Dear friends and neighbours,

This is the time to wish every one both a Happy Christmas and a Happy New Year. This comes from both the people at St. Giles and St. Margaret’s churches and also form the Editorial Team for the Parish Paper, Mick Harverson who prints it, Chris Cameron who organises the team of people who put the paper together and also all those who distribute it around both villages, and Pam Metson who organises the Advertisers, whose contribution to the Parish Paper pays for its production costs.

If you would like to contribute in any way, either by putting the paper together on a Wednesday afternoon towards the end of each month, or by helping with distribution, or, as a business, by advertising, please get in touch with the appropriate member of the Editorial Team, whose contact details are printed on the inside front cover. Of course, contributions to the paper are most welcome, and thank you to our regular contributors – writers, don’t be shy! We need to hear from you too.

Sadly we still have no applications for the vacant post of Vicar for the two parishes. We live in prayer and hope. However we do have people to take nearly all the services in both churches on to the end of June 2020, so the churches are very much in business.

The Frowyk Chapel Appeal is going well, thank you to all who have contributed. At present, including pledges and Gift Aid, we have raised £11, 250, towards a target of £50,000. Do please contribute to the Appeal, if you haven’t already. Appeal leaflets with methods of giving can be had from Christine Cameron or William Marsterson. It doesn’t have to be a lot – every little helps – but at the end of the day we have a lot of restoration to do to keep this Grade 1 listed Church in a fit state for future generations.

As for the work itself, Phase 1 is now complete with the removal of the canopy and pillars of Thomas Frowyk’s monumental tomb. We are waiting for a method statement from our contractors describing how to repair and restore the badly damaged and uneven floor. Then we will be able to get permission to move onto Phase 2, the dismantling of the rest of the tomb, repairs to the floor, and rebuilding of the tomb and screen surrounding the chapel. We expect this to start in the New Year (given permission, and having secured funding), and it is unlikely to be finished before the end of May next year.

As I said earlier, the churches are very much in business. Forthcoming services are listed in the Calendar pages at the end of the magazine, but please note – and come to – the Carol Services on December 15th (both churches) and the School Carol Service on December 17th (details on later pages); the Bread Service on Christmas Eve at St. Giles (3.30 pm); Midnight Mass at St. Giles on Christmas Eve at 11.30 pm with the Revd. Hugh Wikner; and Christmas Day services at St. Margaret’s at 9.15 am and St. Giles at 11.00 am. These will be taken by Canon Brenda Tipping, whom we are delighted to welcome back to her old parishes.

All in all a very busy time for us all! I hope you manage to take time for rest and reflection, so that you can enjoy the festive season in peace and happiness.

With my best wishes,
William Marsterson, Churchwarden, St. Giles South Mymms