Stambourne Newsletter
Dec / Jan 2012
Published and distributed by Stambourne Parish Council No 212


The final meeting of the year took place on Thursday 29 November 2012 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall, Stambourne.

Pavilion – Arrangements will be made for the water system to be drained for the winter. Oscar Pickess has cleared the car park of leaves.

Playing field – The moles are still present. The play equipment has been inspected and some repairs are needed. The spares for the repairs have now been received and will be fitted as soon as weather permits. Oscar has checked the Ash trees for dieback and can find no sign. However, it is virtually impossible to avoid the fungus. Debbie will research grant funding and availability of fresh trees to be planted.

Highways – You should all by now be aware that the Finchingfield Road is closed whilst National Grid carry out works on overhead cables. The resulting diversion via Chapel End Way to Cornish Hall End is creating problems with verge damage to the narrow stretch of Chapel End Way and mud on the road. We have been in touch with Essex Highways to try and organise the following:

        The closure is estimated to be for 3 weeks, possibly longer if there are any delays.

        There are a number of problems throughout the parish with water overflowing onto roads and the inevitable potholes. We are reporting these issues to Essex County Council.

        The bonfire night was another successful evening with the weather being kind for once and a good turnout. Thanks go to everyone who volunteered for the evening without whom it would not be possible to run an event of this kind. So, thank you to Martyn Fall, Michael Crago and Mark Hilliard for organising and setting off the fireworks. Oscar Pickess for the bonfire, Mick Pyman and his team on the gate and organising parking, Fiona Bayley, Cath Pochin and her team for the barbecue and refreshments. Finally a very special thanks to all those who turned out on a soggy Sunday morning to clear up after the evening!


        Every year the Parish Council has to decide how much money it needs for the next financial year to carry out its responsibilities in the parish. This money comes from Braintree District Council through your Council Tax. Given the current financial situation we are all dealing with at present the Parish Council is keen to keep a close watch on how funds are used and is reluctant to increase any expenditure unless absolutely necessary. With this in mind I am pleased to be able to report that the budget for the next financial year will be the same as this year.


        Stambourne’s annual Christmas party for the children of the parish will take place on Sunday 6 January 2013. All children living within the parish of Stambourne aged between 3 and 11 years are eligible to attend. For further details please contact Mrs Lesley Scollay on 01440 785731.

        The next meeting will take place on Thursday 17 January at 7.30pm in the Village Hall, Stambourne.

        There being no further business to discuss the meeting closed at approximately 8.45pm.

        Debbie Hilliard
        Parish Clerk
        Tel: 01440 785629


        Church Wardens’ Report

        In our last Stambourne Newsletter we pointed out that the church is open every day between 10am and 4.30pm in the winter and 5.30pm in the summer. The candle stand and the prayer book in the chancel is already being used.

        We have a service most Sundays at 9.30am. The congregation is small but friendly. After the service there is coffee, tea and biscuits. It is a chance to talk to other people in the village and hear what’s going on.

        We are fortunate in that the maintenance of the Church, thanks to the gift of the Colonel and Mrs. Brenneman fund is sustainable for the foreseeable future. You can see that the outside and the interior of the church have been restored and further work will be done in the years to come.

        In the winter of the church is a welcome site as it is floodlit from 6 pm to 12am. The churchyard has been mown and the graves cleared of weeds and in some cases planted with lavender, bulbs and roses.

        This year we have had two weddings and a funeral when the church was completely filled and the congregation appreciative of the beauty of a church which has been here for 900 years.

        What we now need is more people in the village to come to church on Sundays for a short time leaving most of the rest of the morning, afternoon and evening for the many activities we like to get involved in on Sunday.

        If we don't use the church as it has been for centuries it will not survive on ‘hatches
        , matches and dispatches’ and the occasional Easter, Carol and Harvest Services.

        As a plea to end, a quote from John Betjeman’s ‘Diary of a Church Mouse’

        But all the same it’s strange to me
        How very full the church can be
        With people I don’t see at all

        Except at Harvest Festival

        Services in the Church

        9.30am, 2nd, Morning Prayer
        9th, Holy Communion, The Vicar
        16th Morning Prayer
        , 23rd, Carol Service. The Vicar
        25th Christmas Day, Rev. Richard Caink

        January 2013
        9.30am, 6th, Morning Prayer
        13th, Holy Communion, The Vicar
        20th, Holy Communion, Rev. Richard Caink
        27th, Morning Prayer

        February 2013
        9.30am, 3rd, Holy Communion, Rev. Richard Caink
        17th Morning Prayer
        , 24th, Holy Communion, The Vicar


        National Grid have written to all residents affected by the closure of Finchingfield Road. It closed on 26th November and will remain closed “until just before Christmas”. Diversions are likely to mean increased road traffic along Mill Road, Chapel End Way and Cornish Hall End Road into Stambourne Green.

        See Parish Council Meeting minutes (page 1) for further information or:
        Telephone: 0800 377 7340

        From the ChapelI wonder – are you reading this before Christmas in the busyness of the season, or after when the cold dark winter nights take over and much less is going on? Well whenever you read this I send our Christmas greetings to you all at the end of a very busy and complicated year.

        The weather has been “poor” – that is we haven’t had much sunshine. There have been a few times when we have felt sad through the loss of a much loved village character, and times when we have enjoyed life together, sharing in events and activities.
        And chapel life has had the same characteristics. We have had our ups and our downs, our times of joy and our times of sadness. But at all times we know that our God has been with us.

        Some of our happy times have been our gatherings together – the Easter services, the harvest supper, the Bible studies, the adult baptism (when we nearly made the biggest cup of tea in the world – our pool was full of boiling water. We only needed the tea bags!!!). We have had some times of quiet and reflection and some times of celebration and joy. But always we have remained close as a fellowship.

        And as we come at this time of year to celebrate the “official” birthday of Jesus we remember that He also gathered together a group of people who learnt from Him and each other and who remained close together as the first “church”. Sometimes we talk of the twelve disciples, but we have to remember when Jesus sent his disciples out to teach and preach there were many, many more of them.

        And of course Jesus birthday was the changing point in the history of the world. It was the date from which the Romans changed our calendar. It was the date that sparked a change in understanding in our relationship with God, from one of obedience to the law throughout Jewish history, to one of our acceptance and forgiveness by God of all people through His grace alone. No longer subject to the law, but accepted as we are by a loving heavenly Father. Now that is the good that Jesus brought at Christmas, when he came that we might be accepted, just based on our belief.

        And so we come to celebrate that world changing event when God came to earth to live among us. We wish you all a very happy and joyful occasion!


        Every Sunday:
        10:45am Worship & Praise Service
        nd Sunday Communion
        th Sunday Worship Band-led service

        Every Tuesday:
        9:30am Prayer Time
        10-12 Coffee and a chat

        Sunday 16th December at 4pm, Christmas Celebration Service
        25th December at 9:30am, Christmas Day Service
        Thursday 17th January at 2:30pm

        “Has God finished with the Jews?” - a biblical perspective. Repeated on Saturday 19th January at 10am in the Chapel

        Saturday 19th January at 7pm FILM Evening with Hot Potatoes
        Thursday 31st January at 2:30pm Bible Study – one off special
        Every Thursday
        from 7th February to 14th March Bible Study.
        2nd in our “Why Salvation?” series this one on “Why Israel?” The third will be later on in 2013.


        It has been a busy term at St Margaret’s with lots of preparation for our school play and Christmas activities.

        Amongst all the festivities, we were very lucky to have a visit from Paralympic wheelchair racer Richard Chiassaro who inspired the children and adults by explaining this year’s London 2012 games and his hopes for the future.

        Richard amazed the children by demonstrating the complexities of wheelchair racing and the dedication needed to succeed as a paralympian.

        In addition, Class 3 children got to experience the difficulties many people with disabilities face in the sports world through taking part in different activities.

        A brilliant day, finished off by a presentation from Class 3 children to the rest of the school about some of the things they had learnt.

        I would like to give a personal message of thanks for the many words of kindness and cards received following my spinal surgery.

        It has been a difficult time, however the support given by parents, staff, governors and members of the community has been amazing and a real reflection of the Christian spirit of our school and wider community. Thank you.

        Some dates for your diary:

        Friday 7th December: Christmas Fayre at St Margaret’s School, 2.30-4.30pm
        A variety of stalls to get you in the festive spirit!

        Friday 21st December: Christmas Church Service at Toppesfield Church, 1.30pm, all welcome.

        Friday 21st December: last day of term. Children may be collected early, following the church service.

        Kim Hall

        Toppesfield School pupils meet Paralympic wheelchair racer Richard Chiassaro


        Thanks to everyone who helped me on the Friday and at the sale on the Saturday

        Also thank you to everyone who brought jumble cakes and raffle prizes.

        I have sent £1000 to Essex air ambulance and paid £40.00 for hire of village hall.

        Thank you very much Lois Hunter



        SUNDAY 9th DECEMBER 12pm to 4pm
        Stambourne Village Hall

        Christmas wreaths

        Traditional & Fancy Pine Wreaths

        Cards for good causes

        Free Mince Pies and Mulled Wine

        Come one, come all
        Tel. Cath 785 678


        Thank you to all who attended and made the Halloween Quiz a great success.

        The Village Hall Committee

          New Year's Day Walk

          Tuesday 1st January 2013
          Meet at Green Man at 11.00am

          • Start the year as you mean to go on.
          • Join me for a ramble around our beautiful parish.
          • Walk off the excesses of the last few weeks.
          • An hour and half to two hours depending on weather and conditions.
          • Stout footwear recommended . It might be a bit muddy.
          • Dogs welcome , on a lead please.
          • Great exercise, conversation and company.
          • ALL WELCOME

          Further information Ann Read 01787 237464

          Following on from a piece in the the last edition of the newsletter, Essex County Council are conducting a survey into broadband usage in the county. As they say “The details you give us will be used to make sure that when improvements are made to the broadband network, you won’t miss out.
          Fill it in to make sure the council know how important broadband is and how rural communities are being left behind:


          The map below, taken from the Essex County Council website, shows the roads around Stambourne that will benefit from being gritted in red during the winter months and gritting bins have been added in yellow. Dyers End and Finchingfield Road should be gritted, but other roads in Stambourne will not.

          Additionally, gritting lorries can be tracked, live, here:

          STAMBOURNE’S WEATHER, 2012

          Stambourne’s Rainfall in mm Jan-Dec, 2011 in red and 2012 in blue

          With 2012 almost over, we can compare the year with 2011, using data collected from the weather station in Stambourne Green. Not surprisingly, almost all months had more rain in 2012 than in 2011 with April through to July being exceptionally wet this year.

          DIARY DATES
          9th Christmas Fair & Christmas Wreaths, 12pm to 4pm, Village Hall
          rd, 4pm, Carol Service, The Parish Church
          25th, 9.30am, Christmas Day Service, The Parish Church
          1st, Toppesfield Parish Walk, 11.00am at the Green Man, Toppesfield
          6th, Children’s Christmas Party
          17th, Parish Council Meeting, 7.30pm, Village Hall

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

          Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all our readers!!