The Link Magazine

Linking the villages of - Somersham, Willisham, Offton and Flowton - Suffolk

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Offton & Willisham PC
The name Lammas is from Old English 'hlaf' meaning 'loaf' and 'mass'. In some places each worshipper would present in church a loaf made of the new wheat as an offering of the first-fruits. Elsewhere the first wheat cut would be threshed, ground, and made into bread to be used at the next communion service.
I have no desire to return to the scythe with its dangers or the threshing machine with its dust. But we would do well to retain that notion of interdependence expressed by the standing together of reaper and baker. God our Provider, our Maker and Sustainer, knows our every need.

Linden Fletcher

From the registers

Welcome to:
Bethan Patricia Griffiths, daughter of Daniel and Amanda
Kate Marie Noble, daughter of Ian and Kim,
who were baptised in Offton church on 20th June.

May they grow in faith

Farewell to:
Linda Beckley, whose funeral took place in Willisham church on 9th June followed by burial in Willisham churchyard. Our thoughts and prayers are especially with her husband and sons, and also other close family members in their sad loss.

May she rest in peace


Mother's Union
After our summer break we look forward to joining with our friends at Somersham Baptist Chapel for their Anniversary service. This is on Friday, 10th September at 2.30 pm and I know that anyone who cares to come will be most welcome.

Gospel Readings for our Sunday Worship taken from the Revised Common Lectionary. It is good to be sharing the reading of Scripture with Christians - both Catholic and Protestant - across the world.

1st August Eighth Sunday after Trinity Luke12. 13-21

8th August Ninth Sunday after Trinity Luke 12. 32-40

15th August The Blessed Virgin Mary Luke 1. 46-55

22nd August Eleventh Sunday after Trinity Luke 13. 10-17

29th August Twelfth Sunday after Trinity Luke 14. 1, 7-14

5th September Thirteenth Sunday after Trinity Luke 14. 25-33

12th September Fourteenth Sunday after Trinity Luke 15. 1-10

19th September Fifteenth Sunday after Trinity Luke 16. 1-13

26th September Sixteenth Sunday after Trinity Luke 16. 19-31

If you have difficulty reading our regular print size and would like the news content of the Link in a larger font please contact Mary Carter on 01473 658522 and we will try to arrange a special edition for you.



August 1 Mrs Pat Woolhouse
August 8,15 Mrs Angela Osborn
August 22, 29 Mrs Judith Newman
September 5,12 Mrs Daphne Abbott
September 19, 26 Mrs J. Picton
October 3 Flower Fund
October 10, 17 Mrs Josie Iron and all help for Harvest, please

August Cleaning Team B, September Team C, October Team A


August 1 Mrs Carter
August 8,15 Mrs Brooks
August 22, 29 Mrs Ward
September 5,12 Mrs Munson
September 19, 26 Mrs Laflin
October 3 Mrs Fawcus and all help for Harvest, please

August Cleaning Mr & Mrs Grimwood
September Cleaning Mr & Mrs P. Ward


August 1 Wedding
August 8 Mrs Crickmore
August 15 Wedding
August 22, 29 Mrs Rondeboom
September 5 Mrs Sue Pryke
September 12, 19 Mrs Silkie Pinson-Roxburgh and all help for Harvest, please
September 26, Oct. 3 Mrs Sheila Pinson-Roxburgh

August Cleaning Mrs Rondeboom
September Cleaning Mrs Rumsey


August 1,8 Mrs Cage
August 15, 22 Mrs Large
August 29, Sept. 5 Mrs Hodson
September 12, 19 Mrs Gilson
September 26, Oct. 3 Mrs Southall

Cleaning -as above

St Mary's Church Somersham
Harvest Concert
with Suffolk Police Choir

on Friday 8th October
at 7.30pm

Tickets £6
(including Ploughman's supper)

from Christine's Haircare or Pat Woolhouse (831080)

Somersham Church Notes

Many thanks to everyone who helped in anyway at the Summer Garden Party. There will be a full report in the next Link magazine but the total raised from it is likely to be around £400. We are especially grateful to Jane & Denis Picton for allowing us to hold the event in their beautiful garden, and all the work that they put in preparing for it.

A Harvest Concert with the Suffolk Police Choir is on Friday 8th October in the church, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 including a Ploughman's supper. These concerts are always popular so book your tickets now! See ad. elsewhere for details of where to get them.

We are also planning to have another Trivia Quiz in November. More details on this in the next Link.

Flowton News

Thank you to everybody who contributed to the envelope collection for Christian Aid. A total of £114.96 has been sent from Flowton to support the work of that organisation.

Another thank you - this time to everybody who came forward to help in anyway at all with the fete - cutting the grass before it rained, offering to run stalls and games, putting up the tent kindly loaned to us, providing things for the stalls, working on the day, and clearing up afterwards. A really happy event raised a grand fantastic total of £836.

Suffolk Historic Churches Trust Sponsored Cycle Ride takes place on Saturday 11th September. Mrs Wilma Watkins has sponsor forms and other information and will be putting them in church. Please consider getting 'on your bike' for this event, or sponbsoring someone else who is riding for St. Mary's Flowton. Half the money raised is returned by SHCT directly to the churches and chapels. That day is also a good chance to visit interesting churches which unfortunately are usually locked during the week.

If you haven't yet contacted Mary with your thoughts about a Gardens Open and Flower Festival for summer 2006 please do so as soon as possible -

Contact via: telephone 01473 658522
note through the door of Otterditch
text message to 07960255698
or speak to her in church!

Harvest Supper -October 15th -book tickets with Diana Fawcus

Somersham & District Gardening Club

June saw a small group of members visiting three private gardens opened especially for us in Offton. The evening was balmy and the gardens delightful. Whilst they all incorporated similar features they were quite different, expressing their owners individuality. A pity several members missed this visit.

July will have been and gone with a talk from Sue Robinson on Scents for All Seasons.

9th August is a members visit to Shrubland Park Nurseries.

13th September back in Somersham Village Hall for a talk on Water Gardening by P. Bateman. The meeting commences 7.30 pm. New members and guests are always welcome to our meetings.

Elmsett Airfield Liaison Group Meeting - June 16th 2004

The resident flying school would be moving to another operating base from the end of June and the airfield is looking to fill the vacancy.
Poplar Hall is being used by local Cub and Scout groups for camping and badge work.
The Elmsett Airfield Open Day and Flying Display unfortunately had to be cancelled this year, although a 'Family and Friends' Fly-In had been planned on July 3rd.

CHURCH SERVICES in our 8 linked parishes

Please note that there are fewer services this month to allow worship leaders to take their holidays. We wish them, and you, a refreshing and relaxing summer, and our farming community a good harvest.

August 1st - 8th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion

9.30am Willisham
Morning Prayer 10.00am Great Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Somersham
Open-Air Service on the Green 6.30pm Battisford

August 8th - 9th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion
8:00am Somersham
Holy Communion + baptism 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Barking

August 15th The Blessed Virgin Mary

Holy Communion 8.00am Somersham
Family Service 10.00am Offton
Holy Communion 11.15am Battisford

Evening Prayer

6.30pm Flowton

August 22nd 11th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion 9.30am Ringshall
Holy Communion 11.00am Offton
Morning Prayer 11.15am Barking

August 29th -12th Sunday after Trinity

Joint Family Communion for the Eight Parishes followed by Bring and Share Picnic 11.00am Flowton

(Flowton folk look forward to your company and will provide a variety of liquid refreshments, cutlery and plates)

September 5th - 13th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion

9.30am Willisham
Morning Prayer 10.00am Great Bricett
Holy Communion + baptism 11.15am Somersham
Morning Prayer 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Barking
Holy Communion 6.30pm Flowton

September 12th - 14th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion by extension
8:00am Flowton
Family Service 10.00am Somersham
Holy Communion 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Barking
Family Service 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Willisham
Harvest Festival Service followed by Barbecue 4.30pm Offton

September 19th -15th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion 8.00am Somersham
Family Service + communion by ext. 10.00am Offton
Family Service 10.00am Barking
Holy Communion 11.15am Battisford
Harvest Festival 6.00pm Ringshall

Evening Prayer

6.30pm Flowton

September 26th - 16th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion 9.30am Ringshall
Morning Worship 10.00am Flowton
Holy Communion 11.00am Offton
Morning Prayer 11.15am Barking
Harvest Festival with Elmsett Band 6.00pm Bricett
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Somersham


Somersham Primary School

Just to let you know, the children joined in this years Readathon. This is a national sponsored reading event that is held in schools each year. All the money raised is donated equally between Sargent Cancer Care for Children and The Roald Dahl Foundation. We are very please to tell you that 20 children decided to take part and raised the wonderful sum of £225.70. Congratulations to all those 20 children.

Hope everyone who came to all our summer events (Summer Fair, Shakespearean Evening, Sports Day, Leavers Assembly) had a great time. We look forward to seeing you all next school year.


Firstly we must say a huge thankyou to everyone who attended the Summer Fair. The weather wasn't as kind to us as it had been in previous years but you the public were! We took -wait for it- £1444 on the day. Amazing!! There are some expenses to come out of that but needless to say everyone at the school is delighted with the outcome.

Don't forget to look out for the "Informal Evening of Chat" we plan to hold in the school hall in September. As this is written there are no definite plans but these should be coming to fruition shortly. We shall put notices up around the village and probably notices through doors. Please come along, it will be very interesting to listen to the older members of our community and we're sure there will be lots of things you'll hear that you didn't know about.

Somersham Football Club
Race Night
in Somersham Village Hall
Saturday 25th September
7.30 'til 11.45

First race at 8 p.m.

Tickets £2.00
available from
Dill Ips 831231
Derek Ips 832562
Quinnie Ips 832294
or on the door

Licensed Bar

A Shakespearean Evening

Monday 5th and Tuesday 6th July, Class One, that is years five and six at Somersham Primary School, performed one of William Shakespeare's magnificent plays. It was the one and only 'A Midsummer's Night Dream." The play was performed excellently.

Mr. Marrable had started rehearsals for the play but after he
left the school, three kind and generous ladies, Miss Weekes, Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Thorne put their heads together and decided to carry on with the play as the children wanted to perform in front of an audience. These ladies finally came up with a plan to make the magic happen.

Months, weeks, days, hours, minutes and seconds were put into the play, rehearsing all the singing and acting. After all that time and effort put into the play, all the children were learning more and more, faster and faster. They had started to get the props ready, the stage ready, the graffiti wall ready and basically everything ready.

Then suddenly before they knew anything the play was right around the corner. On the first night everything ran smoothly, well nearly everything went according to plan. All the tickets were sold and there were even more people standing at the back. On the second night, again the play went smoothly and there were even more people standing at the back. It truly was an amazing experience.

After the performances Mrs. Dickerson counted all the money from the tickets and refreshments and we had made enough money to cover the cost of the script and to cover the cost of the musical CD and to tune the school piano. So overall the two productions turned out to be absolutely superb. So thanks all around, especially to Miss. Weekes, Mrs. Evans and Mrs. Thorne.
Written by Sophie Leaberry, Class 1: year Six, Age Eleven
Character I played: Helena (a lover)

I think that all who were able to attend the production will want to thank everybody who was involved in the event. Well done.(Ed.)

Update on the butterflies and birds in our gardens and churchyard

As we go to print early in July we have experienced some of the most 'un-summerlike' weather imaginable (and the long term forecasts are not promising any really settled warm weather either!). As a consequence we have seen very few of the usual visitors to our gardens. On the butterfly front Terry Proctor reports glimpsing the Yellow Brimstone and Comma passing through and Mary Carter has seen freshly hatched Privet Hawk Moth in Flowton churchyard. Several people in Flowton have reported that Flycatchers are back and nesting, and Blackcaps are seen feeding constantly on a Berberis shrub.

Terry Lock has an update on his Swallow family. The first brood sadly came to grief when the edge of their nest broke away and the young birds fell out and died. The parents have rebuilt the nest and there are now another four eggs in it - so second time lucky we hope! We will look forward to hearing in the October 'Link'.if they were successful

We would be most interested to hear if any barn owls have been sighted in any of our villages this year. For the last four years we have been thrilled to have a pair nesting in a tree in Elmsett churchyard and hunting over our fields at Gunn's Farm every evening and during the daytime too when the chicks were hatched. This year jackdaws are nesting in the tree, but we haven't seen the owl which is sad. We wonder too if you have as many Woodpeckers in your garden as we see (and hear!). We take great delight in the numerous Long Tailed Tits on our bird feeder too.

So many of us have bird tables and feeders these days and it is most interesting to compare notes about our welcome visitors. Do contact us with your sightings of both birds and butterflies - especially the more unusual ones.

Any member of the 'Link' team or direct to the Secretary on 658330, or email to

From: PC Kevin Shields
Community Beat Officer
Tel: 01473 613500

Congratulations are in order for two of the neighbourhood watch coordinators on my patch.
Firstly Colin Burrows of Somersham who won the title of Neighbourhood Watch Coordinator of the year for Mid Suffolk at the recent Crime Reduction Community Awards at Bury St Edmunds and as if that was not enough went on to win the same title for the Western Area of Suffolk Constabulary as well. Colin was presented with a certificate and an engraved rose bowl for his achievements.
Secondly, Pam Smith, who gave sterling account of herself on Radio Suffolk when interviewed about her part in helping to make Ringshall the safest Suffolk village.

A well done is also due for the pupils at Somersham and Ringshall schools who took part in Cycle Safety Training this year. My thanks go to the pupils for their hard work and to staff, parents and Neighbourhood Watch who all assisted during the courses. Without such help they are impossible to run.

It will be August when you are reading this and hopefully it will be on a warm sunny day and we will all be outside enjoying ourselves. But please make sure that whilst you are outside no one is inside helping himself or herself to your property. If you are in the back garden make sure the front of your house is secure it only takes a moment to steal a handbag or wallet.

Many of you will be off on holidays. Make sure you take all precautions to secure your property and ask neighbour to check for papers and post. Leave details of where you can be contacted in the event of an emergency. Just because you are away from home don't relax on precautions against theft. Credit cards are a favourite target and also we tend to carry more cash when on holiday so split your cash rather than keep it all in one purse or wallet.

I must of course include the usual question to parents during school holidays:

Crime Reports.
In Offton six cases of floor tiles 300*300mm of type GR856 PA Rustico were stolen from outbuildings between 10th and 11th June.
A garage at Willisham was entered between Saturday 26th and Monday 28th June and Raleigh folding unisex cycle stolen. Colour maroon with white tyres.

When you do notice anything suspect do something about it. If you think the police need to know tell us as soon as possible. If you think it warrants a police officer immediately call 999. If you are not sure, call 999. We prefer to find things are actually in order rather than a crime that could have been prevented or detected.
If can assist with or require further information about any incident mentioned in these notes please contact me on 01473 613500 (Force Headquarters) if I am not on duty ask to leave a voicemail message for Pc980 Shields. Please remember there are periods when I am rest day for 4 days. If you require urgent action do not leave message, speak to another officer.
My deputy should I be on leave or otherwise away for any length of time will be Pc 839 Simon Mills, he is contactable on the same telephone numbers as myself, and don't forget my letter box in Somersham Post Office.

Thank you
PC Kevin Shields

01473 383390 Stowmarket Police Station
01473 613500 Police Headquarters

To go to the Suffolk Police web site please click here

To go to the Neighbourhood Watch site of Suffolk Police click here


We have to report a low key start to the Summer League. No win so far for Somersham, even though we have had some good matches home and away. Most of the games have been close fought, but our opponents have won the overall game by scoring more shots. It is - by more practice on Club Nights - the intent to definitely do something about this situation, otherwise without some resolve we will find ourselves languishing in the lower regions of the league by the end of the season.

The first match of May against Hadleigh showed us we had to improve our game as a whole, as we only won 1 of the 4 games as the points and shots prove. The home team were a much better team on the night. Hopefully if we apply our endeavours the return match at home will favour Somersham.

Moving into the matches for June; our visit to Elmsett fared a little better as we shared the games but still lost on shots and points even though we shared the team games two a piece.

The end of the month saw success at last and the tables turned as we won our first match away against Polstead. On the night everyone weighed up the mats and enjoyed a good game; and this in turn has lifted our spirits somewhat and certainly improved our confidence. We look forward to now continuing this form.

Summer League (June results)

Team Shots Points
Hadleigh B 48 - 28 8 - 2 Lost Away
Elmsett 51 - 36 6 - 4 Lost Away
Polstead 33 - 41 2 - 8 Won Away

Somersham Baptist Church


The success of the Greek national team in the Euro 2004 has set us up nicely for the Olympic Games in Athens. What a summer of top class sport we have in store. The dedication of the athletes, and their families, deserve our praise.

The Apostle Paul may have witnessed the Isthmian Games in AD 51 whilst he was at Corinth; he certainly used sport to help illustrate his writing. Noting that athletes observe a severe period under specific rules, and exercise self denial in watching there weight for 'a crown that will not last' he encourages his readers to press on with similar determination and commitment to gain 'a crown that will last forever'.

I thoroughly enjoy sport, and encourage getting involved, but even those with special talents need to be single minded and determined to succeed at the highest level. And as we can all see from the panel games and pundits, the success is short lived. So if all that energy does go into something of temporary significance, how much more energy should be expended on that which has eternal value. Jesus said, 'Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.'** Being serious about Jesus may not be popular, but it is certainly rewarding.
* 1 Corinthians 9:25, ** John 6:27.

Regular Meetings
(You are welcome to join us for all or part of the meeting).
10.00am Prayer
10.30am Coffee break
10.45am Bible Study; Junior Church for school yrs 1-6
11.15am Coffee break
11.30am Worship
12.00pm-12.30pm Sermon (Communion 1st Sunday)
We are joined by John McDonald of Grace Baptist Mission for Sunday 5th September.

Ladies Meeting

Ladies Meetings
Women's Fellowship 2.30pm
Friday 9th September where we are joined by the Mothers Union.
Friends and Neighbours 7.45pm Monday 20th September.

Children and Young People (Held during term time)
Yr. 1-6, Wednesday Club 6.30pm.
Yr. 9 on, 14+ Friday 8.00pm,

Christianity Explained; Six sessions, which deal with Jesus, Salvation and becoming a Christian, to find out more contact Mark.
Somersham Baptist Church, Chapel Lane, Somersham, IP8 4QE

Pastor Mark Newcombe 01473 831940 e-mail
Colin Low 01473 464833 or Edwin Mayhew on 01473 658100. Web site


Link Committee and AGM

Once again - and unbelievably - it is time to give you notice of the Link magazine committee's Annual General Meeting. It seems only a couple of months ago that we were celebrating the tenth anniversary of the current production team and now another whole year has gone by! Well, if you turn up at Gunn's Farm on Friday, 24th September, 2004 at 8 pm you will have the opportunity to make your views known about the newsletter - and even get elected on to the committee if you are not careful! Failing that, please let the secretary have any matters you would like raised at this meeting.
(Margaret Laflin, Gunn's Farm, Lower Somersham, IP8 4PU.
Tel. 658330 or email to :-

Somersham CSC

Still unable to report on a win, but some even better news this month! In June we staged a Come and Try It event as part of National Bike Week and what an unexpected success this turned out to be. There were loads of local youngsters eager to have a go at cycle speedway and when they had, their friends wanted a go to! The senior riders brought their bikes along expecting a practice opportunity but they didn't get a look in on this occasion!

A few weeks later we staged a Suffolk Under 13 GP round and at last we had some local riders to cheer on! Well done to Reece Copping (2nd place in the Under 9s), Liam Morphew, Thomas King, Morgan and Fraser Borrett, Joshua Flatman, Abi Littleboy, Laura Anderson, Ricki Gould and Jamie Rudd who all made their official cycle speedway debuts.

Onto team matters and it's a shame that effort alone is insufficient to win matches. We lost 86-94 to Kesgrave, where Richard Williamson dropped just one point, and 83-97 to Gt. Blakenham which saw Gary Brown top score after a few poor performances. Individually, one rider steals all the headlines this month - Andrew Mittell. The local lad won the Suffolk Under 16 Champion title with an unbeaten performance after passing his key rival in a last ride decider.

Then he did the exactly same thing in the East Anglian Championship as if to prove it was no fluke. Andy also won a meeting at East London, and finished 3rd in the East Anglian Under 19s. How will he fare in the British U-16 Final at the end of August?

British events dominate this month so incredibly we have no home meeting. The sporadic fixture list makes it difficult to maintain a regular practice night so get in touch to find out when the next session will be. Please remember all riders should have helmet and gloves when racing, and youngsters can use ordinary bikes to start with.

you can contact us via (01473) 831474, e-mail or take a look at the
new Somersham Cycle Speedway website:


SnOasis - many of you will have gone to visit the exhibition in July at the cement factory site, or when it moved to Claydon High School. There are obviously differing views about the plans which have been submitted to the planners at Mid Suffolk but it was good that well qualified members of the consortium were there to answer our questions. For those of you who missed the exhibition and have computer access, I have copies of the hand-out information as computer files if you wish to e-mail me.
Mary Carter

Offton Church News

Coming up!

Suffolk Historic Churches Trust
Sponsored Bicycle Ride
Saturday 11 September.

Contact Alison Rumsey for details. 01473 658591
Offton Church Harvest Festival
on Sunday 12 September
at 4.30 in the church followed by
a BBQ in the Churchyard
Annual Whist Drive
on Saturday 25th September 2004
in Offton and Willisham Village Hall
at 7.30 pm prompt
In aid of St Mary's Church


Other dates to note:

Sunday 11 October Animal Blessing Service at 4.30 pm
contact Peta Whiting for further details.

Thursday 11 and 25 November at 7 pm Adult Pottery Group
with Peta Whiting in Offton Church.

Tuesday 30 November Taize Service in Flowton Church, 7.45pm

Autumn Fayre
in aid of
Cancer Research

Somersham Support Group
Registered Charity No 299050
The Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust

Saturday 2nd October 2004
12 noon - 4 pm

in the Barn at
Mount Pleasant Farm

Household items, small furniture, toys
Books, Cake Stall, clothes and more….

Hot and Cold Food available all day


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