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

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Offton & Willisham PC
Dear Reader,

As I write it is a chilly October day; fat, shiny conkers litter the ground under chestnut trees, golden leaves blow into corners around the house, and the mornings are misty and damp.
You read this as autumn is nearly over and winter fast approaching. November is a month for remembering. We can imagine, in past centuries, families gathered around a cosy fire before bedtime, darkness in the corners of the room, the wind howling outside, and the older members telling "Do you remember …" stories.
Stories were told again and again, then remembered from year to year not only by the older folk but by the youngsters who would, in their turn, pass them on down the generations.

We begin the month by remembering all the saints who have lived in the past, leaving us fine examples of how God can use ordinary people to do great things. And then the following day we remember all those others who have gone before us - the many very ordinary men and women who may well have affected our lives by their example. Thus November 2nd, All Souls Day, would be a good evening to turn off the television and tell some "I remember…" stories of our own.

On November 5th some will remember, amongst the bonfires, that on that day in 1605, the King and Parliament were saved from destruction. And on November 11th (and 14th -Remembrance Sunday) we will give public thanks for the sacrifices that so many made in the two Great Wars that we might live in freedom. Men and women of the services, and civilians, gave their lives, not just for their families and friends, but for unknown strangers both home and abroad.

St John records Jesus as saying (ch.15.v13),
" Greater love hath no man than this,
that a man lay down his life for his friends."
It is the ultimate gift of love.

So let us gather round the fire and recount the happy stories of those we have known and loved, that their good works and example may live on in our young people, and into the years ahead as treasured family memories.

Happy remembering, Mary Carter



November 7, 14 Lois Warren
November 21, 28 Christine Jarrold
December 5 Flower Fund
December 12 Christine Cooper + all help for Christmas

November Cleaning - Team B


November 7, 14 Mrs Grimwood
November 21 Mrs Carter
No flowers during Advent

November Cleaning - Mr and Mrs P. Rawley


November 7, 14 Mrs Lucy Vignoles
November 21, 28 Mrs Josie Iron
December 5, 12 Mrs Carol Langford

November Cleaning - Mrs Vignoles


November 7, 14 Miss Taylor
November 21, 28 Mrs Cage
December 5, 12 Mrs Large + all help for Carol service

November Cleaning - as flowers


From the registers

Welcome to:

Jasmine Amber Louise Freeman, daughter of Kerrie and Paul of Windmill Close, Somersham, who was baptised at Offton Church on September 19th.

May she grow in faith


Gospel Readings for our Sunday Worship taken from the Revised Common Lectionary. It is good to be sharing the reading of Scripture with Christians - both Catholic and Protestant - across the world.

7th November Third Sunday before Advent Luke 20. 27-38

14th November Remembrance Sunday Luke 21. 5-19

21st November Christ the King Luke 23. 33-43

28th November First Sunday of Advent Matthew 24. 36-44

Children's Society

Offton and Somersham area

Yes, a whole year has gone by already and its time for the boxes to be collected again. Could all box holders please hand in boxes to either Sam Copping or Lucy Vignoles by 30th November please. If you need your box collecting please ring us to arrange this. SC


Sam Copping Lucy Vignoles
5 Middlewood Cottages Wheelwrights Cottage
Offton Offton
Tel: 01473 657037 Tel: 01473 658480


Somersham Church Notes

Thank you!
A very big thank you to Jane Hakes for riding on behalf of Somersham Church on the Historic Churches Trust Bike Ride. 50% of the sponsor money Jane raised comes back to the church funds.

We are also very grateful to Alan Bronwich and Eddie Fagg. Alan took down the 3 dead elm trees from the churchyard, and Eddie has repaired the wall near the church gates, making it look much tidier and safer.

For those of you who like quizzes there will be a Trivia Quiz on Friday 12th November. See advert for more information.

The Christmas Bazaar will be on Saturday 4th December from 2 - 4pm. All the usual stalls and attractions. More details elsewhere in the Link.

Christmas quiz sheets are now available from the usual outlets for £1. Have fun puzzling over the answers - why not buy an extra one or two to send on to friends or relatives who enjoy trivia? You have until the end of January to get your answers in.

The church was filled to capacity last month for the Harvest Concert with the Suffolk Constabulary Male Voice Choir, and the audience was entertained with a wonderful variety of songs. A big thank you to all who helped with putting on the event. £278 profit was made, with 10% going to St. Elizabeth's Hospice and the remainder to church funds.

Looking ahead to next year, we are planning a Open Gardens Weekend in the village over the weekend of 9th and 10th July, with a "Somersham on Show" exhibition in the church. We are looking for any old photos or postcards of the village (and villagers). They will be copied so the owner can have them back again without the risk of any damage. There will be all the usual stalls, games and refreshments dotted through the village, a "best flower tub" competition and also opportunity to have your own garage or table-top sale. Please let Christine Jarrold or Pat Woolhouse know if you have any photos.

St Mary's Church, Somersham

Christmas Bazaar
on Saturday 4th December
from 2 to 4 pm
in Somersham Village Hall

Visit Father Christmas!
Games, White elephant
Cakes, Tombola, Crafts
Books, Raffle
Kiddies' Craft Corner

(10% of profit to St. Elizabeth's Hospice.)

Somersham Football Club

Another football season has dawned and the 2004/05 season sees Somersham first team in Division 3 of the Suffolk & Ipswich League and the Reserves in Division 6.

After my final entry of last season, Somersham competed in the final of the Samford Cup away to Woolverstone United. By all accounts this was not a vintage game of football, but Somersham did prevail courtesy of a Matty Whitton penalty to take the cup 1-0. One of our friendly matches this season was in defence of the cup against Tattingstone which we won 1-0, so maybe we can retain it this season.

Pre-season training, back in July, was extremely well attended and a number of friendlies were played to get everybody in the mood. The games produced mixed results and performances, as is often the way, but the main function of the games is to gain fitness and get back into the swing of things.

With these objectives achieved the First team were champing at the bit on the 4th September, looking forward to starting the league season away to Albion Mills. Although one or two players were still enjoying holidays a good strong side was available. Somersham ran out 6-2 victors, with Dave Jousiffe and Matty Whitton bagging two goals each.

The Reserves began the season at home to AFC Homecare. A close game resulting in a 1-1 draw with the Somersham goal coming courtesy of Craig Fordham.

11th September saw the first team at home for the first time this season, against old rivals Walton Rangers. Walton are known for their feats of goal scoring and, as most of the first team, including Captain Whitton and Manager Warner, had decided to be on holiday this weekend, a hard game was expected. Although the boys put in a good performance, they were unable to match Walton's attacking play and ended up losing 3-0.
The reserves, also weakened by the holiday season, faired little better away to Woolverstone United, losing 3-1.

18th September saw Quinny back and bronzed from his sabbatical, as well as the return of a number of players. One of these being Adam English who soon got back to scoring ways, registering two in the 4-0 home demolition of Elmswell United. To be fair to Elmswell if they could have taken a couple of chances at the end of the first half, they could have made a game of it. As it was, once Somersham recomposed themselves, the writing was on the wall.

The reserves travelled to East Bergholt to take on their 'A' team in the McNeil Cup. This Bergholt team were in the same league as the first team last year, so a challenging game seemed on the cards. Somersham started well and found themselves two goals to the good. However, the experienced members of the Bergholt team became more robust in their approach, a tactic which paid off as Bergholt dragged themselves back to 2-2. With extra-time beckoning East Bergholt made the ultimate breakthrough to take the match 3-2. A good performance from the Somersham lads and special mention to Dale Pool, who scored the Somersham goals.

25th September and all eyes were on the reserves as the first team were unemployed. Somersham were at home to Elmswell Reserves, who had received a stuffing the previous week. Unfortunately Somersham appeared not to be in the mood to give them two weeks of pain and at the end of a lack lustre performance Somersham were on the receiving end of a 1-0 defeat.

After two games the fixture computer gave the first team a week off, so it was the 2nd October when they took to the field again against Copelstonians at home. A sound performance brought a 3-0 victory, with Adam again scoring two and Kieran Cotterell scoring his second of the season. Somersham were in control throughout and deserved the points.

Tacket St BBOB Reserves entertained our reserves and a much improved display earned Somersham a 1-1 draw.

The first team have got off to a good start having won 3 and lost 1 of their first 4 games, scoring 13 goals in the process. The reserves have not faired as well and are still after their first win. Training is being strongly attended every Tuesday evening, with the esteemed Mr Smith at the helm and home game support numbers are hovering around the 5 region, led by Crumpy…until the weather worsens. New club barman Tom is playing the perfect host with his provision of refreshments and much sought-after rolls, with players putting orders in at half-time! As ever we are always happy to see new supporters, so feel free to come and join us any Saturday afternoon. Kick-off 2pm.

Forthcoming Fixtures

First Team Reserve Team

6/11 Coplestonian 'A' (Away) BT Trimley 'A' (Home)
13/11 St Clements Hospital (Home) St Clements Hosp Res (Away)
20/11 No Game at present Claydon 'A' (Home)
27/11 Ipswich United (Home) Staffbank (Away)

Finally, I have an urgent appeal from the Groundsman, Me, for paint to mark the pitch out with. So if you have any old white or Magnolia WATER BASED paint lying around that hasn't yet found its way to the dump, please feel free to send it around to Mr Denzil Mumby's house where it will be most gratefully received. Denzils address is:- Park Avon, Main Road, Somersham. Its located 2 doors from the village shop towards the playing field. If you are coming down to support the team on a Saturday you could bring your paint with you and leave it with a member of the club at the pavilion. Many thanks.

See you on Saturday!!! DON'T FORGET YOUR PAINT!!!!!

Al Chester


November 2004
Parish Council Meetings

Wednesday 3rd November 2004 at 7.30pm in the Village Hall
Wednesday 1st December 2004 at 7.30pm in the Pavilion

Youth Club

The Parish Council is delighted to be forging links with the Somersham Youth Club and a recent visit to the Club by two Parish Councillors produced some good interaction and suggestions for improvements to the village by the club members. The first joint project planned will be the repainting of the bus shelter by Youth Club members, which it is hoped will be the first of many.


Periodic Electoral Review of Parish Councils

Mid Suffolk District Council are undertaking a periodic review of Town and Parish Councils within their District which started in September and is due for completion in June 2006. Stage 1 invites comments from Council on their make up, i.e. number of Councillors and a review of boundaries. Somersham Parish Council are not, at this stage, proposing any changes, but members of the public are welcome to submit their suggestions. Further information regarding Stage 1 can be obtained from the Clerk and all comments should be sent to:- Periodic Electoral Review, Administration Manager, Mid Suffolk District Council, 131 High Street, Needham Market, IP6 8DL, by 28th February 2005.

Areas of Responsibility

From time to time comments about village facilities are made to Parish Councillors. Whilst the Parish Council strives to ensure the high village standard is maintained, it does not have direct responsibility for all facilities. It may aid you to direct your comment or concern to the appropriate party and would suggest Mike Shelmerdine on 831661 for matters relating to the playing field and Hilary Bridger on 831552 for matters relating to the Village Hall.


Janet Clarke
Clerk to the Council

Address: 7 Drury Road, Claydon, IPSWICH, IP6 0ED
Tel. No. 01473 830398


Many thanks to all those who helped to make the Harvest Thanksgiving Service such a memorable event. Hymns old and new, and children, parents and grandparents involved. A very happy celebration of our thanks to God and all who use the gifts of His World to provide our food and clothing.

The lovely harvest gifts were distributed as follows; small pots of preserves to the elderly, tinned food to Ipswich Women's Refuge, fresh food to the Ipswich Homeless Unit. All were most grateful.

Many thanks also go to all those who do so much in and around the church, and also those who give up their time to read and prepare the many documents now required by the deanery, diocese, and national church. Without these many voluntary hours we could not keep our church open in the heart of our village. Thank you all.

Monday November 29th 7.45pm

Candlelit Meditative Service for Advent in Flowton Church.

Saturday December 4th 10.00am - 12 noon

Christmas Coffee Morning and Sale in Flowton Church Hopefully the whole building will be warm by then as the electrician is now, in October, about to start installing a new heating system!
The Bring and Buy cake stall would welcome your contributions.

A date for next year……
Flowton Fete - Sunday June 26th 2005

Then the next year…..
Gardens Open and Flower Festival June 2006

At last we have arrived at a date - a little further into June than we first thought as pre-arranged holidays had to be taken into consideration! It will be the weekend of Saturday and Sunday 17th / 18th June 2006. We hope that it may be possible to keep the church stewarded for the Monday as well. Now for a theme……..


September's meeting saw us entertained with a fascinating talk on water gardening and pond making. A subject of interest as most members have a pool in one guise or another.

October's meeting was a talk on wild flowers and Gardens.

Next meeting:
Monday 8th November,
7.30pm Somersham Village Hall.
Suffolk based gardening Writer and Author Barbara Segall will entertain us with 'The Holly and the Ivy' - not just the plants themselves but the myths and legends that surround them.

Guests and new members always welcome

Time Travelling -activities at Suffolk Record Offices as part of the Archive Awareness Campaign, Routes to Roots. This continues until December 1st. Phone 01473 584541 for more information about events.

Somersham Primary School

We were very sad to see that the lovely old apple tree, which stands in the middle of the playing field, had been severely cut back while we were holiday. Unfortunately after an inspection, it was found to be rotten, therefore there was no choice but to have it cut back. The trunk has been left as a habitat and honeysuckle will be planted to grow around it. In the meantime two new apple trees are to be purchased and planted near the original tree.

Onto better news - the Key Stage One playground has been built. There is still quite a bit to do on it but the children have been making very good use of their new area and equipment. Who says children don't go out and have enough fresh air and exercise? The times those children have been up and down that playground on their new bikes, they should be very fit indeed.

If you have a child who is attending Somersham School, you will no doubt have heard about Jack.
Jack comes from Premier Soccer (who also runs the after school soccer club on Fridays) and is a fully qualified coach. He spends every Friday with us and at the moment is coaching the whole school (in class groups) in soccer skills. The squeals of delight that come from the playing field tells us the children love it.


We have just had our "Evening of Local Chat" and did we laugh. There were some wonderfully funny stories as well as rather poignant ones. It was a great success, (which hopefully our friend Ernie will have captured on tape) and we may well hold another one in the future. If we do, don't miss out. It's an evening you won't regret "giving up".

A date for you to remember:
Tempest Photographers are coming to the school hall on Saturday 13th November. From 10 a.m. until 1 p.m. As well as serving refreshments we shall be having a stall of inexpensive gifts. The idea is that the children will be able to buy something for mum/grandma with their pocket money.

And a date for your diary:
Instead of FOSS members walking around carol singing we have decided this year to have an evening of carol singing around the tree in the school hall. Again refreshments will be served and Harry Parcell has kindly agreed to play the piano for us. It will be an informal evening so if you want to join us but think you can't sing, join the club!

This will be held on Thursday 9th December probably at 7 p.m.(will let you know on that one next month) If you would like a lift phone Jenny on 830623.

The school still collects empty ink cartridges/old mobile phones. Just bring them along to school or give them to someone who does. You might be interested to know we are well on our way to our first £1,000 with this scheme.
Also save any "Box Tops" off your cereal, this year we can purchase books with them.
And Persil Stars are carefully being stuck on an accumulator for art materials.

Something else you might be interested to know. The school has received our first DVD player, a box of new calculators and a batch of floppy disks all from the Tesco Computer Tokens.

So you see, just a minute of your time can bring the children of Somersham School a great deal of pleasure. (Oh, and hours of learning, of course!)


Tempest Photographers
are coming to
Somersham Primary School

Saturday 13th November 2004
10 a.m. 'til 1 p.m.
we shall be in the school hall.

Everyone welcome.


Elmsett Airfield Liaison Group Meeting - 15th September 2004

The meeting of the Elmsett Airfield Liaison Group (EALG) was held on Wednesday 15th of September at Whatfield Village Hall.

The following arrangements for 2005 were agreed. Nick Carter of Flowton was proposed as the meeting Chairman and duly elected and Colin Boniface agreed to keep the records.
It was agreed by those present to arrange a March and September meeting for 2005 and review how this worked again at the September 05 meeting.

Horizon Flying Club's departure had been replaced by Elmsett Flying Club which aimed to replace and improve on the facilities available to pilots. It is not a flying school but an amenity for both Elmsett based pilots and visitors alike to acquire the services needed to manage their flights and remain current in their skills.

There had been five complaints received during the reported period; three of the complaints concerned two aircraft that had to 'go around' due to weather/safety conditions at the time. The other two complaints referred to an aircraft that used Elmsett Airfield to pick up a square towed banner advertising Ipswich Town Football Club. It was explained that these operations are perfectly legal and that both aircraft and Pilot concerned had the correct CAA license in place for this activity.

A Liaison Group member representing CREAD reported that a helicopter pilot from Wattisham had said it was fortunate for Elmsett and surrounding villages that Elmsett Airfield was there protecting the airspace because otherwise the potential day and night activity of military helicopters could be to fly down to just 250 feet above the ground.

Another member of the group reported a perceived increase of aerial activity in the area generally; this was attributed to an increase in helicopter and transport aircraft movements from Wattisham Airfield and not Elmsett Airfield.

The next meeting was arranged for March 2005.


Our latest relief aid mission to Romania in August was another successful operation which enabled us to distribute much needed aid to under-funded, run-down and neglected state institutions in Transylvania that our small charity has been targeting since 1990.

With money raised mainly through craft fairs, charity stalls and car boot sales we were able to supply a large industrial washing machine to an old people's home at Hidveg, a remote institution tucked away between the Carpathian Mountains of Transylvania.

During our 2003 visit we had been shown their washing facilities and saw that their industrial washing machine was in an appalling condition. It was badly corroded, leaked and staff was in great danger of being caused injury by its use. With 140 elderly residents, the majority bed-ridden and incontinent, it was a matter of urgency that it was replaced as soon as possible and hence became the main target of our 2004 Romania appeal. The replacement cost was over £5000, but being able to wash 60kgs of heavily soiled bedding and clothing at one time - this was a small price to pay.

The installation of the new washing machine caused great excitement and the institution was delighted with our help and couldn't thank us enough. Now, the daily task of washing will be that much easier - and a lot safer!

So a big thanks to everyone who bought items from our various charity stalls throughout the year. Your contributions made all the difference.

We also renewed out-dated and dangerous kitchen equipment in addition to giving help to a small children's orphanage in Brasov.

This year, fund-raising has been more difficult than ever. The lack of global interest together with adverse world publicity generated through poor Romanian people fleeing their torment in search of a better life have undoubtedly made our work much harder. However, we are determined to help those poor souls still suffering in Romania and with your kind support will continue to do so.

On Friday 5th November we'll be holding our annual pig racing night at Great Blakenham Village Hall. The first race starts at 8pm and race programmes (which cover the price of entry) are £2. There'll be a hog-roast, bar and a Christmas stall offering a whole range of Christmas products at give-away prices. So come along to a sizzling, fun-packed evening and have a piggin' good time as farmer Peter Trotter puts his pigmy porkers through their paces!

Ipswich Appeal for Romania is also arranging a number of indoor car boot sales at Great Blakenham Village Hall on the following Sundays between 8am and 1pm.
November 7th and 28th January 9th and 30th February 13th

So clear out the attic, book a table and bring along all those unwanted items that are cluttering up the place!
Tables are only £5 and hot food and drinks will be available.

Big Band Night After the success of our last big band night featuring 'Horn Factory' we are happy to announce that this accomplished 18 piece band will be returning to Gt.Blakenham Village very soon (date to be fixed). So another great night is in store.

Lee and Annamaria Arthur, Ipswich Appeal for Romania

If you need programmes for the Pig racing night, want to book a table for an indoor car boot sale or reserve your ticket for the big band night, please contact either Lee or Annamaria on Ipswich 833292 or e-mail

CHURCH SERVICES in our 8 linked parishes

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

November 7th - 3rd Sunday before Advent

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

November 14th - Remembrance Sunday

Holy Communion by extension
8:00am Flowton
Holy Communion 9.30am Bricett
Remembrance Service 10.30am Somersham
Joint Remembrance Service 10.45am Barking Tye
Family Remembrance Service 10.45am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Willisham
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Offton

November 21st Christ the King

Holy Communion 8.00am Somersham
Family Service + communion by ext. 10.00am Offton
Family Service 10.00am Great Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Battisford

Evening Prayer

6.30pm Flowton

November 28th First Sunday of Advent

Holy Communion 9.30am Ringshall
Morning Worship 10.00am Flowton
Holy Communion 11.00am Offton
Holy Communion by extension 11.15am Barking
Evening Prayer + baptism 3.00pm Somersham

Monday November 29th

Meditative Service

7.45pm Flowton

December 5th - Second Sunday of Advent

Holy Communion

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

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

If I can help in any way please contact me on 01473 613500 (Force Headquarters) if I am not on duty ask to leave a voicemail message for Pc980 Shields. Please remember there are periods when I am rest day for 4 days. If you require urgent action do not leave message, speak to another officer.
My deputy should I be on leave or otherwise away for any length of time will be Pc 839 Simon Mills, he is contactable on the same telephone numbers as myself.

Kevin Shields

Neighbourhood Watch Newsletter

Once again I am appealing to parents whose children use their cycles on the roads, including the Main Road, at night, without suitable lighting front and rear. Several near accidents have happened recently as late as 10.00-11.00pm. If you value your child's life buy them a set of lights, and get them to wear something bright, so they can be seen.

There is a law that is being enforced now in Somersham - that any cyclist, child or adult, seen and stopped in the hours of darkness without lights could pick up an on the spot fine of £30.

I have been informed that some parents are telling their children to ride on the wrong side of the road at night, to face oncoming traffic; this is absolute madness. A set of lights cost less than a £30 fine, or the stress of having an injured child to care for.

Dwelling Burglaries
There has been an increase in dwelling burglaries, in Essex, Norfolk and Suffolk, and unfortunately, in our area; please make sure all your valuables are well hidden and cannot be seen through a window.

Do not leave cash, chequebook, or credit cards lying around- these are the items that are being stolen. Most entries are being made at the rear of properties and via patio doors.

If you leave your property for a short or long period it is best to take some precaution- a radio on a talking station, lights on by the use of a timer-just make your property look as if it occupied.

Seating on the Playingfield

Two new metal seats have been put on the playingfield as Neighbourhood Watch promised, with permission from the Community Association, and kind assistance from your Parish Council. These seats cost a lot of money, so please look after them. As these seats are mainly used by children, please encourage them to help to keep the area clean by putting litter in the bins.

I've done my bit to help you, now help me and keep Somersham tidy.
Kind regards. Colin Burrows, Neighbourhood Watch, Somersham.

Somersham Baptist Church

The battle for religious liberty was a hard won victory in the history of our nation, but there are many countries in which this battle is still being fought. Throughout the world there are believers meeting under many different conditions. Some suffer direct state persecution from loss of educational and employment opportunities and confiscation of property to imprisonment, torture and even death. Others suffer from attacks by lawless gangs who run extortion and drugs rackets. Many are ostracised by their communities when they become Christians. The writer of the New Testament letter called 'Hebrews' urges us to 'Remember those in prison as if you were their fellow-prisoners, and those who are ill treated as if you yourselves were suffering' . The battle for religious liberty is still being waged; we must support our brothers and sisters as they endure much for the sake of Jesus their Saviour. Sunday 7th November has been promoted as an International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted Church. Do join us on the 7th as we focus on the Suffering Church.

On Sunday 14th November at 10.30am we join with our friends at the Parish Church for the Remembrance Service.

Science and the Bible.
We have a special meeting on Sunday 21st followed by a buffet lunch when Paul Garner BSc (Hons), FGS will be our speaker at 11.30am, lookout for further details later.

Regular Sunday Morning Programme
(You are welcome to join us for all or part of the meeting).
10.00-10.30 Prayer Meeting
10.45-11.15 Bible Study
11.30-12.00 Worship
12.00-12.30 Sermon (Communion 1st Sunday)

Children and Young People (During term time)
Wednesday Club 6.30-7.30pm For Primary School children.
14+ Friday's 8.00-9.30 Year 9 upwards.

Ladies Meetings
Women's Fellowship 2.30pm Friday 8th October.
Friends and Neighbours 7.45pm Monday 15th November (Linda's Generation Game)

Pastor Mark Newcombe 01473 831940 e-mail
Colin Low 01473 464833 or Edwin Mayhew on 01473 658100. Web site

Offton Church News

Coming Up!

Whist Drive: Once again we have John Minns to thank for the Whist Drive held on 25th September. As usual there was a very happy atmosphere in the hall and the competition was as keen as ever. Wonderful prizes for the winners and also for the raffle. Thanks to everyone who helped by providing these and very well done John for raising £132 for Offton Church Funds.

Harvest Festival Offton: As the farmer plants his seed months before harvest so we plan our festival months ahead to avoid clashing with other local churches and to decide on the type of service and any special features. Closer to the day there are all the decorations to be done, fifteen this year, ranging from late summer flowers to fruit, bags of wheat, bread, Wellington boots, a champion cucumber, cornflakes and various tins: much of the produce goes to the Salvation Army. After all this is set up the church must be cleaned the grass cut, numbers estimated, books borrowed (thank you Willisham) advertising arranged both in the local paper, on notice boards and in large size by the church and roadside.

The weather was so wet in August and the farmers so gloomy that we wondered if we should have a festival at all but we settled for hymns that did not proclaim abundance and great harvests. At the service we sang lustily the hymns we knew and were much quieter with the less familiar.

Mary's talk was based on supporting your local farmer by buying British and since we are the body of the living church, we cannot cocoon ourselves from the grit and grime of the farming industry. For all the wonders of technology and the might of machinery they are still dependent on the weather and this year has been particularly hard. Farmers don't just need your prayers for one hour a year but also your physical support in buying their produce at realistic prices, by buying British in the shops and at farmers' markets. It was a robust talk and it showed that, used respectfully, there is much good in passionate oratory from the pulpit, especially where this stirs us all to fulfill, in a pragmatic way, the commandment to love they neighbour.
After the formal service, Scott, Cara and Ted sang several songs, ending, by special request, with the Offton Song, version 3. This was followed by a barbecue - were they local sausages and rolls? - of course they were, ye of little faith.
Ian Dickson

Adult Pottery Group
Thursdays - 11 and 25 November
at 7.45 pm

with Peta Whiting in Offton Church
please let Peta know if you wish to take part
01449 677766


Do you remember last year's glorious evenings with superb music and congenial atmosphere? Well, by popular demand these winter concerts are back!

The first concert takes place on Saturday 13 Nov. at 7.30p.m.
Mixed Emotions Trio (Douglas piano, Lynne guitar and Neil cello) will be playing a selection of favourite tunes and original compositions. Tickets are £8.00, students £7.00, for which you get not only quality music but also a generous cheese board and wine.

Details of further concerts will be publicised in due course.

Proceeds of these enjoyable evenings go to Cancer Research UK, Motor Neurone Disease Suffolk Support & Fundraising Group and Alzheimer's Association. The Fabric Fund of Offton Church and The Link will also benefit.

If you did not manage to buy tickets for Magical Musical Moments last year, make sure you do not miss out again!

Contact Maartje Rondeboom on 658024

Children's All Hallows Party

Sunday 31st October


Offton and Willisham Village Hall

6 pm - 8 pm

Please phone Pam Redman 658896
to reserve your FREE tickets.

Offton and Willisham Parish Council

The Willisham sign has been taken down for repainting, but there has been a delay because Brian Connold, who paints our signs so splendidly, has damaged his wrist. However things are moving ahead now.

Suffolk County Council will be repairing the crumbling road edge at the entrance to Offton Church cemetery.

The election hasn't yet been held, but the Council sends its best wishes to the candidate who proves to be successful, and with it its thanks for undertaking the responsibilities of District Councillor. It is hoped he will be able to attend some of the Council meetings and we look forward to formally welcoming him in due course.

Councillor Pinson Roxburgh represents the Council at the meetings of Parish representatives who are analysing the Snoasis Project.

Pip Sands
Parish Clerk 01449 721173


With gremlins apparently getting into the electronic mailing system and non- delivery of mail, the last copy of the Carpet Bowls entry failed to get reported in the October Link: ... so firstly a re-cap of the end of Summer season matches which are now concluded.

Any hopes of a good finish to help our final league position were dashed when we were defeated by Whatfield. A very good encounter, and closer than the result shows, but nonetheless a defeat.
Our next opponents at home were Hadleigh B, which again turned out to be another very close fought match, but unfortunately the result again turned out as a win for the away team.

Third time lucky we thought - a home encounter with Polstead. However high hopes of a victory were dispelled with 3 of our 4 teams losing. Only by a very small margin as the score records, but we seemed just unable to score the few extra shots to swing the match in our direction.
Whatever the previous result each match is approached with renewed positive attitude and the hope for a good result; and there is certainly no lack of enthusiasm. However the away match with Gt.Blakenham was again to be a familiar story ... very enjoyable, but we were no match for the home team on the night, and were beaten by the better team.

The final match of the season was a different story; Elmsett on our own mats on a good night - even though the top of the league - were obviously slightly below par, and Somersham upped their game. We ran out good winners which will hopefully give us that extra boost for start to the Winter season.

Summer League (August results)

Team Shots Points
Whatfield 42 - 54 4 - 6 Lost Away
Hadleigh B 32 - 40 4 - 6 Lost Home
Polstead 43 - 49 2 - 8 Lost Home
Gt.Blakenham 61 - 28 2 - 8 Lost Away
Elmsett 35 - 46 8 - 2 Won Home

In the quiet period between leagues we had a warm up match friendly with Ringshall on their home mats, a good game enjoyed by both clubs, fortunately Somersham came out on top by 6 points to 2.

The Winter League is now commenced and an encouraging upturn is seen in the early match results with a win against Elmsett; and also a win in a two leg match with Risby, with an away defeat overturned for a good home win to take the match overall. This success now takes us into the next round of the Cup, and again a two leg match with Tuddenham. Time will tell how the result will go but everyone is looking for the match.

Finally: with the recent start of the new league it is perhaps opportune - through this magazine - for the Carpet Bowls Club to express appreciation to the Parish Council for kindly contributing payment to the cost of a new carpets bowls frame. This frame - which was purpose made - has been well used over the past couple of months, and is proving to be a real asset to the Club as rolling out/ and rolling up the carpets is now a so much easier exercise for all members to manage. Previously getting out and putting away the carpets had been a manual and arduous task - so our thanks again to the Parish Council.

Winter League (September results)

Team Shots Points
Elmsett 39 - 45 8 - 2 Won Home

Page last updated: 25-Feb-2009    
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