December 2001 Parish News


Services for December & January
Holy Communion each Thursday at 10.30
2nd 10.00 Family Service - Start of Advent
       11.00 Informal Communion
5th  10.30 Pram Service
9th  10.30 Morning Praise
16th 10.30 Holy Communion
        6.00 Carol Service
        4.00 Christingle Service - East Hyde
19th 10.30 Pram Service
23rd 10.30 Children's Nativity
24th 11.15pm Midnight Communion
25th 9.15   Holy Communion - East Hyde
        10.30 Family Service
30th 10.30 Morning Praise

January 2002
2nd 10.30 Pram Service
6th 10.00 Family Service
      11.00 Informal Communion
13th 10.30 Morning Praise
16th 10.30 Pram Service
20th 10.30 Holy Communion
27th 10.30 Morning Praise

3rd 10.00 Family Service

Remembrance Day
The Church was packed on the eleventh day of the eleventh month as we gathered solemnly at our War Memorials inside St Andrew's, to remember local people who were killed in two World Wars. In the absence of a vicar at the moment, Chris Barnes led a sympathetic service with great feeling. The youngsters were there in numbers, smart in their uniforms, flying their flags. The Brownies took a part in the service, recalling the volunteers of the local fire brigade (see Brownies item). Following the silence, Alex, our local piper, played a lament.

Muriel Allsop reflected local interest last month, asking about the vacancy. People are busy behind the scenes, seeking out a priest in charge for St Andrew's and the Churchwardens have written:
A New Priest for Slip End
It seems more than just a few months since David left for his new parish in Edmonton. It also probably appears that very little has happened as far as finding a successor. Please be assured of the following:
1) It is planned to replace David with another full time priest.
2) The Diocese has been made fully aware of and understands the particular needs of this parish.
3) A considerable amount of work has been going on in the background to find the right person.
4) We are currently awaiting the results of the current round of advertisements.
5) We will find that person but, in the current climate, this may take time, patience, a considerable amount of work and a good deal of prayer from everyone in the parish.
Eileen and Roger
Please note: Mother's Union
December 21st Carols at Woodside Home

Some of the Brownies, along with Brown Owl, told the congregation at the Remembrance Service at St Andrews Church the story of the Slip End Fire Service and for those that missed it ………...
The story of Slip End Fire Service
We have recently been reminded of the bravery of firemen by the events of September 11th. The New York fire service lost over 100 men who went into two burning buildings which everyone else was trying to leave. During the second world war, there was a small company of men who acted as fire officers in case Slip End should ever have a fire due to bombing. It was called the Slip End Auxiliary Fire Service. Fifteen men were trained to deal with fire; and some of the names are well known or related to those who have lived here many years:
Bill Lines                  Sid Ward
George Edwards     Jock Kinnear
Ron Barron             Bill Harling
Charlie Lines           George Ford
Horace Palmer        Bert Anderson
Reg Burton Ron      Owen
Charlie Godfrey      Bob Porter
Bill Plummer

There was no big red fire engine. They had a small Austin 16 car with a roof rack, ladders and towing a small unit to pump water. It was kept just behind 48 Summer Street in an annexe known as the Old Granary. It later moved to where Old School Walk is now.

Fortunately, they never had to go into action, as the nearest bomb to fall was at Newlands Farm. But they had to make sure the fire hydrants were working and every night there were four firemen on duty, ready to go into action.
We are thankful for all who worked voluntarily to keep our community safe.

Our table top sale/craft bazaar made a profit of 106.00 towards our funds.
On Wednesday 14th November we had an open evening where the girls showed their skills in the 8 point challenge.
We are hoping to do a Blue Peter Appeal, Bring and Buy on Saturday December 15th from 10.00a.m. - 12 noon. We will combine this with a table top sale with all profits going to the appeal. If anyone has anything they would like to donate to the sale or would like a stall please contact Gillian 723109 or Barbara 414796. Thank you.

General Work
Digging and trenching can be continued throughout the month. It is not wise to do it when snow is on the ground or it is frozen or very wet. Burn rubbish, make a rotation plan for vegetables. Clean and repair tools
Vegetable Garden
From time to time during the month you must continue to bend down leaves over the curds of broccoli as they form.
Flower and fruit garden
Continue to prune bush and standard roses; fruit trees and bushes of all kinds.
If you have a privet hedge which seems a bit sparse, take cuttings below a joint between 8" and 1 foot in length. Insert deeply in stirred earth and leave until wanted.

Our half term trip to Lego Land, Windsor, was a great success. Apart from one brief shower the weather was kind to us. Both the children and parents enjoyed the rides and attractions.

Matthew Meleady and Lucy Nicholl
enjoying their day at Lego Land

Toddlers had fun in Fancy Dress at Halloween; they made Creepy Cookies and bravely searched the Village Hall for ghosts and spooks.

Wendy and Caitlin Gourlay
decorate Halloween Cookies.

Dates for your Diary
Saturday December 8th: Don't forget our Kids on the Catwalk Fashion Show. It promises to be lots of fun for our young models and the audience and is an opportunity to buy High Street clothes, 3-12 years at discounted prices.
Please come along and support this fund raising event. Tickets are 2.50, to include wine and mince pies. The show starts at 3pm Tuesday 18th December:
This will be our last meeting before the Christmas Break, so its time to get into your party clothes, Toddlers! We will be having fun with our Children's Entertainer, Party Food and a visit from Father Christmas.

Tuesday 8th January: Weekly Toddler meetings resume.

Since October we have welcomed four new children to our playgroup. They are settling in well and enjoying all the activities we have on offer. This half term we have made Diwali candles and used lots of glitter to make pictures depicting fireworks and bonfires. By the time you read this we will be embarking on our Christmas theme and have already made cards for our families and no doubt have gone in for plenty of glitter again.
Although the weather is not on our side now we are trying to go outside for at least part of each morning to enjoy some fresh air and play some energetic games. Once inside again we enjoy a drink to refresh us ready to play indoors again.
The Frog and Rhubarb is the venue for the adult's Christmas dinner on Friday 7th December. We are having the children's Christmas party on Monday 10th December with an entertainer and, so long as the reindeer are fit and able, Father Christmas has promised to call in to see us.
This term our Nearly New Sale did well raising just over 200 for our funds to help us replenish our craft supplies (even more glitter is urgently needed), and to pay for the children's party.

Still to come this term is the 'Kids on the Catwalk' fashion show on Saturday 8th December at 3.00 in the Village Hall. Local children will be modelling the clothes and then there is an opportunity to buy. This is a joint venture with the Toddler Group and tickets can be purchased from us at the Village Hall on Monday, Tuesday and Friday mornings, from Toddlers on Tuesday afternoon also in the Village Hall or by contacting Liz on 01582 450849. The tickets cost 2.50 to include a glass of wine or soft drink and a mince pie.
We are also holding a Christmas Raffle this term with a cash first prize of 150. Tickets can be purchased from any family who has Playgroup children or of course from us in the Village Hall. This is being drawn on Saturday 8th December so we can distribute all the prizes for Christmas.

This term ends for us on Friday 14th December and back on Tuesday 8th January. The Spring term's half term break us Mon 28th Jan to Friday 8th February inclusive.

Beds County Council
Mobile Library Service

The Library will be in the area on the on 7th & 21st December and on 4th January. Our large selection is regularly changed and includes fiction and non-fiction books covering many interests. Included are large print books, books on tape and children's books and tapes. So why not call in? We stop off at the following points in this area:
Half Moon Lane: 10.00 - 10-15
Crawley Close: 10.20 - 10.50
Slip End School: 10.55 - 11.15
Woodside Road (stables): 11.20 - 11.30
For further information, call us on Flitwick (01525) 715268.

On the Friday before the October half term break, a Mufti Day was organised by the PTA to raise funds for the school. For a donation of 1, children were able to come to school in non-uniform clothes. This is a popular event with the pupils and everyone took the opportunity to discard their uniform for the day. Over 100 was raised for school funds.

After half term came Halloween and the PTA put on a Disco in the school hall. The hall was decorated with suitable ghoulish items and the event was well attended and enjoyed by the children. During the half term an Art Competition was held which every child in the school was invited to enter. The theme was the Seasons of the Year and each of the Year groups was assigned a season with simple instructions on size etc.
Year 1 pupils were asked to draw a picture or make a design representing 'Summer',
Year 2 pupils 'Autumn', pupils in Year 3 'Winter' and Year 4 pupils 'Spring'.

After half term, the number of entries and the high standards achieved overwhelmed the teachers. It was difficult to choose winners from each Year group; in fact there was a tie for first place in Year 1.
The winning pictures or designs were:
Year 1: Children on a Beach
Ship at Sea
Year 2: Collage using autumn leaves
Year 3: Winter scene with Snowman and Children
Year 4: Tulips in Vase.
All other entries were judged to be second. All pictures and designs will be on display in the hall for the school Christmas concert on 13th December 2001.
A highlight of the Christmas Fayre on Saturday 1st December 2001 will be the chance to win a new Citroen Saxo car.
Paddy Higgens,
Chairman, Slip End Governors

Collage made by Year 2 and on display in the hall.

At Christmas time our hearts reach out
to friends we think of dearly -
And checking through our friendship lists
as all of us do yearly,
We stop a while to reminisce
and to pleasantly review,
Happy little happenings
and things we used to do -
And though we've been too busy
to keep in touch all year,
We send a Christmas greeting
at this season of Good Cheer -
So Christmas is a "lovely link"
between old years and new,
That keeps the
'Bond of Friendship'
Forever unbroken and true.

Once again, our 'Love in a Shoe-box' has shown just how kind and thoughtful friends, relatives, Church Family and strangers can be. We have managed to collect a staggering 101 shoe-boxes which, at the moment are awaiting collection from my hall. (Stop Press: they were collected 27th November, see picture below.)

We had lots of help and there are lots of people to thank besides the Slip End Residents. Thank you to: The friends from Markyate and my mum who spread the good word around, Slip End Cubs for their boxes and for all the children who helped carry the boxes from the church to the car for me.

On their way! Our boxes are collected with over 2000 others,
part of just one collection on 27th November!

Thank you also to Birchwood Methodist Church and Roe Green Women's Institute from Hatfied (c/o Reg and Brenda Collins) and to everyone who just read about it in the PN and wanted to help.
Don't forget to think of all the children opening their boxes this Christmas.

Willing helpers taking the boxes collected
by St Andrew's to the car.

We are hoping to have a visit from Sheila Heaton, one of the organizers for our area. Please try to come along to the Family Service at St Andrew's on February 3rd and you can hear Sheila telling us all about the good work that Operation Christmas Child does. - Mark it in your calendar now.
Sue Cowell, Editor


Why do we send greetings cards at Christmas?
It began in 1843 when Sir Henry Cole forgot to send his regular Christmas letter to his friends. As a quick solution he had 1000 cards printed with a Christmas message on them, and the trend for Christmas greetings soon caught on.

Why do we give presents?
In the late 1800's people exchanged small gifts of fruit, nuts and sweets as a symbolic gesture echoing the original gifts brought to Jesus by the Wise Men. Now though, Christmas shopping is serious business and many shops report increased sales of up to 70% around the Christmas period.

Why do we decorate our homes with holly and ivy?
Pagan religions believed that these plants would ward off or capture evil spirits before they could enter the house and they were also connected to fertility. Now, holly is a Christian symbol - the leaves are a reminder of the crown of thorns that Jesus wore and the berries represent his blood.

Why do we put up Christmas trees?
As pine trees are evergreen, they were seen as bringing hope of Spring and rejuvenation during the bleak winter months. Queen Victoria's husband, Prince Albert, brought the tradition over from his native Germany in 1840 and after a tree was put up in Windsor Castle, the craze quickly spread over the country.

Why do we decorate the tree?
At first, trees were decorated simply with candles, but the Victorians love of elaborate decoration led to the addition of sweets and cakes. In 1880 Woolworth's in America sold the first manufactured tree ornaments. Traditionally the tree was topped with a star or an angel and in the 19th century fairies began to feature, as Christmas pantomimes usually included a good fairy in the cast.

Where does the image of Father Christmas come from and why is Santa red?
The image of Father Christmas as a cuddly old man is far removed from the original figure. Bishop Nicholas of Smyrna was born in Turkey in the fourth century. Known for his generosity, he became St Nicholas, the patron saint of children. His reputation thrived in Holland where his name was translated as Sinterklaas. Dutch settlers in America brought the story with them and Sinterklaas became Santa Claus. In the 1930's Coca Cola ran an advertisement showing him as a jolly bearded man in a red jacket, and this image remains.

Why do we celebrate Christmas on 25th December?
Even children think they know this one; 'It's the day that Jesus was born' But the truth is, no one really knows if it was the real date that Jesus entered the world. In 366 AD, Christian leaders wanted to stamp out the pagan festival of the winter solstice in mid-December, and chose the date of 25th December so that Christmas Day would overshadow it. Their attempt succeeded, as the 25th is now accepted as the day of Jesus' birth.




At the little Christ Childs birth
The Wise Men came to bring
Frankincense and myrrh and gold
To give the Infant King. . . . .
"If only I had gifts to give",
a little drummer thought,
"I am too poor to bring a gift
like those the Wise Men brought". . .
But if I softly play my drum
While the stars shine bright and clear,
Will He know how much I love him?
Will He smile to hear!. . . .
Then he played his drum so sweetly
That angels paused above,
And the Christ Child turned
and smiled at him
And blessed him with His Love.

Thank you to everyone who came along to our mini craft Market and coffee evening. 86.00 was raised for church funds.
It is once again the time of year for Aley Green Church to wish you all a joyful and peaceful Christmas and New Year. Listed below are the events taking place in our Church. If you would like to join us, you will be given a warm welcome.
Sunday 9th December 3.00p.m. - The Sunday School Christmas Concert followed by a tea and visit from Father Christmas. The collection taken at this concert will go to Keech Cottage Hospice.
Monday 10th December 7.30p.m. - The Church Christmas meal. The raffle from this and our Church Christmas card money will go to N.O.A.H.
Thursday 18th December 7.30 p.m. - Candlelit Carol Service, a collection will be taken for N.C.H. Tea, coffee and mince pies will be served after this service.
Sunday 23rd December 11.00 a.m. - lead by Rev. J. Dowding. A family service with Holy Communion (tea, coffee and mince pies afterwards)
Christmas Day service 11.00 a.m. - will be lead by Jo Symons. The collection taken will go to the Pasque Hospice.

Advance Notices:-
Saturday 23rd February - Good as New Sale 2.30 p.m.
Saturday 9th March - Spring Fayre 2.30 p.m.

May thy Christmas happy be and naught but joy appear,

is now the wish we send to thee and all you love most dear.

from all at Aley Green Methodist Church
Ann Meader

Next Page