The Link Magazine

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

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Offton & Willisham PC
Dear Readers,

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 for amateurs!

With my love to you all - Margaret Laflin


From the registers
Farewell to
Gordon Drage, aged 77 years, of Prince's Gardens, Somersham whose funeral took place at Ipswich Crematorium on March 15th. Gordon came from the family-run Mellis telephone exchange and Post Office to marry Edith from the Old griffin public house. They both worked at ICI, Gordon also playing tennis and bowls in works teams; he played cricket for the Eye and District team.
Also to
Dorothy Crick, aged 91 years, of Fiske Pightle, Willisham who was buried in Willisham churchyard on March 17th. From Ladyfield, Barking, Dorothy cared for children, then married and settled in Fiske Pightle. She was delighted to see all her grandchildren grow up in this area, and was energetic in supporting her husband as Churchwarden of Willisham.
Also to
Desmond Crick of Fiske Pightle, Willisham, who was buried in Willisham churchyard on March 22nd. A lifelong resident of Willisham, Des survived his mother by only six days.
Our thoughts and prayers are with Daphne, Heather, Martin, Susan, and also his brother Trevor in their loss.

May they rest in peace

Come and Sing!

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.

Christian Aid Week, 9-15 May 2004

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.
Khurshed Khuinov is 17 and lives in Tajikistan's capital, Duschanbe. He shares one room in a city hostel with his mother and five brothers and sisters. Life in the hostels is bleak and dangerous, so the organisation Zumrad, which is supported by Christian Aid, runs youth clubs to improve the lives of vulnerable children and give them emotional support. They enjoy climbing and camping expeditions, as well as workshops in which they make their own rucksacks and tents.

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.
Situated in central Asia, north of Afghanistan, it was part of the Soviet Union until independence in 1991. Subsequently the economy has collapsed, and there has been a bitter civil war. One in three workers is jobless, and vulnerable people such as children and the elderly have little or no support. Children are particularly at risk if they are orphaned. Fifty thousand were orphaned during the war, and many more have parents who have been forced to leave home and seek work in Russia. Huge state orphanages provide schooling and shelter, but they are overcrowded and poorly resourced. Children living in these conditions are stigmatised, often do not have enough to eat, and are starved of affection.

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 environmental skills.
'I thought I would never be able to walk as normal, but I have been hiking with Zumrad for four years,' says Khurshed. 'At first it was really hard. But it is so important for me. When I come on hiking trips, I feel at home. I'm not afraid of the difficulties now. I'm going to be an artist. So I am not just looking around; I am studying the countryside and keeping it in my head.'
By attending local clubs several times a week, the young people also learn the sewing skills they need to make their own rucksacks, tents and clothing. Courses in computing and English mean that they can improve their potential. But perhaps most important of all is that Zumrad provides a safe place where children find genuine care and can develop higher hopes for the future.
A £25 gift to Christian Aid buys the materials for ten young people to make their own rucksacks for a camping expedition.
By supporting Christian Aid Week, you are among millions of people who think poverty is a scandal we do not have to accept. Your actions, commitment and contributions will bring about a better life for people in poor communities all over the world.
To find out more about Christian Aid Week, visit
or call 08080 006 006
A big "Thank you" from those you help.

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 of Easter
Acts 9. 36-43 Psalm 23
Revelation 7. 9-17 John 10. 22-30

9th May Fifth Sunday of Easter
Acts 11. 1-18 Psalm 148
Revelation 21. 1-6 John 13. 31-35

16th May Sixth Sunday of Easter
Acts 16. 9-15 Psalm 67
Revelation 21. 10, 22 - 22. John 14. 23-29

23rd May Seventh Sunday of Easter
Ezekiel 36. 24-28 Psalm 97
Acts 16. 16-34 John 17. 20-26

30th May Day of Pentecost
Genesis 11. 1-9 Psalm 104. 26-36
Acts 2. 1-21 John 14. 8-17

Flowton News

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.
Your envelope will be collected, from your home, during the week, by an authorised collector from the village. Thank you.


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


CHURCH 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

Holy Communion

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

May 9th 5th Sunday of Easter

Holy Communion by extension
8:00am Flowton
Family Service 10.00am Somersham
Holy Communion 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Barking
Family Service 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Willisham
Festival of Talents 4.00pm Offton

May 16th Sixth Sunday of Easter

Holy Communion 8.00am Somersham
Family Service + Communion by ext. 10.00am Offton
Family Service 10.00am Ringshall
Holy Communion 11.15am Battisford

Evening Prayer

6.30pm Flowton

Thursday May 20th Ascension Day

Holy Communion 7.30pm at Stonham Aspal and Baylham

May 23rd Seventh Sunday of Easter

Holy Communion 9.30am Ringshall
Morning Worship-Anniversary Service 10.00am Flowton
Holy Communion 11.00am Offton
Morning Prayer 11.15am Barking
No service at Somersham
Archdeacon's Visitation Service
6.30pm Creeting St Mary

May 30th Whit Sunday

Holy Communion with activities for children 10.00am Bricett

Somersham Primary School

We've had a couple of trips since the last report.
Class 1 paid a visit to Ipswich Museum for a science afternoon. It was all about light and a hands on experience which the children got stuck into and enjoyed. Class 2 have had a trip to Duxford which went down very well if you are to believe the children's excitement the next day when reporting back what they had seen. Class 3 are to have a trip to the 'Farming Experience" at the Show Ground and Class 4, a trip to Baylams Rare Breeds Farm. (These might have already happened by the time you read this)

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
June 26th
Somersham School Field

and you know what they say

"Be there or be square"

If you think you would like to be part of our successful group, please talk to Heather at school, we would love to hear from you. Remember, you don't have to have a child at the school to become a member.



VEGETABLES (6 on a plate)
1 Broad Beans
2 Carrots
3 Peas in the pod
4 Potatoes
5 Tomatoes
SOFT FRUIT (Small plate of)
6 Gooseberries
7 Raspberries
8 Strawberries
9 Rhubarb (4 sticks)
FLOWERS (3 stems)
10 Iris
11 Lupin
12 Sweet Peas
13 Roses
14 Mixed Flower arrangement
(vase top max. 8cm diameter)
15 One Egg Sponge *
16 Rock Buns *
17 Wartime Crunchie Biscuits *
(* Recipes Provided)
18 Jar of Jam
19 Jar Of Chutney
20 Model made from recyclable materials
21 A painting
22 Collage on a plate
(Somersham Primary School Children Only)
(Points towards FOSS Cup)

23 A model aeroplane made from recyclable materials
24 A 1940's garden on a plate
25 Arrangement of summer flowers
26 A self portrait painting/drawing
27 A decorated hardboiled egg
28 Handwriting Classes:
Class 1
Class 2 } Copy to be
Class 3 } provided.
Class 4
29 A collage of a scarecrow (A4 Paper)
30 A painting/drawing of a wartime ship
31 A photograph of an animal
32 Arrangement of summer flowers
33 A computer generated wartime poster
34 A photograph of a country scene
35 A painting/drawing of wartime fashions
36 A cross-stitch/embroidery article
37 A photograph of a Suffolk scene
38 Handwriting - Copy to be provided

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


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.
Crime may be low but it does not stop wherever you are, so the usual details follow.

Crime Reports: most of the reported crime has occurred in the last few days.
In Somersham on Sunday 4th April at about 2.30pm the telephone kiosk was attacked and the cash box stolen, a white van was seen to drive off towards Ipswich. The telephone kiosk at Barking was attacked on 20th March at about 7.40pm and the complete phone and cashbox taken.
In Nettlestead two burglaries took place over the night of the 4th April when a farm office and domestic garage were targeted wage slips were stolen from the office but no cash and no items from the garage, which was alarmed. (shed alarms available from N/watch or Stowmarket Police Station).
In Willisham again at a telephone box, damage was caused by burning part of the handset. This was believed to have been caused by children who may have no idea of the possible consequences of a phone box being damaged and preventing an emergency call being made.

Crimes in nearby parishes.
In Combs overnight 29th /30th March the reservoir compound was entered and a steel container entered and a large wrecking bar was stolen.
In Badley the church was entered and a portion of wooden panelling was removed from the wall. Many of our churches contain historic articles both furniture and fixtures all of which can be targeted. Please be alert for suspect vehicles and persons around churches.

Neighbourhood Watch.
Special thanks to all of my Neighbourhood Watch coordinators and their assistants. Without help and assistance from them both directly and indirectly I am sure our community would not be quite such a safe place in which to live.

Drop Zone Box
Is still at Somersham post office if you feel the need to drop me a note.
But remember I may not get to see it for several days depending on my duties.

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.
My deputy should I be on leave will be Pc 839 Simon Mills, who 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



Hello, I thought I would let you know that I have taken over from Sylvia Perry as Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator.

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.
Mrs Brenda Durrant, Raheelan, Castle Road, Offton.
Tel. 01473 658261. email.

Somersham CSC

We still haven't won a match since August 2002 but the losing streak has ended!
That's the main talking point after an exciting last heat decider against Norwich ended in a draw. Somersham started well with some good team riding and found themselves 9 up at the halfway stage, but perhaps the excitement was too much, and Norwich fought back to level the scores with just one heat to go. The Stars were on the unfavoured outside gates and although Barry Copping gated second, Andy Mittell was at the back. Norwich no doubt relaxed a little but you shouldn't do that with Mittell on his home track - one clean positive pass and we'd snatched a draw!

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.
Williamson was again on form, while Steve Copping and Peter Mittell put on good shows.

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?

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

Somersham & District Gardening Club
10th May - Members visit to Bresworth House, Cotton






Saturday 22ND May 2004
10.00am - 12 Noon

Somersham Baptist Church

Regular Sunday Meetings
10.00am Prayer
10.30am Coffee break
10.45am Bible Study; Junior Church
for school yr. 1-6
11.15am Coffee break
11.30am Worship
12.00pm-12.30pm Preaching

* Junior Church for School Years 1-6.

Ladies Meeting
Women's Fellowship led by Mother's Union 2.30pm Friday 14th May
Friends and Neighbours 7.45pm Monday 18th May. Introducing Small Talk, support group for parents of premature babies.

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


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
present on matters of your own choosing which concern you and have a bearing on our villages' wellbeing.

Philip Sands
Parish Clerk
Tel 01449 721173

Mother's Union

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 658330.

Somersham Parish Council

May 2004

Parish Council Vacancy
Somersham Parish Council has a vacancy for Parish Clerk.
The Council would like a person, who is enthusiastic and keen to carry out the important work of the Council, which in turn helps the people of the community, on a local basis.
The work of the clerk takes up about 10 hours a week. There are eleven meetings a year, where the Clerk reports on the progression of tasks brought up by the Council and takes the meeting minutes. There is a small annual remuneration for the Clerk.
If you would like to know more information, or would like to apply for the post please contact the current Clerk:

Andrew Mayhew
Tel: 01473 834035


Future Meetings

Annual Parish Council Meeting - Wednesday 5th May 2004, 7.30pm
Parish Council Meeting - Wednesday 2nd June 2004, 7.30pm

Both in Somersham Village Hall, Committee Room

Andrew Mayhew
Clerk to the Council

Address: 21 Morgan Court, Claydon, IPSWICH, IP6 0AN
Tel No: 01473 834035
Web Site:

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.

Thank you

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.
Once again thank you all so very much.

Lots of love from Vivienne, Park Avon, Somersham.

Golden Link Club

Jumble Sale
Saturday May 15th
at 2pm
in Somersham Village Hall

Any gifts can be left at the hall from 12 noon, or collected by ringing Joy on 831823 or Betty on 748279.


Somersham Village Hall

of the Village Hall Committee
will be held on
Monday 14th June
at 7.30pm
in the Village Hall.

Retirement of Dr. Michael Watson,
Needham Market Practice

If you would like to contribute to a retirement gift for Dr Watson please take your donation to Christine Jarrold at Christine's Haircare or Griffin Cottage by 30th May.

St Mary's Church Somersham

Summer Garden Party

on Saturday 10th July
from 2 to 4.30pm
at Park Farm House

"Teddy dressed for Holiday" Competition
(teddy's owners' ages 11 and under, over 11)
Bike Assault Course Cakes Tombola
Welly-boot throwing
Beautiful feet Competition

(male & female!)
Kiddies' Craft Corner
"Hang out the washing" Competition
Crafts, Plants & Produce, Raffle, Refreshments, Ice-creams, Cream Teas

and many other games & attractions.

10% of profit to St Elizabeth's Hospice


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.

New Arrival

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.
Yvonne Howells

Offton Church Fete

Saturday 12 June

in the churchyard at 2pm

In aid of church funds

All the fun of the traditional fete!!

Including parachuting teddy bears!
Milking the cow!

Bric a brac! Cakes! Plants! Books!

Raffle! Tombola!


Christian Aid Week - 9th - 15th May
Envelopes are enclosed with this issue of The Link, and can be returned when you come to a service at Willisham Church, or left at 9 North Acres or Foxgloves, Main Road, Willisham.
Your contribution will help to provide a better life for people in some of the poorest communities in the world


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


Saturday 29th May
9 North Acres, Willisham
from 10.00am

Bring & Buy Raffle

All Proceeds to Willisham Church


Sponsored Hymn Sing
The final figure raised on behalf of Willisham Church is £80

Annual Meetings
Following the annual meetings held at the end of March - there were no changes to the various church officers.

Church and Churchyard Care
Thanks to everyone who helps with cleaning the church, brasses and the care of the churchyard during the year. We have decided to hold a special spring-cleaning session on Saturday the 10th July from 9.30am onwards (in readiness for our Songs of Praise on Sunday the 11th July). Just turn up (with your duster) and stay for as long as you like.

Fete - Saturday 17th July
Following the recent planning meeting, help is urgently required
to carryout our good ideas. If you are able to help on or before the day please contact Frances Gilson.

Dorothy and Des Crick
We extend our sincere sympathy to the Crick family, following the sudden loss of mother and son in March. They had both lived in Willisham all their lives. Dorothy Crick's husband had been churchwarden for many years, during which time she had acted as Secretary in addition to taking great pride in keeping the church spotlessly clean. We are very grateful that donations in Mrs. Crick's memory were to Willisham Church.

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……..
Thank you to everyone who gave money to Willisham Church through the Gift Aid Scheme during 2003/4. Since August 2003 your donations have generated almost £300 extra income for the church.

You may also be interested to know of a scheme whereby any tax repayments due after completing an Inland Revenue Self-Assessment form can be channelled to a charity of your choice should you wish it.
Each charity has a unique number so for anyone who would like tax repayments to go to St. Mary's Church, Willisham, the code to quote is: BAL6ONG
The scheme does not replace Gift Aid but can be used in addition to it.
Thanks again for using Gift Aid and please continue to do so.

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    
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