Hertford URC


344th Anniversary year


November 2017



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.



2.00pm                   Alternative Bible Study and Social Afternoons Every Monday

                               see diary for details (not through summer holidays)


          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,

Something had to change. Someone had to blow the whistle. Corruption had to be exposed and systems changed. How do you bring about change in an international, global entity without destroying it? How do you repair something from within so that it functions properly? How do you make the change so thorough that it doesn’t revert after a few years?

Hollywood with its couches may be asking that at the moment, but someone was asking those questions 500 years ago, not of films, but of the church. That someone was Martin Luther, a German monk full of ups and downs in his faith, but jolly certain he was not going to let his flock be ripped off by underhand bribery and corrupt clergy.

He asked some question: 95 to be precise. On 31st October 1517 he put them on his discussion board for fellow monks to discuss. Discuss they did! And ordinary people, who could not understand the Latin that Luther had used to ensure it was a ‘clergy debate’, translated and circulated the questions and a revolution began.

In reality the revolution had already started and had been slowly turning for about 200 years. Luther’s impetus set it rolling unstoppably. The notice-board was his church door – that’s where all the notices were posted – and the questions, known as the 95 theses, entered public debate. The revolution is known as the ‘Reformation’ and church and politics were to change across Europe forever. Our church – the United Reformed Church – stems from this revolution.

Luther wrestled with understanding Paul’s letter to the Romans (as have most Christians!!) but one thing was clear: a person is ‘justified’ – made acceptable to God – by faith, not by doing a whole list of things supposed to make you holy. Luther took his stand: faith and nothing but faith. How different that was from the message proclaimed by the church of his day! It also became clear to Luther that the ordinary person should be able to read the Bible in his own language. So he translated it into ordinary German. Now the handpicked proof-texts that kept power in the upper echelons of the clergy and brought much wealth into the church were seen in context and could be put alongside other texts to give a different view on life.

Nothing was going to be the same again. Luther was hounded by the church but protected by the people. Other leaders of the Reformation both before and after Luther were not so protected and many were burned alive at the stake for the stand they took.

But Luther prevailed and his revolution spawned a number of ways of understanding the Christian Faith and Church Organisation that are still with us today. Our particular tradition comes down to us from two main sources: John Calvin, who followed Luther, and whose understanding came to Scotland through John Knox and gave us the Presbyterian Church, and the other was an East Anglian minister, Revd Brown, whose understanding developed into the Congregational Church.  

Justification by faith alone and our own reading and understanding the Bible are still the central planks of the URC!


May God be with you in all you do 








2018 DATES



7th January,  4 March,  1 July,   16 September,  4 November





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

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




Young Life Quiz



From Margaret…


(Author unknown)

I cannot understand the why, the wherefore of a thousand


The crosses, the annoyances, the daily stings.

I cannot understand, but I can trust,

And perfect trusting perfect comfort brings.

I cannot clearly see, why life to one brings joy, unlooked-for


White to another bitter heartaches come, and pain.

I cannot clearly see, but I can trust,

And by and by my Father will explain.

I cannot see the end. The hidden meaning of each trial sent,

The pattern into which each tangled thread is bent.

I cannot see the end, but I can trust,

And in his changeless love I am content.

I cannot grasp the whole of life’s great symphony,

Nor find the key to these strange minor cadences perplexing


I cannot grasp the whole, but I can trust

In Him whose ways are perfect harmony.

And knowing Thee when trial and sorrow press,

When nerves are weary and the body weak,

I neither try to think, nor try to pray,

But REST in Thee with love that need not speak.





The Chair, Janet Bird, said that Ecumenism was very dear to her heart. She noted how much we are able to achieve when we come out of our own buildings and work together to support the local community. She urged us to keep our hearts open to new opportunities that may present themselves in these days when so many people are suffering from poverty, homelessness, addiction, loneliness, and the responsibilities of being a carer for someone with long term or terminal illness or the diseases of old age like dementia. She encouraged anyone involved in important work, like supporting the Syrian refugees, to send details to the secretary for circulation. Janet said how much she had enjoyed being Chair and that she was willing to stand for an additional year if no one else felt ready to take over at this time.

The following officers were elected:                  


Chair                                                                Janet Bird                       

Vice-chair                                                     David Sunman                            

Secretary                                                       Katey Earle                   

Treasurer                                                      Colin Bird                       

Christian Aid Representative             Anthea Slate                 

Independent Examiner                          Keith Street   

Katey Earle was thanked for her work as secretary.

Treasurer’s Report

The Treasurer’s report has been circulated together with the receipts and payments summary for the year ended 31st July 2016. The accounts were accepted.

It was agreed that there should be no change to the subscription.

The Treasurer was thanked for his work on our behalf.


Items to note:

Christmas Alone

Christmas Alone went very well in 2016 and will be in action again this Christmas

Faith in Print

Three primary schools have said that they intend to purchase books but have not yet spent the money (£100 each)

Young Life

Jane Chaplin gave a verbal report on Young Life’s activities. She said that these are exciting days for the growth of Young Life and the aim is to reach 5% of all the young people in Hertford. They look forward to regularly visit all the churches in Hertford.

Future Hope     A full report is on the table at the back of the church, please read.

Foodbank          A report follows

Street Pastors  Colin Bird spoke about the current position with Street Pastors. There are just enough Street Pastors, although the team relies on students from All Nations College who are not available during the holidays. Funding is precarious after June 2018 and so the future is unknown unless other funding streams can be identified.  The importance of the role and need for Prayer Pastors was stressed, they meet at 9.30 pm on Friday and Saturday evenings prior to the Street Pastors duty.

Churches Together in Hertfordshire

Janet and Colin Bird and Jess Hartwig attended the recent committee meeting of Churches Together in Hertfordshire. Jess Hartwig has also joined the committee. A replacement is currently being sought for Callan Slipper who has been appointed the Church of England’s National Ecumenical Officer.

Future activities and events:

Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

The unity service will be on January 21st. Date and venue to be decided at the next Fraternal Meeting.

Lent 2018   

It was agreed to put on the same kind of Lent events as last year with the dual purpose of encouraging people to visit each other’s’ churches and raise money for Christian Aid. Lent begins on February 14th .  The URC are putting on a Quiz Supper, date to be agreed.

Women’s World Day of Prayer

The WWDP service will be held on Friday 2nd March at 2.00pm at Hertford Baptist Church.

Good Friday Witness

The Good Friday Witness is planned to take place again at Bircherley Green. The church to take responsibility to be decided at the next Fraternal Meeting.

Hertford  Disability Group 

Alison Warn reported on this important work and the dwindling number of volunteers coming forward and asked if churches could give more help in this support for Hertford’s elderly citizens?




The work goes on steadily.  The number of clients has dropped by 10% on last year although last year had seen a 20% increase on the previous year, so demand has in fact levelled out.  We help on average 100 people a month.  Stock is at approximately the same level as last year and a similar amount has been spent on “topping up” our stock. Of course Waitrose has now closed and 1 ton of stock was collected from their Collection Point in a year.  Donations have slightly increased at Sainsbury’s in the meantime.  Aldi will be approached when it starts up and the two local Co-Ops are being contacted to see if they would take a Permanent Collection Point.

Our stocks are quite low at the moment so we will be looking forward to receiving stock from Churches and Schools as they celebrate Harvest Festivals.  We have frequent requests for speakers to go to schools and we hold small group visits at the Foodbank.  There will be a Food Collection at Hertford Tesco on Thursday 30 November–2 December.


We have two new Agencies taking our Vouchers ‘Mind in Mid-Herts’ and ‘EHDC Housing Options’.


Although our accounts are good at the moment, figures show that we do operate with a £700 deficit each year, so this will need to be addressed eventually.  The Reception area of the Foodbank will soon have a new kitchen area to serve drinks, this will save volunteers from using the church kitchen which is at the back of the Church.

Thank you again for all your support.



I have copied a report of this Conference attended by Megan, Shirley and Fran on Saturday 14 October.  It was a very interesting and relevant day and I thought it was worth putting in the Magazine, rather than reporting at the Church Meeting

Thames North Synod Church and Society Network Event


A big THANKS to everyone who came and participated in this day. We shared stories; experiences; insights  and information about how churches were responding to needs experienced by people facing a variety of  mental health issues crossing different generations and different cultural groups. We then explored the impact of discrimination of different kinds on mental health, followed by considering the affects of bereavement and funerals in different cultures ( eg in Ghana ) and in different faiths. These sessions was preceded by helpful and contextual worship

Throughout the different sessions there was a positive  sharing that contributed greatly to our awareness of and learning about mental health. During the last session we discussed churches ‘ responses to mental health and the different ways they might embrace people and enable them to be included in church and community life including the spotting of talents that could be affirmed and drawn upon. We then noted down our expectations as a network and ideas for the future and also for our next event.

  • OUR CHURCHES AND MENTAL HEALTH – Ways churches and Christians can be involved
    • Church lunches
    • Impressed by the ‘potato lunches ‘ (jackets with fillings). We could try this but worried we may not find enough volunteers; although could do it ecumenically and get advice
    • Practical activities leading to discussion
    • Empowerment centre twice a week ( one church is doing this )
    • Young boys ( a church/community group ) discussing bereavement, violence ( a young people’s activity in one church )
    • Be aware of what is going on locally before starting anything new
    • Be aware of people who hop around the churches
    • Need to bring spirituality into discussions about mental health
    • A church can provide a base but enabling the people to help each other
    • No need to worry so much or be fearful
    • Street pastors often have communication with people with mental health issues
    • Speaking with people of different Faiths about mental health can help to widen our awareness
    • Caring for the carers is extremely important
    • Someone from a church had the experience of a family member donating their organs. Family did not know and this caused a rift in the family
    • Good to talk and say what you feel ( as Isaac recommended )
  • EXPECTATIONS of our Network
    • To work together with open minds
    • Expand across the synod to involve more younger people, hoping that there will be more younger people at the next event   
    • That the network gives opportunities for people to speak to each other at the events ( there was some time during coffee breaks and over lunch )
    • Create a directory of ideas and projects going on in churches, leading to a sharing of expertise and possibility of visiting each others’ churches  
    • Sharing experiences, hearing different opinions and perspectives as well as giving and receiving support
    • The continuation of the good work already started by the Network and to develop this network
    • Try to improve communications across the synod
  • IDEAS for our Network to explore and also write about in our newsletter
    • How to get churches to encourage inter-faith groups into  their localities
    • Re- visiting mental health issues and groups by introducing the issue into church conferences. This could be helpful in widening the discussion
    • Encourage use of buzz groups when discussing topics
    • Divorce/separation
    • Drug addiction
    • Looking at a Government paper and analyse and discuss it relating to churches’ further work on mental health
    • Could invite churches to send a copy of their church newsletter so that we could create an audit of events and activities happening in the churches
  • TOPICS suggested for our annual event in 2018. Whatever we explore should be done in a context of equality, fairness and justice
    • Learning disabilities and difficulties
    • Dealing with depression
    • Gender identity as a challenge for churches
    • Poverty, housing, homelessness, benefits, sanctions
    • Suicide
    • Hate crime
    • Zero contract hours
    • Hunger ( Carol gave notice of Tuesday 17th October- the launching of a campaign to end hunger in 2018 )

Let us all try to make this a real network with different people contributing in different ways. Let us walk the talk.       

Thank you again

From the planning group members: Leonora, Alex, Fran, Brian, Sarah, Sandra



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 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). This 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!





Hertford and District Churches Together

Christmas Alone 2017


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.


Contact 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.


Contact Janet Bird (01992 587544) 01992 587544

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

Christmas Day help with driving

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

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

c) Helping 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.

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



Ministry of Sport, Sweaty Church, Christians in Sport

Introducing people to Jesus through Exercise and Teams

Around the country groups of Christians are exploring ideas of using sporting opportunities as a way of taking to their friends about Jesus, spirituality, faith, and being part of a worshipping community. In Hertford we have an offer of some seed funding for a Sports Intern to organize events. However, this needs careful thought and prayer, and so a meeting is being held at 33 Cecil Road, Hertford, on Thursday 9 November 2017 from 8pm to 9pm.  Kevin Carter is hosting this, and if you would like more details about the agenda, please email him on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  All are welcome to contribute to the discussion!

The steering group at present consists of Kevin Carter, who has been involved in various Christian sports initiatives for many years, Colin Harding who is involved in Young Life and has played for and trained teams, and Jim Thornton, who is the non-games player who knows he ought to be keeping fit.

Jim Thornton  



In the month, when we think about those who have given their lives in war, the two minutes silence is a familiar act of remembrance. We can use the silence to reflect on those who have suffered in war or on what it means to work for a peaceful world. Or do we end up thinking about lunch or panic that we haven’t switched our phone off?

Victor Frankl, a victim of Auschwitz, suggested that the most intolerable of all human conditions is not imprisonment or hunger, but lack of meaning. The two minutes silence enables us to connect with Jesus’ message, which offers true meaning to our lives and world. He spoke of giving ourselves in love for each other and the world, ‘Love your enemies and pray for those that persecute you’ (Matthew 5:44). He also demonstrated such love in sacrificing His own life; ‘Greater love has no-one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends’ (John 15:13). In observing the silence, let’s use it to reflect on this sacrificial love, as we remember all those who have experienced pain and conflict. 

Of course, we should be serious about silence and stillness in the whole of our lives, not just for two minutes at an act of Remembrance. Jesus made a habit of withdrawing to experience silence. ‘The seeking out of solitary places was a regular practice for Jesus. So it should be for us.’ (Richard Foster).   Paul Hardington




Working Party Pic






(after Open House)


Please come along to help give the church a bit of TLC, especially after all the work that has been happening recently

Please bring some lunch with you a cup of soup will be available.



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.














10.00 am

Open House in Vestibule with a time of reflection and prayer






10.30 pm

Morning Worship with Holy Communion led by Rev. David Bradburn

Followed Church Meeting

Tues  7  8.00 pm “Time 4 Life” AGM at 7 Tudor Rise, Broxbourne
Wed  8 10.30 am Foodbank Admin Meeting in Church Vestry
Thurs  9

10.00 am

12 noon


Open House in Vestibule with time for reflection and prayer

Church Working Party – all welcome





10.30 am

Morning Worship led by Margaret Colville (Remembrance Sunday)

Thurs 16

10.00 am

12.00 pm

Open House in Vestibule with time of reflection and prayer

Church Working Party – all welcome!





10.30 am

Morning Worship led by Dawid Konotey-Ahulu

Thurs 23

10.00 am

 2.00 pm

Open House in Vestibule with time of reflection and prayer

Foodbank – Trussell Trust visit for Quality Assurance Visit





10.30 am

Morning Service led by Martin Bird

Wed 29  7.30 pm Meeting to discuss future of Street Pastors – Christchurch, Ware
Thurs 30

10.00 am

all day



Open House in Vestibule with a time of Reflection and prayer

Foodbank – 3-day Food Collection from Tesco begins – finish Saturday






10.30 am

Morning Worship with Holy Communion led by our Minister Rev. David Bradburn



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