HERTFORD

UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

Hertford URC

 

344th Anniversary year

 

March 2018

 

MISSION STATEMENT

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.

 

 

MINISTER             REV DAVID BRADBURN

                                      6 Tudor Rise

                               Broxbourne EN10 7HB      Tel: 01992 443218

SUNDAY WORSHIP

10.30 am                Family Worship, followed by coffee/tea

                               Communion is usually celebrated on the

                               First Sunday of the month

WEEKDAY WORSHIP

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

                                       runs from 10.00 - 12.00 noon.

                              

HOT POTATO LUNCH

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,

Over the past two years Dr. David Davies – a Member at Broxbourne – has been working with our three churches on writing our histories. Broxbourne’s was published Pentecost 2016, Cheshunt’s in early 2017 and Hertford’s will be published on Easter Sunday this year. Collectively we have 818 years of faithful church life recorded… and there is unrecorded or informal life that lead to official formation of fellowships to add to this tally of years. All our churches have had ups and downs, challenges and successes, but the fact that we are still here shows that our churches have always adapted to the times to stay both relevant to the changing world and faithful to our unchanging God as the years have gone by. Hertford has in its archives (and reproduced in the book) an impressive array of photographs and portraits of ministers, the earliest of which is from 1705. The original minute book from 1673 is now in the County archives. Looking at these there is an amazing sense of heritage, awe even, as today we can pick up, handle, read, and see what our forebears were doing hundreds of years ago.

 

They would not have begun to image the world we now live in… mind you, how many of us did even when we were children? One of the singers of my more youthful days was Bob Dylan with his ‘The times they are a-changing’. Change they did and change they do. No sooner do we get settled with one change than another is hot on its heels: there is no let-up.

 

So handling our heritage and creating tomorrow’s heritage are both awesome things, and the latter requires us to have our feet in the world, up with the ways the world is changing, while our hearts are tuned into God’s heart giving us a firm foundation whatever happens around us.

 

Our greatest heritage is one that, perhaps, through our familiarity with it, loses its awesomeness, and that is the heritage of the life of Jesus and the change he brought into the world. We read and hear the story many times in our lives. We think we know what it means. But I still find that even after theologically trained reading and delving in the story for 42 years, I have only begun to discover what that story means. That’s awesome! Or at least, it is to me. New truths still come out of familiar texts and things make more sense than they did!

Snatches of that awesomeness cutting through the familiarity have been found by those on pilgrimage with me to the Holy Land, but not in the places that have been smothered with layers of change so much as in the unchanging scenery of the Sea of Galilee, or the ancient roads walked by the ancestors of our faith. Sometimes things change so they are unrecognisable, yet this shows the progression of change, and bonds the present to the past.

 

This is not so we can uncover and live in the past, but use the heritage of our past to guide us into the future. The way Jesus walked through his life guides us in the way we should walk through our lives. Knowing our heritage we can, and should, ask of any situation ‘What would Jesus do?’, but that is only a starter question: the challenging one is ‘What would Jesus have us do?’ Knowing our heritage, and seeing how our forebears lived out the faith in their day is a good spur to us to live lives which write the history that will be read by generations yet to be born: the history of how we walk the way of Jesus today.

 

Every Blessing

 

   

 davids

 

Easter Arrangements

 

29 March Maundy Thursday

11.00 am         Holy Communion led by Rev. David Bradburn in Church

30 March, Good Friday

9.30 am           Hot drinks and buns served in Church before H&DCT Walk of Witness at Bircherley Green followed by

10.30 am         Joint Churches Open Air Service led by St. Joseph’s RC

31st March, Easter Saturday 

10.00 am         Decorate Church with Easter Flowers

1st April, Easter Sunday

10.30 am         Easter Celebrations with Holy Communion led by Rev. David Bradburn

          

 

HERTFORD UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

2018 DATES

 

CHURCH MEETINGS – SUNDAYS

4 March,  1 July,   16 September,  4 November

 

CHURCH ANNIVERSARY AND GIFT DAY – Sunday 3rd June

 

ELDERS’ MEETINGS – THURSDAYS

8 February,  8 March,  19 April, 10 May,  14 June,

12 July,  13 September,  11 October,  8 November,  13 December

 

 

 

Coffee Mornings

Church Meeting agreed to hold at least one Charity Coffee Morning this year.  This will be on Saturday 12th May to coincide with the Hertford Art Society’s Annual Selling Exhibition in the Cowbridge Halls from Sunday 6th May to Saturday 19th.  There will only be cakes on sale and the usual tea, coffee and scones and cakes to buy.

Please put this date in your diaries!

 

 

 

AN EASTER MEDITATION

 

When life is difficult and the way seems too hard, help us to remember the reality of Easter; of the resurrection of Jesus; of His wonderful saving work on the cross, overcoming death to offer us life for all eternity with you.

There is so much we don’t understand, Lord, but you know everything, you are in charge and we can trust you even when we can’t work things out. 

Thank you for the hope, peace and joy that you alone can give - and all because of the resurrection of Jesus. Thank you that He is alive today and able to help us whatever our situation. Help us to be your Easter People, reaching out with your love a
nd life.

 

 

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 March from 12 noon to 2.00 pm in the Church Vestibule, all are welcome.

 

HERTFORD & DISTRICT CHURCHES TOGETHER

LENT EVENTS 2018

As happened last year, instead of the Christian Aid Lent Lunches, Churches in Hertford and the surrounding Villages are holding individual events and encouraging everyone from different Churches to attend.

 

There is a varied and interesting programme of activities – something for everyone to participate in - and in so doing raise funds for Christian Aid.

 

You will see the list overleaf and that the first event starts on Ash Wednesday 14th February with a “Soundbites” Concert at All Saints Church, with lunch available, followed by prayers.

 

The Events carry on right through Lent and are listed in our Church Diary at the back of the  Magazine.  Please try to attend as many as possible.

                                                   

Lent Events 2018 

 

 

URC LENT EVENT

QUIZ NIGHT SATURDAY 10TH MARCH

6.30 pm for a PROMPT start at 7.00 pm

We look forward to hosting this event, which promises to be a varied and interesting fun occasion as we have invited 10 local Churches to participate.

 

Each Church will be organizing a Round of questions from their table.   There will be 10/11 tables of 8 and 8 questions to each Round.

  

A Ploughman’s Supper will be provided half-way through the Quiz.   All proceeds will be going to Hertford & District Churches Together Lent Appeal for Christian Aid.

  

Please put the date in your diaries.

 

Quiz organisers: David, John, Cheryl, Shirley and Fran

 

 

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.

 

 

 

CHRISTIAN AID WALK 2018

 

The 2018 Christian Aid Walk will be taking place on Saturday, 12th May. This year's event will cover a similar route to the 2017 Walk and funds will support projects linked to the theme of Christian Aid Week 2018 (13th-20th May). Last year's event raised over £6000 and, with a full field of walkers, we expect to improve on that figure.

Put the date in your diary, enjoy a beautiful walk through nearby Hertfordshire countryside and support a great organisation!

For more details and entry details go to www.christianaidwalk.org.

 

 

Street Pastors – update from Nick Sharp

 

Dear friends,

 

As you know Hertford & Ware Street Pastors has been at a crossroads recently. Crises of funding, volunteers, and the need for new trustees called the organisation's future into doubt.

 

The existing trustees, realising that urgent action was needed, set a date of 31st March, beyond which we could not continue to operate, and set ourselves the task of either helping to restructure the organisation and welcome in new blood, or of winding up operations in an orderly manner. We wrote an appeal for help in November, and we have had a wonderful response. Financial gifts in the region of £3000 have been made, ensuring that we can pay our bills to March and beyond. There have been several offers of new volunteers to train to become Street Pastors, and one firm offer to become a trustee.

 

Rick Hartwig will be stepping down from his role as paid co-ordinator, though still involved on a voluntary basis, and this will mean Street Pastors is far easier to fund.

 

Bob, Colin and I, as existing trustees, will be meeting on 12th March to plan the next step. If we have three people who have told us they are willing to be trustees by 9th March, then, with the gifts of money we have received and with the offers of new volunteers, we will be confident that H&W Street Pastors is in good shape to continue, and we will hand over to the new team with glad and thankful hearts.

 

So to help us reach this position, we need two people willing to become trustees. The one person who has so far offered is willing to become secretary, or possibly chair, so we need someone to fill the treasurer's role, and someone either to be secretary or chair.

Please could you spread this news among your churches, and pray earnestly for the right people to come forward. Remember, the deadline is 9th March.

 

Grateful thanks,

 

Nick Sharp, on behalf of the trustees.

 

  

 

Items of interest arising from the last Hertford & District Churches Together Meeting held on 31st January.

 

  • Unity service-The Unity Service on January 21st was well attended and thanks were given to the United Reformed Church for their warm welcome.
  • Women’s World Day of Prayer - The service will be at 2.00pm on Friday, March 2nd at Hertford Baptist Church
  • Good Friday Witness-This will take place at 10.30 am at Bircherley Green and will be led by Father Terry. Hot cross buns will be served at the URC from 9.30 am.
  • Christmas Alone - Last year’s Christmas Alone was the thirtieth in succession. The numbers were slightly down for people attending the lunch. It was also the first year without Waitrose but other donations were received and the costs were lower so the shortfall was not serious.
  • Christian Aid-During Christian Aid week £2,368.29 was collected through house-to-house and street collections. There is an additional £466.26 left in a Lloyds account. The Treasurer suggested that the account should be left open but that most of that money should be forwarded to Christian Aid.
  • Faith in Print- Three schools have recently purchased books. Schools will be asked whether they would like the freedom to spend the money on other items other than books, such as films or music.
  • Young Life-A written report was presented by Jane Chapman and is available at the back of the Church
  • Future Hope - Roger Bastable referred to a written report, which is available at the back of the Church.
  • Street Pastors-Nick Sharp told us that Street Pastors are at a crossroads precipitated by the withdrawal of funding by the council and the police, leaving only the churches to fund the project.Rick Hartwig has offered to continue to manage Street Pastors on a voluntary basis. There is an urgent need for two new trustees with the vision and enthusiasm to take Street Pastors forward into the future. (Letter in Magazine)
  • Sharing a Table’ An idea was shared about giving out cards to cafes and restaurants saying ‘Happy to share my table’ as a contribution to counteracting loneliness which has been identified as a serious problem in today’s society. It was agreed that this was an initiative that HDCT would want to support.
  • The Methodist Church will be shortly running a food hygiene course. Anyone who might be interested should contact Anthea Slate.
  • Adrian Plass will be presenting “Out of His Head” celebrating 30 years of writing and performance at All Saints Church on Thursday19th April at 7.15pm. Tickets are available from Janet Bird
  • Martin Simpson will be performing at St Andrew’s Church on Saturday April 21st

  

 

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.

 

The Oldest Bible comes back to the UK

 

The world’s oldest surviving complete Latin Bible returns to the UK this autumn. It left these shores for Rome 1302 years ago, when monks in the northeast of England sent it as a gift to Pope Gregory II.

The Codex Amiatinus was one of only three produced at the twin monasteries of Wearmouth and Jarrow. (One has since got lost, and the other survives in fragments.) It was kept safe for centuries at the Abbey of the Saviour in Monte Amiata, in Tuscany. Then in the 18th century it was sent to the Biblioteca Medicea Laurenziana, in Florence.
It is the Laurenziana which has now agreed to send it back to the UK, alongside the Lindisfarne Gospels, for its exhibition ‘Anglo-Saxon Kingdoms’, which begins in October.


The Bible is 12 inches thick, and weighs 35kg. It contains both Old and New Testaments, and was written on 1030 leaves made from the skins of at least 515 sheep. It has been called one
of the greatest treasures of Anglo-Saxon times.

 

 

 

 

Jeans instead of vestments?

Have you noticed any local clergy dressing more informally in recent months? If so, there is a good reason for it: C of E clergy were given the go-ahead last year to choose whether or not to disregard their robes, and dress down for services, after a vote by General Synod.

That means that if the vicar wants to wear jeans when leading a service, the Church of England will no longer object. It is believed by some that such a change can help the Church by ‘reflecting the way society has gone in the way of informality’, according to one vicar.

THE WAY I SEE IT: Mothers and Mothering

The American invention, “Mother’s Day”, will be celebrated on Sunday 11th March, though the cards, boxes of chocolates and reservations for deliveries of flowers will be in the shops long before. It’s a very nice idea, as most of us love our mothers dearly and welcome a chance to celebrate their importance in our lives.

I say “American invention”, because long before Mother’s Day there was a Christian event, marked nowadays in the Church Calendar, with the title ‘Mothering Sunday’. It’s still widely observed in churches on the fourth Sunday of Lent, and yes, that’s 11th March, too.

The difference between them is subtle but profound. ‘Mother’s Day’ is about who she is, particularly in our lives. ‘Mothering Sunday’, as its rather awkward name implies, is about a quality which we recognise in mothers but can be present elsewhere – to ‘mother’ someone.

We have all needed mothering, from time to time, and not simply when we were tiny and helpless, literally dependent on our mothers for our sustenance and survival. During the years of the last War I was ‘mothered’ by my grandmother. Sometimes a friend acts in this role for us, when we feel lonely or helpless. ‘Mothering’ means caring deeply, sustaining, supporting, whatever the cost.

That is why God, whom we usually call ‘Father’, is sometimes spoken of in the Bible as ‘mothering’ us, gathering us in His arms of love, even feeding us like a mother. On ‘Mothering Sunday’ we celebrate so much more than our own beloved mums. We celebrate the whole glorious notion of care, compassion and nurture. And of that care, very often our own mothers are the very best examples.

Is ‘religious karaoke’ growing in popularity?

It seems that churches across the country are increasingly ditching their hymnbooks, in favour of using big screens to project the words. Some churches have spent up to £50,000 on audio-visual systems including projector screens and LCD TVs for their flock. Many churches reckon that it is cheaper to subscribe to a licensing service which allows them to project the words to hymns and worship songs, rather than buying books.  

Christian Copyright Licensing International currently sells churches licenses, which allows them to reproduce hymns and worship songs. It currently covers about 24,500 sites in the UK. The most recent figures suggest that in 2013, there were 50,660 churches in the UK.

 

That daffodil time of year

O how I love, as poets do
That time when skies turn deeper blue,
And all can know the vernal thrills
Of landscapes filled with daffodils.

I love to spend a pleasing hour
Admiring nature’s golden flower;
That trumpet shape, enhanced by dew
That vibrant, cheering yellow hue!

No better herald of the spring
No flower can more pleasure bring;
And spirits crushed by winter’s ills
Are lifted by the daffodils!

By Nigel Beeton

 

China opens its arms to the Bible – with 30 years help from Bible Society

Just over 40 years ago, the Bible was a banned book in China. But today, in this largely atheist country, the Bible is a best seller. In China today, you will find churches so full that their congregants spill out on the pavement. Those in rural areas often walk for hours just to attend a service, while more and more city-dwellers can be found in churches – both underground and state-run – on a Sunday morning.

What’s more, copies of the Bible – once a banned book in China – are now within reach through local churches and specially-licensed bookshops. And those Bibles are desperately needed. As one Chinese Christian explains: 'The fire of revival has been burning in China for 30 years. But if we want it to keep burning, we need to feed it with God’s word.'

It’s a remarkable story. And over the last 30 years, the Bible Society has been at the heart of it. Over decades, through working with the registered Church, they have carved out a unique ministry in China. For it was back in 1987, in response to requests from Chinese church leaders, that Bible Society helped to establish the Amity Printing Company. In 2008, it moved to a larger, upgraded facility, the size of 12 football pitches and with the capacity to print 20 million Bibles a year. It’s now the world’s biggest Bible printing factory!

Bible Society is still hard at work, printing and distributing Bibles across the country, helping to strengthen the roots of the Chinese Church, and to help new believers grow into mature followers of Jesus.

Here are just some of the numbers that describe the Bible Society’s work in China:
68 million Chinese Bibles printed from its press since 1987.
55,000 local churches with whom it is connected.
77 distribution centres from which it bases itself.
48 Bible vans taking Bibles wherever they need to go

 

                          

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.

 

 

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CHURCH DIARY FOR 

MARCH 2018

 

             

 

MARCH 2018

 

Thurs

1

10.00 am

10.30 –

12.30 pm

3.30 pm

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

Lent Event – “Coffee Pot” – Holy Trinity Church Hall, Duncombe Rd, Bengeo

Foodbank Management Committee Meeting – Church Vestry

Fri 2 2.00 pm Women’s World Day of Prayer – Hertford Baptist Church
Sat 3

9.00 am

10.30 –

12.30

Lent Event – Taize style Prayer Service – Holy Trinity Bengeo, followed by coffee & croissants

Lent Event – Coffee Morning – St. Andrew’s Church, Hertford

Sun

4

10.30 am

Morning Worship with Holy Communion led by Rev. David Bradburn followed

By Church Meeting

Thurs

8

10.00 am

4.00 pm

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

Elders’ Meeting

Sat 10

6.30 for

7.00 pm

Lent Event – URC Inter- church Quiz Supper

Sun

11

10.30 am

Mothering Sunday - Morning Worship led by Ian Matthews

Thurs

15

10.00 am

12 – 2pm

Open House in Vestibule with time of reflection and prayer at 11.00 followed by ‘Hot Potato’ Lunch in Vestibule

Fri 16 7.30 pm

Lent Event - St. Andrew’s Bramfield,

Haileybury Choir Concert

Sun

18

10.30 am

4.00 pm

Passion Sunday - Morning Service led by Margaret Colville

Area of Shared Ministry Service with Broxbourne & Cheshunt at Cheshunt Free Church.

Thurs 22

10.00 am

Open House in Vestibule with time of reflection and prayer at 11.00 am
Sat 24

12.00 –

4.00 pm

7.00 pm

Lent Event - Prayer Room Open – Drop in any time – with Refreshments

Lent Event – Amici Cantante Concert, St. Andrews, Hertford

Sun

25

10.30 am

Palm Sunday - Morning Worship led by the Elders

Thurs 29

10.00 am

11.00 am

  8.00 pm

Open House in Vestibule – Maundy Thursday Holy Communion at Broxbourne URC
Fri 30

9.30 am

10.30 am

Good Friday – Hot drinks & Buns served in our Church before H&DCT Walk of Witness to Open Air Service at Bircherley Green Shopping Centre

 

 

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