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Welcome to West Bergholt sign

West Bergholt is a large rural Essex village located amongst open countryside.  Country walks include the stunning Hillhouse Woods & St Mary’s Old Church.  It is located near the border of Essex & Suffolk and just outside and to the North-west  of Colchester   – Britain’s Oldest Recorded town. The village:

Covid-19 Virus

In 2016 West Bergholt won the Class 2 prize in the RCCE Village of the year competition and overall 2nd place, read the news item for more.

If you need support locally during the COVID-19 pandemic click here for information about our local enhanced Care Network service.  More general COVID-19 support and advice is here.

To find out more about us click here.  Scroll down to see recent news from the village.

What’s Happening

Bear in mind some activities might still be affected due to COVID-19

See more events here.

Gadgeteers this Summer Holiday

Get ready for Gadgeteers, arriving in your local library this summer!

Gadgeteers flyer

Children across Essex are being challenged to help the Gadgeteers by reading six books and earning cool stickers. Along the way they’ll discover amazing science and innovation in the world around us. If they complete the challenge, they receive a certificate and medal. Find out more about how to take part in this free activity on Essex Libraries website: libraries.essex.gov.uk

Gadgeteers takes place in all Essex libraries from Saturday 16 July to Saturday 3 September.

A library card for every child!

Continue reading “Gadgeteers this Summer Holiday”

St Mary’s Year of Jubilee Edition

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with A Year of Jubilee, and continues with other Jubilee events, Licensing of a lay Minister, Prayer Spaces and the usual listings of services and contacts.

A Year of Jubilee

This month we celebrate the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee with an extra long bank holiday weekend and in villages, towns and cities up and down the land, there will be special events to mark this special occasion.

Over the Queen’s remarkable reign, we can all probably remember several big Jubilee celebrations.

I was five when the Queen marked her Silver Jubilee, I still remember the fancy dress parade where I was dressed up as a 50 pence piece and being given a special commemorative coin from school, which I still keep in a special place.

Lovely Jubbly

For the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, I was on a planning committee, arranging a large community event, and, much like the recent error you may have heard about with 10,800 teacups, mugs and plates commemorating the ‘Platinum Jubbly’ … we managed to order hundreds of posters, which to our horror said ‘Diamond Jubliee’ by mistake

But then jubilee is not really a word we come across in everyday language very often, so no wonder it leaves itself open to the occasional spelling mistake.

Yet it is a word that we come across a fair bit in the bible. Biblically it is a year of emancipation and restoration. In the book of Leviticus, the Lord declares that a year of Jubilee be held every 50th year and that it be a special year of pardoning sins. Slaves were to be freed, debts forgiven and land returned to its original owner. So rather radical!

The Character of God

Jubilee, teaches us a lot about the character of God, His mercy, generosity and love of justice. We are reminded that God is our provider. In the same way Jubilee gives an opportunity for all people to display love and grace in a remarkable way and above all it sets people free.

Celebrate & Rejoice

Jubilee then is a fitting time for celebration and rejoicing.

So as we celebrate and rejoice in the Queen’s 70 year reign, we do so giving thanks for her strong Christian faith and witness. For the mercy, generosity and justice she has shown in her reign, and we rejoice and are glad in all that God has given us.

May God Bless you abundantly

Reverend Heather

Jubilee Events

Stalls at Village Festival

On Saturday 4th June, we will have two stalls at the Jubilee Festival on the Lorkin Daniell Field. One stall will have Jubilee themed crafts for all ages to try out; the other will be a books, games and toys stall run by our 5T’s Group (a group that meets each Thursday afternoon to share a cup of tea and a chat – all are welcome). Do come and visit us!

Jubilee Songs of Praise

On Sunday 5 June we look forward to welcoming you to a special Jubilee Songs of Praise Service at the Old Church, either walking from St Mary’s at 5.30pm or joining us at the Old Church at 6.00pm.

Jubilee Leaf Canopy Art Installation

A huge thank you to everyone who has knitted leaves for the special Jubilee Canopy which is being put together on 31th May. The canopy reflects the theme of planting trees for the Jubilee, and the knitted leaves represent every resident of West Bergholt. The leaves will be sewn into netting which will be suspended from the ceiling. Do come in and see it, it will be in place for the next few weeks.

Licensing of a Lay Minister

All are invited to attend a special service on Sun 26 June @ 3pm at St Mary’s Church to mark Liz’s licensing as a Lay Minister. Liz has recently completed three years of part-time training and is looking forward to serving in the parish of West Bergholt.

The role of a Licensed Lay Minister (LLM) is varied and can include leading non-communion services, preaching, teaching, supervision and mentoring of other lay ministries, and taking funerals.

The service will be followed by afternoon tea in the Rectory Garden. All welcome!

Thy Kingdom Come Prayer Spaces

Come and visit the prayer spaces in church from now until 5th June. They are part of the ‘Thy Kingdom Come’ global prayer initiative focusing on the Lord’s Prayer. They also link to prayer spaces in Revd Heather’s other parishes of Great and Little Horkesley, Boxted and Langham, Wormingford and Mount Bures so that you can visit all the churches in a sort of mini pilgrimage!

Services & Other Dates

4th JuneAttending Jubilee Festival
5th June9:30 amPentecost – Holy Communion (also on Zoom)
6:00 pmJubilee Songs of Praise at the Old Church
12th June9:30 pmMessy Church—outdoor service incorporating the ‘Caring for God’s Acre’ Churchyard Wildlife Count. Everyone welcome to join in!
19th June9:30 amHoly Communion (also on Zoom)
26th June9:30 amCafé Church
3:00 pmSpecial service to mark the licensing of Liz Dixon as a Licensed Lay Minister
For those services which are also being zoomed, please contact the church office on 01206 243683 or [email protected] for the zoom link.

Our Team at St Mary’s

  • Priest in Charge: Revd. Heather Wilcox
    email: [email protected]
    tel: 01206 240906 or 07503 151715
  • Assistant Curate: Revd Anne Mason
    email: [email protected].
    tel: 07895 970834 (Sunday & Tuesday – Thursday).
  • Church Wardens:
    Peter & Caroline Finlay, — [email protected] or 07926 387551 and
    Kate & Stephen Penrose, — 07973 421306
  • Lay Readers:
    Richard Chadborn—01206 240541;
    Michael Foster—01206 241022;
    Joy Budden—01206 241871.
  • Parish Evangelist
    Ron Seymour—01206 272579.
  • Church Administrator:
    Jo Rassell — 01206 243683,
    email: [email protected].
    Church Office Hours — Monday 9 am—12:30 pm, Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 1 pm.
  • Hall Bookings:
    Nicole Long—01206 240443.
  • Newsletter Editor:
    Liz Dixon
    tel: 07914 001212
    email: [email protected].
  • Website: Stmaryswestbergholt.co.uk
  • Follow us on Facebook:
    www.facebook.com/stmaryswestbergholt.

Open Gardens 2022

Open Gardens 2022 is almost here!

Open Gardens Collage 1
From previous displays

Arrangements for the 2022 Village Open Gardens Event have now been finalised. There will be 10 varied, interesting gardens and the Allotments open to view this year. The gardens will be open between 11 am & 5:30 pm on 12th June.

Buy your tickets now…

Entry to the gardens will be by Programme (£5 per adult/children free). Until 11th June they will be on sale at:

Continue reading “Open Gardens 2022”

Food Stories Coming Here – June 19th

Food Stries Logo

The Food Museum, formerly the Museum of East Anglian Life, is going on the road! They are touring their exhibition ‘Food Stories’ to communities across East Anglia arriving in the Orpen Hall on 19th June from 10 am until 4 pm. You can also get involved in the event yourself.

What are Food Stories?

‘Food Stories’ celebrates East Anglian recipes, cooking, farming techniques and dialect words that have been passed down through generations. The centrepiece of the exhibition will be a farm kitchen table featuring:

Farmers and workers at hayricks
Farmers Picnic?
  • local recipes,
  • photos,
  • sound recordings and
  • objects from their collection.

Visitors will be able to sit at, and engage with, the displays; you can also contribute your own recipes and memories to the exhibition. You will hear historic sound recordings from the region of people talking about their food and farming memories. Visitors can also participate in the University of Leeds’ cutting-edge dialect research by contributing their own dialect words.

Make your own contribution

Continue reading “Food Stories Coming Here – June 19th”

2022 Dawn Chorus Walk – Where’s the Song Thrush

Steve Hallam reports on the 2022 Dawn Chorus walk.

The 2022 Dawn Chorus walk at Hillhouse Wood took place in the midst of a run of warm sunny days, with cool nights. Except for the morning that we chose, which was cloudy and dull but mild. Nevertheless, the publicity team had done an excellent job, resulting in a very pleasing 30 people turning up. I was particularly pleased to find that Jonathan Jukes, the Woodland Trust Regional Manager responsible for the wood, had dragged himself out of bed at such an uncivilised hour, to join us. With the cloud cover, the night was still fully dark, and thus the birds were relatively slow to get going.

Continue reading “2022 Dawn Chorus Walk – Where’s the Song Thrush”

2022 Spring Flower Walk – but no pea shooters

Some of the spring flowers seen on the 2022 spring flower walk

Steve Hallam reports on the 2022 Spring Flower Walk.

This took place on a day of sunny intervals and a strong breeze; 12 people came along and off we went. Except that we did not go too far, to start with, as the first few yards of the track hold a variety of flowers to be discussed.

  • Daisies,
  • Dandelions,
  • Red campion,
  • Cow parsley,
  • Ground ivy,
  • Yellow archangel (domestic variety),
  • Garlic mustard,
  • Greater stitchwort and
  • Buttercup

… may not set everyone’s pulse racing – but they all contribute to a rich flora and they each have a story to tell. In the hands of a knowledgeable and articulate expert guide, these can weave a fascinating spell.

Unfortunately for the group, however, they had me – you get what you pay for!

Continue reading “2022 Spring Flower Walk – but no pea shooters”

St Mary’s Jubilee Songs Edition

Christian Aid
Join us this Christian Aid Week, and help turn hunger into hope.

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with Christian Aid Coffee Morning, announces Jubilee Songs of Praise at the Old Church, updates on Church Heating and Hall and other events and the usual listings of services and contacts.

Christian Aid Coffee Morning and Plant Sale

Coffee & cake

Please pop along to the Rectory on Monday 16th May, between 10 am – 12 pm, at 1 Church Close, West Bergholt for tea/coffee and cake and lots of fun and fellowship whilst raising money for Christian Aid. This is an event for all the six parishes and all are very welcome!

Continue reading “St Mary’s Jubilee Songs Edition”

Annual Parish Meeting – 27th April 2022

Will you be attending on 27th April 2022?

Taking place on 27th April 2022, the Annual Parish Meeting is not a Parish Council Meeting, but a meeting for electors of the parish.

It is an opportunity to discuss parish affairs and say what matters to you. Members of the public and press are welcome to attend.

The meeting will commence at 7:30 pm, on Wednesday 27th April 2022, in the Orpen Memorial Hall. Light refreshments will be provided. The Agenda for this year’s meeting, which will be chaired by Councillor Chris Stevenson, Chairman of the Parish Council, is:

  1. Welcome and Introduction from the Chairman
    Parish Council Annual Report 2022 & unaudited Trust Accounts 2021-22 (10 mins)
  2. Heathlands School (Joseph Fielder)
    New Headteacher of Heathlands Primary School (10 mins)
  3. Age Well (Emma Barrow)
    Services & contacts available from Age Well (previously Age Concern) (10 mins)
  4. Jane Gardner
    Deputy Police, Fire and Crime Commissioner for Essex (15 mins)
  5. Parish Council Grant Awards
    Friends of St Mary’s Old Church
  6. Active Essex
    Find Your Active presentation (5 mins)
  7. Tim Simpson (Essex County Council)
    Green Infrastructure and Sustainable Drainage Manager (15 mins)
  8. Robert Strathern
    Innovative farming methods at Fairfield Crisps (10 mins)
  9. Issues from the Floor – Have your say

It would be helpful if you could notify the Clerk in advance if you have any matters to raise during the Issues from the Floor item. Email to [email protected].

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