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

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Offton & Willisham PC

You are invited most warmly to the
Licensing and Installation of

The Reverend Canon Bernard Rose


of Barking with Darmsden, Battisford, Flowton, Offton, Great Bricett, Ringshall, Somersham, and Willisham

Conducted by the Right Reverend Clive Young,
Bishop of Dunwich and the Venerable David Brierley
Tuesday, June 2nd at St. Mary’s Church, Barking 7.30 pm

Car parking will be directed and car sharing would be much appreciated wherever possible. Refreshments will be served at Barking Village Hall after the licensing and everyone is welcome.


I would like to say how much I have enjoyed meeting many of you and taking services in your Benefice during the interregnum. Thank you to all of you who have made me feel so welcome. I am looking forward to celebrating with you at the licensing of Revd Canon Bernard Rose on June 2nd. I have known Bernie for several years now, (and his grandparents since I was a young child growing up in Needham Market) and it will be good to meet up with him and Janet on a more regular basis as they move into the Bosmere Deanery.

One of the rewards of working in your Benefice is being able to enjoy the beauty of the countryside and seeing the changes in the fields, trees, gardens and hedgerows as the seasons go by. The countryside in May is spectacular and I often purposefully make a detour through some of your parishes as I travel from my Benefice back to my home in Ipswich. - just to enjoy the scenery! The Lectionary Readings during May are also very beautiful and joyful as we look at the post resurrection stories from the Bible and read accounts of the early church from the Acts of the Apostles. During May, we also celebrate Jesus’ ascension into heaven and the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
I never cease to be amazed at the change that came over the disciples with the coming of the Holy Spirit. Although they had been in the presence of the risen Christ and had many exciting stories of Jesus to share with others, their ministry did not really ‘take off’ until Pentecost. The Holy Spirit enthused them and enabled them to preach the Good News of Jesus in an amazing and confident way. We are told in Acts ch 2 v 41 that Peter’s preaching was so effective that 3000 people were converted to Christianity in that one day. Wow!!!!!

The Christian Church continues to rely on the power of the Holy Spirit for its growth and effectiveness. In his letter to the church in Ephesus St Paul wrote a beautiful prayer of encouragement – it goes like this –
‘I pray that God out of His glorious, unlimited resources will give you the mighty inner strengthening of His Holy Spirit. And I pray that Christ will be more and more at home in your hearts, living within you as you trust in Him. May your roots go down deep into the soil of God’s marvellous love; and may you be able to feel and understand, as all God’s children should, how long, how wide, how deep and how high His love really is; and to experience this love for yourselves, though it is so great that you will never see the end of it. And so at last you will be filled up with God Himself. Now glory be to God who by His mighty power at work within us is able to do far more than we would ever dare to ask or even dream of – infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, or hopes. May He be given glory for ever and ever through endless ages because of His master plan of salvation for the church through Jesus Christ.’ (Ephesians ch 3 v 14-21 taken from The Living Bible )

I am reminded of a phrase which I read in Margaret Silf’s book ‘Landmarks’ – ‘The trouble with infinity is that it doesn’t fit onto our rulers.’ The infinite love of God revealed to us in Jesus Christ and through the power of the Holy Spirit just cannot be measured. As we journey through life we are given opportunities to accept God’s love but it will not be until this life on earth is over that we will fully know the extent of that love.

God’s Holy Spirit can work powerfully through individuals but when the church as a whole is open to His power than He can indeed ‘do far more than we can ask or even dream of.’ I pray that as you go into a new phase of your Christian witness with Bernie and Janet that you will trust God’s Holy Spirit to guide and inspire you to be effective members of His Church and to know that whatever you do in His name is for the extension of His Kingdom on earth and to His glory.

Christine Everett

Open the Book

“Open The Book” started up last September at Somersham School. What is “Open the Book”? I hear you ask! Well, it is a national project presenting a series of Bible stories to primary school children. We have a small team of volunteers from both Somersham Parish Church and Somersham Baptist Chapel and each week two volunteers go into the school during their assembly and read to the children a bible story. The stories are told very simply using the Lion Storyteller Bible and take about 10 minutes. We sometimes use props to assist the story and get the children involved with various actions. At the end of the story we have a quiet moment for reflection and then have a very short prayer.

I have to say that we have always received a very warm welcome by Somersham School and the children have been extremely well behaved and very attentive! There are a number of children who attend Wednesday Club at Somersham Chapel and will often tell Edwin & Jean Mayhew or Linda Ruffles about the story they have heard that week!

It has been a real pleasure to partake in this way and being able to share the Christian message with the children in its simplest form.
If anyone would be interested in joining our small team, then please contact the Team Leader, Debbie Bullard on 01473 831439. It is very rewarding!

Somersham Church Notes

Christian Aid envelopes are once again being delivered with your Link magazine this month. Volunteers will be collecting them in the village during the week beginning May 10th. Please contribute something if you feel you can. If you miss the collector, your envelope can be dropped off at Christine’s Haircare, Griffin Cottage on the main road, or The Willows, Chapel Lane. Thank you.

The Trivia Quiz in March was a very enjoyable evening, with 9 teams competing against each other. A very big thank you to Kate & Steve Dines for doing all the hard work in setting the questions, and being excellent and very fair quizmasters on the night. Church funds benefited by £100.

Somersham Church Summer Fete will take place on Saturday June 27th at Church Meadow. Once again we are very pleased that the Caston family have allowed us to use their meadow next to the church. All the usual attractions, with plenty of games and stalls, will be there.

Please note that there will not be an 8 o’clock communion service at Somersham Church on Sunday May 17th.

Church Altar Flowers and Cleaning Rotas

Somersham Flowton
3rd May Christine Jarrold Mrs Munson
10th & 17th May Pat Woolhouse Mrs Laflin
24th & 31st May Angie Osborn Mrs Carter
7th June Frances Southgate  
Cleaning Team B  
Offton Willisham
3rd May Mrs A. Chapman Mrs V. Large
10th & 17th May Mrs A. Pinson-Roxburgh Mrs E. Hodson
24th & 31st May Mrs J. Waters Mrs J. Somerville
7th June Mrs J. Spurling  
Cleaning Mrs A. Luxmore  


Parish Council meetings
You are very welcome to attend any meeting of the parish council which, unless stated, commence at 7.30pm in the Village Hall.
Wednesday 6th May 2009 (Annual Parish Council Meeting)
Wednesday 3rd June 2009
Wednesday 1st July 2009

Summary of Annual Parish Meeting
The Annual Parish Meeting took place on the 1st April in the Village Hall. This meeting is not a parish council meeting but a meeting for the electorate and is an opportunity for them to say what they would like to see happen in Somersham.

Also at the meeting a presentation on the Mid Suffolk South Locality Project updated everyone on the Community Board concept which has been created under the Government requirement for neighbourhood empowerment. The project is still in its infancy, but will be monitored as it develops.

As well as annual reports from the parish council, County Councillor Truelove, District Councillor Wright, the Police, Neighbourhood Watch and the Somersham Town Lane Charity reported on their activities for the preceding 12 months.

Vehicle Activated Speed Signs
Several residents have contacted the parish council expressing their appreciation of the vehicle activated speed signs on Main Road approaching Chapel Lane and the Pump House. Please continue to email your views as they all provide useful feedback on the effectiveness of the signs and will help decide what steps can be taken in the future.

Local Government Review in Suffolk
You will no doubt be aware that a further delay has occurred in the timetable of the recommendation of the Boundary Committee for England to the Secretary of State on the future structure of local government in Suffolk. The Boundary Committee will be consulting on two options - 1. a single unitary authority for the whole of Suffolk and 2. an Ipswich/Felixstowe/Shotley Peninsular unitary plus a rural Suffolk for the rest of the county. The consultation period runs until 14th May. Whichever decision is made will affect you so ensure you make your views known by email at or by post to:- Review Manager, (Norfolk and Suffolk Reviews), The Boundary Committee for England, Trevelyan House, Great Peter Street, London, SW1P 2HW.

Model Publication Scheme
Under the Freedom of Information Act it is the duty of every public authority to adopt and maintain a publication scheme. Publication schemes facilitate the release of information and play a crucial role in openness and transparency. Charges are made to recover costs in photocopying, postage and staff costs where applicable. The parish council adopted the scheme and a copy of the schedule of charges and the documents available is published on the notice board. If you have any queries please contact the clerk.

Disposal of Plasterboard
From the 1st April 2009 Gypsum Plasterboard is no longer permitted to be mixed with other wastes and land filled and will only be accepted in limited quantities (2 bags per day) at the following Household Waste Recycling Centres; Bury St Edmunds HWRC, Lowestoft HWRC and Foxhall HWRC. No other Household Waste Recycling Centres will accept this waste stream.

Printing for the Community
Mid Suffolk District Council’s Printing Services offers a ‘Printing for the Community’ service to individuals and non profit making organisations which include charities, churches, community groups, local societies, sports clubs, councils etc. Publications include calendars, catalogues, business cards, leaflets, menus, posters, programmes, tickets and many more. Prices are competitive and depend on a number of factors, but as a guide can be 2.2p single side mono or 3.3p double sided mono, 11p per side colour and artwork can be provided by hard copy, CD, disk, memory stick or email. For further information telephone 01449 724675.

Community Clear Ups

There is much publicity in the local media concerning making Suffolk the cleanest county and local organisations and residents are being asked to organise clear ups in their local area. 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.

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

West Suffolk Cruse
Awareness in Bereavement Care Course
to be held at 90 Risbygate St, Bury St Edmunds.

16 sessions in the autumn, starting with essential attendance at the first all-day session on Saturday 12th September. This will be followed by sessions on 2 further Saturdays and 10 Thursday evenings.
This course is for people who have an interest in supporting and caring for bereaved people; it is primarily intended for potential Cruse volunteers though others applicants will be considered if there is space.
It develops basic counselling skills to be used in bereavement support work and is accredited by OCNW at Level 2.
For further information, dates, costs, etc. please contact West Suffolk Cruse at the above address or via our website at or ring 01284 767674

Somersham & District Community Association

The AGM and the first general meeting of the year took place on the 26th March. We needed to consult the Constitution before we could start the meetings because so few people attended. Is this a sign that every one is satisfied with progress, a sign that they still think it all belongs to the Parish Council and is their problem, do they have too many other things to do, or do they just not care who supplies local facilities so long as they can use them? Fortunately for the Association those on the Committee were willing to stand again (could we do anything else?) and two of them volunteered to become trustees as well.

We are pleased to say that despite doubts on the part of some, the new pitch has not become waterlogged this winter despite the appalling weather and now, with a dose of spring fertiliser, will last us for a long time to come although there may need to be another stone picking party. Light covers on arena and pitch have been damaged; how do they do it? Repairing these and possibly fitting low energy bulbs and repairing one of the pavilion shutters are going to considerably affect the budget for the next quarter. Fortunately for the Association, the Football Clubs, who strongly support the Sports & Social Club, raise much of the revenue needed. It would be so nice if more of you made use of the Club or hired the pavilion. It is smaller than the village hall but has the advantage that the play areas can be seen from the building if you use it for a children’s event, and it is cosier if you have a small party to entertain.

There have been a couple of changes to the list of elected representatives from the various clubs and associations in the village and I would like to know of any others. This is the time of year when most people try to get themselves out of doing support jobs for clubs or even volunteering to take them on so there are bound to be changes. If your committee has changed please do let me know if you have a new elected spokesperson to represent you at the S&DCA if ever you should want to take part. An elected member gets you full committee membership and voting rights and a chance to change the way things go on if you are not satisfied. We hold business meetings bi-monthly and they are friendly, laid back and over as quickly as possible - not a lot to worry time-conscious busy people. If you want to hire the pavilion for small groups or parties, to nominate a representative to the S&DCA, to simply promote your own idea of a good community activity, or help in any way please contact Mike Shelmerdine on 01473 831661.

Nicky Heming 01473 831594


Good News
It is with the greatest pleasure that we are about to welcome the Rev Cannon “Bernie” Rose & Mrs Janet Rose as our new Priest-in-Charge
at Offton. After a year without a resident priest following the departure of Rev Linden Fletcher, it will be very good to have a priest to guide us in our worship. Rev Cannon Rose will be licensed at Barking Church on 2 June, after which he will be the priest responsible for all eight churches in our benefice. The Offton congregation sends its warmest wishes to Bernie and Janet, and thanks them for coming into our community.

Events During April
A Spring Quiz was organised in the village hall for Saturday 18 April. Additionally, our annual meeting, to which all members on the church’s Electoral Roll and other members of the congregation were invited, was scheduled to be held on Monday 20 April in the church. At the time of writing this article, these events had not taken place; therefore, a report on the proceedings will appear in next month’s Link.

Future Events and Special Services
13 June – Planning is at an advanced stage for our annual Summer Fete to be held in the church grounds starting at 2.00pm. All the usual fun attractions for all ages will be there, plus music by a large brass band. Absolutely everybody is invited, and there will be attractions to amuse both the old and the young. So make a note of it now.

21 June
– For all animal and pet lovers, our annual Animal Blessing Service will be held outdoors in the church grounds, so there will be room for all sorts of pets. All God’s creatures will be welcome - animal and human (particularly children), so this is an event for all the family.

12 July – This is a ‘must’ for all gardeners. Offton’s Open Gardens will be based around the heart of the village. Many village people have generously offered to open their gardens for this event. Refreshments will be available at various locations, and the toilet in the church will also be open. A Songs of Praise service will follow the afternoon’s sight seeing. You can pick-and-choose as many of the locations as you wish. Full details will appear elsewhere in the Link before the event.

Christian Aid Week
Envelopes for donations to Christian Aid Week are being distributed with this issue of the Link. Arrangements have been made for the envelopes to be left at three locations in Offton: the church; the Old Vicarage next door to the church; and 17 Marshmoor Park, Wallow Lane at the western end of the village. Your donations are really needed by so many people who are far less fortunate than ourselves, so please spare a little for them. Thank you.

Would you like a nice afternoon out?
Free entry, games and entertainment, refreshments and the chance to pick up a bargain!
We look forward to seeing you at Offton Fete, Saint Mary’s Church, on Saturday, June 13th from 2.00pm onwards.
If you have anything you would like to donate or would like to help in any way, please contact Peta on 01449 677766.
Thank you


JUNE 13th @ 2 pm
in the


Display of old photographs

The Ipswich Hospital Intermediate Band
Proceeds to St Mary’s Church Offton Fabric Fund

From: PC David Clark
Community Beat Officer
Tel: 01473 613500

Safer Neighbourhoods

Mid Suffolk South Team
Mid Suffolk District Council Offices,
131 High Street Needham Market Suffolk IP6 8DL

Hello again ,

Crimes of Interest
7th March -Attempted theft from motor vehicle and theft from an insecure motor vehicle
17th March – Outbuilding broken into and fuel stolen from vehicle inside
26th March – several Outbuildings broken into – nothing believed stolen
Offton & Willisham
No crime to report

Around 70 vehicles were stopped by Suffolk Police in Mid Suffolk on Friday 20th March, during the latest day of action against illegal activity on the roads in the west of the county,
Two teams of officers carried out road safety enforcement checks focusing on driving whilst under the influence of drink or drugs, speeding, use of mobile phones, and seatbelt use at locations in Old Newton, Thurston, Drinkstone, Barking, Bramford, Claydon and the surrounding areas (South team); and Stowupland, Stonham Parva, Mickfield, Debenham, Eye, Oakley, Mellis, Palgrave and the surrounding areas (North team). In addition a parking enforcement patrol was carried out in Stowmarket town centre.
The results of the day are as follows (with penalties listed) –
• 9 fixed penalty notices were issued for speeding (dependent upon speed), 7 drivers were warned about their speed, and one driver was reported for consideration of prosecution for speeding
• 22 fixed penalty notices were issued for driving without wearing a seatbelt (£30)
• One vehicle was seized for having no insurance
• Drivers were also dealt with for vehicle defects, having no road tax and having no MOT

Most people who call at your home will be genuine. But sometimes, people turn up unannounced with the intention of tricking their way into your home to steal your valuables and money.
It's a common scenario: somebody knocks on your door and tells you their car has broken down, and asks to use your phone to call the recovery service. Whilst inside your home, they distract you and steal your belongings.The only problem? It's a scam.
Variations on the theme
There are dozens of scams like this in operation at any given time. There's the 'ran out of petrol and left my wallet at home' scam. The 'my mother's sick and I need money for a cab' scam. The list is as endless as the human imagination.
Scamsters can be endlessly creative. Pushing their cars up the street, for example, and stopping passers-by asking for cash for petrol. Then getting in their perfectly working cars and driving away.

Distraction burglary

The more complex scams involve people pretending to be from utilities companies and asking for access to homes.
There are around 12,000 reported incidents of 'distraction burglary' every year - when callers get into a person's home through false pretences, and then steal cash or valuables while the home-owner is distracted.
They often work in pairs - with one person distracting the resident while the other is rifling through their belongings.
Be cautious
When a stranger rings your bell, be cautious. Don't let anybody in unless you are expecting them. Representatives of the water, gas and electric companies rarely make house calls without appointments.
If there is a real gas or water emergency, police and firefighters are likely to be present.
There are some simple precautions you can take to help ensure you don't become a victim:
talk to people through the door, rather than opening it when they knock
ask who they are before opening the door, then keep the door on the chain until you've seen their identification 
make sure your back door is closed and locked before answering your front door - thieves have been known to work in pairs, with one entering through the back while the other knocks on the front door
Ask for identification
If anybody comes to your door for legitimate purposes, they will have an I.D. card from the organisation they represent. Before you even speak to them, ask to see it, and keep the door on the chain while you look it over.
If you need glasses in order to read the card, close and lock the door before going to get them. Never leave the door open and unattended.
Lock, Stop, Chain, Check
The Government's Lock, Stop, Chain, Check (new window) campaign provides more security information for dealing with bogus callers.
To learn more, contact your local council, social services office or Age Concern (new window) centre. They can advise you on installing door viewers, chains and personal alarms, all of which can make you safer when a stranger calls.

If you have any information or would like any advice on police matters PCSO 3183 Vince Whitrow or myself would be more than happy to discuss this with you Our contact telephone number is 01284 774100
Our e mail addresses are are or
Please remember that there are occasions when we on rest days for 4 days so if your call is of an urgent nature please ask to speak to any officer on duty.

Thanks very much PC 466 Dave Clark

Flowton Church News

We are planning a Gardens Open and Flower Festival weekend for June 19/20th 2010

If you are interested in any aspect of the weekend, please come to a meeting on Thursday May 14th at 7.30pm in the church vestry-

We need YOUR ideas!

Date for your diary for this year:

Flowton Fete
on Sunday June 28th at 2.00pm in the churchyard.
All the usual attractions, good company, cream teas, time to chat and enjoy yourselves.

The next Village Coffee Drop in will be on Wednesday, 6th May – look forward to seeing you then.

Offton and Willisham Parish Council
The Annual Parish Meeting will be held on Monday 18th May in the Village hall at 7.30 pm.  This is a meetng open to parishioners to bring to the notice of the Council any matters they choose. Your attendance and participation would be warmly welcomed.

We have been working on the Offton phone box to clean it up and assess what is required to improve its appearance.

Wattisham Celebrations.11th and 12th July.  See the notice boards for details  I am required to give names by the end of April but it may just be possible to add more names early in May. Get in touch with me.

A team headed by Councillor Keith Earl collected sixteen bags of rubbish around Willisham, including a car tyre and bumper.  Praise to them and condemnation to those who deposited it

Pip Sands  Parish clerk
Tel 01449 721173

Offton and Willisham Parish Walk and Quiz, Sunday 17th May.
Offton and Willisham Parish Council is reviving ‘beating the bounds’, the ancient custom of learning the lay of the land by walking the parish boundaries.  On Sunday 17th May, starting from the Lime Burners Pub at 10:30am we will be following a 2 mile circular route along the boundary of our two parishes via Middle Wood. The paths are good and the gentle Suffolk pace will be suitable for young and old alike.  Afterwards there will be a lunchtime quiz back at the pub.  Everyone is most welcome and we hope to see you there.
To learn more about the tradition of beating the bounds why not look here…

Give us, Lord, a bit o’ sun,
A bit o’ work and a bit o’ fun.
Give us all, in the struggle and splutter,
Our daily bread and a bit o’ butter.
Give us health our keep to make
An’ a bit to spare for poor folks’ sake.
Give us sense, for we are some of us duffers
An’ a heart to feel for all that suffers.


Christian Aid Week (10 – 16 May)

A Christian Aid envelope has been delivered with this issue of The Link. We hope to collect as many of these as possible but, if we call when you are out and you would like to contribute, please return the envelope to ’Foxgloves’, Main Road, Willisham or to ‘Freshwood’, Fiske Pightle, Willisham.

Songs of Praise
We will be holding our annual Songs of Praise Service on Sunday 14 June at 3.00 pm in Willisham Church. If you would like a favourite hymn to be included in the service, please contact a member of the PCC.

Church Fete
In the next issue of The Link there will be more information about the fete which will take place on Saturday 11 July.

Frances Gilson
Since January, two more donations in memory of Frances have been received: £200.00 from Musicology (the proceeds from its charity concert at Christmas) and £750.00 from Ipswich Arts Society (half the proceeds from its ‘Concert for Frances’ in February.The PCC is most grateful to both of these organisations for their generosity.

Evening Walk
This very popular walk will take place on Saturday 9 May, at 5.30 pm. The walk will start from a different point this year – WILLISHAM HALL.
Afterwards, refreshments will be provided, as usual, at John and Leita Minns’ home, Derrick Hill.
There will be a charge of £5.00, proceeds going to Willisham Church. Please note that the walk is at your own risk and that suitable footwear and clothing are essential.
For more information, and to book, contact John Minns on 01473 658352.

Coffee Morning and Nearly New Sale

This will take place on Saturday 23 May at Foxgloves, Main Road, Willisham from 10.00 am.
There will be Nearly New clothes, books, CDs, plants and other items on sale, and there will be a raffle.
If you have any good, nearly new items that you would like to donate, in aid of the church, please contact Jean Hardman (658063) or any member of the PCC.
There will be a Marquee so please come even if the weather is unfavourable.


Somersham Gardening Club

Monday 11 May @ 7.30pm
Methods of saving and sowing seeds
Speaker: Shannon wood
Somersham Village Hall

Refreshments, Raffle and card sales table
Annual membership £7 Guest / Visitor £1

Great British Fish and Chips Supper

Friday 15th May 2009
Want to do something different? Want to raise money where you live or work? Want to eat Fish and Chips, while raising money for charity? Hold a fish and chip supper on Friday 15th May 2009 whilst raising awareness of spinal cord injury and supporting SIA's information and support services.

You can hold a fish and chip supper in your own home, at work or hold a larger supper at your local community centre.

SIA will provide a fundraising pack containing hints and tips, recipes, invitations and donation envelopes. By inviting 7 friends and asking them to donate an additional £5.00 means you will raise at least £35.00 from your supper but we will also give you additional fundraising ideas to raise even more money for SIA.

In 2009 SIA is celebrating its 35th Anniversary and since Friday, 15th May 2009 is Spinal Cord Injury awareness day, what a great way to celebrate and eat some tasty fish and chips at the same time.

For more information or request a fundraising pack call Elizabeth Wright on 0845 678 6633 xtn 229 or email

Golden Link
Day Trip to Southwold & Dunwich

Tuesday June 2nd

Coach Departs Somersham
At 10.00 am

Children Welcome with an Adult

Non Members £8 Children £2
All enquires to
Colin Burrows, 6 Brook Way, Somersham, Tel: 01473 830132

Somersham Cycle Speedway Club

The Australia Tour dominates the article on this occasion as 3 weeks before they were due to leave Steve & Barry Copping discovered they were eligible to race cycle speedway for Ireland, thanks to their great-great grandmother.

They set out for Australia on the evening of February 6th for their 2nd trip to the other side of the world. They arrived on the 8th at 10.50am Adelaide time and were on track at Findon that afternoon just to have a ride round. They partook in a training session at Findon on the following day and a similar session on the Wednesday at Salisbury before having their 1st competitive action 2 days later back at Findon in a local club meeting in which the overseas competitiors were welcome to ride. The following day they were on track again, this time at Le Fevre as they staged a similar club event to what Findon had staged the previous evening.. On February 20th Steve transferred from Somersham-for 1 night only though as he was invited to guest for Sheffield in a friendly match at Salisbury. Steve scored 4 points as Sheffield went down by 92 points to 86

Saturday February 21st is a day that will live long in the memories of the Copping brothers as they made their international debuts for Ireland-and what an event to have to do it in, the 2009 World Team Cup at Salisbury. Steve scored 5 points and Barry 9 which included an excellent last bend pass on Great Britain & Wales team manager Dave Murphy for a 2nd place to the loudest cheer ever heard at Salisbury. The Ireland team eventually finished 4th out of 6 teams. They had a 3 day break before they were back in action on the 24th in the elimination heats of the World Senior Individual Championship. Steve was at Findon where he bowed out at the first hurdle, scoring 7 points to finish 14th whereas Barry, who was riding at Le Fevre, scored 9 points and survived a run-off with Poole rider Sam Hearn to advance to the Preliminary Final on the Thursday. He was drawn in the Salisbury event where he could only manage 7 points.

Sunday March 1st saw the World Pairs take place at Murraylands and Barry donned his Ireland shirt to take 2 reserve rides as Ireland finished 5th. Barry then emulated what Steve did and guested for Sheffield in a friendly against Murraylands which Sheffield lost. Steve would have ridden as well but he picked up a suspected insect bite on his left leg the previous day which left his leg in agony and would subsequently become blistered on the Monday(the day before they were due to return home) and result in him being rushed to hospital that evening where he would remain until the Saturday.(The leg in question is now recovering.) They eventually returned home on Tuesday March 10th,6 days later than scheduled .

With Somersham not participating in any league competitions this season Gary Brown has switched to Kesgrave on secondary licence. Steve will be doing the same(subject to his leg injury & work commitments) but brother Barry has signed for the Norwich club on a full transfer
Steve Copping


We have reached the end of another winter season, on the whole it has been a good one with a few ups and downs along the way.
We ended February with an away match at Brockley, they are always difficult opponents to beat, especially on their home mats, unfortunately we were short of team members owing to illness, but after some competitive bowling we managed to win one game and salvaged two valuable points. Our next encounter was a game in the friendly league against near neighbours Needham Market, these matches are played in a more relaxed way, and make for a fun evening.

We continued March with a home match against Barrow, our position in the league was getting critical, and if we were to keep our place in division one, we needed as many points as possible from the remaining three matches, again we were short of a team member, both teams played well throughout the evening, Offton and Willisham having the home advantage, managed to win three games and draw one, so we won the match 7-1, (we sacrificed 2 points because we were short of a team member,) so far so good.

Our next league match was another home game, this time against Hoggard’s Green, again good opponents, we had a full team available and were able to take advantage of the extra two points, but first we had to win, luckily O/W players were on good form and after some excellent bowling by both teams O/W won the match 8-2.

So we come to our last match of the winter league, we need three points to stay in the first division, and we have an away match against Cockfield, could we manage it?

Fortunately two of our teams mastered one of the mats, and after some close games they managed to win, we lost the match 6 - 4. but we had the points required to stay in division one.

We completed the season on Saturday 4th April by playing our friends from Somersham Bowls Club for the “Paul Chapman Cup” a trophy played for between the two clubs. Somersham have held the trophy for the last two years, could O/W win it this year?

We started bowling at 12.30pm, played all afternoon, with a break for tea and biscuits, playing a total of twenty one games, there was some excellent play by both teams, with some very close games, all played in a friendly spirit of camaraderie, at the end the score was O/W 13 wins 1 draw Somersham 7 wins giving a points total 27-13 to O/W.

We rounded off a really enjoyable day with a take away meal of fish and chips etc. and it was completed with Somersham’s captain handing the Trophy to Offton and Willisham’s captain. A great way to end the season!

If you would like to try carpet bowls and you missed our open evenings in April, it’s not too late, all are welcome at Offton and Willisham Village hall on Wednesday and Friday evenings from 7.30pm, why not give it a try you may be pleasantly surprised at what fun it is.
For more information call 01473 657023.

The Lions Club of Stowmarket and District
present the 7th Annual Sponsored Rhythm of Life Walk
Sunday, 7th June, 2009.

The walk this year will be held on the “Aggregates Trail” which travels through the Gipping Valley from Needham Lakes to Barham Picnic area.  Shuttle transport will return walkers to the car park.  The walk is approximately 4.5 miles long and should take around two hours, not allowing for any sightseeing stops alongside the River Gipping.  There will be one refreshment stop at the halfway point.  Walkers may take their own picnics to eat at the Picnic site near the end of the walk.

Registration of sponsorship forms will be from 8.30 a.m. until 10.00 a.m.  The registered sponsorship form numbers will be entered into a draw.  The winner will receive a £100 voucher for Inces Outdoor Shop, Ipswich Street, Stowmarket, kindly donated by the owner, John Kingsley.

Anyone wanting to enter for this event please email or telephone 07875 647589 and leave your name and address so that an entry form can be posted to you.  An entry form and more details can be found on
Proceeds from the walk will go to Papworth Hospital, West Suffolk Hospital Cardiac Unit and Lions Charities.


The month of April took us into the final stages of the Winter League, with our chances of staying in the Second Division very much hanging in the balance. The increased pressures of bowling in a more competitive league and the higher standards of bowling required have persisted throughout the season and with only three home matches left to play we remained optimistic and undaunted by the likely final outcome.

First match in the home sequence of three brought Whatfield to our mats, and what a variation in results they turned out to be! The first two games of the evening were closely contested and produced first half results of a draw and a win by 5 shots in favour of the away side. The two second half games were also evenly split, and the winning team for Somersham managed a big enough shots tally to overcome the shortfall and take the overall shots for the match - thus forcing the result to a very fair draw.

With only two home matches now remaining our league tenure was very much dependent on good scores if the drop back to Division 3 was to be avoided.

Any lingering hopes were soon dispelled in the next match – against East Bergholt: a team at the top of their form when they soon extinguished the mathematical possibilities of us obtaining sufficient points on which to improve on our lowly league position.
Both games in the first half of the evening went the way of the visitors, leaving too big a deficit to make up in the final two games; and even though one of the fours did manage a win it was East Bergholt who ran out quite convincing winners.

With only pride to play for - and our league position beyond recovery, our final match of the season was against Stutton – another team in fine form. Although one of the fours - to their credit - achieved a draw, overall on the night it was another unfortunate defeat for Somersham. With only eight points scored from our last three matches it brought a fairly disappointing season to conclusion which sees us returning to the Third Division in the next Winter League.

Perhaps of some consolation: it will see the return of some friendly faces and the more relaxed rigours of bowling, and which should hopefully see us rebuilding team confidence.

April is the close season before the start of the Summer League and sees us bowling for the Paul Chapman Cup, and a couple of in-club competitions: and these will receive reports in the next edition of the Link.

Winter League – March Results: -
Team Shots Points
Whatfield 35 - 41 5 - 5 Draw Home
East Bergholt 56 - 29 8 - 2 Lost Home
Stutton 48 – 26 9 – 1 Lost Home

We still look to consolidate the membership of the club …. so why not come along to the Village Hall one Tuesday night and try your hand and enjoy a friendly evening of carpet bowls.
It’s a ‘village club’ so summer could be a good time to use the light nights to come along and try it!

Elmsett Airfield Liaison Group (‘EALG ‘) Meeting
Report of meeting at Elmsett Airfield Wednesday, 11th March 2009

For the last 5 months aircraft movements have been lower than the same period last year as the weather and flying conditions have not been good. The airfield had not formally closed but the runway had been too wet for heavy aircraft and they had taken the decision to advise some aircraft which were intending to visit not to come. The number of aircraft based at the airfield was still the same although one aircraft was now up for sale.

Charles Course mentioned that although there had been no formal complaints he had noticed 3 pilots of helicopters coming in off the NAP route and had contacted them. One of the helicopters had made several approaches but had not actually landed. He had noted the registration however and had written to the owner. He had written to all pilots with the new agreement for use of the airfield and included with it the Noise Abatement Procedure and a copy of the letter of agreement with Wattisham.

Airfield Open Day - This is planned for the 19th September 2009. The early work was being done now. After discussion it was felt that it might be useful to put an advertisement and flyers in Village Newsletters to ensure the event is publicised locally and residents are made aware of it.


Congratulations and well done to Vicki-May Northover and Cooley Angel on winning the Open Intro Section at the Poplar Horse Trials on 14.3.09. With clear Show Jumping and Cross Country rounds well within the optimum time, they finished on a very good Dressage score of 30 penalty points giving Vicki-May the Best Suffolk Rider award.

Vicki-May was doubly delighted as Curly (Cooley Angel) had had an injury and was under the care of the Animal Health Trust at Newmarket last year, was on box rest for five months, with no guarantee of her ever fully recovering and being able to compete again.

Coming back into work was slow progress but as Vicki-May said “It was well worth it, and for anyone else out there whose horse has had an injury, don’t give up hope because with patience and dedication, they can come back and be successful.”

Elmsett Fellowship Brass Band

Invites you to a
(in memory of Janet Crick)

Friday 3rd July 2009 at 7pm
The Village Hall, Elmsett

Free entry
Raffle and Refreshments

Retiring collection in aid of
St Elizabeth Hospice


Elmsett Pre-School Playgroup

We welcome Oliver, James and Savannah to pre-school this term.

Our Summer topic is Nursery Rhymes and we would like to encourage the children to bring in related items to share with the others.
Please note that the session times have now changed to 8.45am – 11.45am Monday to Thursday in Elmsett Village Hall.
For further information, please contact Claire on 01473-657381.

Tuesday 5th May, 8pm -AGM- at Elmsett Methodist Church

Your playgroup needs you! If you are keen to help and would like to be part of the decision-making process concerning your child’s pre-school years, we welcome you to come and get involved in the pre-school committee.

Stepping Stones
We welcome Joanne and Ruby to our friendly parent and toddler group which runs every Wednesday (term-time) in Elmsett Methodist Church, 9.15 – 11.00am. May activities are: May 6th Making Pizzas, May 13th Messy week, May 20th – Tents, tunnels and ride-on fun
Term dates: Tues 21st April-Thurs 16th July Half term 25th-29th May

Saturday 26 June - Spencer Brown Photography Session 9am onwards, Elmsett Methodist Church
Back this year by popular demand! Open to all members of the village with children. Session times will be available to book in advance at the pre-school the week before ½ term or contact Victoria Gregory on 01473 658726.

Barking Pre-School
(Registered Charity 1020882)

With the National Curriculum change to child-led Pre-School sessions, children no longer follow a weekly theme & our staff have decided to re-introduce ‘letter and sound of the week’. Children are encouraged to bring in items beginning with the current letter of the week, and are then asked to talk about their item before we discuss other things also beginning with that letter, which is a great way for children to learn the alphabet and also gain confidence in speaking in front of others.

We are doing well with the attendance figures, but if you would like a place for your child please contact us. We are more than happy to invite parents/carers along to see who we are and what we do. Contact either the Pre-school, 07754892077 or Sally Aveling, 01449 744510.
Children can start pre-school from the age of 2 ½ and, from the term after their third birthday, the government funds the sessions. We are open every weekday morning from 9.30 until 12 noon during term time and children can attend any number of sessions per week (space permitting).

Our staff are committed, enthusiastic, well trained and work hard to organise a wide variety of fun and educational activities including crafts, cooking, music, story telling and construction. We have many toys and activities so there is bound to be something to capture each child's imagination.

Somersham Primary School

Hi this is Anna and Grace and we are reporting for The Link newsletter. We are representing Somersham Primary School. We are writing this on a sunny but cold morning break time!!! First of all we are going to talk about our wonderful school. Our school is full of friendly people and has lots of kind members of staff.

On Friday the 13th March the whole school dressed up for Comic Relief and had a circus performance. Each class got to make up an astonishing performance to show the whole school. The Squirrels (the youngest class) had to dance, sing and jump through the hoop of fire (a little hoop!) Ferrets, the middle class had to sing, walk on stilts and do a tightrope walk! Hawks the oldest class had to use the circus plates, juggling balls and lots more!

Our school gets invited to lots of sporting events and clubs such as going to Claydon High School, playing on space hoppers, bean bags on heads and lots of more fun and games! Ferrets say that all the people in the school are really friendly. The Hawks got invited to the netball and football tournaments at Claydon High School. The results were: netballers came 3rd and footballers came 1st! We were very lucky as all the teams played very well! Class Ferrets have been to a multisports afternoon at Claydon High and had a fun filled time playing lots of different sports.

Hawks Class have been thinking about what to do when Emily Gravett (author/illustrator and winner of the Kate Greenaway Award) comes to visit us in May to open our brand new library. As some of you know, a few of the Hawks have already met her in London when they went to interview her ?.

The clarinet club have also been very busy practising for the concert on Thursday 2nd of April 2009. First of all the beginners (the group that need a bit more practice) will start the concert with a tune called ‘Together and Alone.’ The beginners are Jack, Chloe, Cameron, Alex and Grace. The improvers are second to do the concert so they can show the audience what the beginners will become in a few months! The improvers are Kieron, Will, Natasha and Anna.

The Squirrels class have found a mysterious bean that they have been growing in soil and is protected by a magical shield that only four people can touch! Squirrels were very sad to see Miss Shackleton, a student teacher, leave as she had been teaching Squirrels for a few weeks ?. Anyway that’s all for now. Look out for the next Somersham School article in the June Link Newsletter.

Friends of Somersham School

If your copy of the Link arrives on your doorstep before 1st May, there is still chance to book last minute tickets for this years’ very popular Archive Film Evening on Friday 1st May. The films will be shown by Geoff Clarke, who has put together a programme of popular local films. The show starts at 7.30pm and the village hall will be open from 6.30pm with a chance for you to catch up with friends before the films begin. Book your tickets with John and Leita Minns on 01473 658352, or with Jenny King, on 01473 830623. Tickets prices are £6 for adults and £3 for children and the price includes light refreshments during the interval.

The next big event will be our School Summer Fete on Saturday 20th June at 1.30pm. We have decided upon a Pantomime Theme for this year. Last year, we received generous donations from local people, clubs, societies, groups etc who sponsored a stall at the fete. These donations went towards prizes for winners of the games etc. We raised a significant amount of money for a small school and really value the support of the local community. So, if you can help out, either by running a stall, sponsoring a stall, or by donating a prize for our very popular raffle, we would love to hear from you. In the meantime we are busy coming up with ideas for themed stalls and of course our own outfits! We hope to make it our most successful fete yet!

With the funds you have raised for the school, we have contributed to the year 5/6 (Hawks class) residential trip at JCA near Portsmouth. The children go away for a week in June on their action-packed adventure holiday. For many children, this will be the longest they have spent away from home. They get to experience a wide variety of activities such as abseiling, climbing, raft building, fencing and a muddy blind trail! This trip is run every other year so that all the children in the school get to go. The FOSS contribution helps to keep the cost down for parents.

We have also recently donated £500 for an ‘abacus’ maths programme, which works with the interactive white boards in the classrooms. This is a resource requested by the teachers. Again, it benefits lots of the children, particularly those in key stage 2 (Ferrets class). We also donated £1000 for reception class resources. This benefits children in both reception and year 1.

We also contributed towards a theatre group visit, who came to the school in April. The children all enjoyed an adaptation of the Brothers Grimm fairy tale ‘Rapunzel’. We have also just agreed a further £100 donation to support a day trip for the Squirrels class (reception/ yr 1)

The more parents we have on the committee the better, as more members mean more ideas, fresh new ideas, and bigger successes. And don’t feel that if you join, you are committed to taking on a big time consuming role; the ideas you can contribute are as valuable as helping out now and again at a fundraising event. We meet about once every 4 weeks. If you have a child at the school, please, please think seriously about joining us. Quite simply, if there is no committee, there will be no extra funds.

After the fete, we will be planning for another Christmas Shopping Evening to be held during November in the Village Hall. Last year this was a fantastic success, with a wide variety of stalls. If you are interested in booking a table, please contact me and register your interest. We will be writing to those stall holders who supported last years’ event, once we have set a definite date.
As always, keep collecting those supermarket tokens, used ink cartridges, and old mobile phones to recycle and raise funds for the school. It really does make a difference.

Finally, some dates for your diaries:
Archive Film Evening – 1st May
School Summer Fete –Pantomime Theme (oh no it isn’t…oh yes it is!!) 20th June
Christmas Shopping Evening- November exact date TBC
Clare Davies 832569

Ringshall School April 1st 2009

Dear Neighbours,

Another term has flown by and it is nearly summer. It is lovely to see the children out on our field, using the adventure playground, playing games or just strolling in the sun. The daffodils are out -it really is a picture. Today the children have begun bringing their Easter gardens for a competition. There are some very inventive and original ideas on show!

We have had a very enjoyable and successful term. Our Year 2 children have particularly enjoyed learning about Fire. The possibility of a re-enactment of the Great Fire of London during a bread making session was a little concerning, but all passed off peacefully! Year 4 children have been learning about Settlements with a detailed 3D map of Wallace and Grommit’s village to start the topic. This has led on to learning about other settlers such as the Saxons and Beowulf, with some very imaginative descriptions of monsters and battles. The younger children have enjoyed their classroom jungle hide and loved being explorers and finding out about jungle animals.

We took a road show to Wattisham Base for the children to display and share their work and staff to meet people- a very successful occasion. We have also had a parents’ morning finding out about how children learn in the Foundation Stage and an opportunity to find out more about ways we approach reading and spelling using Letters and Sounds.

Thank you for all your support and interest throughout the term.

Monica Gibbs, Headteacher

Chernobyl Children’s Life Line
(To help children suffering from the after effects of the Chernobyl disaster and economic situation)

On Saturday 4th April our Snail Racing fundraiser event took place. We would like to thank everyone who attended for their support and it certainly appeared that everyone really enjoyed themselves. Our grateful thanks to all of those who helped at the event for their hard work. After all expenses we are pleased to report that a sum of just over £1300.00 was raised.

The Charity shop has got off to a great start with lots of people visiting us each day to pick up a bargain. Everything is priced to sell so if you haven’t been in yet do come and see us, you will be very pleasantly surprised at what is on offer. Again our thanks to all those who have donated goods and to our great band of volunteers who staff the shop and work so hard to keep it looking bright, tidy and interesting.
If you are interested in helping in the shop or in learning more about our Charity please contact us on 01449 760343 or .

Saturday May 9th
Chernobyl Childrens Life Line

Have an amazing night with Abbalicious one of the best Abba tributes in the UK. Abbalicious the tribute show will dazzle you with their vocals, choreography and stunning light show.
Prizes for best lookalike, “Frida or Agnetha” and best “Benny or Bjorn”
Needham Market Community Centre
7.30pm till Late — Bar Open
Tickets from CCLL Charity Shop, High Street Needham Market
01449 760343
Tickets £10.00 in advance £12.00 on the door

A fundraising event for Chernobyl Childrens Life Line Reg Charity No: 1014274


Somersham Baptist Church

Families First
Jesus made children welcome, even to the discomfort of his disciples, so we are trialing a ‘Family Service’ on the first Sunday of May (3rd) and June (7th) at 11.00am, particularly making children welcome. ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these’1.

Therefore monthly communion on the first Sunday of the month will be at 10.00 - 10.45am with an extended opportunity for praying together.

Jesus Dead or Alive? ‘The credibility of Christianity hangs on this one straightforward question: did Jesus Christ come back to life a few days after he died and was buried? His character claims and relevance for today all hinge on this one issue’. We have some copies of John Blanchard’s booklet; ‘Jesus dead or alive?’, available to anyone who would like to explore the evidence, assess the alternatives; conspiracy theories and all, and discover there is only one convincing answer to the question. Please contact Mark for a copy.

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
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 8th May
Friends and Neighbours: 7.45pm Monday 18th May.

Contact Mark if you need transport.
Meetings are held at the Baptist Chapel, Chapel Lane, Somersham IP8 4QE.
Pastor Mark Newcombe, 01473 831940, mobile: 07930543583, email:

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 May 4th Sunday of Easter

Family Communion by extension 9.00am Flowton

Holy Communion Rev S Ritchie

9.30am Willisham
Holy Communion Rev S Ritchie 11.15am Somersham
Morning Prayer 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Barking

10th May Easter 5

Holy Communion by extension 8.00 am Flowton

Family Service

10.00 am Somersham
Holy Communion (Rev S Ritchie) 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion(Rev S Ritchie) 11.15am Barking
Family Service 11.15 am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Willisham
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Offton

17th May Easter 6

No service at Somersham   Somersham
Family Service + Holy Comm. by ext. 10.00am Offton
Family Service (Rev M Wainwright) 10.00am Barking
Holy Communion (Rev M Wainwright) 11.15 am Battisford
Evening Prayer 6.00pm Flowton

Thursday 21st May Ascension Day
7.30pm Needham Market Deanery Communion Service

24th May Easter 7

Holy Communion Rev S Ritchie 9.30am Ringshall
Morning worship for all ages 10.00am Flowton
Morning Prayer 10.00am Barking
Holy Communion Rev S Ritchie 11.00am Offton
Evening Prayer John Andreason 6.30pm Somersham

31st May Pentecost
10.00am Battisford United Family Communion for all our parishes (Bishop John Waine)

Tuesday June 2nd
7.30pm Licensing of Rev Canon Bernard Rose to our 8 parishes in Barking cburch

7th June Trinity Sunday
10.00am Willisham United Holy Communion for our 8 parishes

Forthcoming events at a glance
(extracts only, please check the Link articles for more details. It does not include regular church services)

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