|Fr. John Writes...
Advent is time to look back over the past weeks and months and see how we can prepare ourselves for the coming of the Christ Child at Christmas. Since the earliest days Christians have wanted to prepare for their big festivals Christmas and Easter with times of prayer and thought. That is why we do not put flowers in church over Lent and some churches do not play the organ in Lent.
That is why we wear solemn colours in Advent and Lent. We are taking our relationship with God seriously. Some parishes have reading groups, study groups and prayer groups in Lent and Advent. We shall have some groups in Lent next year.
BUT, as we look back, there is often much to be thankful about, not solemn at all. Our Patronal Festival is such one occasion. The worship at both the 9.30 Service, a Parish Eucharist with all its trimmings, and the Family Service at 11 showed that love for the Lord Jesus is alive and well in Flamstead, and I was delighted at the number of parishioners who came back to the vicarage after both services for the Parish Breakfast – ‘Believers’ Buffet’, ‘Church’s Chow’,
‘Leonard’s Lunch’, ‘Vicar’s Vittles’, as one wag named it. It was great to have the Vicarage, which is there for the parishioners as well as the vicar, full of people chatting and eating.
If our faith says anything in the 21st century, it is that human beings are called by God to share with one another – time, interests, food and fun. FAITH SHOULD BE FUN. It was for St Leonard’s Day.
If our faith means anything to us today, it is that God shares with us too. That is why Christmas is so special. God came down as a small baby, defenceless and totally dependent on the love and care of others, especially his mother Mary. Wow! Mind –blowing and so humbling! If God is prepared to do that for us, what are we going to do for him? Again Christmas gives us the answer. We have a wealth of services to go to, and we have each other. There is nothing wrong in spending money on presents for one another and having a good time at Christmas, so long as we remember why we are doing it. CHRISTMAS IS FUN. It is Christ’s Mass, his special birthday, and he wants us to share it with each other and with him.
And After Christmas?
After that comes the New Year, and we carry into the New Year the sharing we have done at Christmas. Then Christmas can carry on all year and our Christmas has some meaning, some real sense. There is a point in our living with each other and God.
God give you a good Advent and a blessed Christmas – and a sharing, caring, God-filled New Year.
| Top of Page|
|In Loving Memory of BETTY
Betty Warren who died on 10th October will be greatly missed by all who knew her. She cared deeply about those less fortunate than herself, and over a period of years, worked quietly to do what she could to help them.
Memories of Betty and her connection with St. Leonard Outreach Group are many and various. Her enthusiasm and energy committed to each new venture was total. She was ever reliable, unfailingly cheerful, never unkind, and above all, a good and loyal friend. Tolerant in her beliefs, she listened with encouragement and without criticism.
With Stan, she was a familiar figure when Beating the Bounds. She loved the countryside and music. St Leonard’s and her worship there was very important to her.
Her many friends will remember her in their prayers.
May she Rest in Peace
| Top of Page|
|Alan Francis Burley 1919-2001
Alan Burley was appointed Churchwarden Emeritus in 1988-the first person in the long history of St. Leonard’s to hold such office. This was an expression of the high regard and warm affection felt towards him by the then vicar, Andrew Greany, the whole Parochial Council and the congregation.
During his time as Churchwarden he had faithfully served many priests from the time of Father Russell through three decades. His seeming permanent presence forged a continuous link through many Ministries. His sound knowledge of P.C.C. matters, of the Liturgy and the history of St Leonard’s proved an invaluable aid to so many over the years. The fabric of St. Leonard’s held a special place in his heart and was treasured as a beacon of Faith, he loved the place – the house of God, which he always enjoyed showing to visitors, a guide who brought the history to life.
The first lay person to be licensed to administer the Chalice, his clear audible voice made an unique contribution – reading the Epistle at High Mass, Psalm 22 on Maundy Thursday, his solemn delivery of “We shall not grow old” at the Royal British Legion Service of Remembrance and many more.
A practical churchwarden, he was never too proud to get his hands dirty, whether it be to limewash the Chancel, clean the windows, or to oil the figures on the Rood Screen. If anything in the church needed repair or painting, Alan was always willing, nothing being too much trouble, and everything was carried out with a quiet steadfastness and with good humour.
After his funeral service in St Leonard’s, which was conducted by Father Greany, his ashes were interred on the Feast day of St. Leonard – at the end of the High Mass by Father John Green. His ashes were taken in procession from the High Alter to be interred with those of his beloved wife, Kay.
The sun shone as the whole congregation joined Judith and Clare in the Churchyard for the final ceremony.
A true friend of St. Leonard, Alan was a good man – in the true sense of the word – and a very good friend to so many of us left behind. He will be sorely missed.
It would be fitting to end with a line from one of his favourite hymns:
“And for the House of our Lord
I’ll seek thy good always”
AS AND WHEN
On 15 July 1987 when we moved to Flamstead, Alan and Kay Burley and Bill and Jean Marr, both near neighbours, came to welcome us and offered help and refreshment.
Jack and Deryn Bourne moved in nearby just after us.
From this a small As and When Club was formed and we met informally over the years in each other’s homes as and when.
We were joined by Eric and Doreen Edwards, Angela English and Pam Modlen as time went by.
With the recent death of Alan, and Kay, Bill and Jean passing on over the years we became somewhat depleted but still met as and when.
We shall all miss Alan puffing an his pipe and making the odd comment whenever we meet for he was a dear friend with a great love of St. Leonard’s Church, in particular, and of the village of Flamstead, in general.
Barbara and Roy
| Top of Page|
|FLAMSTEAD & TROWLEY W.I
President DELIA RAMMAGE began proceedings with Jerusalem and apologies for absence before presenting birthday buttonholes to DERYN BOURNE, PAM MODLIN, MARION POCHIN and BARBARA WELCH.
The usual business then followed with events that have happened during the month. It was with regret that Delia told us that we had lost the Pudding Stone [the group meeting trophy for competitions] to Redbourn at the group meeting.
Doreen Edwards then gave the Financial Statement for the year before handing over to Marian Pochin our new treasurer for the next year. Doreen had been Treasurer for 10years and thanked us all for the support she had enjoyed during that time.
Delia then gave the President’s Yearly Report and detailed events throughout the year. We have had a varied year with sadly some deaths and one long standing member and former president moving away. We have had a very wide range of speakers this year, all have been good value for money. Our fund raising has also been very successful, we are well on the way to achieving a number of projects.
Delia handed us over to JEAN Willoughby who had come to conduct our elections. The committee were all willing to stand again which was a relief to the rest of us! Jean said that she found our group interesting and reminded us that if we wished to go on any courses or trips organised by the W.I. to book early as places were snapped up very quickly. Then to business – as The committee were standing it only remained for us to vote for the President. Delia was re-elected, a popular result.
Delia thanked us all for our support and although she no longer lives in the village still feels she belongs here. She thanked the committee members individually for the part they all played in the running of our village W.I. and thanked Jean Willoughby for coming out in such bad weather to conduct our elections.
We were reminded that the meeting on December 14th had Mrs Helen Freeman showing us “How to wrap up that special present”. We were asked to take a small gift to put on the table then we could take one in return. This month’s competition of a “A winter bloom” was won by AUDREY MERITT, second was tied with Deryn Bourne and DOROTHY STRACHAN, ANN BISSON came third. £2.75 was raised for the A.W.W. The raffle was won by JOYCE CLARK.
During the evening a competition had been going on sorting out phrases from initial letters, Brenda Randall’s table was the winner Refreshments were provided by Karen Palmer and Julie Scurfield.
| Top of Page|
|An email letter from Florida - Re: Magazine
Thank you for your reply, I did get quite a bit of information from the web site, it really is a well planned and interesting site.
I love to visit it, I spent quite a few years of my childhood in Flamstead and am probably related to quite a few people there. Unfortunately years have passed with little or no contact, so it is quite interesting to me to keep up-to-date. My father lives in Luton, he was 79 this year and likes to talk about Flamstead quite a lot now. We all have quite fond memories of Flamstead and the traditions. I look at the pictures of the village Hall and remember when myself and my brother went to school there.
My brother went on to build and design one of the largest oil rigs in the world. My niece has been asked to represent Great Britain in the Olympics. My son David is quite a noted artist in Atlanta, Georgia. So when I look at the photographs of the village I feel quite humbled, I still remember my first day at school. I watch my American grandchildren board their bus with their back packs on and think how lucky I was to start my first day with a teacher who bought us strawberries.
Following Jennie letter being published in the mag I got a further email from with more details of her family.
Thanks for the update Paul, I am at present in Washington DC. so am picking up my email where ever I can.
My father received his book [A New History of Falmstead] and was delighted as you can imagine. My brother sent an English check to make it easy.
In Reference to my letter being published, how kind, I would rather have given you more information. ie.
Leonard Coote attended the local school, (I believe it
is now the village hall), I think he was most noted
for his running away every day, but was always caught
as he couldn't cross the Watling Street. We lived in
the Nissen Huts in Friars Wash, Leonard was also born
there. Leonard went on to University, first in the
family to receive a degree, as a
Euro Engineer, he spent 5 years building an oil
platform called the "Tern", it was the largest ever
built at that time. Not bad for a Flamstead boy.
daughter Helen has been asked to be on the England
team for "Kendo", a martial art she learnt while
teaching English in Japan, she graduated with honours
from Edinborough University.
A lot more to write
about the Coote's however, I find my family's
achievements remarkable, not just because they are my
family, but because Lillian Gooch (deceased) and long
time resident of Flamstead had researched the family
name, most of the family signed their names with an X.
My brother and I have discussed celebrating my
father's 80th birthday in Flamstead, he is the only
sibling still living from a family of nine children.
We hope to be able to invite as many people from the
village as possible, that may be related or remembers
him. We are only at ground level right now.
Paul you would be very kind if you could add a note to
your news letter, to all friends and family, of Len
A Merry Christmas and Peaceful New Year,
Happy Holidays, Sincerely Jennie Tuohey
| Top of Page|
|FLAMSTEAD YOUTH FOOTBALL CLUB
THE Flamstead Sports and Social Club run a youth football section comprising of 3 teams at the present time, under 13s under 16s and under 17s.
Each of the three teams play on Sunday’s in the Windowcraft Chilten Youth Football League.
The under 14s team play in division 3 and is made up of boys who live in Flamstead and the surrounding villages such as Markyate, Redbourn, Caddington and Kensworth. They have a current county standard player and play on Sunday mornings at 10.30am and are managed by Tony Braddon Tel No. 01582 703 148.
The under 16s Team play in the Top division of the league, this team is also made up of boys who live in Flamstead and surrounding villages. They are also graced with some top quality county standard players. They play on Sunday afternoons at 2.00pm and are managed by Steve Smith Tel 01582-840-107.
The under 17s team play in division 2 and are predominately made up of boys who live outside of the village and are managed by Nick Tomey Tel No. 01582 667 892.
The fixture list for all teams can be found in the foyer of the Social Club should anyone wish to know forthcoming matches.
The club is very keen to promote a nursery team for the 2002 season and would welcome someone who is interested in forming a team and become involved with Youth Football in Flamstead. Please contact Steve Smith for further details.
The natural progression from the Under 17s youth football section is into the senior section of Flamstead Football Club, which runs a 1st Team and Reserves.
Flamstead youth has excellent facilities both for training and playing football and has a registered FA Coach within the Club. The youth section is sponsored by Macroe Windows of Luton whose managing director lives in the village.
Please come and see us if you are interested in youth football or wish to know more about us, I am sure you will not be disappointed.
Steve Smith 01582 840 107.
| Top of Page|
Christmas is fast approaching and by the time you are reading this we will have already had our Christmas Fair and will all be busy making lots of decorations to take home. We are having a special “Active Christmas party” and there is a rumour that Father Christmas may even come and see us at the Village hall (if we are very well behaved) We are also very busy rehearsing our Nativity Play – Shelly, Diane and Tina are helping us with our costumes and teaching us our lines!!
Our new term starts on Monday 7th January so if you want to come and join in please ring Shelly on 894661 or Karen on 840999 and come and have loads of fun at the Village Hall.
| Top of Page|
|A TASTE OF THE PAST
I have been making the forcemeat to accompany our Christmas turkey for around 20 years. Here is the recipe I always use –
FORCEMEAT TO SERVE WITH THE CHRISTMAS TURKEY
1.1/2 lb pork sausage meat
Large onion, chopped
1.1/2 oz butter
Fresh parsley, thyme & sage
Teacup (about 6 fluid oz) fresh breadcrumbs
A few spring onions
Handful of mushrooms (not large ones with black gills – they ruin the colour)
Handful fresh spinach
Sweet marjoram (optional)
Winter savoury (optional)
Pork caul (optional) **
Cook the onion gently in the butter, with the lid on the pan, until soft. Add to the sausage meat in a bowl. Add a little bit of chopped parsley, thyme and a little sage. Add the breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper. Mix well and bind with a beaten egg. Set aside a third part of this mixture.
To the remaining portion, add more chopped parsley, some finely chopped spring onions, chopped mushrooms, chopped fresh spinach, sweet marjoram and winter savoury. I use the food processor for this, but don’t chop too finely – you don’t want a pulp. Add spinach and parsley until the mixture is bright green.
Pat out the green forcemeat in an oblong layer. Roll the pink forcemeat in a sausage-shape and put on top of the green. Roll the whole thing up, so you have a pink centre and a green outside. Wrap the whole thing in a large sheet of caul, if you have some.
Bake in a moderate oven about 30 mins. No need to baste it, if covered with caul. Otherwise, baste it as necessary. The finished forcemeat should be green with a lacework of brown threads (from the melted caul). I enclose the whole thing in doubled aluminium foil, opened at the top. Easier to deal with on Christmas Day.
Dish up the forcemeat. Squeeze over it the juice of half a lemon and half an orange.
Serve in slices (pink in the middle, green on the outside) with the turkey. It’s also good warmed through or cold on Boxing Day.
Caul is a semi-transparent sheet of fat resembling lace, which comes from a pig. It is used to wrap up meat and bastes it during cooking. Not easy to get. Omit and baste the forcemeat as necessary.
| Top of Page|
|FLAMSTEAD CRICKET CLUB
Flamstead Cricket Club (established in 1875) is part of the Sports and Social Club and we play matches against a range of clubs every weekend throughout the summer.
Our Saturday games are competitive Matches in the Saracens Hertfordshire Cricket League, with friendly games played every Sunday.
From January to April we hold practice net sessions for all players on Sunday mornings at the Indoor Cricket School in Flamsteadbury, and through the seasons we run additional mid-week training at the recreation ground. From next season these practice sessions will be enhanced by the club’s purchase – with the generous assistance of Dacorum Borough Council – of a top quality artificial wicket. This will be installed in the spring in time for the start of the season.
Junior cricket is another area we have been developing, with a strong youth policy which has seen several young players rising through the ranks. As part of this policy we will be bringing back Kwik Cricket for village youngsters next summer.
Also, in addition to the cricketing activities, we run a series of social events throughout the year including Quiz nights, race nights and our annual dinner dance.
The club is always on the lookout for new players – whatever their level of ability. For example, our Current crop of players range from People who are delighted if they manage to touch the ball with the bat before they get out, to a couple of players who have hit centuries this past season. Anyone who wants to find out more (or dares to offer their services as a player, scorer or umpire!) can contact either Graham Bray (840570) or Pat Cole (841451).
Alternatively, visit the clubs web-site at www.flamstead-cc.co.uk and email us from there.
| Top of Page|