The Link Magazine
Linking the villages of - Somersham, Willisham, Offton and Flowton - Suffolk
|Home page||In the latest edition||Village News|
|Click here to go back to home page||Prieist-in-charge
Offton & Willisham PC
Thank God for amateurs!
On holiday in Derbyshire last summer I saw a similar headline to the one above on the local diocesan leaflet and it set me thinking.
What does the word 'amateur' conjure up in your mind? Someone not quite up to the job maybe? The secondary meaning in my Chambers dictionary gives 'someone whose understanding of, or ability in, a particular art is superficial or inexpert', and unfortunately that is the meaning generally accepted today. 'Amateurish' is the word we use to describe a job of work not very well done.
But if we look at the first and original meaning in the dictionary we see that the word derives from the Latin 'amator' - a lover. An amateur is 'a person who practises something for the love of it' - and I think that puts a very different light on the word. All around the world there are people playing sport, painting pictures, writing books, singing in choirs and acting on stage just because they have a love and enthusiasm for their chosen pursuit. Because they are not paid they are 'amateurs' but does this invalidate what they do? I think not. To me there is added value in something done for love.
Today ordained clergy in rural areas are likely to have the care of as many churches as they can count on the fingers of both hands and may need some toes as well! Therefore quite often you will find an 'amateur' leading the worship when you go to your village church. That person may be a trained Lay Reader like Mary Carter or the late Don Mayes wearing robes and looking official but who, receiving no payment, could be termed as amateur in the best sense of the word. Equally it could be any other member of the congregation, perhaps even a neighbour of yours from across the way!
The temptation is to look upon these people as 'only amateurs' with the emphasis on the second meaning of the word. I think they would all agree very modestly that there is more than a degree of truth in that interpretation! But we do well to remember these are all busy people often holding down full time jobs, running a family home and in all likelihood already doing several other jobs within the church.
It takes quite a time to prepare the material for a service - so why do they do it you will ask? Without a doubt it is because they love their village church and all that it stands for and want to see it remain open and available to everyone with a service every Sunday.
Realistically we have
to accept that the only way this can happen is for members of the laity,
people like you and me, being prepared to share the responsibility. Not
because we think we are in any way special, but just because we honour
God and love our village churches - true 'amateurs' in the best and original
sense of the word. I hope you will agree that we should all thank God
From the registers
May they rest in peace
Everyone who enjoys choral singing is invited to join in a special service at Creeting St Mary parish church on Sunday May 23rd at 6.30pm.
Archdeacon Terry Gibson will be meeting all the churchwardens of Bosmere for the coming year. Non-singers are welcome to come to the service to support their new churchwardens.
For people wishing to join in the choir, contact the organist at Earl Stonham, Colin Edgar on 01449 711606. All voices welcome - especially tenors.
There will be a meeting of the choir at 5pm on the day, rehearsing at Creeting St Mary; you may like to join the Earl Stonham choir in advance of this date -all details from Colin.
Living life to the full
Christian Aid Week
begins on 9 May, and the money raised this year will be used to improve
people's lives in more than 50 countries worldwide. One of the places
that Christian Aid has recently begun working is the former Soviet republic
of Tajikistan. Here, as in many other poor countries, money raised in
Christian Aid Week is being used to help people live life to the full.
Zumrad is one of ten
partner organisations in Tajikistan supported by Christian Aid. Tajikistan
is one of the poorest countries in the world outside Africa, and Christian
Aid began to work there quite recently.
In Khurshed's case, his family's situation was made harder because of his poor health. Until he was 12, he had to walk on crutches. 'After two operations the doctor succeeded in fixing my bones,' he explains. 'My family wanted to buy a house, but they used the money for the operations. Life became very difficult for us. So now we live in a hostel.'
For ten years, Zumrad
has given children such as these a richer education and deeper relationships
than are possible in an orphanage or hostel. They offer camping expeditions
in the mountains, with teenage children learning a range of climbing and
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.
2nd May Fourth Sunday
9th May Fifth Sunday
23rd May Seventh Sunday
30th May Day of Pentecost
Mr and Mrs Hearn had met many of the people in the village before they began to build Five Gables and we hope that they and their family are now feeling settled into the village. We also welcome Mr and Mrs Welham and their children to Willowview and hope that they will be happy here.
Christian Aid Week
is May 9th-15th and you will find an envelope enclosed with this copy
of the "Link". Please consider placing a donation in the envelope
-an article elsewhere in this magazine will explain some of CA's work
in over 50 countries. If you are a tax payer, then completing the Gift
Aid declaration adds almost 30% to the value of your donation -last year
Gift Aid raised an additional £1million in CA Week.
SERVICES in our 8 linked parishes
The new rota of services began in October - and there are changes for the holiday. if you have any doubts about this listing please contact the churchwardens. Thank you.
May 2nd 4th Sunday of Easter
May 9th 5th Sunday of Easter
May 16th Sixth Sunday of Easter
May 20th Ascension Day
23rd Seventh Sunday of Easter
30th Whit Sunday
Somersham Primary School
We've had a couple
of trips since the last report.
Of course this is the month of S.A.T.s so good luck to all the children in years six and two who are involved. Once they are done and dusted we can relax a bit and enjoy all the summer activities.
Since the beginning of the last school year the children and staff have been put into "Houses". The children are awarded house points for all kinds of reasons, from good behaviour/attitude, to achieving a goal that is personal for them. Until the end of last term all this was recorded on paper and placed on the board in the hall. Not any more! When Mrs. Peck left us she presented the school with a proper recording board. It's a wonderful present and one that can be used for years to come. Thank you Mrs. Peck. When you come to visit us at school drop into the hall and have a look.
Thank you to F.O.S.S. and everyone who supports them. They have just purchased a digital camera and accessories from the proceeds of the Jumble Sale. Also, in the playground we shall have netball posts and five-a-side football goal posts. But it doesn't end there. To go with the netball, F.O.S.S. is purchasing skirts and bibs, so when we go to tournaments we will look as smart as the other teams. They are also looking into the possibility of supplying the boys with a football strip. Watch out Claydon Pyramid here we come!
All this and they're beginning to fill in the gaps in the library. Can we ask for any more? Well, the answer is yes actually. Can we ask that you continue to support FOSS as well as you have been doing and remember, it's all done for the children.
Thank you to everyone who came to the Jumble Sale. You can read in the schools report what we have been purchasing for them.
Hope some good fun happened at the Beetle Drive. This is one of our activities that is not a fundraiser as such, but something that is just fun for the children to take part in.
In this issue of the Link you will find the classes we intend to run for this years Flower/Produce Show which is in conjunction with the Summer Fair. Take a look and if there is something you want to have a go at you will find an application form around the village at either the Post Office or the Garage or of course the school. Please take time to join in and/or encourage the children to take part.
Thing are going nicely
for the Summer Fair but all the information will be in next months Link.
For now all you have to remember is the date and place
and you know what they say
"Be there or be square"
OF SOMERSHAM SCHOOL - SUMMER FAIR 26TH JUNE 2004
VEGETABLES (6 on
Many of you will have
seen the East Anglian Daily Times a few weeks ago which announced that
Ringshall ward is the safest place in Suffolk to live closely followed
by Barking ward. These areas include almost all my parishes. I would like
to say thank you to residents in all the villages because without your
help throughout the year we would not be in such a good position. Only
problem is how we improve on it for next year.
If you can assist
with or require further information about any incident mentioned in these
notes please contact me on 01473 613500 (Force HQ) If I am not on duty
ask to leave a voicemail message for Pc980 Shields. (Sometimes I am on
rest day for 4days) If you require urgent action do not leave message,
speak to another officer.
I expect most of you already have the leaflets, stickers and booklets distributed by Sylvia. If you would like more, I have a selection. Please just ask.
If I receive any important messages from the Police, I will make sure that you are informed as soon as possible. I will also post notices on the board outside the Village Hall. I will be liasing with P.C. Keith Shields and I will contact him with any reports that I receive from anyone having concerns about safety or suspicious circumstances.
Please remember to keep alert and watch out for anything going on which does not seem quite right, especially around the homes of the elderly and vulnerable or of neighbours whom you know to be away from home.
Please do not hesitate to contact me to report anything suspicious. Of course, in case of an emergency please contact the police direct by phoning 999.
I would welcome ideas
from anyone to keep Offton a safe and pleasant place to live in.
We still haven't won
a match since August 2002 but the losing streak has ended!
The opener against Gt. Blakenham was a reasonable start although we lost 82-98. Richard Williamson and Gary Brown gave the visitors plenty to think about but the rest of the team members were a little rusty. The track was very dry last year but this season's early start has seen lots of moisture deep down in the track. The result is a predictable surface, more racing lines, and the need to be much fitter!
Our first away trip
was to Kesgrave and the heavy 105-72 defeat was no surprise. They have
strengthened during the winter and despite a smart new fence, the narrow
circuit is not a favourite amongst the Stars.
Hethersett are the next visitors to Somersham (May 9, 11:00) and a close contest is predicted. While on May 19, 19:00 we stage the Suffolk Under-13 Championship. If you fancy a go in one of these meetings why not get in touch to arrange a practice?
Regular Sunday Meetings
* Junior Church for School Years 1-6.
Children and Young
People (Held during term time)
Christianity Explained; Six sessions, which deal with Jesus, Salvation and becoming a Christian, to find out more contact Mark.
Church, Chapel Lane, Somersham, IP8 4QE
Parishioners are warmly invited to participate in the Annual Parish Meeting to be held in the Village hall on Monday May 10th at 7 pm.
This is the opportunity
to join in an open discussion with Councillors
This month we are invited to join the ladies at Somersham Chapel on Friday, 14th May at 2.30 pm. No cosy afternoon off for the MU this time though because on this occasion we will be conducting the meeting for a change! We are very happy to be able to return the compliment which the Chapel Ladies Meeting has paid us over many years and invite any friends who are free on that afternoon to join with us for a happy hour of friendship and fellowship together.
Nina Knock was such
a valued part of our MU community and we have felt quite bereft without
her at our recent meetings. We are pleased however to hear that she and
Cecil are adjusting to their new surroundings in Stowmarket despite missing
Somersham and all their contacts here. Agnes Abbott is another member
who has left the village and we are delighted to know that she is so happily
settled in Cherryfields. We have missed Elsie Mayes too, who has been
in hospital and Janet Woods who has found it increasingly difficult to
get out. On the bright side we have warmly welcomed Eileen Turner from
Flowton to our meetings and extend the same welcome to any other friends
to join us - any further information or to arrange transport please ring
Somersham Parish Council
Annual Parish Council
Meeting - Wednesday 5th May 2004, 7.30pm
Both in Somersham Village Hall, Committee Room
Address: 21 Morgan
Court, Claydon, IPSWICH, IP6 0AN
Somersham Church Notes
Christian Aid Week May 9th-15th: You should find your Christian Aid envelope in this month's Link. You can drop off your contributions at Christine's Haircare, Griffin Cottage, Somer Lodge or Astoria, Main Road. Please try to leave your envelope at one of these points between 9-15th May, so that they can be collected up and sent off altogether to Christian Aid. Thank you.
The Trivia Quiz was a great success with 16 teams taking part in a thoroughly enjoyable evening. Many thanks to Rohais for putting in all the hard work to compile the quiz, to her Mum for helping keep score, Milly & William for being "runners", Joan & Denis for serving refreshments, Doreen & Joyce for doing the raffle and Jon Hawkins for sorting out the PA system. Church funds have benefited from the event by almost £250.
The Garden Party will be on Saturday 10th July at Park Farm - see ad. elsewhere but donations for the various stalls would be most welcome. We would love to receive cakes, plants, raffle prizes, tombola prizes, items for the crafts stall and produce. If anyone feels able to help on the day that would be great too! Don't forget the Teddy competition too. If you have some items but can't get them to Park Farm on the morning of the Garden Party, please ring Pat Woolhouse (831080) so that we can arrange to collect them.
Looking ahead to October there will be a Harvest Concert with the Suffolk Police Choir on Friday 8th October in the church, starting at 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 including a Ploughman's supper. These concerts are always popular so book your tickets now!
The late Gordon Drage, Somersham
Edith and Karen would sincerely like to thank all friends who sent cards, flowers, messages of comfort and also visited us during our sad time after Gordon died. We are most grateful to everyone who so kindly helped with transport and gave us both a lot of support before and after Gordon died. To all friends that attended the funeral your kindness was much appreciated. We would like to thank Rev. linden Fletcher for taking the service at the crematorium, also Melanie Hunnaball, Funeral Director and staff for the friendly, efficient and dignified manner in which they did Gordon's funeral.
Edith & Karen Drage.
I would like to say
a big thank you to all my family, friends, relations and neighbours for
the lovely cards, flowers, chocolates, phonecalls, gifts, food and visits
I received after my accident on 20th January. Everyone was so very kind
and thoughtful. My plasters came off after 5 weeks and I have gradually
dispensed with the wheelchair and zimmer, and now after 10 weeks am getting
around with just one crutch.
Lots of love from Vivienne, Park Avon, Somersham.
Offton Church News
Festival of Talents Sunday May 9th at 4 pm
There will be a glass of wine and a savory after the festival in the church please do join us.
The splendid new mower has arrived for the churchyard and is now in use. John Minns and Ian Dickson have been appointed riders. Julie Spurling has offered to help and had her first outing with the push mower. The team will keep the grass looking good through the summer.
The Church Fete on Saturday 12 June at 2 pm - do not forget!! - see advert elsewhere.
Toes - such a character
Just a short but sad
note for those of you that knew and loved my dear old horse, on the corner
beside the telephone exchange. After 34 years we sadly lost him to a stroke.
Personally my family and I have had many years of enjoyment, love and
lots of affection from such a character. He was a big part of the family
and a friend and he will be sadly missed.
Saturday the 22nd
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.
For more information
and to book
Church and Churchyard
Fete - Saturday
Dorothy and Des
The family wish to thank everyone for the love and support they have received at this sad time.
A message from
our Gift Aid Secretary
Any questions, telephone Jean Hardman on 01473 658063
A vacancy has arisen for a Parish Clerk for Barking. For details of remuneration and responsibility, please contact David Page on 01473 658397
|Page last updated: 25-Feb-2009|
This site was designed and is maintained by TRC Solutions please refer any queries to the webmaster