Feb 2001
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This month's mag also included an article about the Neighbourhood watch scheme, which can be found here.
At the time of writing, we are suffering from bitterly cold weather, which makes most of us think lovingly of piping hot hearty stews. My personal favourite winter warmer is oxtail. I love picking the bones clean – the meat is so sweet and falls off the bone effortlessly.
The following recipe is translated from an 18th century French cookery book. It is easily the finest dish of oxtail I have ever eaten, and there’s no messing about browning the tails in fat.
(or Oxtail, Sailor’s Wife Fashion)
Take an oxtail which you have cut in pieces and trim off excess fat. Blanch it by immersing it in boiling water. Bring the water back to the boil, then drain the oxtail and refresh it in cold water. Return the oxtail to the pan, cover it with stock and simmer until half -cooked, without any seasoning. [About 1.1/2 hours in a slow oven.] When it is half cooked, make a roux with a little butter & a tablespoon of flour. Moistened this roux with some of the stock in which you have cooked the oxtail. Put in the pieces of the oxtail, with enough of the stock/roux mixture to cover.
Blanch and skin 12 whole onions or 24 baby onions. Add them to the pot. Put in 1/2 pint of red wine, a bunch of parsley, Welsh or large spring onions, a clove of garlic, a bay leaf, a little thyme, some basil, 2 cloves, salt, pepper. Cook gently until the oxtail & the onions are cooked. [About 1.1/2 hours more in a slow oven.] Remove the oxtail & the baby onions & reserve. Strain the liquid & leave to cool. Skim the fat off carefully. [There won’t be much.]
Next day, reheat oxtail and onions in the sauce. Dish up the oxtail with the onions around and keep warm. Add to the sauce 2 finely chopped fillets of anchovy and reduce it well until you have a small amount of rich sauce. Stir in two good pinches of capers. Spoon over the meat.
You garnish the dish with pieces of fried bread. Cut out about 8 pieces of bread as thick as a £1 coin. (Heart-shaped cutters are very elegant) Fry them in butter or oil. Put over and around the meat just before serving. Spoon reduced sauce overall.
Menon – La cuisiniere bourgeoise. 1756.
Marian Pochin
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JMI School News
Here we are at the beginning of a New Year and what a beginning we have to look forward to. As many of you are aware the school is due to be inspected by OFSTED for three days beginning January 15th. All staff have worked very hard over the Christmas break in order to show our school at its best. We look forward to the inspection as a positive process highlighting areas in which we can improve. It would be fair to say, that as in all schools we are aware of our shortcomings and priorities to address these.
The autumn term ended on a sad note when we said goodbye to Miss English who had been with us for more than four years. She left in style by organising a group of children to play the hand bells at the Christingle Service. We wish her well in her new school and look forward to seeing her in the not too distant future.
All children took part in Productions that were enjoyed by all who attended the performances. We would like to thank all those who helped us with mounting the plays. Money raised from ticket sales and from a raffle was denoted to a local children’s hospice. As always your support is appreciated. Sadly Mr Bates was not to witness the fruits of his successful play due to illness, but we look forward to seeing him back in school very soon.
We also look forward to several events organised by the PTA for this term, namely a children’s Disco and the ‘Mardi Gras Bash’. This date has yet to be confirmed. We will be advertising forthcoming events around the village and look forward to seeing you in school this year.
It only remains for us to wish you all a happy, prosperous and peaceful year.
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Would you believe it? The Sibling rule in Primary Admission rules is to be reviewed again! This time, the proposal is that the rule will apply only in those cases where a child will still be attending a school when a sibling is due to join it. The logic is undeniable; parents cannot be in two places at once and therefore should be able to collect two or more children from the same school. If a family has no other children at a particular school, then their child will not automatically be allocated a place there. However, parents have regarded the sibling rule in the past as a means of assuring each child in a family a place at their “preferred” school once their first child has gained a place there. Am I alone in seeing the possibility of disappointment emanating from this proposal? I must emphasise that this proposal at present will only affect Primary school places but who knows, if it is introduced here will it extend to the Secondary transfer process? Your thoughts please.
London Luton Airport is to consult on possible ways of ameliorating the noise suffered by those who live under the Olney 1 Bravo flight path. A consultation document, which will offer some suggestions, is due to be published by the end of January and the consultation period will end at the end of April 2001. One possibility is that Northbound flights should be ‘shared’ between Olney 1 B (affecting 7,700 people) and Olney 1 Lima (flying over North Harpenden and affecting 43,000 people). We could have quite a fight on our hands!
Please let me have your views, either in writing to 14, Old Watling Street, Flamstead. Or by ‘phone to 01582 841338.
Julian Taunton.

What do you think? Do you have anything to say on either of these subject?
Why not have your say, make an entry into the discussion forum.
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Fr. John Green writes:
Some books are smash hits; some catch on slowly; some have an effect which lasts for many years. Some books have to wait for a long time for their day to come. One such is A. G. Hebert’s ‘Liturgy and Society’, which was published in 1935 and is still valid today, in fact is much more valid today than it was when Hebert finished it.
What Hebert says is that the world is in a dreadful state – remember, he was writing against the background of the rise of Hitler and the ascendancy of Stalin in the Soviet Union – and it is in such a state because it lacks a Common Faith. How much more do we feel that now! We have just experienced the 50th anniversary of the liberation of the Auschwitz Extermination Camp in Poland and ‘ethnic cleansing’ has recently been going on in parts of the civilised continent where we live. Hebert insists that the answer to this is offered by the Christian Church which has a Common Faith lived in Community.
He stresses the last element. There are many who live individual lives of very real holiness, but for the majority of believers the only way to be truly Christian is inside a Christian Community. Why is this? Christ is the fulfilment of the law of Moses, the Head of the Ages. Christ is God’s answer to our need. Christ died for all, so we all, believers and non-believers, share in his Pascal Mystery, His conquest of Death on the Cross.
Every time we meet together at the Eucharist, this is what we celebrate. We represent the saving work of Christ. It is not a personal action that we do as individuals, but an objective act effected by the community by means of a ritual. We enter in Christ’s saving act of God at the Passover. For both Jews and Christians, the past becomes present in ritual. I talked about the Greek word a?aµ?eo?o (‘anamneses’, remembrance recollection, memory, souvenir and so on) in one of my talks, but it is so important that I make no apology for mentioning it again.
Just as it is for the Jews, who celebrate the Passover in family groups, the Eucharist is a social act and cannot be celebrated alone. We are brought out of our individual isolation into the Community of the church, which is Christ’s body. If we are re-presenting Christ’s saving act, we all need to be involved. The Parish Eucharist, says Hebert, is the essential act of worship, with its implied sense of mission to the world. This sounds all very update, but is, as I said, what Hebert wrote in the 1930’s.
Hebert then goes on to say that the principal celebrant at the Eucharist is the gathered Community – you and me – which is a wonderful thought, isn’t it? I said to someone who had been ill for a number of weeks and so had been unable to come to Church, that worship was not the same without them. This was not a lot of old flannel, but vitally true in Hebert’s understanding of Hebert’s understanding of Christian worship. We are all essential, Sunday after Sunday after Sunday. If we miss, the others are missing something too. Of course the Priest has a role to play in the worship, and a pretty important role at that, but it does not change the essential quality of the celebration by the whole body of Christ gathered in the church.
This must be true of all our worship. This is why it is so good when the Church is full for the Services. We all need to be there. It is also true when we have baptisms outside the Eucharist, though it would be better if not all the regular congregation came! Perhaps we could have a group from the regular Sunday worshipers who could represent the whole, so that the children who are accepted into union with Christ in Baptism can be welcomed into the body of Christ in Flamstead. Part of our personal reflection on our spiritual development should be a long look at our involvement in worship, in all that happens in the name of Christ in Flamstead. Thank you for allowing me to be part of it. May this new year, the new Millennium be full of God’s blessings as we journey on together.
God Bless you all.
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Church of England ‘Failing’ Women in Ministry
The Church of England has set back rather than promoted the cause of women in ministry, according to the Rt Rev Andrew Burnham, who has been consecrated as the Bishop of Ebbsfleet. Despite being against the ordination of women, Bishop Burnham said: “The revival of women deacons, which is a scriptural thing in the life of the early church, was a massive opportunity to transform the role of women in church throughout the world.” Referring then to the ordination of women, he said; Instead of which, we proceed with a politically correct feminist agenda. Instead of encouraging women’s ministry throughout the world, this led to a massive growth in suspicion of women’s ministry in traditional churches such as the Roman Catholics and the Eastern Orthodox.”
Bishop Burnham said that the role of women in the church was “a very important one – I don’t think that men have to run everything. There are scriptural grounds for patriarchy but there is a proper way for ordering the church which gives women full and equivocal role within that.”
His views were echoed by the campaigning network Reform, which urged churches to develop new opportunities for women in line with the ‘headship’ principal, which states that women cannot be in overall authority of men.
The current preoccupation with ordination meant that the variety of roles for women had shrunk, including that of deaconess and parish worker.
A survey of 158 Reform clergy found that just over a third employed women in paid ministry. Rev Burkill said the overall message was that the Church is not providing training opportunities for a variety of women’s ministry.
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Rural White Paper:
A paper exercise or the real thing?
December heralded the publishing of the long awaited Rural White Paper:-
Was it worth the wait?
It certainly says lots of things that we would agree with:-
  • Quality services for rural people
  • Money for more accessible one-stop health care centers
  • Formal commitment and money to save rural post offices
  • Support for affordable housing in rural areas, including small villages
  • Extra funding to revitalise market towns
  • A strengthened role for Parish Councils which meet quality standards
  • Continue to tackle rural crime
  • Additional financial support for rural transport, including new Parish Fund to support locally determined transport solutions
  • Additional help for farmers to diversify and increase rural employment opportunities
  • More farmers’ markets
  • Proposals to allow local authorities to charge full rates on second homes

And although it is never as much as we would like, they seem to have backed up the words with money and actions. To ensure that rural issues are considered by all government departments in all their relevant activities, the Countryside Agency has been appointed to keep an eye on things. Regional and national forums are also being formed. So they are taking the issues seriously.
It is hoped that there will be plenty of opportunity for the Community Development Agency for Hertfordshire to access resources detailed in the Rural White Paper.
Provided it is not just a paper exercise, and that the commitment and financial resources are forthcoming, the real thing will certainly make improvement for those living and working in rural Hertfordshire.

CDA promotes
  • Self Help – Helping communities and groups to identify and meet their own needs.
  • Development – Identify and respond to unmet needs, develop and provide services to support community groups and voluntary organisations.
  • Partnership and support – Works with the voluntary sector, local authorities and others to initiate and/or support local action throughout Hertfordshire.

For more information on the work of CDA please contact Jean Beswick or Gary Sage on 01727 852298 or email:cdaforherts@cwcom.net.
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Crime Prevention: We have now established a total village Neighbourhood Watch after a very successful public meeting. All entrances to the village will have signs to signify our commitment.
The A5 will be exempt, as it is a business area, this is our crime black spot. It is the prime focus of the police; so the criminal element may look to the village as a soft touch, BEWARE!
SPEED LIMIT: The establishment of a 30 M.P.H speed limit is welcome, but the number of limit signs within the area seems to be excessive. This is required due to the lack of regular street lighting.
War Memorial: As the wording is wearing away due to weather erosion, investing a long term solution such as engraved metal plates is being sought.
Computers: There will be a road show on the 19th January, where there will be an opportunity for complete novices to get some understanding of the use of computers. This will be followed up by subsequent training sessions at the village Hall.
Our Countryside: Following the recent White Paper on this subject there was a strong feeling that the Council should put more effort into the understanding of local transport in all its ramifications.
M W.

The next meeting of the Parish Council will be on 12th February at 8pm in the Village Hall.
These notes are produced for the Church and Village News. Please note that the full official minutes continue to be available in the Village Hall and at both shops, after they have been agreed at the following month’s P.C. meeting.
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Bells at Westminster Abbey
Lucy and Allen Shepherd ring-in the New Year
Bellringers are great visitors of churches, enjoying the privilege of ringing bells all over the country. A telephone call or letter to the Tower Captain or Vicar, and permission is granted for a visiting band to ring, or an individual may just turn up on practice night and ring with the local band.
At Westminster Abbey however, ringing is restricted to 25 occasions a year. On the anniversaries of the Queen’s birthday, accession, coronation, wedding, Commonwealth Day, New Year’s Day and at certain Christian festivals. The bells are rung by The Company of Ringers of the Collegiate Church of St. Peter in Westminster. The ten principal members and sixteen supernumerary members are made up of the very best ringers from in and around London. There is no practice night and no provision for visiting bands, except for the ringing on New Year’s Day, when a visiting band of ringers is invited to ring.
Lucy and I were honoured to be invited to ring on New Year’s Day this year as part of the company of bell ringers who take part in the special twelve-bell practices at All Saints, High Wycombe.
The ten bells at the Abbey (weighing a total of 5 ½ tons), which are hung in the north west tower, were cast at the Whitechapel Bellfoundry in 1971. These bells are the latest in a long line of bells which can be traced back over 700 years.
On New Years Day there was an air of excitement as we assembled at the west end of the Abbey. We were met by David Hilling the conductor of the Westminster Abbey Company and taken into the Abbey by the cloister entrance. A walk down the nave dodging the tourists, past the tomb of the unknown soldier to the tower staircase door. The long climb of some 90 steps bought us to the spacious ringing chamber.
The walls were lined with peal boards. Handsome sign written plaques recording the peals rung to celebrate royal births, marriages, coronations and jubilees. The Abbey bells are traditionally rung at one o’clock following on from the chimes of Big Ben which can clearly be heard from the Abbey ringing chamber. We rang the bells on cue and were pleased to become a small part of a great tradition of ringing at the Abbey which is said to enshrine the history of the British nation.
Apart from ringing bells, Allen Shepherd is one of our regular organists here at St. Leonard’s Church Flamstead.
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(A Cautionary Tale)
The morning of the 28th December brought a magnificent covering of snow across the country.
Shovels and spades soon appeared, clearing and piling up mounds, just begging to be made into the traditional Snowman. Sure enough one enthusiastic person in Trowley Hill got stuck in and a fine fellow was crafted, standing magnificent in his fine red hat and waistcoat buttons, complete with bow tie.
The sun went down turning into a clear night with the stars shining and he stood there illuminated by the house lights. He felt very proud and happy, when along came a group of village lads “Fancy joining us for a drink and a good time tonight” they said. Snowman could not believe his luck and jumped at the chance to join them.
He hardly felt his feet touch the ground as they helped him up the road, laughing and giggling all the way.
It was not long before this inexperienced young chap was the worst for wear and the sun was up before he came round from his night of revelry, feeling quite green from smoking the cigarette, which still protruded from his mouth; then looking down, he could not believe his eyes, he had been turned into a girl, very definitely a girl, and topless into the bargain, with nothing to cover him/her but embarrassment.
It was not long before his folk came along and promptly removed his fine red hat and bow tie, which had slipped somewhat. Having shamed his folks, he was left to his own devices and to reflect on his foolishness. The only thing left to him now, was the fervent hope for a quick thaw. Now let this be a lesson to all young fellows eager to taste the good times.
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Churchyard Lime Trees
We have at last received permission to pollard the Lime trees at the edge of our c hurchyard which overhang the top end of Trowley Hill Road. Permission is necessary as they are part of a Conservation Area, and they have become a nuisance to people living in that part of the village. Also this work will help in the continuing health and management of the trees.
Work will be carried out during the dormant season and we would hope that. There might be some pea-sticks available for keen gardeners and allotment holders. If you are interested, please contact me on 841648.
Fr. George.
Editor's Note:3 months later the trees are starting to sprout shoots and the prunning has provided an uniterrupted view of the church from the road.
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The Way Ahead
There was a full attendance at the Parochial Church Council Meeting in St Leonard's Church yesterday at which Father John Green attended by invitation as a visitor. The temperature in the church reminded us of the need there is for an effective and economic heating system and a good deal of time and effort has been used in exploring this objective. Our thanks in the main are due to Colin Campbell who has been busy looking at various systems and alternatives of heating. We are restricted by having a medieval building with 3ft thick walls to penetrate if necessary and the need for permission from English Heritage.
The most likely choice seems to be a 'wet system' with a gas heated boiler. The cost seems to be around £35,000 - and we shall need to have a water supply which at present we do not have.
There was an item on the pruning of the Lime trees for which permission has been obtained from Dacorum Council. We are hoping to get the job completed before the spring.
Arrangements were discussed on the licensing of our new incumbent Fr. John Green on 8th July at which the Archdeacon of St Albans and Bishop Robin will officiate. The licensing service will start in Flamstead at 7.30pm after which another similar service will take place at St John the Baptist Markyate, followed by refreshments -to which we are invited. Nearer the time there will be an appeal to help with providing eats and drink.
The Treasurer reported that our finances had managed to 'hold up' despite fairly heavy outgoings. He has promised to finalise arrangements for 'Gift Aid' payments to the church in which income is increased if donor pays income tax.
Plans were afoot for a number of schemes for raising cash by Friends of St Leonard's including an event on 16th March to celebrate the completion of the tower repairs. The event has been arranged for Friday 16th March at which there will be a short address by Bishop Christopher of St Albans, an organ recital played by Geraint Jones, and singing by the Bedfordshire Police Choir; words from the chairman and wine and refreshments. The suggested charge is £ 10 per head, and commences at 7.30pm. Please come and enjoy a real church and village event!
Lastly there was talk of restarting our own village bell-ringing team. We already have three or four ringers and our new priest to be Fr. John Green is keen to learn this noble art of bell- ringing. Why not come and join him?
Contact me on 841648.
Fr. George.
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