Stambourne Newsletter: December 2019 / January 2020

Digital version of the December 2019-January 2020 Stambourne Newsletter, the bi-monthly printed newsletter published and distributed by Stambourne Parish Council – No: 254


The last meeting for 2019 took place on Thursday 21st November 2019 at 7.30pm in the village hall, Stambourne. We were pleased to welcome Essex County Councillor David Finch.

The pavilion has been closed up for the winter. Work on the kitchen is now complete thanks to ECC CIF fund and there has been positive feedback. We are now going to try to replace the fridge and freezer with new with the aid of a CIF micro-grant.

Playing Field
Mr Hoadley has now retired from cutting the grass on the playing field after many years’ service. Thank you Keith for keeping the playing field so tidy over so many years. It is much appreciated. We have now appointed another contractor to carry out the work.

Telephone Boxes
Both of the telephone boxes have been repainted by some kind volunteers. Thank you for your work on this.

Application No 19/01953/FUL was received and considered by the parish council with no comment.

Bonfire Night
Bonfire night took place on a wet evening which affected the number of people attending. However, the fireworks were brilliant and food good. As ever, this cannot take place without the large team of volunteers who come forward every year organise and run it. Thank you everyone.

Parish Council meetings for 2020 will be:

Thursday 23rd January 2020
Thursday 12th March 2020
Thursday 21st May 2020
Thursday 23rd July 2020
Thursday 17th September 2020
Thursday 19th November 2020

All the meetings take place in the village hall at 7.30pm and are open to the public.

Full minutes are available at

Debbie Hilliard, Parish Clerk
Email:, Tel: 01440 785629


The next newsletter will be February / March. Please send contributions or thoughts on possible items to Karen Crago at or drop them in the post box at Tagely Farm, Finchingfield Road by Wednesday 29th January. Thank you.




I wonder whether, at this time when politicians and their representatives seem to be accused as lying, we have ever considered the meaning of “truth”. When we speak of truth do we mean “my truth” as I understand it, using our own personal definition or standards, or do we have that understanding of some external definition that is greater than ourselves, some universal truth? Truth is one of the words in English that is very hard to define and which has been debated for centuries.

But it is important, for if we accuse someone of not speaking the truth then we should know what standard we are using to test truthfulness.

Nativity scene

It is the confusion of not knowing the test that allows our politicians, and many other people in society, to get away with a truth that is perhaps not “the whole truth”, and maybe not a universally held truth!

And yet we can’t argue with the fact that truth is of paramount importance to the workings of society. Without understanding truth any definition can be used and we can fall into the trap of accepting anything as holding the truth, which can lead, as we have seen in history, to whole nations purging themselves of a particular group of people based on some philosophical argument that this is the universal truth.

It may be that they consider one race, one set of mental of physical abilities, one set of beliefs, as less than themselves and worthy of removing. But can this be true? For how is that truth measured? Often a definition comes from one person, based around a philosophy held by that individual. It becomes a very selfish truth, based around what we wish were true, rather than actual facts. One of the Oxford Dictionary definitions of truth is “That which is in accordance with fact or reality”. And that leads us into a much more complicated discussion, for we then have to define what is factual and what is not, what is real and what is not!

Try this at Christmas, perhaps as conversation opener! When you are sitting around with a group of friends, or family, make a statement and follow it with the words “and that is the truth”. You will quickly discover how many other versions of truth exist in the room! So where are we to get our definitive truth? Where can we look? Well there is only one person in the whole of history who has ever claimed to be “The Truth”. And His definition of truth told us to first love God and then love one another as He loved us. With that in mind it is difficult to argue any of our self-held truths if we first “love one another”. For if the truth we hold causes us to put anyone down, causes us to consider anyone less than ourselves, causes us to believe our truth is better than theirs, we fail the first test!

How can we love one another at the same time as putting another down, persecuting them, considering them of less worth than ourselves? When Jesus, whose birthday we celebrate on December 25th, said “I am the truth”, He wasn’t laying down lots of laws and rules. He was just telling us that the fundamental test of truth is to love one another. And if any politician or political representative says they are telling the truth, just use the test to see whether their statement stands up to that test.

Does it show love for all people? Or is that truth defined in their own agenda, aggrandisement, or ambition, and so puts everyone else down as not knowing or having the truth? Do enjoy your Christmas, time with family or friends, and have courage to discover how many definitions of truth there are in your household or circle of friends! But above all “Love one another!” – however hard that may be!

Have a peace filled Christmas and may God bless you all through 2020!

Adrian Burr

Minister, Stambourne Chapel
Tel: 01440 730211, 07983 656166 Email:


Sunday 22nd December 10:45 am
TRADITIONAL CAROL SERVICE Carols and readings followed by refreshments

Wednesday 25th December 9:30 am
CHRISTMAS MORNING CELEBRATION SERVICE A short celebration giving you time to get back to prepare the Christmas Lunch! We will also be providing a Christmas meal for those who will not be with their families at this time. If you know of anyone who would like to come along please let me know by 15th December. The meal is usually served around 1 pm and entertainment and activities take us through until 4 pm! Numbers are limited!!

Sunday 29th December 10:45 am
Preparing for the Year ahead A service of dedication.



Service at 10:45 am – 1st Sunday Communion Service; 4th Sunday followed by a meal; 5th Sunday Speaker from some aspect of Mission, whether it UK-AID, Felstead, who provide for those affected by Chernobyl, BGM India who support many of the poor in their locality, a local charity such as one of our local hospices, or the persecuted church around the world.


Coffee Morning – Every Tuesday 10 am-12 which includes I-Tea (Computer Support)

Band Practice most Tuesdays at 7:30pm – You are most welcome to come and listen – or bring an instrument and join in!

Otago Strength and Balance Exercises – Every Wednesday 2 -3 pm – seated and standing, strength and balance exercises to maintain and prolong independence – with refreshments afterwards!

The Chapel prays regularly for many people, but sometimes you may feel a need for urgent prayer as you face some difficult situation, or are in need of comfort or strength to face life’s ups and downs.

Please call either Adrian or Margaret, or just drop a prayer request note through the Chapel post box. We don’t need your name or details, but promise we will pray for whatever you feel able to share.


Minister: Adrian Burr, 01440 730211, 07983 656166,
Secretary: Jill Homes, 01440 709528, 07883 423528,
Prayer requests: Margaret Mead 01376 345337


It seems a long time since our Harvest Festival on 29th September. A big thank you to all those who decorated the Church and to those who attended the service which was led by Rev. Liz Paxton.

On 20th October we held a “Taize” service which was attended by a congregation of 22. Brian Moody from Toppesfield played the organ and the choir, also from Toppesfield, sang the chants so perfectly. This type of service is one that we will repeat in the near future.

The Remembrance Sunday commemoration was attended by 30 from the Church and Stambourne Chapel. A big thank you to Sally Croft and Adrian Burr for leading us in this moving service. The collection received has been sent to the Royal British Legion.


1st December9:30 amMorning PrayerDave Brown
8th December9:30 amHoly CommunionRev. Liz Paxton
15th DecemberNo service at Stambourne – please see notice board for otherservices in the Benefice
22nd December4:00 pmCAROL SERVICE with the Hedingham Singers
Followed by refreshments
25th December9:30 amCHRISTMAS DAY COMMUNIONRev. Liz Paxton
29th December11:00 amBenefice service at Little Yeldham ChurchRev. Justin Tomkins
5th January9:30 amMorning PrayerDave Brown
12th January9:30 amHoly CommunionRev. Liz Paxton
19th JanuaryNo service at Stambourne – please see notice board for other services in the Benefice
26th January9:30 amMorning PrayerDave Brown

Stambourne Church

On behalf of Stambourne Parochial Church Council I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and peaceful 2020.

Val Kerrison, Churchwarden

Tel: 01440 785752 or 07879 816362


‘Tis the season to be jolly…
Jolly! Can be a very elusive emotion unless you happen to be Santa Claus! But ‘joy’ is a fitting emotion, particularly at this time of year, for Christians when we celebrate the humble, mystical and divine birth of Jesus. At Christmas Angel Gabriel declares to ordinary people, to you and me today, to the shepherds then, ‘I am bringing you good news of great joy for all people; to you is born this day a Saviour, who is the Messiah, Christ the Lord’.

And ‘my’ don’t we need one! It feels this month is already designed to zap our positivity, to draw conflict, with the particularly dividing nature of the election; with extreme weather conditions reminding us of our over consumption; before we even add in our own personal struggles and stresses. Joy? Humbug!!

But then Christmas interjects with its beauty, awe and wonder!

Where heaven opens and earth glimpses indescribable things not of this world; of angels and heavenly beings, of God. And for a moment time stops.

Our Christmas services this year will be bursting with the joy of Jesus’ coming. Do come along and join us at St Peter and St Thomas’ for the carol service on 22nd December at 4 pm where our own joyous signing will be boosted by the wonderful voices of the Hedingham Singers, or on Christmas morning.

May you have many ‘stops’ of wonder and of joy this season,
Christmas blessings to you all,

Rev Liz Paxton

Tel: 01787 277270



SLG Christmas at the Village Hall

7.30pm onwards Wednesday 11th December

3-Course Christmas Buffet
Bring your own tipple
Raffle prizes

Zoe will show us how to decorate a Christmas bauble to take home

Here are some of the fabulous things we’re planning for 2020!

  • Coach trip to London to see 9 to 5 The Musical at The Savoy Theatre
  • Fill a hanging basket to take home demonstrated by “Plants that Grow” followed by refreshments at “Petals”
  • Tasting evening at Great Yeldham Hall Distillery (may need taxis home!)
  • Chocolatier comes to Stambourne, the best ever!
  • M&Co Autumn Fashion Show
  • “Shelley”author Shelley Hull’s inspirational memoir
  • Glass fusion -Glass blowers will show us how to create a glass vase to take away followed by drinks at the Red Lion Sturmer
  • Three course“Picnic at the Pavilion”bring your own tipple

Join us from 7:00 pm (for 7:30 pm start) every second Wednesday of the month (except January).

Also members book swap with coffee and chat every first Wednesday of the month (except January).

Contact: Vicky 07778 410376 or Lorna 01440 785573 for more details.




Silver LinkFortnightlyTuesday 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm
An afternoon of fun activities with a friendly group. Includes tea and cake.
Outings during summer months. Contact Vanessa 01440 785122
“Let’s Get Started” – Exercise ClassWeeklyTuesday 6:00 pm
For more details contact Lara 07471 105210
Stambourne K9 TrainingWeeklyTuesday 7:00 pm
For further information contact Peter 07889 121148
Stambourne Ladies’ GroupMonthly2nd Wednesday 7:00 pm for 7:30 pm
Call Vicky 01440 785528 or Lorna 01440 785573
BingoMonthly3rd Wednesday 7:00 pm
For more details contact Cath 01440 785678


10th DecemberWhite Horse, RidgewellChristmas Dinner
24th DecemberNo meeting
7th January2 – 4 pmVillage Hall£2.00Bring a party present
21st January2 – 4 pmVillage Hall£2.00Bring Small Raffle Prize
4th February2 – 4 pmVillage Hall£2.00Bring Small Raffle Prize



A big thank you to everyone who donated to and helped in any way with the jumble sale on November 2nd. The weather wasn’t kind but there was a great turnout and £700 was raised. This will be split between The Essex Air Ambulance and The British Heart Foundation.
Please start saving items for our next jumble in May / June 2020.

Jumble sale


The first bingo session will be on Wednesday 15th. January at 7:00 pm (and after that every 3rd.Wednesday of the month)
Please contact Cath (01440 785678) for further



After the indulgences of the holiday season why not join Lara’s weekly class? Burn some calories, tone- up and beat the post-Christmas blues! A friendly welcoming group suitable for all ages and abilities. Come along to the Village Hall on Tuesday 7th January at 6:00 pm or contact Lara 07471 105210 to discuss.

Fitness class


Saturday 4th January 2020
12 midday – 2 pm
Stambourne Village Hall

Children up to the age of ten
Each child to bring a plate of food (eg sausage rolls, crisps, biscuits)

Please contact Catherine Naunton 07749 811830 if your child / children would like to attend so we have an idea of numbers.

Thank you to Stambourne Parish Council for their kind donation

Children's Christmas Party

CreativeArt Group

Come and join us for creative mornings with art guidance by a local contemporary professional artist!

1st and 3rd Thursdays each month St. Peter and St Thomas Church, Stambourne – 10h 00 to 12h 30



For more information get in contact with Kirsten 07469 237 330 / Heather 07800 915 346

Donation to cover coffee and tea

Creative Art Group


Superfast broadband update

Gigaclear are now live along Cornish Hall End Road, Stambourne.

Full-fibre broadband (up to 900Mb/s) can now be ordered and connected for premises along Cornish Hall End Road from Gigaclear. This is the fastest broadband available in the country, with speeds from 30Mb/s to 900Mb/s depending on the package you buy. See for more information.

This is part of the “Superfast Essex” roll-out which may include other parts of the village in the future.

Separately, County Broadband aim to start their work in other parts of the village “early in 2020”. This will also be a full-fibre service offering similar speeds, although it’s currently unknown when the service will actually be available.

See for updates on internet improvements in the village.

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