Category Archives: Articles

The St Mary’s Visitors

Would you or someone you know be grateful for a visit from someone at St Mary’s?

We offer loving, sensitive and confidential support to everyone who needs it, not just our church members. If this sounds like you, or someone you know, please get in touch with our St Mary’s Visitors Coordinator: Ian Ashton

‘If we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is completed in us’. (1 John 4:12)

We would like to add two or three new people to the team to ensure that all who would like a visit can get one.  Would you be willing to join the team? Even if it was just to visit one person once a month?

Please speak to Will to find out more: by e-mail or 01582 791 669

Full training and support will be given to those who join the team.

No longer servants but friends

An article by Revd Will Gibbs for the Redbourn Common Round

‘No longer servants but friends’

These are the words that Jesus says to his followers in John 15 as he teaches them about what it means to live in relationship with each other and with God.

A friend is someone who is there in good times and bad no matter what. At St Mary’s we have many good friends – people who are incredibly supportive of what we are and what we do (even if we don’t see them in church quite as I often as I would like!)

But amongst these friends we also have The Friends – a charity dedicated to looking after the fabric of our village’s oldest building – our amazing Grade 1 listed Parish Church, ensuring that it is cared for and maintained from one generation to the next. Since The Friends of St Mary’s was founded in 1976 they have raised almost £600,000 to help us do this. I want to place on record our sincere thanks to all who’ve been involved over the years and helped raise this amazing total – we are enormously grateful.

But we need to make some new Friends! Our hardworking committee would love your support and here are five easy ways you can help:

  1. Join this fun committee and help to run a few key fundraising events during the year. The committee only meets four or five time a year (in a pub – if that helps to convince you!) and so it isn’t a huge commitment but we’d love a few more people to come along and share their ideas and energy.
  2. Come along to an event and help us raise even more money. Our next event will be a quiz night at The Holly Bush on Saturday 8th Feb at 7.30 pm. Tickets from Revd Will or from the pub – teams of 6 and £10 a head including some food. It should be a lot of fun so get a team together and come along – places are limited.
  3. Come along to our next AGM and hear about the work that has been carried out and the events that have been run. The AGM is on Sunday 26 April at 11.00 am in the Transept Hall attached to St Mary’s and we will reward everyone who comes along to this short meeting (45 minutes) with a glass of wine afterwards!
  4. Please remember The Friends of St Mary’s when you come to make or revise your will. As a registered charity (No. 271677) you can be assured that any money you give will always go exactly where you intended – to look after the fabric of the church and giving in this way can also be very tax efficient as well as supporting a great cause.
  5. Why not run an event and donate the proceeds to The Friends? If you can’t get involved on a regular basis, a one-off event or collaboration would still be amazing. Do get in touch so that we can promote and support it.

We’re all blessed with many friends. Would you become a new Friend to us?



Article: Curious Light

An article by Revd Will Gibbs for the Redbourn Common Round

Candles don’t feature quite so prominently in our 21st century lives as they did for our forebears. We are not so dependent on them as they were (although candles are really handy if a power cut comes along, and we do get a few of those in Redbourn!). Nowadays, we’re more used to seeing them in comedy programmes (did Hyacinth Bouquet’s candle-lit suppers ever take place?), and the Two Ronnies’ four candles sketch lives on in the memory with fondness. We’re also used to seeing candles in period costume dramas; Downton and the like.

But it is in church that candles play the most prominent role these days – at a baptism as a sign that the candidate has received the light of Christ into their life, on the altar reminding us that Christ is the light of the world, and in memorial candles lit in memory of loved ones. And we still experience that magical, excited anticipation of a candlelit Carol Service at this time of year.

But when I think of candles, one particular image comes to my mind. A picture by a Dutch artist called Gerard von Honthorst entitled ‘Christ before the High Priest.’ A marvellous use of light with the High Priest seated at a table on which a single candle burns. A passive Christ stands the other side – their faces are highlighted – the High Priest wags an admonishing finger at Christ who gazes serenely down at him. Shadowy officials lurk in the background, foretelling the brutality to come. The picture has an immense intensity and like all good art, it draws you into its very substance and immerses you in what is happening. And, incredibly, each time you look, although Christ’s face has not altered, every time you can read different thoughts passing between them. Sometimes Christ seems to be rebuking the High Priest – at other times it’s almost as if there is an immense pity and sorrow in Jesus’ gaze. However you view it, I find it absolutely mesmerising.

Gerard van Honthorst - Christ before the High Priest - WGA11650

Gerard van Honthorst [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons


I hope that candles will have featured in some way in your Christmas and New Year celebrations. But there are continuing opportunities to enjoy the importance of candles so why not join us for our candlelit Epiphany Carol service at 6.30 pm on 5 January or one of our Candlemas services on 2 February?

In our Christmas services we’ve been welcoming the Light of the World once again with the words. ‘The light shone in the darkness, and the darkness could not overcome it.’ Amazing – all this can be found in a humble stable and a simple candle.

May 2020 be for you, and your loved ones, a year of light and peace and blessing.