Ouse News
      The Parish Magazine  December 2003
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Ouse News is published by Felmersham Parochial Church Council and Sponsored by Chesham Insurance Brokers

Christmas is Coming - Rev David Mason
By the time that you are reading this the preparations for Christmas will be in full swing, with rehearsals for School Christmas productions, the preparation of Christmas present and card lists, and all the many other things that go on at this time of the year, It is such a busy time of the year that it is all too easy to forget what this is all really about. To forget that we are preparing to celebrate the coming of that most wonderful gift to all people from God, the coming of Jesus as a baby born in Palestine all those years ago. I believe that it is very important to set some time aside during this busy season to think about the wonderful thing that God did, and the effects that it has had on the whole world

Traditionally Christmas is a time when we talk about peace and goodwill to all people. Recent events make it seem that there are those who do not have any goodwill or desire for peace to those who live in our prosperous portion of the world. There is the temptation to seek to meet force with force, and it must be right that we should defend ourselves to the best of our ability. But we need to look again at the Christian message of love, peace and goodwill. To what extent has our failure to demonstrate by the way that we live and relate to those who are less fortunate than ourselves our own commitment to the code of living that we profess? Have we been diligent and caring enough in our efforts to bring peace and justice to troubled areas of the world, particularly to Jesusí birth place?
Does it seem that we are intent on promoting our own interests in the third world rather than applying the principles of love, freedom and justice that we proclaim? Difficult questions, but ones that we must consider as we strive to bring peace to this troubled world.

Jesus came into the world to tell us of the way that God wants all his people to live in love and peace in the world that he created, and to demonstrate in his life, death, and resurrection the truth of the message that he proclaimed. We seek to continue the work started by Jesus to bring Godís kingdom to the world. In our Christmas preparations let us pray for God to give us the gifts of love, wisdom, courage and humility so that we can be effective disciples in a world that is longing so much for the peace, justice and love that is Godís will for all his people.

Ann and I thank you all for your love and support during the year, and hope that you each have a very happy and blessed Christmas.

New Felmersham and Radwell Local History Book - Ken Shrimpton
After four years of research a new book on the history of our parish will be published on 20 December 2003. From ring ditches in Radwell to a witch bottle in Felmersham, from a medieval chapel in Radwell to a famous 13C Italian mathematical rector, this book is a comprehensive account of the history of Felmersham parish.
"Felmersham - The History of a Riverside Parish" written by Ken Shrimpton, contains over a hundred illustrations, with 28 in colour. The 212 page, hard cover book includes original research and fieldwork and costs £12.95.
The book will be launched on Saturday 20 December and Sunday 21 December between 2.OOpm and 4.OOpm (on both days) in the village hall committee room. On display will be research material used in the book and those who wish, are welcome to sit and browse through copies of original documents etc. This is a rare opportunity to study a private archive.
The book will also be on sale from 20 December at Sally Carr's Books, Milton Ernest Garden Centre and from the author.
More details.

Coffee Morning - Jane Wells
This month's Coffee Morning, in aid of the Church Heating Fund, is at the home of Mo and Kanzy Zaki, on 6 December at 10.30am. Home made cakes, toiletries, produce and bric-a-brac for the bring and buy stall will be greatly appreciated. All welcome.
The Coffee Morning for January will be held at the home of Chris and Maggie Spoor on Saturday 10 January 2004 at 10.30am.

Candlelit Christingle Service - Gillian Whiteway
This year's candlelit Christingle service in aid of the Children's Society will take place at St Mary's on Sunday 7th December at 3.OOpm. All are welcome at this enjoyable service, which takes children as its focus. Many children of the parish will already have been given collecting boxes at school, but if you would like one, or have any queries regarding the collection or service, please contact me on 782686. This promises to be a moving and memorable service, and we look forward to seeing you there.

Christmas Present Appeal - Rosalind Templeman
Just a reminder that, at the Carol Service on 14th December, we shall as usual be collecting presents for the children at Bapatla Home in India. Small, very light items for boys and girls aged 5 to 16 will be very welcome, as will donations towards the children's care and education. There have been some difficulties at the home recently, and our gifts will be even more eagerly received. The children look forward so much to their treats: thank you in advance for your generosity.

The Parish Paths (P3) Group - Carol Stork
The October meeting of the Felmersham and Radwell P3 Group began with an expression of thanks to Chris Ure who had led the group for four years. Chris took over the reins during 1999 from Glenda Davis and has worked diligently for the group since then, keeping projects on course and providing a very effective liaison between the group and Bedfordshire County Council. It has certainly been a busy 4 years, during which Chris particularly enjoyed his collaboration with David Cardy over the production of the two excellent walks leaflets - enabling visitors and local walkers alike to make more of our scenic countryside and local heritage. None more so than Chris himself, whose favourite route is the 'hilltop' walk from Grange Road over to Carlton Road, which offers such wonderful views of the surrounding landscape. What Chris valued most about his role in the group was the opportunity to facilitate greater understanding between walkers and local landowners - working together to provide welcome access to the countryside. The P3 group members are especially pleased that Chris will be remaining with them to help keep up that good work in the future.
If you'd like to join in - you'd be very welcome. The next meeting takes place at 7.45. pm on Thursday 11th December. For further details, or for any queries related to local paths, contact Carol Stork on 782769.

Save the Children Fund
I still have plenty of Christmas cards and wrapping paper left, so if you find you have run short, I might be the answer to your problems'. Just ring me on 781789.

W.I. - May Mills
Trevor Mardlin is a natural born speaker, and, as a self-confessed true countryman, his love of the land was apparent from the outset of his guide through the restoration of Swiss Gardens, Old Warden. He amused us with legend, anecdote and history, while showing 'before' and 'after' photographs of the forgotten garden, which had been neglected for 40 years. When work began 25 years ago, nobody knew what was there, and it was fascinating to see how the garden was unveiled and brought back to something resembling the original, albeit with the Shuttleworth's Victorian additions. An enormous greenhouse was discovered to pre-date the Crystal Palace, having been made in Northampton in the 1830's, and the Grotto below contained ironwork made by a local craftsman. However, the iron garden seats came from Debenhams!
Next month is our Christmas Party. Please can you bring a gift to the value of £3 and a plate of finger food. We are again supporting the charity Christian Family Care and would appreciate a wrapped gift for a child or adult. (December's competition entry)
Regretfully, there will be no Senior Citizen's Christmas Tea this year, but we hope to have an event in the Spring. Further details in the New Year.

SPCA Collection - Felise Kingerlee Thanks to all who donated again this year. The total raised was £155.87. Special thanks go to Mrs Pipe, Mrs Wilson, Mrs Payne and Miss Twigden for giving up their valuable time collecting.

Annual Boxing Day Walk - Ken and Lorraine Shrimpton
We assemble at 11.OOam at Felmersham bus shelter for our annual walk on the 26 December 2003. You are welcome to join us with your family and friends for this popular short Boxing Day walk, which will take 1'/z hours maximum. Please dress to walk across wet and possibly muddy fields and be prepared to climb stiles. There will be plenty of opportunities for short cuts home so don't be put off if you can't walk the full 10 miles! (Only joking, 3 miles max.) Last year approximately 50 people joined the walk Looking forward to seeing you.

felmersham.net has been on line for over 5 years and during that time it has grown into a well respected site, both locally and world wide. It does, however, need a greater input from local people in order to promote it as a source of news and information within the community. If you are an organiser of a parish organisation or have news or comments you would like to share, then why not send details to the webmaster@felmersham.net Confidentiality is assured.
Many parishioners have relatives abroad who regularly stay in touch with the community by viewing the site online. The Grapevine page provides frequent news updates and "Ouse News" is published online every month. felmersham.net is an independent web site.

Poppy Appeal 2003 - Geoff Hulatt
The poppy collection amounted to £185.21 in Radwell and £308.00 in Felmersham, making a total of £493.?_1. Donations to the War Memorial Wreath amounted to £65. The church collection was £61.91. I would like to thank all who contributed to the appeal, and particularly the collectors: Mrs C Hulatt, Mrs M Mills, Mrs M Leach, Mrs G Stevenson, Mrs S Evans, Mrs S Carr, Mr D Hulston, Mr R Horsford, The Sun, The Swan and Pinchmill School. Well done everyone.

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Page last updated: 15/07/04  Ouse News is published by St Mary's PCC
 Ouse News will print anything of interest to the community not just reports of past village activities or reminders of forthcoming ones. Feedback on any of the items published would be most welcome Ė whether for printing or not.
Items for next month's Ouse News should be sent to the editor: Clive Just, 2 The Old Rectory by the 25th of the month. It would help if items were emailed to OuseNews@bigfoot.com; sent on disk; or typed. Phone 781967 for more details.