Saturday, 16 April 2016

12-7 Prayer for Pentecost

Thy Kingdom Come

This year, the Archbishops of Canterbury and York have encouraged us to a join in a special season of prayer in the week leading up to Pentecost. You can find full details of their call to prayer on the website

Here in our deanery of Hertford & Ware, we have decided to respond by setting up a 12/7 prayer room in the chapel at St Andrew’s Church in Hertford. 

It will be open from Sunday 8th to Sunday 15th May, from 8am to 8pm, and we would encourage you to visit the chapel and pray for as long or short a period as you can manage.

There is a calendar to sign up so that you can indicate when you would like to come, and we hope that individuals and groups will fill as many of the gaps in the week as possible.

The Archbishops are calling us to pray for three things:
  • for all Christians to deepen their relationship with Jesus Christ
  • for all of us to have confidence to share the Gospel
  • for all to respond to the call of Jesus Christ to follow Him as disciples, to live out the Gospel and to seek God’s Kingdom from day to day.

They go on to say:
At the heart of our prayers will be the words that Jesus Christ himself taught us - ‘Thy kingdom come, thy will be done.’ It is impossible to overstate the life-transforming power of the Lord’s Prayer. It is a prayer that is reassuring enough to be on the lips of the dying and yet dangerous enough to be banned in cinemas. It is famous enough to be spoken each day by billions in hundreds of languages and yet intimate enough to draw us ever closer into friendship with Jesus Christ. It is simple enough to be memorised by small children and yet profound enough to sustain a whole lifetime of prayer. When we pray it with sincerity and with joy, there is no imagining the new ways in which God can use us to his glory.

Will you join with us? Come and pray, on your own or together with others. Sign up on the list in St Andrew’s Church, or by clicking the blue widget bottom right.  

Monday, 16 March 2015

Minutes of a meeting of the Hertford and Ware Deanery Synod on Monday 2nd February 2015 at St Andrews Church, Hertford; beginning at 8 pm.


Attending:  Revd Canon Pauline Higham, Revd Mark Dunstan, Revd Alan Stewart, Revd Nick Sharp, Revd Jo Loveridge, Revd Derek Hinge (Speaker), Diana Perkins, Steve Perkins, Peter Dane, Trevor Paddon, Lyn Paddon, Ruth Swallow, Rod Higham, Ros Squires, Jill Whitley, Dorothy Abel Smith, Tim Crowther, Mike West, Colin Taylor, David Scott, Janet Bird, Michael Gunn Smith, Nicola Page, Richard McKay, Ian Aitken, Tina Wilkinson


1.       Pauline expressed our thanks to the volunteers who had provided tea and coffee before our meeting began and welcomed Derek Hinge, our speaker.  Alan then opened the meeting with prayer.


2.       Apologies were received from David Whitley, Pat Parker, Mike Sutcliffe, and Revd Bill Church.


3.       The Minutes of the last meeting held Tuesday 28th October were agreed.


4.       Pauline dealt with the business aspects of the meeting next so that we could then devote the remainder of the meeting to the activities provided by our Speaker.  There was no correspondence, or reports.  Pauline pointed people towards the new leaflet about what Synod does, available for everyone to take home and also mentioned that the Diocesan elections happened this year and asked us all to pray and think about who to elect from our Deanery Synod members to represent us at Diocesan Synod.


5.       Derek Hinge – Prayer.  Derek began by reminding us we are all on a journey of prayer. This journey goes deeper than intercessory prayer, but many of us get stuck there.  Different personality types pray in different ways and some ways may be difficult for us.  Derek himself has been influenced by Lea Abbey and silence.  Prayer is about action and connects with Living God’s Love and Going Deeper into God.  It’s fundamental for us all, but is not about being told to or trying to make yourself do it.  It’s about your longing to draw closer to God and discover more about his will - ‘Prayer is essentially a love-affair with God’ (Ruth Fowke) and it sustains our relationship with God.  Derek had set up various stations around the church with information on different styles/types of prayer and different aids to prayer. He invited us to wander round and look, take things that interested us and find a space to ‘have a go’.  There were many different stations with prayer based on scriptures, pictures, senses, our personalities, icons, labyrinths and candles. 


After we had spent some time quietly around the church, Derek called us all back together for a time of questions. When asked if it was a good idea to have a special time of day to pray – to form a habit of praying at that time, Derek replied that it was a good idea, but there was no need to be perfect.  Morning prayer can offer a good start to the day and remind us that God is in every thought and action and all around us.  We should try to be aware of him in all encounters and not confine him to one part of the day.  The world can intrude so it can be difficult to find time to listen to God, not just talk to him – it needs to be a two-way conversation. Pauline thanked Derek and he then led us in a meditation which is included at the end of these minutes.



The next meeting is on 5th May at Christ Church, Ware (centre at the back)

Just talk to me

This beautiful poem was written by Bill Colclough, from Lee Abbey's Devon Community. It has reached a lot of people as a simple reflection on how we should pray. Many have found it useful as a way of relaxing in God's presence and removing any pretence at prayer.



Don’t be afraid if you don’t understand
Don’t fear you won’t do it right
Don’t worry about performing

Just talk to me


Don’t need no words you can’t define
Don’t need a special voice you keep reserved just for me
Don’t even have to close your eyes

Just talk to me


Don’t need to wait until you’re hopeless
Don’t need a particular reason to call
Don’t need to fake your holiness

Just talk to me


Don’t worry that you don’t love me enough
Don’t need to do anything special
Don’t pretend you’re someone or something that you’re not

Just talk to me


Don’t need some formal speech about all the social and theological issues of the day
Don’t be afraid I won’t listen
Don’t use lots of fancy phrases you heard some preacher say

Just talk to me


Don’t try to be impressive
Don’t think about your image
Don’t need to be self-conscious

Just talk to me


Don’t think it has to make sense
Don’t feel the need to use complete sentences
Don’t feel the need to use words at all

Just talk to me


Don’t pretend to be happy if you are not
Don’t be overwhelmed if you feel hopeless
Don’t worry if I’ll do what you ask

Just talk to me


Don’t feel you have to take all day or all night
Don’t feel the need to be serious or sombre or stressed
Don’t even think about wearing your fancy clothes

Just talk to me


Don’t worry if you’re pleasing me
Don’t think you have to have all the answers
Don’t try to feel anything different at all

Just talk to me


Don’t worry about feeling terribly confident
Don’t try to change the world
Don’t think yourself too bad or too good to do this

Just talk to me


Don’t spend your emotional energy getting all worked up over this
Don’t think of me as a perfectionist
Don’t believe everything you hear down there

Just talk to me


Don’t keep a list or record of when we chat
Don’t need to make an appointment
Don’t stop to talk to the receptionist

Just talk to me


Don’t try to be your preacher
Don’t try to be your mother
Don’t pretend you’ve got it all together

Just talk to me


Don’t need no special glasses
Don’t need a microphone
Don’t worry if it isn’t good

Just talk to me


Don’t lie to me
Don’t question if I understand
Don’t think it doesn’t matter

Just talk to me


Don’t bother about the rules
Don’t bother about whether there are any
Don’t pursue anything by which to measure yourself

Just talk to me

Don’t confuse me with your father
Don’t put that kind of pressure on him or yourself
Don’t try get away from the point of who I am

Just talk to me


Don’t try to impress me
Don’t try to hide anything
Don’t concern yourself about whether you’re wasting my time with trivialities

Just talk to me


Don’t ask if I know about the latest hospital report
Don’t think I don’t know all the latest gossip
Don’t wonder if I know the best possible outcome

Just talk to me


Don’t think anything is too insignificant to bring up
Don’t worry if you cry
Don’t worry if you don’t

Just talk to me


Don’t be afraid
Don’t be unnatural
Don’t be anything you don’t want to be

Just talk to me


Don’t hesitate to shout if you feel like it
Don’t hesitate to rant
Don’t pretend

Just talk to me


Don’t forget to laugh with me
Don’t forget that I’m the one who started all this
Don’t forget I already know what you’re going to say

Just talk to me


Don’t worry about what I might say or think about you
Don’t be concerned if you lose your train of thought
Don’t be surprised if I talk back

Just talk to me


Don’t forget to listen
Don’t forget I care more than you can possibly imagine
Don’t worry about the silence

Just talk to me

Just talk to me

Just talk to me

Mission Action Plan SUMMARY

This form is designed to help parishes to summarise their Mission Action Plan.   It can be used in conjunction with the Mission Action Plan RECORD form.  Please note, this SUMMARY is the form to send to Bishop Alan (NB please see overleaf for details of the address to use).

This form can be filled in on a computer as a Word Document or printed off and completed by hand.  You can also complete it online on .  Parishes will be sent login details.

Our Details  (UPDATED)

Name of Parish
Watton at Stone
MAP Contact Person
Name and email
Jaki Rowland – Churchwarden   

Dates   the key date is the one on which the MAP is adopted by the PCC

If appropriate, the date that the previous MAP was adopted by the PCC

This MAP

MAP adopted by PCC
15th Oct 2014
MAP presented to APCM
MAP Summary sent to Bishop
17th Oct 2014
MAP Review planned for
Sept 2015


Our Looking

Identify three key things about your parish (and the wider context) and three key things about your church. 

Three things we have seen about our parish and our world
1 New housing estate in village – 111 houses
2.Diverse Age groups – growing school – links with New Vicar
3.  Church at edge of Village, up a Hill, not centrally situated.


Three things we have seen about our church
1.Beautiful Ancient Building dating back to 1300’s Grade 1 listed  but cold and damp
2. Welcoming congregation
3.Many involved in Village activities

Our Discerning

Please summarise your Vision, Priorities and Goals.

Our Vision is
How we want to be described in five years’ time. 
To be central to the Village community making God’s message a vital part of village life.


Our Priorities are
Our three key priorities for the next five years. 
1.Encouraging the  Benefice  of  four churches to be more united
2. Encouraging Parents and children to be more involved with the church
3. To promote ourselves via more modern communication i.e. web site, Parish News, Notice Boards,  social events etc.

It might be helpful for each priority to reflect one of the themes of Living God’s Love.

You may, of course, have other priorities in your MAP.

Our Goals are
Our five key SMART goals for the next year or more. 
1. Develop the database to allow efficient contact with members of the congregation to publicise forthcoming church services and social events
2.  Introduce a Stewardship Programme for both established and new members of the congregation to increase giving and identify talents
3.  Move to next phase of remedying damp problem by construction of the new French drain outside at the west end of the church
4.  Draw up a programme of fundraising events for the coming year for the newly launched Friends of Watton Church and tap into the talents of members to maximise fund raising
5.  Continue to build contact with our local community by having an Advent Sheep Trail and a Christmas Star and repeating the Lent Cross next year.
6.Devise a Photo display in church to celebrate who we are.  This would also feature on the website

You may, of course, have other Goals in your MAP

Please send this form, either by post or email, to Bishop Alan or submit it online

email Save it as a file something like StJohnsAnytown  MAP  Feb 2012

post    Mission Action Plans, Holywell Lodge, 41 Holywell Hill, St Albans  AL1 1HE.

online use your parish login* to complete it online at
* (
The login information will be available from September: email