Hertford URC


345th Anniversary year





We aim to be an active Christian Church open to all, meeting together for worship, teaching and prayer and offering loving care and support to all.   We work alongside other Christian Churches reaching out into the community with love.




                                      6 Tudor Rise

                               Broxbourne EN10 7HB      Tel: 01992 443218


10.30 am                Family Worship, followed by coffee/tea

                               Communion is usually celebrated on the

                               First Sunday of the month


11.00 am                Thursday there is time of Reflection and Prayer during our "Open House" Coffee Morning

                                       runs from 10.00 - 12.00 noon.



12 Noon - 2.00pm  Monthly lunch on 3rd Thursday for alll - encouraging visitors.


          The Minister’s day-off is Tuesday.   Please contact your Elder for urgent pastoral needs on that day

The diary is at the end of this magazine


Davids head

Dear Friends,


To be or not to be: free will or God’s will

Hamlet’s famous soliloquy addresses the greatest human dilemma. Beset by murder, suicide, confusion and conspiracy, he’s asking: “Do I resign myself to the whims of divine providence and simply ‘be’ - because I have no control over events? Or do I push against closed doors, try to change things, bend the unfolding of events to suit my agenda?” Does he choose acceptance, or action? To put this into a faith context, how do we reconcile ‘free will’ with an omnipotent God who predetermines our individual destinies? Without free will, life becomes bleak; why should we bother to take any action if God’s got it all worked out anyway? But without divine sovereignty, life loses transcendent meaning and purpose; we simply exist and then we die.

In her book ‘The Mind of the Maker’, Dorothy Sayers suggests first that it may help to think of God as an author. All characters in a play or novel must express some part of their creator’s mind, if they are to come alive; but if they all do it in exactly the same way, the work is dull, mechanical, lacking in truth or drama – and there’s no joy in it for the writer. But, she concedes, the writer has total control over his or her characters, so they have no free will as such; and proposes human parenting as a more useful analogy. We are responsible for raising our children, and can exercise control – up to a point. What we really want is that they are free to make their own choices, to be independent; but we want them to make the right choices, and when they do, it’s a joyful experience for us. No doubt God wants us to enjoy the gifts he’s given us, but it might just be that he wants to enjoy them himself. Eric Liddell, one of the Olympians featured in ‘Chariots of Fire’ touches on this when he comments that when he runs ‘he feels God’s pleasure’.

I think that all religions address this dilemma: either accepting what is, or taking action to change things – or finding a middle way. No doubt the universe is unfolding as it should, but within that context God wants us to exercise free will, for the right reasons. On this ball of rock hurtling through time and space of which we are stewards, the reason is to bring about peace, justice and harmony.

The church, in the broadest sense, is often attacked by politicians or the less honourable sections of the media. People of faith – archbishops even - are accused of being out of touch and told that they should take more interest in worldly matters; as soon as they do, they are accused of interfering, and told that they should stick to spiritual rather than social issues. Fortunately there are plenty who manage to rise above this simplistic argument and to reconcile their belief in God with a duty to make this world a better place.

Peter Benenson, a devout Roman Catholic, created Amnesty International, which works to free people imprisoned and persecuted for their political or religious views. Oscar Romero, Archbishop of San Salvador, spoke out against poverty, social injustice, assassinations, and torture, challenging human rights abuses - and paid with his life, assassinated during Mass.Dietrich Bonhoeffer resisted the Nazis, was a highly vocal opponent of Hitler; he also paid with his life and accepted his end with a prayer.

We can’t all be as socially aware and as visionary as Benenson, or as brave as Romero or Bonhoeffer; and we can’t change everything that we don’t like about the world, but God would like us to do our bit. Desmond Tutu helped bring about enormous social change in South Africa. He says: “Do your little bit of good where you are; it's those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world.” At the very least we are supposed to be nice to each other – to love our neighbours and to try to love our enemies.

There’s a well-known, short and simple prayer which encapsulates all this and perhaps even comes close to resolving Hamlet’s dilemma: ‘Lord grant me the courage to change the things I can, the serenity to accept the things I can’t - and the wisdom to know the difference.’

Mike Excell





2019 DATES



10th March, 12th May, 14th July, 13th October



8 November,  13 December 2018




Paul Hardingham considers war and peace

Remembering the end of World War One


This year Remembrance Sunday (11th November) marks the centenary of the end of World War One. Of the 65 million men who were mobilized, 8.5 million were killed and a further 21 million wounded. Wilfred Owen wrote of those ‘who die as cattle.’

How should we celebrate this anniversary? In remembering the Armistice, our response should be to desire Micah’s vision of universal peace in our world: ‘They will beat their swords into ploughshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.’ (Micah 4:3).

However, why keep asking God for peace, when we continue to see such violence and unrest in our world? The Bible makes it clear that peace is not just the absence of war or being untroubled. It means being in a right relationship with God through Jesus Christ, with other people and with wider society.

Of course, Micah’s words are looking to end of time when God will make all things new in His universal kingdom. However, these promises also can speak to us now. The ministry of Jesus demonstrated the kingdom or reign of God breaking into the everyday, as He healed the sick and brought reconciliation and hope. When we pray for peace, we’re rejecting the ‘old order of things’, of violence and war and asking God to make His kingdom real today. We’re citizens of the new kingdom, reshaping the old.

The end of the centenary of World War 1 is a time to consider peace. Although the war did not bring a lasting peace to the world, for the Christian there’s a deeper lesson: peace begins with the healing of hearts, the restoring of relationships and with a deep, costly commitment to justice.





TheAnnual Report was given by the Chair Mrs Janet Bird and is reproduced below:


Ecumenism as you know is very dear to my heart. I really believe that as Christians Together we achieve far more than as individual churches each trying to do the same things. The reading from John has Jesus praying to the Father just before he was arrested asking on behalf of all believers that we may indeed be one in him. We who know Jesus are called to make his love known in the world.

I really do believe that this is happening in Hertford where so many people are involved in helping the needy with the Foodbank, supporting the Syrian refugees and making God’s word known to the young people through Young Life and Future Hope. There are so many people who need help and support at the moment and much is being done that often we don’t know about. It is always good to hear about what is being done in the local churches and having the chance to support each other. Also the CTH website has been relaunched and the new Facilitator is keen to put Good News stories up on it to share what is going on throughout the County.

We will be coming to the individual reports a little later but may I just say a big thank you to you all for the many different projects that you are involved with and the cheerful and loving way in which so many tasks are undertaken in Christ’s name.

As nobody has come forward volunteering to take the chair and sadly Dave Sunman who had agreed to take it on this year is now leaving Hertford, Katey and I have both decided to offer to continue for one more year, but just for one year.


Points of interest from the Meeting:-


  • There was no change in the annual subscription each church makes for every member (£1 per head)
  • GDPR involving the H&DCT Directory will be updated.
  • Lent 1019 – Lent events will take place again with talks or house groups running alongside, a small group will explore options.
  • A report (as printed in our last Magazine) was accepted and the URC were warmly thanked for hosting the Foodbank. The Volunteers were also thanked.
  • Faith in Print – two local schools took a grant for Christian books and other artifacts.
  • Young Life reported on their summer activities
  • Future Hope still seeking Trustees
  • Street Pastors. Team is not active yet but plans are being made by the Community Church to restart soon.
  • Churches Together in Hertfordshire – A new ecumenical facilitator Doral Hayes is now in post.


Future activities and events:-


  • Week of Prayer for Christian Unity – Unity service will be held on Sunday 20th January at the Methodist Church
  • Young Life Mission to Schools – 25 Feb to 1 March
  • Women’s World Day of Prayer – Friday 1 March at St. Andrew’s Church
  • Good Friday Witness – April 19th Venue to be arranged by planning group
  • Ware Churches holding an inter-faith day on 18th November



Hertford and District Churches Together

Christmas Alone 2018

Volunteers are needed once again for "Christmas Alone", to help make Christmas Day special for many housebound, lonely, young or old people living in our area. There is an invitation, no strings attached, to anyone who would otherwise be on their own on Christmas Day, to join the party at Sele School or if they are Housebound or prefer to be at home to have Christmas lunch taken to them.

A traditional lunch will be served followed by entertainment. Transport will be organised for those who need it. Churches Together makes no charge but obviously needs help and support from the local community to ensure that this event is a success. Donations are very welcome and we will be pleased to receive financial support as well as gifts, cakes, shortbread and mince pies. We particularly need volunteers both on the morning of Christmas Eve and for all or part of Christmas Day to help with preparation, cooking and serving food, transport and to provide entertainment. (All volunteers at the school on Christmas Day are invited to sit down for a meal once the guests have been fed.)

We would like to reach as many people as possible so if you know of anybody who might like to be included as a guest or to receive a housebound meal, application forms will be available in Hertford Library, in churches, from doctors, sheltered housing complexes or from me Janet Bird, 140 North Road, Hertford, SG14 2BZ Tel 01992 587544

If you would like to help please make contact as soon as possible and by 14th December at the latest.


Please contact the appropriate co-ordinator to volunteer


Cheryl Jackson (01992 583958)

To help beforehand by

a) Making cakes, mince pies, shortbread.

b) Making table decorations, providing small presents.

c) Holding a coffee morning to raise funds or making a donation.


Helping on Christmas Eve (24th December)

in the morning laying tables and packing mini hampers and boxes of cakes

9.3Oam -12 noon at Sele School.

Janet Bird (01992 587544)

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To help prepare food, peel vegetables etc. in the morning on Christmas Eve 9.3Oam -12 noon at Sele School.


Helping on Christmas Day for all or part of the day (between 10 am and 4.30pm) e.g. in the kitchen (cooking and washing up) welcoming, serving food and drinks or as hosts at the tables etc. and clearing away at the end.

Helping to provide entertainment at the school 2-3pm.

Contact     Heather Hill    

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To help on Christmas Day with driving

Taking a meal to the housebound on Christmas Day at 12 noon


Providing transport to and from Sele School: 12noon -12.30p.m. And 3.00 - 4.00 p.m.



Hot Potato Lunch

(3rd Thursday every month)

Our first Lunch was held on Thursday 18th January.  Several of the Fellowship also enjoyed jacket potatoes, beans and cheese and we were glad to welcome one visitor. 

The whole point of this lunch is to welcome those who might feel a bit lonely or isolated and encourage them to join with us as a group of welcoming and understanding people.   

We look forward to the number of visitors growing in the near future.  The next lunch is on Thursday 15th November from 12 noon to 2.00 pm in the Church Vestibule, all are welcome.


Rock the Town! - Build on the Rock!

Young Life International


What if, one day “Something” happened to cause 400+ young people across Hertford to suddenly turn to God for answers?


What if it was just 200? Or even 100, would The Church, our churches, cope?


Could we make space and time to meet with &, listen to them?  

Do we have the resources available to disciple and mentor them?

Well - ready or not - “Something” IS going to happen in February 2019 from 25 Feb to 1st March that will impact young people across our Hertford schools, meaning large numbers of young people

will be seeking for knowledge of the God who loves them

AND there ARE resources available, we just need to be ready for them.

What can you do now?  

Pray - use the Prayer list sent a few weeks back and request further updates.  Thank God for answered prayer that we have Hertford Corn Exchange for two gigs on Friday 1st March (4.30pm and 7.30pm).

Attend - the preparation and planning event on Sunday January 13th 6pm Hertford Baptist Church.  Part of this evening will address the questions above regarding post event support and discipleship groups for young people who respond.

Volunteer - We will need a number of volunteers during the week beginning 25 Feb as well Stewards on the afternoon/evening of 1st March.  Also for post event support/mentoring/discipleship.  Please let us know if you or any young people that you know are interested






We're excited to say that tickets for an amazing dramatic one-man performance of Mark's Gospel are now available from the Church Office! We look forward to what will be a great inspirational evening as the story of Jesus is brought to life by actor and Baptist pastor Howard Jones.    

Performance - Friday 9th November, 7.30pm.  Doors open for refreshments at 7pm.

Tickets £3 in advance from the Hertford Baptist Church Office: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 01992 582951.

Heather Read

Office Secretary, Hertford Baptist Church

Operation Christmas Child



A small shoebox can have a big impact. What goes into the box is fun, but what comes out of it is eternal. Be a part of changing children’s lives all over the world in Jesus’ name through the power of a simple gift with Operation Christmas Child.  See the impact a simple shoebox gift packed and sent with love, has on a child and how it reaches into a community. Cheryl will be organising this again this year and will let us have details nearer the time.



Riding Lights Production


The Great War 1918 was the final year of the Great War. This year, Canon David Winter is looking back on highlights of those critical 12 months, when the very shape of the modern world history was being hammered out on the battlefields.


October 1918 was the month when both sides, in their different ways, decided that they had had enough war. The Germans, following their defeat at Amiens, no longer had any hope of a strong negotiating position in peace talks, let alone victory. Their economy was struggling, and morale was low. The Allies, now sure of final victory, wanted it all over without further disastrous casualties.  The politicians, fearful for their own futures, wanted time, but the generals were now calling the shots. The time had come for a ceasefire, then let the negotiating begin.


The military won this battle, at least. The word ‘Armistice’ was banded around: not a treaty, but simply (as the Latin word suggests) as a laying down of arms. The three most influential national leaders on the Allied side agreed, and the Germans and their dwindling band of associates had no choice but to go along with the solution. An Armistice was agreed for a memorable date: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the year.  Following preliminary discussions, a negotiated treaty would be finalised at Versailles in the following January. Compared to Brexit, that is express progress!


The Armistice was, in some ways, simple. The guns would go silent, killing would cease from that designated hour. The Versailles negotiations, on the other hand, would be complex, though somewhat simplified by the fact that the Germans came naked to the table. They were desperate to save their land from occupation, whatever the cost. In fact, it cost them £6.6 million in reparations (probably about six billion pounds today).


Each of the Allies had important items for the peace agenda. France wanted Alsace-Lorraine restored to French sovereignty, and the Rhineland demilitarised. Britain wanted German military power negated and problems in the Middle East solved. The Americans wanted democracy restored and the will of the people recognised throughout Europe. The three leaders – David Lloyd George and Presidents Clémenceau and Woodrow Wyatt agreed about most of the agenda, including the carving up of The German colonial empire in Africa.


Peace would come at last, but not, as one wise man observed, the ‘kiss of peace’.




(Latest Report to be given to H&DCT AGM)

Some changes are afoot amongst the Management Team and the Trusteeship of the Foodbank. Three members of the Management Team have or will be leaving by the end of the year. Firstly we owe a great deal of gratitude to Rev. David Bradburn who retires as Chairman at the end of this year. David is one of the founder members of the Management Committee and was very instrumental in its conception and establishment in 2013. Through his leadership we have flourished as a very relevant and most worthwhile part of what all the Churches do as a united body in Hertford. David retires at the end of this year and we are extremely pleased to announce that Rev. Andrew Clark from the Baptist Church has indicated his willingness to become Chairman as from 1st January 2019.

The Committee is also sad to lose Rev. Nick Sharp who has taken another Ministry in Hoddesdon and Mo Askew who was also a founder member and a Trustee. The Committee is very grateful to them both for the contributions they have made. We are also pleased to announce that Mary Stowe, one of our original volunteers, and who now is the Volunteers’ Manager, has agreed to become a Trustee.

The number of clients fed in the first six months of our financial year April to September is 630 of which 186 were children. Numbers seem to be the same as past years at the moment and there was not the anticipated rise in demand through the school holidays, this was also reflected in other foodbanks locally.

Harvest Donations have started to come in – and could we politely mention that we do have an over supply of feminine hygiene products, the need for which had been recently highlighted in the media.   We have been able to supply the following schools: The Sele School, Simon Balle School,

Presdales School, Hertford Regional College - Ware Campus. Please could you pass this information on to those who donate in your churches. As we often say we are so grateful for all the donations that come in through Harvest gifts, these keep us going well into next year.

Other news: We have had six new Agencies taking our Vouchers; our Reception Area has had new flooring and the entrance to the Storeroom is due to be upgraded very shortly making access easier; our Christmas Collection from Tesco will take place on Thursday 29th – 1st December.




Prayer Request Book


 The Prayer Request Book is always available on the table at the back of the church for any prayers for people and situations you would like to be included in our Prayers of intercession.   Please ask a Steward if you are not sure where it is.






The rows of headstones silent stand
Their message clear, though mute;
That we, in Britain’s peaceful land
Must silently salute.

Our peace was bought at dreadful price
Through rain and fear and mud –
World conflict fought not once but twice
So twice the cost in blood.

Each headstone bears a single name
A single husband, son,
Who, when the call to duty came
They did what must be done.

So, think upon those rows of stones
Be silent, still as they
Remind us of those silent homes
From when they went away.

Yes, spare a while to think of them
It’s just two minutes’ time;
And say aloud, just once again
That well-remembered rhyme:

They grow not old as we grow old,
Nor do the years condemn;
But as the days and nights unfold,
We will remember them.

by Nigel Beeton



Church Garden July 18

Thank you to our gardeners Sue and Mike

for Making the

 Church look so attractive and welcoming





 Magazine Jly Aug 18




Hertford URC ‘s History


As David has mentioned in his opening letter of this edition of the magazine, we look forward to the launch of an historical booklet giving a brief overview of the amazing history of our church from its very beginnings in the seventeenth century.


This will be available on Easter Sunday and to cover the printing costs we hope a donation of £2.00 could be made for each copy.  You will find it fascinating and inspiring to know how our church roots have been established not only by the leadership of ministers but by so many church members that have gone before us.



As for those signs found outside churches:

FOR MEMBERS ONLY.  Trespassers will be baptised!!

No God – No Peace. Know God – Know Peace.

Free Trip to heaven. Details Inside!

Searching for a new look? Have your faith lifted here!

Outside one church is a picture of two hands holding stone tablets on which the Ten Commandments are inscribed.  A headline reads: ‘For fast relief, take two tablets.’

When the restaurant next to a church put out a big sign with red letters that said, ‘Open Sundays’, the church reciprocated with its own message: ‘We are open on Sundays, too. And we have live music.’









Used Stamps

 Shirley Sloan is still collecting used stamps in the plastic container on the church desk in the Vestibule. Shirley now takes them to the Isobel Hospice Shop that will take all used stamps.













10.00 am

Open House in Vestibule with time of reflection and prayer at 11.00 am

Fri 2 12.45 pm

Funeral for Freda Coleman led by Rev. David Bradburn

(followed by refreshments in the church)





10.30 am

Morning Worship led by Christine Hall with Holy Communion



10.00 am

4.00 pm

Open House in Vestibule with time of reflection and prayer at 11.00

Elders’ Meeting





10.30 am

Morning Worship led by Geoffrey Wiiliams, Hertford Baptist Church

Followed by Church Meeting

Thurs 15

10.00 am

12.00 pm

Open House in Vestibule with time of reflection and prayer at 11.00.

Hot Potato Lunch in the Vestibule





10.30 am

Morning Worship led Margaret Colville

Mon 19 2.00 pm Foodbank Management Committee Meeting – Church Vestry
Thurs 22

10.00 am

Open House in Vestibule with time of reflection and prayer at 11.00 am




10.30 am


Morning Worship led Mark Jaffrey

Thurs 29 10.00 am

Open House in Vestibule with time of reflection and prayer at 11.00




Hertford & District Foodbank is open every weekday from

4.00 pm to 5.00 pm.  For queries please contact 07851 708470 or Cheryl or Fran