Church Life

Easter 2024

Holy Week, starting with Palm Sunday and ending on Easter Sunday, is always a busy time for everyone with lots of different services and chances to come together as we remember Jesus’ last days and crucifixion, and ultimately celebrate Jesus’s Resurrection! Alongside the church services, Rev’d Sarah was also involved with the Easter activities at both St Andrew’s and St John the Baptist’s Primary Schools, as well as leading services for both schools in the churches, sharing the good news of Jesus with over 400 children.

Our Holy Week and Easter services were wonderfully attended. Thank you to everyone who came along to join us and especially to those who helped with organising, runnning or the logistics of these services. As you can see from the photos, despite the bad weather we had a good turnout at our Walk of Witness and the service held at dawn on Easter Day was a very special.

We hope that you all had a Happy Easter!

Easter blessing
“May the glory and the promise of this joyous time of year bring peace and happiness to you and those you hold most dear. And may Christ, Our Risen Saviour, always be there by your side to bless you most abundantly and be your loving guide.”

A Year of Make Lunch Club

This Easter, we’re celebrating an important first anniversary. It’s a year since we first started ‘Make Lunch’, a club for families who need extra help in the school holidays, whether in terms of finances and food, or space to be together and find support. The 3 Churches Benefice partnered with a national charity ‘Transforming Lives for Good’ or ‘TLG’, whose aim is to help churches to work in their communities to combat poverty and improve the lives of children and young people. We started in the Easter holidays last year, running lunch and activity sessions twice a week for anyone who wanted to come. To date we have run 21 sessions, usually Mondays and Fridays, through all the school holidays, and we have made over 300 meals for children and their parents/careers, welcoming over 74 different children and 38 adults.


Every session is different in terms of who comes and what kind of day it is, but we always have an activity and a theme, a two-course hot meal, time to sit together and eat, and to get to know each other and build relationships. We have 16 volunteers signed up and try to have at least 6 or 7 on each session, working in the kitchen, cooking and washing up, or out front coordinating activities or chatting to folk.

It’s been hard work but we know it’s worthwhile from the stories we can share of parents who moved to the area recently and now feel part of the community, of children who were anxious and struggling at school but now feel they belong and have a sense of their identity and value. We shared some of our stories of the last year with our Transforming Lives for Good (TLG) Lead, Alex Hall, who has supported us on the journey and led our yearly review. She is so pleased with our work that she has awarded us Gold Club status!

We look forward positively to the next year at Make Lunch and thank all our supporters, volunteers and families for sharing the adventure!

Join us at Make Lunch Club over the Easter Holidays for fun, friendship and some yummy food. See the poster HERE for all the details.

We look forward to welcoming you!


Email us at makelunch@3churches.net

Warm Welcome Spaces: come and join us!

Every week, we offer two Warm Welcome Spaces to those who need it over the cold winter months:

  • Coffee Morning on Monday mornings, 9–11.30am at The Wilshere Hall
  • The Community Hub Drop-in on Wednesdays, 10.30–11.30am at St Mary’s, St Margarets

These groups are a great way to make new friends, and share a cuppa and a chat (and some enjoyable activities) in a warm, welcome space.

In our Monday Coffee Morning, we have been having a lot of fun! On Monday 29th January, we recycled old candles to make new ones using a slow cooker. The wax was melted on a low heat and we added frankincense to scent it. We then poured the wax out and left them to cool. It we really well! We shared our new candles at Candlemas Prayers (on Wednesday 31st January after The Community Hub Drop-in) as we celebrated Jesus, who Simeon called The Light of the World!

Everyone is welcome at our Warm Welcome Spaces. We look forward to welcoming you!

[Click HERE to see our Warm Welcome Spaces poster. Please note, these sessions finish on 25th March]

Christmas 2023

All of our Advent and Christmas services were very well attended and it was wonderful to be able to welcome new faces to worship alongside our usual church family.

On Christmas Eve, The Christmas Journey: The Nativity Story Reimagined was a special event. We had a fantastic 175 children and adults (not to mention dogs) gathering together at St Margarets Train Station to make the journey to meet baby Jesus in the manger. It was really special to travel all together, singing carols as we walked, to knock on each inn door as we made our way to the stable (at St Andrew’s Church). Thank you to The Jolly Fisherman, The Oak and The Red Lion for taking part again this year, and thanks to all our helpers ensuring we kept safe.

Every year we draw more people to attend this nativity experience and are assured that is has become a lovely Christmas tradition for many local families.

Christmas Tree Festival 2023

On Saturday 9th and Sunday 10th December, 2–6pm, we held our Christmas Tree Festival at St Mary’s Church, St Margarets.

The church looked beautiful all lit up with the trees that had been provided and decorated by local groups and businesses. Powell Funeral Services donated the tree for St Mary’s and Gini Trower from The Wallen Garden kindly loaned us two of her wonderful rooted trees. The amazing nativity scene at the altar, made by Mary Youngman and on loan from Hertford Baptist Church, was much admired by our visitors. We had some delicious cakes, biscuits and mince pies for refreshments; a raffle; a scavenger hunt for the children and some lovely craft items on safe.

The whole event was a brilliant success, with over 130 people coming along to get in the festive spirit over the two afternoons, and we were able to raise over £450. These funds will go towards the upkeep and work of the church.

We would like to thank everyone who helped: organising beforehand, providing and/or decorating trees, making cakes, volunteering as helpers, donating raffle prizes etc. It was a great team effort and we had some lovely feedback from those who came along.

Images: View from outside, Craft Stall, Our Memory Tree, The Three Villages Magazine, The 3 Churches Benefice Wednesday Coffee Morning, St Andrew’s Card-making Group, 1st Stanstead Abbotts Brownies, Age UK, St Andrew’s Primary School, Bobtails Playgroup & Teddy Club, Hoddesdon Ladies Club, Woodland Beavers Colony, St John the Baptist Church, St Mary’s Church, Nativity Scene by Mary Youngman (Hertford Baptist Church).

Remembrance Sunday 2023

We held two outside services in honour of Remembrance Sunday on 12th November: one at the War Memorial at St Andrew’s Church, Stanstead Abbots and another at the Amwell Lane War Memorial, Great Amwell.

These were poignant services. As we all stood together, young and old, we remembered those who have suffered far greater hardships than a bit of rain: those who made the ultimate sacrifice so that we might live in freedom and peace.

At St Andrew’s, we had a thought-provoking address by General Sir Nicholas Carter about the nature of service in the armed forces. To quote just one of the important points he made:

‘My generation has been privileged to grow up with veterans who understood the horrors of war, but as each year passes, we lose these veterans, and as they depart the coming generation is not touched so personally by the memory of war. Our challenge in this unstable world is to make sure that this new generation understands that the nature of war never changes – it is always violent, it always causes great suffering, and its first casualty is always the truth. And that is why Remembrance must never be a moment to glorify war, it must be a moment to remember why it must be avoided at all costs.’

Thanks go to the General for taking the time to come and share with us. He was very impressed by the turn out, especially of our youth groups.

It was a great moment of community spirit and we thank everyone involved in the services or who came along to pay their respects.

‘We will remember them’

All Saints’/All Souls’ 2023

To mark All Saints’ and All Souls’ we held two special services: on Wednesday 1st November (All Saints’ Day) at St Mary’s Church, St Margarets and on Sunday 5th November at St Andrew’s Church, Stanstead Abbots.

Our All Saints’/All Souls’ Services of remembrance were quiet and reflective services, open to all who have lost a loved one. We were glad to see lots of members of our church family, as well as members of the wider community, coming together.

Rev’d Dr Sarah said, ‘It is privilege to walk with people through the difficult times of loss and grief, and to be there to encourage and bring hope when things seem dark and difficult. Remembering is important, and it is good to look back and see where we have come along the journey and to find God has been with us even when we weren’t sure He was at the time.’

Baby Loss Awareness Week, 9–15th October 2023

The loss of a baby or pregnancy is heart-breaking, and this is happening to families across the UK everyday. During Baby Loss Awareness Week, from 9–15th October, The 3 Churches Benefice wanted to create a special display to remember all the babies lost, whether recently or long ago.

As such, we made a Ribbon Display outside St Andrew’s Church, Stanstead Abbotts and invited those affected to add a ribbon to our special Memory Tree. The church was open on Sunday 15th October, from 12 to 4pm for quiet reflection.

We also organized a Ribbon Run to raise funds for Sands, the Stillbirth and Neonatal Death charity who organizes Baby Loss Awareness Week. The team set off at 1pm on Sunday 15th October and walked/ran the 5km circuit from St Andrew’s Church. The current total raised so far is £282 + £49.62 GiftAid. Thank you to everyone who took part or sponsored the team. The page is still open if you would like to donate: Sands – Stanstead Abbotts 5k Ribbon Walk. All money raised from the Ribbon Run will go to Sands, so they can continue to support families and reduce baby deaths, by investing in research and championing better maternity care.

For anyone who needs the support of Sands you can find more information on their website www.sands.org.uk .

Harvest Festival

Harvest Festival was a wonderful day held on Sunday 8th October 2023. We had a lovely service at the Old Parish Church of St James, which was full of people all there to celebrate the harvest. The church and barn were beautifully decorated (as seen in the photo gallery above).

After the service, there was a lunch organized by Gini and Jonathan Trower in the Haybarn at Stanstead Bury Farm, Stanstead Abbotts. The food was delicious and it was a really joyful event for the community.

Special thanks go to:

  • Joe and Mo Howlett and the High Street Allotment holders – East Window and Altar Baesh Chapel
  • Nicholas Buxton and Easneye Estate – North window Baesh Chapel
  • Lucy Isham and Stanstead Abbotts Beaver scouts – North Window Baesh Chapel
  • Vanessa Murphy – South windows in Nave
  • Suzy and Tony Richardson – Entrance
  • Kate Green and GIng – Porch
  • Anne Sauntson – Altar and Pulpit
  • Aaron Griffin and Emma Clark who have grown much of the produce at Stanstead Bury
  • Louise Hedger of Vintage Afternoon Teas for the cake display

Thank you to everyone, especially Gini and Jonathan Trower and their helpers, for all the hard work that was put into making this a special event for the Benefice and the wider community.

The Big Quiz Night for Tearfund

On Saturday 7th October, we had an epic night of poverty-beating fun as we took part in The Big Quiz Night for Tearfund. This is an event that is run nationally, with churches all over the UK taking part.

This year at The Wilshere Hall we had a great turnout with around 23 attendees. It was a fun night, coming together as a community to enjoy a good quiz, but also to raise much-needed funds for a fantastic charity.

At the last count, The 3 Churches Benefice raised over £120. Overall, 5320 quizzes were run, 144 churches got involved and the current running total is £31,451 (on 11/10/2023)! To check out the latest numbers, go to The Big Quiz Night Totaliser HERE.

Thank you to everyone who came along to support this event!