Stambourne Newsletter: December 2022 / January 2023

Digital version of the December 2022-January 2023 Stambourne Newsletter, the bi-monthly printed newsletter published and distributed by Stambourne Parish Council – No: 271

The latest Stambourne Newsletter is now available. Read all about the Parish Council, news from Stambourne Chapel and Stambourne Church, activities in Stambourne and more.

Stambourne newsletter December 2022 / January 2023

Stambourne newsletter December 2022 / January 2023


The last meeting of 2023 took place on Wednesday, 23rd November 2022 at 7.30pm. The meeting was held in the Village Hall, Stambourne.

The Pavillion in Stambourne


The Pavilion has had many bookings and been well used throughout the summer and there have been many positive comments about its refurbishment. It will now be closed down for the winter and re-open in the Spring.


There have not been many issues to report in the area. However, please let me know if you see anything or report online to

Parish Council Meeting Dates 2023
• 19th January 2023
• 23rd March 2023
• 18th May 2023
• 20th July 2023
• 21st September 2023
• 22nd November 2023 (Wednesday)

All are Thursdays at 7.30pm in the Village Hall unless shown otherwise.

More details may be found here »

Full minutes are available on the village website:

Debbie Hilliard, Parish Clerk, 01440 785 629

Stambourne newsletter December 2022 / January 2023


Fireworks & bonfire

Once again the event was a huge success, the weather was kind and many people attended.

It is impossible to put on an event of this kind without a huge team of volunteers who step forward every year to help. This includes teams of people on the gate and parking, barbecue (including Splinters for the use of their barbecue), bonfire, letting off the fireworks and clearing up afterwards.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered to help.

We are pleased to say that funds raised from this will be used to buy a defibrillator to be located at the Stambourne Village Hall. Watch this space for more details about when this will happen.

Once again, thank you everyone!



Remembrance Sunday

Although we couldn’t get into the Church on Remembrance Sunday we had a nice gathering at the War Memorial where we laid the wreaths and read out the names of the servicemen who died in the War.

We then went to the Chapel for a lovely Remembrance Service with Adrian and the band followed by very welcomed refreshments.

Thank you to Rev. Liz and Adrian for ensuring Stambourne never forgets those brave soldiers who fought for our village and country.

I visited the Church to see the progress of the building/repair work. Things are going to plan with stage one. Although some extra work needs to be done on the tower roof and inside the tower where we have the kitchen, the morning Prayer Service on 4th December will go ahead and so should the Carol Service on 11th December.

Christmas carols

Any offers of help for the Carol Service whether it be arranging flowers/greenery, reading a lesson or help with refreshments will be greatly appreciated.

Stambourne newsletter December 2022 / January 2023


4th December9.30amMorning PrayerTia Stickland
11th December4pmCarol Service »Rev. Liz Paxton
18th DecemberNo service
25th DecemberCHRISTMAS DAYNo service in Stambourne but services elsewhere as follows:
24th December6.30pmChristmas EveToppesfield Church
24th December11amMidnight MassSible Hedingham Church
25th December10amChristmas DayCastle Hedingham Church
25th December11amChristmas DayToppesfield Church
1st January 2023Benefice ServiceLittle Yeldham
8th January9.30amHoly CommunionRev. Liz Paxton
29th January9.30amMorning PrayerTia Stickland
5th February9.30amMorning PrayerTia Stickland
12th February9.30amHoly CommunionRev. Liz Paxton

On behalf of the Parochial Church Council, I would like to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a happy and safe New Year. We look forward to seeing you at one or more of the Christmas services.

Val Kerrison, Churchwarden
01440 785 752 or 07879 816 362

Stambourne newsletter December 2022 / January 2023


Christmas tree

I wonder if you have a favourite Christmas advert this year? What about Buddy the Elf at Asda? Or the slightly ‘risqué’ one from Aldi with Kevin the carrot? What about the John Lewis one with dad skateboarding and the arrival of a foster child? The one that really tugs my heartstrings is the little Robin ‘coming home’ for Christmas in the Waitrose ad.

Christmas adverts tend to fall into two main categories. There are the ones which give a faintly veiled message that if you shop with them, you will be able to create the perfect family Christmas. Some are humorous, some are heart-warming, some have no subtlety at all – but however they are done, they are saying the same thing. You get a string of images of couples and families eating food, opening gifts and keeping other Christmas traditions with things you can buy from the shop in question.

Then there are the other Christmas adverts that tell a story instead, and these are the ones I love. The adverts I mentioned above are possibly the best of that bunch for 2022. These adverts are still trying to sell you stuff, but not by showing you all the products they have to create a perfect Christmas – rather they are showing you that they “get” what Christmas is about. They understand Christmas and you can go to them to help you capture that Christmas essence for yourself.

At this point, if I were a different sort of vicar, I would get all curmudgeonly about the distinct lack of the nativity in these stories! But there is a good Christian message at the heart of these adverts: that Christmas is all about love.

In our Christmas story, we see many of these things. A God who came on a quest to the world, offering love and connection. A God who built a friendship between God and humanity, and gave himself so we might be saved. A God who by God’s love and goodness transforms us so that we might be people who share God’s love in the world. And it all started at Christmas with a baby…

Love, connection, reconciliation, self-giving, transformation – these Christmas adverts do “get” what Christmas is all about. Their only mistake is knowing where to go to find it. Because I promise you, that much as I love Marks and Spencer’s, these are not things we can pop in a shopping basket.

Love is a gift of God. You don’t have to buy it – you are only asked to share it. So this Christmas, why not take a little time to receive the love of God. And then pass that on to others. Because that is what Christmas is really about!

Do join us as we celebrate this on 11th December at the Carol Service at 4pm in St Peter and St Thomas’ Church. Come home to the whole reason for the season and share the love of Christ with us this Christmas.

On another note, unfortunately we are all thinking about finances at this time of year. I wanted to make you all aware of the work that has been going on at St Peter and St Thomas. I am sure you will have seen the scaffolding. What started out as a relatively minor repair has uncovered significant damage and costs of around £100,000. 

Please do consider a donation to the church building fund as part of your generosity this Christmas.


Rev. Liz Paxton, Rector

The Benefice of the Hedinghams and Upper Colne
07932 160 594 or 01787 277 270


News from the Chapel

Merry Christmas

Over the last few months we have seen little world news. Everything has been dominated by local politics and sports! But there have been some major events from volcanoes (48 currently active!, Indonesia, Russia and Solomon Islands most recently) and earthquakes (Turkey, Solomon Islands, Indonesia).

There are many wars still raging and a lot of terrorism still happening in so many countries.

And then we have revelations about the behaviour of people in public life which leads us to have concern about those who are not in the public eye!

Over the last few months I have been reading through the Old Testament again and in those historical books we see exactly the same behaviour, but of course with less sophisticated means at their disposal.

The book of Ecclesiastes tells us that “there is nothing new under the sun” and when it comes to the way we treat each other and the world then that is really true. Everything we have seen, both in the natural world and in human behaviour has, despite our best efforts, all happened before, and will happen again!

But one thing that does seem to have been under the radar for a long time and now is coming to the forefront is the willingness of people to make up their own mind what is the truth and however farfetched and counter to experiential or historical evidence, these views are expounded and treated as if they have credibility.

There is a saying about learning from our mistakes, and probably one of the biggest mistakes we can ever make is to not learn from realising that our own version of the truth is rarely the correct one. If we haven’t done our research, sought out experiential and historical evidence and researched the backgrounds of those views we are hearing, then we are unlikely to reach a good conclusion. Indeed we have seen that with some of our own countries history where particular contributions to the greatness, and also the mistakes, of our nation have been whitewashed out and forgotten.

That is why those who believe in God understand that there is only one truth and we are unlikely to know it until the day when we can be with Him, when we depart from this world. As Solomon, author of Ecclesiastes says, everything is nonsense. When we look at the bigger picture of the world we realise that we are just very small cogs in a very large machine, and, as many politicians find out really quickly, we don’t have control of everything or even the simple things around us. Recently a friend went, with 900 others, on what was supposed to be an enjoyable cruise, but it appears that those responsible for the ship decided that it was OK to sail into a force 10 gale and, several injuries, breakages and bruised bodies later, the captain and its owners discovered that they are not in control! We are thankful everyone came home!

Every farmer knows the truth of this, and we all can come to realise our place in this world and consequently learn to love one another and care for one another, just as God does, and rejoice in our experiences of life.

I hope we can all enjoy Christmas — the truth? It is the day we celebrate the birth of Jesus — God’s son! How do I know? Well, I have done my research — I have checked out the history books of the day, I have checked out what others have said, I have checked out all I can and come to the conclusion that it only makes sense if this is true. I hope this year we can all come to know this truth!

Have a lovely Christmas celebration and we look forward to sharing in 2023!

Every blessing,

Adrian Burr, Minister

Stambourne newsletter December 2022 / January 2023


SundayMorning Services
10.45am. 1st Sunday includes Communion. We come together to share in our Sunday Service of worship. All are welcome!
TuesdayCoffee morning »
10am – 12pm. Coffee and chat.

Silver Link »
2pm – 4pm. Every other week.

Band practice
7.30pm. Open for all to come and listen and enjoy.
WednesdayWednesday Club
10am – 2pm. For people with learning disabilities, as respite for carers.

Better Balance
2pm – 3pm. Gentle exercise to improve confidence, increase stability, improve mobility and balance, strengthen muscles and improve posture. We seek to do some appropriate exercise to help with core strength and balance. This is tailored around the needs and abilities of those who attend, so we never need to feel over stretched or over active!
ThursdayCoffee morning »
10am – 12pm. Coffee and prayer. Every 3rd Thursday will include Outings Group coffee morning.

EVENTS for December 2022 and January 2023

4th DecemberHaverhill Silver Band Christmas Concert (part of the Outings Coffee morning »)
At 4pm at Haverhill Arts Centre. Tickets are £10.
17th DecemberCinderella Pantomime (part of the Outings Coffee morning »)
At 2.30pm at Haverhill Arts Centre. Tickets are £17 or £15.50 for concessions. Again we will arrange transport for those who book to go.
18th DecemberChristmas Carols by Candlelight with mulled wine (non-alcoholic) and mince pies.
At 4pm at The Stambourne Chapel.
25th DecemberChristmas Day Celebration
At 9.30am at The Stambourne Chapel.
1st January 2023New Year Dedication Service
At 10.45am at The Stambourne Chapel.

The Stambourne Chapel is a registered place for weddings, and offers Christenings and baptisms, as well as providing a place to celebrate the life of a loved one and provides a last resting place where they can be freely visited.


This group of volunteers supports people of all ages through life changing situations whether that is relationships, births and deaths, legal situations, or care requirements. We provide support by shopping, getting medication, transport and by coming for a chat and cuppa! We will provide transport to activities such as Silver Link or community events, to doctors and hospital visits, or even solicitors and banks! Our aim is to share the burden of a situation and make sure the right professional help is found where it is beyond our means.

Call Jill Holmes on 07883 423 528, or email at

Adrian Burr, Minister,, 07983 656 166
Margaret Mead, Secretary & prayer request,, 07561 283 587
Jill Holmes, Project Lead & Stambourne Chapel Care,, 07883 423 528

Find us on Facebook: Stambourne Chapel or Stambourne Chapel Care


Stambourne Ladies Group

Save these dates!

If you’d like to know more than please visit the Stambourne Ladies Group section or contact Vicky on 07908 099 904 or Lorna on 07980 922 636.

Christmas meal »

Join the Stambourne Ladies Group for our annual Christmas meal and celebrate the upcoming holiday season with us!

  • 15th December 2022 at The White Horse, Mill Road, Ridgewell CO9 4SG
  • 7pm for 7.30pm
  • Contact Vicky on 07908 099 904 or Lorna on 07980 922 636 for more details
Christmas meal

Stambourne Ladies Group Meet-up »

Join us for the first meeting of 2023 at the Stambourne Village Hall, when we look forward to seeing current members and welcoming new ones. It’s time to enrol. £20 secures your place for the rest of the year. 

  • 8th February 2023 at Stambourne Village Hall, Church Road, Stambourne CO9 4NP
  • From 7pm onwards
  • Contact Vicky on 07908 099 904 or Lorna on 07980 922 636 for more details

Knit & Natter Club »

  • Every other Thursday at The Green Man, 3 Church Lane, Toppesfield CO9 4DR
  • 5pm – 7pm
  • Get crafty with knitting, crochet, sewing, embroidery, quilting and more!
  • Bring along your projects, share ideas and tips, get inspired or just come for a chat. Everyone welcome!
  • You don’t need to be a member of the Stambourne Ladies Group to join us
  • Contact Anna on 07944 696 527 for more details

And if you can’t knit/won’t knit? That’s fine! Just come for a natter and to meet friends (or make new ones). Whatever your levels of craftiness, join in!
More info »

Knit & Natter Club

Stambourne newsletter December 2022 / January 2023


Village Hall available for hire »

Hiring Fees, including heating and electricity:

  • For residents: £8 per hour
  • For non-residents: £10 per hour

There is also a table tennis table and carpet bowls is available.

To hire the Stambourne Village Hall, contact Rosemary Horton on 01440 785 339. More info »

Don’t forget you can use the Village Hall for your celebrations or clubs. If it’s not used there is a risk of this great amenity being lost.

Stambourne Village Hall

Women’s workout »

Women only fitness class focusing on improving general fitness, strength, balance and core in a fun and supportive environment.

  • Every Tuesday at the Stambourne Village Hall, Church Road, Stambourne CO9 4NP
  • From 6pm
  • £6 per session (please book in advance)
  • For more information, contact Lara on 07471 105 210
Fitness class

Christmas quiz at the Stambourne Village Hall »

Chicken curryjacket potatoes and a vegetarian option, as well as Christmas pudding and cream will accompany the evening.

Bring your own drink and glass and have a good time!

The Christmas Grand Draw will also be held on the night.

Prize for winning table

  • Saturday, 10th December 2022 at the Stambourne Village Hall, Church Road, Stambourne CO9 4NP
  • 7pm for 7.30pm
  • £10 per person (including food)
  • Contact Cath on 01440 785 678 to book a table
Christmas quiz

Christmas Craft Market in Stambourne »

Local author, cards & stationery, pottery, jewellery, books, decorations, memory boxes, cushions, unique gifts, cakes, pies, pastries, and more. #buylocal

There will also be a charity tombola and light refreshments.

  • Saturday, 17th December 2022 at the Stambourne Village Hall, Church Road, Stambourne CO9 4NP
  • 10am – 2pm
  • Contact Coral Fordham on 07876 553 332 for more details

Cathy’s Fresh Pine Christmas Wreaths

  • Available now!
  • Free Delivery
  • To order phone: 01440 785 678
Cathy's Christmas Wreaths

Stambourne Newsletter

Ideas and contributions for the next newsletter to Karen Crago at or the post box at Tagley Farm by Thursday, 26th January 2023.

Thank you.

Stambourne Newsletter

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