Stambourne Newsletter
February / March 2012

Published and distributed by Stambourne Parish Council No 207


The first meeting of 2012 took place on Thursday 19th January 2012 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall, Stambourne. All were present as well as a member of the public.

Pavilion -Debbie reported that matters were being finalised regarding cleaning the pavilion. The Pavilion needs tidying inside and Andrew Drysdale will pack the lights away. Thanks were passed to Mick Dowling for emptying the water system for the winter.

Playing field - It was unanimously agreed to increase the amount paid for grass cutting of the playing field. Debbie will make the necessary changes.

Highways -The following matters will be reported by Debbie to Essex CC Highways:-

      Any Highway matters can be reported direct to Essex County Council via

      Community Issues meeting – A joint meeting has been held with the parishes of Stambourne, Toppesfield, Ridgewell and Birdbrook. The minutes and agenda were circulated. Stambourne will host the next meeting. Suggested dates are 21st or 22nd March.

      War Memorial – The memorial is in need of some maintenance and cleaning. Vanessa has provided Debbie with details of the War Memorial Trust and enquiries will be made.

      Jubilee Oak – Thank you to Oscar who has planted the jubilee oak tree on the playing field.

      Finance – Agreed

      The next meeting will be held on Thursday 15th March 2012 at 7.30pm in the village hall, Stambourne. There being no further business to discuss the meeting finished at approximately 9.00pm.

      Debbie Hilliard
      Parish Clerk
      Tel: 01440 785629


      With fuel prices likely to rise again early in 2012, Braintree District Council is keen to support residents, especially the elderly and vulnerable, struggling to pay their bills.

      Working in partnership with the Citizens Advice Bureau and local insulation companies the Council’s Sustainability Team is providing a one-stop shop for information and advice to help households reduce their utility bills.

      One call to the Sustainability Team is all it takes to get up to date advice about home insulation; and the cavity wall and loft insulation grants that are now available to home owners and private tenants.

      In certain circumstances, these could be carried out free of charge regardless of household income or age.

      Those who heat their homes using oil can also get more information about setting up an oil club – an initiative of the Citizens Advice Bureau to bring down the cost of buying heating oil.

      Contact the Sustainability Team at Braintree District Council on 01376 552525 or


      The playbus is now visiting Stambourne at 11am on Wednesdays in the village hall car park. This is an outreach service for the under 5’s. For full details of this and the other services offered by the 4children organisation please contact Dawn Wright on 07584 021093 or


      We are please to advise that there will be a family picnic day on the playing field on Sunday 3 June 2012 with games and competitions for all the family together with an exhibition in the church.

      Commemorative mugs will be presented free to children and young people of the parish (under 18s).

      Extra mugs will be available to purchase if you would like. The cost is likely to be between £3-5.00. If you are interested please complete the attached form and return it to Mrs D Hilliard, Englewood, Dyers End, Stambourne, Essex CO9 4NE

      Name: ……………………………………………..
      Tel No: ……………………………

      Address: ………………………………………………………………………………..


      Number of mugs required: ………

      St. Peter & St. Thomas Becket Parish Church Barbara Hume2012 promises to be an exciting and busy year.

      The Queen’s Diamond Jubilee is in June and I know that several of the villages and their churches are planning events to celebrate. Stambourne, I know, is organising many events over the bank holiday weekend in June and I am very much looking forward to being there.

      The Olympics will follow in July and could you spare a thought and a prayer for the Metropolitan Police please, for they have had all their leave cancelled for the Olympics and for the Para-Olympics in September.

      In November last year we had a conference for the PCC members of The Upper Colne Benefice and it transpired during the conference that two of the issues we need to focus on in the coming year are Children’s Work and Communications and we will be looking at how best we can do that in our churches during the early months of 2012.

      In the month of February we have much to celebrate, St Valentine’s Day, Pancake Day (I love mine with Golden Syrup and Lemon) and in the church we see the beginning of Lent on Wednesday 22nd February.
      Yes , 2012 promises to be a year of celebration. Happy New Year everyone.

      Reverend Barbara Hume

      01787 237138
      Val Kerrison has joined me as a Church Warden and has already been a great help. Please contact either of us if you have any questions. Richard Day, 01440 785580

      Parish Church Service times

      Sunday 5th February, 9.30am Morning Prayer, Ministry Team
      Sunday 12th February, 9.30am Holy Communion, The Vicar
      Sunday 19th February 9.30am Morning Prayer, Ministry Team
      Sunday 26th February, 9.30am Holy Communion, The Vicar
      Sunday 4th March, 9.30am Morning Prayer, Ministry Team
      Sunday 11th March, 9.30am Holy Communion, The Vicar
      Sunday 25th March, 9.30am Morning Prayer, Ministry Team

      Stambourne Congregational Church Adrian Burr 07983 656166
      Serving God in the community in word and deed

      From The Chapel

      We started this new year with a whimper and it appears that nothing is to change.  Or is it? News around this world isn't good is it?  There are wars being fought on many different levels.  No longer are the battle lines drawn on the ground, but there are battles for the freedom of information on the internet, battles for freedom in countries where oppression has been the normal state of affairs, battles for freedom for people who believe in Jesus as they are persecuted around the world.  There are financial battle as countries, once rich, seek a way out of their over-spending and excesses, there are battles on the high street as we see supermarkets using tactics to get us to spend more such 2 for the price of one costing exactly the same, or special deals costing more than single items.  Things we used to know as cheating, but which supermarkets now seem to think is acceptable practice. There are battles for morals and for "right and wrong", for self determination and for "the good of all".  And nothing is new - its all in the Bible!

      So how does all this affect us in Stambourne? For some it is all a far cry from the peaceful countryside we live in, but for many of us we are actively engaged day by day in these battles, whether by supporting far of countries or making decisions in our own business dealings and in our own purchases and activities.

      But the biggest battle of them all is the battle we have with ourselves.  We were born as people who "love the darkness and hate the light". We often seek pleasure and gain for ourselves rather than wanting to give to those around us.  We seek the best "for me", rather than considering the consequences for our neighbours. And yet the Bible tells us "to love our neighbours as ourselves". And even to "love our enemies". Strange things to ask of us aren't they? Easy to love my neighbour if that neighbour is someone I like, but what if that neighbour is someone who winds me up, who causes me trouble, who is difficult to get along with?  Yet Jesus says "love them as much as you love yourself".  As for loving enemies surely that is impossible.  After all they are out to get me, out to hurt me, out to make life bad for me.  Jesus said "love them". For who knows what tomorrow will bring.  Your word of kindness said out of love for them may be remembered at a time of need or trouble. Remember to be kind and caring for them, even if you find them difficult.

      Spring is round the corner and the village will be full of blossom.  I am reminded that this is a "certain expectation".  Spring will come and nothing can stop it, can it? We live in the hope of it knowing it is true. It is this kind of hope that, as Christians, we live with.  A hope that Jesus will come again. A hope of certain forgiveness for all that we have, and will do, wrong. A hope of everlasting life.

      I hope that this spring brings you joy and peace, care and love for each other and above all the fullness of life that God promises.

      Adrian Burr, Minister
      07983 656166 or 01440 730211

      Stambourne Chapel News
      Our thanks to all who purchased pews - we now have only the one we want to keep. So we now have a space that we can use for children's work, for holiday clubs, meetings and events. But it remains a place of worship and, as it was originally called, the Meeting House for those who want to come to worship, or to seek Jesus.

      INDIA - Bethesda Gospel Ministries

      We are providing envelopes for any who would like to support the orphanage building work in India.  Please see Adrian or a member of the chapel, or pop in to the chapel on a Tuesday morning.

      Services in October and November are at 10:45 and led by our minister unless
      otherwise stated

      5th Ken Davies
      12th Communion Service
      19th Dianne Thomson
      26th Family Service
      4th Franco & Wendy Podlesny  
      11th Communion Service
      18th Dianne Thomson
      25th Family Service

      EVENTS and activities at the chapel - ALL WELCOME

      Every Tuesday 10 -12 am Coffee n' Chat

      Table Top sale in aid of the orphanage in India
      Special Goods from around the world, as well as refreshments
      Watch this space for dates and times.

      6th April Good Friday Reflection Service
      8th April Easter Sunday Service at 10:45 am

      You are always warmly welcomed at our Sunday services, coffee 'n chat or
      just call us at any time. We are here to help!

      Saturday 2nd June:
      14:00 – 1600 Exhibition in the Church of Stambourne Memorabilia

      Sunday 3rd June:
      12:00 onwards Family Picnic on the playing field 1200 onwards
      A Fancy Dress competition
      Rounders matches on Sunday afternoon.
      14:00 – 1600: Exhibition in the church

      A Grand Scarecrow competition - see details on the following pages
      These are the preliminary ideas and more details will follow in the next newsletter.

      Can You Help Please?

      1) If anybody has any photos we could copy for the exhibition we would be grateful to receive them. Also, if anybody has anything we could use/borrow to put in the exhibition could you please contact Elizabeth Fall on 01440 785289.

      2) Does anybody has any giant, outside field games we could borrow e.g. Giant jenga, Giant connect 4, Croquet?

      3) Does anybody have an outside P.A. system, we could borrow for the Sunday afternoon?

      Thank you in advance for your help
      Toppesfield Primary School

      In December, Toppesfield Primary School achieved the highest ranking nationwide in the SATs league tables.

      This fantastic result realised much recognition in the national press with articles in The Telegraph, Independent, Daily Mail and on BBC Essex.

      A brilliant achievement and congratulations to everyone involved!

      The following Press Release was put out by the school:

      “Mrs Kim Hall the Headteacher of St Margaret’s Primary School at Toppesfield in rural north Essex was ecstatic when told that her school had topped the nationwide SATs league tables. She attributes the success to great teamwork, particularly inspirational classroom teaching which has motivated all the children to do well.

      St Margaret’s is a typical village school which is very much part of the community and part of the school’s success is down to the involvement of parents and governors. But the children themselves are the heroes who work in a friendly environment and are able to produce impressive work, not only for SATs tests, but on a daily basis.

      St Margaret’s, whilst embracing traditional values, prides itself on its modern outlook on education and can show that even a small village school is able to provide a full and balanced curriculum. The whole community is glowing with pride and Christmas celebrations in the school have taken on a whole new dimension.”

      Get ready, the “Scarecrows for Stambourne Competition” is coming!

      Make sure your scarecrow has taken up residence around your property for all to view by latest 26th May 2012 when they will be independently judged. The results will be announced over the Jubilee Weekend (2nd to 5th June 2012).

      Follow these links for plenty of top tips and ideas on how to create your scarecrow(s): and

      No access to the internet? Don’t worry, instructions will be posted through your letterbox at the beginning of April to give you inspiration!

      Toppesfield Parish Council


      Saturday March 24th 2012 at 7.30pm
      Toppesfield Village Hall

      Quicksilver are guitarist Grant Baynham and singer Hilary Spencer.
      Grant spent four years co-presenting
      That’s Life with Esther Rantzen. He is a formidable songwriter and has an energy and enthusiasm which create a high-powered performance of material from virtually every genre you can imagine

      Hilary has one of the most staggering voices in British acoustic music
      . Most music fans will know it well from her work with top trio Artisan.

      The late Ned Sherrin of the BBC described Quicksilver as: ‘comic song, touched with gold’. They will be bringing their hugely popular show ‘Make ‘em laugh!’ to Toppesfield for one night only!

      To reserve your ticket, priced £10, phone Andrew Colley on 01787 238045, or e-mail

      Mobile Library Dates for Feb - June 2012

      Chapel End Way, Stambourne            Arrives 16.35        Leaves 16.50
      Village Hall Stambourne                     Arrives 16.55        Leaves 17.30
      February: 8th, 22nd
      March 7
      th, 21st
      April 4th, 18
      May 2
      nd, 16th, May 30th
      June 13
      th, June 27th

      Stambourne Ladies Group

      8th February - Jenny will talk about her holiday in Australia
      14th March - Cake decorating

      Please come along to our meeting we start at 7:30pm and tea/coffee and cakes are provided

      Membership is £10 for the year and only £1 to get in on the night we are a lovely group of ladies and would love for some members to come along.

      Ring Vanessa on 01440 785122 for more details

      Silver link club

      This is a club for older people. We meet every other week on a Tuesday  in the village hall.

      The next meeting will be on the Tuesday 31st January at 2pm until about 4pm and is open at all. We have a raffle and refreshments
      , a chat and play cards. It only cost £1 each time 

      Contact is Lois Hunter 01440 785720

      If any one would like to come along but cannot get there we can always pick them up if required



      Mobile Police Station, Village Hall, 8th 11.15 – 12.15
      Mobile Library 8
      Stambourne Ladies Group, Village Hall, 8
      th 7.30pm
      Mobile Library 22

      Mobile Police Station, Village Hall, 7th 11.15 – 12.15
      Mobile Library 7
      Stambourne Ladies Group, Village Hall, 14
      th 7.30pm
      Mobile Library 21

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