October 15th 2002

People who can speak one or more European foreign
languages are being sought by the Diocesan Europe Group. It is setting up a
database of men and women willing to help interpret at meetings. Clergy and
lay people regularly visit the diocese and parishes from a variety of
European countries, so people who could offer their language skills once or
twice a year are in demand. For more information, contact Helen Hutchison on

This year's Cathedral evensong for World Aids Day is being
held at St Albans Abbey on Sunday November 24th at 6.30 pm.

Courses being held at 'Wellsprings,' Hockliffe, near Leighton
Buzzard, Beds this term include Stained Glass, on November 23rd, run by Anna
Conti, an experienced stained glass artist, and a Quiet Day for Advent, on
December 7th, led by Angela Walker, who has several years' experience in
advanced clinical aromatherapy, and Sister Johanna, a prison chaplain who is
trained in spiritual direction. More information from Ann
Bowes on 01525 210711 or hockliffe@aol.com

A training day, organised jointly by the diocese's
Liturgical Committee and the Royal Society of Church Musicians on 'Music for
Common Worship' is being held at St Andrew's, Bedford, on Saturday November
16th from 9.30 am to 4.30 pm. The day is aimed at clergy, organists, choirs
and those involved in leading music. More information from Jenni Blaxland on
01727 854532 or jblaxland@stalbans.anglican.org

Diocesan Youth Officer Dave Green is seeking a full-time
secretary/PA at Welwyn Garden City - "someone with a heart for young people
and the admin skills to make the things we do, work" Details from Dave Green
on 01707 386016 or email: dave.green@voicemail.org.uk Nigel Guard,
Stewardship Officer at Holywell Lodge, St Albans, is looking for a part-time
secretary on 17+ hours a week. Details from Nigel Guard on 01727 854532 or

Congratulations to the churches in Welwyn ( www.welwyn.org.uk ) and St Michael's, Bishop's Stortford, ( www.saintmichaelweb.com ) who finished
runners-up out of 600 entries in Ecclesiastical Insurance's competition to
find the best parish website. Full details via the diocesan website.
(I still think Slip End.'s should have won! - Ed)
Peter Crumpler , Communications Officer
41 Holywell Hill, St. Albans, Herts, AL1 5HETel: 01727 869506; Fax 01727 844469

By now most of you will have read the article that appeared in the Dunstable on Sunday on the 13 October 2002 about Christmas gifts for the elderly. Let me say hear and now how untrue and unfair this article was. As usual the editorial staff at the DOS have managed to put their own spin and distortion on an otherwise honest piece of writing, agreed to by the Parish Council, not by me alone.
In the past when Christmas gifts for the elderly were first given out, I discovered that the only recipients were people living in the Parish known to vote a certain way. With the advent of the PC being controlled by Independents we felt that the criteria should be widened to include all of those residents over retirement age, the housebound, the needy and the recently bereaved. I was given this brief by the late Cllr. Eric Snoxell of Caddington ( as we were at the time a joint Parish). I then went ahead and included in the list for Slip End all who qualified. Unbeknown to me, the actual age limit - as set down by the joint Parishes, was 70 and above, and not retirement age of 60 for women and 65 for men. This got me in deep trouble because the Caddington list was much shorter than the Slip End list. We managed to maintain our list even though it did not make us very popular with Caddington Parish Councillors at the time. Over the years more and more senior citizens who live in our Parish have told us that they really don't need this gift as they are not financially needy. For example, its embarrassing to be calling on a senior citizen who lives in a large detached property with two new cars parked on the drive to offer them either a box of biscuits or a bottle of British sherry and maybe if monies are available, a Terrys Chocolate Orange also.
Every year we have been updating by adding to the list. We can't keep updating this list with the same criteria. To that end the PC decided to look at changing it. We asked you the Parishioners through Novembers Parish News and the Slip End Website how you felt and to assist us with any input. What the PC is trying to do is: remove from the list - hopefully voluntarily - any senior citizen who feels they do not need this gift. This will enable us to spend the monies that we have on possibly a better gift for the parishioners who really do need it. The list this year is exactly the same as last years list. The only omissions will be those who have moved, died, or gone into Care. The DOS did not mention in their article that we will still be giving out gifts this year. All we have done for this year is not to add any new people.
DOS, having read my article on behalf of the PC, have not seen fit to print some of the other items. For instance, the fact that we are going to distribute Golden Jubilee Coins to the children of the Parish. Or that we are spending a lot of money on re-furbishing the Crawley playground. They only seem to pick up on anything that can be distorted to show the PC negatively.
They always manage to mention me by name, but they do not ever mention the name of anybody they have contacted for a quote. If the 'pensioner' quoted is reading this article please contact me and we will check as to whether you are on our list. If you had a gift last year you will get one this year. I put a bet that DOS when they read this (which they will). will not see fit to print any of it.
On a personal note, I really don't know what I have done to upset the people at DOS. In the past year they have said that my son and daughter in law were unemployed and were fighting with the DHSS for money which was untrue. Both of them have worked since they returned to the UK. They (DOS), also said that I call people in Luton 'riff-raff' which I didn't. Then having come round to my home to ask how I felt about this article they were told politely to 'foxtrot oscar' by my husband. This obviously offended their delicate sensibilities because they took a hissy fit, left with their handbags and proceeded to print more fibs! Now they saying the PC are scrooges (another lie) and if they are so concerned about our senior citizens I look forward to receiving an annual donation from the DOS for about five hundred pounds to put towards their Christmas gifts. I won't be holding my breath.
I have the courage of my convictions and always write as either Christine Benson, Chairman Slip End Parish Council with agreement from my fellow Councillors, or as a private citizen. I am not hiding behind an editorial or a pseudonym or a column header. You know who I am you know where to contact me; I do not have the luxury of anonymity.
Christine Benson.


The young mother had been teaching her three year old daughter the Lord's Prayer. For several evenings at bedtime, she would repeat the lines for her to follow. Finally she thought her daughter should go solo and listened with pride as the little girl carefully enunciated each word, right up to the end of the prayer. "Lead us not into temptation,"
she prayed, "but deliver us some e-mail. Amen."

A man goes into a bar, orders 12 whiskies, lines them up on the counter, and starts drinking them as quickly as possible. The barman asks him: "Why are you drinking those whiskies so quickly?" The man replies: "You'd be drinking them as quickly as that if you had got what I have got." Slightly alarmed, the barman asked him: "Why, what's that?" "About 50p." said the man.

A man gets shipwrecked. When he wakes up, he's on a beach. The sand is dark red. He can't believe it. The sky is dark red. He walks around a bit and sees that there is dark red grass, dark red birds, and dark red fruit on the dark red trees. He's shocked when he finds that his skin is starting to turn dark red too. "Oh no!" he says, "I think I've been marooned."


EVERY FRIDAY 9.00 AM - 11.30 AM

What does Christmas mean to us,
Does it mean a lot of fuss?
Gifts to buy and cards to write,
A Christmas tree with candles bright.
A turkey plump, mince pies to bake;
With outward signs we all partake.
We rush around, no time to pray,
"Oh that can wait another day."
But stop awhile, just think it out
What Christmas Day is all about,
The day a tiny child was born,
In stable bare, and so forlorn,
The King of Kings who reigns above
Came down to bless us with his love.

Have you heard the little story of the lady who wished to join a certain church but was worried about some new ideas they had introduced into the service.
"Is it true," she said to the vicar, "that the Ten Commandments are repeated during the service?" "Oh," the vicar replied "we have introduced a greater innovation than that."
"What is that?" she asked
"We are trying to keep them."

We have been busy promoting the shoe-box appeal during October and I hope you have been able to spend a little time making up your own shoe-box. Every single one is needed so don't think yours will not matter or you haven't got the time. Think of the child receiving it and the happiness it will bring.
The children from ZJB at St Andrew's learned about the Good Samaritan at Church and then helped to cover some shoe-boxes and to make some cards to go
in the boxes. Don't forget to try and get your boxes in by the middle of November at the latest. (either the Church or to me)
Thank you to all of you who have already sent in your boxes.
Sue Cowell, Editor

The beds are made, the kitchen gleams,
The hall is shiny bright;
The windows sparkle as they should
To let in all the light.
There's not a single magazine
Left lying anywhere,
No sewing basket on the floor,
No knitting on the chair.
I wish my friends would visit me,
They would me most impressed
And say that as a housewife
I'm a cut above the rest.
But when the place is in a mess
And nothing's straight at all,
Then that's the day my friends will choose
To pay a social call!

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