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September 2014

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Ickenham is a village of great antiquity, mentioned as ‘Tichenham’ in the Doomsday book of 1086.  We know that a church of some description was here in 1335 as there is a record of a priest, John Payne, being appointed that year.

On 3rd September the Revd Felicity Davies will be inducted as the fiftieth Incumbent.  Yes, for the first time in 679 years we will have a female Rector.  So this is an exciting time and I know that Felicity will be supported by our congregation as she leads our church to meet the challenges of life in the 21st century.  Twenty years ago this would have been unthinkable as it was only in 1994 that the first women were ordained priests.  The Church of England moves very slowly in the way that it agrees to change.  Only six weeks ago the ruling body of the Church of England, known as the General Synod, agreed that women could be consecrated as Bishops, although the Queen has been head of our Church for over 60 years.

So how did St Giles’ come to the decision that Felicity should become our next Rector?

Each Church of England church has a group of people, elected by members of their own congregation, known as the Parochial Church Council (PCC).  They make decisions on behalf of the congregation about matters relating to the church.  At a special meeting, St Giles’ PCC voted that they would accept a male or female priest as their new Rector.
When Revd Adrian Guthrie, our last Rector, moved to a new parish, we started the process of looking for a new Rector.  Advertisements were placed describing the sort of church we are and the type of priest we wanted.  A detailed profile of the parish was produced and sent to those who expressed interest.  Finally a short list was drawn up and a number of people were invited for interview.  The interview panel comprised our two Church Wardens, the Bishop of Willesden, the Archdeacon and the Patron.  Felicity was the unanimous choice of the panel and was offered the job, which she accepted.

St Giles’ Church is at the centre of our community and it is there for the people of Ickenham. Many may pass by and never look in, while others may attend only for christenings, weddings or funerals.  But the reason the church was built was to have a place where people could meet and worship God.  For generations people have faithfully enlarged and developed the church to meet the needs of a growing and changing community.  Many people find the church a peaceful and inspiring place to come and sit, when today’s lifestyle can be so pressured.  For many Christians the words of Jesus, “Come to me all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28) help them to put things in perspective.  There is a book in church where anyone can write about the things that trouble them, knowing that a group of people will pray for these situations.  Please do come in and make use of it.  The church is here for you.  This is a new beginning as we welcome Felicity as our new Rector.  If you would also like to make a new beginning in your life, please come to join us at any time.

So when you see a lady walking through Ickenham wearing a clerical ‘dog collar’, do introduce yourself, and welcome Felicity to our village - such a friendly and caring place.

Brian Reid, St. Giles’ Lay Minister



In the past five years, over a million children around the world have learned what it means to faithfully follow Jesus Christ through ‘The Greatest Journey’.  This exciting 12-lesson Bible study offered to boys and girls who receive Operation Christmas Child shoebox gifts also teaches them how to share their faith with others.  As a result, lives are being changed for eternity and new churches are springing up in communities across the globe.

We praise the Lord for making ‘The Greatest Journey’ one of the largest discipleship programmes in the world today, but there are many more boys and girls that Samaritan’s Purse still urgently need to reach with the truth of God’s Word.  Their prayer is that through this effort, they can raise enough global support to impact another 240,000 boys and girls for Christ.  The UK goal is to reach 24,000 of these children.

You can be a part of helping children like Veronica, a young girl who seemed destined for a life of despair on the streets of Guadalajaro, Mexico.  After receiving a shoebox gift, she accepted Christ as Saviour and learned more about her new faith through ‘The Greatest Journey’.

Will you help make disciples of all nations?  Give children the opportunity to learn what it means to devote their lives to sharing the Good News of eternal grace through Jesus Christ.
Ickenham United Reformed Church will again support the Shoebox Appeal.   Could you help to give children a shoebox full of gifts and show them that Jesus loves them?  Leaflets will be available from St. Giles’ Church and the United Reformed Church from September.

“Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations..." (Matthew 28:19a, NKJV).

Dorothy Vickery, URC Elder



Now that we are coming to the end of the interregnum I feel that we should recognise the hard work that a group of stalwarts has done since Adrian left.  Life has gone on at St. Giles’ and I doubt whether any visitors to our services have noticed that we had no-one at our head.  I don’t know what crises went on behind scenes, but all was reassuring in front.

First I think Stephanie deserves a big “thank you”.  I doubt whether many people realise the mountain of work she gets through - printing those service sheets would take me a week!  But she quietly gets on with all she has to do.  Anne Whitlam, Brian Reid, David Thould and Brian Wadham have all taken services and supported visiting clergy.  Keith and Naomi, have had a mammoth task and, at times, have looked pretty tired, but never gave up.  The Vergers, Jennie and John (God bless him) have done their duty at weddings, funerals, baptisms and burial of ashes - and all these tasks were carried out without a “boss”.  We are so lucky at St. Giles’ to have so many dedicated and selfless people who give up their precious time.  Our new Incumbent is a very lucky lady!  If I have missed anyone out I apologise.  Thank you all very much.

Freda Kneale



St Giles’ church was full of family and friends remembering John Alwyne Ralph who died suddenly on 15th July.  The service, conducted with feeling by Anne Whitlam, contained John’s favourite music and the family tributes made clear how much he cared for them and they for him.  He was a very special person, dedicated to St Giles’ church which he amply demonstrated in many ways.

Although proud of being born in the tiny county of Rutland in 1930, he was brought up in Kent and attended Woolwich Polytechnic.  He was a chorister in the Chislehurst Church of the Annunciation where, as a Server, noted for his enthusiastic swinging of the incense burner, he developed and never lost his love of ceremony.  His wife Ann attended the same church and they started dating when he was 17 and she, sweet 16.  Shortly after he started his RAF career as a Halton Apprentice and, when the apprenticeship was completed, they were married at the Annunciation. John played in the Halton Pipe Band and was involved in several celebrations, including the Royal Albert Hall Festival of Remembrance and, fittingly, at his passing-out parade watched by a very proud Ann.

John wanted to be a pilot but didn’t pass the course.  They had the consolation of their first child, Janine, and the honour of John receiving his RAF commission.  After a spell as Fighter Controller he was appointed an Air Traffic Controller, ‘policeman of the skies’.  Several foreign postings followed, during which Jeremy was born and, ten years later in Cyprus, second daughter Joanne.  Another move to Lincolnshire saw the arrival of youngest child Daniel.

In 1972, he and Ann moved to Ickenham and, five years later, to their present house in Long Lane.  They enjoyed many happy years together there, loving and improving the house and garden.  Following John’s retirement in 1992, he helped to rejuvenate and then maintain the St Giles’ churchyard.  Eventually he became chairman of the ‘Holy Mowers’ before handing over to Patricia Lee.

However, John continued working on the churchyard as a Holy Mower but also, in his capacity of Verger, researched the details of the graves and prepared a meticulous inventory – ‘a labour of love’.  John loved the job of Verger, maintaining it was like being a stage manager, particularly for weddings and funerals and he continued to assist Jenny Askey after handing over to her in 2013.  John will be greatly missed by his family and the community which he served with total dedication.



This month in St. Giles’ 8am and 9:45am Sunday services, we will pray for all those who live or work in the following roads in the Parish:

September        7th      Kempton Close
September       14th     Kenbury Close
September       21th     Kenmere Close
September       28th     Lawrence Drive

Why not join us?  You would be most welcome.



Baptisms at St. Giles’

June     22nd    Oliver John Crocetti
                         Ella Iris Crocetti
July     13th       Edith Jean Haslam
Aug     10th       Laura Amy Guttridge

Weddings at St. Giles’
July       4th       Victoria Pidgeon and James Cardno

Cremations at Breakspear Crematorium
June     18th      June Turpin, aged 81
                          Joyce Partridge, aged 97
June     19th      Joan Sentance, aged 95 (following service in St. Giles’)
July       2nd      Marjorie Lucas, aged 90
July      10th       Doreen Childs, aged 82


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