Stambourne Newsletter

Published and distributed by Stambourne Parish Council No. 232

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING – Thursday 17th MarchThe latest meeting took place on Thursday 17 March 2016 at 7.30pm in the village hall, Stambourne. We were pleased to welcome our District Councillor, Richard van Dulken.

Dog binsAt our request Braintree District Council have installed another dog bin in Dyers End, Stambourne. Please make use of it and clear up after your dogs.

Playing field The grass cutting season will soon begin and as soon as weather permits some of the play equipment will be repainted.

Highways As always there are a number of highway problems which will be reported in. Also please remember that if you see a pothole you can also report it to Essex County Council on and follow the links. We are still also in correspondence with ECC Highways about the state of our fingerpost signs.

Planning - Application No 16/00417/FUL –Wisteria, Chapel End Way was considered at this meeting. Planning applications can be viewed at the Braintree District Council website


You are probably all well aware that the Queen’s 90th birthday is on 12 June 2016. The Parish Council would be supportive of any groups who may like to organise something to celebrate the event.

War MemorialThe first stage of the renovation (cleaning) has now been carried out. The final stage of stone repair and replacement is expected to take place in April or May.


As explained previously in the newsletter the Parish Council estimates each year what it expects to spend and submits this precept to Braintree District Council. The District Council also provides some funding to assist Parish Councils with their costs, called the Localism Fund. However, Braintree District Council have informed parishes that the Localism Fund will, over the next few years, be reduced and will cease completely in 2020. This has left the Parish Council no option but to increase its precept for 2016/17 and this is the reason for the 7.3% increase.

Richard van Dulken updated the parish council on various issues including police and crime and the increase in Braintree District Council’s tax. He also informed the Parish Council that the Mi Community grant is to end and be replaced by a new scheme whereby each District Councillor is allocated funds of £1,500 which can be used towards appropriate projects.

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 19 May 2016 at 7.30pm in the village hall. There being no further matters to discuss the meeting closed at approximately 8.30pm.

Debbie Hilliard
Parish Clerk
Tel: 01440 785629


Rosie will now being taking over charge of bookings for the village hall.

She can be contacted on 01440 785339 or emailed at

Under a cloak of scaffolding and plastic sheeting, the parish church has been undergoing a major repair. For some years the roof tiling has been deteriorating, to the extent that it was beginning to cause fears of rainwater damage to the interior.

With its Norman tower and Grade I Building listing, St Peter & St Thomas Becket is a national treasure as well as a local landmark. The repairs, which include restoration of some stonework and upgrading the lightning protection, and are costing well over £120,000, will preserve the church for future generations. The work has been carried out by Lodge & Sons (Builders) Ltd, under the supervision of the church architect Henry Freeland, and is now almost complete.

Although the National Lottery Fund turned us down we were very fortunate in obtaining grants from the Government’s Listed Places of Worship Roof Repair scheme, the Friends of Essex Churches Trust, the Garfield Weston Trust and the All Churches Trust, which together covered over 60% of the estimated repair cost.

The balance has largely been paid through the generosity of the Brenneman Trust, a fund established by one-time Stambourne resident Norma Brenneman in memory of her husband.

We are holding a special service at 9.30am on Sunday April 10th. The Bishop of Colchester, the Rt. Rev. Roger Morris, will take the service, assisted by Rev. Barbara Hume and Rev. Liz Paxton. The service will include a Sunday school for children, and everyone in the village is welcome.
Please come and join in this celebration of the restoration of your church.


"... and The King she serves" ... Who would dare to write a book about that? Who would write about a King they serve - Well it must be someone living in a Kingdom! Rules out Gt Britain! Or does it? Alternatively "the King" could be Jesus and then I suppose it would have to be someone religious; a Christian. Someone with a deep conviction of faith and someone willing to stand up and be counted...

So what about you and I? We see Christians being persecuted for their views every day. We see in the news that if you hold views (of any kind) that don't conform to what the government thinks we should hold, then we are classed as fundamentalists. If we say that we believe what the Bible says about some things then we are to be told to keep quiet.

So who is this author who has decided to stand up and be counted? Who is this person who believes that faith in a King of Kings and Lord of Lords trumps the government and all laws of this earth? Who is it that is willing to stand up and be counted as a member of Kingdom not of this earth!

The advert came from a Christian source. It came from an organisation that has been standing up and being counted for a long time. It's name is Christian Concern. They take on the legal challenges that pit the government against the beliefs of ordinary Christians - such as wearing a cross to work, or offering to pray for someone. Apparently these things are no longer allowed in our society. And yet one person is willing to publish a book about "the King I serve". A person in the public eye and who has to face the barrage of legislation every day with trepidation and increasing concern.

And do we support that person? I know some who don't. I know others who would very willingly support that person and will speak of her with great thankfulness for all she does and has done and is doing for us and our country.

The full title of the Book is 'The Servant Queen, and the King She Serves' and it is published by three Christian charities: HOPE, LICC and The Bible Society. Her majesty wrote the foreword to the book on explicit condition that the book would not be for commercial gain and Catherine Butcher from HOPE, co-author of the book, says "She's very clear about her faith". It costs £1! And you can get your copy from the web site of the three charities or from Stambourne Chapel! (we will order a few copies)

To celebrate the Queen's 90th birthday we hope to hold events on the weekend of 11
th and 12th June - the culmination of the celebrations. We hope all will join in!

If you would like copies of her Majesty the Queen's book we will be ordering in batches of ten. The publishers charge £1 a copy with, at the Queen's insistence, all the proceeds going to charity.

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

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


, organising and booking events for our Stambourne Village Fete on Saturday 18th June. The gates will be open from 2pm onwards and won’t be closing until late. We’ll have plenty of hot food, ice cream, cakes, beer, wine and Pimms, soft drinks, tea and coffee – something for everyone – so skip lunch at home, avoid the washing up and bring your family and friends along to join the party.

throughout the day, Eden Falconery will be displaying their selection of birds of prey from hawks, owls, falcons along with their baths and will be on hand to answer questions. We have two individual dance troupes giving demonstrations of their unique styles of dance. We’ll have our annual dog show in the arena with rosettes being presented. Bonnie, the Shetland Pony, will be there for you to say hello. Plus there will be lots of other events to entertain everyone and make the afternoon go with a swing.

– as Her Majesty the Queen celebrates her 90th birthday this year we’ll be holding a scarecrow competition with “queen” being the theme. So get your thinking caps on and see what original ideas you can come up with. The scarecrows will be judged on Friday 17th June and the winner will be announced at the fete where a prize will be awarded.

will take place with a top prize of £100.

! We are always amazed at the amount of help we get on the actual day and if you can give half an hour of your time to assist then please let us know. Also, if you have anything to donate to the White Elephant Stall or the May Jumble Sale please let Vanessa know on 01440 785122 or Vicky on 01440 785528 and we’ll arrange for the items to be put into storage until nearer the time – so think of us when you have a spring clean!

Put the date in your calendar and tell your family & friends!

Saturday 18th June 2016

Jumble Sale

The next Jumble Sale is on 7th May at 2pm.

This time we are raising money for the Essex Air ambulance and the Stambourne play area. I need volunteers please! I need help on the Saturday setting up and selling.

Also I would like to sell more refreshments this time, so I need donations of cakes please. They don’t have to be home made.

If you would like to put forward suggestions of local groups we can raise money for please get in touch. I would like to change the second donation each Jumble.

If you can help please contact Annabel on 01440 785809 or or facebook Stambourne Jumble.

Stambourne Ladies Group

The last two months Stambourne Ladies has had undergone a transformation. Membership is up! An enjoyable friendly cozy 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.

At the last two meetings we have had the following:
Cheese and Wine Evening- Ladies Group Relaunch!!!
Lots of fun was had at our February meeting.

Rate the wine proved an interesting talking point with non alcoholic wine proving to be a surprising favourite. Guess the flavour of the homemade wine, cheap versus expensive wine and wine or water highlighted the connoisseurs of the group.

The wine was complemented with a range of cheeses and biscuits. Palate cleansers of bread and fruit were also available. A friendly and cosy atmosphere delighted new and old members of the group!

Delicious Desserts with Juliette Bryant
Juliette Bryant of Juliette's Kitchen proved to be a big hit at March’s meeting with all of us wanting to have the raw chocolate smoothie recipe so we can whizz them up at home. Her interesting take on what the body needs nutritionally, combined with an easy style of no fuss preparation inspired us all to think about what we could be eating.

Our next meetings are:

Wednesday 13th April 7:30 pm
Our annual dinner at the White Horse Ridgewell.

Wednesday 11th May 7:30 pm
Vanessa Howard of The Eye of Time, with her light hearted review of our undergarments through time in “History of Ladies Nightwear”.

Wednesday 8th June 7:30pm Open meeting all welcome including men! Please contact Annabel if you wish to attend.
Paulette Harris with Call the Midwife: an amusing take on Midwifery past and present. More events will be announced in next month’s village newsletter or 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 785

Broadband in Stambourne update
The Government announced a commitment of 2Mbps by the end of 2015 to all properties in the UK, which clearly has not been met by the fibre roll-out headed by BT. Whilst some may have taken up the service offered by County Broadband, since December 2015 there now exists a subsidised option, essentially providing free installation and equipment costs which usually cost around £400.

This means installing a small dish on the premises and receiving data via satellite to the dish, with much higher speeds than we currently get using phone lines. This article explains how it works, including some caveats:

Details on the scheme from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport:

Check eligibility and apply via Superfast Essex:

Whilst it may not suit everyone, it is another option until Stambourne finally receives its upgrade of the telephone network to “Superfast Broadband”, which is currently scheduled between June 2017 – June 2018. The speed of the broadband it ends up supplying, however, remains to be seen as some houses are still a long way from the local BT cabinet at Hill Farm.

If anyone would like to add more information on their experience of satellite / County Broadband in Stambourne, please let me know.


A major event during this term has been the OfSTED Inspector’s visit. All schools have to undergo a periodic, detailed review of all aspects of their operation and it was our turn in January. Although we are all nervous about these audits we need not have worried as the inspector found only good things to say about our school. We were delighted, but not surprised that he found St. Margaret’s to be a “good school” with many outstanding features. He found our Early Years provision to be outstanding, an adjective he also used to describe teaching of our older children, the behaviour of our pupils and the leadership in the school. A great result for everyone concerned with St Margaret’s – staff, parents, governors and children; it’s a team effort! A full copy of the inspection report is on the school website.
But that was just two days of the half term and we managed to cram other activities in amongst our normal lessons; we had a whole school archery day when a group of specialist sports coaches came into school and introduced the children (and staff!) to the skills associated with archery. Everyone got to have a go and ended the day with a good understanding of the sport as it is today and how it has influenced our history.
We also had a Bike Smart day when our older children were taught how to enjoy cycling, whilst staying safe. Cycling is a great way for children to stay fit and get around the neighbourhood as long as they are aware of the hazards; hopefully our course will have given them the knowledge and confidence to cycle safely.
Just to add to the recent stream of inspections, we also had a visit from the Braintree District Council food safety inspectors who came to review our school kitchen. Once again Mrs Price, our school catering manager, was on the ball and we got a maximum 5 out of 5 for the hygiene standards in our food preparation areas.
It’s voucher collection time again and many of you may be wondering what to do with the school’s vouchers from Sainsbury’s and Tesco’s; we would be happy to have them to add to our collection which will enable us to collect more sports equipment. Please drop them into the school office; thank you.
The term will end on the 24
th March when we will be celebrating Easter at our service in St Margaret’s church at 1:30. All are welcome to attend

We are holding a book club event on Wednesday 20th April, organised by the book club children we will be having a coffee / tea/ cake morning 8.45 -10 then 2.45 - 4 all welcome. As well as cake and drinks there will be a raffle and a 'good as new' book sale.  All proceeds to go towards book club.

April, May and June - donations to Jumble Sale and fete White Elephant Stall
Sunday April 10th Church Service to celebrate the restoration of the Church, see article on page 3
13th April - Stambourne Ladies Group annual dinner at The White Horse, Ridgewell
26th April Fashion Show by ICE of Ixworth, for Action Medical Research for Children. At Hall Barn, Great Thurlow, (by kind permission of the Vestey family) 7 for 7.30 p.m. Tickets £10. Bar and Raffle. Contact either Elizabeth Fall on 01440 785289 or Gill Argent 01440 730577 7th May - Jumble sale 11th May - Stambourne Ladies Group 21st May Halstead Workers Educational Association Celebrating 100 years. 1916 to 2016. Saturday May 21st 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. What was life like in East Anglia in 1916, Slide show and tales by Malcolm Root. Tea and cake - Free. More information from Elizabeth Fall on 01440 785289 or Viv on 01787 476036 to book a place. 28th May - Quiz Night at the Village Hall 8th June - Stambourne Ladies Group - open to the community 17th June - The "Queen" scarecrows will be judged 18th June - Village Fete
13th July - Stambourne Ladies Group - River Stour cruise to The Henny Swan
Items for the next newsletter by 17th May Steve Platt Email : or phone 07767 357016