue to bless his Church, to love his people, to bring healing
to the hurting, and to bring life to all.
Every Blessing,
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PARISH DIARY FOR MARCH 2023
Enquiries regarding baptisms weddings or marriage blessings are
always welcome.
Please contact the Vicar.
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)
The Parish Eucharist and worship resources will continue to be recorded and made
available at www.stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk/suspended-services-resources
Wed 1 St David
10.00am BCP Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s
5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’
Thur 2 9.30am Holy Communion St Stephen’s
10.00am Lent Course week 1 - Christ: God incarnate is born
St Stephen’s
Fri 3 7.00pm Choir Rehearsal St John’s
Sun 5 Second Sunday of Lent
8.00am BCP Holy Communion St John’s
10.00am Parish Eucharist St John’s
10.00am Sung Mass St Francis'
11.30am Morning Worship St Stephen's
11.30am Burial of Ashes - Jill Lamb St John’s
Mon 6 7.30pm Holy Communion St John’s
7.45pm Together on Monday Club St John’s Hall
Fun Quiz Night
8.00pm Lent Course week 2 - Christ: Revealed at Baptism
St John’s
Tues 7 9.30am Tiny Tots Stay & Play, and Service St John’s Hall
11am-4pm Warm Hub St John’s
11.15am Church Meeting: Hall Committee St John’s Hall
8.00pm Church Meeting: Communications Committee
Zoom
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Wed 8 10.00am Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s
5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’
Thur 9 9.30am Holy Communion St Stephen’s
10.00am Lent Course week 2 - Christ: Revealed at Baptism
St Stephen’s
11.30am Mountbatten Communion Mountbatten Lodge
Fri 10 7.00pm Choir Rehearsal St John’s
Sat 11 7.30pm Concert: Camerata Chamber Orchestra St John’s
Sun 12 Third Sunday of Lent
8.00am BCP Holy Communion St John’s
10.00am Parish Eucharist St John’s
10.00am Sung Mass St Francis'
11.30am Holy Communion St Stephen's
6.30pm Mozart Requiem with the St John’s Ensemble
St John’s
Mon 13 2.00pm Poetry Group - 53 Beechfield Road
7.30pm Holy Communion St John’s
8.00pm Lent Course week 3 St John’s
Christ: The Body and Blood of Life
Tues 14 9.30am Tiny Tots Stay & Play, and Service St John’s Hall
11am-4pm Warm Hub St John’s
8.00pm Church meeting: PCC St John’s Hall
Wed 15 All day WOOFYT – Day 1 St Francis’
10.00am Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s
3.00pm Friendship Tea St John’s Hall
4.00pm Baptism Preparation St John’s
5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’
8.00pm MaSJ Board Meeting Parish Office
Thur 16 All day WOOFYT – Day 2 St Francis’
9.30am Holy Communion St Stephen’s
10.00am Lent Course week 3 St Stephen’s
Christ: The Body and Blood of Life
Fri 17 5.30pm Junior Choir St John’s Hall
7.00pm Choir Rehearsal St John’s Hall
Sat 18 2.00pm Wedding: Suzanne Doud & Jamie Tomkins
St John’s
7.30pm Quiz Night St John’s Hall
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Sun 19 Mothering Sunday - Fourth Sunday of Lent
NB: Gade Valley Harriers training run this morning
8.00am BCP Holy Communion St John’s
10.00am All-Age Eucharist sung by the Junior Choir
with distribution of posies St John’s
10.00am Sung Mass St Francis'
11.30am Morning Worship St Stephen's
12noon Holy Baptism St John’s
Mon 20 St Joseph of Nazareth
7.30pm Holy Communion St John’s
7.45pm Together on Monday Club St John’s Hall
My Grandmother the Suffragette
Speaker: Annie Mitchell
8.00pm Lent Course week 4 - Christ: Crucified St John’s
Tues 21 9.30am Tiny Tots Stay & Play, and Service St John’s Hall
11am-4pm Warm Hub St John’s
8.00pm Church Meeting: Fundraising Committee Zoom
Wed 22 10.00am Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s
5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’
8.00pm Church Meeting: Finance Committee Zoom
Thur 23 9.30am Holy Communion St Stephen’s
10.00am Lent Course week 4 - Christ: Crucified St Stephen’s
11.30am Holy Communion Mountbatten Lodge
Fri 24 Pilgrims depart for Walsingham
7.00pm Choir Rehearsal St John’s
Sat 25 The Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary
Sun 26 Passion Sunday - Fifth Sunday of Lent
8.00am BCP Holy Communion St John’s
10.00am Parish Eucharist St John’s
10.00am Sung Mass St Francis'
11.30am Morning Worship St Stephen's
Mon 27 7.30pm Holy Communion St John’s
8.00pm Lent Course week 5 - Christ: Risen from the Dead
St John’s
Tues 28 9.30am Tiny Tots Stay & Play, and Service St John’s Hall
11am-4pm Warm Hub St John’s
Wed 29 10.00am Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s
5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’
Cont’d…...
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Thur 30 9.30am Holy Communion St Stephen’s
10.00am Lent Course week 5 - Christ: Risen from the Dead
St Stephen’s
Fri 31 5.30pm Junior Choir St John’s Hall
7.00pm Choir Rehearsal St John’s Hall
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Save the Date – National Day of Reflection & Great Daffodil Appeal 2023
For the third year running, Marie Curie will lead the National Day of
Reflection on Thursday 23rd
March.
It is a day for everyone to remember loved ones who have died, and to
support people who are grieving. There will be a minute’s silence at noon,
a nationwide network of Walls of Reflection, and a series of grief-themed
online events.
Taking place on the third anniversary that the UK went into lockdown, the
National Day of Reflection raises awareness of the impact of grief on our
lives and of the need for better support. Millions of people across the UK
– adults as well as children – are grieving now and need support, whether
in the workplace, at home, in schools or across communities.
The National Day of Reflection also ties in with the charity’s flagship
annual fundraising appeal in March – the Great Daffodil Appeal – with
people donating and wearing one of their iconic daffodil pin badges. Every
year thousands of supporters from across the UK come together to raise
money to support the charity’s nurses, doctors, and hospice staff so they
can continue to provide expert care to people at end of life, and their
families.
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Lent
Traditionally Lent is a time to reflect on one’s discipleship in Christ and how our
relationship with him might be strengthened or renewed. To that end, we often
either give-up something we particularly like, or take on a Spiritual Discipline like
reading an entire Gospel or committing to a certain time of Prayer every day.
Have you decided what you might like to do this year? As usual I intend to give-up
biscuits throughout Lent and to spend longer in prayer each day – making use of
the provision of Night Prayer (Compline) that has been produced and will be
posted on our website.
This year we are reading St Matthew’s Gospel during our Sunday worship –
perhaps you might like to read through his entire Gospel? It’s only 28 chapters
long and is written with the view of showing that Jesus is the fulfilment of the
Jewish Law and the Prophets.
Alternatively there are other books available at the back of church which can help
encourage you and deepen your journey of faith.
Lent Course 2023: Images of Christ: The Story of Jesus in the Arts
This year our Lent Course will be a custom-designed, tailor-made course, for our
Parish to challenge and encourage us in our thinking on the person and divinity of
Christ this Lent. I intend to lead a 5-week programme that explores different
aspects of Jesus’ life in visual, musical, and written form. Each week the session
will be offered twice (as has become our custom – see below) and will be preced-
ed by an offering of the Eucharist which I hope will help set the Lent Course
within a context of prayer. So that we have a rough idea of numbers at each
session, please would you sign-up on the sheets provided at the back of church.
Mondays Thursdays
@ St John’s @ St Stephen’s
7.30pm – Eucharist 9.30am – Eucharist
8.00-9.30pm – Session 10.00-11.30am – Session
Wk1: Christ: God Incarnate is born 27 February 2 March
Wk2: Christ: Revealed at Baptism 6 March 9 March
Wk3: Christ: The Body and Blood of Life 13 March 16 March
Wk4: Christ: Crucified 20 March 23 March
Wk5: Christ: Risen from the Dead 27 March 30 March
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Help needed: This is your Church
Despite being incredibly grateful and thankful to those who help week on week
with the various jobs/ministries/tasks, and with all who helped over Christmas, I
am once again all too aware that we are heavily reliant on a small core of people
for the majority of tasks. As a large Church this is not sustainable. We need to
think afresh about what we all do and can do for the life of the Church here in
Boxmoor. We each have a vocation – in life and in the Church: what is yours and
how can it be put to good use within the life of our Church?
Mozart’s Requiem
Our Special Evening Service this year, in the lead-up to Easter, will be a Liturgical
rendering of Mozart’s Requiem. This will be at 6.30pm on Sunday 12 March at St
John’s. Our choir will be augmented with invited singers and soloists, and accom-
panied by the St John’s Ensemble. This could be the perfect way to enter more
fully into the Passion of Christ and pray that through his death and resurrection
we may know the joys of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins. Our sincere
thanks to MASJ for the considerable financial grant to make this service happen.
Pilgrimage to Walsingham: 24–26 March
A wonderful opportunity has opened up, in conjunction with the Parish of Hemel
Old Town, to go on Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham for the
weekend, enabling pilgrims space to reflect and worship, as well as plenty of
time for fellowship and friendship. The Shrine offers excellent facilities including
en-suite accommodation, and close proximity for visits to Wells Next-the-Sea or
Sheringham, nice food and great company. Cost: £145. There are limited places
for this event so if you are interested please speak to the Vicar.
Mothering Sunday
On Sunday 19 March we shall once again give thanks to God for our mothers –
whether living or departed. During the All Age Parade Eucharist Service the
Junior Choir will lead the singing, posies will be distributed, and prayers of
thanksgiving will be offered.
Holy Week and Easter
Details of all our Services during Holy Week and Easter will be published this
month. When they are available please would you help distribute our Easter Card
to the Parish so as to publicise how we are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus.
This is the most important Festival for Christians and I urge you to make your
Communion on Easter Day as The Church celebrates afresh the resurrection of
Jesus Christ and the new life he brings. If you are going away for Easter please
make it a priority to find out the Service times at your nearest church. Cont’d...
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You may find it beneficial to come to one (or more) of the Services during Holy
Week as we travel with Christ towards his death and resurrection, and explore
through prayer, readings, and meditation the sacrificial cost of Christ’s love for us
all. You will be most welcome.
Palm Sunday: Procession of Palms
In the last couple of years (pre-Covid) we have processed from Boxmoor Play
House (our former Church Hall) to St John’s Church to re-enact Christ’s entry into
Jerusalem. The Liturgy will begin at 10.00am arriving into Church about 15
minutes later. I hope as many as possible will be able to participate in this public
expression of our faith. If you do not feel able to walk this route we look forward
to joining you in Church. It was a very powerful public witness last year with both
the circus and running club meeting on the same day.
Maundy Thursday: symbolism and volunteers
On this solemn evening when we recall Christ’s last supper with his disciples, his
betrayal, arrest, and abandoning, we will also recall Christ’s gift of the Holy
Eucharist and his command to love one another. During the Holy Eucharist we
will wash 12 people’s feet in a re-enactment of Christ’s act of loving service to his
disciples and friends. If you would like to have your feet washed please let me
know.
The Eucharist will be followed by a Watch in the Lady Chapel before the Blessed
Sacrament until 10.30pm as we pray with Christ that we may not fall into tempta-
tion, and try to stay awake one hour recalling Christ’s words to his disciples in the
Garden of Gethsemane.
Good Friday – All Age Stations of the Cross
On Good Friday morning, at 10.00am, we shall once again be joining forces with
our neighbours at St Mary and St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Boxmoor to
hold an ecumenical All Age Stations of the Cross. The service will start in St Mary
and St Joseph’s Church and then we shall walk along the moor to St John’s
observing the Stations of the Cross as we go. Please encourage children of all
ages to come along to public witness to the faith on Good Friday. Last year over
100 children with accompanying adults took part. Do please encourage any
young people you know to join this pilgrimage.
Good Friday – Walk of Witness in Hemel Town Centre
As in previous years, Churches Together in Hemel Hempstead are organising the
annual walk of witness into the town centre. This will begin at 10.45am at the
Civic Centre.
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APCM
Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting this year will be held on Sunday 23 April
2023 – immediately following a combined Parish Eucharist at 10.00am. This is
your Parish. You have a voice. During the meeting we shall seek to elect
5 members of the congregation to the PCC, 3 members to Deanery Synod,
(re)elect our Churchwardens, elect deputy-Churchwardens, and ratify the minis-
try of all who help as sidespeople. Please give some thought between now and
then as to whether you could help shape the future of the Parish by serving on
the PCC or as a Parish Officer. The term of office is usually 3 years. Reports will
be posted on our Website with some hard copies available at the back of our
churches for those who prefer a hard copy.
Electoral Roll
The Roll will once again be open for amendments. It is interesting to note that
many of our regular worshipping community are currently not on the Roll.
Please consider adding yourself, or amending your details if they have changed,
so that the Roll can give as accurate an account of our worshipping community
as possible.
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HOLY DAY
25th
March: Lady Day or The Annunciation
This beautiful event (Luke 1:26-38) took place in Nazareth, when Mary is already
betrothed to Joseph. The Archangel Gabriel comes to Mary, greets her as highly
favoured, tells her not to be afraid, that she will bear a son Jesus, and that her
elderly cousin Elizabeth is already pregnant (with John the Baptist).
The church calendar is never quite as neat as some would like it. To celebrate
the Annunciation on 25th
March does indeed place the conception of Jesus
exactly nine months from His birth on 25th
December, but the latter part of
March almost inevitably falls during Lent. But the birth and death of Jesus are
intrinsically linked – He was born to die, and thus fulfil God’s purposes.
The Annunciation is a significant date in the Christian calendar – it is one of the
most frequent depicted in Christian art. Gabriel’s gracious strength and Mary’s
humble dignity have inspired many artists. Certainly, Mary’s response to the
angel has for centuries been an example of good faith in practice – humility,
enquiry of God, and trusting acceptance in His will for her life.
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Nigel Beeton writes: This spring, perhaps more than most, we shall be
watching out for signs that this nasty winter is behind us. There are many
such signs, but perhaps while we are out and about we may come across
some activity in a grassy field:
March Hares
The frosty sunlight glistens
From the ice upon the grass;
But they who stop and listen
Know winter, soon, will pass.
The icy grass is rustling!
Beneath the frozen dew
Someone is in there, bustling;
We only wonder – who?
They burst into a clearing
Dispelling winter cares!
A sight to set us cheering!
Two zany, mad, March hares!
They’re chasing, leaping, bounding
As round and round they race;
Those winter blues confounding –
Spring stares us in the face!
The cold and dark behind us
We watch those lepines, mad;
Their frolics just remind us –
It’s time now to be glad!
By Nigel Beeton
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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:
hallbookings@stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk for further information and availabil-
ity.
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-
cishallbookings@stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk 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
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BOOK REVIEW
From Glory into Glory – 54 devotional readings for
Easter and Lent
By Tom Parsons, 10Publishing, £4.99
The hour has come for Jesus to return to the
Father’s heavenly glory. He embarks on the journey
ahead, even though it will lead Him through the
depths of earthly shame. Crucifixion awaits Him,
and what destiny could be considered more
disgraceful than to die on a cross? Yet right there, in the indignities of His
suffering and death, Jesus will reveal the glory of God.
From Glory Into Glory follows Jesus on this journey from the veiled glory
of the cross into the blazing brightness of the resurrection. Our guide is
Jesus’ beloved disciple, John, and our longing is that the word of Christ
will dwell richly within us.
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CONGRATULATIONS
Revd. Lauretta Wilson
On 30th December 2022 the Rev. Lauretta Wilson was married to Mr Ed
Kennedy in St. John the Baptist Church, Batheaston, Bath where Lauretta
is the Vicar.
Many of you may remember Lauretta when she was a Curate here at St.
John’s from 2005-2008.
We wish Lauretta & Ed every happiness in their life together in their new
home in Bath.
Jean Hammond
Photo by kind permission of Jean Hammond
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Finances latest - Surprise Surplus for 2022 comes with major Caveats
The PCC's Standing Committee recently approved the accounts for St
John's and St Stephen's for the year ended 31st
December 2022, subject to
the Independent Examination, which is now underway. Full details will be
available at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) on 23rd
April but
in summary income exceeded expenditure on the General Account by
£17,710. Normally a cause for rejoicing this particular result came with
stark warnings.
Firstly expenditure against our Fabric Fund was £3,993 higher than the
corresponding income; leaving the Fund which provides for repairs,
renewals and improvements to our buildings with just £5,736 in hand
going into 2023. Fortunately this should be enough to cover known
demands in 2023 but leaves very little for emergencies and no scope for
new projects unless they can be funded externally.
Secondly, and critically, the General Fund surplus resulted entirely from a
legacy and some unexpected and generous donations in 2022 which we
cannot assume will be matched in 2023. The underlying running rate
resulted in a deficit on the 2023 budget of nearly £15,000. After much
deliberation it has been decided to run with a deficit budget during 2023
(utilising the 2022 surplus) and attempt to return to surplus in 2024,
hoping the current cost of living crisis will have receded by then. 2024 also
marks St John's Church's 150th
Anniversary and many celebratory events
and fundraising initiatives are being planned all of which may just avoid
draconian cost cutting and permit the renewed growth our clergy and the
PCC aspire to. Here's hoping (and praying)!
Chris Angell, Parish Treasurer
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The rehearsal for our last concert at St John's in 2022
The Camerata Chamber Orchestra return to St John’s Boxmoor to raise
money for the church. Saturday March 11th
7.30pm
This group of skilled musicians, both Amateur and Professional enjoy
giving concerts and donating all their proceeds to the churches they
perform in. They will be performing the wonderful uplifting cello concerto
no 1 by John Garth, a Durham born cellist and composer from the 18th
Century. They continue with Finzi Five Bagatelles for clarinet and strings ,
another British composer from the 20th
Century. Finzi was a clarinetist and
wrote this set of bagatelles and a clarinet concerto moving away from his
usual genre as a choral composer. This shows off the clarinet in all registers
and is sublime to listen to. After an interval the strings are joined by the
wind section for the sparkly Haydn Symphony no 8 ‘Le soir’ where he gives
florid solos to many of the instruments in the different movements, ending
with an exciting storm.
Come to this FREE concert at 7.30pm on Saturday March 11th
at
St John’s Church Boxmoor. Interval refreshments. Retiring collection.
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'Music Percentage Club Update’
Congratulations to the winners of the January 2023
Music Percentage Club draw:
Sheila James 1st £15
Gill Williams 2nd £8
Nicholas King 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.
A prayer for Lent
Dear Father in Heaven
In this month, when Lent begins, we remember Jesus’
experience in the wilderness. The world today can
seem like a wilderness. So many difficult, incomprehen-
sible things going on. It is tempting to turn away in
horror or denial, tempting to look out for ourselves,
tempting to take the easy path, to pay attention to
whatever the culture dangles before our eyes.
Lord, please help us. We need your word to guide us. We need your Holy
Spirit to fill and strengthen us. Help us to give our attention and our wor-
ship only to you.
Lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil.
Thank you, Father, for Jesus, who by his death and resurrection, opens the
way to you. Help us to renew our trust in him and through him, to walk
with you every day.
In his name, Amen.
By Daphne Kitching
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APRIL 2023 - PRICE 60p
Please note the deadline for articles for the April 2023 edition of the magazine is
Sunday, 5th March.
You can e-mail direct to magazine@stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk 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
768236.
PLEASE NOTE
Website for St John’s Boxmoor is:
www.stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk
E-mail: office@stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk
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 - alan.munford@btinternet.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: newsletter@stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk
SUBSCRIPTION TO MAGAZINE
If you would like to receive a copy of St John’s Parish Magazine on a regular
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Mr. Alan Munford, 16 St Nicholas Mount, Hemel Hempstead HP1 2BB
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Introduction
As a Parish, we decided to support the Homes for Ukraine Visa scheme
and to offer to accommodate a Ukrainian family. Initially little happened
till September 2022 when we were made aware of Olha, Artem and Valen-
tina who were already in the UK and looking for a larger place to stay.
We are very grateful to Alexei and Sarah who supported Olha to come to
the UK and shared their home with them and also to Hertfordshire County
Council, DBC and the Home for the Ukraine team who supported both
Olha and us with the transfer process of bringing Olha and family to us.
This is Olha’s story as at 18th
Feb ‘23
War in Ukraine – a Ukrainian family story
February 24, 2022... Sumy Oblast1
We will never forget this day... At 5 am, my husband ran up to me with
the words ‘’War” and “It’s started”. There was a state of complete shock
and I did not understand what to do in such cases; withdraw cash
(because banks would not work). Stock up with water, and food, and we
managed to fill up the cars with fuel the day before.
My husband and I went to work, and my
mother and Artem stayed at home.
Schools and preschools have been closed
since that day. There were long queues
formed on the streets near grocery stores,
cash machines and petrol stations. By
lunchtime the shelves in the shops were
empty. In the town itself; all the police
and the security service went to another
city, public transport did not go around the
town and people moved hardly at all.
Usually, our very busy town with 260,000
inhabitants seemed to be empty in antici-
pation of something terrible. 1- Olha, Alexander and Artem in Sumy
1
Sumy Oblast is an oblast in the northeastern part of Ukraine. The Oblast (province) was created in
its most recent form, from the merging of regions from Kharkiv Oblast, Chernihiv Oblast, and Polta-
va Oblast in 1939 by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.
- 25 -
At my work, the panic grew every minute, people began to go home, to
their families, and many of them left Sumy. Very soon the Russian
military was expected to enter the town, and we were already begin-
ning to hear explosions in the distance. We decided to send my mother
and Artem to my parents' house, which is 44 ml from Sumy to the
village of Nedrigailov. I was still returning to work, but I could no longer
work, all my thoughts at this dangerous time were about Artem, my
son. I explained at work that I had to go and stay with Artem. The bag
was packed in 15 minutes, every minute was precious. We needed to
go along the Sumy-Kyiv Road, along which columns of Russians moved
towards Kyiv. After we left, I have never been back to my apartment,
where I lived for more than 20 years.
From the 24th of February till the 10th of March, we were at my
parents' house in Nedrigailov (a village with 5,000 inhabitants), located
near the main Sumy-Kyiv Road, along which columns of Russian military
equipment drove to Kyiv several times per day. As they drove by, the
ground trembled and snow fell from tree branches. Woe betides any-
one who meets them on the way, they ran tanks over cars and simply
crushed them with the people inside, they did shoot people who were
on sight. My nephew was shot dead by the Russians, he was only 16
years old in the first days of the war.
Most people in Ukraine did not believe until the very last days that such
a full-scale war could begin, including us, we did not pack our suitcases
in advance, and we did not even have international passports, because
on our short holidays, we stayed in Ukraine, and vacations abroad were
postponed. At the beginning of the war, we didn’t think about migra-
tion, we planned to stay at my mother’s house, and made long-term
stocks of food, essentials, and medicines. The state of shock from what
had happened and the military situation in our region was critical and
worsened every day.
It was not calm in Sumy; the Russians tried to capture the Artillery
School, and there was a battle with a big fire (next to the house where
my brother lives). Residential buildings were bombed several times, and
families with children were killed. Cont’d…..
- 26 -
Sumy was under occupation,
surrounded by the Russian
military, and it became impos-
sible to leave and enter. The
government tried to agree on
“green corridors” to take out
foreign students, and mothers
with children, but there were a
lot of other people who also
wanted to leave. They crowded
the streets and not everyone
succeeded.
In our village, sirens often roared and explosions rumbled nearby, from
which the walls in the house trembled. During the sirens, we either ran
to the basement or sat in the corridor, observing the rule of two walls,
hoping that this could save us from a blow.
At this time, my friend, who has been living in England for over 20 years,
told me about a program “Homes for Ukraine” that was starting soon in
England and offered to help us to leave Ukraine to save my son's life.
The decision to leave was very difficult for me and my family. Only Artem
wanted to leave as soon as possible. It took me several days, to weigh up
all the pros and cons. It was very hard to leave the house in which I was
born and raised, and leave all my relatives. For Artem, parting with his
cat Mila was very hard, we only took her into our home 6 months ago. I
had to leave her with my uncle since we could not take her with us.
After consulting with my husband, we decided to leave. He with his
friends planned a route, first to the west of Ukraine. We went with nine
cars and husbands took out their wives and children. We left early in the
morning on March 10th. The most dangerous part of the road was in the
Sumy region, at any moment we could run into Russian tanks, and they,
angry with unsuccessful attempts to capture Kyiv in the first days of the
war, fired at civilian vehicles and people. The first stop was in the city of
Cherkasy, we spent the night in the hostel of the educational institution.
2 - Crowds of people wanting to leave the Russian-
occupied Sumy, end of February 2022.
- 27 -
The next night in Ternopil, volunteers took us in and gave us food (but
we could not eat because of stress). In this centre, there were a lot of
people from different cities in Ukraine who suffered from class preju-
dice. I will never forget how in the dining room I sat only digging at a
plate of food, and a woman asked me “can I have it, can I eat it”, it was
clear from her that she was intelligent, well-mannered and well
dressed, she was from Kyiv. We slept there in a large room on the floor,
all together on mattresses in rows, in each room, there were 50 or more
people.
In the morning we continued our
journey to a small village
Onokivcy near Uzhgorod, here
we were able to stay in a church
that gave shelter to the refugees
for several days. We were given
food and a common room to
sleep in, but there was nowhere
to wash. We were taken to the
houses of residents, who gladly
let us in. We stayed in the church
for 4 days, bought a one-way
ticket to Prague and drove off.
Why Prague? because there was
a visa centre where we could
apply for a UK visa, and we un-
derstood that there would not
be as many Ukrainians there as
in Poland. To be continued in April’s edition of the magazine……
We have been asked by The Archbishops of Canterbury and York to continue
to pray for Ukraine:
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
We write to you as the world is in turmoil following recent events in Eastern
Europe. I am sure that you will agree that the horrific and unprovoked attack
on Ukraine is an act of great evil. Cont’d…...
3 - Church in village Onokivcy near Uzhgorod.
- 28 -
Now, more than ever, we need to place our trust in Jesus Christ, as we remem-
ber that God is not the author of confusion but of peace; and so, I urge you to
pray for a ceasefire, a withdrawal of Russian forces and for peace to prevail.
Pray for the innocent – the women, men and children who are displaced, whose
lives are disrupted, and who live in fear of the atrocities of war. Pray for those
with power – that they may make a resolute and public decision to never use
force, to actively work for peace and seek peaceful solutions to disputes and
disagreements.
Pray that there may be a recognition of common and shared humanity and
God’s promise of flourishing life for all people.
The Bishop in Europe has asked us to join them in prayer for the
chaplaincy in Kyiv and the churches that serve Ukraine.
Heavenly Father, hear our prayers for our brothers and sisters in
Ukraine.
At this time of great uncertainty, we place our hope and trust in
God, whose love never fails. Lord, have mercy.
Lord, we ask for peace for those who need peace, reconciliation
for those who need reconciliation and comfort for all who don’t
know what tomorrow will bring. Lord may your Kingdom come,
and Your will be done.
Lord God, we ask for you to be with all – especially children who
are suffering as the crisis in Ukraine deteriorates. Lord for those
who are anxious and fearful. For those who are bereaved,
injured or who have lost their lives. And for those who have lost
loved ones.
Lord, we ask that decision-makers hear Your voice. Parents
protecting their families. Church leaders as they support and
comfort people. And Lord we ask for wise actions from global
leaders - who have the power not only to start wars but to stop
them too.
And Father God we cry out for an end to this crisis. For mercy,
peace, and truth – because You are light, hope, power, and love.
Amen.
- 29 -
- 30 -
at St John’s
in the month January 2023
HOLY BAPTISM
15 January Connor Eric Bird Woodhall Farm
15 January Maximilian Jeffery James Bird Woodhall Farm
15 January Samantha Harvey Bricket Wood
15 January Molly Ann Walton Roughdown Road
15 January Martina Walton Roughdown Road
May the Lord of his great mercy bless these children and give them
understanding of his wisdom and grace.
HOLY MATRIMONY
There were no weddings in January.
FUNERAL & MEMORIAL SERVICES
23 January Richard Michael Moss Woodhall Farm
30 January Carol Joanna Johnston Chaulden Lane
May these souls and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy
of God, rest in peace.
BURIAL OF ASHES
There were no burials of ashes in January.
- 31 -
- 32 -
- 33 -
Produced and printed by the Parish of Boxmoor

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St. John's Magazine - March 2023

  • 4. - 2 - PETER D HANNABY Painter & Decorator Interior and Exterior work Undertaken For competitive quotations Please call 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: magazine@stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk
  • 5. - 3 - THE VICAR’S LETTER Dear Friends, Over the past 30 years the Church of England has very publicly debated matters of human sexuality and identity. From deciding whether to admit women to the holy priest- hood and to the episcopate to same-sex marriages and issues of identity, the Church has faced schism and in-fighting as liberals and conservatives, traditionalists and modernists, male and female, straight and gay, and every position in between, have sought to advance their position. Most recently this has centred on same-sex relationships. You may recall that last January and February, we (in collaboration with the wider Deanery) took part in the Living in Love and Faith conversations where we (and thousands of others throughout the Diocese and Church of England) prayerfully and respectfully listened to those with strong views on either side of the debate concerning human sexuality – and those with no fixed view – to try to determine what God’s Spirit was saying to the Church on this issue. After a year of collating and sifting the data, the Bishops of the Church of England have put to the Church’s governing body (General Synod) their recommendations, which were formally adopted at their meeting last month. You may well have seen this in the newspapers. To sum-up, the Bishop’s reiterated the Church’s doctrine that Christian Marriage is between one man and one woman and therefore it would not permit same-sex marriages to be conducted by its clergy or in its churches. However, the Bishops acknowledged that since many clergy were already blessing same-sex marriages/relationships they felt this needed to be ‘normalised’ and they have now issued and provided official prayers and material for clergy to use in these services. This is a typical Anglican fudge – trying to find the middle way. It has pained people on both sides of the debate and left many thinking that the Church either does not recognise them for who they really are and consequently is excluding them or does not take seriously the sanctity of marriage and Biblical teaching. These pains need to recognised. For what it’s worth, I welcome these new materials but lament that the Church has not gone further on this issue. Cont’d….
  • 6. - 4 - I regret the Church’s official position that denies a Sacrament to any of God’s children and I pray that over the coming years God’s grace will continue to prompt the Church towards embracing same-sex marriage as well as bringing healing and consolation to all who are hurting over this issue. As a Parish, we are now officially permitted to bless same-sex unions (provided it does not go against my (the Incumbent’s) conscience!). This is a natural extension of our open and inclusive nature to welcome and nurture everyone who comes through our doors. Every one of us is made in the image of God and loved by him, we are unique and cherished, and known by name. May God, in his grace and mercy, continue to enable us to welcome everyone and anyone regardless of gender, age, sexuality, or race to worship him. For God is love: and those who live love live in God, and God lives in them, and Whenever two or three are gathered together in my name, says the Lord, I am there in the midst of you. May God continue to bless his Church, to love his people, to bring healing to the hurting, and to bring life to all. Every Blessing,
  • 7. - 5 - PARISH DIARY FOR MARCH 2023 Enquiries regarding baptisms weddings or marriage blessings are always welcome. Please contact the Vicar. 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) The Parish Eucharist and worship resources will continue to be recorded and made available at www.stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk/suspended-services-resources Wed 1 St David 10.00am BCP Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s 5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’ Thur 2 9.30am Holy Communion St Stephen’s 10.00am Lent Course week 1 - Christ: God incarnate is born St Stephen’s Fri 3 7.00pm Choir Rehearsal St John’s Sun 5 Second Sunday of Lent 8.00am BCP Holy Communion St John’s 10.00am Parish Eucharist St John’s 10.00am Sung Mass St Francis' 11.30am Morning Worship St Stephen's 11.30am Burial of Ashes - Jill Lamb St John’s Mon 6 7.30pm Holy Communion St John’s 7.45pm Together on Monday Club St John’s Hall Fun Quiz Night 8.00pm Lent Course week 2 - Christ: Revealed at Baptism St John’s Tues 7 9.30am Tiny Tots Stay & Play, and Service St John’s Hall 11am-4pm Warm Hub St John’s 11.15am Church Meeting: Hall Committee St John’s Hall 8.00pm Church Meeting: Communications Committee Zoom
  • 8. - 6 - Wed 8 10.00am Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s 5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’ Thur 9 9.30am Holy Communion St Stephen’s 10.00am Lent Course week 2 - Christ: Revealed at Baptism St Stephen’s 11.30am Mountbatten Communion Mountbatten Lodge Fri 10 7.00pm Choir Rehearsal St John’s Sat 11 7.30pm Concert: Camerata Chamber Orchestra St John’s Sun 12 Third Sunday of Lent 8.00am BCP Holy Communion St John’s 10.00am Parish Eucharist St John’s 10.00am Sung Mass St Francis' 11.30am Holy Communion St Stephen's 6.30pm Mozart Requiem with the St John’s Ensemble St John’s Mon 13 2.00pm Poetry Group - 53 Beechfield Road 7.30pm Holy Communion St John’s 8.00pm Lent Course week 3 St John’s Christ: The Body and Blood of Life Tues 14 9.30am Tiny Tots Stay & Play, and Service St John’s Hall 11am-4pm Warm Hub St John’s 8.00pm Church meeting: PCC St John’s Hall Wed 15 All day WOOFYT – Day 1 St Francis’ 10.00am Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s 3.00pm Friendship Tea St John’s Hall 4.00pm Baptism Preparation St John’s 5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’ 8.00pm MaSJ Board Meeting Parish Office Thur 16 All day WOOFYT – Day 2 St Francis’ 9.30am Holy Communion St Stephen’s 10.00am Lent Course week 3 St Stephen’s Christ: The Body and Blood of Life Fri 17 5.30pm Junior Choir St John’s Hall 7.00pm Choir Rehearsal St John’s Hall Sat 18 2.00pm Wedding: Suzanne Doud & Jamie Tomkins St John’s 7.30pm Quiz Night St John’s Hall
  • 9. - 7 - Sun 19 Mothering Sunday - Fourth Sunday of Lent NB: Gade Valley Harriers training run this morning 8.00am BCP Holy Communion St John’s 10.00am All-Age Eucharist sung by the Junior Choir with distribution of posies St John’s 10.00am Sung Mass St Francis' 11.30am Morning Worship St Stephen's 12noon Holy Baptism St John’s Mon 20 St Joseph of Nazareth 7.30pm Holy Communion St John’s 7.45pm Together on Monday Club St John’s Hall My Grandmother the Suffragette Speaker: Annie Mitchell 8.00pm Lent Course week 4 - Christ: Crucified St John’s Tues 21 9.30am Tiny Tots Stay & Play, and Service St John’s Hall 11am-4pm Warm Hub St John’s 8.00pm Church Meeting: Fundraising Committee Zoom Wed 22 10.00am Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s 5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’ 8.00pm Church Meeting: Finance Committee Zoom Thur 23 9.30am Holy Communion St Stephen’s 10.00am Lent Course week 4 - Christ: Crucified St Stephen’s 11.30am Holy Communion Mountbatten Lodge Fri 24 Pilgrims depart for Walsingham 7.00pm Choir Rehearsal St John’s Sat 25 The Annunciation of Our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary Sun 26 Passion Sunday - Fifth Sunday of Lent 8.00am BCP Holy Communion St John’s 10.00am Parish Eucharist St John’s 10.00am Sung Mass St Francis' 11.30am Morning Worship St Stephen's Mon 27 7.30pm Holy Communion St John’s 8.00pm Lent Course week 5 - Christ: Risen from the Dead St John’s Tues 28 9.30am Tiny Tots Stay & Play, and Service St John’s Hall 11am-4pm Warm Hub St John’s Wed 29 10.00am Holy Communion followed by coffee St John’s 5.00pm Evening Prayer St Francis’ Cont’d…...
  • 10. - 8 - Thur 30 9.30am Holy Communion St Stephen’s 10.00am Lent Course week 5 - Christ: Risen from the Dead St Stephen’s Fri 31 5.30pm Junior Choir St John’s Hall 7.00pm Choir Rehearsal St John’s Hall ************ Save the Date – National Day of Reflection & Great Daffodil Appeal 2023 For the third year running, Marie Curie will lead the National Day of Reflection on Thursday 23rd March. It is a day for everyone to remember loved ones who have died, and to support people who are grieving. There will be a minute’s silence at noon, a nationwide network of Walls of Reflection, and a series of grief-themed online events. Taking place on the third anniversary that the UK went into lockdown, the National Day of Reflection raises awareness of the impact of grief on our lives and of the need for better support. Millions of people across the UK – adults as well as children – are grieving now and need support, whether in the workplace, at home, in schools or across communities. The National Day of Reflection also ties in with the charity’s flagship annual fundraising appeal in March – the Great Daffodil Appeal – with people donating and wearing one of their iconic daffodil pin badges. Every year thousands of supporters from across the UK come together to raise money to support the charity’s nurses, doctors, and hospice staff so they can continue to provide expert care to people at end of life, and their families.
  • 11. - 9 -
  • 12. - 10 - Lent Traditionally Lent is a time to reflect on one’s discipleship in Christ and how our relationship with him might be strengthened or renewed. To that end, we often either give-up something we particularly like, or take on a Spiritual Discipline like reading an entire Gospel or committing to a certain time of Prayer every day. Have you decided what you might like to do this year? As usual I intend to give-up biscuits throughout Lent and to spend longer in prayer each day – making use of the provision of Night Prayer (Compline) that has been produced and will be posted on our website. This year we are reading St Matthew’s Gospel during our Sunday worship – perhaps you might like to read through his entire Gospel? It’s only 28 chapters long and is written with the view of showing that Jesus is the fulfilment of the Jewish Law and the Prophets. Alternatively there are other books available at the back of church which can help encourage you and deepen your journey of faith. Lent Course 2023: Images of Christ: The Story of Jesus in the Arts This year our Lent Course will be a custom-designed, tailor-made course, for our Parish to challenge and encourage us in our thinking on the person and divinity of Christ this Lent. I intend to lead a 5-week programme that explores different aspects of Jesus’ life in visual, musical, and written form. Each week the session will be offered twice (as has become our custom – see below) and will be preced- ed by an offering of the Eucharist which I hope will help set the Lent Course within a context of prayer. So that we have a rough idea of numbers at each session, please would you sign-up on the sheets provided at the back of church. Mondays Thursdays @ St John’s @ St Stephen’s 7.30pm – Eucharist 9.30am – Eucharist 8.00-9.30pm – Session 10.00-11.30am – Session Wk1: Christ: God Incarnate is born 27 February 2 March Wk2: Christ: Revealed at Baptism 6 March 9 March Wk3: Christ: The Body and Blood of Life 13 March 16 March Wk4: Christ: Crucified 20 March 23 March Wk5: Christ: Risen from the Dead 27 March 30 March
  • 13. - 11 - Help needed: This is your Church Despite being incredibly grateful and thankful to those who help week on week with the various jobs/ministries/tasks, and with all who helped over Christmas, I am once again all too aware that we are heavily reliant on a small core of people for the majority of tasks. As a large Church this is not sustainable. We need to think afresh about what we all do and can do for the life of the Church here in Boxmoor. We each have a vocation – in life and in the Church: what is yours and how can it be put to good use within the life of our Church? Mozart’s Requiem Our Special Evening Service this year, in the lead-up to Easter, will be a Liturgical rendering of Mozart’s Requiem. This will be at 6.30pm on Sunday 12 March at St John’s. Our choir will be augmented with invited singers and soloists, and accom- panied by the St John’s Ensemble. This could be the perfect way to enter more fully into the Passion of Christ and pray that through his death and resurrection we may know the joys of eternal life and the forgiveness of sins. Our sincere thanks to MASJ for the considerable financial grant to make this service happen. Pilgrimage to Walsingham: 24–26 March A wonderful opportunity has opened up, in conjunction with the Parish of Hemel Old Town, to go on Pilgrimage to the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham for the weekend, enabling pilgrims space to reflect and worship, as well as plenty of time for fellowship and friendship. The Shrine offers excellent facilities including en-suite accommodation, and close proximity for visits to Wells Next-the-Sea or Sheringham, nice food and great company. Cost: £145. There are limited places for this event so if you are interested please speak to the Vicar. Mothering Sunday On Sunday 19 March we shall once again give thanks to God for our mothers – whether living or departed. During the All Age Parade Eucharist Service the Junior Choir will lead the singing, posies will be distributed, and prayers of thanksgiving will be offered. Holy Week and Easter Details of all our Services during Holy Week and Easter will be published this month. When they are available please would you help distribute our Easter Card to the Parish so as to publicise how we are celebrating the resurrection of Jesus. This is the most important Festival for Christians and I urge you to make your Communion on Easter Day as The Church celebrates afresh the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the new life he brings. If you are going away for Easter please make it a priority to find out the Service times at your nearest church. Cont’d...
  • 14. - 12 - You may find it beneficial to come to one (or more) of the Services during Holy Week as we travel with Christ towards his death and resurrection, and explore through prayer, readings, and meditation the sacrificial cost of Christ’s love for us all. You will be most welcome. Palm Sunday: Procession of Palms In the last couple of years (pre-Covid) we have processed from Boxmoor Play House (our former Church Hall) to St John’s Church to re-enact Christ’s entry into Jerusalem. The Liturgy will begin at 10.00am arriving into Church about 15 minutes later. I hope as many as possible will be able to participate in this public expression of our faith. If you do not feel able to walk this route we look forward to joining you in Church. It was a very powerful public witness last year with both the circus and running club meeting on the same day. Maundy Thursday: symbolism and volunteers On this solemn evening when we recall Christ’s last supper with his disciples, his betrayal, arrest, and abandoning, we will also recall Christ’s gift of the Holy Eucharist and his command to love one another. During the Holy Eucharist we will wash 12 people’s feet in a re-enactment of Christ’s act of loving service to his disciples and friends. If you would like to have your feet washed please let me know. The Eucharist will be followed by a Watch in the Lady Chapel before the Blessed Sacrament until 10.30pm as we pray with Christ that we may not fall into tempta- tion, and try to stay awake one hour recalling Christ’s words to his disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane. Good Friday – All Age Stations of the Cross On Good Friday morning, at 10.00am, we shall once again be joining forces with our neighbours at St Mary and St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Church in Boxmoor to hold an ecumenical All Age Stations of the Cross. The service will start in St Mary and St Joseph’s Church and then we shall walk along the moor to St John’s observing the Stations of the Cross as we go. Please encourage children of all ages to come along to public witness to the faith on Good Friday. Last year over 100 children with accompanying adults took part. Do please encourage any young people you know to join this pilgrimage. Good Friday – Walk of Witness in Hemel Town Centre As in previous years, Churches Together in Hemel Hempstead are organising the annual walk of witness into the town centre. This will begin at 10.45am at the Civic Centre.
  • 15. - 13 - APCM Our Annual Parochial Church Meeting this year will be held on Sunday 23 April 2023 – immediately following a combined Parish Eucharist at 10.00am. This is your Parish. You have a voice. During the meeting we shall seek to elect 5 members of the congregation to the PCC, 3 members to Deanery Synod, (re)elect our Churchwardens, elect deputy-Churchwardens, and ratify the minis- try of all who help as sidespeople. Please give some thought between now and then as to whether you could help shape the future of the Parish by serving on the PCC or as a Parish Officer. The term of office is usually 3 years. Reports will be posted on our Website with some hard copies available at the back of our churches for those who prefer a hard copy. Electoral Roll The Roll will once again be open for amendments. It is interesting to note that many of our regular worshipping community are currently not on the Roll. Please consider adding yourself, or amending your details if they have changed, so that the Roll can give as accurate an account of our worshipping community as possible. ********** HOLY DAY 25th March: Lady Day or The Annunciation This beautiful event (Luke 1:26-38) took place in Nazareth, when Mary is already betrothed to Joseph. The Archangel Gabriel comes to Mary, greets her as highly favoured, tells her not to be afraid, that she will bear a son Jesus, and that her elderly cousin Elizabeth is already pregnant (with John the Baptist). The church calendar is never quite as neat as some would like it. To celebrate the Annunciation on 25th March does indeed place the conception of Jesus exactly nine months from His birth on 25th December, but the latter part of March almost inevitably falls during Lent. But the birth and death of Jesus are intrinsically linked – He was born to die, and thus fulfil God’s purposes. The Annunciation is a significant date in the Christian calendar – it is one of the most frequent depicted in Christian art. Gabriel’s gracious strength and Mary’s humble dignity have inspired many artists. Certainly, Mary’s response to the angel has for centuries been an example of good faith in practice – humility, enquiry of God, and trusting acceptance in His will for her life.
  • 16. - 14 - Nigel Beeton writes: This spring, perhaps more than most, we shall be watching out for signs that this nasty winter is behind us. There are many such signs, but perhaps while we are out and about we may come across some activity in a grassy field: March Hares The frosty sunlight glistens From the ice upon the grass; But they who stop and listen Know winter, soon, will pass. The icy grass is rustling! Beneath the frozen dew Someone is in there, bustling; We only wonder – who? They burst into a clearing Dispelling winter cares! A sight to set us cheering! Two zany, mad, March hares! They’re chasing, leaping, bounding As round and round they race; Those winter blues confounding – Spring stares us in the face! The cold and dark behind us We watch those lepines, mad; Their frolics just remind us – It’s time now to be glad! By Nigel Beeton
  • 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: hallbookings@stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk for further information and availabil- ity. 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- cishallbookings@stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk 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 - Toe-tal FOOT CARE 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 - BOOK REVIEW From Glory into Glory – 54 devotional readings for Easter and Lent By Tom Parsons, 10Publishing, £4.99 The hour has come for Jesus to return to the Father’s heavenly glory. He embarks on the journey ahead, even though it will lead Him through the depths of earthly shame. Crucifixion awaits Him, and what destiny could be considered more disgraceful than to die on a cross? Yet right there, in the indignities of His suffering and death, Jesus will reveal the glory of God. From Glory Into Glory follows Jesus on this journey from the veiled glory of the cross into the blazing brightness of the resurrection. Our guide is Jesus’ beloved disciple, John, and our longing is that the word of Christ will dwell richly within us.
  • 21. - 19 - CONGRATULATIONS Revd. Lauretta Wilson On 30th December 2022 the Rev. Lauretta Wilson was married to Mr Ed Kennedy in St. John the Baptist Church, Batheaston, Bath where Lauretta is the Vicar. Many of you may remember Lauretta when she was a Curate here at St. John’s from 2005-2008. We wish Lauretta & Ed every happiness in their life together in their new home in Bath. Jean Hammond Photo by kind permission of Jean Hammond
  • 22. - 20 - Finances latest - Surprise Surplus for 2022 comes with major Caveats The PCC's Standing Committee recently approved the accounts for St John's and St Stephen's for the year ended 31st December 2022, subject to the Independent Examination, which is now underway. Full details will be available at the Annual Parochial Church Meeting (APCM) on 23rd April but in summary income exceeded expenditure on the General Account by £17,710. Normally a cause for rejoicing this particular result came with stark warnings. Firstly expenditure against our Fabric Fund was £3,993 higher than the corresponding income; leaving the Fund which provides for repairs, renewals and improvements to our buildings with just £5,736 in hand going into 2023. Fortunately this should be enough to cover known demands in 2023 but leaves very little for emergencies and no scope for new projects unless they can be funded externally. Secondly, and critically, the General Fund surplus resulted entirely from a legacy and some unexpected and generous donations in 2022 which we cannot assume will be matched in 2023. The underlying running rate resulted in a deficit on the 2023 budget of nearly £15,000. After much deliberation it has been decided to run with a deficit budget during 2023 (utilising the 2022 surplus) and attempt to return to surplus in 2024, hoping the current cost of living crisis will have receded by then. 2024 also marks St John's Church's 150th Anniversary and many celebratory events and fundraising initiatives are being planned all of which may just avoid draconian cost cutting and permit the renewed growth our clergy and the PCC aspire to. Here's hoping (and praying)! Chris Angell, Parish Treasurer
  • 23. - 21 - The rehearsal for our last concert at St John's in 2022 The Camerata Chamber Orchestra return to St John’s Boxmoor to raise money for the church. Saturday March 11th 7.30pm This group of skilled musicians, both Amateur and Professional enjoy giving concerts and donating all their proceeds to the churches they perform in. They will be performing the wonderful uplifting cello concerto no 1 by John Garth, a Durham born cellist and composer from the 18th Century. They continue with Finzi Five Bagatelles for clarinet and strings , another British composer from the 20th Century. Finzi was a clarinetist and wrote this set of bagatelles and a clarinet concerto moving away from his usual genre as a choral composer. This shows off the clarinet in all registers and is sublime to listen to. After an interval the strings are joined by the wind section for the sparkly Haydn Symphony no 8 ‘Le soir’ where he gives florid solos to many of the instruments in the different movements, ending with an exciting storm. Come to this FREE concert at 7.30pm on Saturday March 11th at St John’s Church Boxmoor. Interval refreshments. Retiring collection.
  • 24. - 22 - 'Music Percentage Club Update’ Congratulations to the winners of the January 2023 Music Percentage Club draw: Sheila James 1st £15 Gill Williams 2nd £8 Nicholas King 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. A prayer for Lent Dear Father in Heaven In this month, when Lent begins, we remember Jesus’ experience in the wilderness. The world today can seem like a wilderness. So many difficult, incomprehen- sible things going on. It is tempting to turn away in horror or denial, tempting to look out for ourselves, tempting to take the easy path, to pay attention to whatever the culture dangles before our eyes. Lord, please help us. We need your word to guide us. We need your Holy Spirit to fill and strengthen us. Help us to give our attention and our wor- ship only to you. Lead us not into temptation. But deliver us from evil. Thank you, Father, for Jesus, who by his death and resurrection, opens the way to you. Help us to renew our trust in him and through him, to walk with you every day. In his name, Amen. By Daphne Kitching
  • 25. - 23 - APRIL 2023 - PRICE 60p Please note the deadline for articles for the April 2023 edition of the magazine is Sunday, 5th March. You can e-mail direct to magazine@stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk 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 768236. PLEASE NOTE Website for St John’s Boxmoor is: www.stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk E-mail: office@stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk 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 - alan.munford@btinternet.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: newsletter@stjohnsboxmoor.org.uk SUBSCRIPTION TO MAGAZINE If you would like to receive a copy of St John’s Parish Magazine on a regular monthly basis, please email alan.munford@btinternet.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 Name……………………………………………………………………………………………………………. Address ………………………………………………………………………………………………………... ……………………………………………………………………………………………………………………... ........................................................................................................................... Contact Telephone Number ………………………………………………………………………...
  • 26. - 24 - Introduction As a Parish, we decided to support the Homes for Ukraine Visa scheme and to offer to accommodate a Ukrainian family. Initially little happened till September 2022 when we were made aware of Olha, Artem and Valen- tina who were already in the UK and looking for a larger place to stay. We are very grateful to Alexei and Sarah who supported Olha to come to the UK and shared their home with them and also to Hertfordshire County Council, DBC and the Home for the Ukraine team who supported both Olha and us with the transfer process of bringing Olha and family to us. This is Olha’s story as at 18th Feb ‘23 War in Ukraine – a Ukrainian family story February 24, 2022... Sumy Oblast1 We will never forget this day... At 5 am, my husband ran up to me with the words ‘’War” and “It’s started”. There was a state of complete shock and I did not understand what to do in such cases; withdraw cash (because banks would not work). Stock up with water, and food, and we managed to fill up the cars with fuel the day before. My husband and I went to work, and my mother and Artem stayed at home. Schools and preschools have been closed since that day. There were long queues formed on the streets near grocery stores, cash machines and petrol stations. By lunchtime the shelves in the shops were empty. In the town itself; all the police and the security service went to another city, public transport did not go around the town and people moved hardly at all. Usually, our very busy town with 260,000 inhabitants seemed to be empty in antici- pation of something terrible. 1- Olha, Alexander and Artem in Sumy 1 Sumy Oblast is an oblast in the northeastern part of Ukraine. The Oblast (province) was created in its most recent form, from the merging of regions from Kharkiv Oblast, Chernihiv Oblast, and Polta- va Oblast in 1939 by the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union.
  • 27. - 25 - At my work, the panic grew every minute, people began to go home, to their families, and many of them left Sumy. Very soon the Russian military was expected to enter the town, and we were already begin- ning to hear explosions in the distance. We decided to send my mother and Artem to my parents' house, which is 44 ml from Sumy to the village of Nedrigailov. I was still returning to work, but I could no longer work, all my thoughts at this dangerous time were about Artem, my son. I explained at work that I had to go and stay with Artem. The bag was packed in 15 minutes, every minute was precious. We needed to go along the Sumy-Kyiv Road, along which columns of Russians moved towards Kyiv. After we left, I have never been back to my apartment, where I lived for more than 20 years. From the 24th of February till the 10th of March, we were at my parents' house in Nedrigailov (a village with 5,000 inhabitants), located near the main Sumy-Kyiv Road, along which columns of Russian military equipment drove to Kyiv several times per day. As they drove by, the ground trembled and snow fell from tree branches. Woe betides any- one who meets them on the way, they ran tanks over cars and simply crushed them with the people inside, they did shoot people who were on sight. My nephew was shot dead by the Russians, he was only 16 years old in the first days of the war. Most people in Ukraine did not believe until the very last days that such a full-scale war could begin, including us, we did not pack our suitcases in advance, and we did not even have international passports, because on our short holidays, we stayed in Ukraine, and vacations abroad were postponed. At the beginning of the war, we didn’t think about migra- tion, we planned to stay at my mother’s house, and made long-term stocks of food, essentials, and medicines. The state of shock from what had happened and the military situation in our region was critical and worsened every day. It was not calm in Sumy; the Russians tried to capture the Artillery School, and there was a battle with a big fire (next to the house where my brother lives). Residential buildings were bombed several times, and families with children were killed. Cont’d…..
  • 28. - 26 - Sumy was under occupation, surrounded by the Russian military, and it became impos- sible to leave and enter. The government tried to agree on “green corridors” to take out foreign students, and mothers with children, but there were a lot of other people who also wanted to leave. They crowded the streets and not everyone succeeded. In our village, sirens often roared and explosions rumbled nearby, from which the walls in the house trembled. During the sirens, we either ran to the basement or sat in the corridor, observing the rule of two walls, hoping that this could save us from a blow. At this time, my friend, who has been living in England for over 20 years, told me about a program “Homes for Ukraine” that was starting soon in England and offered to help us to leave Ukraine to save my son's life. The decision to leave was very difficult for me and my family. Only Artem wanted to leave as soon as possible. It took me several days, to weigh up all the pros and cons. It was very hard to leave the house in which I was born and raised, and leave all my relatives. For Artem, parting with his cat Mila was very hard, we only took her into our home 6 months ago. I had to leave her with my uncle since we could not take her with us. After consulting with my husband, we decided to leave. He with his friends planned a route, first to the west of Ukraine. We went with nine cars and husbands took out their wives and children. We left early in the morning on March 10th. The most dangerous part of the road was in the Sumy region, at any moment we could run into Russian tanks, and they, angry with unsuccessful attempts to capture Kyiv in the first days of the war, fired at civilian vehicles and people. The first stop was in the city of Cherkasy, we spent the night in the hostel of the educational institution. 2 - Crowds of people wanting to leave the Russian- occupied Sumy, end of February 2022.
  • 29. - 27 - The next night in Ternopil, volunteers took us in and gave us food (but we could not eat because of stress). In this centre, there were a lot of people from different cities in Ukraine who suffered from class preju- dice. I will never forget how in the dining room I sat only digging at a plate of food, and a woman asked me “can I have it, can I eat it”, it was clear from her that she was intelligent, well-mannered and well dressed, she was from Kyiv. We slept there in a large room on the floor, all together on mattresses in rows, in each room, there were 50 or more people. In the morning we continued our journey to a small village Onokivcy near Uzhgorod, here we were able to stay in a church that gave shelter to the refugees for several days. We were given food and a common room to sleep in, but there was nowhere to wash. We were taken to the houses of residents, who gladly let us in. We stayed in the church for 4 days, bought a one-way ticket to Prague and drove off. Why Prague? because there was a visa centre where we could apply for a UK visa, and we un- derstood that there would not be as many Ukrainians there as in Poland. To be continued in April’s edition of the magazine…… We have been asked by The Archbishops of Canterbury and York to continue to pray for Ukraine: Dear Sisters and Brothers, We write to you as the world is in turmoil following recent events in Eastern Europe. I am sure that you will agree that the horrific and unprovoked attack on Ukraine is an act of great evil. Cont’d…... 3 - Church in village Onokivcy near Uzhgorod.
  • 30. - 28 - Now, more than ever, we need to place our trust in Jesus Christ, as we remem- ber that God is not the author of confusion but of peace; and so, I urge you to pray for a ceasefire, a withdrawal of Russian forces and for peace to prevail. Pray for the innocent – the women, men and children who are displaced, whose lives are disrupted, and who live in fear of the atrocities of war. Pray for those with power – that they may make a resolute and public decision to never use force, to actively work for peace and seek peaceful solutions to disputes and disagreements. Pray that there may be a recognition of common and shared humanity and God’s promise of flourishing life for all people. The Bishop in Europe has asked us to join them in prayer for the chaplaincy in Kyiv and the churches that serve Ukraine. Heavenly Father, hear our prayers for our brothers and sisters in Ukraine. At this time of great uncertainty, we place our hope and trust in God, whose love never fails. Lord, have mercy. Lord, we ask for peace for those who need peace, reconciliation for those who need reconciliation and comfort for all who don’t know what tomorrow will bring. Lord may your Kingdom come, and Your will be done. Lord God, we ask for you to be with all – especially children who are suffering as the crisis in Ukraine deteriorates. Lord for those who are anxious and fearful. For those who are bereaved, injured or who have lost their lives. And for those who have lost loved ones. Lord, we ask that decision-makers hear Your voice. Parents protecting their families. Church leaders as they support and comfort people. And Lord we ask for wise actions from global leaders - who have the power not only to start wars but to stop them too. And Father God we cry out for an end to this crisis. For mercy, peace, and truth – because You are light, hope, power, and love. Amen.
  • 32. - 30 - at St John’s in the month January 2023 HOLY BAPTISM 15 January Connor Eric Bird Woodhall Farm 15 January Maximilian Jeffery James Bird Woodhall Farm 15 January Samantha Harvey Bricket Wood 15 January Molly Ann Walton Roughdown Road 15 January Martina Walton Roughdown Road May the Lord of his great mercy bless these children and give them understanding of his wisdom and grace. HOLY MATRIMONY There were no weddings in January. FUNERAL & MEMORIAL SERVICES 23 January Richard Michael Moss Woodhall Farm 30 January Carol Joanna Johnston Chaulden Lane May these souls and the souls of all the departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace. BURIAL OF ASHES There were no burials of ashes in January.
  • 36. Produced and printed by the Parish of Boxmoor