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Local News & Notices



The Benefice of St. James, High Wych, St. Mary, Gilston and St. Botolph, Eastwick

Sunday 10th January 2021 – 1st Sunday of Epiphany

9.30am Holy Communion, St James, High Wych

11.15am Holy Communion, St Mary’s, Gilston

Our churches are open for services, but with the added restrictions necessary for a full lockdown.

Services will be streamed

Evening prayer each week

Tuesday at 6.30pm, at St Botolph, Eastwick

Friday at 6.30pm at St Mary’s, Gilston

Benefice churches will be open for private prayer.  St James is open on Sundays, Tuesdays, and Thursdays from 2pm until 4pm. An information notice is displayed inside and outside the church.

For advice on opening St Botolph’s and St Mary’s Churches, for private prayer.  Please contact Sarah Bagnall who will advise. 

Prayer for this time of uncertainty

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress. Sustain and support the anxious and fearful and lift up all who are brought low; that we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord. Amen

Please pray for those who are ill and those who care for them: Mary Bates, Tara King, Sue Benson.

(Please let me know if anybody is now better and needs removing from this list, or needs to be added to the long-term sick list)

And for the long-term sick:

Jenny Pemble, Jennifer, Ruth Ashton, Kelly Osborne,

Donna Reynolds, Ian Neilson, Emma Wharton, Doreen Cunningham, Malcolm Law, William Monk, Jean Beeching, Rita Bird, Adele, Rosemarie, The Rev’d David Wright (past priest for our Benefice), Deidre and Harold Rawlings Sue Saunders, Linda Wilby, Daphne Austin, John Ross, Andrew, and Len Castree.

Recently Departed and those who mourn them:

Anniversaries of Death

Wendy Richardson, Dorothy Collingridge, Bernard Blatch, Stanley Storey, Betty Stringer, Minnie Wilson, June Radbourne, Lily Clark.

For Prayer, this week:

  • Rev.d Su Tarran, for the time and care she is giving us during our vacancy.
  • Bishop Alan, Bishop Richard and Bishop Michael
  • The Parish of Thorley. Rev’d Gaz Tracey, Readers Chris Carr, Katharine Roper and lay workers.
  • The Parish of Campton (Ampthill and Shefford) In Vacancy, (R) Audrey Brand, Elisabeth Le Mesurier, Martin Randall
  • Prayers: For the members of the church and local community. ACP:
  • The Anglican Church in Aotearoa, New Zealand and Polynesia

    Readings: -

    Sunday – 10th January – 1st Sunday of Epiphany

    The Baptism of Christ

    Old Testament: Genesis 1. 1-5

    Psalm: 29

    New Testament: Acts 19. 1-7

    Gospel: Mark 1. 4-11

    Next Sunday 17th January – 2nd Sunday of Epiphany

    Old Testament: 1 Samuel 3. 1-10 [11-20]

    Psalm: 139. 1-5, 12-18

    New Testament: Revelation 5. 1-10

    Gospel: John 1. 43-end

    Prayer for Growth

    God of Mission send your Holy Spirit to give vision to our planning, wisdom to our actions, and power to our witness. Help our churches grow in numbers, in spiritual commitment to you and service to our local community, through Jesus Christ our Lord.  Amen

    St Albans Diocese advice about Coronavirus, how it effects church services and precautions can be found on,  this is updated daily.

    Food Bank – items are always needed for desperate families; please leave items in St James or donate in-store while you shop.  

    During our vacancy, please contact the Readers or the Church Wardens if help is needed.  Thank you.

    Benefice contacts:

    Readers:   Joy and Roger Burridge:  01279 444870

    Judith Denton:  01279 723714

    Lay Leader of Worship:  Janet Bellingham 07882743627

    Church Wardens:

    High Wych:

    Janet Bellingham 07882743627     

    Sam Clark 07717542524

    Gilston & Eastwick:

    Sarah Bagnall 01279 441644

    Michael Shaw: 01279 726792

    Safeguarding Officers

    High Wych: Cath Sharples 01279 600996

    Gilston with Eastwick: Sarah Bagnall 01279 441644

    High Wych PCC Secretary Gemma Martin 01279 427906

    Gilston with Eastwick PCC Secretary: Christine Law 01279 411646.

    “Eastwick & Gilston Parish Magazine” Editor. Christine Law

     “The Link” for High Wych. Editor:  Ali Geller 01279 723677  Articles are always welcome for both magazines. Unusual experience? Different holiday? Write about it and send it to Ali or Christine.

    Web site:

    Events to be advertised on the Welcome Sheet, please contact

    Christine Law 01279 411646



    Eternal Father, who at the baptism of Jesus revealed him to be your Son, anointing him with the Holy Spirit: grant to us, who are born again by water and the Spirit, that we may be faithful to our calling as your adopted children; through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever.


    Genesis 1.1–5 A reading from the book of Genesis

    In the beginning when God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was a formless void and darkness covered the face of the deep, while a wind from God swept over the face of the waters. Then God said, ‘Let there be light’; and there was light. And God saw that the light was good; and God separated the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And there was evening and there was morning, the first day.


    Acts 19.1–7 A reading from the Acts of the Apostles

    While Apollos was in Corinth, Paul passed through the inland regions and came to Ephesus, where he found some disciples. He said to them, ‘Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you became believers?’ They replied, ‘No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.’ Then he said, ‘Into what then were you baptized?’ They answered, ‘Into John’s baptism.’ Paul said, ‘John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in the one who was to come after him, that is, in Jesus.’ On hearing this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. When Paul had laid his hands on them, the Holy Spirit came upon them, and they spoke in tongues and prophesied – altogether there were about twelve of them.


    Mark 1.4–11 Hear the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ according to Mark

    John the baptizer appeared in the wilderness, proclaiming a baptism of repentance for the forgiveness of sins. And people from the whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem were going out to him, and were baptized by him in the river Jordan, confessing their sins. Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, ‘The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and untie the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.’ In those days Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’


    Lord of all time and eternity, you opened the heavens and revealed yourself as Father in the baptism of Jesus your beloved Son: by the power of your Spirit complete the heavenly work of our rebirth through the waters of the new creation; through Jesus Christ our Lord.


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