The Link Magazine

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

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Offton & Willisham PC

An excellent letter from Nick Carter last month has prompted the Link committee to make a special point of wishing to thank everyone who contributes to this feature, and especially to the members of the laity in all four villages who have agreed to put pen to paper for us over the years. We appreciate very much the time and effort you have taken to produce letters on a wide range of subjects and viewpoints to interest us all.

We will be compiling the list of letter contributors for 2009 over the next few weeks and if you feel you have a subject you would like aired and are prepared to submit a letter, or can suggest someone else (much easier!) please contact 658330, email to or speak to any member of the editorial team (see back cover)


Dear Reader,
The damp patch in the corner of the dining room only became apparent recently, but the leak has obviously been there for some time – for there was quite an area of wet carpet. The plumber identified the cause quickly – it was a faulty radiator valve – and, being an old-style plumber, he opted for repair rather than replacement. The item that had caused the damage was a tiny seal – once replaced, all was water-tight again.

God is with us – that is the promise of Christmas. God has redeemed us – offered us a new life and, ultimately, a new home in Heaven – that is the promise of Easter. God can be in us – His power, His wisdom, - present in our lives through the Holy Spirit – that is the promise of Pentecost.

But these promises need to be claimed – we need to accept them. In other words, the only thing stopping the mighty outpouring of Gods peace and blessing on your life is you – like the tiny seal that stops my radiator pouring water all over the dining room floor.

And every time we forget to acknowledge Gods presence in the world – every time we fail to thank Him – every time we choose not to worship Him – each time these things happen we stop Him working in and through our lives, and we do not receive the blessing that He would love to give to us.

So pause just a moment – look about you – look at the beautiful summer weather, the countryside – give thanks for all that we are given, all that we enjoy, all that we have received – and ask God for His peace, His presence, His blessing in your life. He will be delighted to respond to you.
May God bless you,

Rev Tim Hall
The Rectory The Street Stonham Aspal 01449 711409

Church Flowers and Cleaning Rotas


August 3-10 Jean Brown,
August 17-24 Christine Cooper,
August 31 flower fund.  Cleaning team B
Sept 7-14 Christine Jarrold,
Sept 21-28 Judith Newman, Cleaning team C
Oct 5-12 Faith Jaggard and all help for harvest (5th) Cleaning team A


August 10,17 Mrs Munson
August 24, 31st Mrs Laflin
Cleaning—Mrs and Mrs K Grimwood
Sept 1, 14 Mrs Carter
Sept21, 28 Mrs Whittaker
Cleaning –Mr and Mrs Ward
Oct 5,12 Mrs Fawcus


August 3, 10 Mrs Rondeboom
August 17,24 Mrs Sue Pryke
Aug 31, Sept 7 Mrs Janet Dickson
Cleaning –Mrs Rondeboom
Sept 14, 21 Mrs Silke Pinson-Roxburgh (Harvest on 14th)
Sept 28, Oct 5 Mrs Sheila Pinson-Roxburgh
Cleaning-Mrs S Pinson-Roxburgh

August 3 Ms Hardman
August 10 wedding
August 17, 24 Mrs Fisher
Aug 31, Sept 7 Mrs Hill
Sept 14, 21 Mrs Cage
Sept 28, Oct5 Mrs Large

From the registers:
At Offton church on Sunday 29th June the Reverend Canon Roger Dedman officiated at a Wedding Blessing for Paul and Susan Rowe of Battisford. (Her grandfather was Vicar at Offton from 1917.) The occasion was also the Baptism of her grandson - Ted Macdonald -from Norwich

Some will know Paul from Paul’s Hardware in Needham Market
We wish Paul and Susan well in their married life

Somersham Church Notes

The normal pattern of services in Somersham church has changed for August because of holidays, so please check at the back of the Link for details.

Very many thanks to everyone who supported the Summer Fete on Church Meadow, and especially to everyone involved in organising it and contributing to the stalls. A very big thank you to the Caston family for allowing us to use the meadow, which had been mown into beautiful condition, and for all their help on the day. We made a brilliant total of £530 profit for church funds.

Check out the ad for the Folk Evening on Friday 3rdOctober, which has become a very popular annual event now. We usually fill the church so make sure you get your tickets early.

The Editor was asked to pass on this message, and agreed to do so after a recent visit to the playing field car park area:

Please have some respect for yourselves –and others- and remove your litter.

Don’t be a tosser

Keep Somersham tidy

The Rural Coffee Caravan Information Project
comes to Somersham
The Coffee Caravan
will be found at Brook Way
Wednesday 30th July from 2.00 pm -- 4.00 pm
We provide a wealth of information about local and national agencies and organisations
We offer an opportunity to chat to neighbours and friendly volunteers over a cup of tea / coffee and homemade cakes
Our visit is free but donations are welcome
Supported by Neighbourhood Watch Somersham


2nd AUGUST 2008
Support your village
Car Boot Sale 10.00am start (no need to book)

Side Stall Attractions BBQ Live Local Band

Bar Teas & Coffee Ice Creams

Bookstall Under 10s Game

Under 11’s game v Whitton Sports

Adult’s Football Trick Bikes

Cycle Speedway Demo &Try It Sessions
Tennis—Have a go Sessions (rackets supplied)



St. Mary’s Church Somersham
Folk Evening

featuring local bands
Pluck & Squeeze Kate & Steve
and friends!

on Friday 3rd October
at 7.30pm
in Somersham Church

Tickets £6
(including light refreshments)
available from
Christine’s Haircare, Somersham Garage
or Pat Woolhouse (831080)

10% of profit will go to E.A.C.H.



Somersham & District Community Shop

We now have a very capable and enthusiastic Steering Group who are meeting regularly to progress the Community Shop project. Thanks to Mid-Suffolk District Council we have been awarded some funding for the setting up of the steering group and to enable us to go forward.

The Steering Group members are: Janet Hodge – Chairman; Steve Bullard – Treasurer; Geoff Tottle – Secretary; Graham Amiss; Richard Browne; Terry Fordham; Mike Freeman; Mrs Freeman; Gavin Hodge; Anne Macfadyen; Barbara Tottle; Niki Whiting

The first thing we needed was the permission and agreement of the Community Association to locate the proposed shop on the playing field. We are delighted and most grateful to them that they have approved this proposal. We look forward to working closely with them over this project and will liaise with them all the way.

Next we had to gain the services of an architect to look at the options available to us and to see us through any planning applications in the future. Local architect, Vernon Tricker, is to look at the options, do some costings, and check out planning requirements. He will report back to us soon.

A website is being set up thanks to Graham. Steve is to set up a community bank account, work out a constitution and look at the workings of a Community Interest Company (CIC). A CIC is a company that operates for the benefit of local residents and any profits made will be given back to the community, ie back into the shop or other organisations.

When we have information from all the above Richard and Steve, with Graham, have agreed to work out a business plan. A business plan is a requirement to gain funding so will be a vital part of the process. From this point the hard work will begin with applying for and hopefully gaining funding. County Councillor, Julia Truelove, has already pledged to allocate part of her locality budget towards the project, but she needs first to have receipt of our business plan – thanks to Julia for this.

As can be seen, this is a long-term project, needing lots of commitment. So wish us luck, offer help if you can, and we look forward to a shop that will provide a strong community focus in the future.

Janet Hodge – tel: 832296

Somersham & District Community Association

Let’s hope we now have some lengthy spells of fine dry weather so the outstanding tasks on the playing field can start. Careful negotiation has produced some discount on the paint for the containers and weather permitting, our volunteers will need to don their smocks and artist’s berets and disguise the P&O logos with a nice tasteful green. Further stone picking parties will need to be held. These hardy volunteers must wonder if it’s worth it, as fast as they pick the stones off the new pitch more stones work their way to the surface. By now the results of the last pick will have been removed and the grass will be ready for its second cut. Many thanks to all concerned and to those who raked up the stones scattered from the pile waiting for removal. The proposed pedestrian gate from the car park has been costed and work should be starting on this. The problem with the lights on the arena has been solved and these have now switched off for the summer season.

The decision to follow a zero tolerance of vandalism and late night gatherings on the field appears to be paying off. One result of this is that there is a good deal less litter to remove although MSDC don’t always remember to empty the bins they are supposed to empty. At present those who do tidy up seem to be keeping topside of the problem so the suggested village litter pick will be put on hold while the situation is monitored. Many thanks to those who offered their services for this we hope you will come forward if the situation changes in the future.

Welcome co-operation between the clubs who make the most use of the Playing Field and Pavilion means that the Football Club Family Fun Day in August will also have a cycle speedway demonstration and tennis tournament as well as a barbecue, and bar. There will no doubt be other fun things to do on the day so make sure you look out for the published date and join in the fun. All the hard work done to create the Playing Field was done for the entire community; do make the most of it by using the facilities and keeping a general eye on it, or by sending your club rep. to the bi-monthly meetings.

Nicky Heming Secretary

Somersham Parish Council

Forthcoming Parish Council Meetings
Wednesday 3rd September 2008
Wednesday 1st October 2008
Wednesday 5th November 2008

All meetings commence at 7.30pm in the Village Hall and the press and public are welcome to attend.

Air Stacking Proposals
The parish council strongly objected to the NATS proposal to stack aircraft over our area of Suffolk. These objections were sent to NATS so we now have to await their decision.

Flooding in Prince’s Gardens
Both Mid Suffolk District Council and Suffolk County Council have been consulted concerning the flooding of the green in Prince’s Gardens. The parish council will continue to push for the principal authorities to find a solution to this problem.

Somersham Town Land Charity
The parish council was sorry to hear that John (Jack) Abbott has decided to retire as a Trustee of the Somersham Town Land Charity. Jack has given an exceptional service to the charity for the past 25 years and all members of the parish council wish to convey their appreciation of his wonderful efforts on behalf of the charity and extend their very best wishes for the future.

Recycling old Mobile Phones
Suffolk County Council and Recycle Your Mobile have been working together to encourage people to recycle unwanted mobile phones for the benefit of schools in Suffolk. For each ‘recyclable’ phone donated ,the nominated school will receive up to £5 and improve children’s understanding about the benefits of recycling and the need to protect our environment When schools register they will receive a supply of freepost envelopes, or alternatively, phones can be collected in a box at school. For more information contact Emma Cooke on 0800 970 5097.

YMCA Training Environmental Task Force (ETF) Programme
YMCA Training is a charity based organisation working with young people. Working in conjunction with the Job Centre, an ETF Programme has been set up. This is a team of 18 – 24 unemployed young adults and is designed to support people back into employment and gain valuable personal and social development. The team is available to assist community groups and is looking for outdoor practical work or community projects. You would have to supply the materials, they will supply the labour. Further details can be obtained from Jaime Flynn or Claire flowers on 01473 406126.

Council vacancy
There is still a vacant seat on the parish council. Applications are welcome from anyone aged 18 or over who is on the electoral register. With the current review of principal authorities in Suffolk taking place there is much talk about greater empowerment of parish councils in the future. If you would like further information on the role of a parish councillor please contact any of the current councillors or the clerk.

Pools of water on the road
Finally if you see an explained pool of water on the road on a dry day it may be worth giving Anglian Water a call. There have been cases of burst water mains going unreported for some time because no-one thought to check them out. Water is a valuable commodity let’s not waste it!

Structural review of local government in Suffolk
At the time of writing the Boundary Committee has just published its draft proposals for unitary councils in Suffolk. These proposals are now out for public consultation until 26th September. The parish council will be keen to know the feeling of the community on these proposals before it decides on the response it wishes to make. Please advise any of the councillors or by email to the Clerk if you have any opinions you wish to bring to the council’s attention.

This is also the opportunity for any Suffolk resident to voice their opinions direct to the Boundary Committee so make sure your voice is heard. Contact details are, either email at or post to:- Review Manager, (Norfolk and Suffolk Reviews), The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2HW. Representations will be accepted from all but should contain as much evidence and reasoning as possible to back up the arguments put forward.

Affordable Housing
The parish council has decided to take tentative steps to the next stage in assisting in providing a small scheme of affordable housing in the village, subject to satisfactory solutions to a few concerns raised in the survey. Terry Fordham is the lead councillor on this project and he will be meeting with Suffolk ACRE and Mid Suffolk District Council housing enabling staff prior to reporting back to the next parish council meeting.

Somersham Town Land Charity
The parish council was delighted to appoint Graham Amiss as a Trustee of the Somersham Town Land Charity. Graham’s appointment is until May 2009, when the appointment of all Trustees is reviewed for a further 3 year term. The Trustees allocate the funds raised by the charity to individual or group deserving cases operating in Somersham. If you know of a person or a group who would benefit from a small grant from the charity please contact the Parish Clerk.

Community Clear Ups
Mid Suffolk District Council has provided the ward of Barking and Somersham with their own Community Clear Up supply kit which includes litter pickers, hi-visibility vests, gloves, black sacks and recycling sacks. The equipment is available to community groups and will be kept by Cllr. Steven Wright, tel 07850 882791. Mid Suffolk District Council will arrange free collection of waste after a clear up event. A booklet entitled “How to organise a community clear up” is available from , tel. 01449 724946.

Suffolk Road Safety Campaigns during 2008
Over the coming months the Suffolk Roadsafe Partnership will be running campaigns covering drink driving, speed, seat belts and mobile phone use. Promotional literature will be displayed around the village at the time of the campaigns. The first campaign to be launched is focusing on the dangers of not wearing a seat belt and the tagline ‘belt up or break up’ will be used to provide a hard-hitting message to always wear a seat belt.

Protecting People Who Receive Care In Their Own Homes
Suffolk County Council has recommended that everyone who has carers in their own homes is using carers that have been checked and registered. The best way to check is to ask to see your carer’s registration card, which will have been issued by the Commission for Social Care Inspection (CSCI). This can also be checked by phoning CSCI on 01223 771300, or on their website

Council vacancy
There is still a vacant seat on the parish council. Applications are welcome from anyone aged 18 or over who is on the electoral register. With the current review of principal authorities in Suffolk taking place there is much talk about greater empowerment of parish councils in the future. If you would like further information on the role of a parish councillor please contact any of the current councillors or the clerk.

And Finally
Everyone at Somersham Parish Council wishes you a very happy holiday and hopes that the weather is kind.

Janet Clarke Tel. No. 01473 830398
Clerk to the Council E-mail:


Monday 11 AUGUST at 7.30pm

Talk and slide presentation given by
Barry Emerson
(RHS iris specialist)

Whether or not you are a member, you will be
most welcome!
Raffles, refreshments available.

£1 Visitors and Guests

Monday 8 SEPTEMBER at 7.30pm

(& other Conservatory Plants)
Lisa Rawley
(RHS CHELSEA Silver gilt medallist)

Whether or not you are a member, you will be
most welcome!
Raffles, refreshments available.
£1 VISITORS & guests

Somersham Primary School

The end of term is approaching at an alarming rate here at Somersham Primary School, but there is always enough time to tap on the keyboard and keep the community updated on our latest activities! I have nearly completed my first year as Headteacher and it has been a busy but exciting time for us all. I know that our Governors have been keeping you updated by writing for the link each month, for which I am very grateful, but I thought I would write this month and sum up our year.

The school is looking a better place with the ICT suite refurbishment, well maintained grounds, the recent repainting of the outside paintwork and ongoing library refurbishment. When I pull into the car park each morning I am always struck by what a nice place our school looks!

Throughout the year we’ve had plenty of trips and events from a rivers trip and Victorian day in class one to a fantasy adventure in a dinosaur inhabited island in class three, from country dancing in class two to a whole school ‘pink day’ and sponsored walk for charity. We also had a fabulous whole school trip to see Tutankhamun’s treasures which was a great success. We believe strongly in enhancing children’s learning by using opportunities for hands on learning.

It’s not just the children who have been learning either, with our successful ‘maths is marvellous’ event and a Parents’ reading course, Mums and Dads have been getting involved in learning too!

The activity isn’t slowing down because it is the end of term either! Alongside sports day, the leavers assembly and disco we have another very exciting event on the horizon, one of which I feel immensely proud. Class One recently took part in a week long study of the books nominated for the Kate Greenaway Medal – an annual illustrators award. As part of their studies they submitted reviews of the nominated books onto the school’s Kate Greenaway ‘shadowing’ site. As a result of these reviews, we have been asked to choose 3 pupils to go to BBC broadcasting house in London to interview the winning author, Emily Gravett, for BBC Radio 4! Everyone is incredibly excited at our little school being chosen out of the hundreds of schools who took part in the shadowing project. I feel so proud and can’t wait to hear our pupils broadcast over national airwaves!

What an exciting way to round up my first year, we’re all looking forward to seeing what the next academic year has is store for us!

Friends of Somersham School.

FOSS would like to say a BIG thank you to everyone who came to this years’ Wild West Fete. It was disappointing waking up that Saturday morning to see it pouring down with rain, but FOSS members, and several others who had come along to give a much-needed hand, were still keen and ready setting up at the school from 9am. Some of us had come ready in fancy dress, not planning to go home and change, putting up bunting and cardboard saloon doors dressed as cowboys and Indians. Others had no choice to nip home before the event started, as they were soaked up to their knees from the rain and grass!! Thankfully, as the morning turned into afternoon, the weather cleared up. As always, we were ready just in the nick of time, when the fete opened at 1pm. The white stallion stall was piled high with a bargain for everyone. The raw hide raffle prizes were fantastic and attracted hoards of people to buy tickets. The rodeo bull was a definite hit with the boys, and the braver girls; even Mrs Allison and Mrs Chinnery had a go!! (It’s a shame we can’t put photos in the link.) (Oh yes, we have included a few—if you look at back copies!) Everyone seemed to enjoy the themed games and activities and it makes the effort that goes into the fete all the more worthwhile. FOSS is especially grateful this year for all the support we had from the local community. We received generous donations from local people, clubs, societies, groups etc who sponsored a stall at the fete. Donations went towards prizes for winners of the games etc. We hope we included you all on the back of the programme. Even though it wasn’t quite a record breaking year (we are saving that for next year…) we raised a significant amount of money for such a small the school. Thank you again!

Now to the next planned event. We are having a ‘Benchmark Kidz’ Children’s Fashion Show on Friday 19th September, after the summer holidays. This will be held at the Village Hall at 7pm. There will be some great clothing and shoes for sale for girls and boys aged 2 years to 14 years. A letter has gone out to all the children at the school, but we would like some older models. For any budding models out there, this is your chance to take to the stage! Whether you are a girl or a boy, if your clothes size is up to age 14 and you would like to take part, it would be great to hear from you. All you need to do is give me a call and ask for a permission slip, then return your completed form to Somersham Primary School. It promises to be an entertaining evening, with raffle, tombola and refreshments. Small entry fee on the door.

Dates for your diaries:
Friday 19th September—Fashion Show –contact us if you would like to take part
Friday 14th November—Christmas Craft Fair—there are still tables available—don’t delay—book today!

Clare Davies 832569

Somersham Cycle Speedway Club

June 4th saw Joe Hodge provide the Somersham interest ,scoring 13 points in the Suffolk Under 9 & Under 11 GP which was staged at our partner club Kesgrave. June 7th should have seen the final South-East regional round of the British Youth & Junior League take place at Somersham but following 2 days of continuous rain the event was postponed at 2.15pm,75 minutes after the scheduled start time and re-staged the following week with the Under 8,Under 10 and Under 12 age groups being staged at Somersham. There was a large turn-out, with 53 riders taking part across all 3 age groups. On track Joe Hodge was the most successful Somersham rider, winning the Under 10‘s “C“ final, but the focus was on Chantelle, Louise, Lewis and George Cracknell who made their cycle speedway debuts having attended a “Come & Try it” session at the Museum of East Anglian Life in Stowmarket. Harry Reece also rode in the Under 12 age group but missed out on qualifying for the finals by 2 points. Another pleasing aspect was the buoyant refreshment sales, thanks to hard working Deborah Mittell. The Under 14,Under 16 and Under 18 age groups were staged at Great Blakenham after the Home International and Ryan Jay provided the Somersham interest, winning the Under 16 “C” final

Before those events June 8th saw East London visit Kesgrave for a South-East Division 1 match which Kesgrave actually led for 6 heats, albeit by 1 point at the end of heat 6.East London moved ahead after heat 6 and indeed had a 7 point lead going into the last 2 heats meaning Kesgrave had to get 2 7-3 heat advantages in the last 2 heats to take the win. Aaron Daley and Dan Johnson got the first one in heat 17 but Gary Brown and Mark Cooper were unable to do the same in the last heat which meant East London held on to win by 3 points. Gary was top scorer with 18 points, Dan Johnson scored 15 and Barry Copping 14.This match saw the comeback to cycle speedway after a 35 year break of 1966 British Champion Chris Gooch who scored 11 points.

On the 17th Somersham visited Great Blakenham for a Norfolk & Suffolk League match and came away on the wrong end of a massive 66-114 scoreline. The Stars tried hard, especially Steve Copping in the 1st attempt to run heat 10 where he powered from the gate but got caught in a rut on the 1st bend and fell heavily, scraping his knee. He couldn’t repeat his gate in the restart, slipping his pedals and finishing 3rd after British No 2 Lewis Osborne had fallen. The racing itself was much better than the scoreline suggested. Gary was top scorer with 12 points with Barry adding 11

The 25th saw the Suffolk Grand Prix for Under 13,15,17 and Senior riders staged at Kesgrave where Gary provided the Somersham interest, scoring 14 points.

1 week later for Somersham it was off to Ipswich for a Norfolk & Suffolk League match and a chance to avenge the defeat Ipswich inflicted on the Stars at Somersham. The Stars took the lead in heat 5 and held on to it until heat 15 where they conceded a 7-0,Ryan Jay having been excluded for moving before the starting tapes went up and Gary Brown having been lapped. This put Ipswich 4 points ahead which they held on to, winning 89-85. Gary top scored once again with 13 points this time with Dan Croft scoring 12 and Barry Copping and Dan Johnson scoring 11 each.

That’s it for now
Steve Copping, Assistant Secretary(
Club Secretary: Peter Mittell(01473) 831474


Offton & Willisham - away - were our first port of call for the month. Having defeated them a couple of months previous to retain the Paul Chapman Cup on our home mats, we were looking forward to another closely competitive match … and we were not disappointed. One game each in the first half and only 2 shots in it was a good start, but unfortunately the momentum was not maintained. Although winning one of the games in the second half we missed out on taking the total overall on shots and as such saw the two extra points slip away. Nevertheless it was a good evenings bowling and concluded by the customary enjoyable supper.

The annual home and away friendly with Nacton came next. Having bowled the away leg in April, we welcomed our opponents to our mats. Everyone soon settled down to the task and produced some good bowling which resulted in a draw and a win - by only 2 shots - for Somersham. In the second half the two remaining games went the way of the home club by 3 shots and 15 shots respectively. An excellent evenings bowling, rounded off with refreshments, and leaving both clubs looking forward to next years friendly encounter.

So far our route through the Summer league has been very up and down, which in turn has been reflected in a low shots average for the early matches. Now around the halfway mark team members are slowly getting to grips with bowling against clubs from the higher divisions of the Winter league and steady improvement is to be anticipated.

Our last match of the month against Old Felixstowe was a prime example of you are as good as you are on the night! Two very good wins for Somersham in the first half stood us in good stead, with one team making a late play to sneak the result on the very last end of the game. In the second half it was a win apiece to each team and concluded a very competitive evenings bowling with Somersham good value for the final result.

Our cajoling in past newsletters has - very pleasingly - reaped reward, and following the open invitation to anyone interested to ‘try bowling’ on Sunday 22nd. June, we have been able to welcome at least three new members to the Club

Summer League - June Results: -
Offton & Willisham 37 - 32 6 - 4 Lost Away
Old Felixstowe 32 - 48 2 - 8 Win Home

We would still be pleased to add to the number of members in the Club …. so why not come along to the Village Hall one Tuesday summer evening and try carpet bowls?
At the risk of repeating the message again this month we say …. “Come along and find out how friendly the evening is!”

‘All about us……..

-to Mary and Nick Carter whose Ruby wedding was on 27th July. They are both much valued and respected members of our church and community and have worked unstintingly in our villages in the 40 years they have lived amongst us. How fortunate we were that, as newlyweds, they chose to make Otterditch in Flowton their home!

-to Daniel Woolhouse of Somersham who received his degree in fine arts on 8th July in London. And Daniel will not have been alone in graduating this summer – we would love to hear news of you all from our villages. Do let us know.

Thinking of you
- the young people in our villages anxiously awaiting the results of examinations due during August. Some of you will be hoping to continue your studies at university in September – do let us know where you are going and what you will read. Others will be leaving school and going into the big wide world of employment for the first time and our love and best wishes go with you all in whatever path you choose to take.
Items to include in this feature to 658330, or to any member of the editorial team before the 8th of the month.

Flowton News

Village Coffee Drop In

We enjoy so much our monthly chat and catch up time together that we have agreed to keep going during August when we hope that some of our young families who are usually tied up with school and play group trips will be able to join us.
Drop in for a coffee (in the church) if you can on Wednesday, 6th August we would love to see you and the children.

Book these dates, too:
Sunday October 19th at 4pm is the Harvest Thanksgiving, followed by Harvest tea at 4.45pm
Friday October 24th at 7.30pm is the Harvest Supper at Flowton Hall, by kind invitation of Graham and Diana Fawcus.

Suffolk Historic Churches Cycle Ride (or Walk)
is on Saturday September 13th—could you walk or ride and raise sponsorship to support both the SHCT and Flowton Church?
Wilma Watkins will be putting the details and forms in church soon and lots of people are keen to sponsor energetic folk!

Change of service:
Sunday September 7th sees a change in our pattern of services—we will be having a Family Communion Service ( by extension) at 9.00am—we hope that this will be a convenient time for those who do not like getting up for 8.00am!!
There will be a service book and colouring sheets for children to use during and after the service.

Thanks for you support for the fete—over £630 was raised despite the weather.



Special Church Services

As all regular readers will know, church services are listed on the inside back cover of this magazine. However, Offton will have two special services in September and another in October. So get your diaries out now.

On Sunday 14 September, we will be holding our Harvest Festival at 5.30pm. Any food produce that you are able to spare, be it fresh fruit and vegetables, preserves, cakes, canned and dried food etc will be greatly appreciated by the Salvation Army at Stowmarket that will distributed your gifts to those in need.

On Sunday 21 September at 10.00am we will be holding a Family and Animal Blessing Service. Children and adults are encouraged to bring their reasonably sized pets ie cats, dogs, spiders, snakes, mice, parrots etc. Owners are asked to provide suitable security and control facilities for their pets so that we do not experience any ‘unfortunate’ incidents.

Then on Sunday 12 October there will be a Healing Service for all those who are grieving over sick or deceased friends or relatives, and wish to gain spiritual help. This service will be run for all eight parishes in the Benefice, and full details will be in the next edition of the Link.

Summer Fete

Our annual fete was held on 7 June in continuous rain. Nevertheless, those people who ventured out, undeterred by the inclement weather, enjoyed a traditional village fete with its variety of stalls, competitions, games, food and drink. Special thanks must go to Peta Whiting for her organisation, and all the helpers who managed to erect sufficient canvas to keep everything dry. A fantastic brass band of 27 members from
the Ipswich Hospital kept everyone entertained. A total of £805 was raised for church funds. We are very grateful to those generous people who supported this event on the day, and to those who made donations after the event.

Pew Cushions

We reported in the April edition of the Link that we had procured four pew cushions from donations made by parishioners. Following an appeal made by Mrs Maartje Rondeboom and the generosity of parishioners, most of the seats now have bright red comfortable cushions to sit on. However, we are still short of the total required to cover all seats by Christmas and the Winter MMM concert season. If YOU would like to make a donation to the church for the purchase of a cushion, which cost £50 each, please contact any member of the PCC (names on the back cover). Thank you.

Entrance Gate and Fence

Anyone going past or through the church entrance will have noticed a new gate and fence that has been expertly erected by Dave Watts from Ringshall. The PCC continues to raise funds and to make the church an attractive place to visit for worship, or to just enjoy, relax and reflect.

SHCT Sponsored Cycle Ride

Each year, a sponsored cycle ride is held that takes in visits to the historic churches in the county. People can plan their own route, and each church will be manned so that there will be somebody there to stamp your itinerary card. Full details and entry forms are available from Mrs Alison Rumsey Tel: 01473-658304. Money raised is split equally between the Suffolk Historic Church’s Trust and St Mary’s church, Offton. So whether you like to cycle alone, or as a family or club group, why not participate in this worthwhile charitable venture, and at the same time visit some truly lovely old churches and villages. It makes a wonderful day out.

Youth Evangelism
Calling all young Christians in the 11-19 age group. If you are interested in undertaking evangelical activity in the local community, the Diocese of St Edmundsbury may be able to provide you with some funding to assist in your endeavours. There is a leaflet on the church notice board giving some information. Full information is available from the Diocese Office at St Nicholas Centre, 4 Cutler Street, Ipswich, or on the web site at and Children.htm

Church Fact File
Behind the church altar on the east wall are four arched panels that form part of the Reredos. A reredos is a screen or decoration behind the altar that usually depicts religious images. The images may be painted, carved, gilded, or composed of mosaics. Sometimes a tapestry is used. Very few of the early medieval reredoses survived the Anglican reformation in the 1540s and the wrath of the puritans some 100 years later. The reredos in Offton church almost certainly dates back to the mid-19th century at a time when reredoses staged a come-back.
The four arched panels, two either side of a central decorated panel, show on the left the 10 Commandments, and on the right the Lord’s Prayer and the Apostle’s Creed.

Over time, some of the painting had worn away, gold leaf work had gone, and the panels had suffered from damp. But help was at hand, and through the amazing generosity of a local benefactor in 1992, the panels were restored to their former glory by specialists Plowden & Smith Ltd from London. The beauty of these four panels, with their rich colours and gold leaf, needs to be seen from close up. If you have not seen them yet, or taken a close look, please take time to do so.

Willisham Church Notes

Fund Raising Update
Since recent reports in The Link, more money has been received for two of our fund raising events. The Village Walk now stands at over £400 (plus Gift Aid) and the final total of the Open Gardens is £938. Details of the fete will have to wait until the October issue of The Link.

Church Roof
Work is currently on schedule, although we apologise for the extra dust and disruption, but it will all be worth it in the end.
The scaffolding means that it is impossible to get to the bin holding dead flowers and it would be appreciated if you could either take spent flowers home with you, or place in a bin liner and put in the black dustbin.

August Evening Prayer Service
Please note that there will be no service on Sunday the 10th August.

Bonfire Evening
This year’s Family Firework and Bonfire Evening will take place on Friday the 7th November at Crow Hall. Full details in the October Link, but please note the date now.

Sponsored Cycle Ride
The 27th Suffolk Historic Churches Trust Bike Ride takes place on Saturday the 13th September. Half the money raised goes to the SH Churches Trust and half to the church of your choice. If you would like to take part on behalf of Willisham Church, please contact Frances Gilson (01473 658387) for more details.

Somersham Baptist Church
A support network for sinners

What stops you from going to Church? Here are three thing reasons, one or more of them of them may be your reason:

More important things to do; - Jesus said ‘what good is it for a man to gain the whole world, yet forfeit his own soul’.

Reputation of the Church; - Well you have point there! The Church has stained her reputation over 2000 yrs of history. We are guilty of failing to follow Jesus closely in the areas of love, justice, equality, and simplicity of faith and life. But 2000yrs is along time over which to review our sins, and reform movements have born new Churches in response to old failings.

Bad reputations are hard to loose! Ask football supporters! (feel free to insert name of club with past history of violence)

Reputation of Somersham Baptist Church;
Too loud, then try a quieter church, St Mary’s or Gt. Blakenham Baptist

Too demanding - this is true, no matter how you wrap up the teaching of Jesus it is demanding, but it is liberating and good. If we do not take the teaching of Jesus seriously and personally we will only create a Church with a bad reputation. Jesus was none to keen on such Churches as becomes clear in the letters to the seven churches in the last book of the bible, Revelation.

How far have we got to being the people that Jesus wants, well we are a work in progress, there are things we are still not passionate enough about, things we are far too comfortable with, but the point of Church is that together we can change. Really Church is a support network for sinners. Jesus said ‘I have not come to call the righteous but sinners.’ Be part of that change and join us.

Our below meetings are designed to fulfil the New Testament pattern of praise, prayer, bible teaching, baptism and communion, and transform the church into the community Christ wants.

Regular Sunday Morning Programme (You are welcome to join us for all or part of the morning).
10.00-10.30 Prayer Meeting
10.45-11.15 Bible Study (Communion 1st Sunday)
11.30-12.00 Worship
12.00-12.30 Sermon
Other Meetings
Children and Young People (During term time); Wednesday Club 6.30-7.30pm for primary school children, 14+ Friday’s 8.00-9.30pm Year 9 upwards.
Meetings for Ladies;
Women’s Fellowship: 2.30pm Friday 12th September.
Friends and Neighbours 7.45pm Monday 15th September.
14+ Restarts in September.

Contact Mark if you need transport.

Meetings are held at the Baptist Chapel, Chapel Lane, Somersham IP84 QE.

Pastor Mark Newcombe, 01473 831940, 07930543583,

CHURCH SERVICES in our 8 linked parishes

If you think there may be a mistake in the rota please contact your Churchwarden.

Please contact a Churchwarden if you think that there is a mistake in the listing. Thank you.

3rd August 11th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion Rev T Wilcox

9.30am Willisham
Holy Communion Rev T Wilcox 11.15am Somersham
Open Air service on Village Green 6.30pm Battisford


10th August 12th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion Rev C Everett 8.00am Flowton
Holy Communion Rev M Carter 10.00 am Bricett
Holy Communion by extension 11.15am Barking
United with the Baptist Chapel for an
Open Air service on the Playing Field
11.30am Somersham
Songs of Praise
6.00pm Willisham

17th August 13th Sunday after Trinity

Morning worship 10.00am Offton
Holy Communion Rev J Pendorf 11.15am Battisford

24th August 14th Sunday after Trinity

Morning Prayer 10.00am Barking
Holy Communion (Rev.S.Ritchie) 11.00am Offton
Evening Prayer Rev S Ritchie 6.30pm Somersham

31st August 15th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion (Rev.S.Ritchie) 10.00am Ringshall

7th September 16th Sunday after Trinity

Family Communion by extension 9.00am Flowton

Holy Communion Rev. T Wilcox

9.30am Willisham
Holy Communion Rev T Wilcox 11.15am Somersham
Morning Prayer 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Barking

14th September 17th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion 8.00am Flowton
Family Service 10.00am Somersham
Holy Communion Rev M Carter 11.15am Barking
Family Service 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Willisham
Harvest Festival
5.30pm Offton

21st September 18th Sunday after Trinity

Holy Communion ( Rev C. Everett) 8.00am Somersham
Animal Blessing Service 10.00am Offton
Family Service Rev CE or Rev MW 10.00am Ringshall
Holy Communion Rev CE or Rev MW 11.15am Battisford

28th September 19th Sunday after Trinity

Morning Prayer 10.00am Barking
Morning Worship for all ages 10.00am Flowton
Holy Communion Rev J Pendorf 11.00am Offton
Harvest Festival 6.00pm Bricett
Harvest Festival 6.00pm Ringshall
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Somersham

5th October 20th Sunday after Trinity

Family Communion by extension 9.00am Flowton

Holy Communion Rev S Ritchie

9.30am Willisham
Harvest Festival 11.15am Somersham
Harvest Festival 3.00pm Barking

It is early to be thinking about it in July, but as this is a double issue the months will soon pass us by—on Sunday November 2nd we are planning to hold our annual Service for the Bereaved at 3.00pm in Barking church. Special invitations will be sent to those most recently bereaved, but everyone is welcome.
If you wish for someone to be mentioned by name please contact Mary Carter at Otterditch, Flowton, IP8 4LG or Telephone 01473 658522. Thank you.


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