The three great post-Easter festivals of Ascension, Pentecost and Trinity were celebrated on consecutive Sundays in May. The Rev’d Penny Nash from Potten End came to take the service for Ascension, making us think by suggesting that Ascension was like Christmas backwards in that Jesus was leaving the world rather than coming into it. At Pentecost the children wore flaming headbands and waved wind streamers to help show the energizing effect of the Holy Spirit entering the disciples.
A special service was held in June as part of the Queen’s birthday celebrations by the village. This was very informal and ably conducted by our Reader, Anthony Archer, who encouraged the congregation to keep singing while the children finished sticking letters to the bunting and picture of the Queen, to be presented at the end of the service. This was then put in the tea tent on the sport’s field as their contribution to the proceedings.
In the afternoon the church tower was opened for visitors intrepid enough to clamber up the narrow spiral stairs to enjoy the spectacular view from the top. Thanks to Peter Leonhardt and friends for organising this so efficiently. We also put up an exhibition about the art of bell ringing. Over the years our band has been reducing, and we are actively looking for new recruits. Anyone from the age of 11 would be most welcome to come and have a look at what we do and, if interested, be taught how to ring. We are part of the Hertfordshire Association of Bell Ringers who hold regular meetings at towers all around the area to encourage beginners and ringers at all stages of learning. Our practise night is a Tuesday from 8.00pm to 9.00pm, so do call in if you are curious; we would love to see you.
Another anniversary which we celebrated was Vicar John’s 20th Anniversary of ordination as priest. Several of us went to a special celebration of choral Evensong at St Alban’s Abbey in June. This was sung by the girls’ choir and celebrated by the Bishop of St Albans, together with the Bishops of Hertford and Bedford, and the Archdeacons of each of the three dioceses. It was a very impressive service in the glorious setting of the Abbey choir which is set under the tower with its beautifully painted ceiling.
Over the past three months we have welcomed into the church community through baptism babies Freddie O’Hagan and Charlotte Coker. There has been the happy wedding of Rachel Graham (Dan and Jenny’s daughter) to Mark Hughes. Then, sadly, we have said farewell and entrusted to God’s keeping Leonard Smith, Isabelle Docherty, Geoff Toop and Harry Smith. Their lives and the inspiration they gave were celebrated and they will be much missed.
This year is turning out to be a very musical one. On a Sunday evening in June, we hosted a concert by Tring Chamber Music. The church was packed to hear music written by Bach and his contemporaries, plus more modern composers. Maggie Cole played the harpsichord, with Jo Horder, Paul Barritt and Philippa Davies accompanying on cello, violin and clarinet. It was a wonderful concert and the audience very much appreciated the church setting.
We have two more concerts booked for this year. The first will be a short recital of a capella music by the First Friday Singers who came and sang last year. The recital will be in the evening of September 11th and will be followed by a shortened form of Evensong. This small choir is relatively newly formed but has gained in experience and sings very well together. It should make for a very enjoyable and special evening.
Our second concert is in the planning stage and will be a recital by Katherine Jenkin, Adrian Davies and other singers from the Royal Opera House. This will be in the evening of Saturday October 22nd. Do look out for posters and publicity from September onwards; it promises to be very special.
Other events planned are a Holiday Club for children aged between 5 and 11, taking place on August 30th, 31st and September 1st in the church.
We are also going to repeat the very successful Barn Dance to celebrate Harvest. This year it will be on Friday September 16th in the village hall. It is open to everyone, young and old, and we hope you will all come and have a great time dancing the evening away. Watch out for posters. Harvest Festival will be held later, on October 9th, in church.
As always look on our website: www.littlegadddesdenchurch.org.uk and our Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/stpeterstpaullittgadd?fref=ts. for up to date details of services and events.