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with Dedham, East Bergholt, Flatford & Stratford St Mary Volume 4 • Issue No. 3 • DECEMBER 2016


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A WORD FROM THE EDITOR I’ve just been informed that Auntie Sarah will be visiting Suffolk on December 3 and as it’s the perfect opportunity to get Christmas presents to that side of the family (all 11 of them) I’m now on a deadline! Thank goodness there are many, many Christmas markets and festivals coming up. They are a particularly useful place to find locally produced gifts for out-oftowners. I’m definitely focused on finding handmade gifts this year, possibly inspired by the beautiful Christmas Tree decoration I received from a close friend last year. It was one of my favourite presents and I’m secretly hoping she gives me another this year. I have been dropping heavy hints since June or thereabouts so I’m quite hopeful. There are many good reasons to shop local at Christmas, not least the fact that your spending will boost the local economy, save or indeed generate jobs, support local entrepreneurs and create a more vibrant and engaged community. There’s also the social aspect, the fact that you are more likely to find quirky, one-off items, maybe even try before you buy and get a better deal or some advice. According to a new study, UK shoppers are predicted to spend £73 billion this Christmas, with online sales accelerating to unprecedented levels. Apparently convenience, price comparison and avoiding crowds and queues are three of the main reasons why online shopping is so popular, but don’t assume than ‘online’ and ‘local’ are entirely contradictory. Most of our local retailers sell online so you can take advantage of the benefits of online shopping and support local business at the same time. For me, Christmas means cleaning the house from top to bottom (sad I know, but deeply embedded) and down ‘n’ dirty old style shopping with the crowds, the queues, the Christmas music, carol singers, hot chocolate, mince pies and a glass or two of mulled wine to soothe aching muscles. I can’t wait. On behalf of my colleagues here at Mansion House Publishing I wish you and yours a Happy and Peaceful Christmas.

In Touch

with Dedham, East Bergholt, Flatford & Stratford St Mary

Thank you to all who attended our coffee morning and introduction to first aid in the Benneworth Lounge in September. It was good to see so many people there. As it was so successful we are planning to hold another coffee morning in February, this time jointly with the Royal British Legion. The focus will be on dementia awareness with a session run by Dementia Friends Champions who are funded by the Alzheimer’s Society to promote better understanding of dementia, how to relate to those who live with dementia and to dispel some of the misconceptions about the condition. It could be very useful for many people living in and around East Bergholt. The date and venue will be published in the January edition. On a more general note, please note that the Community First Responders can only respond at the request of The East Anglian Ambulance Service. The only way to get the responder on call to help is to call 999 or 111; please do not try and contact responders on their private numbers. As we come to the end of a very busy year we want to thank you for all the support you have given throughout the year. Your contributions help us to keep the team going and to make sure the community defibrillators are maintained and ready for use at all times. We do still need more responders so if you enjoy helping people and are looking for local volunteer work, please give us a ring to find out more: 01206 298692 All that is left is to wish you and your families and friends a very happy, healthy and peaceful Christmas and 2017.

In Touch with Dedham, East Bergholt & Flatford is published by: Mansion House Publishing (UK) Ltd, 20 Wharfedale Road, Ipswich IP1 4JP Editor: Sharon Jenkins We also publish Email:

01473 400380 Send editorial copy to: Readers are invited to submit articles, illustrations and photographs for publication. The publishers reserve the right to amend such submissions and cannot accept responsibility for any loss.


01473 400380 DISTRIBUTION Tree Martin Email:

01473 400380 PRINTING Colourplan Print Email:

01473 400379 Disclaimer: The views expressed by contributors are not necessarily those of the publisher. Every effort is taken to ensure that the contents of this magazine are accurate but the publisher cannot assume any responsibility for errors or omissions. While reasonable care is taken when accepting advertisements or editorial, the publisher/editor will not accept responsibility for any unsatisfactory transactions and also reserves the right to refuse to include advertising or editorial. They will, however immediately investigate any written complaints.


• Hadleigh • Stowmarket • Capel St Mary • Bramford, Somersham & Offton • Needham Market, Creeting St Mary & Creeting St Peter • Sproughton & Burstall • Claydon, Barham & Henley • Manningtree, Mistley, Lawford & Brantham • Martlesham Heath & Old Martlesham • Kesgrave & Rushmere • Woodbridge & Melton • Gt. & Lt. Blakenham, Baylham & Nettlestead • Westerfield, Witnesham & Tuddenham St. Martin • Copdock, Washbrook, Belstead, Bentley & Tattingstone • Ipswich East, Broke Hall, Ravenswood & Warren Heath • Shotley, Chelmondiston, Pin Mill, Holbrook, Woolverstone & Erwarton



© Mansion House Publishing (UK) Ltd. No part of this magazine may be reproduced or used in any form or by any means, either wholly or in part, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

12 DECEMBER 2016

© In Touch with Dedham, East Bergholt, & Flatford is published by Mansion House Publishing (UK) Ltd as part of the “In Touch with . . . ” series of magazines.

is the final date for both advertising & editorial copy

ALLOTMENT PLOTS AVAILABLE IN CAPEL Half plots are available now at £16 per annum plus membership. So if you live in or around Capel and fancy a go at ‘Growing Your Own’ please contact Dennis: 01473 310988 /

SURGERY TRANSPORT SCHEME Writing pieces for In Touch produces results! This month we have welcomed two new members to our volunteer scheme as a result of seeing previous pieces in this magazine. Perhaps you have looked and wondered whether you could help. Well if you have a car, are free during daytime and prepared to help someone who cannot get to the surgery, then you would be welcomed. The scheme is getting busier and is likely to during the winter months. As the volunteer base grows so the frequency of callout per volunteer decreases. If you can help, contact Chris Yule: / 310992 The scheme is administered by St Mary’s Anglican Church.




On Tuesday, November 1, Babergh and Mid Suffolk members joined other representatives from across the UK to pay tribute to the best and most innovative councillors in the country.

We were pleased to host another well received talk in early October at Capel Methodist Church. Consultant cardiologist Dr Nick Robinson talked about advances in heart surgery and how to prevent heart disease. As the nation gets heavier, blood pressure is also rising, increasing the risk of stroke and heart problems. With illustrations he showed that modern heart surgery is far less invasive and extremely effective, such as inserting stents to re-inflate collapsed blood vessels. He also talked about signs to look out for – including a feeling of indigestion after exercise.

The councillors gathered in London for the LGiU’s Councillor Awards. This seventh annual awards scheme is the only national showcase honouring  the hard work of councillors from across the country. The winners were selected by a judging panel made up of local government experts and councillors. One Babergh member and one Mid Suffolk member were shortlisted for awards out of more than 200 submissions: Councillor Jennie Jenkins, leader of Babergh District Council and member for Leavenheath, was shortlisted for the LGiU award for Leader of the Year and Councillor Gerard Brewster, Mid Suffolk District Council Portfolio Holder for Business Growth and Increased Productivity and member for Stowmarket (South), was shortlisted for the LGiU award for District Councillor of the Year. Sadly neither received the award for their category, but the evening offered a chance to meet with outstanding councillors from across the country and learn how other authorities are meeting the challenges all local government is facing.

We asked those present at this talk, and at our previous talk on diabetes, to suggest future topics. Suggestions so far include: dementia, healthy living/weight loss, men’s health, women’s health (including dealing with menopause), kidney problems, mental health, dementia, stroke, asthma and CPR (resuscitation). If you have any other suggestions please either email us at or use one of the PPG comment cards in the waiting rooms. We are alternating the venue for the talks between Capel St Mary and East Bergholt. Please look out for notices on future talks in village magazines, in the waiting rooms and on parish council noticeboards. Kathy Pollard, chair: 01473 311384

Councillor Jennie Jenkins said: “The LGiU puts us in touch with other councillors across the country and it was an honour to be shortlisted from such a vast pool of women and men working hard for their communities. A leader is only as good as their team and being on that list of seven was a testament to the dedication and talent of all the councillors and staff at Babergh who have worked so hard to keep delivering the services our communities need in a changing world.”

SUFFOLK DEMENTIA HELPLINE 01473 353350 We are here to help 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The helpline can provide a listening ear as well as information and signposting to services that can help. The Suffolk Dementia Helpline can support anyone who needs to talk. Perhaps you have memory worries yourself or even a recent diagnosis and want someone to talk to. Maybe you have concerns about a loved one, or need support in your caring role. Perhaps it’s just information you are after, or a confidential chat with someone.

Councillor Gerard Brewster said: “Being shortlisted for District Councillor of the Year was a great experience and I want to thank the LGiU for the work they put into the awards. This shows that we in Suffolk can lead the country in the way we deliver for our constituents and communities and I look forward to continuing to work hard, both for Stowmarket and for all of Mid Suffolk, over the coming years.”

CONSTABLE COUNTRY MEDICAL PRACTICE Flu, Pneumococcal and Shingles Vaccinations We held flu clinics at East Bergholt on October 11 and Capel on October 20. We vaccinated 2,137 patients over the two days which was higher than last year. Representatives from the Patient Participation Group helped to direct patients and both days went well with a steady flow through each afternoon. Thank you to all patients for making the day so successful and for your kind donations to Age UK and EACH. Patients who are eligible for free NHS flu or pneumococcal vaccinations but were unable to attend one of our flu days can now book an appointment at one of our weekly mini-clinics. Due to supply issues we were not able to vaccinate patients eligible for the pneumococcal vaccination at our first flu day, though we did have supplies for the second one at Capel. We now have ample supplies. Note that patients were informed by letter if they are eligible for the pneumococcal vaccination. The practice has written to patients who are eligible for shingles vaccinations. These can then be booked with one of our nurses. Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) The practice implemented the Electronic Prescription Service (EPS) in November. This is a national system which is now being rolled-out across Suffolk. The system will enable many prescriptions to be processed by


the practice electronically. This will speed up the process and minimise errors. However, the practice has had to undertake extensive work to ensure that medication is recorded in a way consistent with the new system (e.g. medication must be stated as the number of tablets and not the number of packs of tablets). Inevitably there are likely to be teething problems so please check all repeat slips and medication you are dispensed to ensure it is correct and let the pharmacy or practice know immediately if you believe there is a problem. Please also note that you must nominate a pharmacy for your prescription to be processed electronically. You can inform the pharmacy or the practice, and change your nominated pharmacy at any time. Training Days A reminder that the practice will be closed from 1pm on the following dates for staff training: Wednesday, December 14 and Thursday, February 9. On these afternoons the doors will be closed so please ensure any prescriptions are picked up well beforehand. If you phone the practice the recorded message will ask you to ring 111 for medical assistance if your problem cannot wait until the next day. Practice Manager Pete Keeble

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REPORT TO PARISHES, MID-SAMFORD WARD: NOVEMBER 2016 BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCILLOR, SUE CARPENDALE New chief executive appointment I was pleased to be a member of the panel involved in the recruitment and selection of the new Babergh-Mid Suffolk CEO. It was a rigorous selection process, involving a nationwide recruitment exercise, handled initially by Gatenby Sanderson, specialist consultants in this level of appointment. During the final two assessment days, three high calibre short-listed candidates made presentations to councillors, held individual meetings with both council leaders, undertook psychometric tests and participated in a facilitated stakeholders’ meeting. Lengthy interviews followed with the six councillor panel members. From this strong field, we were delighted to offer the post to Arthur Charvonia, currently deputy CEO at Waveney-Suffolk Coastal. We expect him to join us in the New Year. Current major planning issues Residents of Capel St Mary will be aware that there are currently two major development applications under consideration in the village: one full application on land off Days Road – Hopkins x 100 homes; and a further outline application on land off Little Tufts, behind Longfield Road – Persimmon x 150 homes. The parish council have organised drop-in events for residents to view the plans for both, and will hold special meetings to discuss each application before submitting their responses to Babergh. I have requested site visits and committee decisions for both applications and

asked that the overall impact on our village and infrastructure be taken into account. We are aware of other potential interests on sites around the village. In the longer term, we are asking planners for a more strategic view of how development in Babergh might impact on villages along the A12 and A14 corridors. New target growth figures from government are expected shortly. These will inform the development of the new Local Plan for Babergh and Mid Suffolk, a first draft of which may be available as early as spring 2017. We are told to expect an uplift in the number of new homes required. Our local response to this is that development – if this is being imposed – must also provide for infrastructure, including education at all levels, transport and health services. We want to know the ‘tipping point’ which will, and must, trigger infrastructure investment. We have also challenged the strategy of welcoming ‘windfall’ development resulting from applications which are each considered on their own merits rather than as cumulative or planned growth. New council website coming soon Babergh and Mid Suffolk will shortly be sharing a new website – a prototype for which is now available for viewing and feedback. You may like to investigate at:

BABERGH DISTRICT COUNCILLOR, FENELLA SWAN Recycling A campaign was launched on Monday, October 31 by the Suffolk Waste Partnership to highlight the importance of people getting their recycling right. This campaign sees a leaflet being sent out to every household in Suffolk to show what can and can’t go in your recycling bin, and a new video will also be available online to further highlight the issues. In Suffolk more than half of our household waste is recycled, but contamination levels have been rising as people increasingly put unsuitable items in their kerbside recycling bins. These items are potentially dangerous, can have a negative impact on the environment and ultimately cost the taxpayer extra money to clean up. All recyclable waste collected from Suffolk households is taken to the Materials Recycling Facility (MRF) in Great Blakenham where it is sorted and baled before being sent on for recycling. This facility is designed to only accept and process certain materials. If the wrong items are delivered they have to be removed, sometimes by hand. To ensure the correct items are put into their recycling bins, residents across the county are being asked to combat contamination by remembering: • Textiles and clothes can no longer go in the recycling bin, either bagged or loose. Instead people are asked to donate their clothing to charity shops, or to take it to their nearest recycling banks. • Anything smaller than 4cm, such as loose bottle tops or shredded paper, won’t get recycled as they fall through the sorting process. Bottle tops


can be recycled by simply washing and squashing plastic bottles and putting the tops back on. • Aluminium foil needs to be rolled into a tennis ball size before being placed in the recycling bin. • Food waste, glass, electrical items and batteries are just some of the common contaminants found. These items can’t go in your recycling bin at home, but can be recycled elsewhere. Information on where they can be recycled is in the leaflet and online. • Some people even put used nappies in their recycling bins. These must always go in the rubbish bin. Hadleigh Porch Project Babergh District Council are providing temporary accommodation for the Hadleigh Porch Project. This move will be on a temporary basis to provide a space in Hadleigh where the project can interact with the local community. The project will be returning to their base at Deanery Tower once their offices have been refurbished. The Porch Project was set up in 2009 by St Mary’s Church in Hadleigh and aims to support young people’s well-being through social activities. The project currently works with 450 young people in Hadleigh and the surrounding area, building their confidence by developing their social skills and encouraging their personal development through social activities, learning and support programmes, school visits and street work.

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Cloudy2Clear Announce Trusted Trader Partnership Consumer champions Which? have now joined the thousands of customers who recognise that Cloudy2Clear Windows really are a business that you can TRUST. The company which specialises in repairing windows which are steamed up, broken or damaged by replacing the panes – not the frames has received the coveted ‘Which Trusted Trader’ status after going through a rigorous accreditation process entirely focussed on customer service.

Group Managing Director Marcus McGee believes that Which? have endorsed Cloudy2Clear’s long standing company policy of delivering the highest standards possible at all times. ‘Our service is simple. If your double glazing has misted up we can replace the glass at a fraction of the cost of a new window, in any type of frame, and with a new 25 year guarantee. But it’s not just about saving people money, although that obviously helps. Whilst a number

of tradespeople perhaps don’t focus on customer care as much as they should do, we make sure we turn up when we say we will, do the job the customer requires and leave their house as clean as a whistle. Locally Cloudy2Clear service the Ipswich, Woodbridge, Manningtree, Hadleigh, Stowmarket & surrounding areas and manager Andy Kerridge agrees that this approach is a major factor in his success. ‘The truth is that it’s not just the personal satisfaction that I get from doing

a good job but also it makes good business sense. I get a huge amount of business from friends and family of people I’ve done work for, which just goes to show how much a little bit of effort is appreciated as both my customers and, obviously a body as nationally important as Which? now recognise.’ So, if your windows are steamed up, broken or damaged give Andy a call for a free quotation on 0800 61 21 118 and he’ll be happy to help!

Cloudy2Clear GUARANTEE All Customers That An Average Quote Will Take No Longer Than 20 MINS!!!


Carol Concerts Free Admission

Tuesday 13th December 2016 7pm, The Chapel 89 Wimpole Road, Colchester Led by

Father Richard Tilbrook Featuring Colchester Military Wives Choir 1st Class Brass Band

Thursday 8th December 2016 7pm, Ipswich Town Football Club The Sir Bobby Robson Suite, Portman Road, Ipswich Led by

Tina Hayward Featuring Love to Sing Community Choir Ipswich & Norwich Co-op Band

Join us to remember loved ones this Christmas To book your place call Colchester 01206 793492 Ipswich 01473 257242

For over a decade, the East of England Co-op Funeral Services have brought people together at Christmas to celebrate and remember the lives of those close to them, who are no longer with us. This December, they will be hosting a number of carol concerts across the region, as well as collecting messages and memories to place on special ‘Trees to Remember’ at their funeral branches, raising money for local hospices. Andrew Dawes, Head of the East of England Co-op Funeral Services, said: “Having supported generations of local families for over 90 years, we understand that Christmas can be particularly difficult for those who have lost someone dear to them. “Tree to Remember is an important part of the ongoing support services we offer bereaved families in the local community. Our trees have collected thousands of memories of those who left a special mark on our lives. This Christmas we invite you to share your own message or memory, and look forward to welcoming you to one of our carol concerts or services.” The very first East of England Co-op funeral branch opened back in 1925 and there are now around 50 branches across the region. As a local, independent business they only operate in the Eastern region and are owned directly by their members. Because they are the local Co-op for the East of England, they work hard to support the community by helping local groups and initiatives as well as partnering with good causes and charities. This Christmas the East of England Co-op will be hosting a carol concert on Thursday 8th December at 7pm at the Bobby Robson suite at Ipswich Town Football Club and on Tuesday 13th December at Wimpole Road Service Chapel in Colchester. All are welcome to attend, with performances from the Ipswich and Norwich Co-op Band and the Love to Sing Community Choir, Colchester Military Wives and 1st Class Brass Band. Places are limited call 01473 257242 to book Ipswich and 01206 793493 to book Colchester.


Christmas at Valley Farm Flatford 26 & 27 Nov and 3 & 4 Dec, 11am - 3.30pm Join us at Valley Farm, Flatford this Christmas for our annual festive celebrations. Valley Farm plays host to a traditional Tudor Christmas with medieval foods, activities and a roaring fire. The Flatford shop will have a wonderful selection of gifts for that special someone and the tea room will have an array of festive inspired treats.

Call 01206 298260 for details When you visit, donate, volunteer or join the National Trust, your support helps us to look after special places for ever, for everyone. Š National Trust 2016. The National Trust is an independent registered charity, number 205846. Photography Š National Trust Images.



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NEWS REPORT TO PARISHES: DODNASH WARD NOTES FROM THE CASE DISTRICT COUNCILLOR JOHN HINTON I have been away charging my batteries and now that I have been back for a few days I feel like I’ve never been away. Council has appointed a new chief executive. I’m not sure when he officially starts, information is difficult to extract sometimes, but having introduced myself to him as the ‘chief troublemaker’ I think he will be a breath of fresh air. Having worked with joined councils (Waveny and Suffolk Coastal) he knows the challenges. Moves are afoot to introduce a cabinet model system to council. This will leave the majority with little to do unless information dissemination improves. There are some glaring holes in the initial information and I am seeking clarification. I am a firm believer in involving as many people in the process as possible – after all, we represent you, the electorate, not some party, personal interest or ego. The challenges to the Brexit vote show that the electorate matter not a jot to some, as long as their own interests are protected. Planning continues to be a nightmare. What should have clarified development in Neighbourhood Plan villages seems to have created more confusion for some at Babergh. Emails are already flying around and hopefully the will of the people in East Bergholt will prevail. 144 Moores Lane is back in the frame after the parish solicitors pointed out some case law to Babergh who effectively said ‘oh yes’. The committee will again look at the application and deliberate taking proper account of all the policies. Other applications continue to rumble on. Babergh’s own monitoring report indicates that of the target for new homes agreed in their core strategy, the villages have completed 75% of the total with only five out of 15 years gone. It’s the ‘towns’ that are holding back the development of new homes, not the ‘villages’ as often intimated. By the time you read this, the devolution debate will have been held again and some will hope that it is at long last dead. It appears to be a cross between a chimera and Lazarus. I will update you next month. Highways England are talking of upgrades to the A12. Having promised two years ago to resurface and repair the slip-roads within a year, I for one will not be holding my breath. Anyone trying to access the route in either direction at any of the junctions from the Essex border to Capel will know it’s getting hairier by the day. If we get the harsh winter some are forecasting, Lord help us! Looking at last months comments, it appears not much has changed. Conference season did not help, so let’s see what the spring brings in the shape of county council elections. They certainly need a shake-up if the papers are to be believed. Enjoy the dark autumn nights and keep safe when out and about. I wish you a Happy Christmas and a healthy and safe New Year. Councillor John Hinton

Suffolk’s first Co-operative Pub! As the temperature drops we’re starting to think about Christmas, and where better to get into the mood than the Case with its cosy atmosphere and wood-burning stove. See the website for opening hours over the festive season. Our festive menu is available from December 7 – bookings are filling up so don’t delay. See the website for menu details. Our Senior Citizens’ Lunch will be held on Wednesday, December 14. The pub will open from noon, with food served from 12.30pm. On offer is a main course from the festive menu, followed by a mince pie and coffee or tea for £9.95. This will be accompanied by carol singing from Bentley schoolchildren. Booking is essential. If you would like to come but have difficulty with transport, please contact Yolande on 01473 805575 or and we will arrange a lift. If you’re still not feeling properly Christmassy, come and sing carols at the pub on December 18 from 4-6pm. Guaranteed to get you in the mood. There isnt a quiz in December, but our regular programme will recommence on January 28. Come and pit your wits against our guest quiz-setter and win drinks tokens. Food served till 8pm, quiz starts at 9pm. Volunteers Still thinking about volunteering? Some of our current volunteers have recorded their experiences for you to read at www.thecasepubbentley. We’d love to welcome you to the team. Pop into the pub and have a chat to Yolande or one of the volunteers. And finally, many congratulations to the Save The Duke team, who have just agreed the purchase of The Duke of Marlborough at Somersham. This will be Suffolk’s second co-operative pub, and we are pleased and proud to have provided advice and assistance to the team over the past year. Well done to all involved. All at the Case wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 01473 805575 /

All the girls wore yellow, her favourite colour.

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Shimmy, Shake, Wiggle & Giggle to Dance Fitness Fun

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Constable Memorial Hall

Gandish Rd, East Bergholt every Monday at 10am spaces are limited to reserve yours

Call Janet on 07506 350 455

classes also in: - Brantham - Capel St Mary - Hadleigh - Nayland, & - Stratford St Mary

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01206 391855

for your local funeral director

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NEWS SAFER NEIGHBOURHOOD TEAM As we look forward to Christmas 2016 and the New Year 2017, I have a few wise words which I hope you will take the time to read. We all know how stressful and expensive Christmas shopping is and that children and friends look forward to receiving gifts from us. Don’t let theirs and your Christmas be ruined by opportunist thieves who stumble across open doors and windows, cars or sheds, to find neatly wrapped Christmas presents. If you go out make sure your house is secure, lights have been left on and valuables are out of sight. Cars on driveways should be locked and any valuables put in the boot. Why make it easy for someone else to enjoy your hard work and money? Use timer switches at home to give the impression of someone being in now that the nights are darker sooner. Try not to leave presents wrapped and visible from a window. The less incentive there is, the lower the risk you have of a break in to your property. If you are considering making expensive electrical purchases, consider marking them with a security pen and photographing their serial numbers for your records. is a free property registration service and a very powerful tool in the fight against crime. We would encourage you to register your valuable and identifiable possessions on this website. Please remember to include make, model and serial numbers where possible. It may be this winter that we experience snow flurries as well as ice cold temperatures. Make sure that you are prepared for this if using your car on the roads. Make sure your fluids are topped up, think about a blanket or warm clothes in the boot in case you get caught in a road closure. It is also worth having your tyres checked by a garage to ensure they are legal and safe to use on the roads. Decent tyres can be lifesavers, and bad ones could cost you your licence. Many people get caught out by sudden changes in road conditions; be prepared to drive slower and plan well ahead for your journey. Suffolk Police will again be taking a zero tolerance approach to alcohol fuelled crime and anti-social behaviour this Christmas. Please drink sensibly when out, have designated drivers; you will not want to be the person who is arrested on Christmas Eve and has to spend the following day in police custody. Remember you can now follow the Safer Neighbourhood Team at Hadleigh on Twitter @HadleighPolice. Finally, from all officers and staff at Hadleigh Police Station we wish you a very Merry Christmas and a peaceful, prosperous New Year. Until next month, PCSO 3173 Julia Bignell, Hadleigh SNT, Magdalen Road, Hadleigh IP7 5AD Email: For emergency calls 999 / non-emergency calls 101


ARDLEIGH SURGERY October and November are traditionally very busy months in general practice and this year has been no different. By the time you read this, our flu campaign will have been and gone and we will (hopefully) have achieved our target of vaccinating 75% of those who are eligible. This year has seen a rise in the number of patients who don’t qualify for an NHS vaccination trying to obtain one at the surgery. Unfortunately we are unable to vaccinate anyone who is outside the NHS flu programme, but many of the local pharmacies and supermarkets offer immunisation at around £5. Those of you who are eligible, please make a note in your 2017 diaries to contact the surgery in September next year to book your flu jab. Those of you who visited the surgery in late October will know that we had a Care Quality Commission (CQC) inspection on November 1. The visit seemed to go well and the inspectors talked at length to our staff, our patients and the doctors. The report into their visit will be published around Christmastime and copies will be available at the practice and on our website. The report will also include our rating. Our Patient Participation Group (PPG) will be having a meeting to discuss the CQC findings and you would be more than welcome to come along to see how the PPG works and to discuss the findings with members of the practice. Details of the date and time will be advertised later. When Dr Owens retired in June, Dr Emily Foster joined us, working three days a week. She has now decided that Ardleigh Surgery is not the practice for her. Everyone, I am sure, wishes her well in her new practice. We will be joined during the first week of December by Dr Rebecca Thompson, who comes to us from a practice in Suffolk. Dr Thompson lives locally and will be working three days a week with us and one day a week at St Helena Hospice in Colchester. We are aware that there has been a shortage of appointments during October and November. This has been partly due to a large demand for appointments, GP sickness and holidays. Rest assured that we are aware of the problems and are planning small changes to the appointment system to ensure greater availability of appointments. Many patients get concerned about being ill over the Christmas period. The surgery will only be closed at weekends (as normal) and on the bank holidays (December 26 and 27 and January 2). We will be open as normal on all other days. When we are closed, the 111 service will be available for medical advice. There is no need to order your medication early unless you would be due to run out or to collect it when we are closed. All that remains is for me to wish you a Merry Christmas and a happy and healthy New Year from everyone at Ardleigh Surgery. Practice Manager Stephanie Durrant

BLENHEIM PLANT & GARDEN CENTRE – AND SO MUCH MORE! Blenheim Plant & Garden Centre is rapidly gaining a reputation for the excellent quality of its plants, many of which are grown on site. At Blenheim you will always find an extensive range of garden plants whatever the time of year, and because many of their plants are grown and sold directly from the centre, the longest journey they make is from the plant centre to your garden. At Blenheim there is always someone on hand to help and advise you on all aspects of gardening and staff are always available to help put compost into your car. From early December they have a great selection of top quality freshly cut, potted and pot grown Christmas trees, both traditional and nondrop, in all shapes and sizes. They also have a large range of holly wreaths, which are all freshly made at the nursery. Inside the shop you will find a great range of English grown cyclamen and a superb selection of ready planted baskets and arrangements to brighten up your home for the festive season. They all make ideal gifts and presents. The centre is well worth a visit at this time of year. Blenheim recently created a brand new gift area inside the shop which means they can offer a great range of unusual gifts, presents and greetings cards. As well as plants, Blenheim also stock a large selection of other gardening related goods including seeds, bulbs, plant food, compost, tools, gloves, pots in all shapes and sizes, wild bird food, feeders, bird baths and bird tables, wellies, hats, scarves, gloves and much more. Blenheim Plant & Garden Centre, Bromley Road, Colchester CO7 7SF 01206 870605 /

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Come to Blenheim for stress-free Christmas Shopping! Garden, Home & Gift

Christmas trees delivered FREE to Brantham, Lawford, Manningtree & Mistley

Real Christmas trees in all shapes and sizes Our own holly wreaths all freshly made at the nursery

New gift area full of unusual gifts and presents

Planted baskets and arrangements

Bromley Road, Colchester, Essex CO7 7SF - 01206 870605 Discover more about us at



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OUT & ABOUT EAST BERGHOLT CINEMA Constable Hall, Gandish Road Friday, December 2: Notes on Blindness (U) After losing his sight, John Hull knew that if he didn’t try to understand blindness it would destroy him. In 1983 he began keeping an audio diary. Over three years John recorded over 16 hours of material, a unique testimony of loss, rebirth and renewal, excavating the interior world of blindness. Published in 1990, the diaries were described by author and neurologist Oliver Sacks as “a masterpiece… the most precise, deep and beautiful account of blindness I have ever read”. This film uses those diaries to tell John’s story.   Friday, January 6: Love and Friendship (U) Rave reviews all round for this witty adaptation of Jane Austen’ novella Lady Susan. Kate Beckinsale plays Lady Susan Vernon, a beautiful single mother in 1790s England. The recently widowed Lady Susan has no money and no husband, but these are only minor inconveniences as she pursues wealth, status and sexual satisfaction. Doors open at 7.30pm, films start at 8pm. Bar and refreshments available. Tickets (£4 / £2 for Under 18s) are available in advance from the Fountain House Tearoom in East Bergholt, by calling 01206 299774 to reserve tickets until 7.45pm, and on the door.

HADLEIGH COMMUNITY CHOIR’S WINTER CONCERT 2016 Hadleigh Community Choir will present its annual winter concert at 7.30pm on Saturday, December 3 in Hadleigh United Reformed Church, Market Place, Hadleigh. Tickets are now on sale (£8 each, children under 12 free) from Keith Avis Newsagents and The Idler bookshop in Hadleigh High Street. The choir will be singing a mix of songs and carols with additional performances by choir soloists. We will again be inviting our audience to join in a Christmas carol sing-along; words will be included in the programmes. After the concert everybody is welcome to the ‘afterglow’ in the Ansell Room with wine, soft drinks and festive fare, all included in the ticket price.  There will also be an opportunity to enter our now famous and popular prize gift draw. A proportion of profits will be shared between The Christmas Present Trust and Hadleigh Dementia Action Alliance. We look forward to seeing you there. For more information call Josie or Nik: 01473 824462

BRANTHAM AMATEUR THEATRICAL SOCIETY BATS members are getting excited! Tickets for Little Shop of Horrors at Brantham Village Hall from February 14-19 at 7.30pm, with a 2.30pm matinee on Saturday 19, are going on sale during December. We all enjoy a musical and this is one of exceptional quality, written by composer Alan Menken and writer Howard Ashman. A spoof science fiction about a nerdy florist shop worker who raises a vicious, raunchy plant. With catchy songs, music provided by a live band, romance and an introduction to life on the backstreets, BATS aim to present a colourful, dazzling show with dancing and puppetry to bring the story to life. This scintillating show is suitable for all the family. Directed by John Hoskyns and Pippa Revell. Tickets (£8 / children £6) can be purchased online from www.ticketsource. or from Bakes and Blossoms, Acacia Court, Brantham (9.30am2pm). Enquiries to 07891 974844 (text or voicemail). There’s still time to help backstage; contact Angie on 01206 396674.

ST MICHAEL’S MONTHLY MARKET The next monthly market at St Michael’s, The Church on the Park, Woolverstone is on Saturday, December 10, 9am-12.30pm. Fruit, vegetables, cakes, bread, meat and an interesting range of handcrafted items which helps present buying. Enjoy the Christmas atmosphere, mulled wine and mince pies. East End Butchers are pleased to be the market’s resident meat supplier. If you would like to place on order with them it can be collected at the market each month. Their number for orders is 01206 392190. Come along to mingle with your friends, have a cup of coffee and a bacon buttie and enjoy the lovely venue. New stalls welcome. Contact Jane Gould: 01473 780777




Join us for Carols and Christmas Music at Flatford Restaurant on Satutrday, December 3, 1.30-3pm, and at The Hare and Hounds from 7pm on Thursday, December 22.                

The weather has turned colder and the days are definitely drawing in so why don’t we just curl up on the sofa, under a warm woolly blanket and read? Sounds ideal!

We practice every Thursday. For further details please contact Mel on 01206 298628 or Yvonne on 01206 209428 (apologies to 298408 which was quoted in the last edition).


What! No book to read or no woolly blanket? Well, the library offers you both. We have lots of knitting and craft books and of course plenty of reading material. Or perhaps you might want to listen to a storybook. We have a good range on offer and of course you can order anything from the online catalogue. Browse and select to pick up from a library of your choice. DVDs are also available to hire on a weekly basis.

The November winners of our monthly draw were: Di Barker (£15), Sue Edwards (£5) and Pauline Wyman (£5).

Thank you for your support of the local library – may we wish you a Happy Christmas and peaceful New Year.

As we approach the end of the year, why not make a New Year’s resolution to join the friends (it only costs £1) and to enrol in the 100 Club? This all goes to support the work being done to maintain our local library. As we read of local libraries in other counties being closed in council cuts, our own library is expanding its role in the community. We now have iPads available to borrow (must be booked but the friends may add to their number depending on demand) and a popular Minecraft club. To the uninitiated, this is a very popular online game and the library runs regular sessions for youngsters to play it together.

ADVANCE NOTICES We shall be closed for the Christmas break on December 25, 26 and 27, re-opening with normal hours on Wednesday 28. We will also be closed on Sunday, January 1. Please use the book drop letterbox for any returns made on these dates; the books will be dealt with by staff upon re-opening.

Watch out too for the cinema presentations. We plan to get a community cinema up and running in the New Year, but it will depend on your support. The library service in Suffolk is run by Suffolk Libraries and as we go to print we have learned that Sarah Wilson, our current chair, has been co-opted onto the management board. This will give Capel a voice at the table where decisions are made about the future shape of libraries in Suffolk.

We also notify of closures in January to enable our friends the Orchard Players to prepare for their pantomime. The library will be closed from 5pm on Friday 13 and from 12.30pm on Saturday 14. Again please use the book drop letterbox for returns. Don’t forget that we first and second class stamps and also book tokens. CLUBS FOR DECEMBER Baby Bounce: Tuesdays 6 and 13 at 2pm Book Club: Friday 16 at 2.30pm Minecraft: Sundays 4 and 18, 10.30am-12.30pm Do ask the staff for details of our clubs and we will endeavour to answer your questions. NEW: We now offer an iPad lending service. Conditions apply, but do ask for further details. We have an IT whizz offering help on an appointment basis on Tuesday mornings. Again do ask for further details. New Year dates for your diaries Our next Creative Arts East showing is The Car Man on January 26, doors open at 1.30 for screening to start at 1.45pm. The Friends of Capel Library AGM is on January 28 at 4pm. Further details will be published in the January edition. OPENING HOURS Monday: Closed Tuesday: 9.30am-12.30pm & 2-5.30pm Wednesday: 9.30am-12.30pm Thursday: 9.30am-12.30pm Friday: 2-5pm & 5.30-7.30pm Saturday: 9am-3pm Sunday: 10am-3pm Tel: 01473 311699

CAPEL SINGERS CHRISTMAS CONCERT Capel Singers Christmas Concert will take place in St Mary’s Church on Tuesday, December 13. As many know, this makes a great start to the Christmas season with a mix of carols telling the Christmas story and a selection of readings drawn from far and wide. Some real favourites, some humorous, and some that make you think a bit. The concert will be at 7.30pm, followed (as always) by seasonal refreshments.


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OUT & ABOUT DEDHAM FILMS LIVE The Assembly Rooms, Dedham Wednesday, December 21, 7pm (doors open at 6.30pm): The Railway Children Our family Christmas event, mince pies and all, is a live performance of this delightful award winning adaptation of E Nesbit’s children’s novel broadcast from the Yorkshire Railway Museum in conjunction with The York Theatre Royal. Tickets £10 from Shakespeare House Gallery on Dedham High Street or online at:  

CHRISTMAS AT FLATFORD Celebrate Christmas at Flatford on Saturday, December 3 and Sunday 4, 10.30am-3.30pm. Each year Flatford hosts a traditional Christmas celebration to get you in the mood for the festive season. This year, the ancient hall of Valley Farm will be decorated for a Tudor Christmas. Greenery garlands will hang from the ancient walls and frame the huge inglenook fireplace, where a cosy wood fire will keep Valley Farm at Flatford, the winter chill at bay. Tables will National Trust/Simon Peachey be laid for a festive feast and costumed Tudors will be on hand to tell you about winter activities and Christmas customs.

Spend an evening with novelist Janet Davey who will be appearing at Ipswich Institute (15 Tavern Street, IP1 3AA) on Wednesday, December 9 as part of Suffolk Book League’s 2016 programme of events. Janet’s first novel, English Correspondence, was longlisted for the Orange Prize, and her latest, Another Mother’s Son, considers the challenges of modern day parenthood in close detail and has been described as “a mesmerizing take on a mother’s dread of the empty nest”. Doors open at 7pm with the event starting at 7.30pm. Entrance is £4 for members of Suffolk Book League and £8 for non-members. Students are free on production of a valid student card. Tickets can be paid for on the door or if you want to book in advance please email: Suffolk Book League, a quite unique organisation, provides what is essentially a year-long literary festival. For further information visit:

The festive theme continues in the tea room, where you’ll be able to enjoy seasonal favourites like mince pies and mulled wine. If you prefer something savoury, you may enjoy our delicious cheese and onion pasties or sausage rolls. Back by popular demand is the tasty mince pie scone, a Flatford favourite! The National Trust Gift Shop will be open, giving visitors the chance to stock up on last minute Christmas presents and treat themselves. A great range of gifts will be on display, so you are bound to find something suitable. You will also be able to sample some of the delicious chutneys, jams, biscuits and liqueurs for sale in the shop. In the RSPB’s Wildlife Garden, you will be able to make natural decorations and bird feeders and browse the volunteers’ craft stall. You can also join in the ancient custom of wassailing an apple tree, believed to ward off evil spirits so the tree has a bumper crop of fruit. You may even meet a very special visitor. The Constable Singers will perform carols and Christmas songs in the tea room on Saturday afternoon while Brantham Community Choir will entertain people on Sunday afternoon. Entry is free, but there will be a parking charge of £4 per car for non National Trust members and a small donation for some activities. To find out more, please call the National Trust on 01206 297201 or visit: /

SINGALONG A CHRISTMAS Saturday, December 10 3-5pm at Lawford Church Raffle, refreshments, free entry. Songs and carols for the whole family. Dress code: Christmas hats and jumpers!




Our main purpose is to encourage lifelong learning for those who are no longer in full time employment and emphasis is always placed on making learning active and fun as well as helping in developing friendships. We have a wide range of groups including language study, country walking and computer studies and groups that visit gardens, churches and historic buildings.

On November 2 John Stark introduced us to the Mid Suffolk Light Railway and on Wednesday, November 16 a representative from Homestead Senior Care spoke to us about senior fraud. Both informative meetings were much enjoyed by our members.

In the main, membership is drawn from communities in the lower Stour Valley and adjacent areas including Brantham, Capel St Mary, Dedham, East Bergholt, Holbrook, Lawford, Manningtree, Raydon and Stratford St Mary. We are affiliated to the ThirdAge Trust, have over 260 members and 21 groups. For further information please visit www.stourvalleyu3a. where membership secretary Val Pretty may be contacted. On Wednesday, November 9, Adrian Wright FRGS presented a talk entitled Earth on Fire. Hawaiian larva oozes continuously while Krakatoa and Vesuvius have been dormant for decades – sometimes centuries – between cataclysmic events. This illustrative talk examined volcanic variety, exploring reasons for such diversity. While we don’t have a speaker meeting in December our popular Christmas Lunch will take place on Wednesday, December 7 in The Constable Hall. On Wednesday, January 11, Dr Geoffrey Kay, former lecturer at Norwich School of Art and Anglia Ruskin University, will speak on Drugs, Sex & Death  – the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood.  In the mid19th century a group of young artists began to sign their work with the initials PRB. For a short time gallery visitors baffled. What was it that united these artists and how did they determine the course of British art for the next 50 years? We meet at The Constable Hall, Gandish Road, East Bergholt CO7 6TP at 2.15pm.  Annual membership is £12 which entitles members to attend meetings on the second Wednesday of each month, except August and December.  It’s never too late to learn! Join the 361,477 members across 969 U3As throughout the UK today!

December meetings December 7: Entertains, Robin Finch December 21: Christmas Quiz with Paul Oliver We are also holding our popular Christmas Lunch at The Venture Centre, Lawford on Sunday, December 11. Our only January meeting will be on Wednesday 18 when Dr J Knight will talk on the life and works of Sir John Betjeman CBE, an English poet, writer and broadcaster who described himself in Who’s Who as a “poet and hack”. He was Poet Laureate from 1972 until his death in 1984. Our club endeavours to be simple in structure, free of the constraints and obligations of service clubs and involve members at minimal cost. The club is directed primarily to providing fellowship between members who are compatible with each other and the opportunity for development of acquaintances. New members are welcomed. We meet on the first and third Wednesday of each month at St John Ambulance HQ, Manningtree CO11 1EB at 10.30am. For further details please contact Brian Rolfe: 01206 393665

ROTARY CLUB OF MANNINGTREE STOUR VALLEY Magic of Christmas Music The club is again organising the ever popular Magic of Christmas Music in Mistley Parish Church on Wednesday, December 7. Tickets for the afternoon performance (free) at 1.45pm can be had from 01206 395263 with a warm welcome to the public. Tickets for the 7pm performance are only available from local primary schools. Club raises £1,300 for Polio Eradication The club has had two very successful fundraising events recently for the Rotary Foundation’s campaign to rid the world of polio. On Saturday, November 5 the club entertained an audience of more than 80 to an absolutely hilarious murder mystery evening which raised more than £1,000. This was supplemented by a street collection in Manningtree Market two weeks earlier which raised more than £300. These donations will be double-matched by the Bill Gates Foundation and the resulting funds will allow some 15,000 children to be vaccinated against polio.

Raising money for Stratford St Mary Church Roof Fund Tea and Cakes Local Crafts and Bric-a-brac Musical Interludes Children’s Activities Village Archives Stratford St Mary Church Saturday, December 10, 11am-2pm Whether you’re an artist, a baker, a candlestick maker, or indeed if you simply want to de-clutter, any items you wish to donate for the stalls are all greatly appreciated. Call Julie: 07989 639583


Club president Colin Daines said: “We are really delighted with the great support we have received from the people of Manningtree which will go towards helping us to rid the world of this terrible disease. We are getting really close with polio now endemic in only two countries.” For more than 30 years, Rotary International and its members have been committed to fighting to eradicate polio across the world. The amount of polio-endemic countries has dropped from 125 to just two, with more than 2.5 billion children receiving vaccinations thanks to the help of Rotary. The campaign ties in with the 100 year anniversary of The Rotary Foundation, Rotary’s own charity, which has played a key role in making polio eradication become close to a reality, along with hundreds of other projects both in Great Britain and Ireland and overseas. The Rotary Club of Manningtree Stour Valley is a small, friendly club which meets every Thursday night at The Crown Hotel, Manningtree. Our members work together to support local and international charities while enjoying the fellowship of friends in the club. We also enjoy social events throughout the Rotary year. If you wish to know more about the club contact David Willis: 01473 310076

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PARTY GIRL Zoe Gleeson wants to bring people together to enjoy great food in unique spaces. “My nickname in London was Goldilocks. Somehow I could always find party spaces that were just right. Now that I’ve moved to Ipswich with my partner and new bub, I’ve decided to be brave and go for it,” she says of setting up Goldilocks Suffolk. Zoe’s ambition is to bring people together in places they’ve not been before and she’s on the hunt for unusual local spaces to host pop-up feasts; boats, lighthouses, churches, woods, private estates, rooftops, gardens, warehouses, barns… She’s also looking for local suppliers who can help turn a good party into a great one. Please get in touch if you know somewhere or something she might be interested in:

Available from... Copdock Mill, Old London Road, Copdock, IP8 3LA

01473 731117 Mon - Sat: 8am - 6pm, Sun: 10am - 4pm



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Carolyn Leigh Belcher presented a talk on creative storywriting at our November meeting. She explained her approach to storywriting and read out a few sections from some of her books as examples. Having written her first book, she then found how difficult it was to find a publisher. She had almost given up hope when one contacted her at the eleventh hour. Even then some modifications were required before her story could go to print.

There was a sense of intrigue and danger associated with Dedham Vale Lodge’s latest social event, a mystery tour. Sent to a remote location and requiring full ID just to get you in, the suspense became almost unbearable. Timings of course were rigid. “Arrive on the dot or you don’t get in” the event organiser instructed.

Harry and Sue Parsons will present a talk entitled Nothing Like a Dame when we meet on Dceember 14. Future talks: Dedham, Lavenham & the Cloth Trade; Chaplin of the Methodist Homes; Wolves, Dogs and Us; Easter Parade; The Building of Bury Tower. Meetings are held on the second Wednesday of every month in Tattingstone Village Hall at 10am. Following the speaker we have refreshments (when there is time for a chat with other members) and a raffle. New members and visitors are welcome to join us. Roger Felgate, 01473 311684

MANNINGTREE & DISTRICT PHOTOGRAPHIC SOCIETY Humorous Photos was the title of our final October competition. It proved to be a challenge for both entrants and our genial judge, George Buxton, who gamely entered into the spirit of the evening. As we shared what might be referred to as a large and eclectic mix of entries it soon became apparent that humour – like beauty – is also in the eye of the beholder. A high standard was achieved nevertheless, encompassing a very wide range of material within this entertaining yet intriguing subject. Following a recent committee meeting, it has been decided to offer a number of training evenings on the alternate Thursdays when formal society meetings are not being held. Our good friend George Fossey from the Harwich club has kindly agreed to lead these meetings. A supplementary charge of £3 per evening will be made to offset expenses. Please contact the secretary for details in advance if you are a new member wishing to attend. Future meetings November 24: Low Light London with Philip Shaw FRPS December 8: Buildings Competition Judge: Peter Espley December 15: Christmas Social January 12: Magic Lights with Ed Bacon We meet twice monthly on Thursday evenings at 7.30pm at St Johns Centre, Station Road, Manningtree CO11 1EB. New members are welcome to join the society or may attend initially as a visitor (£3). Please contact Margaret, our secretary, for more information: 01206 396958 /

When they arrived, lodge members and their guests were not let down. The location was RAF Wattisham, home of the Apache Attack helicopter we often see flying over us here in the Manningtree and Bergholt areas. On arrival, Carlo Guiglielmi, master of the lodge, and members and guests were greeted by Major Barry Humphries MBE, retired Apache pilot and helicopter flying instructor, who treated the group to an amazing tour of the base which included a detailed history of how helicopter warfare has progressed through the ages since the early fifties, with access to various exhibits of early aircraft up to present day examples, which of course includes the Apache attack helicopter. Members and guests had full access to the Apache and Barry was on hand to answer all questions and give a detailed analysis of how this incredible piece of technological warfare works. Many of the visitors were allowed to jump into the cockpit, although getting out proved a little more difficult. Good job the key had been removed! The afternoon was rounded off by a buffet in the officers mess. The traditional raffle was held and along with a donation from the lodge, the sum of £450 was presented by Barry Humphreys in his capacity as mayor of Stowmarket for his chosen charities: Outside the Wire which helps veterans fight drug, alcohol and PTSD issues; ASAD Saturday Club which helps local children with ASD; Fresh Start New Beginnings which supports Suffolk victims of sexual assault; Wattisham Heritage Museum. Meanwhile both of the lodges meeting in South Street, Manningtree continue their regular monthly meetings, welcoming new members and visitors from other lodges. The charity stewards have been particularly busy helping the Province of Essex launch our appeal to raise £5.5 million over the next six years. Our local contribution will be in excess of £40,000. Several other social events are planned with two ladies festivals, the annual luncheon, a fish and chip quiz night, a wine tasting evening and a summer BBQ, so the Masonic family has plenty to look forward to in 2017. Interested in finding out more of what we do?  Look at the Essex Freemasons website and you’ll be amazed at the scope of our work and contributions to the community. 

SUFFOLK BEREAVEMENT SUPPORT Recently bereaved or suffering a delayed reaction to loss? Are you in need of help and support? Why not join a small focused group of five-10 sharing bereavement issues? Groups are led by an experienced facilitator creating a warm, safe environment in which to explore the many aspects of loss. Groups are free and open to Suffolk residents able to attend the Hadleigh venue. For more details or to reserve a place contact Patrick or Margaret: / 01206 299832



Photo by Chris Gomersall (

The gates of RSPB Flatford Wildlife Garden have closed now until next Easter, except for a few special weekends. The last of our Green Christmas Weekends, to coincide with the National Trust’s Tudor Christmas events, is December 3 and 4, 10.30am-3.30pm each day. Do come along and join us. In line with our ‘green’ theme, there will be a woven willow Christmas Tree, festive bird feeders and simple willow decorations to make, an RSPB volunteers’ craft stall to browse and some jolly wassailing in our tiny orchard. We’re also hoping for a visit from the Green Mother Christmas. Flatford Wildlife Garden has established a tradition of opening up for The Big Garden Birdwatch weekend at the end of January and for two special Snowdrop Weekends in February, and we plan to continue with these events, so do keep an eye on our website for further details nearer the time:


As Christmas approaches, it’s sometimes a relief to get away from all the preparations and out into the fresh air to slow the pace down and spend some time with nature. Have you visited Stour Wood lately? There’s ample car parking at the entrance on the B1352 and a footpath map can be downloaded from: A choice of circular trails lead through the trees to stunning views over the estuary, where many winter migrant birds have now arrived to feed on the mudflats and roost on the saltmarsh. If the tide is right, you may see the Brent geese who’ve flown in from their Arctic breeding grounds and a host of other waders and ducks. Keep your eyes on the sky for flocks of dunlin wheeling over the water, their white underwings shining and twinkling in the sunlight as they twist and turn en masse. A wonderful sight, and right on our doorstep – aren’t we lucky? The river is home to good numbers of teal at the moment too, the male dabbling ducks with their strikingly distinctive broad green eye-patches, and both sexes showing bright green wing patches in flight. The woods themselves are an oasis of peace and calm at this time of the year. Find the time to rustle through the leaves or swoosh through some puddles in your wellies and take in the sound of the breeze through the branches and the song of the robin. Your blood pressure will thank you for it. If you have some spare time available and would be interested in volunteering with us at the RSPB locally, do get in touch for information about the range of roles available: 01206 391153 / Visitor Experience Officer Sharon Barker

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ADVERTORIAL DEVELOPING LITTLEGARTH The children rise to this challenge with great enthusiasm and they really enjoy working hard in the classroom, playing in sports teams and ensemble groups and taking part in school productions. We encourage them to participate in a wide variety of activities and this has a very positive impact on their classroom performance.

Staff, parents and governors look back on the achievements of all our children in 2016 with significant pride while we also look forward to the exciting opportunities ahead as the school embarks on an exciting new building project. Our Year 6 children achieved outstanding academic results earlier in the year, gaining 10 grammar school places and a record 36 scholarship awards to independent schools. These awards were not only for academic excellence but they also included recognition of extremely high levels of achievement in sport, music, art and drama. The school is extremely proud of the fact that 23 of the 38 Year 6 children were awarded a scholarship for excellence in one or more areas of the curriculum. These results are achieved through a broad and balanced curriculum which provides expert tuition across a wide range of activities. Specialist teachers support the class teachers from Nursey through to Year 2 in drama, French, music and sport and in Year 3 the children also receive specialist lessons in science and art/DT. As the children progress their timetable is similar to that of a senior school as subject specialist teachers work to help the children develop key skills in their individual subject areas.

This year we are seeking to improve the quality of the children’s education by providing an outstanding range of specialist facilities to support them in their learning. An exciting building development will provide new Reception classrooms which will be adjacent to our Nursery, new classroom facilities for Years 5 and 6 situated next to a large library and IT Suite with plenty of space for project work and study. Above the library there will be a spacious art and DT facility and a learning support room for the senior year groups. Finally, we shall also be building a new performing arts centre. This wonderful new specialist facility will help our children to develop their skills further and will also provide more space across the school so that each child will benefit in the future. The staff and governors have been working on this project for a considerable number of months and we are now enjoying watching our new building grow. You can follow its development at: We look forward to welcoming you to Littlegarth.

Littlegarth School is a happy, friendly and forward thinking, co-educational independent school and nursery, where children between the ages of 2 1/2 and 11 years thrive as they begin their exciting journey of discovery.

Open Morning

Friday 24th February 2017 10.00am - 12.00 noon 120 scholarships in the last four years Excellent 11+ record June 2014 ISI EYFS Inspection 'Outstanding' in all aspects "Children thoroughly enjoy the learning activities, feel safe and secure, and feel empowered to take risks and ask for help in solving problems".

ISI EYFS Report June 2014 Littlegarth School, Horkesley Park, Nayland, Colchester, Essex CO6 4JR Telephone: 01206 262332 Email:


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Not many ‘hints’ for December – more like planning for 2017!

As ever, it has been a busy month in the federation. Parents from both schools attended a phonics workshop run by the federation’s literacy lead, Mrs Robinson. It was a really useful exercise and helped parents to understand how phonics are taught, how to support children at home and to what level different year groups are expected to work at. We were very pleased with the turnout; the commitment and support our parents give has a huge impact on the children’s learning and achievement.

Continue tidying leaves and debris – strong winds cause plenty and leaves were late falling this year. Check stakes and ties again. Don’t leave tender plants to chance, none of us know how severe winter will be. Ventilate the greenhouse on milder days to prevent fungal build-up. Now is the time to plant heathers to brighten your gardens with instant colour – so many varieties. Remember to water hyacinths in pots germinating in a dark place. Plant amaryllis – they make such a lovely show indoors. Veg wise, think about what you want to grow next year and perhaps order some seeds. Spread manure/compost over roughly dug ground and let the worms do the rest. You could get your lawnmower serviced and be ahead of the game. Check gutters and don’t forget to feed the birds and give them water. I wish you all a very Happy Christmas and a Happy and Healthy 2017. Janet Alcoe

CAPEL COUNTRYSIDE CLUB Robert Maidstone presented a fascinating illustrated talk on woodlands at our November meeting, explaning how to identify trees by their bark and seeds and sharing some exellent photos of the diversse beetles, insects, butterflies and moths that live in them. Robert concluded by saying that climate change is affecting wildlife in this country. Jennifer Jones will be making and displaying church stained glass at our next meeting on Tuesday, December 13. You are very welcome to join us in the lounge at Capel Methodist Church at 7.30pm and for refreshments afterwards.

DEDHAM PRIMARY SCHOOL We’re all comfortably aboard the Christmas train at Dedham Primary School and it’s now full steam ahead until we break up for Christmas. Two nativity plays are currently being rehearsed and songs for the Christmas Carol Service are also being learned. Each year, the nativity performed by KS1 tells the story of Christmas from a different angle and this year, a school caretaker secretly makes baubles to hang around his school to teach the children the story of Jesus’ birth. Excitement is certainly in the air! A huge amount of sport has been taking place in school over the past couple of months. A dance taster day, gymnastics coaching, tag rugby coaching, a karate taster day by Dedham Karate Club and a dance competition for Class 1 have all proved incredibly motivating for the children. Competitions don’t stop at sport however, because children have also been participating in music, cookery and science competitions. Congratulations to the science teams for achieving third place in a local heat and narrowly missing out on progressing to the next stage of the competition. Congratulations also to the KS2 choir who have made it to the final of the Rotary Club Junior Choir Competition. Good luck for the final.

Another cross federation event that has taken place was the Kingswood residential trip. Pupils from Years 5 and 6 spent five days at this amazing outdoor pursuits centre, taking part in fantastic activities such as high wire, go-karting, archery and raft building in a jam packed week. Despite on occasions being a little wet and chilly, the children had a wonderful time and discovered they could do more than they ever thought possible. At Copdock, Foxes class has been studying Mexico, in particular The Day of the Dead. A fun afternoon was enjoyed making fajitas which certainly smelt delicious. The children were interested to learn about the Mayan people. While some of the world population were living in caves Mayan people were writing, using numbers and counting. At Bentley the children have been looking closely at the First World War. We had a visit from a First World War captain (one of the dads, Mr Barker, in disguise), who spoke to the children about how it felt to fight in the war, the conditions in the trenches and the emotions felt by soldiers as they went ‘over the top’. Pupils have made their own poppies and have been learning about why we use them as a symbol for remembrance. Wolves class has been learning about Hinduism and making their own models of the Hindu God, Ganesh. They used plaster of Paris and bright spray paints to create beautiful, vibrant models. The children found out lots about Hinduism and created some detailed pieces of written work about their research. All Year 4 pupils across the federation took part in an uplifting music event at The Royal Hospital School. Led by Dominic Peckham, our pupils joined hundreds from other schools in a day of music and fun. We were very proud of how our pupils engaged and their performance at the end of the day was pretty amazing when you consider they only had one day to put it all together. We used the school minibus for transport to the event; buying a minibus for the federation has meant a huge increase in the trips and visits we can go on and saved the school and parents alike a large amount of money. We’d like to take this opportunity to thank Copdock Mill for their sponsorship of the minibus; they donate a quantity of diesel every month that has a significant impact on the usefulness of the bus. We very much appreciate their on-going generosity. Finally, the Christmas Fayres this year are as follows: Copdock: Friday, December 9, 3.30-5.30pm in the village hall Bentley: Friday, December 16, 3.15-5pm in the school hall If you can, please do come along and grab yourself a Christmas bargain.

Thank you to everyone who supported our farmers’ market in November and to everyone who voted in the Class 6 Cake Pop Competition. On the day, teams of children competed to get the most votes for their cake pops and well done to The Big Cake Tings and Fawkes Fireworks teams who finished joint-first. Finally, from everyone at Dedham C of E Primary, we wish you a very Happy Christmas and look forward to sharing more of our news with you in 2017. Follow us on Twitter: @PrimaryDedham



IPSWICH HIGH SCHOOL FOR GIRLS ANNOUNCES NEW FINANCIAL AWARD Ipswich High School for Girls has announced a brand new financial award to enable the brightest and best from state-funded schools to enter its unique Sixth Form. The Elliston Award is a financial award worth up to 50% of the Ipswich High School fees throughout the Sixth Form for strong applicants from state-funded schools. The school is fully committed to enabling the best and the brightest to enter the IHS Sixth Form and guarantee that at least one of these awards will be given to any suitable applicant from each state-funded school in Essex or Suffolk. All applicants must meet the following criteria: • Be predicted/have achieved 7 A*-C grades (or 6 to 9 in the new marking scheme) in their GCSE subjects • Have a letter of recommendation from their current school • Be studying for GCSEs in a state school in Essex or Suffolk • Be motivated and have the potential to succeed The application deadline is January 30, 2017. For more details, applicants should visit or contact:

Headteacher Oona Carlin commented: “We have always strived to encourage the most talented and motivated girls to take up places in our bespoke, friendly and challenging Sixth Form. However, I have been aware that our school fees have restricted access for some in the past. This year, we want to widen access for brilliant pupils who may not have been able to consider us in the past by offering a generous financial award to those suitable girls coming from statefunded schools. I am really excited to announce this incentive, which has already proved popular with heads of local statefunded schools.” Ipswich High School for Girls is the only independent girls’ school in Suffolk and one of the leading schools in our region. As one of 26 schools in the Girls’ Day School Trust (GDST), IHS is fully committed to the value of girls only education. We are committed to providing financial assistance to talented, motivated girls, whose families are not in a position to pay full school fees. We extend this provision even further in the Sixth Form to allow as many girls as possible to benefit from this transformative phase of education and our coach routes mean that our Sixth Form is accessible to girls across this region.

ROBIN’S CHILDCARE Baby Bears The Baby Bears have made the most of autumn by exploring the colours and textures which it brings. They have been finding and collecting an assortment of leaves in our garden and listening to the crunching sounds they make in their hands. They have also had a great time making cookies and creating new colours when practising their mixing skills.  Toddling Tigers We started the month celebrating Diwali, the festival of lights. We created our own coloured rangolis which are now on display. Tigers have also been taking part in World Nursery Rhyme Week, splashing in puddles for Doctor Foster, making our own Baa Baa Black Sheep and much more. Gruffalos As you read, we are practising for our nativity play which we present to parents. We love singing the songs. Over the last month we have celebrated Diwali and World Nursery Rhyme Week, learning new songs and enjoying some old favourites. We also explored the changing seasons, supported by Nick Butterworth stories, our favourite author. The animals in the stories joined us in our outdoor sessions, teaching us about hibernation, the environment in which they live and how to have fun outdoors. Throughout December we will be celebrating all things Christmas, including Christmas traditions. If you would like information about Robin’s Childcare, please contact Vicki on 01473 310767, visit or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.


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SPORT EAST BERGHOLT UNITED FOOTBALL CLUB It was a reasonable month for the First Team, registering two victories, one draw and one defeat and maintaining a mid-table position. The Reserves slipped back a little, suffering two defeats to go along with one win and one draw, but are still well placed in League A. The A Team had a tough October in the B League. Having won their first match, they failed to gain any further points and are now in a mid-table position. You may well have noticed that our dug outs at Gandish Road are now looking much better. We are very grateful to G&C Softwoods for supplying the materials to make this possible. A reminder for all spectators. Kick off times have reverted to 2pm now that the clocks have gone back. They return to 2.30pm at the end of January. UPCOMING FIXTURES 1st Team Senior Division Sat, Nov 26 Achilles (A) Sat, Dec 3 Henley Athletic (H) Sat, Dec 10 Ransomes Sports (A) Tue, Dec 27 Capel Plough (A) Mon, Jan 2 Coplestonians (H) Sat, Jan 7 Witnesham Wasps Bob Coleman Cup R3 (A)

Reserves League A Sat, Nov 26 Sat, Dec 3 Sat, Dec 10 Sat, Dec 17

Achilles Res (H) Old Newton Utd Res (A) AFC Hoxne Res (H) Ipswich Athletic Res (A)

A Team League B Sat, Nov 26 Sat, Dec 3 Sat, Dec 10 Sat, Dec 17 Sat, Jan 7

Coplestonians A (A) Trimley Athletic Res (H) Trimley Red Devils Res (A) Henley Athletic Res (H) Bacton United ’89 Res (A)

Fixtures subject to change. To confirm visit: We are always looking for people who can help the club as a committee member, whether it be on the playing side or just in the background. If you would like to sponsor the club in some capacity we would also be delighted to hear from you. Club strips, dugouts, banners or boards on matchdays all offer potential exposure for your business while supporting a local organisation. Steve Butcher, secretary:




The Saturday First team are mid-table in the Senior League with nine points from their first seven games, having drawn three of their last four games after winning the first two. However, the season has been dominated by serious injuries to key players, with the worst injury suffered by new defender Craig Parry who broke his leg playing at Leiston St Margarets with the game being abandoned after just seven minutes. Craig will not play again this season and everyone at the club wishes him a full recovery.

October 100 Club Winners 1st Donna Mills, £100 (36) 2nd Gareth Stevens, £50 (75) rd 3 Paul Hutton, £50 (18)

Michael Sneddon, another new signing, damaged ankle ligaments while Adam Rawthorn fractured his elbow playing five-a-side and these injuries along with holidays, suspensions and working commitments means that the First team have been under-strength for quite a few games. They reached the last 16 of the Suffolk Senior Cup after beating Kirkley Reserves 3-1 with goals from Stephen Morrison and a brace from Shaun Webb, and played Stowmarket Town in the next round on November 19 (report next month). The Reserves drew 2-2 with Claydon thanks to goals from Alex Parry and Gideon Spencer, then beat East Bergholt A  1-0 with Parry on the scoresheet again. However, defeats against Henley (5-0) and Bramford United (2-1) left them third from bottom in their league. Oliver Blew has been playing well in midfield with Gideon Spencer putting in some good performances in defence. The Sunday morning team beat Wells Hall Wanderers from Sudbury 3-1 in the Suffolk Shield with goals from Abdul Kaium (2) and Bill Boosey, then lost 2-1 to Queens FC to leave them mid-table while our Sunday Veteran side reached the next round of the County Cup after beating Ipswich Parks 3-1, then lost 3-0 against Ipswich Valley Rangers. There are youth games on the field most Saturday mornings with our nine qualified youth managers enjoying running the sides and the youngsters enjoying their football, which is what it’s all about. I would like to wish all our players, officials and supporters a Happy Christmas. You can check the posters at the club or visit the websites to find out when our teams play at home.

The club held its annual awards evening at the end of October. The winners were: Kwik Terrier Girls U12 U13 U14 Young Cricketer Tony Vincent Cup Major Pullinger 1st Team 2nd Team 3rd Team Div C 3rd Team Sat NECL Ladies Club Captains Gary Marr Clubman George Bibby Cup Men’s Batting Trophy Men’s Bowling Trophy Ladies Batting Trophy Ladies Bowling Trophy

Charlie Stockton Jack Hutton Lauren Semple Jemima Martin Jasper Young Charlie lewis Booth Callum O’Connell Robert Hawes Charlie Hawthorn Tim Scott Aaron Rudkin Bertie Kemsley Ollie Fifield Danny Goff Candy Cornelius Jim Morris Jack Fifield Matt and Louise Bibby Candy Cornelius Richard Mills Tim Scott Susannah Martin Jemima Martin

New players are always welcome, please email:


CHANCE TO HAVE YOUR SAY IN BUDGET SETTING PROCESS People in Suffolk are being asked to share their views on what matters most to them to inform the budget setting process.

CAPEL CHEETAHS RUNNING CLUB Calling all non-runners/new runners We are hoping to start a 10-week beginners course in January 2017 if there is enough demand. Heidi Knight will be leading the course which will take place on Tuesday evenings, probably at 6.30pm before the usual club meeting time at the pavilion on the playing field in Capel St Mary.

As grant funding from central government continues to reduce, Suffolk County Council is required to make savings of more than £46million in 2017/18, followed by further savings in the years after. This means the council needs to look at where it should prioritise spending and how it can make savings across the services it provides. As part of the public engagement, people are being asked where they think Suffolk County Council should prioritise spending. The survey closes on December 30 and the budget report will be considered by the Suffolk County Council Cabinet on January 24, who will make recommendations to Full Council on February 9.

Existing club members will be on hand to help out. So please let either Heidi Knight ( or Sue Wilshaw (sue. know if you are interested. Come along and join us – you do not have to run alone.

Councillor Richard Smith, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Finance and Heritage, said: “As central government grant funding reduces, we must make savings and we want as many people as possible to take part in this consultation to help us make the best-informed decisions on savings for the future.”

Sue Wilshaw, chairman

To have your say, visit:


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CHURCH NEWS / ON THE GRAPEVINE COULD YOU BENEFIT FROM THIRTY HOURS FREE CHILDCARE? From September 2017, eligible working parents will be able to have up to 30 hours free childcare a week for three- and four-year-old children. Parents of three and four year olds currently get 15 hours a week of free early learning and childcare, and this offer will increase to 30 hours for working parents. Suffolk County Council is launching a survey to find out how working parents with young children across the county plan to use the additional childcare. The information collected will help the council and childcare providers to plan for the increase in childcare places. Councillor Gordon Jones, Suffolk County Council’s Cabinet Member for Children’s Services, Education and Skills, said: “The majority of Suffolk families already use up to 15 hours of free early learning for three and four year olds at a range of providers. Places can be taken at pre-schools, day nurseries, school nursery classes or with a childminder.

“Early learning provided by qualified early years professionals supports a child’s development and provides them with valuable opportunities to learn though play and be ready to start school.” “It is vital that as many parents as possible take part in this survey, to give us a clear picture of how many childcare places might be needed by September 2017.” Parents will be able to split their 30 hours between a maximum of three Ofsted registered providers. While 30 hours is the maximum entitlement, parents will be under no obligation to take up all these hours. The survey closes on December 16. You can complete the online survey at: For more information about the survey, contact the Suffolk Family Information Service: 0345 60 800 33 /

HOLY FAMILY ROMAN CATHOLIC CHURCH Ipswich Road, Brantham CO11 1TB Parish Priest: Fr Christopher Smith, 180 Hawthorn Drive, Ipswich IP2 0QQ     Tel: 01473 684963

activity and for justice. The meeting marked the 50th anniversary of the beginning of formal Anglican-Roman Catholic ecumenical efforts. While doctrinal differences still exist there is much common ground for more co-operation.

We are part of St Mark’s RC Parish, Ipswich. For up-to-date information, please visit: The weekly newsletter is displayed in the cabinet alongside the front door of the church.

The Catholic Church has welcomed the government’s proposal to remove the 50 percent cap on faith-based admissions for free schools and academies. This will enable Catholic schools to meet the current parental demand for thousands of new Catholic school places across the country.

Services for December Sunday 4 2nd Sunday of Advent 9am              Mass                                Tuesday 6                  9.30am          Morning Prayer               10am             Mass Sunday 11 3rd Sunday of Advent 9am               Mass                                Tuesday 13                9.20am           Eucharistic Adoration           10am             Mass Sunday 18 4th Sunday of Advent 9am               Mass   Children’s Liturgy                                                    Tuesday 20                9.30am          Morning Prayer               10am             Mass Saturday 24 Christmas Eve 5.30pm         St Joseph’s College, Ipswich IP2 9DR 8pm         Holy Family, Brantham  Sunday 25 Christmas Day 9am                Mass Holy Family, Brantham         11am             Mass, St Mark’s, Ipswich

Events & Diary Dates The 100 Club Draw took place on Sunday, November 20 when three lucky winners shared £139. The next draw takes place on Sunday, December 18. The club has grown from strength-to-strength since its launch. New members are always very welcome and the newsletter, that includes an application form, can be found at the rear of the church or at:

Tuesday 27                  9.30am            Morning Prayer           10am               Mass Catholic Commentary The quest for Christian Unity received a boost from the recent meeting in Rome when Pope Francis and the Archbishop of Canterbury met for talks at which 19 pairs of bishops from the two communions were charged to return to their countries and promote more joint prayer, joint proclamation of the Gospel and joint works, especially charitable


Our Christmas Hamper Raffle will be drawn on Sunday, December 11 and tickets are now on sale. Every last Thursday of the month a Bring & Buy Coffee Morning takes place at Viv and Wyn’s home, Paddock Gate, Whitehorse Road, East Bergholt CO7 6TR from 10.30am-noon. We are raising funds for the Parish Room refurbishment and all are very welcome to join us. The next event is on Thursday, December 29. The parish are planning an Epiphany lunch on Thursday, January 5 at The Ipswich Hotel (formerly The Cameo), Old London Road, Copdock IP8 3JD. This lunch will follow 11.30am mass at St Mark’s. Further details will be published in the weekly newsletter. Supporting our local hospice All parishioners are asked to collect used postage stamps and to place them in the box at the rear of the church to help support the outstanding work of our local hospice. Catholic Chaplain at Ipswich Hospital Fr Adrian Gates is the Catholic Chaplain at Ipswich Hospital (01473 726701). Please contact him if you or a Catholic is in or due to go into hospital and requires his services. All are very welcome at Holy Family, Brantham All are very welcome to attend Holy Family services. It’s not necessary to be a Catholic and enquiries about the Catholic Faith are always welcome. Please contact the Presbytery, as above, or a local person whom you know is a Catholic.


KEY TO LOVE CHRISTIAN FELLOWSHIP Where Jesus is Love and love is Jesus COME AND JOIN US IN OUR NEW FELLOWSHIP – EVERYONE IS WELCOME Hear the teachings of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus, with our lively worship and service. Refreshments served afterwards. Every Sunday morning at 11am in The Ivell Suite at Venture Centre 2000, Bromley Road, Lawford CO11 2JE. If you or someone you know needs prayer for anything, please contact us. David and Rosie Rhule 07787 572977 / 01206 397533

LINK LINE CHRISTIAN MINISTRIES Un-denominational – meeting at the Venture Centre, Bromley Road, Lawford CO11 2JE (unless otherwise stated) Sunday Services: 3pm Saturday, December 3: No Café/Oasis event Thursday, December 8: Church and wider fellowship outing to Sudbury for Christmas shopping and attractions Sunday, December 11: Carols for All at 3pm A welcome to Christmas – come and join us   Friday, December 16: Prayer Meeting at Honeycroft, Waldegrave Way, 10am Tuesday, December 20: Monthly Coffee, Cake & Chat in the Ivell Suite, 10am-noon Sunday, December 25: No service Happy Christmas to all our many friends and loved ones throughout the district.

BRANTHAM AND CAPEL METHODIST CHURCHES WHO, ME? At the beginning of 2016 who would have thought we would have Prime Minister Teresa May, Chancellor Phillip Hammond, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and President-elect Donald Trump by the end of the year? On Radio 4’s The Now Show, Steve Punt asked the question: “Is it just me that finds it confusing that we have Hammond and May in charge of the country? It makes me worried that Clarkson might be in there somewhere!” Any one of those suggestions earlier this year would have evoked the surprised response “Who, them?”. So many surprising things happening during this year. Of the four I’ve listed, three were positioning themselves for these post and Boris was probably the only one who might have been surprised when the call came and asked the question himself “Who, me?”. Have you ever been asked to do something amazing and answered “Who, me?”. We are so surprised that we are asked. Sometimes we may try to make excuses for not doing it, other times we might relish the challenge. If being chosen for this amazing thing involves making some sacrifice, again we might not be so willing. Mary was asked to do an amazing thing, to be the mother of Jesus. Her first response “Who, me?”. Then I guess she thought about the consequences, what her fiancé would say or do, and her parents – the potential for shame was enormous. Mary’s parents and Joseph may have asked the question with surprise “Who, Mary?”. But her response was: “I am willing, let it happen as you have said.” Then her parents accepted it, her fiancé married her. Mary was changed as she made herself available to God. The story of Mary calls for a similar response from us. We will hear the stories of the birth of Jesus again in this coming month. We love the story, we’ll enjoy the carols, but actually Jesus wants us to be part of his team, Team Jesus. As the old joke says, Jesus, a carpenter’s son, is looking for joiners! He wants us to be part of his team and I hear you say with surprise “Who, me?”. Jesus responds “Yes, you!”. If you want to discover more of what that means, please drop me a line (email or post), text or ring, or join us at one of our services and make yourself known. The Rev Andrew Sankey, Minister at Brantham and Capel Methodist Churches 8 Roundridge Road, Capel St Mary IP9 2UG / 01473 311178 / 07966 187216 AT BRANTHAM METHODIST Sunday 4

2.30pm Songs of Praise with Rev Andrew Sankey


Sunday 11


Worship with Rev Michael Cassidy

International and Interdenominational

Sunday 18


Carol service with Mr Bryan Nichols

On Friday, March 3, Britain will join a worldwide network of Christians who prayerfully focus on the life and needs of women in a chosen country. This year it’s the Philippines. This area’s service will be held at 10.30am at St Lawrence’s Church, Bradfield. The theme was chosen by the Philippines and is Am I Being Unfair to You?. That and more about the Philippines will be explored in the service.


Sunday 18

10.30am All Age Worship with Rev Andrew Sankey 6.30pm Carol Service with Rev Andrew Sankey

Everyone is welcome to attend.

Saturday 24


For further information about the service, please contact Fontaine Woods: 01255 870411

Sunday 25 9.30am Christmas Day Worship with Miss Emma Bowyer

Sunday 4

10.30am Worship with Mr Peter Davidson 6.30pm Prayer

Sunday 11 10.30am Worship led by a Home Group 6.15pm At Chelmondiston with Rev Julian Pursehouse

Community Carols in the Precinct



Thursday 1 2.40pm East Bergholt Primary School Christingle Sunday 4 – Advent 2 8am BCP Communion, East Bergholt 10am Benefice Communion, East Bergholt Wednesday 7 9.30am BCP Communion, East Bergholt Thursday 8 10am EBYE Nativity for Parents, East Bergholt Saturday 10 2.30pm Bergholt to Bethlehem at Richardson’s Farm; entrance by ticket only Sunday 11 – Advent 3 8am BCP Communion, East Bergholt 10am EBYE Nativity and shortened Communion, East Bergholt Noon Baptism of George Peachey and Marnie Austen, East Bergholt 11am Communion, Brantham Monday 12 10am BYE Nativity, Brantham Tuesday 13 6.30pm East Bergholt High School Carol Service, East Bergholt Wednesday 14 9.30am Blessing of the Shepherds, East Bergholt Sunday 18 – Advent 4 8am BCP Communion, East Bergholt 11am BYE Nativity, Brantham 3pm Festive Carol Service with Bergholt Brass Quintet, East Bergholt Monday 19 2pm Brooklands Christmas Assembly, Brantham Tuesday 20 9.30am East Bergholt Primary Church Assembly Thursday 22 6.30pm Carols by Candlelight with Brantham Community Choir Saturday 24 – Christmas Eve 3pm Christingle, Brantham 3pm Family Candlelight Service, East Bergholt 5pm Family Candlelight Service (repeat), East Bergholt 11.30pm Midnight Mass, East Bergholt & Brantham Sunday 25 – Christmas Day 9.30am Family Communion, East Bergholt & Brantham Saturday 31 – New Year’s Eve 11.30pm Watchnight Communion, East Bergholt Sunday, Janaury 1 – New Year’s Day 10am Benefice Said BCP Communion, East Bergholt Check the website for details. This service schedule may change without prior notice if needed. RAMBLING RECTOR

person he knows, loves and trusts and who knows him and loves him more than he can understand. I confess to being more than usually impatient this year with the efforts of commerce to ensnare us into a false celebration of Christmas. The first advert arrived on my desk in June and the cards depicted were full of cheerful robins in the snow, a cheerful Santa apparently navigating tiny chimneys with ease, equally cheerful donkeys bearing a glamorous Mary, smug angels belting out a hearty refrain, and snowmen with noses a (noncreepy) clown would be proud of. You really can’t hide the fact that the first Christmas involved not a single robin or snowman, and the Bible doesn’t mention a donkey either. And I very much doubt that Mary, completing an unwanted journey forced on her by an interfering government at the end of her pregnancy, was looking as glamorous as portrayed. Angels there were but not smug – jubilant certainly. Gloria in Excelsis they sang in close harmony, impressing the shepherds who were notoriously hard to impress. The adverts peddle the line that this is Happy Family Time and shows pictures of smiling families around the table with glorious food laid out before them. They don’t show the great turkey disaster, or the moment when Dad decides that he has heard Great Uncle Harry’s story about what happened in Timbuktu once too often. In a world where refugees are fleeing their homes in their millions in Africa and the Middle East and are now on our doorstep, where interfering governments serve their own interests and not the people they govern, where natural disasters too often reflect the damage we do to our environment and where misguided men and women convince themselves that it is fine to inflict unimaginable horror on others in the name of their perversion of religion, how much we need the true Christmas. The true story of Christmas is about a saviour who came to be with us to share the joy and pain of our world and to help us understand that in spite of everything there is someone who knows and loves us more than we can understand. Family time especially at Christmas? By all means. But it should be special every day as we seek to serve and love another in the same way that Jesus served and loves May you see him unexpectedly this Christmas. The Rev Steph BLESSING OF THE SHEPHERDS During the year our enthusiastic band of knitters have been producing shepherds for the Christmas services. You are warmly invited to a service where their handiwork will be offered to God in a short service of blessing on December 14 at 9.30am. You are very welcome whether you have knitted or not. Afterwards do stay on and have refreshments at our regular Winter Warmer Welcome.

Carols by Candlelight St Michael’s Brantham 18:30, Thursday 22 December Guest Appearance

Brantham Community Choir

Our son-in-law was trying on his Santa outfit before flying to SA to celebrate Christmas with his family for the first time since he and Ingrid were married. “Ho! Ho! Ho!,” he boomed from behind the enormous beard. “Is there a little boy called Callum here? I am looking forward to seeing him at Christmas. Bye, Callum!” Callum got up on his knees to watch the red clad figure vanish and then called “Bye, Dad!”. He wasn’t fooled. Behind that costume there was a


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In Touch News with East Bergholt – December 2016  
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