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

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Offton & Willisham PC
From our Priest

Dear Reader,
Just recently, an impressive 80% of the electorate turned out to vote, in one of the former Soviet republics, Georgia. What appealed to them was the promise of a candidate, now elected, whose mandate is to root out corruption.

Putting this into practice at a national level is a tall order. It is daunting, too, when we face such a task at individual level. Trying to put ourselves to rights can land us in an even worse muddle. Some of us go in for appeasement: having upset somebody, we do our utmost to make amends. Buying a bunch of flowers, sending a card -these have been known to help. But we would need to see the look on the other person's face, the outstretched hand, to know whether or not we are forgiven.

Conscience tells us when things are not right, but I can spend ages trying to work out the why and wherefore of some misdoing, instead of calling it by its proper name which is 'sin'. Facing up to corruption in the wider world just has to be more straightforward than admitting our own sin. It's not easy for anyone, whatever their age or circumstances. The Bible's word for getting things right again is 'expiation', which is what Jesus came to do.

Before that time, the Psalmist said:
How blessed are those whose offence is forgiven, whose sin is blotted out, … whose spirit harbours no deceit. (Psalm 32, verse1)
After Jesus had come, the process was described in this way:
How much more shall the blood of Christ, who … offered himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God. (Hebrews 9, verse 14)
What we can't do, Jesus had taken upon himself.

Lent begins on the 25th of this month, and it can be a very useful clearing-up season in all sorts of ways. Best wishes!

Linden Fletcher

From the Registers
Welcome to:
William Patrick O'Keefe and Charlotte Grace O'Keefe who were baptised at Offton Church on 16th November 2003

May they grow in faith


Farewell to:
Eric Burroughs, who died aged 77 years, and whose ashes were buried at Somersham on 26th November 2003

Also to
Dorothy Gladys Smith who died on November 27th aged 93 years, and whose funeral took place on December 15th at Ipswich Crematorium.
Until she became unable to look after herself, Gladys lived at Mill Lane, Somersham. She was born in Grundisburgh and it is hoped that her ashes will be interred there.

Also to
Don Mayes who died at home in Bramford on December 30th, aged 76 years. He gave freely of his time not only to Bramford Church, but also to Somersham and Flowton when we were in the same grouping. He will be missed by his family and many friends.

May they rest in peace

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

1st February Presentation of Christ in the Temple
Malachi 3. 1-5 Psalm 24. 7-end
Hebrews 2.14-end Luke 2. 22-40

8th February 3rd Sunday before Lent
Isaiah 6. 1-8 Psalm 138
1 Corinthians 15. 1-11 Luke 5. 1-11

15th February 2nd Sunday before Lent
Genesis 2. 4b-9, 15-25 Psalm 65
Revelation 4 Luke 8. 22-25

22nd February Sunday next before Lent
Exodus 34. 29-35 Psalm 99
2 Corinthians 3. 12-4.2 Luke 9. 28-36

29th February 1st Sunday of Lent
Deuteronomy 26. 1-11 Psalm 91. 1,2, 9-16
Romans 10. 8b-13 Luke 4. 1-13

Jars of Grace

With this magazine you will find a leaflet about "Jars of Grace", a UNICEF initiative which we are given the opportunity to support during Lent. (Lent begins on February 25th)
I think I recall that sometime during the 1980's it was hoped that every person would have ready access to clean water by 2000. Well it has not happened - nearly 3 billion people are denied it.

This is our chance to help to provide water hand pumps and the local knowledge to maintain them. We can also help the provision of water purification tablets to prevent infection where the water is not clean enough, and oral rehydration salts to help children suffering from diarrhoea (often caused by dirty water) to re-hydrate and recover.

When water pumps are provided in a village, the time that young children have used fetching water from further away (up to 6 hours a day in all weathers) is then freed for them to attend school and so lead to a better life. Where women have been fetching the water they are able to give more time to cultivating food for their families, which leads to less hunger and healthier children.

Please consider how often you turn on a tap or use water each day -then give thanks by placing a coin in your "Jar of Grace" that others may have some of your freedom.

In April Link we will publish a list of places where you may hand in your gift.

Mother's Union

Once again we can look back to the end of November and report a very happy and successful Christmas lunch, although not as we had planned it! Due to quite unforeseen circumstances we needed to make alternative arrangements at the last minute and were delighted to find that Somersham Village Hall was available. It proved to be a most convenient venue with it's excellent catering facilities and Mary, Frances, Jennie and Margaret between them served a meal which everyone seemed to enjoy. It was a great pleasure to have the company of three husbands with us. (We told them they were only there to do the washing up - but somehow they seemed to manage to avoid it!) Our thanks go to everyone who helped on this occasion and to those drivers who have given invaluable help with transport through another year - we couldn't function without you!
Our next meeting will be for tea and a chat in Flowton Vestry

Flower and Cleaning Rota


February 1 Mrs. Pat Woolhouse
February 8 & 15, Mrs. Jane Pictor
February 22 Flower Fund
Cleaning Team B

February 1 & 8 Mrs Carter
February 15, & 22 Mrs Brooks
Cleaning Mrs. D Fawcus


February 1 & 8 Mrs. Sam Copping
February 15, & 22 Mrs. Peta Whiting
Cleaning Mrs. Copping


February 1 Mrs. Hardman
February 8 & 15, Mrs. Fisher
February 22 Miss Taylor
Cleaning as for flowers

No flowers in Lent. Easter Sunday April 11th.

Somersham Church News

Thank you to everyone who gave gifts for the Christmas Toy & Carol Service. These were taken to the Women's Aid centre in Ipswich where they were much appreciated by all.

The Christmas Bazaar raised £430. Many thanks to all involved in the event and everyone who came to support it.

There will be a Trivia Quiz on Friday March 12th. See advert elsewhere in the Link for more details.

You may be aware that there will soon be a ramp in the church porch to assist those who find steps difficult. Thank you very much for the anonymous donations that have been given towards the purchase of the ramp.

Books, CDs, Tapes & Videos Sale
in Somersham Village Hall
on Saturday 6th March
from 10 till 12 o'clock

Raffle ~ Refreshments

If you have any donations to the sale please contact Pat Woolhouse (831080) or Denis Picton (658911)

St Mary's Church Somersham
Trivia Quiz

on Friday 12th March
in Somersham Village Hall
at 7.30pm.

Teams of 6
£2.50 per person
Bring own drinks & glasses
(Coffee, biscuits & nibbles provided)


Book your team's place by contacting
Christine's Haircare, Somersham Garage,
Pat Woolhouse (831080)
or any PCC member.

(10% of profit to a nominated charity)



Christmas and New Year Greetings to all in Somersham and surrounding villages and Joyeux Noel et Bonne Annee to our friends in Challain la Potherie.


Following the very successful visit of the "Challainois" to Somersham last May, some of us were lucky enough to be able to make personal visits to Challain during the summer. All of us report on being made very welcome and with lots of good wishes to the people in Somersham being sent back with us.

We have now been invited to make another village visit to them. This is planned to take place over the first Bank Holiday in May. A coach will leave Somersham on Friday morning of 30th April, 2004 (we didn't like travelling through the night last time) and return on Monday 3rd May, 2004

We will have approximately 40 places available for this visit and the cost will be £70 per person. The cost includes all travel, accommodation, food, and entertainment, plus the good companionship of our own villagers and the opportunity to discover the wonderful hospitality of the real French people in a village very similar to our own.

If you would like to come along please return the slip below to Pat Woolhouse at The Willows, Chapel Lane, Somersham, or Gill Fordham at 2 The Springs, Church Lane, Somersham, with £20 deposit per person.

I/We would like to be included in the village visit to Challain la Potherie. May Bank Holiday, April 30-May 3, 2004 at a cost of £70 per person.

Address ………………………………………………………………………………………….
Tel No………………..............……….. How many people to be included?............................

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

From Miss Joan Lawrance

Joan would like to thank everyone who has sent her cards and letters over the recent weeks. She is sorry it is impossible to reply individually, but she much appreciates all the kindness and help she has received.

The Laying-up of the Royal British Legion Standard

It was with great sadness that the former members of the Somersham branch of the Royal British legion learnt of the death of Mr Eric Burroughs before the arrangements were completed for the laying-up of the Standard. This ceremony, placing it in the keeping of the Parish Church, will form part of the 3pm Evening Service at St. Mary's on Sunday 22nd February. All are welcome.

Sponsored Hymn-Sing

This combined fundraising event for the four churches of the Link will take place in Offton Church on Sunday 29th February starting at 3pm.

Participants (ALL ARE WELCOME!) are invited to collect sponsorship on a sponsor form, according to which of the 4 churches (Somersham, Offton, Flowton or Willisham) they wish to support.

As many hymns as possible will be sung on the afternoon (the target is 100!) with a break every 20-25 hymns for refreshments.

On completion - or exhaustion! - a steward will sign the sponsor forms and the donations collected.

People are also invited to donate a sum of £2 or more for their favourite hymn to be included.

We anticipate the event being highly enjoyable as well as financially successful.

Please contact your Church Wardens for sponsor forms or if you have any questions. Lifts can be arranged to Offton Church if needed.

Several piano pupils of Mrs Lynne Holton of Somersham took part in a concert to raise money for Children in Need recently and raised a sum of £35.10 in voluntary contributions. Much fun was had that evening - well done to all.

Also congratulations to the pupils who attained Associated Board of the Royal Schools of Music examination results -
David Wade: Grade 2 Practical with distinction;
Aaron Beckett: Grade 5 Theory with distinction and
Lauren Lunnibell: Grade 1Theory with distinction.
Keep up the good work.

Somersham Football Club

November was a month of mixed fortunes for both of Somersham's sides. Saturday 8th November saw the first team at home to St Edmunds 65, of Division 3, in the Omnico Cup. Somersham began brightly and scored midway through the first half. Before half-time however, two defensive mix-ups gifted St Ed's a 2-1 lead. The second half saw a hard fought competitive game from both sides and with little time remaining the match was balanced at 3-3. Final score Somersham 3 St Ed's 4. Disappointment all round, but this is a competition in which we would have to play extremely well to win and there is always the league and Primary Cup to concentrate on. Somersham Reserves were away to local rivals Claydon in a Division 6 encounter. Claydon won the game 3-1 and according to sources this was a fair result.

For the First team, Saturday 15th November brought the arduous journey to Wenhaston to play their reserve team in a Division 4 fixture. Another sound first half performance brought a 1-0 lead at half-time. The second half found a far more determined Wenhaston side and with the an equalizer, things began to look a little tricky. With 10 minutes remaining when left winger, Matt Ruffles, picked up the ball on the left, cut inside and curled an unstoppable shot in at the far post. Final score 2-1 to Somersham. The Reserves entertained AFC Hoxne Reserves, but came out on the wrong side of a 1-0 result. The result was particularly bitter as the home side had played extremely well.

Saturday 22nd November found the Reserve team without a fixture, but the first team were at home in the league to close rivals Ufford Sports. A close game was played out and the final quarter of the match saw the teams level at 2-2. The manager decided to shuffle his pack and lay his winning hand. Almost immediately the breakthrough came to Somersham and the final score remained 3-2 to Somersham. Thankfully Quinny emerged at training the following Tuesday none the worse for his exuberant evening of celebration at the Limeburners….unlike the surface of the 'Burners car park!

Saturday 29th November brought Primary Cup action back. The visitors were Southwold Town Reserves who play in the Lowestoft league. Yet again defensive shenanigans gifted the visitors a goal, but Somersham responded well and went into the break 2-1 in front, with both goals coming from goal factory Adam English. The second half found Southwold a spent force, which might explain how I managed to score 2 second half goals to end with a 4-1 Somersham victory. We are now in the last sixteen of this competition and hoping for a favourable draw in the Quarter Finals. The Reserve team were back in action, away to St Clements Hospital Reserves in the league, they came home having been defeated 1-0. The general feeling was that the opposition were quite poor and so the result was all the more disappointing.

Saturday 6th December once again left the Reserves with no game, as Shotley called off at the last minute. The first team were in action though, at home to Needham Market 'B' in the league. Somersham started well and were 1-0 up at the break thanks to a Ross Cater goal. With 10 minutes remaining the points looked to be in the bag. However, the ball was given away cheaply on the half way line and the Needham striker found his way into the penalty area. He was promptly up-ended leaving the ref no choice but to give a clear penalty. The penalty was converted and final Score 1-1. This was the most disappointing result for sometime as the game should have been buried, but hopefully the team will have learned a lesson to take into the remaining games of the season.

The 13th December dawned with the first team set to face Ufford Sports at Ufford. Somersham got off to a poor start conceding a soft goal early on. Ufford added another to reach half time 2-0 in front. The second half saw a better display from Somersham, but Ufford were awarded a free kick 25 yards out in front of goal. This was dispatched in Beckhamesque fashion to leave Somersham trailing 3-0. With 10 minutes remaining Somersham scored a consolation goal, but it was too little too late. This was a very disappointing result, but credit must go to Ufford who were defiantly more "up for it" than Somersham . The reserves were back in action at home to Tacket Street Reserves. The game ended in a 1-1 draw with Kieran Cotterell scoring once again. Not a bad result against tough opposition.

Saturday 20th December meant a drive up the A12 to play Halesworth Town Reserves in the league. Somersham began the match playing into a very strong head wind, but defended well and managed to get to the opponents penalty area a couple of times resulting in a goal to reach half time 1-0 in front. The second half saw Somersham boss the game with the wind at their heels and a smattering of sleet. Two further goals made the final score 3-0 to Somersham. Special mention goes to John Tunally for most inventive wind assisted goal of the season. The ball was played to him from a free kick and from the edge of the area he scooped the ball up to the required height and let the wind and sleet carry the ball over the helpless goalkeeper into the net. The goalkeeper back pedalled furiously to stop the effort, but in his awe of this amazing harnessing of Mother Nature only managed to header the goalpost. Strange days indeed!!
Meanwhile back at Somersham the reserves were entertaining Needham Market Youth in a league fixture. The weather again made the game a tricky proposition, but Needham were unfazed and ran out comfortable 3-0 winners.

The first Saturday of 2004 brought the first team the next round of the Primary Cup. Bungay started the match in a very strong manner, but the final 10 minutes of the first half found Somersham on top with Simon Chambers scoring his first goal for the first team to go in 1-0 up. The first 20 minutes of the second half saw Somersham double their lead with a penalty from Matty Whitton to maintain his 100% record from the spot this season. Bungay pushed 3 men into attack in an effort to get back into the match and Somersham found themselves pegged back to 2-2 with minutes remaining. Bungay pushed forward again and destroyed Somersham's hopes of progressing any further by scoring with only seconds left of normal time. The cup run has however left the first team with a number of games in hand in the league, so concentration can now be given to that.

The reserves first game of 2004 was a home fixture to St Clements Hospital Reserves who they lost 1-0 to in the away fixture. Unfortunately revenge could not be gained as St Clements repeated the away game, winning 1-0. .

You may remember I mentioned a coach trip to Mildenhall Greyhound track in past notes. This took place on the 13th December and a full coach departed Somersham. An excellent night ensued with some winning a few quid and some losing a few, but a good time was had by all and thanks to Ray Smith for the idea and organisation, helped by Quinny Warner, Matty Whitton, Dill Sillet and, undoubtedly, by Mrs Smith. Hopefully another bash will be on the cards before the end of the season.

Changing the subject, I have had an urgent appeal from Head Groundsman Denzil Mumby 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 found its way to the dump yet, please feel free to send it round to Denzil's - the 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 also bring your paint with you and leave it with a member of the club at the pavilion. Many thanks.

By the time you read this Christmas will be a dim and distant memory. I and all at Somersham Football Club hope you had a Merry Christmas and are enjoying a splendid New Year. Let us be the first to wish you a Happy Easter. See you on Saturday!!!

Somersham Parish Council

February 2004

Make a difference, become a councillor

The Parish Council is unable to run unless people of the parish get involved, it is there to help the people of the village obtain all of the services and benefits of living in the village.

We currently have vacancies for councillors, and we need you to fill them. You can get involved in as a much as you like, from a few hours a month, to as many hours as you want!

If you wish to know more about becoming a councillor contact Andrew Mayhew, the Clerk to the Council, details at the end of this article, I can put you in contact with existing councillors who will be able to talk you through what they do, as well as giving you information myself.


Youth Forum

Unfortunately there was not a huge turnout at our Youth Forum in November 2003, but we still wish to know the opinions of the young people from the village.

Please get in contact with us, either through:

  • the Clerk to the Council;
  • the Baptist Church Youth Clubs or;
  • Colin Burrows of the Neighbourhood Watch

We are very keen to find out what you want in the village, so that it is a village you wish to be a part of.


Parish Improvements

The Parish Council are always looking into different things to help improve the village, here are some of the things which have been completed recently, or will be completed shortly:

  • New grit/salt bin put in place on Brook Way to provide better storage
  • Moving of the Litter bin on the Village Green, closer to the new footpath
  • Placement of 3 dog waste bins around the village

If there are any other improvements you would like to suggest please contact the Clerk to the Council, and the Parish Council would be happy to consider the idea at our next meeting.



There is currently one allotment available to rent on the allotment land beyond Stocks Hill.

If there is anyone interested in renting this allotment please contact the Clerk to the Council for more information.


Somersham Town Land Charity

The Somersham Town Land Charity is a small charity which was setup to help villagers in a condition of need, hardship or distress.

Recently the charity has moved on to also provide funding for local groups to help with small projects.

If a resident or group in Somersham would like the Trustees to consider an application please contact the Clerk to the Council for further information.

Parish Council Meetings

The following meetings are planned for Somersham Parish Council up until April 2004. All meetings begin at 7.30pm.

  • Wednesday 4th February 2004 - Pavilion, Playing Field
  • Wednesday 3rd March 2004 - Village Hall, Committee Room
  • Wednesday 7th April 2004 - Pavilion, Playing Field

Meetings for the second half of the year will be shown in the April article.

A leaflet showing all meetings is available on the Parish Council's website, from the Clerk to the Council and from the Village Shop/Post Office.

If any unplanned meetings become necessary, such as planning meetings, these will be advertised on the village notice board, outside the Village Shop, and in the village newsletters if there is sufficient time, which unfortunately there rarely is.

All meeting information, including agendas and minutes are available on the Parish Council's website:

Andrew Mayhew
Clerk to the Council
Address: 21 Morgan Court, Claydon, IPSWICH, IP6 0AN
Tel No: 01473 834035
Web Site:


Only three matches and a cup match to report on during November and December, due to the small number of teams in our winter league.

With the first being at home with East Bergholt; we felt in confident mood at the start of the match as our two opening teams had fine wins. The second half was a very different story, as East Bergholt had other ideas and we finished up narrowly beaten by losing on the total shots, making the final score 6 - 4 to the visitors. Obviously still more practice needed for the Somersham team.

Our next visit was to Harkstead and made for another good and close match. This time Somersham coming out on top, two of our four teams winning, one drawn and the other team losing, but not by too many shots as the final scoreline indicates.

The Christmas Pairs was the next in-club occasion with members drawing names out of the hat to do friendly battle within the club. The various games proved to be extremely competitive, with the Winners Shield eventually going to Belle Deaves and Peter Haughton.

Our match with Brantham - the last before Christmas - proved to be another disappointing result for Somersham with 3 of our 4 teams being beaten. Consequently whilst enjoying the end of match refreshments we were left only to ponder on where the games had been lost.

After the long journey out to West Suffolk in the first week of January, our hopes in the Cup away to Hundon were dashed from the outset with the home team running out 8 - 0 winners, and by 55 - 24 shots. We therefore have to look to recovering the situation when the home leg in played on our own mats, and this result will be reported in the next Link.

Winter League

Team Shots Points
East Bergholt 46 - 38 6 - 4 Lost Home
Harkstead 36 - 39 3 - 7 Win Away
Brantham 45 - 33 8 - 2 Lost Home

Finally in concluding our entry for the Link - the first for 2004 - the Carpet Bowls Club would like to wish all readers ....a Happy New Year.

2004 Programme

Feb. 9th Richard Ford -Ground cover plants
Mar. 8th AGM and special interest tables  
April 5th Ian O'Brien Baker - Landscaping  
The above 3 meetings are at 7.30pm in the Village Hall
May 10th 7.30pm Visit to Bresworth House
June 14th 7.30pm Visit to Open Gardens, Offton
July 12th 7.30pm in Village Hall Sue Robinson - Scents for all Seasons
August 9th 7.30pm Visit to Shrubland Park Nurseries
Sept. 13th 7.30pm in Village Hall Peter Bateman - Water Gardens
Oct. 11th 7.30pm in Village Hall C.Parfitt - Wild Flowers and Gardens
Nov. 8th 7.30pm in Village Hall Barbara Segall - The Holly and the Ivy
Dec. 13th 7.30pm in Village Hall Social and Quiz Night

We have now completed three years since formation and have forty plus members. Have you heard of us and wondered if it is the club for you?
We meet on the second Monday of each month in Somersham Village Hall at 7.30pm, or make visits to outside venues during the summer months. Garden experts and enthusiastic speakers are engaged for indoor meetings with time for a cuppa and chat afterwards, plus a raffle of course. In May we hold a Plant Sale to raise funds, and there are also plants for sale at some of our meetings. You will find a warm welcome from people with a variety of garden interests.
Subscription is just £5 a year but if you want to try before you buy, please come to a meeting as a visitor for only £1.
For further information please contact Jeff or Sheila Welsh on 01473 657345

Flowton News

Urgent Notice

Please contact Mary Carter and let her know how you feel about the idea of Gardens Open and Flower Festival in 2005 -a few people have kindly done so but more responses are needed if we are to know how people really feel about the idea. (01473 658522 or Otterditch, Flowton)

The Eight Parishes Supper takes place on Saturday February 7th in Ringshall Village Hall - if you have not yet done so, please buy your ticket from Diana Fawcus.

For your Diary
Flowton Parochial Church Council APCM takes place on Sunday 18th April after Evening Prayer.
The AGM of Flowton Parish Meeting takes place on Wednesday 21st April in the evening.


Christmas Decorations
Thank you to everyone who helped make Willisham Church look so festive, by providing decorations and/or decorating the church prior to our Carol Service.

Church Annual Meetings
This year's meetings take place in Willisham Church on Tuesday the 23rd March, at 7.00pm. Anyone on the Electoral Roll is entitled to vote at these meetings and a revision of the Roll takes place during February. I f you would like to be included on the Electoral Roll, please contact Frances Gilson.

Eight Churches Supper
The above takes place on Saturday the 7th February, at Ringshall Village Hall. This is a wonderful opportunity to meet people from the other parishes in our Benefice. Tickets for Willisham can be obtained from Frances Gilson.

Sponsored Hymn-Sing
Full details of the above will be found elsewhere in the Link, but Willisham will be taking part in this event on Sunday the 29th February. Please contact the PCC for sponsorship forms, and help raise money for your local church.

The Mystery Hampers
A very large breakfast hamper and a selection of bath goodies were found on Willisham Church doorstep on Saturday the 3rd January. There was no note, and if you have any information regarding these, please contact any member of the PCC.

Those of us in Willisham who have Co-op milk delivered by David, will know that he is retiring at the beginning of February.

David has delivered our milk for many years, and has always managed to get through however bad the weather. I realize there is very little time, but wondered if we should mark his retirement in some way. Any ideas to Frances Gilson 658387, by the 4th February.

by candle light in Offton Church






contact Maartje Rondeboom Tel 01473-658024


In the series Magical Musical Moments tickets for Trio Ted, Cara & Scott sold out within 48 hours. At the time of writing there are only a few seats left for the third and last concert. Opus' four clarinettists will play blues with Alice Porter demonstrating her dexterity on the keyboard. If you are interested please act swiftly.

Offton Church News

Dates to note for events in 2004

Saturday 7th February 8 Parishes Supper - 6.30 for 7 pm in Ringshall Village Hall £5 inclusive
28th February 2004 Concert in the Church
Monday 26th April Annual Parochial Church Meeting - 7 pm in Offton Church.
Contact Anne Chapman (658235) if you wish to go on the Electoral Roll.
9th May Festival of Talents
12th June Fete in Churchyard.
February 5th February 10.30 am - Coffee Mornings in Offton Church - on the First Thursday of the Month - start again.
March 10th - Chick Chat Club starts again.

Watch the Link for details of other possible events.

The Carols and Mulled Wine evening organized by Silke and Colin Pinson-Roxborough just before Christmas was a happy one with mince pies, quiche and excellent mulled wine. There was a lot of singing with everyone in good voice with Paul on the keyboard. Over £60 was raised for the church.

Rectors Plate 2004

It gets better every year! Thank you to David and Jane for all the thought and hard work given to this event. It truly was a wonderful day for both bowlers and onlookers and a superb financial help for Offton Church. The sum of £1415.05 was raised which is a record. This was achieved through entry fees from the bowlers (who come from throughout the county and beyond), tombola, various raffles and competitions and refreshments being served all day. Thank you to all who contributed.
Congratulations to this year's winner of The Rector's Plate, Dawn and Jamie Smith from Willingham, near Cambridge. The runners-up were Sally and Jim Goodrich from Claydon. Crystal glasses were awarded to four other pairs thus spreading the prizes.
I know that David and Jane wish to thank all PCC members and others who so willingly helped on the day but the biggest thanks must go to them - they are already planning for 2005!

The Chick Chat Club finished off the year with a cheerful party on 13 December which included singing accompanied by Peta and some fun forfeits. The group has met twice a month and covered a number of subjects ranging from make up to vegan recipes, but role play remains the most popular activity. Meetings start again on March 10 and will be held twice a month on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month at 7 pm. in Offton Church. (March10 & 24, April 14 and 28, May 12 & 26 and June 9 & 23) Do come along if you are in year 8, 9, or 10. Further details from Lucy Vignoles 01473 658480.

Suffolk Historic Churches Trust
Sponsored Bike Ride

A big thank you to Helen and David Thorne, Simon Gray and Thomas King who all took to their bikes for this year's Sponsored Ride, and to Jan Dickson, who dispensed with wheels and completed her journey on foot!

Total sponsorship money amounted to £329.40p, half of which will go directly to St. Mary's Church.

Thank you also to all those people who manned the Church throughout the day, and provided refreshments for the 34 cyclists who visited Offton Church on their travels. Alison Rumsey

(and thank you too to Alison for organizing it every year!)

Offton and Willisham Senior Citizens Christmas lunch - this year the kitchen and meal was managed by Janet Crickmore and Lois Seddon and thanks is due to them and all the other helpers, the entertainers and those who contributed gifts and Christmas goodies to make it such a good event.
A final historical note:

Noel Yvette Domini 1902? - 1994

The tapestry in Offton Church of the Last Supper was worked by Noel Yvette Domini when she was in her eighties. It was donated to St Mary' Offton by her foster son Daniel following her death.

Noel was born into abject poverty, deserted by her mother, found by Dr Barnado's and finally fostered here in Offton. The years she spent here were the happiest of her youth. She referred to them frequently. As she aged, Noel would look forward to being reunited her foster mother after death. Her faith was very strong and she was certain that her deepest desire would be met.

All of Noel's long life was fraught with difficulties until she reached old age when she finally allowed her foster son Daniel to care for her, which he did till her death. Danny was the middle child of her 'three jewels'. Sadly her eldest adopted son Bernard did not live long after his mother's death, but Danny and his sister, Ruth, still remember their mother's strength, her ability to survive against all the odds and her constant struggle to keep the family together, whatever it took.

On her death it was arranged that her ashes be interred in the soil which contains the remains of her foster mother, in St Mary's Churchyard. Noel's greatest wish has been achieved.

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

It may be February but this is the first chance I have had to wish everyone a Happy and Prosperous New Year.
It does not seem like a year since I started work on this beat and it seems that I have only managed to meet half the people and groups I wanted to. If you run or are a member of any organisation and think that either your members or myself might benefit from a meeting please contact me on the numbers below. I am always happy to talk to any group about the police, crime reduction advice, and neighbourhood watch or just to pay a visit to one of your meetings to let people know who I am.

These notes always include some crime reduction advice, which inevitably repeats itself over time. If there is any crime reduction topic readers think would be of interest to others just pass me the details and I will do my best. For February, having got Christmas and New Year out of the way, I would suggest a recheck of your property marking. Has anything new been marked with your postcode? Has any new jewellery been photographed for identity purposes? And so on. Your Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator can advise you and Ultra Violet markers are only £1.00 from the police station.

On the crime side of things I will go through events since the last newsletter, some are rather old but someone may some information to pass on to me:

  • In Somersham two motorcycles were stolen, one from Stocks Hill a Suzuki GSXR 400 with seized brakes stolen between 6th and 10th November, and a Yamaha TZR 125 stolen from Princes Gardens on the evening of the 28th November.
  • On the 12th of December, also in Somersham, a Ford Bravo had a passenger window smashed whilst parked at The Springs,
  • on the 10th December at about 6.45pm, a young girl at home alone in Springfield Road was startled by a male seen in the back garden of the house and appearing as if he was about to try the door handles. The male was described as being about 30yrs old dressed in black around 5ft 9inches tall with short black hair.
  • These three events all occurred over a relatively short time period so if you can recall anything unusual give us a call.
    A recent event not in The Link area but worthy of note is the theft of a Horse Box and its contents of tack from Ringshall over the night of the 2nd January. The box was removed despite being locked and parked adjacent to a dwelling. Please make your property as secure as possible and make your tack less desirable to others by indelibly marking it.

For advice on property marking of any sort please contact your Crime Reduction Officer Dave Gilson at Stowmarket Police Station or myself.

Offton can by no means be called a crime hotspot but it does benefit from having a neighbourhood watch, however at present it does not have a Neighbourhood Watch Co-ordinator to receive or pass on any messages of interest to the parish. I hope that by the time this is read a volunteer will have come forward because without a co-ordinator a scheme cannot exist. If you can assist in any way please contact me.

If you know anything about any incident mentioned in these notes 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 have a rest day for 4days. If you require urgent action do not leave a message but speak to another officer.

My deputy should I be on leave or otherwise away for any length of time will be Pc Simon Mills, he is contactable on the same telephone numbers as myself.
Pc 980 Kevin Shields

To go to the Suffolk Police web site please click here

To go to the Neighbourhood Watch site of Suffolk Police click here



Somersham Baptist Church

Love is in the air.

Valentines Day kind of dominates this month, hoping for a valentine, dreading a valentine, disappointment that all valentines are passed. But is true love real or an illusion. Cher is quoted as saying 'the trouble with women is that they all excited about nothing, and then they marry him'.

The Apostle Paul is sure of love 'Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails'. This love is more demanding than the TV version, a definition of love we will never attain. But wouldn't all our relationships, especially marriage benefit from this realistic love of the New Testament. The source of this kind of love is God, who the Apostle John says 'is love'. As someone has helpfully pointed, out Jesus could well replace love in the quotation from Paul. So if I put a little more Jesus love into my marriage maybe I will get a valentine this month.

National Marriage Week 8th -14th February. There are some helpful suggestions on how to strengthen your marriage on their web site

Thanks to all those who joined us for our carol service.

Hospital visits; During term time Mark is regularly at Heath Road Hospital, so if you know of someone who would appreciate a visit please contact him on 01473 831940 or 07930 543583.

Regular Meetings
Sundays (except Nov 9th)

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

Ladies Meetings
Women's Fellowship 2.30pm Friday 13th February.
Friends and Neighbours 7.45pm Monday 16th February.

Children and Young People (Held during term time)
Yr. 1-6, Wednesday Club 6.30pm.
Yr. 9 on, 14+ Friday 8.00pm,

Christianity Explained; Six sessions, which deal with Jesus, Salvation and becoming a Christian, to find out more contact Mark.
Somersham Baptist Church, Chapel Lane, Somersham, IP8 4QE

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

CHURCH SERVICES in our 8 linked parishes

The new rota of services began in October - and there are changes for the holiday. if you have any doubts about this listing please contact the churchwardens. Thank you.

February 1st Presentation of Christ in the Temple

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 by extension 6.30pm Flowton

February 8th Third Sunday before Lent

Holy Communion by extension
8:00am Flowton
Family Service 10.00am Somersham
Holy Communion 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Barking
-this service will include the commissioning of Shelagh Herring as Lay Elder by Archdeacon Terry Gibson.
Family Service 11.15am Battisford
Evening Prayer 6.30pm Offton

February 15th Second Sunday before Lent

Holy Communion 8.00am Somersham
Family Service 10.00am Offton
Family Service 10.00am Bricett
Holy Communion 11.15am Battisford
No service at Flowton this evening    

February 22nd Sunday next before Lent

Holy Communion 9.30am Ringshall
Morning Worship 10.00am Flowton
Holy Communion 11.00am Offton
Morning Prayer 11.15am Barking
Evening Prayer 3.00pm Somersham
this service will include the Laying-up of the Royal British Legion Standard at which the Revd. Peter Mortimer will be present.

Wednesday 25th February Ash Wednesday

Holy Communion by extension 8.00am Bramford
Please look at church noticeboards for other services locally

February 29th First Sunday of Lent

Holy Communion

10.00am Somersham
This service is for all 8 parishes with a talk by Christian Aid Representative Swaraj Jayasinghe
Sponsored Hymn Singing 3.00pm Offton

Please see Somersham Parish notes for full details of this event.

Page last updated: 25-Feb-2009    
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