The Link Magazine

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

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Offton & Willisham PC


Flower and Cleaning Rota

No flowers in Lent.

Easter Sunday April 11th so this is a cleaning rota only.

Somersham Team C
Flowton Dr and Mrs Goodess
Offton Mrs Redman
Willisham Mrs F Gilson

Bible Readings and Psalms 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.

7th March 2nd Sunday of Lent
Genesis 15. 1-2, 17,18 Psalm 27
Philippians 3.17 -4.1 Luke 13. 31-35
14th March 3rd Sunday of Lent
Isaiah 55. 1-9 Psalm 63. 1-9
1 Corinthians 10. 1-13 Luke 13. 1-9
21st March Mothering Sunday
Exodus 2. 1-10 Psalm 34. 11-20
2 Corinthians 1. 3-7 Luke 2. 33-35
28th March 5th Sunday of Lent
Isaiah 43. 16-21 Psalm 126
Philippians 3. 4b-14 John 12. 1-8

Meet Bishop Clive at Coddenham
4.30pm on March 28th

The Bishop of Dunwich is coming to Bosmere Deanery for "Worship, Fellowship and Feast"
at 4.30pm in Coddenham Church.

A time to be with the Bishop, share a meal and worship together.

"Bring and Share" for tea time


LENT 2004
There are opportunities to join Lent Courses in various areas of the Deanery. In our parishes……..
8 Parishes - Face to Face
This course, from Churches Together in Britain and Ireland, will be led by the Reverend Derek Jaggard. You are invited to meet on Mondays, beginning March 1st at 7.30pm at Park Farm Somersham, the home of Denis and Jane Picton.

Elsewhere in the Deanery …..
Bramford - Tough Talk for Lent 2004
The Hard Sayings of Jesus with - on CD: -
Frances Young, Tom Wright, Steve Chalk and Gerald Hughes with Introduction by the Archbishop of York.
Tuesdays 7.30 p.m. (except 16th when Wed 17th) at Bramford Methodist Church
Thursdays 9.45 for 10.00 a.m. at October House from March 4th

Needham Market - Tough Talk for Lent 2004
Sessions will take place on Tuesdays at 8.00pm and Thursdays at 10.00am -please contact the Reverend Paul Daltry on 01449 720316 for details of venues.

Creeting St Mary and Earl Stonham
"Meekness and Majesty"
10.00am Tuesdays at 5 Jordan Close, Creeting St Mary
1.45pm Tuesdays at Walnuts, All Saints Road, Creeting St Mary
8.00pm Wednesdays at Chapel farm, Fen Lane, Earl Stonham.
Please contact the Reverend Christine Everett on 01473 688339 for more details.

In Hadleigh -beginning on March 8th, on Monday evenings at 7.30pm in the Hadleigh Library Seminar Room -Seeing and Believing -Exploring the passion through pictures-look, pray and ponder. Contact Elizabeth Moore on 01359 233050 for more details.

There is the opportunity to join in a candlelit meditative service on Wednesday March 17th at 7.45pm in Offton church.
This simple, peaceful, candlelit service include prayers, short Bible readings, the singing of repeated chants, and periods of silence for meditation and personal prayer; worshippers can take part in the service or are welcome to just sit and let it 'wash over them'. At the end we play restful music and people leave silently as they are ready.

If you are interested and wish to know more, please speak to Reverend Linden Fletcher (01473 657768), or Mary Carter (658522)

Mothers Union

This month sees Mary Carter leading a service of meditation for Lent in Flowton church vestry at 2pm on Wednesday 17th March. Please note that this meeting is on the 3rd Wednesday of the month and not out usual 2nd.
As always we invite anyone to join us -ladies or gentlemen -at any of our meetings, but especially we extend a welcome to services we hold during Lent or for Easter. Please do feel free to come, we would be delighted to see you.


As this magazine is edited, we have just enjoyed another "8 Parishes Supper". An evening of chat with old friends and a time to meet new people from our parishes and their friends. Thank you to everybody involved in the organisation of the evening - many people put in hours of work beforehand - and also to Pam's team of young ladies who waited at table. The cabaret -the Abbess and Maria, aka Howard and Frances -ably or otherwise aided by the orchestra and chorus of diners, made a rousing end to a wonderful evening. Thank you all.

A Vegetarian Diet For Lent?

In the past, Lent has been associated with a period of self-sacrifice in pursuit of a more ascetic Christian way. More recently, the emphasis has become orientated towards a practical, outward witness, bringing positive benefits to others.

The VEG4LENT initiative invites fellow Christians to extend the principles of Love, Mercy and Reverence, towards the two million animals otherwise killed daily in the UK to provide meat.

Vegetarians feel they can live healthier and more spiritually consistent lives, in forsaking an acquired taste for meat. In the past Friday was kept as a fast day -more recently typified by eating fish instead of meat. This happens more rarely now, so Lent can prompt us to consider having one day a week when we may choose to eat differently -possibly by eating fish, or maybe by following a vegetarian diet for the whole day. In many areas of the world people eat far less meat than in England and are still healthy, and we now have the benefit of products such as Quorn and Tofu to add interest to meat-free meals. These are especially useful if you are not fond of nuts.

If you wish to find out more about the Veg4Lent initiative, contact
Veg4Lent at: Foresta, Pines Road, Liphook, GU30 7PL.
Tel. 01428 723747 Email:

The following letter has been received from Pam and Cliff Foulkes-Flint.

February, 2004
Dear All,
Well as promised when we left, here is an update on how we are getting on. The time has flown by and although we miss seeing all of you in the shop, we are enjoying ourselves here in Derbyshire. We have spent the past four weeks being rather lazy and catching up with some reading. It has been very enjoyable visiting many of the places we knew in childhood, and yes it is still as beautiful as we remembered it although the weather has been a little wet! The dogs are certainly enjoying lots of long walks through the hills and dales. We have not as yet found a house but are still looking.

Sarah is making a very good recovery after the accident; she is now getting around with the aid of a Zimmer frame and hopes to be on crutches after she has had the plaster cast removed from her leg next week. They are making plans for the wedding to now take place on the 20th August all being well.

Ami and Martin are hoping to move into their business this month if all goes to plan.

Once again Pam and I would like to say a big 'THANK YOU' to everyone for the marvellous help and support that was given so freely to us after Sarah's accident, we will never be able to say just how much it meant to us to know that so many of you were there for us. It proved just what a wonderful community exists in and around Somersham, and that no matter how busy people are they always have time to offer help to those in need. The prayers and kind words each of you offered kept Pam and I going and enabled us to get through each day, may God's blessings be with each of you always.
All our love always
Pam & Cliff

Advance notice -
Link Committee meeting
Wednesday 28th April at Gunn's Farm.

Somersham Church Notes

have moved to Stowmarket where they will be near their daughter and family. They will be remembered for their lifelong association with Somersham and village activities, particularly Nina as Hairdresser, Church Warden and WI President, and Cecil with his gardening interests.
We all wish them well in their move and hope they will be very happy in their new home.

Books, CDs, Tapes & Videos Sale

in Somersham Village Hall
on Saturday 6th March
from 10 till 12 o'clock

Raffle Refreshments

If you have any donations to the sale
please contact Pat Woolhouse (831080)
or Denis Picton (658911)


Pam, Cliff & David the Co-op Milkman
Everyone by now probably realises that Pam & Cliff have retired from Somersham Stores to Derbyshire. You may also be aware that David, the Co-op milkman, retired on February 14th. Several residents have suggested collections to mark these events.

If you would like to contribute to retirement gifts for Pam & Cliff and David, please give it to Christine Jarrold (at the Christine's Haircare or Griffin Cottage) or Heather Dickinson, 5 Chapel Lane, before 7th March. Please leave your name with your donation, and state who it is for, so that cards can include all the names of those contributing.

St Mary's Church Somersham

Trivia Quiz

on Friday 12th March
in Somersham Village Hall
at 7.30pm.

Teams of 6
£2.50 per person
Bring own drinks & glasses
(Coffee, biscuits & nibbles provided)


Book your team's place by contacting
Christine's Haircare, Somersham Garage,
Pat Woolhouse (831080)
or any PCC member.

(10% of profit to a nominated charity)



Christmas and New Year Greetings to all in Somersham and surrounding villages and Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee to our friends in Challain la Potherie.


Following the very successful visit of the "Challainois" to Somersham last May, some of us were lucky enough to be able to make personal visits to Challain during the summer. All of us report on being made very
welcome and with lots of good wishes to the people in Somersham being sent back with us.

We have now been invited to make another village visit to them. This is planned to take place over the first Bank Holiday in May. A coach will leave Somersham on Friday morning of 30th April, 2004 (we didn't like travelling through the night last time) and return on Monday 3rd May, 2004

We will have approximately 40 places available for this visit and the cost will be £70 per person. The cost includes all travel, accommodation, food, and entertainment, plus the good companionship of our own villagers and the opportunity to discover the wonderful hospitality of the real French people in a village very similar to our own.
If you would like to come along please return the slip below to Pat Woolhouse at The Willows, Chapel Lane, Somersham, or Gill Fordham at 2 The Springs, Church Lane, Somersham, with £20 deposit per person.

I/We would like to be included in the village visit to Challain la Potherie. May Bank Holiday, April 30-May 3, 2004 at a cost of £70 per person.

Address ……………………………………………………………………………
Tel No………………..............………..
How many people to be included?............................

Gill Fordham: 831529 David Haughton: 831511
Janet Hodge: 832296; Pat Woolhouse: 831080

2010 ( SUFFOLK ) H.G.M.T.
Company Headquarters

While clearing out an outbuilding at Planters Gap, Somersham we have rediscovered a wall plaque inscribed with the words above.
During WW2 we know that the home guard operated from Planters Gap or Greenacre (as the house was previously named). We also know that they used the area behind the curved wall at the front of our property, where the bus stops, as an observation post. You can still identify areas where bricks were removed from the wall for use as spy holes.
Does anyone know the whereabouts of any other observation posts? Did you know anyone who was in the home guard?
Was HQ at Greenacre?
We would be delighted to hear from anyone who has any information.
Angela and Mike Shelmerdine Tel 01473 831661

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

Another month gone by and thankfully another fairly quiet one on the crime front in our parishes but that does not mean we can take our eyes of the ball as things have been happening not too far away.

School Burglaries.
Schools have again been a target in recent weeks. Bosmere School Needham Market was burgled on 19th January and a large amount of property was stolen; damage being caused at Ringshall School on which may have been an attempt at entry around the same time. Please report any suspect persons or vehicles around school premises.

Distraction Burglaries.
Also known as artifice burglaries; two have occurred in Needham Market and one in Great Finborough recently. All on the same day, 2nd February, at residential complexes for senior citizens. Offences also the same day in Sudbury at similar locations. These offenders target those least able to resist this form of crime and commit several offences in one day, sometimes across the whole of the county. When challenged, these offenders said they were from police in one case and social services in another. Please be on your guard and ensure any vulnerable persons are made aware of the dangers of leaving doors unlocked and allowing persons in without identification. Make sure door chains are fitted and used correctly. If you are in any doubt at all as to a caller's identity don't let them in. Contact the company they say they represent to confirm who they are, contact police if you think they are not who they say they are. Your actions could prevent other being targeted.
If any group would like either leaflets about this or a general security talk just give me a call.

Speeding Motorists.

I regularly receive complaints of excess speed of traffic through the villages. Complaints are passed on to both our traffic department and to the Suffolk Safety Camera Partnership. There is no excuse for speeding all the limits are clearly marked and I have no sympathy at all for anyone who gets caught.

Drop Zone Box. What is this you may ask? So did I. In fact it is a small letterbox placed in a local shop into which members of the public can place messages for their local community police officer. My Drop Zone Box is installed in Somersham Post Office. If you have anything of which you wish to make me aware and do not wish to contact me by other means, please leave a message in the box. It will be emptied at least weekly. PLEASE DO NOT LEAVE MESSAGES REQUIRING URGENT ATTENTION.

Neighbourhood Watch
-I am still short of a watch co-ordinator for Offton. Watches can only be maintained for a short time without a co-ordinator and if no one comes forward the watch will be discontinued. Any signs will have to be removed and anyone claiming an insurance discount for being in a Watch area will have to notify their insurers and face any rise in premium.

Anyone interested in taking over the post should make contact with Theresa Jones our Neighbourhood Watch Clerk or myself at Stowmarket Police Station.

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 will be Pc 839 Simon Mills, he is contactable on the same telephone numbers as myself.

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

Somersham Primary School

If you come down to the school you will see how the playing field is being transformed. There is still a football pitch, of course, but the other side of the field now has trees and bushes planted, the rose bushes have had a good prune and a wonderful "living willow" is now growing next to the new playground. Mrs. Rebecca Downie (and Tommy) and Mrs. Emma Evans have been very busy! A huge thank you to the now closed Somersham playgroup who made the living willow possible. The area where the pond was now has stones in place ready for the butterfly garden to be planted. Lovely!!!!

It isn't only the Key Stage 2 children who have made the journey to London. In January, Key Stage 1 children went to Bethnal Green to visit the Toy Museum. There were all kinds of toys, from very old ones to very modern ones. The children enjoyed the hands on exhibits, especially the sand pit and the old fashioned kitchen. Like any young children the picnic lunch was a source of great fun. Not many children fell asleep on the way home - we thought lots of them would as we had an early start.

Class 2 are having a wonderful time learning about the second world war, they are very enthusiastic about it and have held a special class assembly, while Class 1 are learning about the solar system, always a favourite.
Mr. Marrable continues to come to school each Thursday evening to take rehearsals for the children's play "A Midsummer Nights Dream". We will let you know in plenty of time when the performances will be so you can book that time to come and watch.


We are still collecting empty ink cartridges and old mobile phones. Please bring them to school. We are buying games and boxes for wet playtimes, reference books for the library and hopefully netball posts for the playground. That should empty our account. So keep them coming, we can never have enough books for the children to do their research, and there is always something else to buy!

Have you any "box tops" floating around? They have to be redeemed by the end of this month, so again if you could send them into school please.

Discussions have been going ahead about the Summer Fair (which will be held on the school field on June 26th). We have decided to hold a 1940's theme fair. Because the children have been enjoying their project so much, it gave us the idea. The "Flower Show" will again be in evidence, so all you older members of the community, if you could let us know what kind of veg. and flowers were grown we would be grateful. Oh, and get them planted! While we're thinking about it are there any old baking recipes out there? Obviously there will be much more information nearer the time.


Our first match of the new year was the return tussle with Hundon (in the Cup) this was not so much a tussle as a whitewash for Somersham. As we had the slight advantage of being at home we felt this would help our bowling, but it was not to be as we were well beaten by the 8 - 0 scoreline; and consequently are now out of the Cup. We shall now concentrate on the league and endeavour to improve on our present position; and mid table seems to now be the target.
The next match was away to East Bergholt; in this we fared a little better, the home team coming out on top. After getting to grips with the 'away' mat, we did manage to take a point off them with one of our teams making a draw. However the scope for improvement is there, although on our present form we perhaps still have some way to go to achieve consistency.. Most certainly we shall be getting down to some serious practice on Club nights which hopefully will eventually pay off with an upturn in results.
Our final league match for this month was a local derby at home with Elmsett, always a very friendly affair we did pull off a good but close win, we were very pleased with this result as Elmsett are top of the league.

A friendly with Nacton finished our bowling for January, another match played in a good atmosphere, this time our bowlers were in good form. Six teams from each side played 9 ends, again each game was close with Somersham having the best run of the mats and winning 5 of the 6 games.

Winter League (January Results)

Team Shots Points
East Bergholt 46 - 26 9 - 1 Lost Away
Elmsett 44 - 49 4 - 6 Win Home

Somersham Football Club

2004 has proved to be most agreeable with Somersham FC, the first team remain unbeaten in the league and the reserves have won two out of their last four matches, a vast improvement on previous form.

The first team had no fixture on Saturday 10th January, but almost all the players congregated at the Coddenham mud bowl to give support to the reserves in their league encounter with Coddenham Country Club. Damon Crick, affectionately known as Lurkio by his shy and retiring father (Crumpy), was drafted in to bolster the defence and Dan English made a welcome return after recovering from an ankle injury sustained in November. A close match provided sound entertainment and plenty of heckling opportunities for the travelling faithful. The reserves deservedly ran out 2-1 winners with both Damo and Dan scoring.

Saturday 17th January the first team were at home to Haughley United 'A'.
Haughley were competitive, but Somersham finished 4-2 winners. Adam English scored his third hat-trick of the season.

Saturday 24th January - first team were away to Coplestonians 'A'. The home fixture saw Somersham win 3-1 and hopes were high of the first "double" of the season. Somersham seemed not to have realised the game had begun and almost conceded immediately. After a sound berating from manager Quinny Warner, during which I thought he might have a stroke, the lads bucked up and began to get into the game. Adam English took many knocks and kicks from the Cops robust defending policy. However he responded with a goal, added to by John Tungley and Ross Cater to leave Somersham victorious with a 3-2 result.
The reserves went down 2-0 to Woolverstone Utd at home. Boss Dill Sillet was seething after the game as one of his players had got themselves sent off for arguing with the referee. An almost unheard of event at Somersham FC and one that hopefully will not be repeated.

Saturday 31st January - the first team with the opportunity to complete their second "double" of the season, at home to Walton Rangers, the away fixture seeing Somersham winning 5-2. Manager Quinny was forced into moving Captain Whitton to centre half which proved to be for the best with the team looking more comfortable at the back than for some time. A first class game with teams evenly matched and good football played by both sides. Dan English scored in the second half and brother Adam responded by knocking in the second, the last goal of the game, Somersham winning 2-0. Probably the best performance by the team this season with every player playing to a high standard throughout.

Saturday 7th February - to East Bergholt for the first team to play East Bergholt 'A' . Matty Whitton remained at centre half and James O'Neill made his first start for the first team at left midfield. A very strong wind was blowing the length of the pitch, but Somersham had the advantage of this being behind them in the first half. John Tungley did some good work on the right flank. Half time-Somersham were 2-0 up with goals from Ross Cater and Matty Whitton, the latter a successful penalty conversion after James O'Neill was fouled. The second half meant Somersham were now kicking into the wind, by now had almost blown out. Bergholt rarely threatened, but Quinny remained pensive until Adam English added a third, followed by the goal of the game-good passing and excellent vision from Adam English set up James O'Neill to finish with a deft side foot with his left boot. Final score 4-0 to Somersham. Special mention must go to my man of the match right-back Wayne Beckley who was truly outstanding throughout, capping an excellent performance with a superb through ball to Adam for the third goal.

The reserves,entertaining Dennington United Reserves, won 2-1. Having seen the last 20 minutes they deserved to win by far more. Some poor finishing letting them down but the result was a welcome boost for all.
The reserves are currently in a solid mid table position and with continued sound performances will easily finish there or maybe higher. The first team have climbed to second place in Division 4, with a number of games in hand. However, neighbours Claydon seem, at present, to have an unassailable lead at the top. Rest assured if they slip up we will steam in.

As always, your support would be greatly appreciated by all at the club, so please come and join us and help propel us back to Division 3 next season.
See you on Saturday!!! DON'T FORGET YOUR PAINT!!!!!
Al Chester



March 2004
Thanks to people in the village
Somersham Parish Council would like to thank the person or persons who spread salt across the Springfield Road T-junction during the cold spell in February, it was much appreciated.
We would also like to thank all those who have helped the Parish Council over the year with various tasks around the village.

Handypersons needed
The Parish Council would like to enlist the help of a few handypersons around the village, who would be able to carry out tasks for the Council.
Tasks would include such things as installing litter bins, making repairs to Parish Council property etc.
We would ideally like a few people to come forward so that we can have a list of people to refer to when we need things sorted. We will be paying a small fee for labour and will cover costs.
If you would like to know more information please contact the Clerk to the Council.
Welcome from the Parish Council
The Parish Council wishes to welcome Rob and Michelle Barr to the Village Shop and Post Office, and wishes them good luck with the running of their business.
Warning to Parents
It was brought to the Parish Council's attention that drugs have been introduced into the village.
The Parish Council, as well as the Neighbourhood Watch and the Police would urge parents to be on the look out for any signs of drug use in the village, and report it immediately, to ensure the problem does not spread.
Next Parish Council Meeting
Wednesday 3rd March 2004 at 7.30pm
In the Village Hall, Committee Room
Annual Parish Meeting
The Annual Parish Meeting is to be held earlier this year:
Wednesday 7th April 2004 at 7.30pm
In the Pavilion, on the Playing Field
This will allow more time for people of the village to express their views, and will also include a presentation from an external organisation.
Please make sure you come along, as this is your meeting where you are able to let us know what you want to see done over the next year, and find out what we have done for you over the last year.

Andrew Mayhew
Clerk to the Council
Address: 21 Morgan Court, Claydon, IPSWICH, IP6 0AN
Tel No: 01473 834035
Web Site:

Thank You to all the people who donated most generously to the recent collection for NCH. We raised £84.10. Sue Hitchcock.

Congratulations to Jo and Sarah Watkins on the birth of Samuel Joseph (7lbs 5 ozs) on February 7th, a sister for Grace.

The Parochial Church Council have, as you probably know, been discussing access for all to the Church and its facilities. The late Mrs Barbie McDowell always told us that the best thing to have would be adequate heating. Of course, this would be nice not only for those who cannot move around, but for all of us, and would also make the church able to be used by the community throughout the year. So the PCC have taken the decision to apply for a faculty to install heaters -under the pews.
The cost will be £10,670 plus VAT (which is nil rated at present). This is being done partly in memory of Barbie, but also using funds given in memory of others, whose names will be recorded on a framed certificate.
If you would like to give a donation in memory of someone, please contact Diana Fawcus or Margaret Laflin, our Churchwardens. (If you pay income tax, your gift could be gift-aided and so enlarged by 28% by the Chancellor of the Exchequer!)


Saturday 15th May

St. Marys Church, Flowton
at 7.00pm

Featuring local Talented Musicians
and Performers

Tickets £5.00

Food included. Bar available.

Tickets available from: Alan Munson
Tel: 01473 658425

In aid of Flowton Church funds and charity


Offton Church News

Lent Meditative Service in Offton Church on Wednesday March 17th at 7.45 pm. Everyone is most welcome to join us for a quiet time of prayer.

Easter Workshops:

There will be Easter Workshops for the children on Thursday and Friday 8th and 9th April in the Church from 10 am to 12 noon. Do come along. There will be working with clay and other activities. Further details from Pam Redman 658896.

Festival of Talents Sunday May 9th

I wonder if there is anyone who I have not contacted this year who would like to take part in our festival. Do please let me know if you could either sing, play an instrument, do recitation, tell a story, or how about a tap dance, so you could be included in the programme. It is good to have great variety! And it is fun.

My telephone number after March 5th will be 01449 721181 so please give me a ring. Looking forward to hearing from you.
Paul Chapman

Questions! Questions!

What are you planning this year?
Are you making marmalade or jam?
Are you sorting out your books?
Are you taking cuttings? ……………………………….
Are you spring cleaning?

Remember the Church Fete on Saturday 12 June 2004 - all contributions for stalls, books, produce etc will be welcome and offers of help too. Further information from Ian Dickson 658637 or Lucy Vignoles 658480.

Just to remind you:

Coffee Morning March 4th - April 1st 10.30 in the church
Chick Chat Club March 10th & 24th at 7 pm in the church



Council meetings will now be held six times per year. Dates fixed are March 8th, May 10th, July 13th, November 8th and January 10th 2005.

The Parishes' precept for the year commencing April 1st has been set at £5728, the same as last year.

The accounts for the year ending March 2003 have been agreed by the auditor without adverse comment.

Planning applications will in future need to be more detailed before they will be taken in by MSDC, who have produced a guidance note explaining the new procedures. Many of the enquiries which previously had been undertaken by MSDC must now be made by the applicant prior to submitting the application. Failure to do this may result in the submission papers being turned down. MSDC's advice is to talk with them before preparing the application.

Pip Sands
Clerk to the Parish Council Tel 01449 721173

Three Peaks Challenge

Offton Resident Tim Gillott is taking on the "Three Peaks Challenge" this May.

The "Three Peaks" involves climbing the three highest mountains in the mainland UK - Ben Nevis in Scotland, Scafell Pike in the Lake District and Snowdon in Wales. The total height of the three mountains is 11,175 feet, just over a third of the height of Mount Everest. To complete the challenge, all three mountains have to be climbed within 24 hours. Tim will be climbing with work colleague Dan Dobson, supported by two backup drivers.

The Challenge is in aid of the NCH ( National Childrens Home ), and is being supported by Tim's employer, EDF Energy. The NCH is EDF Energy's chosen charity, and "EDF" will double the total sponsorship raised by Tim and the team. The NCH provides help for children at risk, families in need of support and vulnerable young people.

Please help by sponsoring Tim and the Team.

To pledge sponsorship, or to find out more information, please contact Tim either by:
or write to "Rivington Cottage"
Castle Road, Offton, Ipswich IP8 4RG

To find out more about the NCH, try their website at
To find out more about EDF Energy, go to the company website at

Willisham Church Notes

Dates For Your Diary

Church Annual Meetings - Tuesday the 23rd March in Willisham Church, commencing 7.00pm
Village Walk - Saturday the 22nd May - full details below
Coffee Morning - Saturday the 29th May, at 9 North Acres, from10.00am
Church Fete - Saturday the 17th July at Crow Hall (there will be a planning meeting at 9 North Acres on Saturday the 24th April at 10.00am)

Following the success of the last two walks
this year's walk takes place on

Saturday the 22nd May
Starting at 5.30pm sharp

The walk will be approximately 5 miles, and will start from Derrick Hill at 5.30pm, returning at about 8.30pm for a cup of tea and light refreshments.
There will be a charge of £5 - all proceeds to Willisham Church.
Please note that the walk is at your own risk
Suitable footwear and clothing essential

For more information and to book
Contact John Minns on 01473 658352

From Lee and Anna-Maria Arthur Ipswich 833292
or e-mail

Our Christmas and New Year celebrations spent in Romania were very special to us for it meant that we could share the festive season with the children and old folk in the state-run institutions which our small charity has been supporting since 1990. In addition, it was wonderful to see all our family and friends again and of course to see everywhere carpeted in deep snow.

Suddenly, the wintry conditions and chill factor hit us and we soon remembered just how cold minus 20 degrees was. The journey from Bucharest to Brasov was slow due to the slippery road conditions and falling snow.
During our 3 week stay in Romania we returned to the old people's home at Haghig, a remote institution tucked away amongst the snow-covered Carpathian Mountains. Here in their grim existence, 140 old folk, a mixture of Hungarians and Romanians, live out another harsh winter surrounded by deep snow drifts and the bitter-cold Siberian winds that sweep through this part of Transylvania.

In addition to the small Christmas gifts we had brought with us it was decided that we would buy fresh fruit for the old folk -we purchased large crates of oranges, lemons and bananas, boxes of herbal teas and a large quantity of assorted biscuits to be distributed. We spent three cheery days with the old folk visiting each room and taking time out to speak to each one individually. It re-emphasised to us the meaning of Christmas.
The following week we visited a small children's orphanage in Brasov where 30 children aged between 3 - 5 years live. We brought with us Christmas teddy bears from England and a variety of stationery including colouring books and pencils from Romania - and of course sweets!

Sadly, our Christmas in Romania all too soon came to an end but it felt good to have brought cheer and happiness to this forgotten country.

Thank you to everyone who supported us throughout our 2003 appeal.
On Friday 19th March, the charity is presenting a jazz night at Great Blakenham Village Hall featuring the exciting 'Horn Factory' an 18 piece band which performs the Big Band sound to the music of Elton John, George Michael, Robbie Williams etc. The event starts at 8pm - 10.30pm and tickets are £5 each. There will be a bar and a grand raffle with lots of great prizes to be won. So if you like the Big Band sound - this event is not to be missed. Phone Ipswich 833292 for tickets.


On the 1st May, 1904 the renowned Czech composer, Antonin Dvorak died and was mourned as a national hero. On Saturday April 3rd 2004 Hadleigh Choral Society and members of the Colchester Orchestra, under the baton of Christopher Phelps, will commemorate the centenary of this great composer's death by performing the Stabat Mater.

The Stabat Mater (the Mother stood), is based on a mediaeval poem set to music by Josquin des Pres in the fifteenth century, and by many composers since. It describes the death of Christ on the cross and the anguish and deep sorrow of Mary, His mother. Despite the sombre subject and the fact that three of Dvorak's children died whilst the work was being composed, it is a beautiful rich work ending in a major key leaving the listener with a feeling of hope.

The concert will begin at 7.30pm in St. Mary's Church, Hadleigh but as there will be no interval doors will open 6.30pm and refreshments will be available until 7.20pm. Tickets (£8, £6 & £4) will be available from The Idler, High Street, Hadleigh or by telephoning 01473 824419.

Somersham Baptist Church

Saving in vain

A few months ago a man brought his green, diesel, Volkswagen Polo into the garage I work at part time. It ran badly, hardly reaching 50mph. On road test when 50mph was reached the engine shook violently.

When at rest the symptoms could be repeated, looking at the engine when the shaking started the air intake pipe was contracting and expanding rapidly. Expecting the air filter to be blocked it was undone, you can imagine our surprise when around 100 acorns fell out of the filter housing. Some poor squirrel had found a dry place to store his winter nuts. His hard work and many trips up the air intake proved in vain.

Jesus told a similar story of a rich farmer, who faced with a bumper harvest, demolished his barns to build bigger, anticipating many years of ease because of the profits. But that very night he died, leaving his windfall to unknown recipients.

Christians too often fail to learn the lesson of the squirrel or the farmer. Once our needs have been met, use the excess for the benefit of the needy. This is the way to invest in heaven.

Hospital visits; During term time Mark is regularly at Heath Road Hospital, so if you know of someone who would appreciate a visit please contact him on 01473 831940 or 07930 543583.

Regular Sunday Meetings

10.00am Prayer
10.30am Coffee break
10.45am Bible study; Junior Church for school years 1-6
11.15am Coffee break
11.30am Worship
12.00-12.30pm Preaching
*Junior Church for School Years 1-6.

Ladies Meetings
Women's Fellowship Lunch 1.00pm Friday 12th March.
Friends and Neighbours 7.45pm Monday 15th March.

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

CHURCH SERVICES in our 8 linked parishes
If you have any doubts about this listing please contact the churchwardens. Thank you.

March 7th Second Sunday of Lent

Holy Communion

9.30am Willisham
Morning Prayer 10.00am Great Bricett
Joint service at Baptist Chapel 11.30am Somersham
Morning Prayer 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Barking
Holy Communion 6.30pm Flowton

March 14th Third Sunday of Lent

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 Offton
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Offton

March 21st Mothering Sunday

Holy Communion 8.00am Somersham
Family Service+communion by extension 10.00am Offton
Family Service 10.00am Barking
Family Communion 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Flowton

March 28th Fifth Sunday of Lent

Holy Communion 9.30am Ringshall
Morning Worship 10.00am Flowton
Holy Communion 11.00am Offton
Morning Prayer 11.15am Barking
No Evening Prayer at Somersham -we are all invited to …  
"Worship, Fellowship and Feast" at 4.30pm in Coddenham Church with Bishop Clive.


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