HERTFORD

UNITED REFORMED CHURCH


347th Anniversary year
 

 

MARCH 2019

 

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            

                                     

                               

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

 

The story continues…

 

Where do we go from here? We find ourselves contemplating the uncertainty of life without a minister, and reflecting on the period of stability that we’ve all enjoyed during David Bradburn’s tenure. I guess the situation is especially traumatic for those, such as the congregation at Broxbourne, who’ve been led by David for over 30 years, an exceptional span for one minister to preside over a specific church. At Hertford we feel the shock of change, but really it’s a way of life; we’ve been here before on several occasions within fairly recent memory, and just in the time I’ve known Hertford URC there have been five ministers plus interregnums (interregna?) of up to two years.

The inner spiritual life, worship, prayer, trust in God and belief in an existence beyond our corporeal experience has to be at the heart of any church, and as individuals we know we are all bound to leave this world. But we are not here to mark time; there are jobs to be done. It’s pretty clear that this wonderful creation we inhabit is scarred by injustice and suffering. We can all change it, bit by bit to what God wants, a world where peace, love and justice prevail, by our interactions with others; it’s a duty as well as a labour of love.

So it’s important to let people know that we are living in the here and now; not (at least this is my view, some may disagree) by going around knocking on doors or shouting from a soap-box, but by what we do to support and improve the community - locally and further afield. The Foodbank- a facility which is, sadly, needed more and more; Thursday morning coffee and pause for thought, followed once a month by hot potato lunches; and well-maintained and welcoming church gardens – all are evidence of a church that’s alive, visible and translating its spiritual values into serving the practical needs of the community. I’m always pleased to see members of the public, passers-by – often struggling with mobility - using the benches outside the church as a resting place while waiting for the bus, or taking a breather before walking up the hill to Bengeo.

There’s even an international dimension to all this, through our relationship with overseas charities such as Kiwoko and Four Homes of Mercy – the former initiated by members of our fellowship, the latter by David himself. We have an ongoing and perhaps more active relationship with All Nations College; and let’s not forget, Young Life first established its presence in Hertford through our very own URC.

The status of our church and its history of engagement with the community owes something to all of its previous ministers, although naturally David Bradburn’s presence is freshest in our memories; and as a small fellowship there’s a real sense of ‘punching above our weight’, something he encouraged. For Hertford at least, with what we must acknowledge has been a dwindling congregation for many years, the whole has been greater than the sum of the parts, and this is something we should try to sustain through the values that David embraced: making practical use of our God-given gifts, teamwork, camaraderie, diplomacy, mutual support, good humour, communication - and just ‘mucking-in’.

                                                                          

                                                                                                                 Mike Excell

 

From Jan……….

 

When the bills are hitting the doormat

And the sky is black with rain,

We should pause and remember the things we love

Until life feels better again.

A little child, wide-eyed with wonder,

A new puppy licking our chin,

A mistle thrush singing his song to the wind,

The smell of the earth after rain.

The perfume of roses at twilight,

Or walking barefoot in the sand,

The reflections of moonlight on water,

The touch of a loving friend's.

                                        Eliza Barret

............................................................................

A prayer for bedtime

Before you sleep, gently lay

All your fears and angst away;

Place your worries and your care

In the trusting hands of prayer.

..........................................................................

Sometimes when we're lonely and we long to hear God's voice,

Or troubled and uncertain and afraid to make a choice,

And no one seems to listen, and the heavens all stay dumb,

Then how can we keep trusting, when no one seems to come?

Fear not, for still He hears us; we can never slip His gaze,

He loves and reassures us in a thousand different ways,

He speaks with many voices - if we're patient and aware

We'll surely hear His answers, and we'll know we're in his care  

Margaret  Ingall

     

 

HERTFORD UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

2019 DATES

 

CHURCH MEETINGS – SUNDAYS

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

 

ELDERS’ MEETINGS – THURSDAYS

 

 

 

 Quiz header

 

URC INTER-CHURCH QUIZ SUPPER

SATURDAY 9TH MARCH

Doors open 6.30 for a prompt start at 7.00 pm

 

Please come along and join in the fun and raise money for Christian Aid. Tickets are £8.00 this includes a Ploughman’s Supper (pay on the night)

Bring your own non- alcoholic drinks

 

There will be tables of 8 and tables can be made up on the night if need be with other churches. 8 Churches will be leading a round of questions. Instead of a Raffle there will be a “last-man-standing” game.

 

There is a sign-up form on the table at the back of the church. Please indicate if you need a special diet.

 

 

Hot Potato Lunch

(3rd Thursday every month)

Our first Lunch was held on Thursday 18th January 2018.  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 21st March from 12 noon to 2.00 pm in the Church Vestibule, all are welcome.

 

WORLD DAY OF PRAYER

(A WOMEN LED, GLOBAL, ECUMENICAL MOVEMENT)

 

FRIDAY 1ST MARCH AT ST. ANDREW’S

CHURCH, HERTFORD AT 10.30 AM

Press Release

 

 

 

Come – Everything is Ready!

Everything is ready and the invitation is for everyone - men, women and children of all ages to join this Day of Prayer.* Women of Slovenia, one of the smallest and youngest countries in Europe, have prepared this year's service and they encourage us to reflect on the barriers they have faced since the end of the Second World War when their country was a part of Yugoslavia, a Marxist socialist republic. They share the challenges they have met and the hopes they have for the future.

World Day of Prayer is an international, inter-church organisation which enables us to hear the thoughts of women from all parts of the world: their hopes, concerns and prayers. The preparation for the day is vast. An international committee is based in New York and there are national committees in each participating country. Regional conferences meet to consider the service and then local groups make their plans. Finally, at a church near you on Friday March 1st 2019 people will gather to celebrate the service prepared by the women of Slovenia.

The Day of Prayer is celebrated in over 120 countries. It begins in Samoa and prayer in native languages travels throughout the world --- through Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe and the Americas before finishing in American Samoa some 38 hours later.

 

 

 

HERTFORD & DISTRICT CHURCHES TOGETHER

 

Points discussed at the Forum Meeting Held 30th January:

 

  • World Day of Prayer 1st March – St. Andrew’s 10.30 am
  • Lent Events - see following poster. Agreed that next year should be a joint Bible Study in one venue
  • Good Friday Walk of Witness 19th April - starts at Methodist Church at 10.00 am goes to St. Joseph’s, Quakers and St. Andrew’s. Finish at URC hot drinks & buns. No talk ,a prayer, a poem, a song/hymn - one of these at each stop.
  • Foodbank – Report of 66% increase in clients during January
  • Christmas Alone – Very successful. Volunteer numbers lower but visitors the same. Shortfall of funds made up by Foodbank donation
  • Christian Aid – Christian Aid Week 12-18 May
  • Faith in Print – Joan Chadirchi has taken over from Margaret Hodge. Hertingfordbury Cowper School and Bayford Schools are to have two grants for bibles and books
  • Young Life – Visit by LZ7 to visit Schools in Hertford and hold events during and after their visit.
  • Future Hope – A new Parents Group is being established to help with young people affected by addition
  • Street Pastors – It is hoped they will soon be back on the Streets of Hertford. New documentation for re-establishing the Charity is almost complete.
  • Treasurer’s Report - £2,086 in General Funds, Faith in Print £155 and Christmas Alone has £1,465 (with some costs still to come).
  • Next Meeting – 6th June at URC 7.30 pm

 

listed in this month’s diary.  Please try to attend as many,

All the Churches Together Lent Events for March are as 

Lent Events 2019 

                                                   

Kiwoko Hospital

 

I just want to highlight an article I saw in the last Newsletter from Kiwoko which Megan kindly circulated.   If you are placing an order from Amazon UK, the hospital can get commission!! Visit www.kiwokohospital.org and on the bottom right there is a link, which if you click will take you to the usual Amazon website.   Anything you buy could earn up to 10% commissison!!

 

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.

 

 

 

VISIT OF INTERIM MODERATOR TO HERTFORD

SUNDAY 31ST MARCH

We are delighted to welcome Rev. Ann Jack from Harpenden to take our Sunday Morning Service on 31st March. During our Interregnum Ann has been appointed to help the Broxbourne, Cheshunt and Hertford Pastoral Group of Churches with their joint Pastoral Profile. Ann will be able to ‘get a feel’ of our Fellowship so the Elders do hope you will be able to be present on this day.

 

 

 

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 is available at the back of the Church, 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.

 

 

From David Cramphorn, Holy Trinity Church, Bengeo

 

Men of Bengeo

It is that time of year again when thoughts turn to a Pie and Pint, and looking back we missed out completely last year! Sorry, just too busy! I have almost forgotten what a Steak and Ale pie tastes like !. Although I have not forgotten how this works, I have booked the Robin Hood and Little John in Tonwell for 8.00 pm. Tuesday 12th March. As you would expect after a year the price has gone up and is now £12.00 per head, still good value though and our first ever price rise!

To reserve your space do please let me know by return or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or ring 01992 534 643.  Please feel that you can invite a friend, all are welcome. 

 

INSIDE – OUTSIDE

 AN INTER-CULTURAL – INTER-GENERATIONAL EVENT

To be held at

VINE UNITED REFORMED CHURCH

Ilford, IG1 1JH

 

Saturday 26th October 10 am – 4 pm

 

Open to all churches in the North Thames Synod and neighbouring Synods.  The programme will include presentations, videos, and workshops including one run by young people in the Synod, A Gospel Choirs, and resource materials.

 

Organised by the planning group of the Thames North  Church & Society Network and Youth Executive members of the Synod and others

                          

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.

 

 

John Barton considers a Christian reaction to Brexit.  You may find this useful, as it does not react to any specific outcome.  (Because who knows quite what will be happening by the end of March?!)

 

BREXIT: where do we belong now?

I was in France when the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve 1973 – the moment Britain joined the European Union – and later I received the maroon passport, which identified me as one of its 743m citizens.

Almost all our newfound friends had been Britain’s enemies in the past, so this union seemed to be a breakthrough. Perhaps that was naïve.  International relations have always been treated as opportunities to further national interests and if others also benefitted, well, that was a bonus.   We are now retracing our steps and no one can be sure whether our communal fortunes are going to improve or deteriorate.

The Bible doesn’t offer a blueprint for Brexit, but it does remind us of our routine responsibilities towards our nation. Here are three extracts, written at a time when the State was far from Christian.

The little church in Rome was instructed: “Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God.”

And in the First Letter to Timothy, “First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people, for kings and all who are in high positions, that we may lead a peaceful and quiet life, godly and dignified in every way. This is good, and it is pleasing in the sight of God our Saviour, who desires all people to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth.”

The First Letter of Peter actually instructs readers to “honour the Emperor”, which is surprising when you consider what blackguards some of the post-holders were.

The Christian’s ultimate citizenship will be in a recreated fusion of heaven and earth, but that’s not an excuse to opt out of our duties here and now. We must guard against narrow nationalism, which pits us against the rest of the world, but rather develop a gracious patriotism, which begins with gratitude and ends with generosity.

The Rev Tony Horsfall finds that getting older makes him want to use his time more wisely. A good thing to think about in Lent!

God and the Tesco token

I was shopping recently with my wife at the local Tesco store. Having paid for our goods we were given a blue token, which my wife explained we could place in the donation box of a local good cause as we left the shop.

Sure enough, near the exit were three large plastic containers into which we could drop our token, each representing a different charity needing support. The more tokens they receive, the bigger the donation they will be given from the supermarket, and so it was a weighty choice! I chose the local Youth Choir.

I am in the habit, just before I sleep, of looking back over the day that just finished. That night as I went to sleep God reminded me about the blue token and my concern to use it wisely. As I get older I am increasingly aware of the importance of every day, that each new day is a gift from God to be enjoyed and cherished. None of us know how many days we have, but we do know they are running out. All the more reason, then, to use them wisely.

As I thought about the token it seemed to me that with each new day I have been given the gift of a token from God, and I should do my best to use it for His glory. When we are young, with our lives stretching out ahead of us, it is as if we have thousands of tokens to spend (70 years, for example, would be 25,550 tokens), so to waste a few is not such a disaster. However, now that I am in my 69th year, there may not be so many tokens left! I need to spend each one wisely.

Moses, who lived to the grand old age of 120, prayed to God like this: “Teach us to number our days aright that we may gain a heart of wisdom (Psalm 90:12).”

------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

CHURCH DIARY FOR 

 MARCH 2019

                                          

 

        

 

MARCH 2019

Fri

1

10.30 am

World Day of Prayer, St. Andrew’s Church

 

     

 

Sun

3

10.30 am

Morning Worship led by Rev. Martin Legg with Holy Communion

Mon

4

2.00 pm

Foodbank Management Committee – Church Vestry

Wed

6

12.30 pm

2.15 pm

Ash Wednesday – Lent Event: All Saints Church Lunch & Soundbites Concert followed by prayers

Thurs

7

10.00 am

10.30 –

12.30 pm

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

Lent Event: Holy Trinity Church ‘Coffee Pot’ – Duncombe Hall, Bengeo

Sat

9

6.30 for

7.00 pm

Lent Event: URC Inter-Church Quiz Supper in aid of Christian Aid

       

 

Sun

10

10.30 am

Morning Worship led by Mrs. Janet Bird, All Saints Church - followed by Church Meeting

Thurs

14

10.00 am

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

Sat

16

9.30 am

Thames North Synod Meeting, Chingford

 

     

 

Sun

17

10.30 am

Morning Worship led by Margaret Colville

Thurs

21

10.00 am

12.00 –

1.30 pm

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

Hot Potato Lunch in the Vestibule – all welcome

Sat &

Sun

23

24

12.00 –

3.00 pm

Lent Event: Friends Meeting House, ‘The Life of George Fox’ exhibition

 

     

 

Sun

24

10.30 am

 

Morning Worship led by Professor Jerry Forrester, Hertford Baptist Church

Mon

25

10.30 am

Vacancy Committee – Church Vestibule

Tues

26

12.15 pm

Lent Event: St. Joseph’s, Mass followed by light lunch

Thurs

28

10.00 am

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

Sat

30

9.00 am

Lent Event: Holy Trinity, Prayers & Poems from Iona followed by coffee & croissants

 

     

 

SunClock

31

10.30 am

(clocks

forward)

Morning Worship led by our Interim Moderator Rev. Ann Jack

(Mothering Sunday)

 

 

 

 

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