Stambourne Newsletter
Apr / May 2012

Published and distributed by Stambourne Parish Council No 208


Stambourne Parish Council held its latest meeting on Thursday 15 March 2012 in the Village Hall. All were present.

Pavilion - Oscar Pickess reported that there was evidence of a rat but that he had dealt with the situation. He also reported that some work was required on the downpipes on the outside of the Pavilion. It was also noted that the outside would require some cleaning down and re
-staining. This work should be carried out in the summer. The barbecues are in need of repair.

Playing field
- It was reported that the slide needs repainting. The motorbike has been tightened up. More bark is required and grass is encroaching on this area which will be removed. It was noted that the trees are looking well. The netball net is twisted and needs untangling.

Highways – As you are no doubt aware there are a number of potholes throughout the parish which require repair. These will be reported in. Please remember anyone can report a pothole online at

Footpaths - It was noted some of the footbridges had been fitted with anti-slip surfaces and a new fingerpost has been installed. The stile on footpath 29 needs repairing. Debbie will report this.

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 17 May 2012 at 7.30pm in the village hall. There being no other business to discuss the meeting closed at approximately 9.00pm.

Full minutes and agendas are available on the Stambourne website at

Debbie Hilliard
Parish Clerk
Tel: 01440 785629

ST. PETER & ST. THOMAS PARISH CHURCH BARBARA HUMEThere has been a lot of controversy in the newspapers about same sex weddings. It is an issue which can provoke heated exchanges between Christians and Christians, and Christians and non Christians. It is a subject, in my view, that is best left at the Church Gate. To bring it into the church building will only cause hurt and disunity and instead we should be in the business of promoting love and care and the building up of our communities.

On the subject of communities one of the questions I have been asked a lot recently is what is the Upper Colne Benefice? For those of you who do not know, the benefice is made up of the churches in Great Yeldham, Little Yeldham, Tilbury Juxta Clare, Stambourne and Toppesfield. Sadly gone are the days when each church had its own Vicar. Nowadays because of the financial situation and lack of clergy, many churches have been put together to form one post. Some churches have been put together to form a half time post and even House for Duty post. The Upper Colne Benefice has been together for about twenty years. Although we do many things together we still try to preserve the separate identity of each church.

Part of my job as Priest in Charge is to build a team of people who can carry out various ministries in the benefice. I already rely on a talented group of people, who take services at the churches I cannot be at on a Sunday. Also Sally Croft from Toppesfield is hoping to train as a Pastoral Assistant next academic year after finishing The Course in Christian Studies this year and she is and will be a great help in the benefice. Plus we have just started our Childrens Working Group who have organised a Children’s Easter Holiday Workshop on Friday the 13th April at Great Yeldham with cookery, crafts, bell ringing and refreshments, plus there are a variety of events run by a variety of people for the church, from Knit and Natter to the Community Cafe. So you see ministry is not just about the Vicar and if you feel that God might be calling you to do something for your church it would be lovely to hear from you.

God Bless


Parish Church Service Times
Palm Sunday, 1st April 10am, Benefice Service, Little Yeldham
Easter Sunday, 8
th April, 9.30 am. Holy Communion , The Vicar
Sunday 15
th April, 9.30am. Morning Prayer, Ministry Team
Sunday 22
nd April 9.30am. Holy Communion. The Vicar
Sunday 29
th April. 10am, Benefice Service, Gt. Yeldham
Sunday 6
th May. 9.30am. Morning prayer. Ministry Team
Sunday 13
th May. 9.30am. Holy Communion. The Vicar.
Sunday 20
th May. 9.30am Morning Prayer. Ministry Team
Sunday 27
th May. 9.30am. Holy Communion Rev. Richard Caink.


After getting his degree at Trinity College, Cambridge, John Studdards started his career as a Barrister at Gray’s Inn, London 1977. After 9 years as a Barrister, he decided to become an Anglican priest and studied holy orders at Birmingham. After his ordination, he was curate at St. Andrew’s, Halstead and Greenstead Green, Chelmsford from 1989 to 1983.

In 1993, he was made Priest in Charge or Rector of Great and Little Yeldham, as well as Toppesfield and Stambourne. He was appointed with the task of melding together a benefice of 5 parishes, the last being Tilbury Juxta Clare.

This became known as The Upper Colne Benefice, thanks to the records kept by John Enticknap we have a record of how he felt about this difficult achievement.

His parochial letter of July 1997:

From time to time I have used the word, “Benefice”/ which comes from the Latin, “Beneficium” meaning reward to refer to this parish and her sister parishes together, as is the new benefice of The Upper Colne Parishes that has now come in to legal existence.

It is as if the parishes had been engaged for 4 years and are now legally married.

One of the good things about the scheme is that it ensures that each of the 5 parishes will remain independent and co-operation will be on the basis of good will and agreement. This safeguards Stambourne’s distinctive heritage and underlines that the life of the benefice is there to serve the parishes.

John had been the rector for a year and a half before we moved into Church Farmhouse in December 1994. Inevitably, living where we do we got to know him and it was not long before he asked Sue to become the Church Secretary. In 2001 at his last AGM before moving to Witham he asked me to take the vacant post as Church Warden.

What was John like? He was bright as you would expect from a Gray’s Inn Barrister, would stand no nonsense but had a strong Christian commitment as can be seen given on his sermon given on the 9th July 1995 which I remember well. It was very hot and just after the Luton riots.

He used a “thought for the day” by Cannon Eric James broadcast on Radio 4 as his theme “The New Law”. In it, he said “The New Law is not a code but a way of behaving that stems from Jesus and his way of being. It causes us at times to do things which go against common sense, such as turning the other cheek or doing good to our enemies. It causes us at times to do things that make us very vulnerable and can even put us in danger. “

It is a pity that this unselfish Christian creed which John practiced to the day of his death should have brought about his death.

Nona Wright and Ann and Bob Bradfield remember another side of John Studdards. At village meetings at the village hall, especially Ladies Night, he would join in the fun, dancing with the ladies and making jokes. He was always approachable and open to meet anyone who called on him at the vicarage.

Church Warden,
Richard Day
Val Kerrison


From the Chapel

HOW MANY anniversaries are you celebrating this year? There are three we will be celebrating! I know the Queen’s Jubilee is on the villages’ mind and we hope to join in those celebrations, but there are two others associated with the chapel.

First is the 350 years since an independent chapel was first considered in the village. Henry Havers, vicar of the parish in 1662, decided that the Act of conformity passed by the parliament of Charles II was a move too far. He had hoped, with 2000 of his colleagues that the established church would be reformed, but the King had decided otherwise and so Henry lost his living. I wonder today whether we would be willing to stand up and be counted like that! Well Henry wasn’t a poor man – he came from a well-to-do family with money of his own and so was able to purchase a farm as well as the land that surrounds the current chapel, and eventually, when political life changed, was able to build the first “meeting house”. It seated 200, but within 35 years, was extended to seat 400. The village population was around 600! In the 1800’s the village suffered a down turn in population due to various economic factors such as the failure of the straw plaiting business and drought, the chapel found itself with a structure in need of repair again and so a 200 seat building was constructed in the 1850’s. This lasted until 1969 when the current building, which seats just 90 (though we can squeeze 140 in for special occasions!), was built.

Secondly, it is 40 years ago that the Congregational Federation came into being. This is the group of independent chapels that decided to join together when many Congregational Churches joined with the Presbyterian church to become United Reformed Church. There are over 290 Congregational Chapels in the UK with just one overseas in France.

But of course every year we celebrate the important anniversaries to all Christians everywhere. Easter: when Jesus died on the cross and then rose from the dead on Easter Sunday; Christmas: when Jesus was born; and all the other events of Jesus’ life. But Jesus was born into a Jewish family and so all the Jewish festivals which date back to Old Testament times (what we used to call ‘BC’) should also be celebrated. We are, after all, grafted into the Jewish line when we become Christians. And so whatever you think of what is going on in the Middle East at the moment, it is important to remember that our Christian heritage and roots all come from the Jewish background of Jesus.

We don’t celebrate these things the way the Jews do, but we still owe much of our Englishness, some words and sayings, and our understanding of Justice and Fairness to the values and culture of the pre-Christian Jews as well as to the Christian Church. These are all historic facts and that is why Stambourne Chapel exists today - a group of people who meet together to worship God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit and to share a small part of His kingdom. That is Stambourne Chapel. Not the building, but people who want to learn more!

We hope you all have a wonderful Easter break and a warm welcome awaits you to share these Anniversaries at Chapel.

Adrian Burr Minister, Stambourne Chapel 07983 656166

We are here to help at times of need and for Funerals, Weddings, Christenings and Baptisms, and all your life events.

Visiting preachers and special services for April and May
Services start at 10:45 am
A Warm Welcome awaits

1st April Mark Inman from Spurgeons College

th April GOOD FRIDAY at 10am


nd April George Osborn

th April Rev Michael Heaney, General Secretary of the Congregational Federation

th May Communion Service

th May Sue Duffin from Cornerstone Church, Black Notley

The Chapel is open for coffee, a chat, and prayer on Tuesdays from 10-12pm.


Volunteers wanted for flower arranging in the church, which can be as little as once a year. 

We have a pride in maintaining fresh flowers in the church, and are hoping to get a few more people involved. 

If you are able to help please contact Jane Waller on 785484.


Flower Festival 5th - 7th May in the church
Theme: The Queen's Jubilee
Plant and book stalls, refreshments

Entry free
Folk concert 5th May at 7.30
Tickets £7 to include a glass of wine 
Please contact Pat Potter (01787 237036) or Stephen Watkins (01787 237669)
All proceeds for Tilbury Church

Elizabethan Stambourne

Exhibition of Memorabilia
in the Church

Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd June 2012
14:00 – 16:00


Alive@5 is visiting the URC Church, in Halstead CO9
5pm-6.30pm, Saturday 28th April 2012

Speaker: Revd Daniel Cozens of

Children provided for and welcome. Delicious Refreshments.

Karen Hurrell 01440 785990
Rosie Watkins 01787 237669


Do you want to earn a little extra money over the year? Stambourne Parish Council is looking for someone to clean and tidy the playing field and pavilion. The work is flexible and we need someone to litter pick, empty bins and clear leaves as well as undertake cleaning inside the pavilion as and when required.

If you are interested please contact me for full details.

Debbie Hilliard
Parish Clerk
Tel: 01440 785629

Come and join in
, Bring and Share Lunch

Sunday 3rd June, 2012

On Stambourne Playing Field

12:00 – 14:00

Fancy Dress Competition 14:00

Games e.g. Rounders in the afternoon.


Saturday 5th May
2pm onwards

Jumble Sale with Cake Stall.

Any helpers welcome.

Sorting jumble on Friday afternoon & evening and Saturday morning 10 – 12

All proceeds to Essex Air Ambulance

Any raffle prizes welcome

Hospital Hopper, a new service from Braintree District Council

All aboard the new Hospital Hopper

A new service from Braintree District Council looks set to end the struggle experienced by many elderly and disabled residents in the Braintree district to get to hospital appointments at Broomfield, Braintree Community and Halstead hospitals on public transport.

The Hospital Hopper, a new service from Braintree District Council’s award winning community transport team, will take to the road from Monday 20
th February.

The Hospital Hopper will offer a free and direct ‘shuttle service’ for any person with a concessionary bus pass who is unable to access conventional public transport to travel to any of the three hospitals.  For people with disabilities, elderly or those unable to walk a door-to-door service can be arranged.  The service will run from Monday to Friday up to three times a day – depending on local need. The service is also available to those without a concessionary bus pass – on payment of fares.

Initially the service will serve 9 areas – 8 of which do not have a direct bus link to Broomfield Hospital. The areas have been carefully selected as providing the best opportunity to run an efficient service that will benefit the maximum number of people in the district. These are: Castle Hedingham, Sible Hedingham, Gosfield, Halstead, Greenstead Green, Earls Colne, White Colne, Colne Engaine, and Braintree.

To book a seat or to enquire about fares for non concessionary bus pass holders, call 01376 327357 or email  As spaces on the bus will be allocated on a first come first served basis, passengers are advised to book as soon as their appointment date is known. More details at


THERE is a tradition in Stambourne for people to donate Lilies to decorate the Church at Easter in memory of a relative or friend.

Each lily costs £5 and in fact you donate the money and the lilies are bought in bulk.

If you would like to participate this year please contact Jane Waller on 01440 785414.

Please tell us the name of the person (if any) you are commemorating. The names will be read out during the Church Service on Easter Sunday.


QUIZ NIGHT in Stambourne Village Hall on Friday May 18th at 7.30pm.

Tickets £8 to include a home cooked supper. Teams of 6.

Sheila Harvey


How to make your scarecrow

You will need: 1 stake about 2m (6ft) long / 1 stake about 1m (3ft) long / 1 stake about 30cm (12 inches) long / old clothes, hats etc / an old pair of tights / some straw or hay / some string

First of all, tie the 1m stake to the 2m stake, about 15cm from one end, in a cross shape and then tie the other stake in the same way, about half way down – this is the frame for your scarecrow.

Now make a head. Cut one leg from the tights and fill with some straw, pushing the straw firmly to the end until you have a ball shape. Tie a piece of string around the tights to stop the straw falling out. Then tie the ball shape to the top of the frame.

Anita started Cheeky Chimps music from scratch with her husband six years ago. She’s a mum of three with a musical background, who loves children and music and enjoys putting the two together. Anita thrives being in and around her local community, bringing people together, making friends and watching other parents and their children make friends. Her rewards, aside from an income, are watching the children that come grow in confidence as they attend the classes.

Classes have a structure and are carefully balanced with repeated and fresh material, which enables children to feel confident and happy to participate.
07810 801962

Easter Event : Friday 13th April, Cheeky Chimps Musical Picnic.
One hour of musical fun followed by a bring your own lunch in the village hall or park. 10.30 am start

More details on website -



4th Mobile Library, Chapel End Way 4.35-4.50, Village Hall 4.55-5.30
11th Stambourne Ladies Group, Village Hall, 7.30pm
th Mobile Library, Chapel End Way 4.35-4.50, Village Hall 4.55-5.30

2nd Mobile Library, Chapel End Way 4.35-4.50, Village Hall 4.55-5.30
5th 2pm Jumble Sale and Cake Stall, Village Hall,
16th Mobile Library, Chapel End Way 4.35-4.50, Village Hall 4.55-5.30
18th QUIZ NIGHT, Village Hall, at 7.30pm
9th 7.30pm Stambourne Ladies Group, Village Hall
th Judging of the scarecrows
30th Mobile Library, Chapel End Way 4.35-4.50, Village Hall 4.55-5.30

Items for the next Newsletter by 17th May please
Steve Platt Tel : 01440 785638 or Mobile : 07767 357016
email :