Stambourne Newsletter

Published and distributed by Stambourne Parish Council No. 234

The latest meeting of the Parish Council took place on 21 July 2016 at 7.30pm in the village hall, Stambourne.

Pavilion - The plinths and picnic benches were completed in time for the village fete and everyone agrees they enhance the playing field. We hope to see them well used throughout the summer.

HighwaysThe potholes on the corner near the rice factory on Stambourne Road have been repaired and it would seem that the potholes on Wesley End Road have been earmarked for repair soon. However, the fingerpost signs are still in need of repair and we continue to press Essex County Council on this matter.

FootpathsThere are a couple of matters which need attention and these have been reported to the Footpaths Officer at Essex County Council.

War Memorial – As you have probably seen the renovation of the War Memorial has now been completed and the Parish Council are extremely pleased with the result.

Thank you to Gem Construction, the specialist contractor, who have carried out the work. Details of the work have been sent to the War Memorials Trust as part of the application for funding.

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 15 September 2016 at 7.30pm in the village hall. It was also noted that bonfire night would take place on Saturday 5 November 2016.

Debbie Hilliard
Parish Clerk
Tel: 01440 785629


Chairman’s Report 2015/16

We can look back over the year with satisfaction that we have made some small changes that might have enriched life in the village. For the most part, life in Stambourne is very typical of an English village with nothing too exciting happening for most of the time. As a Parish Council we sometimes feel guilty that we are not instigators of more major projects, but we take heart from the opinions expressed in the village plan that most people are happy with how things as they are. This doesn’t mean that we are complacent and there are some issues outlined in the following report that we continue to address with the limited powers available to us.

Playing Field: The playing field continues to be a source of pride. We again thank Brian Hoadley who does a great job with grass cutting and general maintenance. During the year, we have erected a new village sign, purchased new tables for use in the pavilion and installed two new picnic tables. Something that is not so obvious is the grass reinforcing grid that has been sunk into the surface at critical points, so that vehicles can safely drive onto the grass without causing damage or getting stuck. Looking to the future, some of our play equipment is reaching the end of its life and we need to think about funding replacements and additions.

War Memorial: Cleaning and refurbishment of the war memorial is underway and expected to be complete any time soon. We have helped with funding from the War Memorial Trust and the Parochial Church Council.

Planning: Planning applications received in the past year have been non-controversial and at a low level. Braintree District Council is completing its new local plan and, at this time, there is no intention to include any significant development in the village.

Footpaths: Footpaths around the village continue to be well used and, for the most part, are kept in good condition by landowners and Essex County Council. There are still a few dog owners that do not clear up the mess left by their pets making life unpleasant for others. It would be great if this filthy neglect could be minimised.

Roads: Stambourne is no different from other Essex parishes with roads being in a poor state of repair. Pot holes do get fixed, but usually only after a significant delay. It is worth remembering that anyone can report a pot hole using the ECC website and I suspect that more a hole is reported, the more likely it is to receive attention, so don’t be shy and get online!

Main sewage came to Stambourne in 1981, but the trenches dug at the time are still subsiding and we have asked the County Council to look at remedial action.

Bonfire Night: The number attending the event this year were down a little on previous years, something we put down to a very wet year in 2014 when a few people struggled to get their cars off the field and that it rained through the day before this year’s event, although it was fine on the night. Consequently, our profits were down, but we were still able to fund the Silver Link Christmas Lunch and the Children’s Christmas Party.

Huge thanks are due to the many volunteers who help on the night. It is only because of their efforts that the even can take place at all.

Transparency: If you visit the Parish Council section of the website you will notice that we are providing more information about PC accounts along with meeting agenda and minutes on a timely basis. This is part of making sure that everyone has an opportunity to see what the PC is up to! The information has always been available but it now much more accessible. The government have funded this countrywide initiative and Debbie, our clerk, now has a new laptop that allows her to upload the relevant information.

Broadband: We have made frustratingly slow progress in rolling out fast broadband. County Broadband, our local supplier, has been (slowly) looking for a site for a repeater station for properties in the Dyers End locality. We will be working with them in the near future to try to expedite matters.

Newsletter: Many thanks are due to Steve Platt for his work on our bi-monthly newsletter. Sometimes he struggles to find articles of interest to fill the pages, so if you have anything that might be of interest to fellow parishioners, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with him.

Collaboration: We continue to cooperate with neighbouring parishes (Toppesfield, Ridgewell and Great Yeldham), seeking ways where working together can make us more efficient than operating alone. We have four meetings a year where we discuss items of mutual interest.

Thank you: Debbie Hilliard, our clerk, continues to do a great job of keeping us all in order, so many thanks to Debbie for all her efforts. Thanks also to the Parish Councillors who give freely of their time.

We also must thank Richard van Dulken, our District Councillor, for his interest and help with matters affecting Stambourne.

Martyn J Fall

ST. PETER & ST. THOMAS BECKET PARISH CHURCHI would like to say a BIG thank you to all those who attended the celebration on 11th June in the Village Hall to mark our Queen’s 90th Birthday. Both the Chapel & the Church worked hard to make this a very memorable occasion. Special thanks to Brian & his band for the newsreels & music.
We continue with Services on the 1st, 2nd & 4th Sunday of the month with a Benefice Service on the 5th Sunday. All Services displayed on the Church Notice Board.

Please make a note in your diaries for these forthcoming events:







Please feel free to contact me or our Vicar Liz Paxton if any further details are required.

Val Kerrison 01440 785752


Whatever you think about the EU referendum result it’s pretty clear that we are in a risky situation at the moment with political leadership contests and no clear way forward.

Now we all like to take little risks from time to time. Few people want the rest of their life mapped out with no choices other than utterly safe options. Anyone who has ever tried some of the riskier sports knows that part of the enjoyment is that we can’t completely predict that everything is under control. Skiing, motocross, motor racing are not without risk. As Albert Einstein said “A ship is always safe at the shore - but that is NOT what it is built for.”

So we do need to be bold from time to time – not only for a crazy sport - but sometimes the risk that needs to be taken is to speak out with the courage of our convictions. For example, it is brave to speak with certainty about the way you voted or to speak about your faith. There are many people who would challenge this right to freedom of speech. It is all too easy to take the passive way out and say nothing.

Whether you are a Christian and decide that no-one needs to know that you believe in Jesus or from another faith and feel intimidated by the people around you so say nothing then this is not in keeping with the values of this country.

It is not ‘British’ to say nothing about your beliefs – it
is British to speak up for them. It is British to debate them, to discuss them and to tell others, especially those who don’t believe the same as you. Unfortunately this is not a little risk these days, it is a big risk.

Let me encourage you to take a risk and speak about what you believe in and open your hearts and minds to God and to each other in this community.

Rev. Liz Paxton


Thank you to those who helped out at the Jumble sale and those who donated items to sell. We managed to raise just over £600. The money will be split between the Essex Air Ambulance and Stambourne Playing Field.

Membership continues to increase! An enjoyable friendly cosy atmosphere is enjoyed by our members. Come along, have some cake and make new friends (or catch up with some old ones) and have some fun at the same time. We meet 7.30pm in the Village Hall on the second Wednesday of the month. Membership £10 a year and then entry £2 per meeting. Guest entry £3 per meeting.
At the last few meetings we have enjoyed the following:
Annual Meal Out
This year we enjoyed a meal out as a group at the White Horse Inn at Ridgewell. We enjoyed a relaxed evening with delicious food prepared by Robin and his team.
A history of Ladies’ Nightwear with Vanessa Howard
Vanessa Howard entertained and enlightened us with the history of ladies’ nightwear. She showed us examples from her amazing collection from the 1800’s to the present day. The colour peach seems to have featured heavily through the later part of the 20th Century. The main surprise was how nightwear mirrored daywear until recently.

Call the Midwife
Paulette Harris and Karen Bartholomew gave an entertaining talk on midwifery past and present. With stories and reflections about midwifery from their careers. A lively discussion was had on various aspects of birth, motherhood and the NHS. Paulette ended the talk with an amusing rendition of her version of Victoria Wood’s Let’s Do It.

River cruise
Our annual trip out was a boat cruise along the River Stour. A leisurely morning was had by all observing the wild life along the river banks. Moor Hens, ducks and swans were the main characters. It was also a pleasure to see their babies, especially the cygnets, a couple of true ugly ducklings!!

Stopping for a delicious lunch at the Henny Swan Pub before our return journey which saw us all safely back. The day was a resounding success.   

Our Next Meetings are:
No meeting in August 

16th September
Friday BBQ on the playing field. Advanced booking required.

th October
Ashley Cooper, Harvest home. Open meeting.
Check out our Facebook    page Stambourne Ladies Group.

If you would like any further information contact Annabel on 01440 785809, email or Fiona on 01440 785495 


Braintree Community Transport offer tailored transport from your home to your destination of choice and home again. 

Transport is bookable at least the day before you need to travel. 

Your vehicle is personal to you at times requested by yourself. 

Passengers make a contribution towards the cost of their journey which is subsidised by Essex County Council and Braintree District Council.

To find out more please call 01376 557883.

The Queen's birthday is over (thanks to all who came to the party and shared in the event!) and the excitement of Brexit and a new PM and cabinet are all in the past.

So we can get back to "normal" again... Well we can, can't we? I write this when we have the news of the massacre in Nice, and we feel that sense of unbelief as we see the pictures and hear of the heartache and hurt caused by - well who knows what the man was.

Forgotten all this already? Now why I am not surprised? We do tend to forget quickly when we are not being burdened with the same message day after day. I suppose it must be a survival mechanism - we only need to remember what is necessary for today and not the historic stuff that passes by us all the time.

Have you ever looked back and wondered what you would answer if you were asked what you were doing at a particular time on a particular day 20 years ago? I know I would really struggle if it was more than a few days ago, and yet I know people who can remember many years back! For most, all that stands out are special days.

For some that might mean the Brexit days, but for most of us things returned to "normal" pretty quickly. We didn't expect (unlike the press) there to be major changes in our daily routine the day after the vote. We didn't expect hostility between rivals or countries as a result of the vote. In fact we didn't expect change in the short term, only to see differences being gradually phased in over the next few years. And that seems to be what is happening. For most of us its "life as usual".

But I digress - there are a few days I do remember:- my wedding day, my son's birthday, his wedding day, my first public talk, my first foreign trip and I could go on.. As we look back on life we might wonder "what if?" What would have happened if I had done this, or not done that? These decision times often appear as the turning points in our life when we made a choice, however hard, that would affect the rest of our lives. For me one of these was the choice to "go to church" - a day when I decided that I would go and see for myself. 

It took me years to decide to go regularly, and even more years to become a member and even more years to decide to study more, until one day I could look back and say that each of these decisions changed the course of my life and gave me connections that I will never regret. They help me to walk what I hope is a better life (still not perfect!).Yes, I could have been lots of things. I could have earned a lot more money. But today I look at the little things that happen daily and know that they are more important than all of those "big" things I could have achieved. It is these little things have helped me discover what life is all about, and that is something I want to share, and so we are starting to think about a course called Connect4Life. This looks at the connections in our life, whether they be connections for health, finance, relationships or spiritual things. It is about the choices we make to connect to things people and ideas. So come and hear some real life celebrities talk about their connections.. and prepare to be surprised at who has what connections and how these affect their lives. Watch out for the adverts to come in the next newsletter this autumn! Details will be in the Autumn magazine

Warmest greetings
Adrian Burr
Minister, Stambourne Chapel, 07983 656166, 01440 730211

The Queen’s 90th Birthday party raised £75 after all expenses which has been donated to Essex Air Ambulance. Our thanks to everyone who came, donated and helped in any way. We enjoyed a taste of food from each decade of the Queen's life, some anecdotes and news reels and music of each decade. Some also tried a few of the silly dances of the 70's era! Thanks to both churches and to the Parish Council for making this possible...

Church is open all day for research into family histories with coffee and tea provided! It is also the day of the sponsored Ride & Stride event when people cycle or walk to as many churches as possible to raise money for the Historic Churches Trust.

4pm in the Chapel. We celebrate our farmers and all their hard work providing food for our tables.
10 am until 4pm in the Chapel with coffee and cakes, games and raffle and good company

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 led by the Worship group and followed by Lunch together

Every Tuesday - 10-12am
Coffee and Chat. We enjoy discussion on wide ranging issues over coffee and biscuits. Come and join a little time out for fun and friendship! Every Tuesday – Stambourne Worship Team Practice evening. The band gather to practice and worship together. 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 have prayer needs then let us know or come and join us. We will pray for healing, for situations and for troubles, worries and concerns, relationships and family life (among many other things!!). Let us know your prayer needs.

Every Thursday – 7:30pm
House Group – Call if you would like to join with us


Toppesfield + Gainsford End
Village Show


Sat 10
th Sept
Toppesfield Village Hall

Competitive Show
Art Exhibition

Lots of Stalls Games Sideshows

Grand draw Refreshments


Cricket Match 2.00pm start
Toppesfield playing field

Toppesfield V Old Southendians

A great afternoon for all the family

Further Info :Ann Read 01787 237464


Upcycling Jewellery at Cressing Temple Barns
Workshop/Course, Sun 21 Aug

Get in on the ‘upcycling’ trend and create new jewellery from materials that would just be thrown away!

Monday 8 August to Saturday 13 August
Rehearsal for Murder
Theatre Royal, Bury St. Edmunds
7.30pm (2.30pm performance also, on Weds 10th)
The Classic Thriller Theatre Companies brings it latest performance to the Theatre Royal, sure to have you on the edge of your seat!

Saturday 13 August
Kentwell Hall
One of our ''Picnic and Opera'' evenings - enjoy your picnic in Kentwell's beautiful grounds and a walk around the tranquil gardens before joining the audience for an evening of Opera.
For further information please contact

1 September 7.00pm
The Deep Blue Sea
Haverhill Arts Centre
£15.00, £12.50, £10.00
NT Live, live broadcast
Helen McCrory returns to the National Theatre in Terence Rattigan’s masterpiece, playing one of the greatest female roles in contemporary drama. When Hester is found by her neighbours in the aftermath of a failed suicide attempt, the story of her tempestuous affair with a former RAF pilot and the breakdown of her marriage to a High Court judge begins to emerge

Great British Vintage Fair at Braintree Golf Club
Fair, Sun 11 Sep 2016
A whole host of fabulously vintage inspired stalls & entertainment plus a classic car show, live music & afternoon tea.

Congratulations to the Dowlings of Pump Cottage who won ‘The Queen’ scarecrow competition, photograph below.


CONCERT IN CHURCH 7.30PM - Tickets in advance £5 to include light refreshments


TH SEPTEMBER Stambourne Ladies’ Group
Friday BBQ on the playing field. Advanced booking required.


TH OCTOBER Stambourne Ladies’ Group

Ashley Cooper, Harvest home. Open meeting.
Items for the next newsletter by 17th September Steve Platt Email : or phone 07767 357016