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CHURCH NEWS - June 2002

Pictures from our Sunday 9th June service in the tent, led by Roger Fawcett

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From the Rectory

June  2002

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Dear Friends,

I wonder if you have looked recently at the inscription around the head of the Queen imprinted on our coins? The letters are D G REG F D. This is an abbreviation of the Latin and can be translated, ‘By the grace of God, Queen, Defender of the Faith.’ It is on this last title that I want to comment.

The history of this phrase goes back to the early part of the sixteenth century when the biblical doctrines of the reformation were beginning to agitate the Church in the West. These doctrines focussed in the German monk, Martin Luther. Luther attacked the received doctrine of the Mass and Henry VIII, who was no mean theologian, responded to this attack by writing a defence of the teaching of the sacraments.

His book was entitled, ‘An Assertion of the Seven Sacraments.’ The Pope at that time was Leo X, who in gratitude awarded Henry on October 11, 1521 the title of Defender of the Faith. That title has been retained by English monarchs ever since. It is therefore an awarded title.

There is now a movement afoot to exchange the title for succeeding monarchs to that of Defender of Faiths. Of course, the motivation is political correctness and ties in with the general idea that this world is now a global village and that essentially all faiths are the same. The fact is that all faiths are not the same. To assert that they are is patently atheism. Even a small acquaintance with comparative religions demonstrates this.

From a religious point of view no one can be a defender of all faiths. No one can serve two masters, said the Lord Jesus, for he will love one and hate the other. Does that mean there can be no place for toleration? This is really the point at issue. There is no place in modern society for a taliban-style religion that is totally exclusive. This was tried in the Middle Ages and led to heresy trials and appalling persecutions.

The question is how can modern monarchs relate to all their subjects in a variety of differing religious beliefs and expressions. Does the monarch have to renounce his own faith to take on five or six more, some of which are contradictory? The answer to that important question is no.

The way that our constitutional monarchy has been structured is that at the coronation the monarch undertakes before God in Christ what is known as the Coronation Oath. Many will have heard of the Oath but few people have read it. It is actually freely available.

In fact, the idea of many religions is not new because of the widespread nature of the old Empire and Empire has given way rightly to Commonwealth. The Oath begins with the promise that the monarch will govern the peoples according to their respective laws and customs. Obviously, that refers mainly to those laws and customs overseas. However, there is implied in that promise a respect for those things that differ when they are present in the United Kingdom. Clearly, for example, Sharia law, which requires women to be covered from head to foot, would not be too popular among most United Kingdom women of whatever race or religion.

Therefore, there has to be a main area of law to which all are subject. Self-evidently, that law and culture and language must be that of the host nation. The Law must guarantee to all subjects the right of freedom of association, freedom of speech and freedom of worship. There must be toleration under the law without any attempt to coerce people from one religion to another or even to coerce people to combine their various beliefs and practices into one.

The Oath continues with the promise that Law and Justice will be exercised in Mercy and then continues to promise to uphold the ‘Protestant Reformed Religion established by law’ with the rights and privileges of the Church of England. That is no longer absolutely exclusive and there has been change through the years evidenced at the Queen Mother’s funeral by various representatives of different religions. Nevertheless, this reflects the historical facts of a thousand years that this is a Christian nation by custom and practice.

The position of a constitutional monarch is that the rule is a-political. There is enshrined in the Crown the authority of Parliament. There is also the legal system, for the courts of justice are the courts of the Crown. The fact that the monarch subscribes to the Coronation Oath means that while the Crown is Christian and should remain so, it nevertheless guarantees both toleration of different beliefs and freedom of worship. We are a many faiths society but not a multi-faith religion.

Our system has been built up over many years and has produced an incredibly tolerant nation in spite of some problems. To disturb that pattern without precisely defining what is meant by the title Defender of Faiths is perhaps not the wisest way forward. There is a critical question for those who are promoting this idea to answer to all those who profess and call themselves Christian. It is this. Can the understanding of the Christian Church for two thousand years be changed without violating the basic Christian faith?

Sincerely in Christ David Streater

I am always ready to discuss with anyone issues that may arise from what I have written. If anyone is interested I have photocopies of the Coronation Oath subscribed by H M the Queen.

The Prayer Chain

The Prayer Chain is there if you need prayer for yourself, for others or for members of your family. Please don’t ask for prayer outside your own family without people’s permission. To have a number of people pray just telephone David (720234) or Dennis (822992).

Church Opening

Many of you will know that because of the problems of vandalism and theft from Churches generally, the Parish Church is kept locked. Unless there is a specific reason for opening it earlier, it will be opened for Sunday and occasional services half an hour before the Service is due to start.

News from St. Albans Diocese

Bishop prays at van production plant. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt. Revd Christopher Herbert, and the Revd Garth Rogers, Chairman of the region's Methodists, led prayers over the production line at General Motors' IBC Vehicles, Luton, during a visit to the plant. Full report in June SeeRound and at

A special anniversary prayer card is being distributed to churches across the diocese this month as part of the celebrations to mark the diocese's 125th anniversary. Parishes are being encouraged to use the prayer at a service on Sunday June 23rd, during the weekend designated as a special focus for the anniversary.

A Eucharist in St Albans Abbey at 11.30 am on Saturday June 22nd will mark the anniversary as part of St Albans Day.

The Rose Service at the Abbey on Sunday June 23rd at 3 pm - with activities on Abbey Orchard from 2 pm - will take up the theme of light and be a chance for children to celebrate the anniversary. Free information packs available in advance from 01707 386012 or

'Does he take communion?' a workshop on issues around 'disability, exclusion and the Kingdom of God' at St Francis Church hall, Church Road, Welwyn Garden City at 7.45 pm on Tuesday June 11th. The event is jointly hosted by Frontier Youth Trust and the diocesan youth service. Details: Jo Stephens on 01707 386023 or

Children’s Work Training Sessions continue with author Mary Stone presenting 'Making Prayer Meaningful' at the diocesan education centre, Welwyn Garden City, on Saturday June 15th. Details 01707 386012 or

All PCC treasurers have been invited to attend a presentation of the draft diocesan budget for 2003. There will also be a presentation on the consultation report from the Archbishops' Council on Clergy Pensions and Stipends. The evening presentations are being held in St Albans on Tuesday July 2nd; Hertford on Wednesday July 3rd; and Barton-le-Clay on Thursday July 18th. Treasurers have been invited to bring with them a churchwarden or another person from the parish.

A bone believed to be a relic of Saint Alban will be presented to St Albans Abbey in June. The bone, to be given by the Church of St Pantaleon in Cologne, Germany, will be placed inside Saint Alban's restored 13th Century shrine. The presentation will be made by a party led by Bishop Klaus Dick from the German church at Choral Evensong at 4 pm on Saturday June 29th.

Desmond Tutu, Douglas Hurd and Richard Chartres are among contributors to a new book profiling the late Lord Runcie, former Archbishop of Canterbury and Bishop of St Albans. 'Runcie on Reflection' is published by Canterbury Press at 12.99.

The prayer diary for June is now available on the diocesan website

Communicate! The next Communications Skills training day will be held on Saturday June 29th in Luton. The course offers an introduction to working with the media, church magazines and websites. Cost 10 including lunch. Details and bookings: Buzz Coster on or 01923 775908.

SeeRound’s June edition features the story of former addict Janis Rogers, who now runs 'The Living Room,' Stevenage, which works to free people from their addictions. Other articles include the Herts couple seeing rapid church growth in Mongolia; the priest who went back in time for a TV series; a call to mark Carer's Week; a message from Bishop Christopher of Hertford; news of numerous parish events and activities and a chance to win 1,000 from Ecclesiastical Insurance.

A number of parishes are taking part in a SeeRound readership survey with the June edition, with a small sample of parishioners being asked to complete a simple form. If your parish would like to be involved, contact Peter Crumpler on 01727 869506 or

Potters Bar Rail Crash

The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt. Revd Christopher Herbert, issued the

following statement on May 10th on learning of the crash.

'I am deeply saddened and concerned to hear of the rail accident at Potters Bar, in which I understand a number of fatalities have been confirmed. My prayers are for the dead, and with the bereaved, the injured, and for the emergency services, for whom I have the greatest respect and admiration.

The church is closely involved in the emergency response, as part of the Local Authority major incident plan. Parish clergy, hospital chaplains and others will be in attendance, and will be involved as always in the weeks ahead in offering comfort and counsel to those affected.

I have spoken on a number of local radio stations this afternoon, and offered there, as I do now, this prayer:

Almighty God, Father of all,

look with compassion on those who have been caught up in this disaster. Grant to the injured and those in great anxiety your peace, grant to the bereaved, your most loving comfort, and grant to those who care, especially the emergency and medical services, your abundant strength.

This we ask for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord.

Amen.’ Peter Crumpler Communications Officer Diocese of St. Albans.

Meeting Point


Wednesday 12th 10.30am at Catherine Corkery’s, Manor Cottege, Harrold.

                                                            Wednesday 26th     10.30am at Eileen Shakespeare’s, Corner House, Rushden.


Tuesday 9th 10.30am at Jill Cheadle’s, Rectory Farm, Odell.

North Beds Healing Group - Wholeness and Healing

John Tibbs, who used to be chaplain at Bedford Hospital, will be the speaker at a service at Felmersham Church on Sunday July 7th at 6pm. All are very welcome.

Looking Ahead

You may like to note the date now for the annual Celebration of Christian Healing in the context of the Eucharist to be held in St Albans Abbey on Saturday February 1st 2003 at 10.30am. The speaker will be Peter Horobin.

Recent Course

About 30 people attended the course Forward in Healing held at St Andrew's, Bedford. Four members of our church were involved in the organisation and programmes. Copies of the tapes are available. Hopefully some of those from this area will join our small group which will next meet on Thursday June 6th at the Dodwell's, Watermead, Odell Rd, Harrold at 8pm, for an Informal Social and Prayer Meeting. All are very welcome.

Further enquiries to Liz Dodwell (720640) or Carol Ormond (720409)

Our Giving in June is to CPAS

(Church Pastoral Aid Society).

The work of C.P.A.S. is to give aid to both churches and individuals in such wide-ranging areas as evangelising, training for clergy and laity, youth work, holiday activities for young people, provision of resources (books, courses etc.), working with older people and specialised ministry to both men and women. However, their primary goal is supporting the mission of the local church in taking the gospel to the poor.

One of the longest continuing ministries of CPAS is in the Falcon Camps. The camps provide holidays in a secure Christian setting for children from disadvantaged backgrounds. Last season ten camps were held and CPAS is always looking out for more sites. Each camp has a small team of leaders who train a larger team of volunteers. More volunteers are always needed - why not join them? You’ll receive all the relevant training and support.

Children who would benefit from the camps are recommended through churches in areas of particular need and also through the Social Services. Most of the camps are funded by gifts.

Please give generously to this worthwhile charity.

You can read more about Falcon Camps and the work of CPAS on their website:

Missionary News

Richard Hudson’s Visit,May 11th.

Richard and Lorraine Hudson are back in England for six months, taking a break from their demanding work with ‘Interserve’ in Nepal. Lorraine is expecting their second child any day now, but Richard was able to come to Odell to visit friends and relations and let us know how they find life in Nepal.

We enjoyed Richard’s visit on May 11th when we heard at first hand how Interserve sends men and women to work in countries stretching across northern Africa, the Middle East, India and the Far East where resources are scarce and technical knowledge lacking.

wpe2.jpg (8107 bytes)During the afternoon Richard spoke to a group of children at Abigail House. They learnt a bit of the Nepalese language, talked about the differences between the English and Nepalese lifestyles and played games relating to the sights and sounds of Nepal.

In the evening Richard spoke to an older audience about the more serious issues they deal with. Richard works with International Nepal Fellowship whose activities are focused on four main projects. The Health Services Partnership - aimed at developing and sustaining an effective network of health services. INF’s technical, medical and managerial input is primarily targeted at district level. The Community Health and Development Project works among remote hill communities to bring about sustainable improvements in their health. Release is a leprosy control and alleviation programme which also includes a Drug Education Programme. Tuberculosis Leprosy Project is a dual disease programme serving all fifteen districts of the remote and underdeveloped Mid West Region. It runs Referral centres in Nepalganj, where Richard and Lorraine live, Surkhet, Ghorahi and Jumla.

Richard emphasised the problems faced in a country where the motorways resemble our country lanes and the lesser roads are scarcely more than footpaths. We saw photographs of a hospital with walls, a partly constructed roof but with no plaster, doors or windows. Seventeen years ago the surveyor, builder and a quantity of building materials were lost when the helicopter carrying them crashed. The firm could not sustain the loss and nothing further was done until two years ago. INF hope to complete the work and establish a fully functioning hospital to benefit the very poor people of Mugu.

Richard’s talk was a moving reminder to us all of just how fortunate and blessed we are in this country and how much more we should be praying for and helping those less fortunate in so very many countries around the world.

We look forward to news of the new baby and wish Richard, Lorraine and daughter Eleanor a refreshing and strengthening time during their stay in England.

Jenny Ottewell Visit June 19th Hobbs Green.

As mentioned in previous issues of the magazine, Jenny Ottewell has retired from her work in Uganda and is planning to visit Odell in June.

A bring and share supper is planned for Wednesday June 19th at Hobb’s Green when Jenny will share with us some of the memories and experiences of her work as our link missionary in the Lord’s service in Uganda.

Please contact Ann Hudson (720587) if you wish to come to the bring and share supper at Hobb’s Green.

Looking to Jesus - "No God, No Potatoes"._

Read: Colossians 1:13-18.

"In Him we live and move and have our being" - Acts 17:28

It’s been said that in the former Soviet Union the peasant farmers often enjoyed telling a humorous story to lighten their dreary lives.

It seems that one day a government official came to a farmer and inquired about the year’s potato crop. "Oh, it was wonderful" the farmer replied slyly. "It was so big it reached up the very foot of God".

The commissar’s countenance quickly changed. With a scowl, he said. "But comrade, this is a communist state and we are atheists. You must not forget, there is no God!"

"Ah, that’s my point," the farmer replied. "No God - no potatoes!"

Yes, whether we believe it or not, God is the source of all things (Psalm 136:25). The apostle Paul told a pagan audience, "In Him we live and move and have our being". (Acts 17:28). And in Colossians 1:16-18, he focused on the great creating and sustaining work of God in the person of His Son, Jesus Christ. Without Him, we couldn’t draw a single breath, and our bodies could not function.

Do we who confess faith in a personal God, to whom we owe our very existence, respond with thanksgiving, worship, and praise? If not, we differ little from that commissar who saw no connection between God and potatoes.

Part of God’s name divinely stands

On every work impressed:

Each is the labour of His hands,

By each His power confessed. anon

God is the first link in our life’s chain of events.

Taken from "Our daily bread" with kind permission of Radio Bible Class, PO Box 1, Carnforth, Lancs LA5 9ES

Amongst ourselves:

Father God, as we look to you in the month of June, we bring before you all that is happening within our Church and our village. We think of the Fete and all the work that goes in to make a successful day, with much needed funds going towards our beautiful Church. Many people are involved, giving their time and energy. Please bless the day and our Service of Praise on Sunday, and all those who are so lovingly involved to make this annual event so special.

We continue to place before you all the sick and those suffering in any way, whether at home, in a nursing home or in hospital, the lonely and heartbroken - for Lord you know each and everyone by name. May they know and feel your presence with them each day, as you give the medical teams the wisdom for their treatment.

Many youngsters are awaiting their exam results and graduating from University. We pray for your blessing upon them.

Also we continue to praise you for this special part of your world, for the love and friendship we find here and the sunny days and peaceful evenings when we can sit and see all around us the wonders of nature. Thank you for our sight and hearing, enabling us to appreciate it all. Oh, my God how great thou art! Amen.

Thoughts for June

A smile costs nothing - why not give one away today?

What does God want from you? Your life!

Seek The Lord while he may be found!

Flower Rota

Very many thanks go to Jill Cheadle for all her hard work organising the church flower rota month after month. Jane Eshelby is now taking over from Jill and may be contacted on 01933 410959 if you wish to arrange the church flowers one week.

Flower rota:

June 2nd E. Lewis.

June 16th Wedding, Andrews Family.

June 30th Wedding, Heather Jones and family.

July 7th Jill Cheadle

July 14th, 21st, 28th Volunteers needed please!

Thank You from Ken and Florrie.

Dear Friends,

We are unable to find words sufficient to say thank you for your love, care and concern while I was in hospital and Ken left here in the tiny village of Odell.

It was due to your strength that the two of us were able to meet each day step by step. So many of you sent get well cards and verbal messages and there were offers of help of all kinds and the making of a beautiful fruit cake, all of which were very much appreciated. It was wonderful how you all came with the hand of friendship, to help the two of us in our everyday life - a helping hand here and a helping hand there. We felt the whole village was supporting us.

In hospital one day the duty sister wondered how I came to have so many more cards than the other patients. I said to her "the tiny village of Odell is unique - you have to live there to know it. You know, sister, love conquers all; without it you are lost".

Our grateful thanks go to all our friends and to everyone involved in my care in hospital, consultants, doctors, nurses and domestic staff.

God bless and love to you all. Ken and Florrie

Where Was God On September 11th?

This is the title of a small booklet by John Blanchard which recently and immediately caught my attention. Have you wondered what God was doing to let this happen and just what indeed He has been doing through all the great and small tragedies,cruelties and wickedness over the centuries? Do you wonder if He can possibly be there at all, and if He is just what is He up to? Well, I reckon it is worth reading this booklet and if you would like to see it, contact Ann or me for a copy. Tom Hudson

Odell Village Golden Jubilee Fete June 8th 2002

Hopefully everyone has kept the date free for our special Golden Jubilee Village Fete and Dog Show. Don’t forget to invite all your family and friends for the day.

The site is once again the field at the end of Horsefair Lane. Residents have been warned!

The theme, of course, will be all things ROYAL

Family Dog Show

This year’s special new event, organised by Roma Garon. The Classes are shown on Page 19.

So, start brushing and beautifying your dogs and yourselves for your debut in the ring!

Special arrangements have been made to park cars containing dogs for the show in the field at the Country Park, but only if they arrive before the Fete opens at 2pm.

Once again, there will be all the usual Fun and Games so please start collecting, cooking, and offer your services to Jill Cheadle (720261) and Jane Eshelby (01933 410959) if you aren’t already on their lists. Some vital helpers can’t be here this year so we desperately need new volunteers.

With our minds thinking of the Queen and Royal Family, there will be a children’s collage competition, and the chance to make and decorate your own crown and then join the Grand Parade to find out who is the winner.

Festival Weekend Church Service 10.30am.

On Sunday June 9th at 10.30am (NB later than the normal service) there will be the usual Church Service in the tent on site in Horsefair Lane. All are very welcome.

This will be followed by a Thank You lunch for residents of Horsefair Lane and all helpers. Bring your own plates, cutlery, glasses and drink.

It would greatly help with the organisation if you can please try to let Mandy Sharpe or Jill Cheadle know that you are coming.

A Huge ‘Thank You’

It is almost impossible to express my deep appreciation of all the love and prayers which have surrounded me during the last nine months. I can only say ‘thank you’ so very much to everyone who has taken me back and forth to hospital. Especial thanks to Jane who organised rotas and Doreen who took such wonderful care of me – and continues to do so. And those who have listened! Also our wonderful Lord who has designed the skills and science to heal me. I have finished all my treatments and am getting stronger every day. Once again a very sincere THANK YOU ALL. Jen.

Birthday Greetings To:

Robert Merret who will be 12 on the 11th.

And to anyone else who has a birthday in June.

June Diary

2nd Special Golden Jubilee Service, All Saints’ Odell, 10.00am.

3rd Golden Jubilee Celebrations in the village.

6th Meeting of the North Beds. Healing Group, Watermead, Harrold. 8.00pm.

7th Service of Healing, Felmersham Church, 6pm.

8th 2.00pm Village Fete

9th 10.30am Service of Praise held in tent, Horsefair Lane.

9th 12 – 3pm Skip in village.

12th Meeting Point. Manor Cottage, Harrold. 10.30am.

15th Felmersham Pre-School Jumble Sale, Felmersham Village Hall, 2-4pm.

15th, 16th Yelnow Farm Open Days, 11am – 6pm.

19th Jenny Ottewell at Hobbs Green. Bring & Share Supper.

20th Golden Jubilee Concert, United Reformed Church, Harrold, 7.30pm.

22nd Eucharist in St. Albans Abbey to mark 125th anniversary of the diocese. 11.30am.

23rd Harrold Gardens Open, 1.30 – 5.30pm.

26th Meeting Point, Corner House, Rushden. 10.30am.

26th Evening walk to Yelnow New Wood, 7.00pm from Bell..

Magazine Deadline

Please send all entries for the joint July and August magazine to Tricia Hudson (, Anne Turner or Catherine Corkery by June 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.

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Last revised: June 10, 2002.