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

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Offton & Willisham PC
Dear Reader,
I suppose if there were to be a new national Festival, launching it would resemble an Olympic bid.
Our Christmas Festival is because God came as a member of the human race, submitting himself to the same ordeals of birth and death that are common to everyone. Not in the same league, therefore, but much more low-key, this.
Why did he did he come...... and what's the connection with having a good time, presents, gathering of the clans, a feast?

Jesus said," I came that they may have life,
and have it abundantly"
That's why - abundance.

How he came is not straightforward, because the announcing of his coming was to Mary in the northern town of Nazareth.
From Nazareth to Jerusalem is some 70 miles as the crow flies. Travelling on the ground is a different matter; only the first twenty miles is at a height of less than 1,000 ft. above sea level, and the after that the way across the hills is neither straight nor level.Roman efficiency was the reason for having to make this perilous journey with no accommodation booked at her intended husband's ancestral home of Bethlehem.
I am very impressed with Roman census-taking for the purposes of tax: by contrast, I understand that our national statistics on homelessness in major centres of population are collected by local officers going out and counting heads/occupants of sleeping bags, and in areas such as ours by sending in a rough estimate which is rounded to the nearest ten or naught. So we have street-dwellers who don't count, for they haven't been counted. How did Christ come? Like them, he arrived homeless, in a strange town.

Yet giving himself through death to resurrection, Jesus transforms and can transform - amending us from all our hollowness, indifference, neglect and deliberate sins. So we have confidence in his abundant life for ourselves and everybody else as well.
His coming is therefore an exceptional reason for celebrating : for welcoming to our home a relative we don't see very often, maybe neighbours we don't normally stop to speak with, and helping in some charitable way to supply shelter, warm meals and therapeutic attention when we might have ignored people's needs for the rest of the year. This season is different and extra-special - and I hope the Christmas season is special and happy for you,

From the Registers:
Welcome to:
Niamh Eleanor Mary, Abigail Charlotte May, and Elliott George, the children of Joanna and Glyn Thomas of Five Gables, Flowton, who were baptized on October 28th in Flowton Church at the Family service.

May they grow in faith with the support of family and church friends

Cards for Good Causes
Multi-Charity Christmas Card Shop
Salvation Army Centre, 1 Station Road, Sudbury
Monday-Saturday 9.30am -4.00pm until December 17th



On September 9th Somersham staged round 7 of the South-East Grand Prix series and it saw the following results for Somersham riders: Under 10:Harry Reece 2nd in the “C” final
Under 13:Our Kesgrave loanee James Day 2nd in the “A” final
Under 16:Our Kesgarve loanee Andy Turnbull 4th in the “A” final
Senior:Gary Brown 3rd in the “A” final,despite picking up a knee injury,Barry Copping won the “B” final
Veterans:Peter Mittell 3rd despite a heavy fall which saw him concussed.

September 15th saw the Breckland Autos Charity Cup staged at Hethersett and the Copping brothers Steve and Barry provided the Somersham interest,Steve having his 1st cycle speedway meeting since June 17th as the fixtures have unfortunately for him had fallen when he has had to work and also he did pick up a nasty leg injury whilst refereeing at Newport in July. In an event which was won by a former Somersham rider (from 2005),Joshua Brooke,Barry scored 16 points to finish just outside the top 3 and Steve scored 9.

The following day saw the Stars face 2006 South-East League Division 1 champions Norwich in a tough encounter at Somersham. Inevitably,an incomplete team with 2 riders nursing injuries was never going to do well, but most of them had at least one good race in the 66-107 defeat,the exception being the luckless Peter Mittell. Despite trying to avoid trouble, he was the innocent victim of a pile-up where he gave his knee a painful knock.He was unable to continue, for the second week running. The one bright spot was the return of Wil Kitcher. It was the first chance he has had to race this year, and he visibly improved as the cobwebs were wiped away as he scored 12 points.Barry Copping was top scorer with 18 points with Andy Turnbull and Gary Brown scoring 13 each.

At Leicester on September 22nd the final national round of the Wosskow Brown Solicitors British Youth & Junior League took place with Andy providing the Somersham “interest” in the Under 14 age group.On the day he was 2nd in the “B” final which was enough to give him 3rd overall behind Exeter rider Thomas Reed and Hull’s Matt Beharrell.

The following day saw Somersham riders involved in events at Hethersett and also at Horspath in Oxford.At Hethersett it was the penultimate round of the South-East Grand Prix series and this saw the following results for Somersham riders:
Under 10:Harry Reece 2nd in the “C” final
Under 13:James Day won the “B” final
Under 16:Andy Turnbull 3rd in the “A” final
Under 19:Dan Croft was the only rider present
Senior:Gary Brown 2nd in the “A” final.He has won this category overall so congratulations to him.Meanwhile at Horspath Barry was turning out for Norwich in their final Premier League match of the season where he scored 5 points from 3 rides but Norwich went down by 102 points to 75.

Barry put his Somersham shirt back on for the trip to Ipswich 3 days later which for the 2nd time this season was wet-and cold as well.the track was in superb racing order however but once again we had an incomplete team and it was no surprise that the end result was a 94-65 defeat.Barry was top scorer once again,this time with 16 points,with Gary scoring 15.Kesgrave loanees Dan Croft and Andy Turnbull also had good meetings, and Peter Mittell was there as well supporting the team, despite being on crutches following his spill against Norwich.Because of this his leg was in a splint for 2 weeks.

On the 29th there was a busy day of action at Eaton with the East Anglian Under 10,13 & 16 Individual Championships as well as matches between Norfolk & Suffolk at Under 13 and Under 16 level.Our Kesgrave loanees Andy and James were involved.I will endeavour to publish their results in a later issue.

The weather was much better (compared to the Wednesday) when Ipswich visited Somersham the following day.However only 4 riders turned up and we lost 56-84.It was Andy’s turn to top the scorechart ,this time with 19 points from 6 rides,Barry backing him up with 17.
Into October and the 6th saw the East Anglian Under 19 and Senior Individual championships take place at Kesgrave.In the Under 19 event Andy provided the Somersham “interest” from a riding point of view as he finished joint 5th in an event which was refereed by Steve.For the Senior event Steve swapped his black and white striped referee’s shirt for his red and yellow striped Somersham shirt to make up the numbers following a series of withdrawals,Gary being among them due to his knee injury.Brother Barry was also called into action and scored 13 points to finish joint 7th,missing out on a run-off for a rostrum place following an exclusion in his 1st race which he held 2nd for virtually all of the race but fell on the final turn on the last lap,leaving former Somersham rider Richard Williamson nowhere to go.Steve ended up joint 12th with 9 points.

A report on the following events will appear in the next issue:
7/10-South-East Grand Prix Final Round at Kesgrave;13/10-South-East Division 1 & 2 Riders Championships at Ipswich;14/10-Our final league match which took place at Hethersett; 21/10-Club Championship.26/10 & 27/10-The International Weekend which took place at Edenton,North Carolina,USA and featured Barry.That’s it for now

Steve Copping,Assistant Secretary(
Club Secretary:Peter Mittell(01473 831474)


It seems a long time ago now but back in the spring of 2006 we had an idea to start up a village youth football side, training began on Wednesday nights and almost immediately we had 25 to 35 lads and lasses, from 5 year olds to 15 year olds all happy to sacrifice the playstation for the playing field and underline my feelings that on the whole we have a pretty good bunch of kids in the village.

After many friendlies, our application to join the league was accepted and this meant we had to focus on the U11 age group.
A pre season tournament at Whitton Sports Centre was a big success with the lads gaining runners up spot ahead of more established sides and really enjoying their football.

At the end of October we have played 8, won 2, drawn 4, and lost 2, with this being our 1st season this is quite some record, we have a full squad of 16 very enthusiastic young David Beckhams and with one starlet asking for an agent after the first game, we may have a job keeping their feet on the ground.

Home games are quite a team effort, even before kick off, the ladies are busy buttering and slicing in readiness for usual stampede toward the pavilion for bacon rolls, Dill struts over to aid with goal erecting, having marked out the pitch with his usual diligence only days before, and after the game Quinny is awoken by the smell of sizzling bacon and helps take down the goals.

We now have an under 9s team who are progressing weekly under the watchful eye of James and at the time of writing hope to be playing their first friendly very soon.

After much work from the Community Association, Stuart Dyper, Max and John Caston, the new pitch has just been seeded and may be ready for the Beckhams next season, agents permitting of course.

For all of the above, sincere thanks both to those named and those not, Best Wishes

All booking enquiries:
Mrs Hilary Bridger - 01473 831552


The Christmas Bazaar will be held on Saturday 1st December from 2 till 4 pm. There will be all the usual stalls, games and attractions.

Ideal for all ages, there will be a concert of songs from Joseph & the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, on Sunday 9th December at 3pm in Somersham Church, performed by some choir members of All Hallows Church in Ipswich. Refreshments will be served afterwards. Tickets cost £4, children under 16 £3, available from Christine’s Haircare, Somersham Garage or Pat Woolhouse (831080).

The Folk Evening was once again a great success, with the church full to capacity. Our very grateful thanks to the four local bands performing on the evening, to all who contributed to the excellent buffet supper and of course to the audience for supporting the event. Profits amounted to £565.

Christmas Quiz Sheets are now on sale for £1 from Christine’s Haircare, Somersham Garage or Pat Woolhouse. The closing date isn’t until the end of January, so if you think you can sell half a dozen please let Pat know.

Christmas services:

The Toy Service will be on December 9th at 10am, when gifts (unwrapped please) may be brought for distribution to the Women’s Refuge. Children’s toys and books, and toiletries for their Mums, are very much appreciated.

Somersham’s Carol Service is on December 23rd at 3pm.

Christmas Midnight Communion is at 11.30pm on December 24th.

We hope that many of you will be able to come along for these special services.

St Mary’s Church, Somersham

Christmas Bazaar

Saturday 1st December
from 2 to 4 pm
Somersham Village Hall

Visit Father Christmas!

Games White elephant
Cakes Tombola Crafts
Raffle Kiddies’ Craft Corner

(10% of profit to Air Ambulance)

St Mary’s Church, Somersham

Songs from Joseph & The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat

performed by
All Hallows Church Choir

on Sunday 9th December
at 3pm
in Somersham Church

Tickets £4
Children (under 16) £3
(including light refreshments)

available from
Christine’s Haircare,
Somersham Garage
or Pat Woolhouse (831080)

10% of profit to Air Ambulance



Christmas is a busy time for us, and so it is proving for our friends in Challain. Veronica sends news that they are busy making ‘stars’, ‘Christmas trees’, and ‘candles’ to go on the new lampposts in the main street in the village. Brian will be using his skills to make the ‘creche’/stable for Mary and Joseph which will stand outside the parish church. A tree will stand in the village square and a carol concert is to be held with the English singing their favourite carols and the French doing likewise, with everybody singing along to the ones that have the same tunes, such as Silent Night.

More news is that Vincent and Stephanie have another little girl, Perrine, join their family.

Everybody in Challain sends us best wishes for Christmas and the New Year, and to say that they look forward to seeing us soon.


We welcome new people to join with us on our exchanges. If you are interested in joining us for the visit then please contact one of the following:

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


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
Tel: 01449 724997
Hello again ,

Crimes of interest
21 Oct – vehicle damaged Mill Lane .
5th/6th Nov – window of motor vehicle damaged

New Interactive Website - Crimestoppers has launched a new interactive youth website aimed at young people aged 11 to 16 plus. Young people in Suffolk can view the website and discuss issues focused around crime that affect them and their communities. The website has games, competitions, reviews, celebrity gossip, as well as chat forums and a section which offers a guide to the law.

Operation Staysafe - as the winter draws in and the weather worsens, Suffolk police today joined forces with The Evening Star to urge drivers to take extra care on the county's roads.The Star is re-issuing its message to Light Up, Belt Up and Shut Up in a bid to reduce road accidents.

The campaign seeks to raise awareness of the importance of motorists using their lights, wearing their seat belts and not using hand-held mobile phones. The onset of winter and the turning back of the clocks unfortunately means more accidents on our roads.

Remember to allow more time for your journey and if there are poor weather conditions and visibility, remember to slow down and use dipped headlights. The campaign, originally launched this time last year, has already been backed by two major safety groups.

Road safety charity Brake and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents (ROSPA), have both supported the drive.Along with police, the crusade has also been launched in partnership with a number of other agencies including the fire brigade and Suffolk County Council.

If you have any information or would like any advice on police matters PCSO 3155 Sian Uttley or myself would be more than happy to discuss this with you Our contact telephone number is 01449 724997 Our e mail addresses 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
Mid Suffolk South Safer Neighbourhood Team

On Monday 15th October, the Friends Of Somersham School held their Annual General meeting. Our Chair and Treasurer reflected on the past years activities in their reports. Details of the funds raised and items bought were discussed, and all members of the committee were thanked for all their hard work which had resulted in another successful year. When it came to the election of the main committee members, Jenny King agreed to carry on as Chair. Wendy Hiskey is now the Treasurer and will be assisted by Annette Barnes. Tracey Maitland is now the Secretary. We are also pleased to confirm that we still have a very large and supportive committee which we hope will enable us to arrange some exciting events in the next year for the whole community.

Our AGM meeting was followed by a normal FOSS meeting at which we finalised our plans for the Body Shop Party and Christmas Photos which were being held in November. We hope that the children enjoyed the opportunity to make some special Christmas cards and that everyone will be pleased with their photographs which will be delivered as soon as they are received. FOSS members will also be involved in the Christingle Service at the church in early December and be providing mince pies and mulled wine in the school hall in the evening.
Thank you to everyone who kindly ordered items out of the Webb Ivory catalogues and to the committee members who did all the ordering and sorting. With some of our funds, we are currently in the process of buying a collapsible stage for the school of which we are sure they will make good use.

In the new year, we are looking at the possibility of having a Children’s Fashion Show. We would definitely like to try and arrange another Archive Film Evening and at present, we have agreed to hold our Annual Fete on Saturday 21st June 2008.

Please can you continue to collect the vouchers from the large supermarkets and send them into the school.

Finally may we take this opportunity to thank all those people involved in the production of the Link Magazine. We very much appreciate all their hard work and the fact that through their publication, we are able to advertise the events that we organise. We hope that you all have a very Merry Christmas and our best wishes go to you all for the New Year.

Following the last French Film Club Tintin screening, Sammy Cattermole in Class 2 won 1st prize in drawing a Tintin book cover competition, with Hannah Weston and Sam Pooley close runners-up.

If the pre-Christmas timetable permits we plan to show a real French, festive gem ‘L’enfant au grelot’ (Charlie’s Christmas), in which a postman finds a baby in the forest! This will be suitable for the younger children too.

It has just been announced that the whole of Somersham Primary School will be off to London next May to visit the Tutankhamun exhibition at the O2 arena in Greenwich. The news has created a ripple of excitement, particularly as the announcement coincided with the revealing of Tutankhamun’s face in the press.

Class 1 culminated their work on the Victorians by presenting their own assembly. Parents and carers were invited and enjoyed a most informative afternoon. Our head teacher donned her gown and mortar board and had the opportunity to wield her cane! The afternoon ended back in the classroom with 21 children giving a demonstration toot on their clarinets. Due to popular demand Miss Knowles has begun a Monday after school Clarinet Club. The children are very keen to practice, ( - as we’re sure are their parents)…

Class 3 have been studying the Hindu festival of light, Diwali, as part of their ‘Celebrations’ topic. Tutors and pupils have modelled decorative tunics and hands have been artistically decorated with washable coloured pen used instead of henna.

At Somersham Primary School, Friday afternoon assemblies are devoted to awarding house points and rewarding pupil achievement. Certificates have recently been presented to individuals for “always being kind to other children” and “setting a good example for others to follow”.

If you would like to visit our school or obtain further information, please contact Mrs Maguire, school secretary on: 01473 831251.

Ganesha drawn by Danni Warner, age 7


After a delayed commencement of our Winter league campaign due to postponements, matches for the month eventually got started with a an away visit to Burstall. Whilst taking a little while to settle down and get used to the mats - which is quite usual - Somersham then put pressure on the home team and gradually set up a lead. Continuing the good run through the evening, Somersham held form and came out winners by 18 shots overall.

Looking to carry on with a good sequence of results Tattingstone was the first team to be welcomed for league play on the Somerham mats. As the home team it was to our advantage that we quickly settled down with some consistent bowling to overcome the opposition: although each of the games on all mats were closer than the result suggests. Nevertheless another good win for Somersham.
Our last fixture for the month – against Kesgrave – proved to be one of the closest matches played so far. Little did we realise at the start of the evening what a nip and tuck encounter this would turn out to be, as the overall result never any more than 3 shots apart at any time and the eventual outcome could have gone either way. Everybody knuckled down and did their very best and - as Kesgrave previously bowled in a higher league - a fair result was obtained in the form of a well earned draw …..Kesgrave taking two games …. Somersham one …. and drawing the fourth, with overall shots going by two to Somersham. Phew! … a very slender margin for success.

Winter League - October Results : -

Burstall 29 – 47 4 – 6 Won Away
Tattingstone 29 – 44 2 - 8 Won Home
Kesgrave 37 – 39 5 – 5 Draw Home

Match results for the final ‘winter league’ matches played in 2007 will be reported in the next Link; and therefore ending on a very festive note…
Somersham Carpet Bowls Club would like to wish all readers
... A Merry Christmas ...

Somersham Football Club

I’m back by popular demand with the latest update on the village football club. The 2007-2008 season is well under way with the First team competing in Division 3 of the Suffolk & Ipswich League and the Reserve team in Division 5. The First team are being run this season by Michael Caines younger brother Keithy Lawrence, with assistance from me, and the Reserves are under the guidance of Matty Whitton and his junior associate Quinny Warner.

The 1st Team

Saturday 1st September Tacket Street BBOB - Div 3 (A) Won 3-0
A very good start to the new season. Somersham were on top throughout the game with 2 goals from Matty Bowers, joining Somersham for his third spell with us, and 1 for new boy Dale Munson.
Saturday 8th September Waterside - Div 3 (H) Drew 1-1
A below par performance from Somersham resulted in the first draw of the season against a team we should have beaten. Kieran Cotterell scored his first of the season.
Saturday 15th September Parkside United - Div 3 (A) Lost 5-2
Somersham cruised to a 2 goal lead, with goals from Stefan Nielsen and John Tunaley before stand-in centre-half Luke Emmerson broke his wrist. From this point the team played as if they had not seen each other before and conceded 5 sloppy goals.
Saturday 22nd September Martlesham Athletic 98 - Div 3 (H) Drew 1-1
A better team display against good opposition with Dale Munson scoring the Somersham goal.
Saturday 29th September Clare Town Res - Primary Cup Rnd 1(H)
Won 2-1
Somersham did enough against unknown opposition to progress to the 2nd round. Apologies to the scorers, but I can’t remember who you were! Sure you’ll let me know!
Saturday 6th October Stowmarket Stag- Omnico Cup (A) Won 2-1 AET
A very tough game against the ever competitive Stag team. Somersham scored first, but Stag equalized close to full-time to take it into extra-time. Tom Warren scored a wonder goal early on and a fantastic team performance kept Stag at bay and took Somersham into the 2nd round.
Saturday 13th October Coplestonians ‘A’ - Div 3 (H) Won 5-0
Despite the scoreline this was an average performance from Somersham with all the goals coming in the last 20 minutes. John Hughes and Dale Munson scored 2 each and Stefan Nielsen got one.
Saturday 20th October Albion Mills - Div 3 (A) Lost 4-0
A black day for the Somersham defenders and goalkeeper. The 3-man defence made a mistake each and the ‘keeper completed the set to gift Mills 4 goals.
Saturday 27th October Hempstead United - Primary Cup Rnd 2(A)
Won 3-2

Once again Somersham faced an unknown quantity but were good value for the result. Dale Munson scored the first with Matty Bowers adding the other two. Thankfully no need of extra-time.

The first team are doing well in the cup competitions but are struggling to find consistency in the league. They have had an alarming run of injuries to key players and with these players imminent return, hopes of improvement are high.

The Reserves

Saturday 1st September Salvation Army Reserves - Div 5 (H) Won 4-2
The reserves completed a great opening weekend for the club with a sound victory. Craig Fordham opened his goals account with a hat-trick and new signing Patricio Pascarella registered on his debut.

Saturday 8th September Bacton Utd 89 Reserves - Div 5 (A) Lost 3-1
Patricio Pascarella scored for the second game running, but Bacton proved too strong on home turf and took the points.

Saturday 15th September Tattingstone Utd - Div 5 (H) Lost 4-2
Not a great performance from the home side, losing to the team who were relegated with them last season. Prolific goal scorer Jim O’Neill got his first 2 of the season…he won’t get many more!
Saturday 22nd September AFC Hoxne Reserves - Div 5 (A) Lost 5-0
A strong Hoxne side and weakened Somersham team lead to this sound beating.

Saturday 29th September No Game

Saturday 6th October AFC Hoxne Reserves –
Football Kitz N Pieces Cup (H) Won 3-1
After a hiding from the same team 2 weeks previously Somersham turned the tables and put Hoxne out of this ridiculously named competition (Please don’t ask me what it means!). Craig Fordham and Patricio Pascarella scored a goal each and Brendan Keegan got the other.

Saturday 13th October Salvation Army Reserves - Div 5 (A) Lost 7-1
This match continued a run of alarming results in the league for Somersham, with Army gaining revenge, and then some, for their opening day defeat. Craig Fordham notched the Somersham goal.

Saturday 20th October Albion Mills Reserves - Div 5 (H) Won 3-2
Back to winning ways in the league at last with Craig Fordham already registering his 2nd hat-trick of the season. A very good team performance, especially from the goalkeeper and defence.

Saturday 27th October Henley Athletic Reserves - Div 5 (H) Won 1-0
Patricio Pascarella wore Craig’s shirt for this match, so had to score. That’s what Craig reckons anyway!

As with the 1st Team, the Reserves are struggling to find consistency, but with players returning from injury both teams will hopefully reap the benefits.

All at Somersham FC wish you a splendidly Merry Christmas and Joyous New Year.

Get over the field and have a gander!!!
Al Chester.





Forthcoming Parish Council Meetings

Wednesday 5th December 2007 7.30pm Committee Room, Village Hall
Wednesday 9th January 2008 7.30pm Committee Room, Village Hall
Wednesday 6th February 2008 7.30pm Committee Room, Village Hall

Sewerage Problems in Main Road

The parish council has been informed that the CCTV survey of the sewerage pipes in Main Road has taken place. We are now awaiting results and details of actions which might be necessary.

Beware – Postal Scam – Chain email
There is currently a chain email circulating, warning of a postal scam where a card is posted through your door from a company called PDS (Parcel Delivery Service) suggesting that they were unable to deliver a parcel and that you need to contact them on a premium rate number and that you would be billed £15 for the phone call.
Trading Standards have confirmed this is an old message- the telephone line was in fact closed down in December 2005 and the company involved were fined £10,000. Please ignore these chain emails and do not forward them on – place them where they deserve to be – in the junk bin!!
More information can be found on the PhonepayPlus website.

Council Vacancy
Somersham Parish Council still has one vacant seat and is looking to co-opt another member to the council. These are changing times for parish councils with the likelihood that principal authorities will devolve more powers to parish councils over the next few years. If you would like to be a part of these exciting times in grass roots democracy and help influence the way in which Somersham develops, further information on joining the parish council can be obtained by contacting the chairman, Richard Browne on 831321, the Clerk, or any of the other councillors.

DEFRA estimates that over 300,000 black bags and 290,000 van loads of rubbish are dumped illegally each year which costs tax payers in excess of £48m per year to clear up. Flytipping cost Mid Suffolk District Council £15,549 for the 12 months up to May 2007 and MSDC now has an Enforcement Officer responsible for flytipping. If you see rubbish being dumped, please collect any details possible, i.e. vehicle registration, mobile phone pic etc., and contact the Enforcement Officer, David Abbott, at MSDC on 01449 724941.

Community Shop
Members of the parish council are still looking at the possibility of establishing a community shop in Somersham and are currently looking at site options and funding. If you have any suggestions, or comments please contact Janet Hodge, telephone 832296 or Terry Fordham, telephone 831529.

First Responder Scheme

It has been widely publicised that the first few minutes following a heart attack are the most vital for the patient to receive medical care. In rural communities it may mean paramedics have to travel some distance and therefore care in this vital timescale is not available. Many communities are now establishing First Response Teams which are made up of volunteers from the community who are trained in the use of cardiac equipment. The parish council has already offered financial support in setting up a scheme in the village, but this is not possible without volunteers. An incident in the village a few months ago, highlighted the value of a first responder being in the locality. Please let us have your views and opinions.

Somersham Tennis Courts
The parish council wishes to extend its congratulations and appreciation to Penny Pearson and her small team for the successful completion of the tennis court project. The courts were officially opened on the 26th October and are proving to be a popular additional facility to the village

Everyone at the parish council wishes you a very Merry Christmas and a Prosperous 2008. See you next year!

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

Flowton Church News

RNIB- the recent door-to-door collection in Flowton for the Royal National Institute for the Blind raised £75-86. Thanks to all who contributed so generously.
Thanks also to those who were at the Parish meeting AGM earlier in the year and spontaneously donated £50-50 to the Headway charity.

After the coffee morning in church at 10.00am on December 1st,
we look forward to the Traditional Candlelit Carol Service at 6.30pm on December 24th
and then Holy Communion by extension at 8.00am on Christmas Day.

We wish you all a very Happy Christmas!


Recent Events
The Supper in Church on 6 November was a great success. 20 diners enjoyed a lovely 3-course meal and fine wine, and the raffle helped to boost the church coffers. Thanks must be said to Anne, Sue and Jan for providing such lovely food, and to all other helpers in preparing the church so well.

Future Events
Our first concert of the winter season will be in the church on Saturday 8 December at 7.30 pm. We will be entertained by a group dressed in period costume called ‘Cantocordia’ that will play early music of the medieval, renaissance and baroque periods using authentic copies of original instruments. Please see adverts in this Link for booking details.

The second winter concert will be on Thursday 10 January, and will feature the internationally renowned Collegium Regale singers from Kings College Cambridge.  This group, formally known as the 'King Singers', performed brilliantly at Offton's MMM in January 2007, and we are very lucky to have been able to secure a return concert.  The final concert of the season will be on Saturday 8 March.  These evenings are just too good to miss.  More details will be in next month's Link; however, we advise booking early through Maarje and Pieter.

 Flower Rota
Thank you to all on the flower rota who have kindly contributed flowers for Offton Church throughout the year - a wonderful display from you all. I would like to hear from anyone would like to join us; you do not have to be an expert, just to be able to put flowers in a vase. Happy Christmas to all of you.
Janet Dickson (Tel: 01473 658637)

Church services for this festive month are listed on the inside cover of this magazine. Our Christmas Carol Service will be held on Sunday 16 December at 10.00 hrs. This is for all the family, and there will be mince pies and mulled wine or fruit juice to enjoy at the end of the service. This will be followed by a Communion Service on Christmas morning 25 December at 10.30 am.

The annual indoor bowling competition, known as the Rector’s Plate, will be held in Needham Market on Saturday 5 January.

Although it seems a long way off, this is early warning that the annual Quiz will be held on Saturday 29 March at 7.30 pm in the village hall. So put it in next year’s diary now and try to make up groups of 6-8. Further details will be given closer to the time.

Church Fact File
When you enter the church, one of the first things that you see is the 15th century carved stone, octagonal font. This font includes in its fine carvings the crown and arrow arms of St Edmund, who was King of the East Angles and who was martyred by Danish invaders in 869 AD. St Edmund of course gave his name to the town of Bury St Edmunds. These carvings can be seen on the photo attached. Around the stem are four lions standing guard, above which there is a band of carved flowers and angels with outstretched wings supporting the bowl. Octagonal fonts are quite common in early East Anglian churches, but this is a particularly fine example. Come and see for yourself.

Due to a lack of response to previous suggestions in this page that children might like to find events in history to correspond with various dated church items, there is no request this month for children to relate this font to similar dates in their history lessons. Perhaps history lessons are not as popular in these parishes as had been hoped!

Offton Bellringers
A ¼ peal of Cambridge (1280 changes) was rung on 21st August 2007  to celebrate the birth of Jasper George Carter on 5th July 2007.  The ringers were:
1.       Janet Hohl                             2. Janet Sheldrake
3.     Sally Munnings                         4. Kevin Hohl
5.   Gorden Slack                             6.  Alan Munnings
7.    Joanna Gray                              8. Winston Girling (Conductor)  
Many thanks and congratulations to a fine team from John, Caroline, Jasper, Nick and Mary Carter.  

Magical Musical Moments
Charity Concerts by Candlelight

Early Music from the 12th to 16th Century
Tickets £10 including Wine & Cheese Board
in aid of Ipswich - Beira Health Initiative

Saturday 8 December 2007 at 19.30 hrs
Offton Church
info from


Concerts by Candlelight in Offton Church

PROGRAMME 2007-2008

Saturday 8 December 2007 - Cantocordia Early Music £10

Thursday 10 January 2008 - Collegium Regale of King's College Cambridge
A Boy Band with a Difference £15

Saturday 8 March 2008 - Four Voices - From Mozart to Musicals £10

All concerts start at 19.30 hrs

All are in aid of Ipswich-Beira Health Initiative
Free Wine & Cheese in the interval
No raffle or Tombola
Visit our brand new website for more info
Enquiries about availability of tickets:

Somersham Baptist Church

A gift especially selected for you this Christmas

Christmas is a special time of year where the whole nation tries to please their friends and families. There is a special joy in receiving gifts that have been carefully and lovingly chosen. The act of giving can be rewarding in itself. So much of our time is spent thinking of ourselves, that Christmas makes us think of others. Perhaps the problems we often have in choosing the right presents for those we care about, is because we don’t know them as well as we’d like to think, or we haven’t taken the time to find out what they’d really like for Christmas.

For some people Christmas may be a difficult time, full of memories of loved ones that they have lost or the feeling of loneliness because there are no special gifts or any reason to celebrate Christmas with friends and family. The thought of another Christmas approaching only makes it worse.

But everyone has one present this Christmas that has been especially selected for them by God himself - the gift of his own son, Jesus. The birth of Jesus is so clearly a statement of love, that ‘every person is precious to God’. He is determined not to abandon us in our hopeless state but to clear us of our guilt and transform us into people like Jesus. The gift of his son was a carefully chosen gift that fits our greatest need of forgiveness. Jesus was the perfect person to pay the penalty for our sin - a perfect life to be accepted and copied. Jesus is exactly what we need and not just for Christmas! He calls everyone to abandon their life and to live for him - to rely on the power of God’s Son to forgive and transform them.

Come and celebrate the most precious gift that God could ever give us at our Christmas Eve Candlelight Carol Service at 6.30pm

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 (Communion 1st Sunday)
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: Friday 14th December lunch at Corn Craft, leaving the Chapel at 11.15am.
Contact Mark if you need transport.

Events are held at the Baptist Chapel, Chapel Lane, Somersham IP84 QE, and Transport is always available.

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.

2nd December Advent 1

Holy Communion

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

9th December Advent 2

Holy Communion by ext. 8.00am Flowton
Toy Service 10.00am Somersham
Holy Communion 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Barking
Family Service 11.15am Battisford
Carol Service 3.00pm Willisham
Evening Prayer
6.30pm Offton

16th December Advent 3

Holy Communion 8.00am Somersham
Carol Service 10.00am Offton
Carol and Toy Service 11.15am Battisford
Carol Service 3.00pm Barking
Evening Prayer 6.00 pm Flowton
Carol and Christingle service 6.00pm Ringshall

23rd December Advent 4

Story of the Crib 10.00am Bricett
Morning Worship for all ages 10.00am Flowton
Holy Communion 11.00am Offton
Morning Prayer 11.15am Barking
Carol Service 3.00pm Somersham

24th December Christmas Eve

Candlelit carols 5.00pm Battisford
our annual Traditional service of Lessons and Carols by candlelight 6.30pm Flowton
Holy Communion 11.30pm Somersham
Holy Communion 11.30pm Barking

25th December Christmas Day

Holy Communion by extension 8.00am Flowton
Family Service +shortened Communion 9.30am Ringshall
Holy Communion 10.30am Offton
Half-hour service 10.30am Battisford


6th January Epiphany

Holy Communion

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

13th January

Holy Communion 8.00am Flowton
Family Service 10.00am Somersham
Holy Communion 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Barking
Family Service 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Willisham
Evening Prayer
6.30pm Offton

20th January Week of Prayer for Christian Unity

Holy Communion 8.00am Somersham
Family Service + comm. by ext. 10.00am Offton
Family Service 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 6.00 pm Flowton

27th January

Holy Communion 9.30am Ringshall
Morning Worship for all ages+ Christingle 10.00am Flowton
Holy Communion 11.00am Offton
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Somersham




Christmas Services
Our Advent Carol Service takes place on Sunday the 9th December at 3.00pm, when we shall be joined by the Benefice Choir.
There is no service at Willisham Church on Christmas Day, please see the back of The Link for a full list of services at other churches.

Church Roof
We are delighted to report that we have a received a grant offer, totalling £2,000, from the National Churches Trust. Full details of the work of the Trust appear later in this issue.

Bonfire Evening
We were so fortunate to have perfect weather for this year’s event. Thanks to everyone who helped make the evening such a success – we raised £278 for church funds

Harvest Thanksgiving
We have been asked by the Salvation Army at Lyndon House to thank everyone who contributed gifts to this year’s appeal.

Willisham Cook Book
The recipes continue to arrive, but a few more are needed to complete the book. If you have not yet contributed, please do so to: Frances Gilson, 01473 658387 or e-mail to

Willisham Open Gardens, 2008
A final decision will be made in the New Year as to whether or not to go ahead with our Open Gardens plan. If you would be willing to participate in this fund raising event, please contact Frances Gilson on 658387, or any member of the PCC.

A Happy Christmas from Willisham pcc


We’re evolving! Now is a good time for anyone who is passionate about churches to join as a Friend of the Trust. The Historic Churches Preservation Trust (HCPT), the independent national charity helping churches with grants towards repairs, has just become the National Churches Trust. The reason for the change is that it has become clear that the task of giving modest grants to churches in need is no longer sufficient. The average cost of repairs continues to rise considerably faster than inflation. New and significant sources of funding need to be identified for the sector and new ways of working need to be developed. In 2008 the National Churches Trust will be implementing a structured programme of national fundraising initiatives and developing an enhanced, robust and innovative new grants programme. Our legal restructure enables us to address more readily the need of churches across England and Wales to repair, maintain and adapt buildings for their communities. The HCPT and Incorporated Church Building Society (ICBS) will continue to operate as restricted funds within the National Churches Trust, which aims to make an impact commensurate with our status as the leading national independent body concerned with the protection and welfare of churches throughout Britain.

The Historic Churches Preservation Trust has given out over £28 million in grants since 1953. The support we have given to churches has helped a large number of buildings, but church communities need much more support and help than the Trust can currently provide.  
In 2006 the Trust received 335 applications which turned into 297 grants helping 281 churches in England and Wales. There are a large number of initial enquiries that are not followed up by the churches.  We are seeking to find new ways to help communities that are struggling with the management their priceless buildings.  The majority of church communities need recognition, encouragement and support.

The average cost of work per church in 2006 was £185,000.  This has risen from £82,000 in only 8 years.
30% of communities applying to HCPT have a total population of 500 or less.
The total given out in grants in 2006 was just over £1.5 million to 281 churches.

The Trust receives no financial aid from government or church authorities. You can help by joining as a Friend for a minimum annual subscription, currently £25 for the first year and £15 per year thereafter. 

We are developing our volunteers programme.  If you are interested in giving some time to help us please contact us.
Make a donation online at our website via your credit card using the ‘Give now’ secure facilities provided by the Charities Aid Foundation, which enables you to increase the value of your gift, at no extra cost to yourself, if you are a UK taxpayer.
If you'd like to remember us in your will, please contact the office, or visit our website.

National Churches Trust Tel: 020 7600 6090 Fax 020 7796 2442
31 Newbury Street Web:
London EC1A 7HU Email:

Lady required to help keep house clean 3 hours a week. Salary negotiable. Tel: 01473 658268

FOR SALE: 2 lean-to greenhouses, each 6' x 4'; horticultural plastic
glazing; galvanised steel frame (green); sliding door, £80 each or both for £140 (originally £125.00 each) Still in original boxes. 01473 658063

Alternate Mondays

Somersham Village Hall 10.40-11.30
Willisham Church 11.35-11.45
Willisham – North Acres 11.50-12.00
Offton – Castle Meadow 3.55- 4.05
Flowton Church 4.15 - 4.25

Calling 3,17 and 31 December, 2007 and 14 and 28 January, 2008

For further information call the mobile library office between 9am and 12noon, Monday – Friday on 07872 676698 or the mobile library on
07721 879853



December 8th 2 – 4pm

Meet Father Christmas at his Magical Grotto

Craft and Christmas Stalls Refreshments Tombola
and much more





Santa’s Grotto
Stalls Face Painting Craft Activities for children
Bottle Tombola Raffle Mulled Wine, Tea, Coffee

At the Community Centre, Wattisham Airfield 01449 728928



December 2 Pat Woolhouse
December 9, 16 Faith Jaggard + all help for Christmas
December 23, 30 C. Jarrold
January 6 C. Jarrold
January 13, 20 Angie Osborn
January 27 Judith Newman
February 3 Judith Newman
December Cleaning Team C
January Cleaning Team A

No flowers during Advent
December 25, 30 Mrs. Ward + all help for Christmas
January 6, 13 Mrs. Munson
January 20, 27 Mrs. Laflin
February 3, 10 Mrs. Carter
December Cleaning Mrs. R. Lock
January Cleaning Mrs. D. Fawcus & Mrs. M. Laflin

December 2, 9 Mrs. C. Langford
December 16, 23, 30 Mrs. Jo Gray+ all help for Christmas
January 6, 13 Mrs. Susan Bolton
January 20, 27 Mrs. Hilary Derriman
February 3 Mrs. Janet Dickson
December Cleaning Mrs. G. Tollemache
January Cleaning Mrs. S. Bolton

December 2 Mrs. Fisher
December 9, 16 Mrs. Gilson + all help for Christmas
December 23, 30 Mrs. Cage
January 6, 13 Mrs. Large
January 20, 27 Mrs. Hodson
February 3 Mrs. Gilson
Cleaning – as flowers


1st Flowton Pre-Christmas Coffee Morning and Sale 10.00am Flowton Church

1st Somersham Christmas Bazaar 2 – 4pm Somersham Village Hall

8th Offton & Willisham Senior Citizens’ Christmas Lunch

8th Ringshall School Christmas Fayre – 2 – 4pm

8th MMM Concert – Cantocordia – Offton Church 7.30pm

9th Songs from JOSEPH by All Hallows Church Choir Somersham Church 3pm

9th Scallywags Christmas Fayre 2 –5pm Community Centre, Wattisham Airfield


10th MMM Concert – Collegium Regale of King’s College Cambridge – Offton Church 7.30pm

14th Somersham & District Gardening Club – Steve Wright Cultivation and uses of hops – Somersham VH 7.30pm


The Link Newsletter is prepared for printing during the second week of the month and, as such, news of The Revd. Linden Fletcher’s departure came too late to be included in the main body of the magazine. The following was announced at church services on the 18th November.

The appointment has been announced of Revd. Linden Fletcher as Vicar of Llanfair Caereinion, Llanllugan and Manafon in the Archdeaconry of Montgomery and the Diocese of St Asaph. Her five and a half years as Priest-in-charge of Ringshall, Great Bricett, Barking with Darmsden, Battisford, Somersham, Flowton, Offton and Willisham have seen the drawing-together of two former benefices. She has enjoyed the very well-planned central base at Willisham Rectory and gives thanks to God for unstinting support from the nearly sixty members of Parochial Church Councils and fellowship with Christians of all denominations in our villages. Her last Sunday here, to be arranged, may be as early as 3rd February.

Ian Dickson writes on behalf of the churchwardens of Offton, Somersham, Flowton and Willisham

The three Parishes near Montgomery in Wales are gaining a Vicar and we are losing ours. Linden has been the Incumbent in our Parishes for five years, at a time of radical changes in the overall church management structure and greatly increased requirements from national legislation. The profession of Parish Priest requires many skills especially with the responsibility of eight Parishes.

Numerous people have been helped by Linden through times of difficulty and distress and this is but one of her many duties that will be greatly missed.

We wish Linden well in her new position.

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