The Gaddensen Diary The Gaddensen Society The Gaddensen Diary

The Gaddesden Society Parochial Parish Church

Parish Church of St Peter & St Paul

Christmas seemed barely gone when the penitential preparations for Easter started. Shrove Tuesday and Ash Wednesday occurred early in February and began the six weeks of Lent, when we reflect on the events leading to Christ’s ultimate sacrifice and our own relationship with God. A small group met during the week to explore the experiences of prayer, which led to some very thought provoking discussions. The Lent lunches were held when, as usual, extremely good homemade soup was served in a simple meal which was enjoyed by the many who came. The proceeds amounted to £369, which was given to DENS.


The day before Mothering Sunday saw several dads bring their children to church to make the lovely daffodil bunches which were distributed at the very happy service on the Sunday. The Palm Sunday procession this year was led up Church Road by Jo Fernandes’ little pony to mark the start of Holy Week. There was a good turnout for the family service on Good Friday when the children made the Easter Garden which was set under the altar this year, making a poignant focus for the ensuing services. A small group gathered on the Green for the traditional Good Friday gospel readings. The Easter Sunday service was a very happy occasion enjoyed by a large congregation, egged on by vicar John!


Easter Monday saw a small but intrepid group of pilgrims braving the cold and wet to complete the traditional walk to St Albans and raise the ‘Gaddesdens Together’ banner in the Abbey.


The annual parochial church meeting – the APCM – was held in April and well attended. Vicar John delivered his annual report as his sermon so that those who were unable to stay for the meeting were able to hear it. Barbara Sheard and Ed Boase were voted in as Churchwardens and a renewed PCC was elected. Allan Webster and Anne Wooster were elected Treasurer and Secretary respectively and the Sidesmen and women were also elected. A list of everyone’s names is on display in the church porch.


The church finished the Easter season in May, by celebrating the festivals of Ascension, Pentecost and Trinity, before settling down to the numerous ‘Sundays After Trinity’, finishing in October with Harvest Festival. There are nearly a record number of weddings planned over the next few months, but looking back in the Registers for the last three months we have recorded the baptism of baby Henrietta Webster, and the funerals of Julian Marshall, Anne Erlich, Betty Rogers, and Alan Bunting, and a memorial service giving thanks for the life of John Nicholls.


Sunday School continues to flourish. This is held during the 9.00am service and the children have fun with songs, stories and crafts, while adults enjoy a peaceful service. It is open to all children who would find the adult service too much, so just turn up and come along. There have been fewer Messy Church sessions for the children and families over the past three months, but the popular Children’s Holiday Club is planned for the last week in August, on the 28th, 29th and 30th, so put the dates in your diaries and look out for details nearer the time.


Our big project to improve and extend the vestry building is now starting to make real progress. Planning Approval and Listed Building Consent was received from Dacorum early in February. An architect has been short listed and we now have a reasonable estimate of the overall costs which will total about £320,000. As the vestry works will involve alterations to the heating it seemed a good time to overhaul the whole church heating system, including renewing the boiler so that the church is warm enough, especially during winter, and the cost of this is included in the total estimate. The church has reserves which will cover just under half of this so we are setting in motion the VESTRY@50 Appeal to raise the balance.


A Reception will be held in the church in June when the scheme will be explained and drawings and a model will be on display. Invitations and information are being delivered to every household in the village and we look forward to welcoming you and showing you the details of the intended new hall and ambulatory, kitchen and WC, which have been designed so that they may be used by the whole village community as well as the church. There is a wonderful tradition of the village responding very positively to communal projects and we hope that this will be the latest example as we seek to construct an up to date facility, not only for us, but for future generations.

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

Emma Thon

Genny Snowdon 01442 843834

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