Stambourne Newsletter

Published and distributed by Stambourne Parish Council No. 242

PARISH COUNCIL MEETING – Thursday 16th NovemberThe last meeting of 2017 took place on Thursday 16th November at 7.30pm in the village hall.

PavilionThe pavilion has now been closed up for the winter. Two of the window shutters are to be removed for repair and these windows will be boarded whilst the work is carried out.

Playing field – The Parish Council would like to thank a local parishioner who has kindly donated another picnic table for use on the playing field. This will be stored over the winter before a decision is made as to where it should be located.

Highways – The water leak in Church Road is a continuing problem and will be reported again. A Local Highways Panel request is being submitted for Wesley End Road for signage on the narrow corner by Tinkers.

Also, at time of writing, the drain grates have been removed from drains along Birdbrook Road. ECC Highways have been notified and cones have been placed by the affected drains. However, please be aware of this hazard when driving along this road. ECC Highways advised that this is a continuing problem and they are dealing with a spate of similar incidents in the area.

Winter Weather – Please note that the Parish Council has supplies of salt available to use on roads which do not form part of the ECC gritting map. We also have a limited supply of sandbags in case of wet weather.

Footpaths – We have not been made aware of any issues on our paths. However, please ensure you clear up after your dogs and use the bins provided.

Budget and Precept 2018/19 – At this time of year the Parish Council has to set its budgets for the next financial year and we have again been notified by Braintree District Council that the amount of its Localism Fund will be reduced. Final figures will be agreed at the January meeting.

The next meeting will take place on Thursday 18th January 2018 2017 at 7.30pm in the village hall.

Stambourne’s annual bonfire night took place on 4th November 2017. The weather was kind, staying dry and with just a light wind. The evening was a huge success with a large turnout of visitors and many complimentary remarks about the standard of the display. The food and refreshments were much in demand and mostly sold out.
It is not possible to put on an event of this kind without the help of a large number of volunteers. Every year teams of people manage the bonfire, fireworks, food and drink, car parking and admissions. Thank you to you all for helping. Funds raised are then used towards the pavilion and playing field and donations given to Stambourne Silver Link and the Children’s Christmas Party.

Full minutes are available on the village website:

Debbie Hilliard
Parish Clerk
01440 785 629


The annual Bus Trip to Norwich from Toppesfield was a great success as ever and thank you to all those who came. Many thanks to Zoe who has been arranging these trips for 30 years and has decided that next year, on Saturday 10th November 2018, will be her last time organising.


Sat 2nd December 2017 held in Toppesfield Village Hall 10.30am - 12.30pm with lots of stalls + festive fayre and bacon rolls.
ST. PETER & ST. THOMAS BECKET PARISH CHURCHA big thank you to those who attended, decorated the Church and gave produce for the Harvest Festival. I have received a certificate from the Haverhill food bank thanking the Church for its donation of Harvest produce which has been very gratefully received.
The Remembrance Sunday Service was well attended and thanks to Caroline for leading the Service and also to Adrian and our friends from the Chapel for their support.

In the New Year we will be advertising for a new Benefice Vicar to replace Rev. Barbara when she retires on 31st December. So, for a while we may see different clergy helping out at Services, alongside Rev. Liz Paxton until this position is filled. Throughout this time Rev. Liz or myself will be available to answer any questions relating to Church matters. May I, on behalf of Stambourne Parochial Church Council wish you all a happy and peaceful Christmas and all good wishes for 2018.

Val Kerrison

01440 785 752 / 07879 816 362

Morning Prayer 9.30am.
Dave Brown/Val Kerrison.

***CAROL SERVICE*** 4pm.
Followed by refreshments.
No Services @ Stambourne.
Please see notice board for other Services in the Benefice.

Holy Communion 9.30am.
With Rev. Liz Paxton.
Benefice Service @ Lt. Yeldham Church 10am.
This is Rev. Barbara’s last day & you are all welcome to join her on this special day to say good-bye & to wish her well.
Deanery Service @ St. Andrews Church Halstead 3pm.
(No other Service in the Benefice on this day).

Holy Communion 9.30am.

No Service @ Stambourne but please see notice board for other Services in the Benefice.

Morning Prayer 9.30am.


Advent is ‘the final countdown’ to Christmas day and many children will have an Advent calendar to help them count the days. It’s also a really special time for the church. Here’s more about why it’s so special, and some Advent activities for children.

The words Advent simply means ‘coming’ – it’s the season when Christians remember that God came to earth to be born as the Christ child, Jesus. God also promised that Jesus will come again at the end of time to heal all the world’s hurts and divisions. Advent remembers this amazing promise, so it’s a time of hope, of getting ready, and expectation. Waiting is hard, but Christmas is worth waiting for – it’s a special time, and at its heart is a gift of love from God to the world.

Here’s what you might see in church during Advent:
Fewer decorations – but there might be greenery instead of flowers. This allows us to recognise that the Christian life isn’t all about celebration. It’s about hope and faith during times of sadness and challenge, too. There are times in our own life when we pray that God would come and help us. Those times can feel like a long, dark night. We long for the greenery to turn to flowers, just as we long for our sadness and our hope to turn to joy.
• An Advent wreath with candles on it. One candle is lit each week –Children may be asked to light the candles.
• Many churches try really hard not to start Christmas too soon, and wait until the week of Christmas to sing the carols but we are having a carols extravaganza with the Stambourne Singers on the 10
th December at 4pm. Do come and join us.

Advent is a really important time to pray for peace and love to fill the world, so you may hear more of these kinds of prayers in church. There are lots of different services to choose from - have a look at our list of services on the Church notice board and I hope to see you all at one or the other of them.

With every blessing and a Merry Christmas to you all.

Rev. Liz Paxton 277270


Christmas is a time for family. That's the message that we seem to be given by this years crop of adverts from the big companies. And of course if we are going to enjoy our families then we had better spend lots of money on them. But you know that is one of the biggest problems we have in this world today. There are now lots of presents for the man/woman/teenager/grandparent/child who has everything. So what do we get?

Well whoever told us that buying things is the best way to show our love was cheating us of the greatest thing we can give. For love isn't about presents and gifts. Love is about so much more. It's the relationship that we have every day. The relationship that shows care in the good times and the bad. The relationship that encourages, that builds up, that rejoices over the other persons successes, achievements, and joys.

It is the relationship that comforts and cares when times are difficult, painful, when failure looms and when heartache happens. It is the relationship that God wants with us and the reason He gave us the best gift of all - His son Jesus, who loves each and every one, whether we accept that or not. It is the gift that God wanted to give out of love. It is the gift that can change our lives, support us through our fears and hurts and pains and bring us to be able to live for others rather than ourselves.

What a gift we can receive as we seek out the true meaning of Christmas. Not the trees and tinsel and toys, but the gift of a baby born in a stable who we, like the Kings and shepherds, can come to worship.

Whatever you are doing this Christmas, take time out to find why we celebrate, and find the love that God so wants to give.

Happy Christmas!!

Adrian Burr
Minister, Stambourne Chapel
01440 730 211 / 07983 656 166
Like us on Facebook - Stambourne Chapel

Christmas Present Appeal

Talking of presents, Stambourne Chapel is one of the many drop off points and distribution centres for the Christmas Present Appeal this year. This is for local residents and was started in 2008, and last year gave out over 2000 presents to people who might otherwise not receive any gift at all.

The gifts we hope to distribute include: Indoor growing bulbs, Box or tin of chocolates, covered hot water bottle, shortbread or biscuit selection, fleece blanket, or a 2018 calendar. No second hand items please! If you would like to donate then please contact us via our facebook site or telephone or text me to drop off presents at Chapel. Please make sure there is a note attached of what is in the present so we can ensure it goes to the right individual!

We will be open until 4th December (though we can probably receive some later than that) and will be distributing all the gifts we receive from the drop off points in Halstead, Sudbury, Braintree, Clacton and Stambourne, to homeless shelters, retirement homes, Christmas parties, hospitals and to many other places and individuals before Christmas.

This appeal operates throughout North Essex and South Suffolk, from Ipswich to Chelmsford. If you know of people who would benefit from receiving a present, please let us know. Priority will be given to those who are alone and who will not otherwise receive a present.
Friend us on Facebook. Christmas Present Appeal 2017

Spurgeon Trail
As you may know Charles Haddon Spurgeon lived in the manse next to the Chapel with his grandparents for the first seven years of his life. His granddad was James Spurgeon who was minister at Stambourne Chapel for 54 years. Over the years people have come from far and wide to seek out the legacy of this famous preacher - it is said that when he was alive Americans came to London to see Buckingham Palace, the Tower of London, and to hear Charles Haddon Spurgeon speak - he was that famous!!

And there is still a trickle of people who come to Stambourne to find out where Charles first received a prophecy that he would preach in the biggest church in London - that is in the garden of the Manse next to Stambourne Chapel and where he learned so much of his faith from his granddad. So we are putting together a Spurgeon Trail - a list of places that visitors might like to go to and we hope to open the first display in early February, when we will welcome Dr Christian George who is the Assistant Professor of Historical Theology, and Curator of the Spurgeon Library in Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary, Kansas USA.

He has already been to visit us and is keen to come to the opening ceremony which will happen in early February next year.

Christmas Meal
Following our 9:30am Christmas Day morning service we will be gathering people together for a Christmas dinner. This is for people who will not have visitors over Christmas and who will be celebrating by themselves. It is open to individuals and couples who would otherwise be alone. If you know of anyone who might like to come please let us know.

Christmas Fayre - 2nd December in the Chapel 10-2pm - Raffle, Wreaths, Christmas Cards, Cakes, Competitions, and a few present items! Seasonal Refreshments will be served!
Christmas Celebration Service - 24th December at 4pm - Music and words telling the story of Christmas in contemporary style.
Christmas Day Service - 25th December - 9:30am Service to celebrate Jesus’ birthday.
Christmas Day Dinner - 25th December - 12:30pm Please let us know who we can invite.
Film Evening 20th January - Come and share a meal at 6pm followed by the film

Spurgeon Trail Opening - date to be fixed
Car Clean 10th February 10-12 am
Alpha Course Weekly meetings - Probably Mondays 3pm - 6pm including a meal (let us know when you could come). The Alpha Course is nationally famous and provides the opportunity to ask questions about the big questions of life and to share ideas. We will be meeting from 15th January through to 26th March.
You are invited to come along to these informal meetings - please book your place as we will limit numbers.

Tuesdays 10am - 12 Coffee 'n’ Chat
Tuesdays 7.30pm Band Practice - a time of prayer, fellowship and worship
Wednesdays 7pm
House Prayer Meeting

Adrian Burr, Minister, 07983 656166,

Brian Mead, Secretary, 01376 345337,


Neighbourhood Watch is a voluntary network where neighbours come together, along with the police and local partners, to build a safe and friendly community.

If you see anything suspicious then call the police to report the incident. If you see or hear of any criminal act that could impact on our community call Vicky Dowling on 01440 785 528 who will relay your message to neighbourhood watch members on the "Tree of Communication" to spread the word.

Broadband update November 2017

There is some good news, finally, for the BT/OpenReach upgrade for Stambourne that will provide fibre broadband to some in the village.

Work has been taking place to clear the roadside ducts so that the fibre cable can connect the new cabinet at Hill Farm to the exchange in Ridgewell. This is believed to be the last major piece of work due to take place.

Indeed, the Superfast Essex checker (link below) now reports that some properties in Stambourne have an “early estimate” of being connected by December 2017. This estimate appears to be based on the recent work that has taken place. The cabinet should have been enabled months ago soon after it was installed in January but issues were apparently encountered due to the pipes under the road being blocked.

However, whilst this may be good news for some, it’s still unknown how many people in the village will actually be offered the service as this relies on being a maximum distance from the cabinet. It is yet to be seen if BT or others will offer a slower fibre-based service to those more than a mile or so from it, but hopefully they will as it could still provide a significant speed boost for some people.

More information will be published on between newsletters.

Check your property below, although even if it says “December 2019”, the imminent upgrade of the cabinet may still help your speeds :

Toppesfield Parish Paths Group

New Year Walk
Sunday 7th January 2018
Meet at Green Man at 11.00am

    Further information Ann Read 01787 237 464

    Stambourne Ladies Group (SLG)

    Wednesday 13th December 2017 at 7.30pm

    Writtle CARDS
    (Writtle Community Amateur Repertory Dramatic Society)

    An extremely friendly group who enjoy putting on plays and strive to provide exciting and varied productions for their audiences. They will be performing a selection of sketches for our entertainment.

    Entrance for non-members is £3. Bring your own tipple. Enjoy a bite to eat from our buffet. 

    Diary dates for 2018:
    10th January - Kindra Jones joins us again with an extensive selection of period clothes together with some interesting facts about fashions dating back 1,000 years.
    14th February - Murder Mystery Evening "Death by Chocolate".




            Items for the next newsletter by 17th January.
            Steve Platt email: or phone 07767 357 016.