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CHURCH NEWS - February 2013

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Please note that our normal Sunday Services start at 10.30am for the winter months


Dear Friends, 

I think most people living in Odell – as well as many visitors – appreciate our lovely church building, and also our attractive churchyard, now registered as a County Wildlife site.  It is a place of peace, resonant with the prayers of many who have gathered here for worship for nearly 700 years.  

The present building, described by Simon Jenkins in his book ‘England’s Thousand Best Churches’ as ‘charmingly atmospheric’, was erected in the 15th century and has not altered significantly in all that time.  How thankful we are for those who faithfully maintained and cared for it in years gone by, but now it’s our turn.  Although generally the building and churchyard are in good heart, we are advised by our architect that repairs to some of the stonework will be needed within the next 5 years to ensure it remains so.   

At the moment we have 43 people on the Electoral Roll (see further article on page 11), and an average of 24 attend regular Sunday worship.  We have not yet obtained an estimate for the stonework repairs but it is likely to run into several thousand pounds which is a lot for a small congregation to find, on top of our annual running costs of around £24,000.  We do have some reserve funds, but when used, these have to be replaced.  In 2012 we had to dip into our reserves to replace stolen lead on the church porch, and to fund essential tree work in the churchyard.  In early January, one very rotten tree had to be removed from the newer part of the churchyard and three more pollarded to let the light in and enable us to manage the canopy better.  We are advised that some of the remaining chestnut trees are now badly affected by the leaf minor moth and should also be removed or pollarded.  

Last month we received a welcome gift from the late Walter Nottage, and are delighted that this is to be used to get the church clock going again (see Martin’s article on page 17).  A legacy gift can make a very real difference to the work and witness of your village church, as well as helping to maintain it in good order.  As far as possible the PCC would try to use a gift of this nature for a special project or development, rather than to pay regular bills, but this is something that could be discussed with you or your executors.   

If you would like to know more about how you could make a lasting difference to the future of All Saints’ Church by leaving a legacy, please do contact me for a free leaflet published by the Diocese of St. Albans.                        Christine


Prayer Group

What is the Prayer Group?  It is made up of members of All Saints’ Church who undertake to pray regularly, on an individual basis, for people who ask us for prayer support.   

Who do we pray for?  Anyone whom we are asked to remember; these might be people from our church, from our local community or others known to us.   

What do we pray about?  Anything which you would like brought before God; maybe anxiety due to illness, stress or loneliness.  You can also tell us of a special day you wish to be remembered – perhaps for an interview or an exam.  Any information will be treated in strictest confidence. 

How can you let us know if you would like us to pray for you?  You can either telephone Christine (720234), or drop a note through the Rectory door, or complete a card (anonymously if you wish) and place it in a box kept near the church door.  Prayer requests will be collected from the box each Sunday morning after the 10.00am service.    Christine


All Saints’ Amblers

All Saints’ Amblers meet outside the Bell, 9.45am on Saturday 16th February for a walk in the country followed by a pub lunch.  Children and dogs on leads welcome to join us.


Churches Together in Harrold and Carlton with Odell

During Lent we shall be following one of the popular ecumenical ‘York Courses’ specially prepared for 2013. 

Various study groups will be meeting in each of our three villages to discuss and reflect on ‘Glimpses of God – Hope for today’s world’.   

The Odell group will meet at The Rectory, 3 Church Lane each Wednesday morning throughout the 5 weeks of Lent, from 10.30-12.00, beginning on Wednesday 20th February. 

If you would like to know more about this, or are interested in attending a group on another day/time in Harrold or Carlton, please contact Christine (720234).


Meeting Point


Wed 6th 10.30am at Sarah’s, 9 Horsefair Lane. 

Women’s World Day of Prayer


Friday, 1st March, 10.30am, All Saints’, Milton Ernest 

This service has been prepared by the Christian Women of France

The theme is “I was a stranger and you welcomed me” 

More than 170 countries participate in an annual day of celebration, which brings together people of various races, cultures and traditions sharing together in God’s word and worship.  Men, women and young people worldwide will be worshipping together on Friday, March 1st.  They will be using an order of service prepared by Christian women from France, and has a strongly French feel and flavour.  It is envisaged that this great annual wave of prayer will rise with the sun over the island of Samoa, across Asia, Africa, the Middle East, Europe, the Americas and finally American Samoa.  By then services will have taken place in all of the many countries involved. 

Eagle Choir Concert Proceeds to Deafconnect December 2012

We were pleased to be able to send a cheque for £400 to Deafconnect, being the proceeds of the Eagle Choir concert on 13th December, after expenses.  The money will be used to print 4,000 leaflets to be sent to all GPs, libraries and hospitals in the local area outlining the services Deafconnect can provide.  In a letter of thanks, Joanna Steer, CEO of Deafconnect wrote: "Your money will directly improve the isolation caused by deafness and allow us to bring hope to more people whose world is getting quieter, or is silent."  So many thanks to all who contributed!

The Eagle Choir in concert December 13th. Photo kindly provided by Aidan Huxford 


 New Church Electoral Roll 

In 2013 all Church Electoral Rolls have to be completely renewed and we are required to give at least two months' notice of the revision.  Everyone who wishes to be on the Electoral Roll of All Saints' Church, Odell, will need to complete a new form. 

You can qualify to be on the Electoral Roll of All Saints' Church if:- 

you live in the parish of Odell, and regularly attend worship, and are 16 years of age or over, and have been baptised.   

You can also qualify if:- 

you live elsewhere, but have regularly worshipped at All Saints' Church for at least six months. 

If you are on the Electoral Roll of your local church you are a voting member of the Church of England and can nominate and vote for Parochial Church Council members. 

If you would like to be on the Electoral Roll please contact Catherine Corkery for an application form.  Completed forms need to be returned to Catherine by 2nd April 2013. 

Catherine Corkery  Tel: 720348


All Saints’ Church Charitable Giving for the month of February

will be to Mission Aviation Fellowship – a Christian airborne mission serving remote and inaccessible places, transporting Christian workers and medical supplies.  For more information, see the display in the Church.

Senior Citizens’ Fish and Chip Lunch

The annual Senior Citizens’ Fish and Chip lunch will take place on:

Wednesday 13th March

12.30 for 1 o’clock

Village Hall

Please let Jill (720261)know by 3rd March if you can come. 

Walter Alfred Nottage B.E.M.,

10 March 1920 – 26 November 2012 

Every so often someone comes into the world and, quietly and modestly, makes an enormous difference for good to the lives of others.   Walter, or Walt, was just such a person, whose selfless act of bravery on one routine day of work is still talked about today, here in the U.K. and in the USA.  It is not surprising, therefore, that All Saints’ Church was packed with people of all ages as we gathered to say farewell to Walt on 5th December. 

 Mr Mark Shaw, who gave a thoughtful and heartfelt eulogy, summed up Walt in his opening sentence:

“Raconteur, film star, hero, gentleman and an exceptionally hard working and thoroughly nice bloke”.

Everyone who knew Walt would agree with that description.  To quote a phrase from our Minister, Christine : “(Walt’s) was a life well-lived”. 

Walter was born in Essex, and spent his childhood in Devon and then Hampshire, before moving to Bedfordshire with his family when he was 16, his father holding the post of gamekeeper to Lord Melchett on the Colworth Estate.  A few years later Walt himself took employment on the land, working on Hinwick Lodge Farm,by Great Hayes Wood, where he stayed for 10 years.  After that, Walt worked for Northern and Sons in Harrold, and then for the Quarry Company whose excavations eventually created what we know as The Harrold-Odell Country Park.  But significant events happened in those years of employment, most notably Walt’s marriage to Eileen in 1957, and, before that, an event in 1944 which people still talk about today. 

To quote from Mark Shaw’s eulogy:

“It was a very foggy morning on Christmas Eve 1944 when Walter was out feeding the bullocks, and a fully bombed-up B17 of the 92nd Bomber Group was taking off from the Podington airstrip.  It unfortunately failed to gain height and ploughed into Great Hayes Wood.  With the plane already on fire, and knowing it could explode at any time, Walter pulled out the only three surviving crewmen – and as he carried them away to safety, the plane exploded.  For his bravery he was awarded the British Empire Medal and the everlasting gratitude of the three airmen and the 92nd Bomber Group.” 

A video was made about this incident by Anglia Television and the legacy of friendship between 92nd Bomber Group and Walter, Eileen, and indeed, Odell villagers exists to this day. 

Yet while this war time incident earned Walter fame and enormous respect by so many, it does not alone account for the high esteem in which Walter was held by all those who knew him.  He was to the last a gentleman and a wonderful character: cheerful, courteous and an inspiring man. 

We send our love and sympathy to Eileen and all the family on their loss. 

Thank You

I would like to say a big thank you to everyone for their support to Walter and me over the last two years.  I was so happy that he remained cheerful and that I was able to look after him at home.  One can always rely on Odell to carry you through difficult times.  He would have been amazed that so many people attended the funeral, people we hadn’t seen for many years.

Also, a big thank you to all the ladies who did such a good job with tea, cakes etc.; so many people remarked on how wonderful it all was, and, of course, many thanks to Reverend Christine Clark for the funeral service, and to Mr Mark Shaw (‘Mr Mark’) for his tribute to Walter.

I hope to get back into things very soon.   Love from Eileen. 

Eileen has asked that we include the following letter from Walt’s niece, Pat, and great nieces Jane and Mandy, which they sent following Walt’s funeral. 

Thank you:   To all those wonderful ladies that have helped and supported our Auntie Eileen in her time of need, and spent all their time making a delicious spread, with all those gorgeous home-baked cakes, we do appreciate it.  Thanks to Reverend Christine for a beautiful service and for her, and David’s, continuing support.

Big thanks to Gill, Brian, Carol and Dennis, who have always been there over the years for both Walter and Eileen – you are very dear to her!

Kind regards,    Pat, Jane and Mandy 

Sadly, Pat recently lost her battle with cancer, but in what turned out to be one of her last few weeks she very bravely made the difficult journey to attend Walt’s funeral, a testimony to her courage and to her love for Walt.  We send our deepest sympathy to all Pat’s family. 


Time flies!  But not at Odell, as the church clock has not been running for the past few years.  However, that is about to change.

The clock was probably installed in the tower in the mid 1800’s and has given good service since then.  But it does need winding every day, which is the problem as, if it is not wound, it stops and that means a trip up the tower to swing the pendulum and re-set the time.  In 1958, when the bells were rehung, the clock was overhauled, the striking train and clock hammer was removed, and the hand winding supplemented by an electrical motor.  At least it was not now necessary to climb the tower every morning to put the windlass on the winding drum and hand crank the weight half way up the tower ( – and then wind up the larger striking weight).  All that had to be done now was to press the button each day and the weight was raised by the motor.  However, even that simple task got forgotten and the clock stopped, frequently! 

I have often thought about putting in a continuous winding system to keep the clock going without daily attention and about a year ago I heard about a small company in St Neots that might be able to supply such a system.  Then, just before Walter Nottage died he gave a donation to the church and Eileen thought that it would be a wonderful memorial to Walt to have the clock running again and asked for his gift to be put towards the project.  The two essentials had come together. 

I went to St Neots and saw a winding system that was in for overhaul (after more than 25 years of service).  It would do the job, but it would need quite a lot of work since each clock, and its installation, is different and the winder has to be a bespoke design for each one.  Ours would not be straightforward, but after a few sketches on the back of an envelope, and a mug or two of tea, I came away with a plan, which is now under way.  I look forward to sitting in the church and hearing, once again, that steady, slow tick of the clock that makes the building feel alive.    Martin Eshelby



Happy birthday to  

Jack Holden Postles  who will be 12 on the 10th ,and to Victoria Beardow whose birthday is on the 22nd  - and to anyone with a birthday in February. 

All Saints’ Flower Rota

Thank you to all the ladies who arranged flowers in Church last year, particularly for special occasions, making the Church look attractive and cared for.  We shall be starting the rota for this year at the beginning of March which will be published each month in the Magazine.  Jane Eshelby

Thank You!  The magazine team would like to thank Pat Tollman very much for the very kind donation.   

Sarah Bennett sent the following poem to us.  It was written by a friend of hers in Northern Ireland. 

When you think of this world

And what is happening today

Think of the life that is to come

And where is your destiny?


Now take the Lord as your Saviour

Who died for you on the Cross

And have your sins freely forgiven

That He paid for, at such a cost.

Robert G Watson




6th 10.30am Meeting Point at Sarah’s, 9 Horsefair Lane.

12th 7.30pm W.I. in Village Hall

14th 10.30am Health Walk, HOCP

16th 9.45am All Saints’ Amblers meet at The Bell

20th 10.30am Lent Group meet at The Rectory

25th 10.00am Friends Task Day, HOCP

27th 10.30am Lent Group meets at The Rectory

28th 10.30am Health Walk, HOCP 


1st 10.30am Women’s World Day of Prayer, All Saints’ Milton Ernest

13th 12.30 Senior Citizens’ Fish and Chip Lunch, Village Hall 

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the March 2013 magazine to Tricia Hudson (ed at or Catherine Corkery by February 12th at the latest.  May we remind you that the editorial team exercises the right to edit, shorten or alter any items that are submitted.  Also, the opinions expressed in the articles are those of the contributors and are not the responsibility of the editorial team. 


Last revised: January 27, 2013.