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FEBRUARY 2024 Letter

  Countdown to Easter 

  I don’t know about you, but I am still remembering Christmas and all that it meant to us this year.  The amazing Christmas services, the opportunities to meet and share life together and the fantastic amounts of money raised for the 2 charities we agreed to support this year.  All the Outdoor services supported The Winter Night Shelter in Bishop Stortford and we have been able to give them over £600 and we also supported the Children’s Society with the collections from our Christingles to the tune of over £600 as well.  How generous are you all, thank you so much.      

And now, already, we are on the countdown to Easter…, we left the story of Jesus on Christmas Eve/Christmas Day being born in a manger and now we move to remembering Jesus not as a baby but as a grown man who was killed savagely, (which we remember on Good Friday), and rose again (which we celebrate with joy on Easter Sunday).   You see Jesus is not just for Christmas.  He is for our everyday – our Monday to Friday, our weekend, our everyday life.  He promises to be with us in the joy of our life but also through those difficult times when we really don’t know what to do, how to cope, or what to do next.  This is why we offer the Alpha course, to help you get your head round what Jesus really did for us and what we believe as Christians.  The Alpha Course, which starts on 15th January for 6 weeks is to help you think this through for yourself, so if you are curious about the Christian faith and want to know more, just join us online. (again see flyer for more information).    

This year Shrove Tuesday happens on 13th February and we are inviting you with your children to our annual pancake party taking place in the Gilston and Eastwick Village Hall, see the flyer in the magazine for more info.  We are also having a Quiz Night at Gilston and Eastwick Village Hall on 24th February, I love a Quiz Night – I am not particularly good at them, but they are great fun. (again see the flyer for more information).   

  Our Ash Wednesday service will happen at St James on Wednesday 14th February in the evening at 7.30 pm – all are welcome.  We will also be starting our Lent Bible Study sessions on 21st February for 8 weeks at 7.30 pm at the Rectory, where we will be demystifying the Bible and getting straight in our heads how it all fits together.  Good Friday will be 29th March (look out for our Messy Church invite on that day) with Easter Sunday taking place on 31st March.    

As always in the countdown to Easter we are offering you friendship and hope, times to come together and share food and fun to be a community filled with care for each other as we share this time and space together.    

I leave you with the following verse, which is our verse for this year, which encourages us to hold onto joy, peace and trust in God to sustain us through all the ups and downs of life: Romans 15:13  

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.    
Your Priest Alison                                                                                                              






Grants

The following websites 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. https://grants-search.turn2us.org.uk/ 

Are you on a low income do check to see if you might be eligible for Council Tax support. https://www.eastherts.gov.uk/benefits-and-financial-support/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. https://www.eastherts.gov.uk/governments-ps150-payment-towards-energy-bills