Stambourne Newsletter

Published and distributed by Stambourne Parish Council No.237

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING – Thursday 19th January first meeting of the year was held on Thursday 19 January 2017 at 7.30pm in the village hall.

For all Dog-owners in Stambourne

A polite request to everyone who walks their dog locally – please, please clear up after your dogs both on the roads and footpaths and use the dog bins provided. This keeps the roads and footpaths clear for everyone to enjoy. We have three dogbins in the village – Chapel End Way, Church Road and Dyers End. Please also note that dogs are not allowed on the playing field either. A new notice is being arranged to be put on the fence near the entrance.


The water problem in Church Road near the entrance to the playing field where water was running across the road appears to have been resolved by Anglian Water. We will monitor the situation. Please note that ECC Highways only grit the roads through Dyers End and then right onto the Stambourne-Yeldham Road. The Parish Council does have supplies of salt available for use on the highway if anybody needs it.


The bridge on footpath 17 when approached from Chapel End Way is in need of repair. This has been reported to ECC Footpaths Officer but please take care if you use this route.


One application has been received recently - Application No 16/01506 Stambourne Hall

Mr Bryan Wright

We were sad to hear the news that Bryan Wright, a long time resident of Stambourne, passed away last year. Our condolences go to Nona Wright and family. The Parish Council have now been advised that Mr Wright made a bequest to the Parish Council. Consideration will now be given to an appropriate use for this bequest and we will keep you advised of any decision.

Budgets and Precepts for 2017/18

As you will no doubt be aware from previous newsletters, at the January meeting the Parish Council has to agree its budgets for the next financial year. Braintree District Council provide a fund, called the Localism Fund, towards the Parish Council’s costs. However, the District Council has advised that this amount is to be reduced and phased out completely by 2020. As an example for the year 2015/16 the Localism Fund provided by Braintree District Council was £1,303, for 2016/17 £1,092 and for 2017/18 it will be £728.00. This leaves the Parish Council no option but to increase its Precept for 2017/18, despite monitoring its own outgoings very carefully.

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 17 March 2017 at 7.30pm in the village hall.

Full minutes and agendas are available on the village website

Debbie Hilliard
Parish Clerk
Tel: 01440 785629


I would like to say a big thank you to all those who supported the Carol Service & the Christmas Morning Service, both of which were well attended.

Throughout 2017 we will be trying to introduce  different Services to the “usual” ones & would be grateful for any feedback from those who attend them.  
The first “different” Service is the Service on 12th February which  will be a Renewal of wedding vows, Blessing of rings & Celebration of Marriage.

Please do come along to support this.

The pattern of Services for the next 2 months are as follows:




All are welcome to attend ANY of the above Services.

01440 785752

St Valentine – Saint of Sweethearts?

Traditionally the patron saint of lovers, is St Valentine the most romantic of Saints?

The day gets its name from a famous saint, who has various stories about his origins. The most common one is that St Valentine was a priest from Rome in the third century AD. Emperor Claudius II had banned marriage because he thought married men were bad soldiers. Valentine felt this was unfair, so he broke the rules and arranged marriages in secret. When Claudius found out, Valentine was thrown in jail and sentenced to death. There, he fell in love with the jailer's daughter and when he was taken to be killed on 14 February he sent her a love letter signed "from your Valentine".

So St Valentine is really more about marriage than star-crossed lovers, and to celebrate his day we are holding
a special Valentine’s day service in the church of St Peter and St Thomas a Becket. There will be a renewal of marriage vows and a blessing of rings. Even if you’re not married, but have a long term partner do come along and get a blessing on your relationship. Even if your loved one is no more, come and share the joy of having had that relationship for a while.

The Christian faith is all about a relationship with the God who loves us for eternity, so come along and celebrate the love you receive in this life, with the One who will love you eternally.

The service is at 9.30 on the 12
th February

Rev Liz Paxton.

From your Chapel …

So the world order has changed! Interesting to see how the world leaders are reacting to the new USA president and to Brexit.

Good to see people are willing to admit they were wrong about some things, but hang on to some other things – I'll leave you to work out which are which as I am sure we all have our own views!

But what is clear is that ignoring the people we serve is never a good idea. It is always good to be as inclusive as possible!

That is one reason the Chapel has changed its lighting! We now have proper exit lighting should the power fail. We have also changed the toilet last year to make it accessible to wheel chair users and people with mobility difficulties. But this raised a question for us. You note I didn't say “disabled”. For there is not one of us who is not disabled in some way or another! And it is this negative approach to things that puts people down.

Some are socially challenged, some physically, others find academic things difficult, and still others find one or another aspect of life challenging. I have yet to find the all round physical, academic, artistic, philosophical, mathematical, musical, friendly, amenable, well loved and well rounded person with a perfect figure and a perfect life! If you know someone like that let me know – I would love to meet them!

You see perfection isn't ours to have. I love to think of people as “able” in some way rather than disabled. And it is our search for, and best use of our abilities that should make us who we are, rather than the idea that we are coloured only by what we can't do.

And this is the way God looks at us too. He knows of our frailties and failures, our inabilities and self-pride. He knows we often fail to live up to His standards and yet He is willing to forgive us and accept us as we are. He knows we will never be “good enough”, but that didn't stop Him sending Jesus as His love gift for us, and accepting us as we are.
Paul writes in his letter to the Romans (Chapter 3 verse 22)
God treats everyone alike. He accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus Christ.

Now some people say that God doesn't exist – we watched the film “God's Not Dead” last month and saw some of the arguments for and against accepting God's existence. But we should all realize that the existence of something does not depend in our belief on it! And if God is willing to accept who we are, then perhaps we would be wise to accept who He is!

Want to know more? Always willing to discuss!
Every blessing
Adrian Burr, Minister, Stambourne Chapel, Chapel End Way
07983 656166, 01440 730211

First our thanks to all who came to the Christmas day meal, those who prepared the meal and those who partook of it! I gather it was a lovely time together. Anyone who would like to come next year please let us know, and any helpers would also be welcome!

February 11th Car Wash 10am onwards – bring your car along for its Spring wash!

February 14th Valentines day – Come along for coffee and a prayer for your loved ones.

February 28th Shrove Tuesday – Pancakes at Coffee morning 10am - 12 noon – all welcome

2nd March to 6th April Lent Bible course - Thursday evenings starting at 7:30pm in the Chapel

March 11th – Games Evening – come and enjoy some common board games - 7pm onwards

April 1st – Easter Craft Day 10-2pm - Card making, dough modelling, and any other Easter crafts you can think of!


Every Sunday
Our Worship Service is held at 10:45 am followed by coffee 1st Sunday join us for a Communion Service

2nd and 3rd Sundays Lively Worship Services sometimes with visiting preachers

4th Sunday - Service followed by Lunch together

Every Tuesday - 10-12am Coffee and Chat. Discussion and craft over coffee and biscuits. Come and join a little time out for fun and friendship!

Every Tuesday – Stambourne Worship Team Practice evening. Join us at 7pm for prayer, and 7:30pm for the music. If you play an instrument or sing we would welcome you to come and see whether you could join us.

Every Wednesday - 7pm Intercessory Prayers. If you would like prayer for your needs or for a friend or family member then please let us know or come and join us. Drop a note through our letter box ...

Every Thursday – 7:30pm House Group and Bible Study – Open to all. Call if you would like to join with us.

Adrian Burr, Minister, 01440 730211, 07983 656166,

Brian Mead, Secretary, 01376 345377,

News from St Margaret’s

The Christmas celebrations are rapidly fading into distant memory, but it is always a special time in the school. This year we had our normal Christmas Production ‘Lights, Camel, Action!’ that involved all the children and was a great success. We also had our Christmas Fayre organised by the Friends of St Margaret’s. Attendance was really good and a profit of £831.21 was raised for school funds. Thank you to everyone who was able to attend.

We routinely hear horror stories about what can befall unwary users of the internet, especially with the rapid development of social media sites. Our children are at particular risk, but to try and make them and their parents aware of the many pitfalls, we organised an e-safety week during December.

The major event of which was a visit from two specialists who were able to take the children (during the school day) and their parents (in the evening) through all the hazards associated with specific sites. Hopefully everyone is now much safer, but it is a minefield that is continuously evolving and we will need to be ever vigilant if we want to remain secure in what we do on-line.

Please do check our website for information and details of how you can keep yourself safe on the internet.

It doesn’t seem possible that it was only a year ago that we had our brilliant Ofsted Inspection. We thought that we might be able to relax a little after the stress that the inspection process brings, but we have had an amazingly busy year and it looks as if the momentum will continue on into 2017.

If you are interested in what is happening at the school, please go to

The site is updated regularly and always has details on up-coming events.
Best wishes to you all for a Happy New Year from everyone at St. Margaret’s.

Kim Hall

Toppesfield Primary School Pupils

Neighbourhood Watch

The Braintree District Neighbourhood Watch AGM is taking place at 7pm on 18th May in Braintree.  

Please email the Chairman, Clive Stewart, for details.

Stambourne Ladies Group (SLG)

You are invited to come along to our friendly monthly get-togethers in the Village Hall which is transformed into a bistro every second Wednesday of the month at 7.30pm.

Our annual membership fee is £10 with £2 being paid at each meeting. A buffet is laid on by our catering team together with tea, coffee and cold drinks (wine glasses are to hand if you wish to bring along your own vino or favourite tipple.

We look forward to welcoming you or call Annabel (785809) or Vicky (785528).

th DECEMBER Our fashion show was a great success with an exceptional amount of money being raised for the SLG chosen charity, Multiple Sclerosis. We will be donating half of the raffle proceeds to M&Co’s chosen charity, Cancer Research UK. It seems that our publicity campaign paid off as more than 40 ladies attended and enjoyed the mulled wine and buffet that followed. Money for the two charities was raised from the prizes generously donated by our members and from our SLG funds. 11th JANUARY We have just had our annual meeting to decide what to do for 2017 and below are our plans. We hope that we can again increase our numbers during 2017 and invite you to come along to get a taster of what goes on. COME ALONG AND GIVE IT A TRY!
8th FEBRUARY Tudor Queens – Kindra Jones promises a whirlwind tour of the Tudor Court from a different perspective.
8th MARCH 20th Century Fashions – Vanessa Howard takes us on a journey and review of the century’s fashions.
12th APRIL History of Harrods – Eve Regelous gives an interesting and surprising talk on the history of one of Britain’s most famous and exclusive stores.
10th MAY Annual dinner – venue to be arranged.
th JUNE My Creative Journey – Amanda Sutherland. A talk on her career path through Film, Television and Theatrical costume design with many amusing and inspirational stories along the way.

Names on our War Memorial

We are constantly reminded of the First World War as we mark centenaries of the grim battles that took place in the early years of last century. This year we have commemorated the bloody battle that took place on the Somme from July until November 1916. The Parish Council wanted to ensure that we continued to respect the memory of the young men from our village who gave their lives during those battles and as a small gesture we have refurbished the war memorial that was first erected in the 1920’s.

In doing this, it was realised that no-one is now alive who has any personal recollection of those individuals, although, in some instances, their families are still living locally. For most of us the names on the war memorial are just that; names, and it was thought that it would be interesting if we could look behind the names and try to understand a little more about the individuals who used to live here, in Stambourne, before going off to war never to come back. You will note from the information given below that four of the individuals commemorated on our memorial, gave their lives during the Battle of the Somme.

There are seven names on the memorial, all dating from the First World War. (Fortunately no servicemen from our village lost their lives during the Second World War.)
They are:-

Alexander A Ashard
Ernest Drew
Harry A Drew
Edward Jackson
William W Metson
Arthur T Mickley
Arthur Ruggles

The internet makes it reasonably simple to access the service and census records of these individuals.1

These are detailed below:-

Alexander A Ashard (Service Number 169310) was a lance corporal serving in the 2nd Battalion of the Essex Regiment when he was killed in action on the 1st July 1916. He was aged 18. (This was the first day of the Battle of the Somme which was the bloodiest day in the history of the British Army when approximately 28,000 men were killed.) He has no known grave but his name appears on the Thiepval Memorial on the Somme Battlefield. In the 1901 census he was living with his parents, George and Ellen and his sister Ruth. In the 1911 census he was boarding with Alfred and Ellen Hardy and was working as a farm labourer

Ernest Drew (Service Number 17036) was a private serving in the 9th Battalion of the Essex Regiment when he was killed on the 20th October 1915. He was aged 25. He rests in the Lapugnoy Cemetery in the Pas de Calais along with 1336 of his comrades. In the 1911 census he was living with his father George and was working as a farm labourer.

Harry A Drew (Service Number 1692) was a private serving in the 2nd Battalion of the Essex Regiment when he was killed on the 23rd October 2016. He was aged 24 He has no known grave, but his name appears on the Thiepval Memorial on the Somme Battlefield. In the 1911 census he was working as a shepherd and living in a shepherds hut. His father was George and he was the brother of Ernest, listed above.

Edward Jackson (Service Number 9978) was a Farrier Sergeant serving in D Battery, 70th Brigade of the Royal Field Artillery when he was killed on 21st April 1917. He was aged 24. He rests in Beaurains Cemetery in Northern France along with 56 of his comrades. In the military records he is shown as living in Chelmsford when he enlisted and his parents are listed as Lewis and Lucy Jackson of Thurstons Farm

William W Metson (Service Number 8927) was a private serving in 7th Battalion of the Suffolk Regiment when he was killed on 3rd July 1916. He was aged 20. He has no known grave, but his name appears on the Thiepval Memorial on the Somme Battlefield. In the 1911 census he is shown to be living with his parents Eli and Julia and working as a farm labourer

Arthur T Mickley (Service Number 12545) was a private serving in the 10th Battalion of the Essex Regiment when he was killed on 21st October 2017. He was aged 23. He rests in the Artillery Wood Cemetery, West Vlaanderen, Belgium along with 1306 of his comrades. In the 1911 census he is shown to be living with his parents Charles and Caroline and was working as a farm labourer.

Arthur Ruggles (Service Number 13798) was a private serving in the 1st battalion of the Northamptonshire Regiment when he was killed on the 21st of September 1916. He was aged 21. He rests in the Vermelles British Cemetery in the Pas de Calais along with 2144 of his comrades. In the 1911 census he is shown living with his parents Allan and Rose and he was working as a farm labourer.
It is notable that all of the young men were associated with agriculture, mostly as farm labourers. It is certain that they would have known each other and would most likely have attended the village school together.
They were all very young with the oldest being 25 and the youngest, 18.

Martyn J Fall
December 2016
1Service records were gleaned from the web site 1911 census details from and burial details from


8th February - Stambourne Ladies 7.30 at Village Hall.
11th Car Wash at The Chapel

12th Special Valentine’s Service 930am at The Church
14th Valentine’s Day at The Chapel

8th March - Stambourne Ladies 7.30 at the Village Hall.
11th Games evening at The Chapel
17th Parish Council Meeting 7.30 at the Village Hall

16th Plant Swap and Sale at The Chapel