Faith News (Including calm after the storm for village church)

Calm after the storm: St Lawrence Church in Bovingdon's newly-repaired lych gate
Calm after the storm: St Lawrence Church in Bovingdon's newly-repaired lych gate

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Calm after the storm for St Lawrence Church

St Lawrence Church in Bovingdon's lych gate was damaged by storms in autumn 2013 PNL-140731-120841001

St Lawrence Church in Bovingdon's lych gate was damaged by storms in autumn 2013 PNL-140731-120841001

The 130-year-old lych gate at St Lawrence Church in Bovingdon has been comprehensively refurbished following extensive damage in the storms of last autumn.

Built in memory of Isabella Moore who died in 1884, the lych gate had remained virtually unaltered until it was caught a glancing blow by a falling oak tree, thought to be around 300 years old.

Isabella was a daughter of The Hon. Granville Dudley Ryder of Westbrook Hay, who had rebuilt the church 40 years earlier and also founded the village schools at Bovingdon and Bourne End.

The restored lych gate was blessed by the Vicar of Bovingdon, Revd. Charles Burch, in a short ceremony, in the presence of the builder Peter Hope who carried out the refurbishment and members of the congregation.

He reminded those present of the story of Jacob who, having met God in a dream, awoke and said: “How awesome is this place! This is none other than the house of God, the gate of heaven.”

Mr Hope, who lives in the village off Chipperfield Road, and runs building firm Hope Construction, said:“I’ve lived in the local area much of my life and feel privileged to have won the contract against some nationally based companies.

“It’s a source of great pride to me and my family that my work will be enjoyed by local folk and visitors to the church for many years to come.”

Paper chain of thoughts by Hemel Hempstead Quakers

On July 20, the Hemel Hempstead Quakers were joined for meeting for worship and lunch by Nikki Daley, the Chair of Churches Together in the town.

After lunch, Nikki spoke to us about the plans and activities of Churches Together, particularly the street pastors scheme.

There were many questions, and it proved an interesting meeting.

A week later, the meeting held an All Age Worship.

There was a short meeting of silence, but after that, everyone went into the garden where tables and painting materials were already set out.

The theme was, ‘What the meeting means to me,’ and the pictures of our interpretation were painted on strips, which eventually formed a large paper chain of our thoughts.

It was both thought provoking and fun – helped of course by the sunny weather we are experiencing and being in a beautiful garden. Old and young made a contact that surprised us all.

St John’s Church funds boosted thanks to flea market

St John’s Church in Boxmoor held a flea market on Saturday, July 19.

Members of the congregation were invited to bring along their bric-a-brac to sell on.

A total of £275 was raised from the event, which will be put back into church funds. Many thanks to all involved.

Christian Viewpoint

I’m not a great reader, but I’m in the middle of reading ‘In His Steps’ by Charles Sheldon – a really challenging 19th century book about a church pastor who challenges his congregation to live for a year with their actions considered with the purpose of ‘what would Jesus do?’ Jesus is the only person to have lived a perfect life, and his life is a poignant example of how life could be if we thought a bit more about our actions in the light of Jesus. Imagine how your life, your family, friends, our communities would be changed if our lives were lived out in such a way, if we asked ourselves what would Jesus do before we made a decision or acted. Perhaps pray about this challenge and ask God to help you in your life, to say ‘what would Jesus do?’

Dave Bowles, New Church Hemel