Stambourne Newsletter

Published and distributed by Stambourne Parish Council No 221

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING – Thursday 15th MayThe Annual General Meeting and Annual Parish Assembly took place on Thursday 15 May 2014 at the village hall, Stambourne.

The first item was to elect a Chairperson and Vice-Chairperson for the year and Martyn Fall was duly elected as Chairperson with Michael Crago as Vice-Chairperson

Representatives were elected as follows:-
Village Hall Committee - Vanessa Young
Emergency Planning – Oscar Pickess
Footpaths – Jenny James
Trees – Oscar Pickess
Public Transport – Michael Crago

Pavilion Further discussion took place on the proposed grant application from the Community Initiative Fund. It is hoped to obtain funding for roof repairs for the pavilion, some replacement play equipment, installation of picnic tables and webbed rubber matting to put on some of the grassed areas which get damaged by vehicles. We will keep you up to date with progress.

Litter Pick – You may have seen recently the Steeple Bumpstead scouts who have carried out a very thorough litter pick on verges through the parish. The volunteers worked very hard and managed to fill 30 bags of rubbish – a huge amount! Well done and many thanks to them and also to Jenny James for organising it. A donation has been made to the Scouts for their efforts.

Annual AccountsEvery year the accounts have to be audited locally and then sent to an independent company for external audit. I am pleased to say the accounts for the year 2013/14 have been completed and will soon be sent to the external auditor for examination.


As you know the surveys for the Parish Plan were recently circulated and I am pleased to say that there was a good response to the adult forms. The youth forms were not so well supported and are going to be re-issued for the 7-17 age group. Please encourage your children to respond. It is completely confidential and gives them the opportunity to have a say about the future of the village. The members of the Parish Plan committee have put in a huge amount of time towards the Plan and deserve a huge vote of thanks for this.

Please remember – the Parish Council meetings are public meetings which you are welcome to attend. Full minutes and agendas are available on the website at

The next meeting will be held on Thursday 17 July 2014.

Debbie Hilliard, Parish Clerk
Telephone 01440 785629


As I write another annual report and look back over reports written over the years we have to accept that our village does change, but only slowly. Some would suggest that this is a good thing, but others might want a more radical approach. A debate which will be initiated by the imminent outcome of our Parish Plan. The surveys are complete and once the responses have been collated we will have a clear view of the priorities our residents have for the village as we go forward. Without wishing to dampen anyone’s enthusiasm, any significant developments will be limited by availability of funds. Nevertheless, much can be achieved by individuals who are prepared to commit time and energy and once we have evidence of community support, funding by way of grant aid is available to us.

I thank those involved in organising the Village Plan. Their efforts are much appreciated and we look forward to the publication of their findings.

Roads: We still have very poor service from ECC with respect to road maintenance. I think we have seen a record number of potholes this year and some have probably gone past the definition of potholes which implies small holes in the road. We have had some massive craters which have been both dangerous and damaging. The time between reporting a pothole and getting it repaired is totally unacceptable. Along with other villages and communities we have made our voices heard, but with limited effect. This seems to be a nationwide problem which is not being adequately addressed.

Our mild winter has meant that road salting has not been an issue for us this year.

Planning: We have had few planning applications in the village this year. It is unlikely that this situation is likely to change anytime soon as the policy of BDC is to limit development to the towns and bigger villages in the district.

Footpaths: For the most part our footpaths are kept in good order and seem to be used increasingly. Thanks are due to most landowners who keep the footpaths across their land in good order, but are always happy to take-up any issues that arise. A footpath map is available on the village web site, but hard copies can be made available on request. It’s worth reminding those who walk dogs along our footpaths to make sure that they clear-up any mess that their dogs leave.

Playing Field: Our playing field is kept to a high standard and enjoyed by all. Thanks are due specifically to Keith Hoadley who does a splendid job with grass cutting and general maintenance.
If we want to keep our playing field up to scratch we are approaching a time when we will have to spend significant amounts on repairs and renewal. The major expense is the pavilion roof which is beginning to leak and needs replacing, but we also recognise that the toilets need a makeover, some of the play equipment is nearing the end of its life and we would like to install some picnic tables, and some grass reinforcement to aid parking. We are looking at grant funding from a variety of sources.
Thank you to Jenny James who does a great job of keeping the pavilion clean and tidy.

Bonfire Night: Once again we had a successful bonfire celebration. The crowds were good and we made a profit. The evening was much enjoyed by visitors of all ages. Donations were made to the Silver Link Christmas Lunch and the Children’s Christmas Party.

Although this gets said every year, it has to be emphasised again that the event is only successful because of the huge input of time and effort from many volunteers. So a huge vote of thanks is due to everyone who helped and who are too numerous to mention individually.

Although still profitable we have seen a steady decline in profitability, mostly due to spectator numbers dropping-off. Something we will have to bear in mind when planning future events.
Village Cooperation: We have continued meeting with our neighbouring parishes to work on matters of mutual interest to our respective communities. The major discussion point at our most recent meeting was regarding the BDC policy of reducing parish funding in favour of prestige projects in Braintree and Witham. It has to be said that at a strategic level our relationship with BDC is not great, with rural areas consistently being neglected.

Website: The Stambourne website goes from strength to strength under the expert management of Steve Platt. Steve also edits our bi-monthly newsletter and is always grateful for contributions.
A big thank you to Steve for all the time, effort and enthusiasm that he employs.

It is worth mentioning that the PC is looking at ways of getting better/faster broadband coverage for the village. Our policy has been to wait for the ECC funded scheme to get to us, but this seems to be receding into the distance with no certainty that it will ever arrive in Stambourne, so we have begun discussions with County Broadband which could result in a local scheme working from a very small and unobtrusive antenna on the church tower.

War Memorial: It is very appropriate 100 years on from the outbreak of WW1 that we pay some increased attention to our war memorial that bears the name of villagers who gave their lives in that terrible conflict. If we can get the grant aid finally sorted we should be able to complete a total clean-up and refurbishment of our war memorial during this year.

Thank You: It would be a poor report that failed to thank all the Parish Councillors for their hard work on behalf of the community. Thank you to everyone.
But we have to especially thank Debbie, our clerk for all her hard work and expertise in guiding our activities throughout the year. Thank you Debbie.

Martyn J Fall
th May 2014


Our lovely Easter Sunday service was well attended and taken by Reverend Richard Caink who was celebrating his 77th birthday that day. A young man aged between 10 & 11 years together with his sister and a friend found all but one of the hidden Easter Eggs.

A big thank you to those who came along to the village dog walk and to Jane, David and Sue for the wonderful refreshments.

Bob and Ann Bradfields Great Grand-daughter was Christened on the 12
th April at a lovely service in the church.

Sally Croft is the Benefice Pastoral Assistant and can be contacted on 01787 237067 for help not only with church matters but visiting or a reassuring voice at the end of the phone.

Both churchwardens attended the admission of churchwardens service held at Chelmsford Cathedral to celebrate 100yrs of Chelmsford Diocese. An amazing service with approx. 800 on the congregation. The Bishop warned us in his address that we must expect much considered and researched changes with the emphasis on more amalgamation between churches in groups but each church maintaining its individuality.

Services for June and July

1st June – No service
th June – Holy Communion with Rev. Barbara Hume. 9.30am
th June – Holy Communion with Rev. Richard Caink, 9.30am
nd June – Morning Prayer with David Brown, 9.30am
th June – Joint Benefice service at Little Yeldham church, 10am

th July – No service
th July – Holy Communion with Rev. Barbara Hume, 9.30am
th July – Holy Communion with Rev. Richard Caink, 9.30am

27th July – Morning Prayer with David Brown, 9.30am


I wonder what you think of our country today.. Electioneering has started with the main political parties lining up behind particular policies and people starting to wonder who they can vote for...

But in terms of faith, I wonder what you think this country stands for. There are some who would want us to be a Muslim nation, there are others who think we are secular, and still others who believe we are a Christian country.

Well, as part of our Two Rivers Mission week in May, we decided to try and find out from the villages around Stambourne. And it makes interesting reading.

We visited 228 households in 9 villages and 151 agreed to fill out the survey. So while it isn't representative (statistically) of the whole of an area it does indicate that two thirds of us are willing to fill out anonymous surveys!!
Of those who completed the survey more than 56% believe in some kind of God and of those 38% think of God as personal, 13% think of God as a Force and 21% have some other view. 20% thought there was no God and 24% are not sure...

We asked the question "what happens at the end of our lives?" and 21% said we die and that's it, and 26% said they weren't sure, 15% believe we all go to heaven and 16% believe some go to heaven and some go to hell. 13% believe we return as something else. 10% had a different view.

Our third question concerned Jesus the Christ (from whom we get the term "Christian"). We asked what people believed about him and 5% said he didn't exist. 21% thought he was an ordinary man and 27% said he was a prophet of messenger from God. 31% said He is the only son of God while 15% said something else.

We then asked people what they would ask God (or someone who believes in God) a question, what would it be. 53% answered why is there so much suffering on earth and 27% had a different answer. 5% said they would ask "why don't you show yourself so everyone can believe" and 6% asked "why am I on earth". 9% would ask the question "why did you make the earth in the first place?".

Our final question was to ask if you could know God personally would you be interested and 48% said yes and 23% said they weren't sure. 15% said no and 14% said that they already know him.

So what do we make of the results of survey? Well these are the raw results - you can make your own mind up as to what it shows! My own view is that it shows there is a healthy belief in a God and most who believe think of him as a personal God. People are very divided as to who and what Jesus is and most are unsure about what happens to them when they die. The most common question for God is about suffering - a question that the Bible answers most directly. Most people would like to know God personally if it is possible, though some are a little uncertain about that.

The Christian belief is that we can know God personally and can see Him working in the lives of people continually. To find out more we are running an Alpha course at the Chapel. It will be on Wednesday evenings starting at 7pm and ending at 9 and includes a meal. If you would like to ask more questions then the Alpha course provides an opportunity - we will watch a video to introduce a subject and then have an informal chat about the subject where it is OK to ask any question. We are exploring the whole subject of faith and why we are here. Have you ever asked the question "is there more to life than this?" or "does God exist?". Come along to the Alpha sessions and see what we can discover.

If you would like to see the full survey results please contact me and if we didn't get to see you and you would like to speak about your faith and beliefs we would love to meet you and talk - please call me on the number below.

Stambourne Chapel welcomes all. We support the Samaritan's Purse Shoe Box appeal, Novi Most - a charity working among young people in Bosnia-Herzegovina and an Orphanage in India. We are a self supporting independent fellowship who offer a place of worship, prayer and Bible learning and who seek to support our local community in as many ways as we can. We offer all life event services, such as baptism, weddings, and funerals. And we are pleased to have had the defibrillator fitted to the outside of the building if you should ever find anyone in need of emergency help. To use it you first call 999 and they will inform you of the procedures.

At Chapel our regular activities include Coffee and a Chat on Tuesday mornings (10-12), and Band Praise on Tuesday evenings at 7:30pm (come and listen as the worship band practises!).

All services are followed by refreshments and a chat (Sundays start at 10:30am) and a warm welcome awaits...

Note our Anniversary Service is on 27th July and we expect to have an afternoon service this year followed by tea..

For weddings, baptisms, contact our me on 07982 656166

See you at the Fete!!



A big thank you to everyone you gave jumble, made cakes and came to the jumble sale.

,100.00 has been sent to Essex Air Ambulance.

Lois Hunter


Thank you for returning your questionnaires. 

We had a good response from the adults of Stambourne and are pleased to announce the winning adult raffle ticket is 109.  Please contact Debbie Hilliard on 785629 if you have the winning ticket.

We would especially like to thank all the young adults who answered the youth questionnaire,  but unfortunately we had insufficient forms returned to make the results statistically relevant.

Therefore a revised youth questionnaire, together with a raffle ticket, is going to be distributed to households again and the age group has been widened to include 7 to 17 years old in the hope we will be able to extract sufficient data. 

The forms will be posted within the next few weeks.


Every other Tuesday in the village hall from 2pm until 4pm. Entry £1.50. Meet up, have a cup of tea or coffee, play games, cards or just chat. Enjoy cakes supplied by Silverlink members. Annual Christmas Dinner. (The next get together is 3rd June)


Several outbuildings have been broken into and items taken in Dyers End recently.  The Police have been informed.  Please be extra diligent with the security of your property and report any suspicious events immediately to the Police.

Vicky Dowling (01440 785528) Neighbourhood Watch


Pilates is a combination of strength, flexibility and mobility work which develops your core strength to help keep the body balanced and provide support for the spine. Pilates is not just about physical exercise but also gives a deep sense of well-being.
Join in every Tuesday from 11 until noon.

Beginners welcome.

Contact Michelle. 07956 256 924 / /


Sunday 29th June 2014
On the Playing Field

12 noon until 3pm – admission free

Hog Roast / Licensed Bar / Tea, Coffee, Cakes & Ices Stalls / Competitions / Demonstrations /Dog Show Table Top Sale (£10 per table – call Vanessa after 7pm on 01440 785122 to book)
Music with DJ Darren
We will be collecting raffle donations and cakes on Friday 27th June or donations can be taken to the Pavillion on Saturday 28th

Village Defibrillator at the Chapel

Thanks to an incredibly kind donation by Kelly and Geoff at the Horse & Groom in Cornish Hall End, Stambourne now has its own defibrillator. You might have noticed a bright yellow box on the wall of the chapel; this is it!

A defibrillator is a device for applying an electrical stimulus to restart the heart in the event of cardiac arrest. They are becoming common in public places and have saved many lives. Should anyone in the village contact the emergency services and describe symptoms that lead them to think that a defibrillator would be useful, the caller will be directed to our defibrillator and given an access code. (Easily remembered, 4 characters)

The unit is small and easily portable and using it is very simple and safe. No training is necessary and once started there is a commentary in simple English that guides a user through the recovery process.
The defibrillator is now in the care of the Parish Council and the unit will be checked weekly to ensure that it is functioning correctly. Unusually, we hope that this is an installation that is never used, but like all insurance policies, it’s nice to know that it is there if needed.

If you have any questions please contact Martyn Fall on 01440 785289

3rd & 17th SilverLink Club, 2pm – 4pm Village Hall
4th June, County Broadband public meeting, Village Hall 7.30pm
20th- 22nd, Horse And Groom festival, Cornish Hall End
29th Village Fete,12 – 3pm playing field
Items for the next Newsletter by 17th July