The Link Magazine
Linking the villages of - Somersham, Willisham, Offton and Flowton - Suffolk
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Offton & Willisham PC
Oh yes, we all know about dinosaurs and how they died out when the worlds climate changed. We also know that a new class of animal emerged, warm blooded, covered in fur suiting them to the new conditions. In fact evolution in animals has long been part of the general knowledge, including what happened to the sabre-toothed tiger, the mammoth, the dodo and so on. Every school student also knows that as conditions change so they suit some creatures better but will be unfavourable to others. Indeed, Darwin realized that there are variations in every new generation so that the fittest will survive, often at the expense of the less well adapted species. But let us not forget that some reptiles have survived as have some amphibians, an even older class.
So can the concept of survival of the fittest be expanded more broadly? One has only to consider the rabbit, the grey squirrel, even weeds in an untended garden to confirm the effect. Conversely, rapidly declining numbers of field birds are related to the adverse conditions we have imposed. And what of MRSA bacteria and, currently, the increase in cases of mumps in young people? Both effects are attributable to changes in preventative measures. But old style hygiene and antiseptics can still keep most patients healthy.
How far can the concept of the survival of the fittest be taken? Through human history the evidence is all too clear; the war-like and strong will prevail. Socio-economically, look only at Rovers and the high street stores. As marketing conditions change so must the products to survive let alone expand. But old fashioned methods of transport, the cycle, the bus, and for communications the phone, the letter, still have their place.
If so much of what we do can be related to changing circumstances what of our spiritual? The last few decades have seen falling numbers in many Christian and Jewish communities and places of worship. Is this due to poorer presentation, outdated conditions in the buildings or is it that our life styles have changed with affluence, the mass media, and ease of personal mobility offering greater expansion of horizons in the quest for success and pleasure? But there is a ground swell of yearning for spirituality, witness on the roadside freshly placed flowers, the Princess Diana effect, the widespread interest in astrology, the enthusiasm often seen in Songs of Praise, certainly at the Mass for Pope John Paul II.
So for the churches,
in this over simplified review, change is being thrust upon us. While
a small and dwindling number in the population will remain loyal to their
style of worship, the message from evolution is loud and clear. But, through
the centuries the Word has remained unchanged.
Those of us able to
join in the service of celebration at Portman Road on 24th June were part
of a unique experience and we felt privileged to have been there. The
evening was an exhilarating mix of modern and traditional worship shared
with thousands of Christians from Suffolk and many countries around the
world. Gwen Green represented our branch of the MU the following day at
the Worldwide AGM and she will report to us at our September meeting.
Although the choir
met with sadness at the Limeburners to say our farewells to Mary and Eddie
Fagg, who are leaving Somersham to begin a new life in France, it wasnt
long before the usual hilarity prevailed! This levity seemed to revolve
around an old caravan and the possibility of a choir outing to friends
in France who might be able to put us all up!
Flower and Cleaning Rota
14th August 12th Sunday after Trinity Matthew 15. 21-28
21st August 13th Sunday after Trinity Matthew 16. 13-20
28th August 14th Sunday after Trinity Matthew 16. 21-end
4th September 15th Sunday after Trinity Matthew 18. 15-20
11th September 16th Sunday after Trinity Matthew 18. 21-35
18th September 17th Sunday after Trinity Matthew 20. 1-16
25th September 18th Sunday after Trinity Matthew 21. 23-32
Somersham Church notes
Copy date for the August / September Link is just before the Somersham on Show weekend so we dont know yet how it has gone! (except that the weather is beautiful!) We trust that many of you will have taken the time to have walked round the village and enjoyed the gardens, exhibitions and stalls. Sincere thanks to everyone who has helped in any way with this major fundraising event. We hope that you all feel the effort you have put in over the days, weeks and months leading up to the weekend worth it. A special thank you to Michael Warren for scanning the photographs for the church display, Nicky Heming for the art exhibition, our friends at the Baptist church for their contribution to the weekend, everyone who opened their gardens or had stalls and sales, and especially to Denis Picton for pulling everything together and ensuring the weekend ran smoothly. A full report will be in the great if there were some cyclists riding for St. Marys, Somersham half of the sponsor money comes back to the church, and the Trust has supported us with grants at various times. Please contact Steve Dines (658487) for forms or to find out more details.
A big thank you to Jo Hakes for putting on the Coffee Morning in June which raised £75 for church funds. We are grateful to everyone who contributed to the morning and those who supported it.
We just want to say a big thank you to everyone for coming to our Summer Fair. We are really pleased to report the grand total of £1300 can now be made available to the school from this event alone. As we have said before FOSS really do appreciate the support we receive from you all. Thank you also to all the people who helped on the day, we couldn't do it without you. Thank you to Ernie, to everyone who gave a prize for the raffle, Mr. Colbear for the gift of the patio burner to raffle and to Mr. Ingleton for sponsoring the tent.
We hope to see you at our Scarecrow Weekend!
From our Community
While talking of help, one of our Neighbourhood Watch Coordinators has just retired after several years. Thanks are due to Jeff Welsh for his service to the community.
Of course this means
I am asking for a volunteer to be coordinator for a fairly small scheme
covering the parts of Nettlestead, Willisham, Somersham and Offton in
the Offton Lodge area.
The artifice burglars (bogus callers) have been at it again in Stowmarket posing as waterboard officers and gaining access to elderly persons houses to steal. Be on your guard. Always check identification. No ID = no entry. If in any doubt check and ask the caller to come back later. Call Police if you suspect the caller may not be genuine. We dont mind if youre wrong! Far better that than let a burglar onto your property.
Despite warnings I
am still getting reports of mini motorcycles being used on the road. The
warnings are over. DONT DO IT!!
If you would like to know more about local crimes and crime reduction subscribe to the Mid Suffolk South Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter via the Suffolk Police website.
If you can assist with or require further information about any incident mentioned in these notes, please contact me on 01473 613500 (Force Headquarters). You may leave a voicemail message for Pc980 Shields, but if you require urgent action speak to another officer.
Somersham Parish Council Meetings
Wednesday 7th September
2005 at 7.30pm in the Pavilion
Quality Parish Status
Chief Executive of the Suffolk Association of Local Councils, gave a very
interesting presentation on Quality Parish Status to the July meeting
of the Parish Council. Quality Parish Status is a scheme launched in 2003,
by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister, with the aim of providing
a benchmark minimum standard for parish and town councils. To achieve
QPS a Council must meet certain criteria which will, in itself, improve
many aspects of the work of the council and broaden its influence. The
community will know its council will be more capable of solving local
problems and is more accountable, visible, representative and provides
community leadership. A Quality Parish Council will be representative
of, and actively involve, all parts of their community, be properly managed,
work closely with voluntary and community sector groups and work in partnership
with other local authorities and agencies to deliver local services which
give the best deal for the local community.
Mid Suffolk Key Project
The Mid Suffolk Key Card has now been launched throughout the Mid Suffolk area and is available to all Mid Suffolk residents who are over 60, OR on benefits, OR in full time education, OR care for a qualifying resident. The card give discounts on a wide range of goods and services including garage services, food at pubs and restaurants, coach trips, tailoring, cards and gifts and even a 50% discount on the annual parking permit at Needham Lake. Application forms are available from MSDC in Needham Market, and several locations in Stowmarket including Tourist Information and the Citizens Advice Bureau. The Mid Suffolk Key Website gives more information www.midsufollk-key.com or contact the Key Team on 01449 727114.
People with learning
disabilities often lack the opportunities most of us have to make new
friends. Their lives may be restricted or maybe they cannot express themselves
easily. Suffolk Befriending Scheme exists to create opportunities for
friendship, fun, sharing, challenges and personal development. Volunteers
spend time enjoying activities they may already do with their own friends.
No specific skills or experience are needed, but training is available. Full support is given and out of pocket expenses, including mileage, paid.
For more information
please contact :
Somersham Parish Council is your Council and is actively seeking Somersham residents to join it. The amount of time needed is predominantly up to the individual Councillor, with attendance at Parish Council meetings the minimum. It will give you the opportunity to become involved in the heart of the community and use the powers of local government to bring about improvements to the environment. If you would like any further information please contact any of the Councillors below, or if you would like to apply please apply in writing to the Clerk of the Council.
Janet Hodge (Chairman)
Penny Pearson (Vice Chairman)
Terry Fordham Vic
Richard Browne Chris
This is your village, help us to help you.
Thank You to everybody who contributed to the Christian Aid collection -a total of £140.80 has been sent to CA. This is an excellent increase of nearly £26 on last year so thank you all. Thanks also to the group of collectors who gave up their time to visit every house in the parish.
Thank You also to everybody who organised and ran stalls, donated gifts, made cakes, provided cream teas, sat in the wet seat, and all who came to the Fete. Together you raised a magnificent £1000 from which 10% will be sent to charity. The rest will be used to maintain the work and worship of the Church which is still central to our village life. Thank you.
tickets will become available for:
Also on sale will
be tickets for:
Tickets will be available from Diana (01473 658335), Margaret (658330) and Mary (658522).
The Harvest Supper is always a good time to get together and chat as we are warmly welcomed into in the home of Graham and Diana Fawcus, and the Trivia Quiz should test our local knowledge -make up a team of six or come and join one on the night.
An extra item on the calendar this year is a Harvest Tea on Sunday October 2nd at 4.00pm, before the service of thanksgiving at 5.00pm . We have several young families worshipping at Flowton now, and last year they were very much involved in the Harvest Thanksgiving Service. We should like to continue that, and thought that tea together and then an earlier service would be a good idea this year. The informal tea is open to anyone who would like to share in this part of the celebration. (There will be a chance for a loo-call in a nearby house before the service begins.)
The Annual Suffolk
Historic Churches Trust fundraising walk or cycle ride is on September
10th. Sponsorship forms are available from the back of the church. Traditionally
this has been a good fundraiser as half the money raised is returned to
the church sponsored, and we have also received funds from the Trust in
the past. Please consider taking part or supporting the walkers/riders
The Christmas Coffee Morning and Sale will take place on Saturday December 3rd.
People interested in patchwork and quilting continue to meet monthly in Flowton church Vestry August 3rd, September 7th, October 5th, November 2nd at 7.30pm. Contact Mary on 658522 if you are interested in joining in, or drop in and visit the group - coffee, tea etc will be offered for your refreshment.
Sunday 11th September 4.30pm Harvest Festival Service followed by BBQ hot dogs!
Sunday 18th September at 10 am Offtons Animal Blessing Service. Bring your pets for a blessing.
Saturday 24th September Whist Drive at 7.30 in the Village Hall see the separate advertisement.
Friday 7th October. Supper in church at 7.30 - £5 per person in aid of church funds. Contact Lucy Vignoles 01473 658480 for further details.
Offton Church Fete:
It was cold but successful and the weather did not stop anyone milking the cow or joining in the other games. Impossible to name everyone who helped and joined in but a huge thank you to all concerned the final figure of funds raised was £876 for Church funds.
Do not forget!
Somersham CSC News
Highlight last month was another win! This time it was away from home as we surprised Eaton with a polished performance at the Norfolk circuit. We knew we could run them close but only the optimistic would have predicted a 95-82 win. The lads worked really well as a team in this one, and a mid-meeting team talk kept the focus. There were smiling faces at the end especially from in-form Lee Pike and hard working Peter Mittell.
Conditions were rather different when Kesgrave visited Somersham as the rain got harder and harder. We started well and held a slender lead at the half-way stage, but some of the team were perhaps distracted keeping warm and dry. Kesgrave adapted to the conditions and pulled away to win 84-96. Andrew Mittell top scored and received good support from the improving Joshua Brooke.
The meeting against Gt. Blakenham was a tricky one, as the opposition felt the need to bring out their top premier league riders. The Stars fought hard, but always seemed to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, losing out 81-98. Tom Pike impressed with his efforts from the back, also highlighting a need for improved gating.
On the individual scene, we staged the East Anglian Championships but the meeting was marred by selfish non-arrivals. Best homester was Andy Mittell, who finished runner-up in both the Under19 and Senior events, the latter after winning a close run-off with team-mate Gary Brown. A big well-done to Reece Saunderson-Copping who won a national Under 10s event at Sandwell. Reece beat some fancied names, and should be proud of his progress this season. Less fortunate was Lee Pike who required hospital attention for facial injuries after falling in his first ride.
Youll see plenty of crashes in cycle speedway but serious injury remains a rarity.
Next home action sees
Kesgrave back again on August 2 starting at 19:30,
Birds and butterflies in garden and countryside
Another dull and chilly
start to the month (July) and so far there are few butterflies to be seen.
On the sunnier days in recent weeks at Gunns Farm we have seen our
usual early dragonfly visitor; the Libellula Depressa. This is an interesting
variety because it has a shorter, stubbier body than most - the male blue
and the female yellow. They mate in mid -air over the pond and then the
female lays her eggs by dipping into the water.
The celebrations at the award of the 2012 Olympics to London had hardly begun, people were still in planning mode, anticipating a feast of sport and its associated benefits when so many lost their lives in the following mornings rush hour. Fragile life so cruelly taken.
The words of James, most likely the brother of Jesus, remain appropriate 2000 years later. Now listen, you who say, Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money Why you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
Is there any comfort when faced with this reality, a hope that extends beyond life that is more than a device to cope with the spectre of death?
Jesus said I have come that they might have life, and have it to the full Life that begins now in commitment to him and blossoms in eternity. I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned For my Fathers will is that anyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
The good news of Jesus
is that there is hope; Jesus introduces us to a way of life that will
If you are affected in any way by the events of the 7th July do contact Mark, who is willing to listen and pray with you.
Regular Sunday Morning
Programme (You are welcome to join us for all or part of the morning).
Children and Young
People (During term time)
I have arranged a
Day Out on the Middy for September 10th on behalf of the East
Anglia Support Group of the A1 Trust.
You will be sent a confirmation slip with details of your allocated driving slot, before the day.
Please note special changes for August
If you think there may be a mistake in the rota please contact your Churchwarden.
7th 11th Sunday after Trinity
14th 12th Sunday after Trinity
21st 13th Sunday after Trinity
28th 14th Sunday after Trinity
4th 15th Sunday after Trinity
11th 16th Sunday after Trinity
18th 17th Sunday after Trinity
25th 18th Sunday after Trinity
2nd 19th Sunday after Trinity
The joy of Christmas celebrations was dulled and muted by the news of the tsunami; the announcement of the success of the London 2012 bid and the news of small steps taken by the G8 leaders were overshadowed by the bombings in London.
Tragic news events seem so much worse when we are relaxed and happy. Let us remember that there are deaths each and every minute of the daylocally, in Africa, throughout the world. Peoples lives are changing all the time.
Let us take this to heart and pledge ourselves to live each day as if our last on this earth.
."the only moment to be alive is the present moment...This is the only moment that is real." Thich Nhat Hanh
|Page last updated: 25-Feb-2009|
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