|This month's mag also included an article about the Neighbourhood watch scheme,
which can be found here.|
|A TASTE OF THE PAST
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
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.
QUEUE DE BOEUF EN MATELOTTE
(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
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.
| Top of Page|
|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.
| Top of Page|
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.
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
| Top of Page|
|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
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
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
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.
| Top of Page|
|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.
| Top of Page|
|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.
- 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:email@example.com.
| Top of Page|
|HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PARISH COUNCIL MEETING - JANUARY 8th 2001
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
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.
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.
| Top of Page|
|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
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.
| Top of Page|
|THE SNOWMAN’S NIGHT OUT
(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
| Top of Page|
|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.
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.
| Top of Page|
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
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.
| Top of Page||