August 2001
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On the evening of Wednesday, July 18th 2001 Father John Green was licensed as priest-in-Charge of the Parish Church of St Leonard, Flamstead. It was a grand occasion and a very happy one for everyone present. The church was full with visitors from all walks of life and different parts of the country. Father John was supported by his family led by his 90-year-old father and many friends. There were visiting clergy from within the Diocese as well as from John’s previous parish, when he was a newly ordained curate.
There were representatives from the Borough, the County and Parish Councils, the Police, the youth organisations, as well as the schools. The Parish of course was well represented by the regular congregation as well as many residents from the village and our sister church in Markyate.
The service of Licensing a priest-in-Charge is conducted by a Bishop, in this case the Suffragan Bishop of Hertford, the Rt Revd Robin Smith. He was assisted by the Archdeacon of St Albans, the Ven Richard Cheetham, the Rural Dean the Revd Jonathan Smith and the Lay Chairman of the Deanery, Michael Ouston.
The service starts with the Churchwardens welcoming the Bishop who then asks for Peace to be bestowed on this house (the Church) from God.
During the processional hymn, the servers lead in all the visiting clergy, the officiating priests, Father John and his sponsor and then the Bishop. The first part of the service is an act of dedication, led by the rural dean and deanery lay chairman. Lay members of the congregation brought forward symbols reflecting the worship and life of the parish. A Bible was placed on the Lectern, water was poured into the baptismal font, bread and wine placed on the altar, each accompanied by a short explanation of the act. The congregation stood for the act of dedication, when the rural dean read a passage from the Bible followed by a final passage read by a lay person.
Following the bishop’s address the presentation was made by Father Bill Sykes, the Chaplain to University College, Oxford, the Patrons of St Leonard’s Church. Father John made the Declaration of Assent and took The Oath of Allegiance while facing the congregation and then the Oath of Canonical Obedience whilst facing the bishop. Bishop Robin Licensed Father John with silent prayers, and then read out the License and handed it to him.
The Archdeacon conducted the Installation, placing him in his stall. The newly installed priest was then officially welcomed by all the visiting dignitaries and representatives of the organisations. The new Priest lead prayers and the service was brought to a close with a final hymn and a blessing by the bishop.
The Licensing Service was then repeated in St John’s Church, Markyate, where Father John is also Priest-in-Charge, after which the two congregations joined together in the Markyate church for a buffet celebrating the start of Father John’s ministry.
Father John is not unknown to us in Flamstead as he has been helping during the last two periods when we have not had a regular priest in charge whilst in his previous role as Chaplain to St George’s School in Harpenden. He is a very sensitive and caring priest, who is already very popular with the congregation. He will without doubt bring his high level of spiritual care coupled with his superb sense of humour to our midst. He is anxious I know to get to know as many people in the village as quickly as possible so that he can make his contribution to the life of the village and meet the needs – however varied – of his parishioners.
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Since we began holding the Welly–Wanging Championship in 1998, it has always been held observing the strict rules laid down by Dunlop.
The boot, thrown by ladies, men, girls and boys (aged 12-15), is a standard men’s size 8 Warwick wellington. Smaller boots are used for 6-11 year olds and even smaller ones for children of 5 and under.
The boot has to be thrown within the bounds of a course which is 10 metres wide.
WellyWangers eventually develop a style that suits them, and some of the distances thrown are quite remarkable.
This year, 11 yr. old Kayleigh Wiseman broke the 11 and under record with the smaller boot and then went on to break the ladies record with the big boot. Bradley Maton broke the 15 and under record also the big boot. Well done to them.
Results were as follows:
Kayleigh Wiseman
19.5 m.
New Ladies record

Peter Maton
Record held by David Taylor 40.25m. in 2000
15 & under
Bradley Maton
New 15 & under record
11 & under (With smaller boot)
Kayleigh Wiseman
New 11 & under record
5 & under
Ben Piggins
Record held by Jamie Gibson 12.5m
Click here for photos of Welly Wangers in action
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I cannot believe that it is 4 years since I first came to Flamstead. It seems like yesterday. Selin was just ready to start Brownies so I was a little disappointed to find that the two ladies that ran Brownies were planning to leave and they had not found anyone to replace them. I found this odd as I always thought that Brown Owls, Cub leaders and Scout leaders were ‘in it for life’ and, in my ignorance, I also thought that they must receive some sort of wage. Imagine my surprise when I discovered that anyone (subject to a compulsory police check) could run a brownie pack. Also, that it is completely voluntary.
As I did not want to see my daughter miss out on valuable experience – team building, getting on with others, meeting new friends – I offered my services as a helper, but felt that I could not run the pack completely as I had no experience in this sort of thing. I then accosted Helen Bell in the street, under the guise of selling her Avon. When she told me that she had been involved in Sea Cadets for years and that her sister was a Brown Owl, I knew that I had found a leader! Helen became Brown Owl and we both became Warranted Guiders, which was surprisingly easy, just two weekends of training. I became Tawny Owl and Gill Howard also helped as Snowy Owl.
When Selin left Brownies to go to Guides, I stopped helping, mainly due to work commitments. Gill had a better excuse, having a baby! So that left Helen. Luckily, Julie Tripconey stepped in and has been running the pack with Helen ever since. I must point out that each one of us has full time jobs but were able to find time for the 1½ hour Brownie meeting each week, plus a couple of evening get togethers to plan the programme. Not a lot of time out of anyone’s busy calendar to keep the Brownie Pack going.
However, Brownies is now facing a similar situation as to when I first came to the village. Helen and Julie are leaving and the last meeting would have been on 24th July 2001. I can completely understand their needing a rest, I don’t know how Jenny Bowman does it – 25 years as a Guide Leader!
I have sent a note out to all parents with girls attending Brownies, offering to run the pack as I am a Warranted Guider. However, I have explained that I will need full support from all to be able to do this. There are 18 Brownies at the moment and I would not legally be able to run a pack of this size on my own. By the time this letter is published, I should know whether I will be able to open the pack again in September or not.
The reason for this note is to thank Helen and Julie for all their hard work and also to see if there is anyone out there who would like to be involved in helping. As I said, it is not a great deal of time out of a week. Please give me a call on 841331.
Liz Hizli
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Fr John Green Writes
I am sitting at my computer on Low Sunday, the first Sunday after Easter, or, as they now call it, the Second Sunday of Easter. Just two ways of saying the same thing, I suppose. The more things change, the more they stay the same, or, as the French say: Plus ca change, Plus c’est la Meme chose! Why is it called Low Sunday? Well there are two explanations the first is that it follows immediately after Easter, the Queen of the Easter Festivals and anything would seem flat after that, and the second has to do with Agriculture. It is traditional about this time to let the cattle out of their winter sheds and so the people in church could hear the cattle lowing in the fields for the first time since the winter.
For many this must be an ironic, if not downright tragic, name for the first Sunday to follow the day when we celebrate the resurrection of Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. To talk about cattle lowing seems indecent at the moment. But we must, if we believe in the truth of the resurrection, share that belief with those farmers who have watched their cattle being destroyed or with those guest-house owners who have had all their booking cancelled. If the resurrection is true, then it is for all, and not just pie in the sky. Until this terrible disease leaves our countryside, we must pray for those who are suffering and we must be alongside them in their trouble. In this way we can show them the love of God, love that is seen so clearly on the Cross of Jesus Christ. Yes, there is the cross, but there is the resurrection too.
Next month is my birthday. I used to be sad that the day has no famous saint attached to it. Recently the church has revised its calendar and remembers Julian of Norwich on that day. We don’t know much about Mother Julian (that was not her name), except that she lived at the time of the Black Death and the Peasants’ Revolt and that she became an anchoress at the church of St. Julian in Norwich at some stage in her long life and that as a young woman she was near, very near, to death and had visions of Christ and the cross and recovered. She then wrote two accounts of these ‘showings’, the first shortly after the event the second many years later, a much fuller and much deeper understanding of what she had seen. She was the first woman to write in English. She was writing at a time when men controlled church and state. She must have been some character to live through what she did and to get written what she believed God had shown her. One thing we could do in Flamstead in the autumn is to set up a Julian meditation group. In that way we will be able to put the events of our lives and the world around us into some sort of prayerful context of the cross of Christ and His resurrection from the dead.
Pray for the end of the foot and mouth disease. Pray for those most directly affected by it. Pray for me as we prepare for July 18 God Bless you all.
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A syllabub is a real delight to partake of on a summer’s day - if we ever get one! It’s a rich, lemony, alcoholic dish, best eaten in fairly small quantities, as it’s quite rich. Modern versions are not to be compared with the originals.
10 fl oz chilled double cream
4 oz white wine
2 fl oz dry sherry (Manzanilla best)
1/2 large lemon
About 3oz caster sugar
Finely grate the rind of the lemon and squeeze the juice. Add the white wine and the sugar. When the sugar is dissolved, add all this to the cream.
Now whisk everything together until the cream falls in soft trails when you lift your whisk. I always prefer to use a balloon whisk for this. It only takes about 10 minutes if the cream is chilled, and you get more air into the mixture. The best things to serve the syllabub in are small wineglasses. 4 and 6 glasses, depending on size. Put them in the refrigerator and leave them alone for about 2 days. The syllabub will gradually separate, the rich lemony cream at the top and a layer of clear lemony wine at the bottom. You eat the top part with a teaspoon and then drink the liquid.
A small sprig of rosemary adds a very pleasant flavour, if you let it soak in the lemon juice a little while and then remove it.
Syllabubs were often served with ratafia cakes or macaroons. Eliza Smith 1727
Marian Pochin
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WI - July Meeting
The meeting this month took a different format with Delia Ramage introducing the speaker Mr John Broderick.
The talk was on Two Roman Time Capsules. The two capsules in Question were Pompeii and Herculaneum – two very different towns following the AD 79 eruption of Mount Vesuvius. Results were devastating as 400 square miles were demolished and thousands died. Mr Broderick told us that the volcano had been dormant for up to 1000 years, so local inhabitants never gave a thought to the possible dangers. At that time Vesuvius was flat-topped and when rumbles and tremors began to build up legend made the locals believe it was underground giants lumbering about. The tremors went on for three days before the eruption the results of which froze the area into A.D 79 for ever.
Mr Broderick read out an eye witness account of the time by a writer – Plini – who gave a graphic detailed description of events such as the cloud shape, falling ash, and extra information of people; tying pillows to their heads with towels to minimise ash covering and avoiding larger items crashing onto their heads. The town of Herculaneum was covered in a torrent of hot mud which preserved wood so well that complete items of wood have been recently retrieved. There were various interesting items of every day life as were some bodies of people who had not fled (slaves left to look after property for example!) perfectly preserved with clothes intact.
Pompeii had been covered in ash and lava and different features had been left intact. Graffiti, has been discovered on walls some with detailed diagrams, or messages generally depicting the life in AD79. Pictures of cherubs as silversmiths, their equipment shown in detail just one example shown, Some frescoes, often painted by slaves, were beautiful, showing the style of the day, one that struck me of a couple, the man – an amazing George Michael look alike; had great depth and did not appear to be flat like many Roman frescoes.
Volcanic soil is very fertile so by the middle Ages no apparent sign of Pompeii or Herculaneum was visible. Legends must have abounded as to possible treasure so in the early 18th Century early excavations were just a tool for looting. By the middle of the 18th Century good sense began to prevail and archaeological techniques were modernised and put to good use. Beryl Wright gave the vote of thanks on one of the most interesting and informative talks for a long time. This is only a very brief resume of this excellent talk. Mr Roderick and his slides are very well worth a booking.
After some very tasty refreshments provided by Pam Modlen, and Pat Ditchfield, the minutes were read by Ann Bisson and signed by Delia Ramage. Delia then told us of the day she joined F & T W.I. very nervously in 1987 with a friend. She was met at the door by the then president Denise Woods who made her feel instantly welcome. As a result Delia became a member and then President. Delia presented her with a gift as a thank you for all her work as a member and President. The W.I. is having a stall at next weeks village Fayre on 21st July with stall and ‘Guess the number of Smarties’ and another game in the process of arrangement.
Delia reported on an excellent day For the W.I Choir at the Alban Arena. Beryl regaled us with tales of the B.B.C. filming for ,’the Flying Gardener’ (to be screened we think in September) re: the planting of the first batch of Rose Bushes for the Rose Village project. The Raffle (drawn by Denise) was won by Audrey Edrupt and was a handsome earthen ware wall pot.
The competition of a ‘Photo of an old Ruin’ was won by Brenda Randall (of Nymans Garden) second was Jeannie Randall. Joint third was Audrey Merritt and Ann Bisson. Coin voting raised £3.85 for the A.C.W.W. Next month on 9 August we have Mrs Sonia Waterton on ‘Housekeeping in the DARK’ The Competition is an unusual kitchen gadget.
Julie Scurfield.
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