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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.

Good News for Neighbourhood Plan

Colchester Local Plan Gives a Boost to our Neighbourhood Plan

Logo of the West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan project

Colchester adopted Section 2 of its’ Local Plan (CLP) on 4th July 2022, this is good news for our Neighbourhood Plan. You may well recall the upset when, on appeal, the Planning Inspectorate granted NEEB approval to develop the site off Armoury Road. The Parish Council, and villagers generally, felt that the decision was irrational but such a decision should not be able to made again thanks to the CLP.

The Parish Council have been successful in getting the following changes included in the CLP:

6.227 The West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan was made in 2019. It sets out the planning policy framework needed to support the delivery of 120 houses to 2033 and to guide and meet all other development or community needs identified by the community in West Bergholt.

Policy SS15: West Bergholt:  All development proposals in West Bergholt parish will be determined against and be required to comply with policies in the West Bergholt Neighbourhood Plan and any relevant Local Plan policies.

Chitts Hill & Chapel Road Closures

The next few weeks will see Chitts Hill closed for through traffic twice and Chapel Road just once. All dates are indicative and may vary according to operational needs. The following are in date order, but in inverse order of severity.

Chitts Hill – 28th July

Map locating two closures at Chitts Hill and diversion route

This closure is to permit Openreach to complete some works. Chitts Hill will be closed from its’ junction with Argents Lane in a southerly direction for around 170m. The recommended diversion route is via Argents lane, Spring Lane and Halstead Rod (or, of course, vice versa).

Continue reading “Chitts Hill & Chapel Road Closures”

Essex Way Photo Competition

Essex Way flyer

To celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Essex Way, CPRE (Campaign to Protect Rural England) Essex is launching a photographic competition; everyone is invited to join.

CPRE Essex played a leading role in bringing about this beautiful 81-mile walk from Epping to Harwich. There can be no better way of acclaiming its joys than sharing pictures of it.

You are invited to take shots of landscapes, buildings, people… whatever takes your fancy as long as your images are taken on the Essex Way.

Age Groups & Prizes

Continue reading “Essex Way Photo Competition”

St Mary’s Pilgrimage for the Homeless Edition

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with a report from a pilgrimage, and continues with other news on Licensing of Liz Dixon, Afternoon Tea, Summer Holiday activities and the usual listings of services and contacts.

Pilgrimage for the Homeless – Alan Murray Tells his story

Pilgrims assembling at Canterbury Cathedral

I have just walked the 74-mile Pilgrimage from St Martin-in-the-Fields in London to Canterbury Cathedral, with about 100 other pilgrims, sleeping on the floors of churches and halls. This took four full days and was a great experience, walking with some of the homeless people, as well as helpers and supporters of this homeless charity.

Continue reading “St Mary’s Pilgrimage for the Homeless Edition”

Candidates for By-Election 28th July 2022


Three candidates have been nominated to stand in the by-election

The following three candidates have been nominated to stand for the by-election in the Lexden & Braiswick ward:

NameHome AddressDescription
(address in Colchester)Labour Party
Kieron Anthony
(address in Colchester)Liberal Democrats
Sara Jane
Tall Pines, Chapel Lane, West Bergholt, CO6 3EFConservative Party Candidate

If you need to register to vote, organise a postal vote or other, please check the original notice of election.

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
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