The Link Magazine

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

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Offton & Willisham PC
The ‘Link’ by post

Now is the time to remind you again that postage is due if you wish to have the magazine mailed to you or a friend or relative in 2010. Having held the same rate for as long as we could, this year we need to charge £4 for this service to cover increased postage and envelope costs. However, we hope you will still feel the Link by post is a bargain!

If you receive the Link by post already you will find a form and addressed envelope in this issue and as usual we would appreciate your early response to enable us to begin printing envelopes. Please send either a cheque for £4 (made out to M. Laflin) or stamps to the same value (14 second class) to Gunn’s Farm, Lower Somersham, IP8 4PU or cash if by hand.

We are always pleased to add new names to our list and delighted to keep in touch with old friends this way.
Contact Margaret on 658330
or email if you have a query.

Yuletide: thoughts of log fires, mince pies, a glass of wine, presents, and of course, a Christmas tree all begin to fill the mind as we head towards one of the major festivals of the year. Commerce is in no doubt that we need to be reminded of this festival as it bombards us with adverts and other paraphernalia to get us to part with our money. These days the emphasis seems to be so much on spending, eating and drinking. It often feels as if these activities take precedence over and above what it really is, a religious festival. The birth of Jesus is what the rejoicing is about; as any child from a nativity play will tell you. Christmas after all is the Mass of Christ, hence the word Christmas or as I like to give it the correct spelling Christmass.

Before we get to the 25th December though there is the other season that precedes it, Advent. This is a penitential time in the Christian year that begins on 1st December (although in the church we begin on the 4th Sunday before Christmas) and is a season marked these days by people buying an Advent calendar or maybe an Advent candle. Many will know that Advent means coming and so as we watch and wait for the coming of the Lord we can use this time wisely in a period of self-examination of our spiritual lives and growth.

Now, don’t you hear it said nearly every year by some folk that they do not enjoy Christmas so well because they have been rushing around in preparation of the great day, that when it finally arrives there is more a gasp of relief rather than a chorus of joy. My answer to this is always the same, concentrate on the coming of Christ during Advent and Christmas will bring so much more joy and value to it. The Christian festivals are not meant to stand in isolation. There is Advent, Christmas and Epiphany: the coming, the birth and the revealing of Christ.

Very little preparation went into the first Christmas. It was the birth of a child to parents who were ill prepared to the point of having no place to give birth, ending up in a shelter for animals and only having a feeding trough for a cot. There were no relatives present only some scruffy shepherds (no offence to any shepherds) off the hillsides to rejoice with the parents and probably some animals that were also using the shelter. Add to all that the fact that Jesus was conceived outside of marriage, homeless and soon after his birth he would be what in this day and age is described as an illegal immigrant (travelling into Egypt) and it begins to blow some of our prejudices (and perhaps some of our preparations) clean out of the water.

Let’s not be too clouded by the tinsel and clutter that commercialism brings but be watchful in the coming and joyful in the arrival of Jesus; the child who changed the world forever!

May you all have a very happy and blessed Christmas
(Letter from our Priest-in-Charge, the Reverend Canon Bernard Rose)

Janet and Bernard will be holding an 'open house' at the Rectory on Boxing Day morning between 10.00am -12.00 noon. All are invited so please do drop in and have a drink and mince pie with us and friends.

From the registers:

Welcome to
Elijah Thabo Dube, son of Catherine and Mandelenkosie, who was baptized on October 18th in Offton church.
Also to
Evie May Copping, daughter of Emma and Craig, who was baptized on October 25th in Offton church 

May they grow in faith

Church Altar Flowers and Cleaning Rotas

Dec 6th Flower Fund
13th, 20th, 27th Christine Cooper + all help for Christmas please
Jan 3rd, 10th Judith Newman
Jan17th, 24th Pat Woolhouse
Jan31st, Feb 7th Christine Jarrold Feb 14th Lent
Cleaning - Team C

No flowers during Advent
Dec 25th, 27th Mrs Grimwood + all help for Christmas please
Jan 10th, 17th, Mrs Ward
Jan 24th, 31st Mrs Munson & Mrs Fawcus
Feb 7th, 14th Mrs Fawcus
Cleaning – December Mrs R Lock & Mrs S Hitchcock
January Mrs Fawcus & Mrs Laflin
February Mrs Fawcus & Mrs Laflin

Dec 6th, 13th Mrs Janet Dickson
Dec 20th, 27th Mrs Jo Grey
Jan 3rd, 10th Mrs Sue Bolton
Jan 17th, 24th Mrs Hilary Derriman
Jan31st, Feb 7th Mrs Sam Copping
Cleaning – December Mrs Gay Tollemache
January Mrs Sue Bolton
February Mrs Sam Copping

Willisham (flowers and cleaning)
Dec 6th, 13th Mrs V Large
Dec 20th, 27th Mrs E Hodson
Jan 3rd, 10th Mrs J Somerville
Jan 17th, 24th Mrs T Southall
Jan 31st, Ms J Hardman

Somersham Church Notes

Don’t forget the church Christmas Bazaar on Saturday 5th December at 2pm in the village hall, where there’ll be a huge variety of stalls, games and bargains, as well as a visit from Father Christmas!

The Christmas Toy Service will be on Sunday 13th December at 10am. Gifts brought for children and their mums (unwrapped please) will once again be taken to the Women’s Refuge.

Our Carol Service is on Sunday 20th December at 3pm, when we are delighted to have the benefice choir with us.

Christmas Quiz sheets are now on sale for £1 at Christine’s Haircare, Somersham Garage or Pat Woolhouse. You have until the end of January 2010 to complete it! Why not buy a couple extra and put in with Christmas cards to friends and family who are not local?

Our weekend of Harvest celebrations in October kicked off on the Friday evening with the Folk Evening, when a packed church heard the talented local bands of JCB, Folk on the Hill, Pluck and Squeeze, Scott & David and Ted & friends, in a beautifully decorated and subtly lit church. The appreciative audience enjoyed a wide variety of folk singing and music, as well as tasty refreshments. Our thanks go especially to the performers, as well as to Robin and Hilary Derriman, the caterers and everyone who supported the evening, which raised £538. The Flower Festival was well attended, (the majority of visitors coming from further afield than the village!) who admired the wonderful arrangements and interpretations of our “festival of harvests” then visited the various stalls in the churchyard. Once again many thanks to the flower arrangers, Nicky Heming for the donation of a painting for a raffle, everyone who helped organise the weekend and the Castons for their support and car parking facilities. £635 was raised at the Flower Festival, giving a grand total for the whole weekend of £1270.


Gifts brought to the Harvest Festival service on the Sunday and also by the children and staff of the primary school when they came to church for their harvest celebration on the Monday, were taken to the Women’s Refuge. Frances and Gordon Southgate kindly delivered a car packed with goodies and reported that those at the Refuge were overwhelmed by everyone’s kindness.

We will be having another Trivia Quiz in Somersham Village Hall on Friday 12th February. Teams of 6, £2.50 each, bring your own drink and nibbles. Book your team by contacting Christine's Haircare, Somersham Garage or Pat Woolhouse (831080)

Thank You
Joan and John would like to thank everyone who sent cards and flowers on the occasion of their Diamond Wedding Anniversary. Thank you all for your kindness.

Many congratulations to you both from all your friends across the benefice.

St Mary’s Church, Somersham

Christmas Bazaar

Saturday 5th December
2 to 4 pm
Somersham Village Hall

Visit Father Christmas!

Games White Elephant
Cakes Tombola Crafts
Kiddies’ Craft Corner
(10% of profit to Air Ambulance)

St Mary’s Church Somersham

Trivia Quiz

Friday 12th February
Somersham Village Hall
at 7.30pm.

Teams of 6,
£2.50 per person
Bring own drinks, glasses and nibbles
(Tea / Coffee provided)

Book your team’s place by contacting Christine’s Haircare
Pat Woolhouse (01473 831080) or Somersham Garage.


Somersham Parish Council

Forthcoming Parish Council Meetings
Wednesday 2nd December 2009
Wednesday 6th January 2010

All meetings commence at 7.30pm in the Village Hall and the press and public are welcome to attend.

National Grid Pylon Consultation
In the November edition we reported on an exhibition taking place at Somersham Village Hall on Friday 11th December from 12 noon to 9.00pm regarding the proposal of National Grid to increase their capacity as a result of both current and future demand for electricity by erecting pylons on a route from Bramford to Twinstead.

The purpose of the exhibition is to enable members of the community to view in detail the 4 different options for the route and also to have the opportunity to voice their opinions.

As one of the options takes in part of our parish, it is important that you let National Grid know your views and the parish council is urging as many as possible to visit this exhibition.

Traffic Calming, Main Road
The parish council wishes to thank those residents who responded to the parish council letter regarding the suggestion of ‘dragon’s teeth’ road markings on Main Road at Pump House Corner and the junction with Chapel/Hall Lane.

Your comments are very much appreciated and will be passed to the highways authority for consideration. The creation of dragon’s teeth road markings is only one of the options being investigated, but Government criteria and safety regulations and of course cost also have also to be taken into consideration. Hopefully in the next edition we will have more definite news on how discussions are going.

Once again all the allotments managed by the parish council are let. The parish council approved a small increase of 50p in the rents bringing the annual rental of a plot to £6.00. This year we were able to reduce the number on the waiting list after two plots became vacant and were subsequently relet to residents on the waiting list.

Retirement of PC David Clark
Members of the parish council were sad to hear of the retirement of PC Dave Clark but expressed their sincere appreciation for his wonderful service to the village and wished him a long and happy retirement.

National Adoption Week
The National Adoption Week this year took place between the 9th – 15th of November. Suffolk County Council’s adoption agency made an appeal to anybody who may be interested in the challenges and rewards of adopting a Suffolk child.

Last year 72 children found an adopted home, however, there are still 15, including sibling groups, waiting for adoptive families of their own. Adoptive parents can come from a wide variety of backgrounds, but must be over the age of 21.

If you would like to find out more about adopting a Suffolk child please call 0800 389 9417 or visit

Finally on behalf of us all at Somersham Parish Council may I take this opportunity to wish you a Very Merry Christmas and a happy, peaceful and successful 2010.

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

Flowton News

Congratulations to Lisa and Darren Rivers on the birth of their fourth child, a second son, Sonny, on November 1st.

Saturday December 5th
Christmas coffee morning and sale
10.00am – 12 noon in Flowton Church


Calling all Flower Arrangers…….. in preparation for the Flower Festival (June 19/20 2010), there is a meeting on Friday March 5th at 7.30pm in the Church Vestry – please put this date in your diary.

If YOU would like to add your name to the list of arrangers for this event, please contact:
Mrs Ward on 01473 658377
Mrs Dunnett on 01473 652640.

Friday 11th December – National Grid (electricity) open meeting in Somersham Village Hall 12 noon -9.00pm – all welcome to come and see plans and ask questions.

Advance notice -April 17th 2010 is the date for the sponsored Christian Aid walk in Ipswich. All funds raised will again be quadrupled by the EU, this time to provide clean water in Burkino Faso.

We had great fun on the walk last year –following a quiz trail to learn about the town and I hope more of you may want to join us next year!
December 2nd means mince pies at the Village Coffee Drop-in and we look forward to seeing all our regulars plus anyone who is free that morning and can join us. After that we will not open again until the first Wednesday in March when Spring should be in the air!

Westward Ho!
Still looking for new challenges, our band of long distance walkers decided on another coastal walk this year. Back in 2005 we had completed what is usually considered to be the final leg (if you go anti-clockwise) of the South West Coast Path by walking from Beer Head in Devon to Poole in Dorset. Trouble was we hadn’t done any of the rest of it so this year we decided to return and tackle another bit. This time we chose a stretch covering parts of North Devon & Cornwall, starting in Appledore and finishing in Padstow – a walk selected on its reputation for beautiful scenery.

North Devon had long been on the list of possible holiday destinations for Kate and me so we decided that we would spend a week in Ilfracombe prior to the ‘boys’ getting together for the walk. So it was that, on a sunny Sunday morning in early September, I waved Kate off as she left Appledore to return home (she had to work on the Monday!) and I awaited the arrival of the rest of the team. It meant I had about a day and a half to while away on my own in Appledore. I had no car but I did have a pair of walking boots and a recently acquired bus pass! The bus pass allowed me to reach nearby Bideford to stock up on some essential supplies for the coming expedition; essential because one of our planned stopovers was at least 5 miles from the nearest pub! The boots allowed me to explore Appledore and its surroundings, which are quite delightful.

At around 5.30pm on the Monday, I met friends (James Crickmore, Steve Woolhouse, Peter Jay, Richard Browne and Terry Fordham) as they arrived by taxi from Barnstaple station and we unloaded into the Seagate Hotel, our base for the night. Early(ish) the next morning, after a hearty hotel breakfast and a brief diversion to the local sandwich shop to buy packed lunches we set off towards Westward Ho. Appledore is the setting for Charles Kingsley’s Elizabethan novel Westward Ho! and the town of Westwood Ho! is the seaside end of it, some 2 miles west from Appledore itself.

Those first 2 miles were just about the only flat miles on the whole of the walk! Soon after leaving Westward Ho!, we got into the regular up, down, up, down cycle that was to become the most challenging feature of the walk. Where the hills are particularly steep there are steps. These are probably there as much to protect the path from erosion as to make it easier for walkers. What it did mean was that, if you looked ahead and saw a flight of steps, you knew that bit was going to be pretty d…. steep! At one point, somewhere south of Hartland Point I think, I looked back and noticed the similarity between the shape of the landscape and the waves on the sea – only the hills were rather larger!

Despite all of that, the views are really superb along the whole of that coast; a continuous procession of plunging cliffs, dramatic rock formations, mostly deserted beaches and the ever present and ever changing seascape. The many delightful fishing villages that we dropped down to (and climbed out of!) added an interesting and contrasting element. A couple of the best (Clovelly & Boscastle) provided us with overnight stops. Almost the whole walk was bathed in the sunshine of this year’s glorious Indian summer too.

One ever present feature for the first couple of days was Lundy Island, bathed in sunshine about 10 miles off the coast. To see it like that was a bit galling for me as, only the week before, I had fulfilled a lifetime’s ambition to visit Lundy. Wonderful, except that on the day we went there was quite a swell and I suffered from seasickness and then, when we finally arrived, the island was shrouded in mist and rain so we couldn’t see anything. To see it now, in all its glory did feel a bit like adding insult to injury. My companions, of course, respected my pain and refrained from pointing it out every few minutes – like h… they did!

We all had some memories of previous visits to parts of this coast, notably Richard, who visited Westward Ho! during his honeymoon, and Terry, who recalled many happy holidays as a young ‘body boarder’ at Polzeath. My own memories centred on the Boscastle/Port Isaac area where we’d spent time about 30 years ago.

Our accommodation was in a mixture of youth hostels (no reductions for the over sixties there!) and hotels, all very welcome after a long day’s walk. The youth hostel accommodation is very good value but, of course more basic – 6 bunk beds to a room and self catering. At one, we had to rely on the provisions I’d bought in Bideford Morrison’s; ok, the Irish stew wasn’t quite as delicious as it said on the tin but the wine helped it down. At the other end of the accommodation scale was my room in the Bayview Inn at Widemouth Bay – a double with ensuite whirlpool bath and widescreen tv. The others didn’t fair so well at that one I’m afraid.

Apart from the one ‘self-catering’ night, we ate in pubs and restaurants along the way enjoying a variety of West Country fare washed down with wine and/or local beer or cider. Special mention, perhaps, has to go to the ‘bad-boy beefburger’ which proved a temptation too much to resist for one member of the party who normally lives on a strictly controlled diet.

Overall, we covered about 85 miles in 6 days, best summed up as a very good walk with excellent views and good company in superb weather over very challenging terrain!

Steve Dines
November 2009

Concerts by Candlelight in Offton Church

Great news: the High Sheriff of Suffolk has agreed to be Patron for the current series alongside Rachel Sloane.
What honour for Magical Musical Moments!
The seats for Las Guitarras with tapas went very quickly, and the church will be full again when the launch of 2010
is celebrated featuring no less than a triple bill.

NEW BURLINGTON QUARTET from London return with a programme of light jazz on strings.
Our local troubadour TED teams up with his friend JOSIE.
Followed by ACAFELLA Barbershop Quartet.
Comfortably cushioned seats with Bubbly & Bites at £ 12.50 are available from
Nigel Coleman on 01473-657191 or
Saturday 9 January at the usual time of 7.30 pm
Do not hesitate, phone or email NOW!
More info on our beautiful new website

Children’s Christmas Workshop
in Offton Church at 10.30-12 noon
on Saturday 19 December
All welcome ~~~ Refreshments provided


As we look forward to celebrating Christmas with family and friends, perhaps for many this is a good time to renew your contact with your local parish church. At Offton, we have a varied programme of events leading up to Christmas. You are all most welcome – please visit your church during this festive season. Here are some of the things that will be going on at Offton Church to tempt you:

Thursday 26 November at 7.30 pm – A Taize Service. This is a good time for quiet and reflection. Come and try a little chanting or just listen.
Sunday 29 November at 10.00 am – A morning service for all 8 parishes in our benefice. This is an ideal event for all the family especially the children.
Saturday 19 December at 10.30-12.00 am – A Children’s Christmas Workshop. This will feature children of all ages drawing and painting a part of a mosaic of a church window that will be assembled ready for the carol service the following day. Great fun for the young children, so come on Mums, call Peta Whiting 01449 677766 or Anne Chapman 01449 721181 for more details, or just turn up. Everyone will be welcome.
Sunday 20 December at 10.00 am – A Christmas Carol Service. This will be a traditional Christmas sing-song – all your old favourites. So come and get into the Christmas spirit, and stay afterwards for mince pies and a drink.
Thursday 24 December at 11.30 pm – A Christmas Mid-night Mass. This is where it gets serious and will remind you just what Christmas is really all about.
Saturday 9 January at 7.30 pm – Magical Musical Moments Concert by candlelight. You cannot have lived in the village for long without hearing about these fantastic musical extravaganzas. This one promises to entertain all musical lovers of all persuasions with no less than 3 varied acts. See elsewhere in the Link for more details. Be sure to book your tickets early through Nigel Coleman 01473 657191 – the last concert on 7 November sold out in a matter of days.
And so it goes on. The Offton PCC is currently planning its programme as far ahead as next June. Watch this space for details. In the meantime, we wish all readers and particularly members of the Offton community a ……..

Church Fact File

 Regular readers of this article may have noted that last month we explained how fortunate we at Offton are to have been remembered in some people’s wills. The wording did not convey the correct reason for these gifts. In most cases, money was given in memory of “the loved one" and not left by the person mentioned in the will. There are many other people over the years that have been remembered in this way. If the wording in November’s article has offended anyone, we offer our sincere apology for the error.

St Elizabeth Hospice:

Are you brave enough to have an early morning dip on Christmas Day?
On Friday 25th December hundreds of St Elizabeth Hospice supporters will be taking part in the annual Christmas Day Dip at Felixstowe.
Registration for the event closes on December 11 so take the plunge and sign up today.

Last year around 100 people took up the challenge to raise money for the Hospice. Many of them found it a good way of starting Christmas Day, which can be a difficult time for someone who is grieving.

Registration takes place from 8.30am at the beach front opposite Manning’s Amusement Park, Sea Road, Felixstowe.

At 9.30am when the horn sounds everyone will enter the cold sea. Mulled wine and minced pies will be served afterwards.
The registration fee is £5 per person and participants are asked to raise sponsorship.
Last year the event raised over £19,000 for the Hospice, which is based in Foxhall Road, Ipswich, and cares for patients from across East Suffolk.
For more information please contact the fundraising team on 01473 723600 or email

Have you been offered a place in the 2010 Virgin London Marathon through the public ballot. If you are gearing up for the run and have yet to decide on a charity to fundraise for, St Elizabeth Hospice would love to hear from you.

If you would like to be part of team St Elizabeth on the day – we will support you every step of the way!
If you are interested please contact our fundraising team on 01473 723600 or email


Harvest Festival
We are grateful to everyone who helped prepare the church for the harvest festival and to all those who sent gifts. These were donated to the Women’s Refuge, who were pleased to receive them.

Bonfire Evening
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make our bonfire evening a success. A special thanks to Rod Holder for allowing us to use Crow Hall. The weather was awful so we are grateful to those who came along and supported the event. Well done! You enabled us to raise £247.74 for church funds.

Christmas Services

Our Advent Carol Service will be held on Sunday 13th December at 3.00pm and we will be joined by the Benefice Choir. There will not be a service at Willisham on Christmas Day. Details of services at other churches are at the back of this magazine.
We shall be decorating the church for Christmas a little earlier this year: Saturday 5th December. All help gratefully received.

Open Gardens
Thank you to those who attended the planning meeting when Sunday 6th June 2010 was chosen for our Open Gardens. Please ring Jean on 01473 658063 if you would like to Open your garden for this event.

Willisham Cook Book
Now available for £3.00 per copy – a bargain!

Willisham Church Walk 2010

We have been invited to start and finish the 2010 walk at Chapel Farm at Ringshall, the home of Mr & Mrs G. Hitchcock and family, on Saturday May 8th at 5.30 pm sharp, and afterwards return to Hollytree Cottage, Derrick Hill for light refreshments as per usual.

PS. Has anyone got a decent 18 inch rotary mower they would let me have to cut Willisham and Nettlestead churchyards (the section I cut). Mine is like me, it’s getting old. It would need to be one that will fold up and go in the boot of my car.
John Minns
Tel 01473 658352

In aid of
Nettlestead Church
An evening of carols to be held at
High Hall, Nettlestead

on Thursday December 17th at 7.30pm

Suggested donation £2.50, under 12's free
Refreshments included

131 High Street, Needham Market, Suffolk, IP6 8DL
01473 613500

Hello again,
3 Crimes reported in Offton or Willisham since 7th September 2009:
1 burglary, 2 others.

We’re coming to that time of year when all those with heating oil tanks are filling them ready for winter, which means they may become a target for opportunist thieves.
To try and prevent such thefts
Screen your tank with hedging or fences. If they do not know it is there, they won’t steal from it.
Anyone attempting to steal heating oil will have to bring their vehicle as near to the site as possible, as it’s too heavy to carry. So close and secure perimeter gates.
Conceal any external pipe work, again if they don’t see the pipe work, they don’t know for sure that you have heating oil and they won’t be able to follow the pipe to where the tank is.
Regularly check your fuel levels, not only to make sure all is in order, but also to make sure there are no leaks.
Install dusk to dawn lighting.
Consider installing a tank alarm/security locking device for your fuel cap. It is best to consult your local fuel supplier to obtain one, as they will normally carry a stock of items that will fit your type of tank.
Join a Neighbourhood Watch Scheme, keep an eye out, call 999 immediately and note vehicle index marks and descriptions of suspicious persons.

At Suffolk Police we listen to your comments and it has been noted that a lot of people have asked to learn more of the results of the crime that has been reported and what occurred within any subsequent court proceedings.
So from now on, we will be allotting a section to deal with such matters, but please note that with any case that comes to court, at the end of the case an offender can appeal against not only the verdict, but also the sentence and any other number of contributing factors. As a result, whilst we intend to give out details of such results, in the interests of any such appeals being forthcoming, we will not be naming any individuals, but will just concentrate on the area where the crime occurred and the result imposed.

So here goes:
On 28/09/09 a male from Stowmarket charged for causing £2,385.81 worth of Criminal Damage to a vehicle in Needham Market on 10/07/09 where he received, a 12 month Community Order and a 3 month curfew requirement. He was also ordered to pay £500 compensation to the owner, along with £85 court costs.
On 28/09/09 a male from Stowmarket charged for an Assault, which occurred at a residential address in Stowmarket on 26/08/09, was given a Community Order and banned from a certain area within Stowmarket for 6 months. Given a Supervision Order to attend appointments with a Probation Officer for 2 years and ordered to pay £85 court costs.
PC Dave Clark
PC Dave Clark is retiring from the Constabulary after over 25 years service. He sends his apologies if he does not get to see you before he leaves. He would however like to thank everyone in the community for your support and friendship over the years.

If you want to help but for whatever reason do not want to give your name and/or contact details then please call Crime stoppers on 0800 555 111.
If you have any information or would like any advice on police matters I would be more than happy to discuss this with you. Our telephone number is 01284 7774100
Our e-mail addresses are
Please remember that there are occasions when we are on rest days for 4 days so if your call is of an urgent nature please as to speak to any officer on duty.
Thanks very much PCSO 3183 Vince Whithrow
(The above article was type copied by SPR of the Link team as it was only available in printed format)

Friends of Somersham School

10 years of FOSS:

In October, we held our AGM and we are pleased to say that FOSS has reached a significant milestone as we are now in our 10th year! FOSS began with the handover of a carrier bag of old receipts and a bank account balance of just £10.45. Things have moved on since then, and we anticipate that by the end of this financial year, FOSS will have raised a staggering £50,000 for the school! We have always been a small committee and we are proud of what we have achieved. The committee was elected as follows:
Chair- Jenny King, Secretary- Nicola Davis, Treasurer- Wendy Hiskey

We have 7 other committee members but we need more, if FOSS is to continue.

Over the years, we have been able to purchase many valuable items of equipment and resources for the school. We have supported the cost of trips away, to keep the costs down for parents, enabling more trips to be organised to support the curriculum and enhance the learning experience for the children across all year groups. Each year, we manage to raise more and more money, with this last year being a record year for the fete, which is always our biggest fundraising event.

Here is a list of the fundraisers you supported last year:
Fashion Show
Christmas Shopping evening- raised nearly £500
Christmas photos- raised nearly £300
Web Ivory catalogue orders
Fun-mats (printed table mats, bags and mouse mats designed by the children)
Bingo night
Archive film Evening- raised nearly £700
Summer Panto Themed Fete- a record year with profits of over £1400
School Disco
And with the money raised, here is a list of some of the things that were purchased: Maths Abacus Scheme, Substantial funding towards the new library, Digital camera, Contributions towards School Trips, Theatre Visits to school, Subscription to First News (a newspaper for children), Christmas Presents for the children,

Classroom donations:
Last year we were raising money for new outside furniture, which will be purchased in the spring.

Recent Events:
We hope you all enjoyed the Christmas Shopping Evening. FOSS is very grateful for all the support we had for this event, as we had pledged all the money raised to go to fund books and resources for the school library. We hope you managed to make a good start with your Christmas shopping and had an enjoyable evening. Congratulations to all those who were lucky enough to win a prize on the raffle.

We held our annual Christmas photos in November and hope you are all pleased with the results. This is always a good fundraiser for us, so thank you for all your support.

Just a reminder of the Easy Fundraising website where you can shop on-line and raise money for the school at the same time. This is a FREE service where you shop directly with each retailer as you would normally, but simply by using the links from this website first, each purchase you make will generate a cashback donation to FOSS. The address is

FOSS have donated a small amount to the school so they could have a visit from a guide dog.

What we collect:

We collect all of the supermarket tokens and old mobile phones, which you can drop into the school.

Forthcoming Events:
The school Christingle services will be held at St Mary’s Church on 11th December. FOSS will be selling raffle tickets, with the chance to win a Christmas Hamper.

Contact: Clare Davies 832569 or

The Annual General Meeting of the Link Committee was held on 29th September and it will surely be no surprise to any of our readers to know that the officers listed on the back cover were re-elected for another year (one in her absence – quite the best way to make sure of filling the post!). The valuable work put in by Steve Woolhouse during the year as Treasurer and manager of advertising space was acknowledged. It is thanks to Steve, and Frances Gilson before him, that we are all able to receive the magazine free of charge each month. (As usual a copy of our audited accounts will be displayed in your church).
Also the time and effort required from our team of editors was appreciated and the committee was especially pleased to welcome Kate Dines, Silke Pinson-Roxburgh and Janet Crickmore who joined the team during the year.
The committee would like to remind its readers that the content of the magazine can only reflect the material submitted. We welcome always contributions and ideas from you at all times and you can make contact through the secretary or any member of the Link committee.

The Link Committee wishes our readers every happiness this Christmas and peace, good health and God’s blessing in 2010.

If you happen to have a very large glass vase that is just taking up space, Maartje Rondeboom will be happy to receive it for use at the Magical Musical Moments concerts. Please call 658024.


The winter season is underway, our first match was an away game against near neighbours Barking, as always, tough opposition, unfortunately we were two team members short, this season the league are trialling a new system of penalty for teams that are short of members, for every player short, the team forfeits 5 shots, therefore we were penalised 10 shots, not that the result of the match was affected, as we were thoroughly beaten by a better team, who played well on the night, we lost the match 10-0, not a good start to the season, at least we did not have a long journey home, our thanks to Barking for their hospitality and refreshments.
Our next match we entertained Hoggards Green at home, once again we were two members short, after some good play by both teams and some really tight games, we were victorious in three games and losers in one, therefore winning the match 8-2, our forfeiture of 10 shots did not effect the final score.

Our third encounter was away to Stanningfield, this time we were able to field a full team of sixteen players, once again O/W found adjusting to the opponents mats difficult, one team had a very close game, after eleven ends the score was 6 shots each, and the game was drawn, unfortunately the other three teams lost their games, the match ending 9-1 to the home team, as usual, after an enjoyable evening, we were fortified for the journey home with some tasty refreshments

We started our campaign in the Joe Rice Cup with a home match against Tostock, they are not a team that we meet in the league, so to most members they were an unknown quantity, any illusions that we might have an easy match were soon dashed, they proved to be very tough opponents, and at the end of four hard fought games, the match ended two games each, O/W were fortunate to have a one shot advantage overall, and took the two extra points, the final score was 6-4 to O/W. next week we play the return match at Tostock, it will be a tough encounter playing them on their home mats!

Once again we appeal for more people to come and try their hand at the game of carpet bowls, it is good fun and club nights are not serious, no special clothing or equipment is required.

We need some new blood to strengthen our team, experience not required, why not come along and give it a try? For more information call Valerie on 01473 657023.

Somersham Baptist Church

Christmas is a great festival, rightly a joyful time. What greater reason for joy can we have than that God has visited this earth in love rather than in judgement and made a way of reconciliation that was free to all.

The birth of Jesus was announced to Joseph as the fulfilment of an old prophecy, ‘The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and they will call him “Immanuel” - which means “God with us”.

In Jesus, God has been among us, healing, teaching and training disciples to follow him.

It is a cause for celebration too that he still has disciples sharing this good news. Check God out for yourself, focus on Jesus, find his disciples and join them.

Come celebrate with us at our Christmas Eve Candlelight Carol Service 6.30pm Thursday 24th December.

Film for Christmas - try Nativity starring Martin Freeman on at Cinemas from 27th November (certificate U), a wonderful family film containing a clear presentation of an important part of the Bible story.

Regular Sunday Morning Programme (You are welcome to join us for all or part of the morning).
10.00-10.30 Prayer Meeting (Communion 1st Sunday)
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 11th December, 8th January.
Friends and Neighbours: 7.45pm Monday 18th January.

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:

Services during December and January
in our eight linked parishes
Please contact your Churchwardens if you think there is a mistake.
Explanation - our priest, Bernie, has been explaining that “Eucharist” means “Thanksgiving” and at the heart of the Eucharist
is the celebration of Holy Communion.
6th December 2nd Sunday of Advent
9.00am Flowton Family Communion by extension
9.30am Willisham Eucharist
11.15am Somersham Eucharist
11.15am Battisford Morning Prayer
3.00pm Barking Evening Prayer

13th December 3rd Sunday of Advent
8.00am Flowton Eucharist
9.30am Bricett Eucharist
10.00am Somersham Toy service
11.15am Barking Eucharist
11.15am Battisford Carol Service
3.00pm Willisham Carol Service
6.30pm Offton Evening Prayer

20th December 4th Sunday of Advent
8.00am Somersham Eucharist
10.00am Offton Carol Service
9.30am Willisham Family Service
11.15am Battisford Eucharist
3.00pm Somersham Carol Service
6.00pm Flowton Evening Prayer
6.00pm Ringshall Carol Service

24th December Christmas Eve
5.00pm Battisford Carols by Candelight
6.30pm Flowton Traditional Service of lessons and carols by candlelight
11.30pm Offton Midnight Eucharist

25th December Christmas Day
8.00am Flowton Holy Communion by extension
9.30am Barking Family Eucharist

27th December Christmas 1
10.00am Ringshall Eucharist
2.30pm Somersham Baptism
3rd January Christmas 2
9.00am Flowton Family Communion by extension
9.30am Willisham Eucharist
11.15am Somersham Eucharist
11.15am Battisford Morning Prayer
3.00pm Barking Evening Prayer

10th January Epiphany 1 and Baptism of Christ
8.00am Flowton Eucharist
9.30am Bricett Eucharist
10.00am Somersham Family Service
11.15am Barking Eucharist
11.15am Battisford Family Service
3.00 pm Willisham Evening Prayer
6.30pm Offton Evening Prayer

17th January Epiphany 2
8.00am Somersham Eucharist
10.00am Offton Family Service
9.30am Bricett Family Service
11.15am Battisford Eucharist
6.00pm Flowton Evening Prayer

24th January Epiphany 3
9.30am Ringshall Eucharist
10.00am Flowton Family Service
11.00am Offton Eucharist
3.00pm Somersham Evening Prayer
3.00pm Barking Evening Prayer
31st January Epiphany 4, Candlemas
10.00am Bricett United 8 parishes Eucharist

House group meeting in Advent

The Reverend Bernie Rose is planning to hold a house group at the Rectory during Advent.
The planned meeting dates are Tuesdays,
December 1st, 8th, 15th, 22nd at 7.30pm.
If you are interested, or would like to know more, please contact Bernie on
01473 657153 or by e-mail:
Forthcoming events at a glance
(extracts only, please check the Link articles for more details.)
If you wish your event to be included here please contact Silke

for Somersham Village Hall
Duties comprise unlocking / locking and cleaning
(on average 7  hours per week)
£45 per week
For more details please ring Hilary Bridger (831552)
or Mike Shelmerdine (831661)

Page last updated: 28-Nov-2009    
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