Faith News (Including Patronal Festival at St Mary’s Church)

Rickey Simpson-Gray, Rev Jenny Hill, Archdeacon Jonathan Smith, Luke Geoghegan and Diana Spink at St Mary's Patronal Festival
Rickey Simpson-Gray, Rev Jenny Hill, Archdeacon Jonathan Smith, Luke Geoghegan and Diana Spink at St Mary's Patronal Festival

The latest news from faith groups in your area.

Patronal Festival Day at St Mary’s Church, Hemel Hempstead

Sunday, September 14 – Patronal Festival day – was a day of welcome and farewell at St. Mary’s in the Old Town.

The welcome was for the Rev Luke Geoghegan who was licensed by the Archdeacon of St. Albans, the Venerable Jonathan Smith, to take services at St. Mary’s and at St. Paul’s, Highfield.

The licensing took place in the morning during the Parish Eucharist at which the Archdeacon also presided and preached.

The farewell took place in the evening at the service of Choral Evensong when the church said goodbye to Simon Pusey, who has been the Director of Music and organist at St. Mary’s for the last 12 years.

At this service Simon directed the choir and played the organ for the very last time.

The Rev Jenny Hill presented Simon with a card and gift from the congregation and Paul Russell made a presentation on behalf of St. Mary’s choir. Both services were well attended by members of St. Mary’s and St. Paul’s congregations and in the evening members from the Church of the Resurrection joined us too.

St Mary’s Church also celebrated the marriage of Gemma Fagg to Aaron Pearce on Friday, September 19.

The couple had a few hundred more spectators than they envisaged, as they tied the knot just as the sixth stage of the Tour of Britain finished on the other side of Gadebridge Park.

Congratulations to the new Mr and Mrs Pearce on a day that was memorable for more than one reason!

What’s on at St John’s Parish, Boxmoor

A Macmillan Coffee Morning was held on Friday, September 26 from 10am to 12noon in St. Francis’ Church Hall to support the wonderful work of the Macmillan Charity.

St Michael and All Angels – There will be a Mass on this day, Monday September 29, at 7.30pm St. Francis, Hammerfield. All welcome.

A Patronal Mass and Benediction service will be held at 4pm on Saturday, October 4 at St. Francis, Hammerfield. Father Francis Gordon will be the visiting preacher and refreshments will be served after the service. Again, all are welcome.

The Harvest Festival of Thanksgiving starts with a 9.30am Parade Service on Sunday, October 5 with donations of Harvest gifts.

All collections on the day will be for the Bishop’s Harvest Appeal (excluding St. John’s Envelope Scheme).

This year the Bishop of St. Albans Harvest Appeal is entitled ‘Learning for Life’ .

Volunteers are needed to help sort and re-distribute the harvest gifts on Monday, October 6 – ask at St John’s for more details..

Ready-to-assemble boxes are available for this year’s Samaritan’s Purse Christmas child shoebox appeal, in exchange for a donation of 30p.

Those who wish to fill a shoebox or the appeal may also cover their own box.

Please see leaflets at the back of church or call Jane on 01442 214441 for more details.

Christian Viewpoint

The other day, I saw a video in which mixed-race children were shown two dolls: a white one and a black one. Shockingly, 9/10 decided that the white one was the most beautiful. This made it clear to me that we still live in a world of intolerance. 44 years since the Equal Pay Act was passed, women are still earning 80p while their male counterpart earns £1. Racist comments are said as jokes but they contribute to a society which tells people they’re inferior. God tells us: “There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all one in Christ Jesus.” To value others, we need to look past physical attributes and see them with fresh eyes. Everyone is equal in the eyes of the Lord.

Charis Dussek, Year 11, The Hemel Hempstead School, South Hill Church