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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.

Old Church Quiz at Orpen Hall

Test your memory with a quiz at Orpen Hall

Old Church Quiz at Orpen Hall

The Friends of St Mary’s Old Church are holding a quiz at Orpen Hall on 8th October. All funds raised will go towards the continued upkeep of the Old Church. Renovations have gone well but more remains to be done so the more you raise the closer we get.

Why not call your friends now!

The Details

  • Teams of up to 6.
  • £5 entry per team member.
  • Doors open at 7 pm for a 7:30 start.
  • It’s at the Orpen Hall.
  • Bring your own nibbles and drinks.
  • Contact Beverley Kettell for tickets:

The Friends work supplements the support of national charity, The Churches Conservation Trust (CCT), which is responsible for the preservation of this and over 350 other redundant churches in England.

Mini Twentieth Century History Quiz For Fun

Continue reading “Old Church Quiz at Orpen Hall”

They Came From Mars – An Orpen Players Comedy

They Came From Mars & Landed outside the Church Hall

Following the success of their Spring Pantomime, “They came from Mars and landed outside the Farndale Avenue Church Hall in time for the Townswomen’s Guild’s Coffee Morning” is an unabashed comedy.

Spaceship from Mars landing on the hall

Directed by Michael Poole, this hilarious comedy written by David McGillivray and Walter Zetlin Jr. will, according to one reviewer “laughing until you cry”.

Continue reading “They Came From Mars – An Orpen Players Comedy”

The “Back to Normal” News Update

Back to Normal sign

Back to Normal

As the nation gets back to normal routines, it’s time to catch up on some local news. Click the links to the updates that interest you:

Colchester City Centre Masterplan

Continue reading “The “Back to Normal” News Update”

Colchester Council Services Closed on Monday

Affecting Numerous Colchester Council Services & Buildings

The Queen's portrait used by Colchester Council on their announcement was painted by local man.

Queen Elizabeth II visited Colchester on many occasions during her 70-year reign, her last visit being in 1985 where she had lunch at Colchester Town Hall before officially opening Colchester General Hospital. 

Colchester Council has issued the following guidance:

As a mark of respect, and to allow council staff to mourn the nation’s loss, the following council buildings and services will close or run a limited service on Monday 19th September for The Queen’s state funeral:

Continue reading “Colchester Council Services Closed on Monday”

Chair’s Statement on the Death of the Queen

Death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II



On behalf of West Bergholt Parish Council, I know all my fellow Councillors and staff join the millions worldwide in mourning the death of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II and sends its condolences to the Royal Family.
The Union Jack is being flown at half-mast at the Orpen Memorial Hall and flowers may be laid at its base, we only ask that you remove all plastic wrappings first. There will be no formal notices by the Council until after the funeral, but a Book of Condolence is open for all at St Mary the Virgin Church in New Church Road.
This year’s village festival in June with its royal theme, beacon lighting and tree planting was part of the nation’s celebration of Her Majesty’s seventy-year reign but seems a lifetime away now with the sad news in the last week.
I write this some days after the condolences of others have been published, and for that I offer apologies having been out of the country but stood not yards from the President of Italy when a holding a minute’s silence, recognition perhaps of the respect that leaders around the world had for her.
It is also perhaps as poignant for me as many others in that my mother was the same age our Queen but died at half her age, although both her and my father had the privilege of meeting the Queen at Buckingham Palace because of their charity work.
We will remember the Queen for her unfailing devotion to public life and the stability she has offered over the last seventy years, and that we must still celebrate whilst mourning her loss.
Book of CondolenceLike many others I wish King Charles III’s reign will be as successful as his mother’s whilst we offer him our thoughts at the loss of not only his Queen but his mother and grandmother to his sons.
Brian Butcher
Chair – West Bergholt Parish Council



Commemoration Service & Cancelled Event

Commemoration Service for the Late Queen Elizabeth II

Commemoration Service for Queen Elizabeth II

There will be a Commemoration Service for Her Late Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in St Mary’s. It will start at 6 pm on 18th September.  It would be great to see representatives at that service from all the organisations within the village. This is a service for the whole community to come together.

A Book of Condolence is open at the New Church from 9am to 7pm each day. Flowers can be left by the flag at the Orpen Hall (no plastic wrappings please).

Old St Mary’s Cancels Event & Updates on Internal Renovations

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Essex Lights – A History Club Talk

Essex Lights – Guiding Seafarers

Essex Lights featuring image of the Dovercourt Low lighthouse

The next Local History Group meeting will learn about Essex Lights of which there are many. From Harwich, down the coast and into the Thames Estuary. Peter Jones will be presenting the history of these Lighthouses in the Orpen Hall on Wednesday 14th September at 7:30 pm.

Members cost is £2 and non-members £4 which includes refreshments.

Other talks coming up inlcude:

  • Steve Pollington talking about Sutton Hoo, and
  • Norman Jacobs on the topic of Colchester 1880-1980.

Spring & Summer Events

The Group’s last meeting in Orpen Hall on April 13th, was to hear about the history of the Minories in Colchester. This Grade II listed building is believed to have been built in the Tudor period but with subsequent modifications, in mid-18th century, turning it into the elegant Georgian building you see today.

Continue reading “Essex Lights – A History Club Talk”

Mourning the Passing of HM Queen Elizabeth II

West Bergholt Participation in the National Period of Mourning

Mourning the loss of The Queen

From today, we ask all in the community to take a moment to pay our individual respects during this time of national mourning. 


The flag outside the Orpen Memorial Hall will be at half-mast until 8 am the day after the State Funeral and there is an area at the base of the flagpole where residents may lay their floral tributes, if they wish. 

Flag lowered to half-mast during mourning period

Book of Condolence

The official West Bergholt Book of Condolence will be available for residents to sign at St Mary’s Church. There are also candles for those who might like to light one whilst they sit and reflect. The church will be open each day between 9 am and 7 pm.


The timetable of events during this period of mourning is as follows with an educated guess based on recent announcements for the lying in state & Civic Services:

8th SeptemberDate of Death
10th SeptemberProclamation Day in London when the new Sovereign is proclaimed
11th SeptemberProclamation Day:
@ 12 noon in Belfast, Cardiff & Edinburgh
@ 2 pm High Sheriff’s read County Proclamation
@ 4 pm or after Civic Leaders read local proclamation
11th September?Middle Sunday – Civic Services
14th – 17th SeptemberLying In State in London
19th SeptemberDate of Funeral (which will be a Public Holiday)

Once official dates are announced this page will be updated.

Open Gardens 2022 & Other Gardeners Updates

Open Gardens 2022

After the delay of two years the Open Gardens 2022 Event finally took place on Sunday, 12th June. Organised by the Gardeners Club, eleven generous owners, together with the allotment holders, opened their beautiful gardens or vegetable plots to almost a thousand visitors (lots of photos to view on the West Bergholt Hub).

Busy Hub

The weather was fine and sunny and the village was buzzing as people walked between the various sites. The Orpen Hall was the busy central hub with the plant stall and refreshments. It proved to be so popular that preserves sold out and most of the plants and the supply of cakes had to be topped up on more than a few occasions!

Continue reading “Open Gardens 2022 & Other Gardeners Updates”

St Mary’s News – Goldilocks Edition

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with a Revd Heather’s Message looking at Goldilocks, and continues with other news including:

Revd. Heather’s Goldilocks Message

Just Right!


Many of you, I am sure, will be familiar with the story of Goldilocks and the three bears. There is something in this fairy-tale which speaks into our very human nature.

Continue reading “St Mary’s News – Goldilocks Edition”
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