Stambourne Newsletter

Published and distributed by Stambourne Parish Council No.231

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING – Thursday 28th January
The first meeting for 2016 took place on Thursday 28 January 2016 at 7.30pm in the village hall, Stambourne and we were pleased to welcome our Braintree District Councillor, Richard van Dulken, who attended the meeting.

PavilionFour new folding tables will be ordered for use in the pavilion.

Playing fieldThe grass has recovered well from bonfire night and has also grown through the grass mesh. There is some mesh still to be used which will be put on the area by the car park. Some of the play equipment will be getting a fresh coat of paint as soon as weather permits which will mean it will be out of use for a short period of time.

Village fete – A date for your diary - the village fete will take place on Saturday 18 June 2016 at 2pm.

Highways – We are still in correspondence with ECC Highways over the state of the fingerpost signs in and around our village and will keep you up to date with the situation.

Please remember that any highway problems can be reported at and follow the links.

FootpathsPlease be aware of how slippery and muddy our footpaths have become because of the extremely wet weather and take care when using them.

Dog waste bins - A request has been made for another dog bin to be installed in Dyers End at the start of the footpath. Enquiries will be made of Braintree District Council to see if we can have another bin installed. This will help keep our paths clean and clear for everyone to enjoy.

PlanningNo applications have been received since the last meeting. Planning applications can be followed online at

War Memorial - As you may remember we have been successful in obtaining a grant from the War Memorials Trust towards restoration work on our War Memorial. Work is due to start in March – weather permitting.

Transparency CodeNew government regulations will now require small Parish Councils to publish more information online including most financial transactions. We are taking steps to ensure we comply with these regulations. To help parishes implement the code the government, through the Essex Association of Local Councils, is providing grants to help with the costs of this, including provision of laptops and scanners. Accordingly Stambourne Parish Council will be making an application for a laptop and scanner, together with some funding towards the costs of implementing the code.

Budgets and PreceptsAs you know this is the time of year that the Parish Council has to agree its budgets and precept for the next financial year, 2016/17. This then gives the Parish Council element which appears on your Council Tax form.

Braintree District Council have provided some financial help towards parishes over the years. This is the Localism Fund and the amount provided for the current financial year by Braintree was £1,303.00. For the year 2016/17 Braintree District Council have advised that the amount of Localism Fund will be £1,092.00 – a reduction of £211.00. Braintree District Council have also advised that they intend to decrease the amount of Localism Fund until it is finally phased out completely by the year 2019/20. As a result of this the Parish Council have no option but to agree an increased precept of £4,697 for the year 2016/17, against £4,397 for this financial year.

Cllr van Dulken reported on recent issues that had been raised with him. There was some discussion on the Local Plan and the problem of policing rural areas, especially now with the Essex Police force being drastically reduced. He also commented on the importance of Neighbourhood Watch Schemes to help in combating local crime.

Full minutes and agenda are available on the Stambourne website at The next meeting will take place at 7.30pm on Thursday 17 March 2016.

Debbie Hilliard
Parish Clerk
Tel: 01440 785629

ST. PETER & ST. THOMAS BECKET PARISH CHURCHAfter two years of discussing the future plans of the Deanery and our Benefice, it has been agreed that the Parishes of Great and Little Yeldham, Toppesfield, Stambourne and Tilbury-Juxta Clare, will join Castle and Sible Hedingham to form a Benefice of seven. The Reverend Barbara Hume will be the Priest-in-charge with the Reverend Liz Paxton as her Curate.

The pattern of our services will remain the same. They will be on the first, second and fourth Sundays at 9.30am.

We have been assured that the role of the Parochial Church Council will also remain the same.

We were delighted to hear at our most recent PCC meeting that the Reverend Liz Paxton will continue her work at Sible Hedingham but will also have responsibility for taking Services and pastoral work at Stambourne.

She will take Holy Communion Services on the 2
nd Sunday of every month. Barbara, our Vicar and a lay preacher, will do a Service on alternative 4th Sundays. Joan Redmund will continue to take a Morning Prayer Service on the first Sunday of each month at 9.30am.

The Candlelit Carol Service on 20
th December was a great success. There was a choir of sixteen (the Stambourne Singers) who were joined by our regular organist, David Starr, for the Choir’s carols.

It was not possible to count the congregation, but it was over a hundred with at least twenty children.

The mulled wine, mince pies, home made cheese biscuits and especially the chocolates were much enjoyed.

We would like to thank the Stambourne Singers, one of whom remarked that she always feels that Christmas starts with the Carol Service in our 900 year old Norman Church.

Richard will not be standing again as Church Warden. He has been Warden for 15 years and feels that as he will be 80 this year, it would be appropriate and beneficial for somebody else to take his place.

So, a vacancy will arise as from the Annual Parochial Church Meeting on April 11th

Richard Day
Val Kerrison
Church Wardens


First a big thanks to all who helped in giving Christmas that something special for a dozen people who came to the Christmas meal in the Chapel.  We had donations to cover costs, presents for each person there from the Christmas Presents Appeal (thanks Gemma Frost for collecting them, Sharon Benfield for delivering them to us, and all the lovely people who donated them!!), and the chapel congregation rallied round as chefs and entertainers on the day.  From what we hear it was a lovely time for all!
But now we are into the big scary new year.  I say big and scary because the events of the last few months have shown that what we all consider certainty is by no means certain. The things we take for granted - homes, food, cars, water, safety, comfort - are all uncertain when nature has its way, or when those who perpetrate hatred, terror and war start to infiltrate our world.
It's great to be able to think of our future plans as being predictable, controllable and based on what we have always known, but now life seems to be moving toward the unpredictable, the uncontrollable and into the unknown.  And that could be scary.
But a hymn that many will have sung at school and at Sunday School, or at church brings a different perspective:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus, Look full in His wonderful face, And the things of earth will grow strangely dim, In the light of His glory and grace.

These words were written by English born Helen H. Lemmel (1863-1961) in 1922 and was inspired from the writings of author and artist Lilias Trotter (1853-1928).
Lilias Trotter was interested in Mission and after much prayer decided she needed to  focus on what was important, and so decided she needed to lay down her love of art in order to concentrate on the mission work she so wanted to do.
Never has it been so easy to live in half a dozen harmless worlds at once -- art, music, social science, games, motoring, the following of some profession, and so on. And between them we run the risk of drifting about, the good hiding the best." It is easy to find out whether our lives are focused, and if so, where the focus lies. Where do our thoughts settle when consciousness comes back in the morning? Where do they swing back when the pressure is off during the day? Dare to have it out with God, and ask Him to show you whether or not all is focused on Christ and His Glory. Turn your soul's vision to Jesus, and look and look at Him, and a strange dimness will come over all that is apart from Him."
- Lilias Trotter

Now I don't know about you, but this rings very clear bells in my life.  I don't have the list of Lilias Trotter, but it is still a list of many different "harmless worlds".  So it's good to make this years resolution to focus on just one important thing!
On another matter, during Lent this year a number of us have decided we will try to lose some weight, and we are inviting you to join us and/or sponsor us in that venture. We would like to raise money for charity through our slimming efforts and so we will be inviting people to help us by donating or committing to donate for each of the slimmers.
Weigh in will be on Pancake day (9th February) at 11am - well we've got to have our pancakes first!!  If you want to join in but can't make the weigh in, then just send us your name, address, and contact details and your current weight, verified by another person, to be received on or just before 9th February.   We will send sponsorship forms and details.
The event will end on Easter Tuesday 29th March 7pm, but we will be pleased to help and support anyone who wants to continue past that date.
This is not a competition to see who can lose the most weight!  The aim is to help people who want to reduce weight as well as raise money for the Air Ambulance, the White Flower Charity, which is helping people in Belarus, and the orphanage run by BGM near Hyderabad in India.  All donations will be split three ways.
Looking forward to a slimmer 2016!!

Every blessing Adrian Burr Minister, Stambourne Chapel 07983 656166

Events for February and March

February 9th  Pancakes at the Chapel 10-12am and Weigh In for sponsored slim at 11am 13th  Car Clean - give your car a Valentines clean 10-12am 14th   Valentines day service
March 12th Easter Craft Day (10-2pm)  & Games Evening  (6-9pm) 25th Good Friday Service 9.30am 25th Good Friday meeting at 4pm 27th Easter Sunday Celebration Service 29th Weigh In for Sponsored Slim

Note we are running a Plant Swap day again on 24th May so come and bring your spare plants and provide plants for others to take away.

Village Hall Quiz Night
Saturday 28th May - 7.30pm Start.
£10.00 per person.
£5.00 for under 11 yrs. old.
Buffet Meal & Desert.
Bring your own drinks.
Come and have a laugh - meet your neighbours.
Ring Cath on 7856

Come along, have some tea and cake, and make new friends (or catch up with old ones) and have some fun at the same time.
We meet at

7.30pm in the Village Hall
on the second Wednesday of each month

th February:
th March:
Juliette Bryant of “Juliette’s Kitchen”
Delicious Desserts, a new look at healthy puddings.
th April:
at the White Horse, Ridgewell, this year.
th May:
Vanessa Howard of “Eye of Time”
History of Ladies’ Nightware, a light hearted review of our undergarments through time.
th June:
Paulette Harris
Subject: Call The Midwife, an amusing take on midwifery past and present.
More events throughout the year.

Annual subscription £10 plus a small entrance fee still to be agreed.

For more info please contact Annabel: 01440 785809 or Fiona: 01440 785495

Stambourne Ladies’ Group

is undergoing a revival in 2016
but we need your support

10Wine Tasting with cheese
13Annual Dinner

£930 raised at November's village jumble
I would like to thank everyone who donated items to November's sale and thank people for their help and time in running the stalls. 
Without your support we would not have raised such a fantastic sum of money.  I have received thankyou letters from Essex Air Ambulance and the Ridgewell toddler group who are extremely grateful for the donations.
Our next jumble sale is on Saturday 7th May
I am looking for volunteers, new volunteers welcome.  Jobs include sorting the jumble the day before the sale and running a stall on the day, making tea etc, any help is welcome.  You can contact me on 785809, email or call in at Little Chapley on Dyers End.
The facebook page is
Many thanks
Annabel Vater

17th March Parish Council Meeting 7th May Jumble Sale 28th May Quiz Night, Village Hall, 7.30pm 18th June – Village Fete

Items for the next newsletter by 17th March
Steve Platt Email : or phone 07767 357016