Faith News (Including St Mary’s part in Old Town Street Festival)

St Mary's stall at the Old Town Street Festival
St Mary's stall at the Old Town Street Festival
Share this article

The latest news from faith groups in your area.

St Mary’s celebrates the hatched, matched and dispatched

On Saturday, July 19 St. Mary’s was represented by a stall at the official opening of the Old Town High Street, following the recent renovations and improvements.

The stall had the theme of ‘Hatched, Matched and Dispatched’, representing the role of the church as a provider of baptisms, weddings and funerals for the community.

The stall design was created by Revd. Jenny Hill, vicar of St. Mary’s, and Sarah Harrison, and was manned by the two of them plus Rev Rickey Simpson-Gray, the new curate at St. Mary’s.

St. Mary’s bell ringers set up a mini bell frame outside the bell tower and invited people to try their hand at bell ringing; this proved to be very popular with the children.

In addition, members of St. Mary’s and St. Paul’s congregations provided tea and cakes for many of the visitors and sold plants and craft items too.

These sales yielded over £450 for church funds. The church was open too for the duration of the event and welcomed more than 320 people who came in for some peace, quiet and coolness.

Multi-faith calendar: The Jewish observation of Tisha B’av

Tisha B’av is the ninth day of the Jewish month of Av, which usually falls in July or August in the western calendar.

This year, the fast day begins in the evening of Monday, August 4, and ends the following evening.

It is a solemn occasion because it commemorates a series of tragedies that have befallen the Jewish people over the years, many of which have coincidentally happened on this day.

These include the destruction of the first temple in Jerusalem in 586 BCE by Nebuchadnezzar when 100,000 Jews were believed to have perished, and the destruction of the second temple by the Romans in 70 CE. World War I and the Holocaust are also associated with this day.

Tisha B’av is observed with prayers and fasting. Shaving and the wearing of cosmetics and leather are banned, and people are also expected to refrain from smiles, laughter and idle conversation. All ornaments are removed from synagogues and lights are dimmed. The ark (where the Torah is kept) is draped in black.

Instituted by the rabbis of 2nd-century Palestine, Tisha B’Av is regarded as the saddest day in the Jewish calendar and a day which is destined for tragedy.

Christian viewpoint

Jesus stood on a mount and said: “God blesses those who are poor and realise their need for him, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.” The very start of faith is admitting your need of God – we all need Him. Next is admitting the wrong in your life – we all have that. Next is asking God for forgiveness – we all need that too. After that is inviting Jesus into your life. Doubts? Reservations? Ask a Christian about their relationship with God. They will tell you, in their own way, of this exciting, dynamic, eternal friendship they have with God.

Robin McEwen, Methodist Church

We’d love to hear from more faith groups and communities in Dacorum.

Send us your reports, news, photos and calendar events at