350th 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.




                                    Minister In Attendance during our Interregnum is

                             Rev. Martin Legg:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


The church is following the URC Guidelines on Safe distancing and operating Covid Secure Precautions



10.30 am                Family Worship,.

                               Communion is usually celebrated on the

                               First Sunday of the month



11.00 am                Thursday there is our "Open House" Coffee Morning

                                       runs from 10.00 - 12.00 noon. 



             Please contact your Elder for urgent pastoral needs.

The diary is at the end of this magazine


 Very best wishes for a very happy 2022

The next magazine will be issued on Sunday 30th January, if you have any items of news or articles you would like to share, please let me know.

Many thanks Fran.




Christmas Story

The Christmas Story: Does It Still Matter?

What does Christmas mean to you? Times with family and friends? Perhaps carols, cards, television specials. Maybe hectic shopping, parties, and eating too much.

All these and more are part of our Christmas, but what about the first Christmas? Is the original story—the baby in a manger, shepherds, wise men, angels—important?

I invite you to consider these eight reasons why it does.

  • A Story that Has Endured. For two millennia, people have told of the child in a Bethlehem manger; of angels who announced his birth to shepherds; of learned men who travelled a great distance to view him. This alone does not prove its truthfulness, but surely merits consideration. What deep human longings does the Christmas story portray? Why has it connected so profoundly with millions of people? Is the story factual? Curiosity prompts further investigation.
  • A Story of Hope and Survival: Jesus’ society knew great pain and oppression. Rome ruled. Corrupt taxes burdened the people. Joseph and his pregnant wife Mary travelled a long distance to Bethlehem for a census but could not obtain proper lodging. Mary bore her baby and laid him in a feeding trough for animals. Later, warned that King Herod sought to kill the baby, Joseph and Mary fled to Egypt. Travelling while pregnant would be challenging. Fleeing to another nation to avoid your son’s murder would be terrifying. Yet she, Joseph, and Jesus survived the ordeal. Amid social and cultural challenges, the Christmas story offers hope and encouragement toward survival, hope of new life linked to something—someone—greater than oneself. Jesus’ would be “the hope of all the world.”(Matthew 12v21)
  • A Story of Peace and Goodwill: Carols tell of “peace on earth.” Greeting cards extol it. Families desire it. And the news reminds us of its fleeting nature. Briefly there is a virus of good feeling. Greetings of good will spread smiles and soften hearts. The angel told the shepherds, “‘Don’t be afraid! . . . I bring you good news of great joy for everyone! The Saviour has been born tonight in Bethlehem, the city of David!” A crowd of angels then appeared praising God and proclaiming peace among people of good will. (Luke 2v10-14) The Christmas message of peace can soothe anxious hearts and calm strife.
  • Christmas is a time for family gatherings: This interaction can bring great joy or great stress. Joseph and Mary had their share of family challenges. Historical accounts indicate that Joseph’s fiancée became pregnant though she was a virgin. Mary believed an angel who told her she was pregnant by God. If your fiancée said the child was God-sent would your trust and self-esteem plummet? Would you cancel the wedding? Reassured by an angel in a dream, Joseph, “a just man, …decided to break the engagement quietly, so as not to disgrace . . . [Mary] publicly.” (Matthew 1v21) Joseph’s care and  commitment to Mary and Jesus were important. With God’s help, the family overcame major obstacles. So can our families.
  • A story of Humility: God came first not as a ruling king but as a servant, a baby born in humble circumstances. His humility and humanity help humans identify with Him. ‘Though he was God… he made himself nothing; he took the humble position of a slave …. In human form he obediently humbled himself further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. Because of this, God raised him up to the heights of heaven. (Philippians 2v6-9)


So, the Christmas story speaks of family and humility. But is it true?

  • A Story that Was Foretold: Jesus’ followers noted numerous clues to his identity, in prophecies written many years before His birth. Micah, writing around 700 BC told of deliverance through a coming Messiah or “Anointed One” from Bethlehem and we know that “. . . Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judea. . . .”(Micah 5v2/Matthew 2v1) Other prophesies include the virgin birth, the name Immanuel - “God is with us”, the Messiah’s lineage, betrayal, suffering, execution, and resurrection. There are 300 prophecies that Jesus fulfilled coming true in one person. Could this be by chance? A conservative estimate (Stoner 1969) concluded there was one chance in 1017 that just eight could be fulfilled by coincidence. Not 300!
  • A Story that Has Substantial Support: Can we trust the biblical accounts of the Christmas story? Yes because:
  1. The Gospels bear evidence of containing eyewitness accounts
  2. Every book in the New Testament (NT) has been dated before AD80 (McDowell1979) and there is no known record of NT factual authenticity ever being successfully challenged by a contemporary.
  3. Over 24,000 early manuscript copies of portions of the NT exist today. Their authenticity and general integrity are established. (F.G. Kenyon 1940)

The Christmas story is notable for its enduring messages of hope, peace, goodwill, family and humility. It was foretold by prophets and has substantial manuscript support. But the most important reason for considering the story of Jesus’ birth is that it is …

  • A Story of Love: Jesus’ followers taught that His conception and birth were part of a divine plan to bring us genuine peace, inner freedom, and self-respect. They believed that God wants us to enjoy friendship with Him, meaning and purpose. Alas, too often, our own self-centredness separates us from God. Jesus came to reunite us with God. Mary’s baby was born to die. When Jesus died on the cross, He paid the penalty for our self-centred sin, then rose from the dead to give new life.

Jesus explained, “God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3v.16) If you believe in Him and trust Him to forgive you. He will never let you down.

Christmas is meant to celebrate peace and joy. Amidst the busyness of shopping, parties, presents, and fun, remember that the Prince of Peace came to spread peace and joy to all who believe in Him.

Adapted from ‘Christmas: More than a Story?’ by Rusty Wright

         From Rosemary Woodhall, Broxbourne



We have also received a Christmas letter from the new Moderator of the Thames North Synod Rev George Watt

Dear friends,

At the start of 2021 we were filled with hope. Nothing could be as challenging as the previous year…. could it? The miracle of the vaccination programme was beginning to be rolled out. Life would return to normal before too long. But, of course, it wasn’t until Easter that some churches re-opened and indeed many waited until much later in the year. Even then some members still feel uncomfortable about attending in person. Live streaming and Zoom services which had become very strange new phenomena for last year continue to play a central part in the life of many churches.

Last year was a wakeup call about some of the injustices in our world. Marcus Rashford used his status as a Premiership football player to highlight family food poverty. The Government very quickly, with the onset of the pandemic, ensured that some of the most vulnerable were supported through the Furlough Scheme and the additional Universal Credit top up payment of £20 – things that continued into this year. The death of George Floyd made the world stop and consider that Black Lives Matter. The stories of historical and contemporary discrimination and persecution opened our eyes to the reality of what it is like to be part of an ethnic minority group not just in other parts of the world but here in our own nation and local communities.

Over the last 20 months we have experienced as individuals, churches and communities some of the darkest of days and yet there have been some glorious glimmers of hope. And as 2021 comes to a close there is much to give thanks for, but the challenges continue, and the biggest frustration is that there are some times when it seems that we have forgotten the lessons learned.

I was excited about taking on my new role as Moderator. I came into post knowing that there would be joys and challenges….and that has certainly proven to be the case. The Spirit is at work in small and bigger ways through his people – you and me. The churches in Thames North Synod demonstrate that we are all one in Christ, whatever our background and whatever our age. But these have been, and continue to be, challenging times with Ministers under great pressure because of having to minister more widely as well as leading churches into a post pandemic world (and of course that also applies to Elders, Office Holders and volunteers generally) and churches are anxious about what the future holds.

As we move into the Advent season (again) it is an opportunity to rediscover hope. Surely God has given seasons like a heartbeat to keep us alive. Surely that is true of Advent with its important focus on hope. No doubt at the end of 2022 there will still be challenges but in the meantime we are called to live, share and proclaim the message of hope which is at the heart of the Scriptures, our faith and the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Myself and my family (Linda, Nathan, Emily, Jacob and Reuben) would like to wish you a happy Christmas and a peaceful New Year. Despite the frustrations of living and commuting from Surrey and searching for a new home, we can now look forward to moving to Watford in early December which will complete our new beginnings in Thames North Synod.

May the words of the prophet Isaiah encourage us all and fill us with hope as we finish 2021 and move into 2022.

A green Shoot will sprout from Jesse’s stump,    from his roots a budding Branch.


Rev Mark Robinson

Following the decision of our Pastorate Church meeting, a call was made to Mark to be our next minister. Mark has accepted this call. Mark is married to Tessa.. They have four adult children and three grandchildren. Mark has undertaken various roles within the URC and the wider church. He is currently on sabbatical leave from his pastorate in Southampton. Mark is required to give three months notice. We are therefore looking forward to him joining us in the new year. We will be busy over the next few months putting everything in place for the start of his ministry here. This will be an exciting and challenging time as we work together to build up our fellowship in faith and serve our local community. Let us pray for Mark, Tessa and ourselves as we prepare to welcome him.

Revd Martin Legg

Interim Moderator



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!!




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.




Concerns for the Fellowship


Our thoughts and prayers are with Dave and Jan Carter as they battle with their health issues, especially for Dave in so much pain and now with problems with his mobility. We pray for the right care and help for them both.

We pray for all those we know who have been, or are still suffering from the effects of Covid, including our Moderator George and his wife. We pray for protection as we continue to worship and serve in all we do as a church fellowship.

We pray for Pam Hollis in Westgate Care home that her health and mobility improves. We also think of Hazel’s mum Ivy also in Westgate. May they both know your comfort and strength this Christmas.

We continue to pray for Phoebe, that she may continue to improve and soon be back with her family.

We pray for our prospective Minister Mark and his wife Tessa as they both leave their present churches and prepare to start their new ministries with us and with the East London Churches LAG respectively.

We pray for Emma Farrant and her partner Sam Purkis as they get married in our church on Sunday 5th December. Emma was a valued member of our Junior Church for many years.



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.



A Christmas Prayer - By Daphne Kitching


Loving, Almighty God,

Thank you that You came into the darkness of this broken world on that first Christmas night, pouring in your Light, in the person of your Son, Jesus.

Lord, so much of our world seems dark, still. So many dreadful things we can’t make sense of: the on-going pandemic, acts of violence and injustice against good people – innocent people, child poverty, employment problems, broken relationships … so many difficulties. It’s easy to feel overwhelmed.
Lord, help us to focus on you this Christmas. Open our eyes to see your bigger, eternal picture. Help us to hear afresh the Good News that nothing and no-one can ever extinguish your Light.
Jesus overcame the troubles of the world by His death and resurrection. Father may we re-connect with you, through Jesus, this Christmas and know the Love, the Joy and the Peace, which are your Christmas gifts to us, as we trust Him.
We pray in Jesus’ wonderful name, Amen.


There will not be a January magazine but a newsletter and diary will be available on 9th January


Christmas Arrangements


Sunday 19th December - 10.30 am Service of Carols and Lessons led by Carolina


Thursday 23rd December – 10.00 am Open House with mince pies and at 11.00 pm a Christmas Reflection in the church with Carols led by Margaret – all are welcome.


There will be no services on Christmas day or Boxing Day at our church and this also applies to Broxbourne and Cheshunt. So please find an opportunity to join other churches locally.


A “Christmas Card Tree” will be in place for Christmas Cards from the Fellowship to be hung. The post box will also make its annual descent from the church balcony as usual.



Advent -The Revd Canon Paul Hardingham on waiting for Christmas.

Waiting is not popular in our culture, when so much can be obtained simply at the press of a button! Advent, when we wait for the coming of Christmas, is also an opportunity to learn what it means to be waiting for the promised return of Jesus. He says: ‘It’s like a man going away: he leaves his house and puts his servants in charge, each with their assigned task, and tells the one at the door to keep watch. Therefore, keep watch because you do not know when the owner of the house will come back’ (Mark 13:34-35).

We live between Jesus’ first and second comings and this parable reminds us of the need to watch and wait, as disciples living faithfully for Him. It reminds us of two kinds of waiting: passive and active. Imagine you’re at the railway station, awaiting the arrival of a train. On the platform a man is asleep, as he thinks there is plenty of time before the train arrives. He is passively waiting. There is also a small boy on the platform who is excited about the train coming. He can’t sit still and constantly looks down the track to see if the train is coming. He is actively waiting, for he expects the train to arrive at any moment.

Advent gives us a choice: how will we wait for Jesus’ coming? Passive waiting doesn’t require much attention on our part. We can live our Christian life pre-occupied with our own concerns, rather than looking to God. However, active waiting involves an eager expectation, as we await Jesus’ return or simply look to Him coming to us today. All we want is to be found faithful as His disciples. There is nothing more important than being ready to meet our Master!



From Jess Hartwig, the new Chair of Hertford & District Churches Together


Hello friends,

We had a lively Hertford and District Churches Together meeting last week and as the new Chair I wanted to highlight two important things;

Firstly, for those who are interested in being part of a monthly prayer call/Zoom, please can you get in touch with your Church Representative – Fran Spence.

Secondly, Lent begins on the 2nd Of March Next year. As a way to build community and raise some money for Christian Aid, we are encouraging each church community to run an event as we have in previous years. Historical examples are; a quiz, hymns and cake or a coffee morning. Be as creative as you like! Please let us know what event you are choosing and the date so we can circulate.

Finally, The next Churches together meeting is on 10th Feb, 7:30pm. To help us gain some new life and momentum for the future, could I ask if you could please consider joining your church rep and come along and be part of the wider conversation of the churches across Hertford.

Love and Blessings, 

Jess Hartwig



A good question ?......

ROBERT JORDAN ‘The global embraces the local’

When saying the Lord’s Prayer, the first word has always been crucial to me: Our. Whether we say it on our own, or in a group, we always begin not with ‘My Father’ but with ‘Our Father’. And this is a reminder that even when we are a local, we are a local that forms part of the global. This is deeply rooted in our faith and defines us – we are each a human being who is part of the human family.

Having said that, I will always come down on the side of the global because the global embraces the local, not only my local, but everybody’s local, wherever we are in the world.

Having been born and lived most of my life in Argentina, where there were six military dictatorships since 1930, neoliberal economics impacted our lives constantly and the fight for human rights was a continual necessity, so much of what happened there was also linked to global movements.

I have also been involved in global ecumenical activity, training at a theological college in Buenos Aires and becoming involved with the World Council of Churches and the World Communion of Reformed Churches, work which culminated in one of the highlights of my life: The Accra Confession

– on Economic Injustice and the Destruction of the Earth: at the same time local and global.

Discrimination, xenophobia, racism – none of this just happens locally; they hurt us all as human beings. Refugees, forced immigrants, the climate crisis – they don’t happen only locally, they happen globally. The destruction of Yemen is part of the worldwide arms trade. Our global interconnectedness was made painfully clear by the Covid19 pandemic.

Our worldwide communication means that what goes on in a distant place becomes public round the world in a matter of seconds; that is why authoritarian regimes tend to seek to clamp down on communication and communicators. So some issues can only begin to be solved on a local level before they are solved globally.

As a minister of the URC, which is part of the Church in the UK, the Church in Europe and the Church in the world, I believe we can’t live only on the local level. We are local in our congregations and towns, but also clearly in the world. When Jesus said, ‘I have come so that all may have life and have it in abundance’, he was not referring only to the small and local; he referred to life for all, everywhere.

When we pray ‘Our Father …’, aren’t we being local and global at the same time? Isn’t that what our ‘business’ is all about?

Robert Jordan is the Minister of Immanuel United Reformed Church in Swindon and Highworth URC – Article from ‘Reform’



From November Reform Magazine


Eco Church Gold - Tamsin Morris reports on the first two United Reformed churches to win the highest award for care for creation.

United Reformed churches have been achieving gold in the Eco Church award scheme run by A Rocha UK. St John’s Marsh Green URC in Kent was the first in 2019, then in July 2021, Tavistock URC in Devon became the second. These gold award winners demonstrated care for creation in multiple ways – through their worship and teaching, buildings, land, community and global engagement and lifestyle.

St John’s and Tavistock URCs have long been committed to addressing environmental issues. To complete a gold award often requires sustained action over many years. Their worship continues to celebrate creation. They pray for action to address the climate crisis and engage with the local community.

The most visible signs of eco-credentials at St John’s Marsh Green are such things as the rows of solar panels high up on the slate roof, which mean that the church is a net exporter of electricity, and the rainwater tank that flushes the toilets, and another that waters the plants.

St John’s has a nature reserve which is managed to promote a wide diversity of native flora and fauna. It has a wildflower meadow, log piles, fruit trees and numerous bird, bat, bug and butterfly boxes. There are several hedgehog homes as well –

‘Creation is an integral part of worship’ part of the scheme to encourage the whole village to become ‘hedgehog friendly’. There are compost bins, a wormery, a recycling centre, double or secondary glazed windows, insulation, LED light bulbs, and Fairtrade supplies in the kitchen. Less obvious, but equally important, are ethical banking, using green energy suppliers, involvement of the children, environmental services and film evenings, and green ‘spots’ in the newsletter and weekly bulletin!

Gill Musgrove, coordinator of the church’s eco-group explains: ‘At Marsh Green URC we have for many years seen care for creation as an essential part of our mission – a logical extension of “loving our neighbour”. As a Gold Eco Church, we see encouraging other congregations down this path as an important part of our role, particularly at this critical time in our planet’s history. Back at the church we try not to stand still, and look forward to creating a wildlife pond in our nature reserve this autumn and possibly the arrival of rescue hedgehogs to reinforce the shrinking and increasingly endangered wild UK population.’

Tavistock URC, meanwhile, has no outside land, as it is in the town centre, but the congregation have installed hanging baskets and beautiful planters which are tended and watered by the green fingered members. These are planted up with flowers each season, encouraging bees, butterflies and other insects.

Ten years ago, the church installed solar panels as part of a major refurbishment of the church premises, the start of a number of eco-friendly changes. Over the past five years, the members have continued to take action to reduce their carbon footprint. They have switched to a green electricity supplier, and installed a cycle rack to encourage people to cycle rather than drive to church. Within the church they have hosted a display to highlight the importance of bats in Devon, developed in conjunction with the Devon Bat Project.

The minister, the Revd Robert Weston, has been one of the South Western Synod’s Green Advocates since 2019. He ensures that God’s creation is an integral part of the worship and teaching life of the church. He says: ‘The Gold Eco Church award recognises the journey that we have been on as a congregation over the past twenty years or more. We work with all the churches in Tavistock on a number of green initiatives and seek to support others in our community as they also seek to respond to the climate emergency. We have also played a role in helping the URC Mission Council agree to full divestment from fossil fuels, a policy that has now been implemented in almost every synod of the URC.’

Tamsin Morris is Press and Communications Officer for A Rocha UK and Climate Sunday Coalition. Since these two awards, Emmanuel Church, Bungay, Suffolk, an LEP, has also won gold. For more information about Eco Church visit ecochurch.arocha.org.uk



Bike ‘n Hike 11th September 2021

Cheryl has received a letter of thanks for the £130 raised by Carolina’s excellent fundraising efforts. This contributed to the £91,000 raised through this year’s Bike ‘n Hike.   Half of this money raised by Carolina will come back to our Church.



Are you tired?

How tired are you? As this Christmas approaches, many of us feel more than tired – we feel utterly drained. We have found that despite being less active than we used to be, we have far less energy. Months of anxiety, rising bills, Covid confusion, and erratic sleep patterns have not helped. Here are some tips of how to improve things:

Increase your light, especially in the morning. Scientists say that daylight clears melatonin, the tiredness hormone, and produces instead the brain’s happy chemicals, dopamine and serotonin. As one scientist from Sleepstation.org.uk advises, “Throw open your curtains the minute you wake up, and don’t start work without exercising outside first.”

Increase your joy through human contact.  A German study found that people who are most socially isolated are also the most exhausted. Social media doesn’t count – it can make you feel even more tired. Instead, get out and meet up with some friends, and “do whatever makes you smile, or simply feel good.”

Eat right. Nutritionists warn that diets high in starchy carbs and sugar mean fluctuating energy levels. At least half of each meal should be vegetables, fruit or salad.  And keep your alcohol intake under control – it can compromise your sleep quality. 

Consider vitamins – new research from the Health and Food Supplements Information Service (hsis.org) advises that Vitamin B can help reduce tiredness and fatigue. Make sure you are eating eggs, dairy products, legumes and seeds regularly. If you are still really exhausted, consider a blood test to check your iron levels.

Exercise.  We all know this is good for us, but it is also important to stay hydrated as you do it. Water makes an enormous difference to your energy levels.

Take time to stop and breathe deeply, and slowly. Anxiety can keep us in a chronic fight-or-flight mode, which drains our energy. Calm, deep breathing can halt the stress response.

Be grateful.  Make a list of things that you have to be thankful to God for – practise a mental attitude of praise and gratitude towards Him. You will be amazed at the difference it makes!

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.


Citizen’s Advice – East Herts

We’re still here to help!

If you need advice during the coronavirus outbreak, we’re still here to help. Whilst we’ve had to temporarily close our face to face service you can still contact us in a number of ways if you are an East Herts or Uttlesford resident:

For advice by email go to www.citizensadviceeastherts.org.uk/webadvice

For phone advice please call 03444 111444 10am-4pm Monday to Friday (you may have to wait in a queue but we will get to you as soon as we can). Or call 01920 459944 and leave a message. One of our advisers will get back to you as soon as possible.

You can also access information online at citizensadviceeastherts.org.uk

For medical advice - www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

  1. We will do our very best to answer all calls and emails but, due to a reduction in the number of staff and volunteers we have available, please bear with us at this difficult time. It may be that we have to offer to call you back with more advice at a later time.





 January 2022









10.30 am

Morning Worship led by Marion Cowell Ward



8.00 pm

On-line Prayer Meeting with Broxbourne and Cheshunt Churches



10.00 am

1.30 pm

Open House Coffee Morning

Elders’ Meeting – Church





10.30 am

Morning Worship led by Carolina Davey




8.00 pm

On-line Prayer Meeting with Broxbourne and Cheshunt Churches



10.00 am

Open House Coffee Morning





10.30 am

3.00 pm

Morning Worship led by Janet Bird, All Saints Church

Hertford & District Churches Together UNITY SERVICE – This will now on line via Zoom.



1.30 pm

Foodbank Meeting in Church




On-line Prayer Meeting with Broxbourne and Cheshunt Churches



10.00 am

Open House




10.30 am

Morning Worship led by Jerry Forrester, Hertford Baptist Church


Hertford & District Foodbank is open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday and Saturday morning between 10.00 and 11.00

for Clients to pick up pre-arranged Food parcels.

Sorting and preparation of parcels is done on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday.

Any queries please contact 07851 708470