News

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 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).

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!

‘Mayflower’ Descendants at St John the Baptist


On Sunday 3rd September at St John the Baptist, Great Amwell, a memorial to Richard and Elizabeth Warren was unveiled by the Bishop of Hertford, the Rt Rev’d Dr Jane Mainwaring.

Richard and Elizabeth were married in the church in 1610, and Richard was one of the Pilgrim Fathers who left Plymouth on the ‘Mayflower’ in 1620. Elizabeth and her five daughters followed him to the New World three years later.

The memorial plaque was sponsored by The Warren Cousins from America, fifteen of whom were present at the ceremony, including their president Marty Beerman and his wife Jane.

The service was conducted by Rev’d Dr Sarah Forrest, assisted by Benefice Reader, Lynne Griffiths. It was a lovely service, followed by refreshments, and everyone who attended felt it was a very special event.

Written by Richard Mellor

Photographs:
(1) Rt Rev’d Dr Jane Mainwaring with Rev’d Dr Sarah Forrest and Benefice Reader Lynne Griffiths
(2) The service
(3) The Bishop of Hertford, assisted by Benefice Reader, Lynne Griffiths before the unveiling
(4) Richard Pickering in 17th Century costume, with the unveiled plaque
(5) The Warren Cousins
(6) Jane & Marty Beerman, with the Rev’d Dr Sarah Forrest and Churchwardens Margaret & Richard Mellor