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Volume 7 • Issue No. 2 • DECEMBER 2016

We wish you a Merry Christmas ....and a happy new home 2 The Lane Manningtree t: 01206 589109 e:


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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.

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NEWS NEPAL CHILDREN’S TRUST Brantham based NCT aims to support children in extreme poverty in Nepal in a manner that sees every penny donated being spent directly on the children’s needs, and not on bureaucracy and corruption. The charity aims to make a biennial trip to Nepal in order to distribute donations and funds (travel and accommodation are paid for privately). Time is taken to travel to those areas that are most deprived and to identify children in most need. Once found their needs are assessed and provisions are made. These have ranged from supplying clothing, school supplies and meals, to paying for annual educations fees, kitting schools with equipment, basic shelter for homeless families and arranging sponsorship of children from charity members. During April 2015 a large earthquake hit Nepal, devastating the landscape, killing thousands and leaving countless others homeless. The following March, NCT founder Maya Watling and two volunteers travelled to Nepal to provide relief. They found remote areas had been left with little or no relief or support. Families were living in abhorrent conditions with virtually no access to basic life-preserving services. Everywhere that they went they heard stories of how the relief supplies that had been rushed into the country following the earthquake had been lost to corruption, either sold on or only provided to those who were known to distributors, and not evenly shared. Fifteen of us plan to visit in April 2017. We need as much funding as we can take to help with the building of classrooms. We are trying our best to do events but we haven’t managed to get very far. We need your support and help. For more information please visit, email or call 07508 430671.

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St Helena Hospice is pleased to be partnering with Colchester Borough Council again this year to offer its Christmas Tree-Cycle for January 2017.

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On January 7, St Helena Hospice will be out with a team of volunteers collecting your real Christmas Trees to be recycled. For those who live in postcode areas CO1 to CO7 and would like to take advantage of this service, you can simply register online in return for a donation to the hospice. The more that you can give, the more you are helping to support patients and their families in your local area when they need it most. To register your interest in this year’s collection please call the fundraising team on 01206 931468 or visit:



2 DEcEMBER 2016

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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.

Police are warning residents to be mindful of so-called ‘Nottingham Knockers’ working in the area. The have recently been cold calling in the West Suffolk area and could be in your location next.

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.

A group of young salesmen, historically dubbed the ‘Nottingham Knockers’, often operate in our part of the county. Named after a scam originating in Nottingham in the 1970s, young people travel across the UK targeting a town at a time. They knock at doors and claim to be ex-convicts attempting to mend their ways, before trying to sell the householder everyday household products at very high prices.

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. 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.” 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.”

Police always advise residents to refrain from buying at the doorstep and not to buckle to pressure from salespeople offering supposedly one-off ‘buy it now’ low prices. However, often kind-hearted residents feel they are helping the ‘Nottingham Knockers’ to turn their lives around so agree to buy their wares. These so called ‘Nottingham Knockers’ work in groups across the country but they are not involved in any officially recognised offender rehabilitation programme, and many do not possess a pedlar’s certificate, which are issued by police and are necessary for salespeople to be legally allowed to sell door-to-door. Sympathetic members of the public are being duped into buying cheap products at highly-inflated prices. These young people are normally wearing some form of identity badge, which is not a lawful substitute for being in possession of a valid pedlar’s certificate. Certificates are issued by the police in the area in which the applicant has resided for the previous month. You must be above 17 years of age, a person of good character, and in good faith intend to trade as a peddler. Once issued the certificate will remain in force for one year and the holder is entitled to trade as a pedlar in any part of the UK providing the certificate remains in force and the licence must be produced on request. Please note that having a pedlar’s certificate is in no way an indication that the goods for sale are of merchantable quality.

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 4

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 In Touch online:


NEWS CONSTABLE COUNTRY PATIENT PARTICIPATION GROUP 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. 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

MANNINGTREE TOWN COUNCIL The minutes of Manningtree Town Council meetings are available on their website, on the two town noticeboards (one at the Co-op Fiveways store and one beside the library)  and at the clerk's office by appointment: 01206 390285

LAWFORD PARISH COUNCIL You can read the council’s minutes on: •

the parish council’s noticeboards

minutes can be collected from the Parish Office by prior arrangement as the offices are not open to the public

MISTLEY PARISH COUNCIL The full unapproved minutes of the meetings are displayed at the noticeboards near to the bus stop at Rigby Avenue and also outside Mistley Post Office in the High Street. The approved minutes can be accessed online at: Dates of next meetings, both in the village hall Planning Committee: Thursday, December 8 at 7.30pm Full Council: Monday, December 12 at 7.30pm

SAVINGS & LOANS CLUB Offered by Colchester Credit Union at The Hub in Manningtree (next door to the Mogul) every Friday morning, 10am-noon. Drop in to discuss ways of saving for a rainy day and how to access a loan at reasonable rates. Fridays@ At the same time you can join our very friendly all-age drop-in with tea, coffee, biscuits and the opportunity to chat. Or you can ask to speak to a volunteer in private. All services at The Hub are offered by local churches for all members of the community. 6

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 / In Touch online:


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!

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NEWS REPORT TO PARISHES, ALTON WARD: DECEMBER 2016 Babergh District Councillor Alastair McCraw It’s been a while since I last reported here. Not that I’ve been doing nothing (quite the reverse), but much of it wouldn’t be very interesting or helpful to report. I attend the three parish councils every month and update regularly on Facebook (open group – please join). The one thing that has been constant in 2016 is change. Babergh is no exception to this, if in a less radical manner. We have appointed a new joint chief executive in Arthur Charvonia from Suffolk Coastal and Waveney Councils. He already has experience of operating over two councils. A qualified barrister with a useful background in relevant law, Arthur should be in position in the New Year. Both councils have voted to move our centre of operations to Endeavour House in Ipswich. The Independent and Lib Dem groups at Babergh argued extensively for both to use the Hadleigh offices but lost the vote. There will still be a physical presence within each district, but the thought was that this had financial and organisational benefits. Another strand of this thinking is in how people access our services in the 21st century. Fewer people than ever actually visit, most using the phone and increasingly the Internet. These public access issues are being addressed with a single local rate phone number and an improved website design. Importantly this is being configured for the mobile devices used by the vast majority of people, useable where there are low bandwidths or poor internet signals. For those who have no access, work is being done to make these methods more accessible to all. The website will be going live after Christmas, but a ‘beta’ version is up and running for trial purposes. Please take a look at this link: http:// You’re invited to give feedback at the top right. It’s a beta version and may need patience initially.

LAWFORD SURGERY UPDATE Dr Ahmad and all of the staff at Lawford Surgery would like to wish our patients a very happy and Healthy Christmas and a Prosperous New Year. With the Christmas season in mind, staff at our surgery have decided to complete the Santa 3K Fun Run at Castle Park in Colchester on December 4 to raise money for Colchester General Hospital. We shall inform readers of the amount raised in next month’s edition. We recently raised almost £100 for St Helena Hospice from donations in our green buckets. Many thanks to all who contributed to this important cause. FLU UPDATE It’s that time of year again when coughs, colds and flu are affecting almost everyone. Although it can be an inconvenience to most of us, it could be much worse for at risk groups such as asthmatics, diabetics and those with heart disease. If you are in one of these at risk groups and haven’t already attended one of our flu clinics, please call us on 01206 392617 to make an appointment with our nurse or healthcare assistant. STRIVING TO BE BEST OF THE BEST After our very pleasing results in the Best and Worst GP Practice Survey published in the Evening Gazette at the beginning of the year, we made it our aim to achieve even better. We are working with the Dispensing Surgery Quality Scheme which sets a high standard with documented procedures in place. It standardises competencies of dispensing staff and has introduced medication usage reviews for our dispensing patients. It also organises inspections to ensure that patient safety is paramount.

Still on the theme of change, we will have voted by now whether to accept the devolution deal on offer to Suffolk and half of Norfolk, but not Norwich. This would give us an elected mayor for the combined authority with a basic budget of £25M a year. It doesn’t replace district or county, but would carry out some strategic planning currently managed at Westminster. I have considerable reservations about how democratic this will be, composed of council leaders under the mayor, and with, what I see, as quite a limited budget. By comparison, Suffolk County Council spent £42M in August alone, a fairly typical monthly amount. The rushed process has seen a peculiar consultation process seemingly designed to produce, or accentuate, the ‘right’ answer. Governments too can change, sometimes within the same party, and future support for even this lacklustre version of devolution may be different. Many of the original architects are gone from government already. If it is passed by all councils you will be voting for the mayor in May 2017.

Our pharmacy technician holds the clinics and is Level 3 trained with 17 years experience. She is also registered with the GPhC and is a member of the Guild of Pharmacy Technicians UK.

I’m running out of my allotted space, so What Does a Councillor do? Part Two: Training and Committees will have to wait for the New Year. Restrain your excitement please.

The clinics, which have been running since August, have been an invaluable part of our patient care regime. After reviewing previous clinics it has become apparent that there is a clear pattern emerging with patient compliance, especially with the administration of Levothyroxine tablets. With this in mind we have decided to do an audit which targets patients who are prescribed this drug in particular. This involves a tick box survey at the prescription collection stage to enable us to monitor when our patients are taking it and, if needed, to arrange a short medication usage review to discuss further. The audit is for one month up until the first week of December. We shall carefully review each completed survey to ensure that our patients are getting the most out of their medicine by taking it as advised.

I’d like to mention the useful recycling leaflet that’s been delivered to us all. Suffolk has an excellent record in recycling, but there are a few changes (again) and some useful tips on how to improve it even further. Please read it or keep it by, not in, your bin. Campaign page with video at: I wish you all a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year. Keep an eye out for those who will not be able to enjoy the festive period for whatever reason. As a final Christmas present here’s a link to the festive bin collection schedule: As always, if anything concerns you please contact me via the methods below – or just say hello sometime. I’m on a Blue Claud Butler bicycle, usually wearing a yellow winter cycling jacket. / 07812 564188 Facebook: Alton, Alastair McCraw & Harriet Steer (an open group)

We are also proud to say that we are members of the Dispensing Doctors Association and all of our staff complete ongoing training to keep up to date with new drugs and correct procedures. DRUM REVIEW UPDATE These medication usage reviews are proving to be very popular with our patients and are identifying several issues with how people are taking their medication. If you would like a review with our pharmacy technician please call the surgery to book. These clinics are held from 2-4pm on Tuesdays, but if this time is inconvenient we shall do our best to see you on a day and time that suits.

LAWFORD PPG We run a virtual PPG group which means most of the correspondence is via email, though we meet twice a year. If you would like to be part of our group please pick up a form from reception. Our next scheduled meeting is Monday, January 9. 9



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.

December 1-3 at 7.30pm, with a matinee on Saturday 3 at 2.30pm Scrooge, our great Christmas show, continues to wow audiences. A fabulous cast playing out a great story from the famous Charles Dickens, which has been superbly adapted and put together in music by Leslie Bricusse. Kerry King directs this great piece of entertainment for your enjoyment. Check our website for availability:

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.

Tuesday, December 6, 2.30pm Join us for a sing-a-long at the Daytimers Reunion. Admission free with cakes and a cuppa. Donations this year to The Alzheimers Society. Saturday, December 10 Laurel & Hardy Film Night. Another chance to catch some of the greatest films ever made. Doors open at 7pm for bar and refreshments, film starts 7.30pm. Tickets on the door, members £3, non-members £4. Once joined, your membership will be valid until June 2017. Monday, December 12, 7.30pm A read-through of our spring 2017 production, The Lady In The Van, followed by auditions on Wednesday, December 14. Fancy acting, but never had a go? Then pop along and see if it is what you want to do. You may just surprise yourself. May we at the Manifest wish your readers and our great supporters season’s greetings and a healthy and happy New Year.

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.

Until next month, PCSO 3173 Julia Bignell, Hadleigh SNT, Magdalen Road, Hadleigh IP7 5AD Email: For emergency calls 999 / non-emergency calls 101

CONSTABLE SINGERS 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.                 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). 10

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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

This ever-popular event has been held since 2008 and tickets are usually sold out by the end of November. This year’s lunch will be on Wednesday, December 14, 12.45 for 1pm, at Mistley Church Hall, New Road, Mistley. We aim to provide a traditional home-made Christmas lunch with all the trimmings, a glass of wine, tea or coffee with mince pies and after-dinner mints followed by carol singing – all for just £5 a person. However, we only have 70 places and 35 had been allocated by November 9. If you would like to join us this Christmas, please telephone Joy or John Baker on 01206 391918. Transport can be arranged and a vegetarian option is also available on request.

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!

All the girls wore yellow, her favourite colour. It’s the little things that make a funeral special Here for you every hour of every day

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OUT & ABOUT CHRISTMAS FAMILY PARTY AT BRANTHAM LEISURE CENTRE Sunday, December 18, 4-7pm Children’s entertainer, raffle, face painting, disco, fabulous raffle and a visit from Father Christmas with every child getting a gift £10 per family (two adults up to three children) Proceeds to Meningitis Now Contact Hayley Hunt: 07775 962963

TEA & SUPPORT Tea & Support is a friendship and self-help group formed some three years ago for those who have been bereaved or are living alone. We meet on the third Wednesday afternoon of each month from 2-4pm in the Church Hall, New Road, Mistley. These meetings usually consist of a talk or activity followed by an opportunity to chat over tea and homemade cake. Several times a year we have an outing to somewhere local for either lunch or afternoon tea. As our numbers have increased we have needed to hire transport for these outings. To cover our costs we now ask our members for a donation of £1 per meeting attended. Our next meeting will be the Community Christmas Lunch on December 14. Please note this is the second Wednesday in December and not the third as usual. See page 13 for further information. Contact: Joy and John Baker 01206 391918 / Paskell’s 01206 396709

TEA & BRASS CHRISTMAS CONCERT Hurry places are going fast! Many will remember fondly the Tea & Brass afternoons at Mistley Church Hall when we were entertained by our friends Classic Brass and enjoyed afternoon tea together. Sadly the Tea & Brass afternoons came to an end in May 2015, but we are pleased that Classic Brass have agreed to give a one-off special Christmas concert on Tuesday, December 20 from 2-4pm, with afternoon tea at Mistley Church Hall. To cover costs we are asking for a £2 donation for each ticket. There are only 50 tickets available and a significant number have already been booked, so please contact Joy or John Baker on 01206 391918 as soon as possible if you would like to attend this special event.

LAWFORD & DISTRICT HORTICULTURAL SOCIETY At the last meeting we heard all about Sir Cedric Morris (1889-1982) and his unstinting quest for new irises. He is best known for his East Anglian School of Painting, run from his home in Benton End in Hadleigh, but he also bred and named 90 irises. He originally had an art school in Dedham which burnt down, supposedly by Lucien Freud leaving a lighted cigarette there. It is also reputed that Munnings celebrated this as he disliked Morris and his painting style. Morris was titled and wealthy and moved in the best circles of the time with the likes of Harold and Vita Sackville-West from Sissinghurst. He loved irises and so he bred hundreds, picking out the best each year and naming them after friends, places and pets. Benton Menace was named after his cat. Sarah Cooke, our speaker, is researching the Sir Cedric Morris irises and is building a national collection. She is obviously fascinated by what she has found and won a gold medal at the Chelsea Flower Show this year. We thoroughly enjoyed her talk, a very interesting evening. There is no meeting in December as we take a well earned rest from the garden. Happy Christmas! 14

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 /

1st LAWFORD SCOUTS FUNDRAISING CONCERT The 1st Lawford Scouts are hosting their ever popular live music fundraising evening on Saturday, December 3 at the Venture Centre, Bromley Road, Lawford, 7.30pm-midnight. With two live bands, a fully licenced bar, a ploughman’s supper and a raffle, tickets are £10 for adults with under 16s free. Money raised will go to the Urology Cancer Support Unit and Scout funds. Tickets from Mick (01206 395581) or Rob Lang (01206 397235).

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. In Touch online:



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OUT & ABOUT MANNINGTREE FREEMASONS 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. 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. 

BRANTHAM OVER SIXTIES CLUB If you are free on Tuesday afternoons, why not come and give us a try? We have a full and varied programme with interesting speakers, bingo and quiz afternoons and always time for a chat and refreshments afterwards with a small raffle. PROGRAMME FOR DECEMBER December 6: Festive social afternoon with quiz December 13: Seasonal songs and ballads with David Padwick December 20: Christmas Lunch at Brantham Leisure Centre, 12.30 for 1pm PROGRAMME FOR JANUARY  January 10: New Year get together January 17: Paper Sculpture with Colin Hopper January 24: Lunch at the club followed by a quiz January 31: South African Panorama with Chris Parfitt We meet from 2.30-4.30pm on Tuesday afternoons (bar the first in the month) at Brantham Leisure Centre. Visitors are always welcome and new members even more welcome. Transport can be arranged for members. For more information call our secretary, Mrs Jean Lace: 01206 396242

Do you fancy joining one of the biggest and best youth clubs around? Well, with more than 41,000 cadets in more than 1,600 detachments all over the country, The Army Cadet Force (ACF) is certainly that. As an army cadet, aged between 12 and 18, you’ll spend your spare time taking part in extremely adventurous activities which your friends could only imagine. You will also learn skill at arms, signals, drill, fieldcraft and navigation among other very exciting things, many of which are skills for life. We will supply you with a uniform and activities are provided at very low cost and in some cases even free. If you have ever wanted to do the Duke of Edinburgh’s Award, this is also something we can help you with. Activities you do as a cadet can even count towards qualifications such as BTEC Diplomas, which are equivalent to four GCSEs. Annual camp is without doubt the highlight for all army cadets. Every day is packed full of exciting and challenging activities, many of which you might not have ever tried before. For some cadets the high point is the chance to spend nights out in the field, learning military tactics and fieldcraft in mock ambush situations. For others it is the chance to go on a battlefield tour in Europe. You may even get the chance to take part in expeditions and cadet exchange trips to destinations as exciting as Canada, South Africa, France and the Himalayas. Above all else, being an army cadet is about having fun and making friends. If you are interested in finding out more, visit, email, or drop in for a chat on parade nights, which are every Tuesday at the Manningtree Detachment, Mill Lane, Manningtree CO11 1DU between 7 and 9.30pm.

STOUR VALLEY MEN’S PROBUS CLUB On November 2 John Stark introduced us to the Mid Suffolk Light Railway and on Wednesday 16 a representative from Homestead Senior Care spoke to us about senior fraud. Both informative meetings were much enjoyed by our members. 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 17

1-6pm: Browse the craft and and Italia 1-5pm: Meet Santa in his Grotto – 5.30pm: Grand L

Throughout the event: Delight in D marvel at the many trees, en including carols 18

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d food stalls in the Christmas an Market – every child to receive a free gift Light Switch-On

Dream 100 giveaways and prizes, njoy entertainment and music around the tree




Magic of Christmas Music

On Wednesday, November 2, Jo Walton presented a great talk with wonderful illustrations on the origins and uses of camouflage. Beginning with khaki, it developed into a sophisticated science. Designers, artists and scientists pooled their talents to help the war effort. It enabled ships, airfields, factories and soldiers to be hidden from enemy eyes.   

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. 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

VILLAGE LINK CLUB 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. Harry and Sue Parsons will present a talk entitled Nothing Like a Dame when we meet on Dceember 14. Future talks: Dedham, Lavenham and 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 20

On December 7, we host Ian Keable with a lecture entitled The Corked Conjurer: Comedy and Credulity in Georgian England.  Ian is a lecturer and has been a professional magician. Why not come along and enjoy some good company and an interesting talk? We meet at Tower Hall, Broadlands Way, Rushmere St Andrew on the first Wednesday of most months and we also organise interesting day visits. The wonderfully illustrated lectures are presented by national and international lecturers and start at 2.15pm (2pm arrival is advised). Guests and non-members are welcome, provided we have available space. A £6 donation is asked. For more information contact Wendy Robbins: 07736 417347 /

STOUR VALLEY U3A 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. 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! In Touch online:

Do you have a desire to make a difference? Care your way to a career If you think a career in care may be for you, a family member or a friend, please email to receive an information pack and find out how to apply for jobs across the county and in your area.



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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SCHOOLS BROOKLANDS PRIMARY SCHOOL Over the last few weeks I have shown several parents and children who hope to join Brooklands in September 2017 around the school. One of the many pleasures I have in doing this is in seeing their surprise and delight at all the things we are doing at Brooklands. It can be easy to take what we do for granted, or see it as commonplace and not fully appreciate all the wonderful things we are doing for our children. Fresh eyes remind us just how unique and special our childrens’ experiences are here at Brooklands. We often go above and beyond what is offered in other schools and this is reflected in the progress that our children make. Our school results also support this, with our Key Stage 1 and 2 children outperforming other schools, as does the visible delight on our children’s faces as they bounce through the school doors every day, eager to learn and try new things. Brooklands recently received congratulations from the Department for Education for our Key Stage 2 results. Tim Coulson, regional schools commissioner, wrote: “I was very pleased to see the school’s provisional Key Stage 2 results for this summer. Everyone is aware

of the higher demands of the tests than in previous years and it was impressive how well and quickly your staff have adapted and taught children to the standards required.” Our children have been learning about the importance of perseverance and not giving up. They are learning that not being able to do something first time doesn’t mean that with hard work and determination they won’t be able to do it one day. Talking of trying new things and practicing, our Sea Otters have begun learning the guitar and are enjoying weekly sessions delivered by Suffolk County Music Service. Brooklands is working hard to achieve a new quality mark (Dyslexia Friendly Quality Mark). This aims to provide a framework of support and understanding in order to further develop our practice and help all our learners with dyslexia. Best wishes, Headteacher Christine Davy

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: Mon

Seated Exercise Counselling with Hannah


Farmers Market 9.30am - 12.30pm Beautician 9.30am Complementary practitioner 12.30pm Relaxation and meditation 7pm


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.

1.30pm 9am

Wed Podiatry Belly Dancing Choir Wednesday Paper Craft (last Wednesday of month) Thur Massage Therapist Hearing Aid Specialist

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 state-funded schools. I am really excited to announce this incentive, which has already proved popular with heads of local state-funded schools.”

9am 7 - 8pm 1pm 1.30pm

10am Alternative weeks

Tai Chi Computers for the Terrified

1pm 1.30pm

Foundry Court Community Centre Colchester Road, Manningtree

01206 397283

Physio and Acupuncturist available on Monday and Friday afternoons - appointments required. Venue available for hire for parties, wakes and anniversaries - all occasions considered. For more details or to make an appointment please contact Carole on 397283




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

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.

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:

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. BOB THE PLOUGHMAN

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) 24

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: In Touch online:


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: 26

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SPORT / CHURCH NEWS LAWFORD FOOTBALL CLUB Lawford Lads and Lawford Juniors came together in 2015 to form one club, Lawford Football Club. Based at School Lane in Lawford, our new club offers outstanding facilities including award-winning pitches and a modern club house.


Fundraising for the new pavilion began more than six years ago. A big part of that was making sure that we focused on the promotion of football at School Lane, making it inclusive and of a high standard to deliver the investment our people and financial partners committed to (including the Football Foundation, Essex County FA, Tendring and Lawford Councils and many others). Underpinning that was a five-year football development plan for growth and player retention, enhancing club standards and policies and development of players, coaches and volunteers.

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.

A key part was the acknowledgement that the senior and junior/youth sections (both FA Charter Standard) had to find a way to harmoniously provide a clear pathway from junior to youth and ultimately senior football. The reality is that junior teams sustain youth teams and they sustain senior football. There is clearly a dependency on the development and retention of junior/ youth players at Lawford to backfill the senior teams. It is an intertwined and essential relationship. The vision of ‘One Club’ was finally realised in June 2015. This is Lawford FC’s second year of being and I am proud as chairman to reflect on how everyone is focused on the big picture, not just their own area. We have the best facilities (pitches and pavilion) around and play with the right ethos, discipline and governance. If you are interested in playing football for Lawford FC or supporting the club in any other way, please visit our website for further information: Club Chairman John Duchars

CATHOLIC MASSES Christmas Eve at Mistley 6pm: Carols, readings and poems 6.30pm: Christmas Mass Everyone welcome at Christ(s)Mass, celebrating the birth of Jesus. Saturday at 6.30pm in St Mary and St Michael’s (Anglican) Church, New Road, Mistley CO11 1ER Sunday at 8.50am in St Mary’s (Anglican) Church, The Street, Ardleigh CO7 7LD Wednesday at 9.45am in St Mary and St Michael’s, Mistley, preceded by Morning Prayer All are welcome at these masses, and anyone who wishes to learn about the Catholic faith, or who wishes to talk to a priest, should have a word with the priest afterwards or contact Fr Jon Ravensdale. Manningtree, Mistley, Lawford and Ardleigh is served by the Parish of St John Payne, Greenstead, Colchester. The parish priest is Father Jon Ravensdale: 01206 870460 / Also resident in the parish are Father Michael Rear (01206 392695) and Father Mathias Odigbo.


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.

WOMEN’S WORLD DAY OF PRAYER International and Interdenominational 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. Everyone is welcome to attend. For further information about Fontaine Woods: 01255 870411




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CHURCH NEWS ST MARY’S CHURCH, LAWFORD Sunday, December 4 8am Holy Communion BCP 8.45am Prayer Breakfast 10am Holy Communion

Saturday, December 24: Christmas Eve Noon Crib Service 4pm Crib service 11.30pm Midnight Communion

Sunday, December 11 8am Holy Communion BCP 10am Family Service (Toy Service) 3pm Cyclists and Ramblers Carol Service

Sunday, December 25: Christmas Day 10am All Age Communion

Sunday, December 18 8am Holy Communion BCP 10am Holy Communion 6.30pm Candlelit Carol Service

Sunday, January 1 No service at Lawford 10.30am United Benefice Service at Great Bromley Priest-in-Charge: The Rev Simon Heron, 01206 392659

MANNINGTREE BENEFICE An all-age Anglican Church, meeting in St Mary & St Michael’s Church, Mistley, and St Lawrence’s Church, Bradfield. It’s Advent and therefore there’s a decent chance that you don’t really feel like you’ve got time to read this as you’ve got far too much to do, whether it’s shopping and planning and cooking and crafting, whether you can’t face Christmas in a world where fear and lies and terror appear to be the order of the day, or whether you’re up to your eyes in worrying about how to make a Christmas out of impossible circumstances. Take a breath and remind yourself that you can’t ruin Christmas: Jesus was born just about 2016 years ago and there is nothing you or anyone else can do to change that crazy, miraculous fact. Even Mr Trump. Jesus is already here with us. We only need to receive Him, that greatest gift of all time. So take some time this Advent and give yourself a chance to open up the best present you will ever be given. We will be holding many different services and events this Christmas to try and help everyone to unwrap the greatest gift ever given, and you are so welcome to all of them. At our Joint Worship Service at Mistley on Sunday, December 4 we will be collecting new, unwrapped toys to give to the Salvation Army for distribution in the Harwich area and beyond. If you’d like to kick off the Advent season by giving to children who otherwise might get nothing, please join us. We will once again be holding traditional-style Carols by Candlelight services at both Bradfield and Mistley (Sunday, December 18), as well as carolling out on the streets at several different events. Please look out for us, join in and sing your socks off this Christmas. On Christmas Eve there’s a great opportunity for families and those who enjoy a more informal-style service at our Crib Services at Bradfield and Mistley. These short, family-friendly services will include both traditional and modern songs of Christmas worship, a retelling of the Christmas story, a small craft and a biscuit on the way out. Please think about taking time out to remember the reason for the season and join us at this great service. We will also be holding traditional-style Christmas Communion at 11pm on Christmas Eve, ending at midnight as Christmas Day begins, and a Christmas Celebration on Christmas Day which will be a service for all the family, including Communion. Finally, please be aware that the church office will be moving location at some point in the near future. While we work this out, please use the contact details below and we will do everything we can to keep it running as smoothly as possible. For the most up-to-date information please visit: Please do join us for any and all of these services and events. If you’d like to get weekly up-to-date information of what’s going on in the Benefice, please email the office and ask to receive the weekly email. 28


10.30am Joint Worship with Communion & Treasure Seekers* at Mistley (with toy collection)


December 11

10.30am Holy Communion (Common Worship) at Bradfield

10.30am Family Worship with Treasure Seekers* at Mistley


December 18

10.30am Family Worship with Treasure Seekers* at Bradfield

10.30am Holy Communion (Common Worship) at Mistley


Carols by Candlelight at Bradfield


Carols by Candlelight at Mistley

Christmas Eve


Crib Services at Bradfield and Mistley


Joint Christmas Communion at Bradfield

Christmas Day

10.30am Joint Christmas Celebration and Communion at Mistley

Evening Prayer at Bradfield

Evening Prayer at Mistley

*Treasure Seekers is our children’s programme for ages 3+. CONTACT INFORMATION If you have any personal or pastoral needs, or need to get in contact urgently, please contact The Rev John Brien or The Rev Claire Scargill. For all other enquiries, including anything to do with services, events, activities, resources and buildings in the Benefice, including weddings, baptisms and funerals, please contact the church office. Church Office Available at least 10am-1pm, Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays: 01206 392200 / 07436 398801 / Associate Minister: The Rev John Brien: 01206 397549 / Curate: The Rev Claire Scargill: 01206 395417 / The Rev Christine Hills’ final service as Priest-in-Charge of the Manningtree Benefice was held on Sunday, October 30 at Mistley Church. A packed church, joined together in worship, praise and thanksgiving, praying for Chris, her husband Geoff and their family, and thanking God for their eight years of ministry in Mistley, Manningtree and Bradfield. In Touch online:



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CHURCH NEWS MANNINGTREE METHODIST CHURCH South Street, Manningtree CO11 2JB Minister: The Rev Crawford Logan, 01255 423640 Sunday Services: 10.15am each Sunday – we welcome visiting and outside preachers Holy Communion Services: Please check date and times on the noticeboard outside the church. Bible Study: First Wednesday of the month at 2.30pm in the Committee Room with Holy Communion at 2.30pm on the fourth Wednesday and activities with tea and coffee on the second and third Wednesdays. ALSO MEETING ON OUR PREMISES Monday Workers Education Association, 2.30pm / autumn and spring for nine lectures. Stour Choral Society, 7.30pm, September to June Tuesday Co-op Women’s Guild, 7.15pm Wednesday Gentle Fitness Class, 9.15am Art Painting Group, 10am-noon 

Manningtree & District Chess Club, 7.30pm Museum & History Group (bi-monthly), 7.30pm Thursday Cheerleading followed by Zumba, 5pm Carol Service: Sunday, December 18 at 3pm with The Rev Crawford Logan Christmas Day Service: December 25 at 10.15am with Mr Brian Llewellyn Sunday, January 1: Songs of Praise at 10.15am Treasurer: Mr Gordon King. Church bookings: David Shearmur, 01206 395263 Manningtree Methodist Church has been busy fundraising for charity. The Harvest Celebration envelopes enabled us to send £200 to provide fresh water for some of the schools in Uganda through the Methodist Church agency. Also £210 was raised from a quiz night for Christian Aid. At the moment several hundred shoe boxes are awaiting collection for Operation Christmas Child. The church is also a collecting point for Manningtree Food Bank and items such as sleeping bags and towels for the needy in Clacton and Jaywick.

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. 31


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 32

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Meeting at Old St Michael’s School on Trinity Road, Manningtree After a mild autumn, winter’s icy blasts are here once again, forcing us to wear thick winter coats, gloves and scarves. Frost’s frozen fingers make us hunt in our garages for the de-icers. Cold dark mornings are with us once more.

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?”.

Did you notice that the shops were selling all the Christmas glitter earlier every year? It all started in October as shops and garden centres tried to outdo each other. They have bombarded us with endless choices of Christmas food, clothes, cards and gifts. Travel agents offer relatively cheap travel so that we can enjoy Christmas markets in France, Belgium or Germany.

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?”.

Are you tired of all this commercialism? Is this what the Christmas season is all about? Isn’t it really about celebrating the birth of Jesus, who came to change and save lives?

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.

Come and hear the true message of Christmas. You’ll receive a warm welcome at our public worship services each Sunday at 10.30am and again in the evening at 6.30pm. Services last between 60 and 90 minutes and refreshments follow the morning service. SPECIAL SERVICES IN DECEMBER

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!”.

Sunday, December 18: Family Nativity Service, 10.30am Candlelit Carols, 6.30pm

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.

Saturday, December 24: Christmas Eve Communion Service, 11pm

The Rev Andrew Sankey, Minister at Brantham and Capel Methodist Churches 8 Roundridge Road, Capel St Mary IP9 2UG

Yet, this is also the Christmas season... Yule Tide.

Sunday, December 25: Christmas Day Celebration Service, 10.30am KEY NOTES FOR DECEMBER Mondays 5 and 12: Monday Madness, our weekly youth work •

1.15-2.30pm Trinity TOTS: Pre-school plus carers enjoy play, good company and a Bible Story

4.30-6pm KOGS (KS 1 & 2): Craft, games, tea and Bible Stories

6.30-8pm BRiaN Reloaded (11-18s): Serious Bible Study with serious fun thrown in

Tuesday 6: Meeting Place: This month it’s Christmas! What are you hoping for? Tuesday, Wednesday & Thursday w/b December 11: Home Groups, Bible Study and Prayer / 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

Sunday 18


Carol service with Mr Bryan Nichols


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 Sunday 18

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

Saturday 24


Community Carols in the Precinct

Sunday 25 9.30am Christmas Day Worship with Miss Emma Bowyer 33

ON THE GRAPEVINE FROM THE ARCHIVES 1616 – THE TWO LOST CHURCHES OF MANNINGTREE Locally we do seem to lose churches, two in Mistley and less well known, two from the centre of Manningtree. As the centre of population shifted from the church at Mistley Heath to the developing port and town of Manningtree, the distance to get to services clearly became a problem. So a new chapel was built in the 13th century, serviced by its own dedicated curate but still part of Mistley Parish. It was supported financially by a separate fraternity known as the Guild of the Holy Trinity, along with income from Chantry lands given over from the manor, possibly to support local schooling. Along with the rest of the Mistley estate, in 1319 the chapel was passed to the Abbey of Leigh in Devonshire and remained in their possession for some 200 years. While we know of some of the early Manningtree Chaplains – Johannes de Wellington (1361), John Neve (1396) and John Speek (1413) – where the original chapel stood is a mystery to this day. Funding for the chapel was a perennial problem and in 1428 there was a dispute over the value of the local churches who felt they were being over taxed. The hold of the early church was strong and in 1482 the guild was gifted lands and rents in the will of John Debenham in return for an annual funeral ‘indulgence’ for him and his wife Alice to ensure they passed through purgatory. John Christmas had the same idea in 1491 and bequeathed 12s/4d to the fraternity for the upkeep of the presbytery. The chapel by then had a steeple, bell, iron work clock and organ. Through the early part of the 16th century the chapel was doing well from various gifts, but after the break with Rome saw the outlawing of ‘indulgences’, income dried up. Then in 1540 Henry VIII seized all the abbey’s possessions and gave the manor to Sir John Rainsford. By 1548 the churchwardens were selling off the brass standards and hand-bells either to raise money or more likely to stop them falling into the Crown’s hands. The chapel and guild were dissolved in 1551 and along with the yard, rectory and other lands held, its assets were handed over to Rainsford. The chapel, also used as a school, was left vacant for long periods. To comply with their religious duties, the population of around 700 had to go back to making the cross country trek of over a mile to the main parish church still at Mistley Heath. The chapel felt into disrepair and in 1566 one legacy promised 20 shillings, but only if works were actually undertaken. Nothing was done and in 1594 John Norden reported on its continued decay. By 1610 the main chapel is said to be utterly ruined and fallen down and the town folk complain about leaving the town vulnerable to invasion by pirates coming up by sea while they attended Sundays and market day services at Mistley Heath. The chapel had also been invaded and abused at Whitsuntide by “vain and ill-disposed” stage players using the premises for performances. These may well be the ‘Mummers’, famous at the time for putting on plays with strange morals, possibly leading to a visit to the town by Shakespeare. The town constables petitioned the Kings Commissioners who banned the roving players from using the Chapel Yard.


One account says the chapel eventually burnt down. All that remains of it now is a pair of re-used stones, said to be from the original chapel. One depicts St Michael, the patron saint of warriors, the other is a carving of a Tudor rose. The second church was built in 1616 on a fresh site just below the ruins of the ancient chapel. The driving force was ‘Old George Pegrime’ (who we know little about) and it was dedicated to St Michaels & All Angels. Situated on High Street next to what is now a hair salon, it was not consecrated until 1633 by Bishop William Laud, shortly before he became Archbishop of Canterbury, who presented a chalice and two Holy Communion plates. A lack of burial space had been a continual problem and at the same time Richard Edwards, an elder of the town, donated a plot of land known as Harkesteades across the road from the church (now behind the War Memorial) for use as a grave yard and the building of a vicarage for the curate. Other tenements next to the church were later cleared to create more burial space and in 1836 a plot, now off Trinity Road, was purchased and consecrated for the same purpose. To cater for a growing population, the building was enlarged in the 19th century to nearly twice its original size and in 1840 its status was upgraded to a full parish church. It continued to provide a clock on the tower that dominated the town, though in later years this was replaced by one on a large wall bracket. Its fortunes waned and after problems with the main timbers, due in part to death watch beetle, it closed in 1964. The Manningtree Society and others put forward plans for the development of the site as a communal area, but it was demolished a year or so later and built over with in-fill housing. All that remains is a part of the western wall on which there is now a plaque. A number of its memorials can now be found in Mistley Church (New Road) and the bishop’s gifts are on display at the Victoria & Albert Museum. The Ascension by John Constable that used to hang there is to be found in Dedham Church. One of the early clock mechanisms is in Tymperleys Clock Museum. Many locals still remember the church, singing in the choir, getting married there, watching its final demolition and still feel a sense of loss. Philip Cunningham, Manningtree Museum & Local History Group

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In Touch News with Manningtree – December 2016  
In Touch News with Manningtree – December 2016