The Gaddensen Diary The Gaddensen Society The Gaddensen Diary

The Gaddesden Society Parochial Parish Church

Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul

The children’s Holiday Club took place on the last three days in August. The theme was the Three Cs – Courage, Commission and Commitment. This resulted in a splendid depiction of the universe, complete with swirling planets, being displayed in the church. With space rockets exploding and great games the children had a wonderful time finding out that God’s presence is boundless.


In September the pace picked up again with fundraising for the Vestry@50 Appeal. Over 200 people, the ladies dressed in gorgeous saris and the men in kurtas, packed into the village hall at the end of the month for the Bollywood Dinner and Dance, generously sponsored by Nash and Gigi Odedra and organised and run by the whole family. Everyone had a wonderful evening and, together with a silent auction, just over £8,000 was raised. We are very grateful to the Odedras for all their hard work and support for the project, resulting in a significant contribution to the fund.


Another fund raiser was the showing of the film, ‘The Greatest Showman’. Again, this was very enthusiastically supported with lots of families coming along to enjoy the showing, suitably accompanied with popcorn! Over £700 was raised, and we are grateful to those who Gift Aided their donations; it added nearly £100 to the total.


At the end of October we received our first grant award which was for £4,500 from the Allchurches Trust. The team has made several applications and we hope for more awards to come. All this means that the funding has reached about £150,000 which, together with the church fund means that we have now raised enough money to build the basic structure. As there will be time to raise the remaining £100,000 needed to finish and furnish the building and do the church heating we decided there was no reason not to start the project. We have therefore signed a contract with the architect, Mr Christopher Higenbottam of Tempietto Architects and put in hand a measured survey which will provide the drawings he will work from. There will then be quite a bit of work to do in discharging the conditions attached to the local authority Planning Approval and for applying for the Diocesan Faculty. These involve an Archaeological Survey plan, ground gas management proposals and rainwater disposal as well as gaining approval of structural details, so there is much to be done before we approach builders. However, we are planning to start construction work in April and have all the building work done during the summer months, with a completion by next Christmas – if all goes well!


Following a suggestion, Christmas Cards have been made to sell for the Appeal funds. There are two sizes, sold in packs available from the village shop or the church, so look out for them.


At the end of October we hosted a third Opera Concert to raise money for the Hospice of St Francis and for general church funds. This was an evening of first class music presented informally and was very much appreciated and enjoyed. Over £2,000 was raised to be divided between the two causes, and our thanks go to Mike Roberts and Gill Tillotson for all their hard work in organising it. Mike and Gill have also very kindly donated a baby grand piano to the church. Principally for use at the Opera Concerts, we nevertheless hope that it will be a catalyst for holding other concerts in the church from time to time when it will be played either solo or along with other instruments. We are very grateful to them for their generosity and in opening up this exciting possibility.


Other, more routine, events have happened. The Beds and Herts Bike and Hike day was held in early September and two intrepid cyclists visited some 90 churches between them (actually, one visited over 70!), and a hiker went round some of the very interesting East End churches in London, a review of which went in the parish news for October and November and on the website; have a look.


Harvest Festival was held in October. The church was beautifully decorated and the service was well supported with a large number of people packing the church to sing the traditional hymns of thanksgiving and bringing gifts for DENS (Dacorum Emergency Night Shelter) food bank.


Recently, we have had a change of churchwarden as Ed Boase found he was unable to continue due to pressure of work. We are very pleased that Michael Carver has kindly agreed to take up the duties and was duly elected in August and sworn in by the Archdeacon.


The summer months have been busy with a number of special services. We have welcomed Barnaby Gibson, Rachel McCann and twins, Lucas and Amelia Manistre into the church family through baptism, and there were wedding ceremonies for four couples: Adrian Ball and Gaynor Tume, Tony Warr and Nicki Hurst, Paul Platt and Briony Cullen, and Rory Smith and Annabelle Thomson. The village also came together twice to say farewells to two lifelong residents: in September we held a funeral service for Barbara Mogg and in October for Ron Fensome, both of whom had lived long and full lives in the village and will be much missed by their families and friends.


The church year has moved round and we are again entering the joy of Christmas time, starting with the Advent Carol Service on December 2nd followed a week later by the Gift Service and Advent breakfast. As usual the Gift Service is a chance to bring donations of clothes, toys, toiletries and household items for British Humanitarian Aid to take out to villages in the Ukraine. The Christmas Carol Service will be a week early on December 16th and Carols on the Green will be on Tuesday 18th. The Crib Service will again be at 5.00pm on Christmas Eve, with Midnight Mass at 11.30pm and on Christmas Day the family communion service will be at 9.00am. The annual Wreath Making and children’s Christmas Crafts workshop will be on Saturday, December 8th in the afternoon. All these dates will be on the Christmas Card delivered to every house in the village. We wish everyone a very Happy Christmas.

Barbara Sheard


How to get in touch…

Gaddesden Society President
Trevor Fernandes 01442 843498

Gaddesden Society Honorary Secretary
Mandy Haynes 01442 842496

Gaddesden Society Treasurer
Phil Heaphy 01442 842283

Diary Editorial Team

Phil and Rachael Heaphy 01442 842 283

Matt Laver

Genny Snowdon 01442 843834

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