O Lord of Mercy,
In this time of coronavirus pandemic, we pray for those who are sick, bereaved and those who provide treatment and care; for those isolated, stranded and for those who have higher responsibilities to manage the affairs.
Lord of Life, endow us with:
Courage to accept the reality and human limitations,
Patience to continue in Christian hope, which rises above the realm of human reality,
Outpouring of love to neighbours and strangers,
Believing in new life and resurrection,
And trust in your providence.
We long than ever before that your kingdom come and your will be done on earth as in heaven. Amen

Rev. Dr Andrew Prasad
Moderator
Thames North Synod, United Reformed Church

For those who have not heard the story of the War Memorial Tablet, it was consecrated in 1921 at the Congregational Church in Hoddesdon and bears 12 names of members who gave their lives during the 1914-18 war. When the church was demolished in the mid 1960s it was salvaged and brought to be stored at 91 High Road, Broxbourne, which was being used by the congregation during the building of our new and very modern one. In October 1972, the Congregational and Presbyterian Churches joined together to form the United Reformed Church. Our current church was opened in 1968 but the tablet was not incorporated into it, there being no obvious position in such a modern building, to do so. However, the building of an extension to the chuch some years ago provided a suitable weatherproof position to re-install the tablet, Research has taken place in regard to the names on the tablet and we have limited information but are hoping that if it is possible we can find any living relatives who would like to see where their family members are remembered. We have in our congregation still, a family member of one soldier shown and that is Helen Kinight whose great uncle is one of those names. Alan Avery.

With many thanks to Alan Avery for his research and for organising the restoration of the tablet.

Alan and Helen are pictured here at the re-installation ceremony on Remembrance Sunday 10th November 2019.

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Our lovely Nativity story dolls will be travelling again this year during Advent. Mary and Joseph, the shepherds and the kings will be looking for shelter on their journeys.You are not too late to offer them a resting place on thier journeys - contact Amanda Harwood.

Las Posadas (The Inns), we are told, is a religious activity established in Catholic Mexico, spreading from Mexico to parts of the USA as well as through Spain and Italy. Over the nine days up to Christmas Eve they celebrate Mary and Joseph travelling from Nazareth to Bethlehem ‘in search of a safe refuge where Mary could have the baby Jesus’.

Posada at URC

By the time the Posada idea has got to Broxbourne URC we have dolls representing the Holy party, Mary and Joseph, the Shepherds and the Kings, divided up to travel separately around the houses of the church members for a night or two at each place, eventually meeting up in the church service before Christmas Eve.

Beyond prayerfully remembering the happening,at each handover the church folk hosting are expected to have a chat over tea or coffee with the recipients to widen their group of friends.

Hence the full group of dolls are never seen together except as quickly assembled during the church service. So the idea here is that after the Christmas excitement has passed to put them all together more carefully for a group photograph.

Dorothy Blatcher was on hand to set up this group display, bending legs where possible in order for some dolls to sit, giving varying heights in the gathering.

Next she particularly chose to have Joseph to the left of Mary which would balance his height with that of the Kings.

With fixed heads it was tricky to get every doll to look somewhere appropriately. Eventually we got the arrangement to be satisfactory using window light.

Posada using window light

As you know, beyond studying the background, having got the arrangement the great secret for a picture is to study the use of lighting, its source, strength and direction.

Posada even artificial light

This was a second choice using the artificial room light which made less of the back cloth, again lighting the whole group evenly with no special emphasis on Jesus.

For the third shot we narrowed down the directional light from an Anglepoise, by making a snoot of discarded Christmas wrapping paper to centre the light on Jesus.

Posada directional light

The gorgeous array of clothing is all the work of member, Jane Kemp, living near to Saffron Walden. With dolls obtained by Rev David Bradburn, she dressed the whole party for the first use fiour years ago.

See which lighting effect you prefer.

Gordon Anderson

 

 

On Sunday 31st March we celebrated 50 years of our church building. Thank you to Martin Legg for taking the service and to Mary Bite for baking the celebration cake.

50th cake with Helen Brian Diane

Elaine Batten came to talk to us about our local foodbank on 10th March. Elaine and Jeremy are passionate about the food bank, which started in 2012 at St James Church in Goffs Oak. Local churches and community groups work together towards stopping hunger in our local area.

The food bank is part of the Trussell Trust. The staff are All volunteers. They have got shopping to a fine art. Basic food parcels give food for breakfasts, lunches adn evening meals for 3-4 days. The foodbank is desperately short of food. There has been a big increase in the number of food parcels needed. Last year the average per week was 62 but the figure is well into the 70s so far this year. People needing food are issued food bank vouchers by a referral agency, which does the necessary checks. Customers are very varied. Local supermarkets donate fresh food (Marks and Spencer, Tesco community food, Warburtons Bakery, Greggs, Morrisons and Swithenbanks). Lidl donated a freezer. B3 Living donated an electric van. Jeremy collects food every day from variuous Tescos. Tesco weighs donations in its stores and converts 20% of the weight into a money donation. The food bank also welcomes toiletries and basic clothing for children and adults. The foodbank enabeles people the time to sort out thier problems. there is a delivery service for emergencies. there is a gluten free adn lactose free section. Baby bundles are available in partnership wih the national Childbirth Trust.

Our church collects food and money at our monthly communion services. Dionations can be brought at any time. There are receptacles in the upper room and in the downstairs kitchen.

Urgently needed food items include: UHT milk 1 litre, tinned fruit 400g, tea bags 80s, breakfast cereals and canned fish.

'The foodbank was there when we really needed it, it was an absolute lifeline.'

see the website Broxbourne.foodbank.org.uk

Mothers and Toddlers Group.

A place where pre-school children and their carers can come and find friendship and fun in a safe environment .....

Carers keep an eye on their children as they race around the hall on bikes, or jump on the trampoline, or play with smaller toys. There are things to make and do and refreshments too! 

We meet in term-time on Wednesday afternoons, 1.30 to 3.00 and cost £1 per week per family.

 

No need to book a place, just turn up.