Churches in this Benefice follow the C of E safeguarding policy

The following website gives details of grants that they may be able to apply for if the increasing cost of living is causing problems. 
You simply put in your postcode and it lists available grants in that area. 
Are you on a low income do check to see if you might be eligible for Council Tax support.   
  ..and a reminder if anybody living in a property in bands A-D has yet to apply for their £150.00 energy rebate from the Council then now is the time to get that done too.     


JULY  Letter 2022  
Dear Friends,    
I write this follow the amazing Platinum Jubilee festivities, trying not to feel too deflated! Indeed, the first time for celebration occurred two weeks prior to this when we shortlisted two excellent candidates for the job of Priest in Charge of St James’ High Wych, St Mary’s, Gilston and St. Botolph’s Eastwick (commonly referred to as The Benefice). This wasn’t going to just be a job for the rural clergyman you read about in novels but someone who would play a pivotal role in working with the community and developers as 10,000 new houses start to be built in the Gilston Area. During the day the candidates had village tours including the rectory, led a bible study and went into High Wych C of E school where children asked questions about the Big Bang, suffering and what disciple loved Jesus most! Both candidates were very impressed with the lovely atmosphere in the school. After lunch each gave a short presentation and a seven-minute sermon followed by a Q&A with the panel which consisted of the benefice churchwardens, Archdeacon Janet and Michael, Bishop of Hertford.    

At the end of the day we were delighted to appoint Revd Alison Jackson who presently lives in Ware as our new Priest in Charge. There is no starting date at present. The fort continues to be held by Rev  Su Turran from  Bishops’ Stortford who also has a full time and demanding job with East Herts Council and who we are grateful will also stay on in a supporting capacity to our new priest.    

Then followed the Jubilee festivities beginning on Thursday with a Thanksgiving service for the Queen at St. Mary’s where there was standing room only. The weather held and afterwards we enjoyed a hog roast and lighting of the beacon whilst the Gilston & Eastwick Community Choir sang the Jubilee anthem. To end an amazing evening there was a superb fireworks display. It was such a surprise when Revd Alison also joined us with her husband Paul and dog Bean and mingled easily with everyone, trying to remember so many names. The event made it to “Look East” the next day!    

On the Friday evening there was a Race Night in the Gilston & Eastwick Village Hall – a nod to The Derby taking place the next day. And on Saturday people walked the new Platinum Footpath, a circular walk that was created for the Jubilee – enjoying cream teas in the churchyard at Gilston along the way.    

Sunday saw 4 Street parties taking place in Eastwick, Terlings Park and in Gilston, plus we had our own Jubilee Picnic on the playing field in High Wych. It was a brave but correct decision to go ahead despite the forecast and indeed it was warm and the rain held off. Huge thanks to Dawn and Alan and Chris Ashworth and family for organising and to Chris and Dave Smith and Bridget Parrish. Theo van de Bilt, our local historian kindly provided us with information about how the village seventy years ago raised the money to build the bus shelter- if you haven’t read about it yet this is beautifully displayed by Rachel Mabey on a poster attached to the shelter. Also, our thanks to Gary and Sharon and Lauren from the Rising Sun who made sure we could all have a beer on the field and of course the barbecue boys! 

   So, with warm memories of our Queen, Paddington bear and marmalade sandwiches, on a more serious note, I leave you with a prayer by St. Teresa of Avila that both Revd Alison and Revd Su shared with us Christ has no body but yours. No hands, no feet on earth but yours.
You are the eyes through which he looks compassion on this world.
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good.
Yours are the hands through which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet, yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now on earth but yours.    

Janet Bellingham   Churchwarden (St James High Wych)