West Bergholt PC is pleased to welcome you to its website

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.

St Mary’s Advent Trail Edition

Learn About the 2021 Advent Trail & More Updates

Some example nativity windows from last year

St Mary’s December newsletter provides details of this years, advent trail and a Christmas message. It also, of course, has the usual listings of services (and they look forward to welcoming you for their Christmas Services in both the Old Church & St Mary’s), and contacts.

Christmas Message from Revd Heather Wilcox

It’s that time of year, when we are bombarded with Christmas advertising, but one advert in particular has caught my attention, probably because it has generated the most complaints in 2021 so far, the Tesco’s advert.

It begins with a lady standing outside a Tesco’s store being asked, ‘Do you need a little help’ and she responds, ‘Don’t worry my love, this year, nothings stopping me.’ Queens ‘Don’t stop me now’ providing the soundtrack to the advert.

Don’t Stop Me Now

The gist of course is that nothing is going to stop us from celebrating Christmas. If the lights go out, we will light a row of Christmas puddings instead and party on; if Santa’s grotto closes as we reach it, we will bribe the elves with mince pies and when Santa faces quarantine, of course he is already double vaccinated, nothing is going to get in the way of us celebrating Christmas just as we want to in 2021, unlike 2020 when plans had to be changed at the last minute.

2000 Years Ago

2000 years ago, nothing was going to stop Gods plan either. Mary was reluctant at first, to be the mother of the Son of God … when the angel spoke to her, she said,

‘How will this be, since I am a virgin.’

As the angel continued to speak Mary responded,

‘I am the Lord’s servant, let it be to me as you have commanded.’

Nothing was going to stop God’s plan.

After Mary it was Joseph who needed a little convincing to stand alongside Mary and not break off their engagement. An angel had to appear to him in a dream and reassure him that everything Mary had said was true, the child she would bear was really going to be the Son of God, conceived by the Holy Spirit.

And one thing is certain when a baby decides it is time to make an appearance, nothing is going to stop it, even if there was no room in Bethlehem! And so, on that first Christmas night, Jesus is born in a stable, laid in a manger and worshipped by shepherds.

God’s unstoppable plan, God with us. Immanuel

Our plans may or may not change, but we worship an unstoppable God of love, who is always with us, as we celebrate Christmas this year, let us put Jesus at the heart of all that we do.

Happy Christmas and May God bless you.

Reverend Heather

Advent Trail

The West Bergholt Village Advent Windows Trail is back for 2021! A huge thank you to everyone who has volunteered to decorate a window featuring a scene from the nativity story.

The first window will be revealed on Wednesday 8th December and then a window each day until Monday 20th December. The revealed windows will be lit between 4 pm and 7 pm each day up to & including Christmas Eve.

You can download a copy of the map & list of windows from St Mary’s website from 6th December.

8th Dec
St Mary’s Church, New Church Road
God sends the Angel Gabriel to a girl named Mary to tell her she will have a Son, Jesus.
Luke 1:26 & 31
9th Dec
The Rectory 1 Church Close
The Angel said to Mary, “People will call Him Son of the Most High.”
Luke 1:32
10th Dec
1 Lexden Road
Mary and Joseph had to travel to Bethlehem to register for the census.
Luke 2:1-3
11th Dec
Miltor House, Hall Rd
Mary and Joseph went to Bethlehem for the census because that was Joseph’s hometown.
Luke 2:4-5  
12th Dec
16 The Grays, Lexden Road
While Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to her son.
Luke 2:6-7
13th Dec
29  Lexden Road
Shepherds were in the fields watching their sheep.
Luke 2:8
14th Dec
4 New Church Rd
An angel of the Lord appeared to the shepherds.
Luke 2:9
15th Dec
50 New Church Road
The angel told the shepherds “Don’t be afraid. Today your Saviour was born in Bethlehem.”
Luke 2:11
16th Dec
Heathlands School
Magi from the east came to Jerusalem and asked “where is the one who has been born king of the Jews? We saw his star in the east.
Matthew 2:1-2  
17th Dec
Durham House, Armoury Road
The star the Magi had seen in the east went ahead of them.
Matthew 2:9
18th Dec
62 Albany Road
The star stopped over the place where Jesus was. Matthew 2:9
19th Dec
63 Albany Road
When the Magi saw the star, they were overjoyed and bowed down and worshipped Jesus.
Matthew 2:10
20th Dec
7 Valley Crescent
The Magi presented Jesus with gifts of gold, incense, and myrrh.
Matthew 2:11
Christmas Eve Crib Service 3pm Nativity Service at St Mary’s   All welcome Christmas Eve Carol Service 6.45pm @ St Mary’s       All welcomeChristmas Morning Communion Service   9.30am @ St Mary’s   All welcome

Services & Other Dates

5th December10:00 amHoly Communion (also on Zoom)
12th December10:00 pmMessy Church Christmas
19th December11:15 amHoly Communion (also on Zoom)
2:30 pmCarol Service by candlelight at the Old Church
24th December3:00 pmFamily Nativity – Crib Service
6:45 pmCarol Service
11:30 pmMidnight Communion at All Saints’ Church, Great Horkesley*
25th December9:30 amChristmas Holy Communion (also on Zoom)
26th DecemberNo services on Boxing Day
* If you would like a lift to this service, please contact the church wardens or the office.
NB All services are planned to be in person but we would be grateful if you could please wear a face covering if possible.
All at St Mary’s unless stated otherwise

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.
  • 3 Parish Families’ Worker:
    Jo Jeffery—07853 586683 (until 31st December).
  • Parish Evangelist
    Ron Seymour—01206 272579.
  • Church Administrator:
    Jo Rassell — 01206 243683,
    email: [email protected].com.
    Church Office Hours — Monday 9 am—12:30 pm, Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 1 pm.
  • Hall Bookings:
    Nicole Long—01206 240443.
  • Newsletter Editor:
    email: [email protected].
  • Website: Stmaryswestbergholt.co.uk
  • Follow us on Facebook:

Green Homes Grant – Are You Eligible?

CBC Offers Green Homes Grants

Green Homes Grants flyer

Parish Councillors have had early notice of Green Homes Grants. This comes as they are taking part in an Essex-wide series of workshops to understand how communities can come together to assist with climate change and carbon reduction initiatives.

Warmworks are managing the project; their role is to check resident eligibility & guide applicants through the process. They will also arrange for installers to deliver the works and inspect them afterwards.  The scheme is open until the end of March 2022.

Who Can Benefit?

Up to £10,000 is available for those who own their property. Up to £5,000 is available for renters when the landlord pays a minimum of one-third of the cost. The grants are available to those who:

Continue reading “Green Homes Grant – Are You Eligible?”

Two Parish Council Vacancies

Interested in your village, want to see things change?

Attributes of a good Parish Councillor

Following the resignation of two councillors, West Bergholt Parish Council currently has vacancies. Would you make a good parish councillor?  Why not visit the next full council meeting on 26th January at 7:30 pm in the Orpen Hall; you will be able to see our councillors working for you.    Contact the Parish Clerk – Laura Walkingshaw – at [email protected] for more details if interested,.

About the Parish Council

Continue reading “Two Parish Council Vacancies”

Environment & Highways 11th November 2021

Highlights of Environment & Highways Meeting on 11th November 2021


The Environment & Highways Committee of West Bergholt Parish Council met on 11th November 2021 with topics including:

  • Handymen dealing with activities such as fallen branch, to reviewing drainage issues,
  • Potential work on ponds,
  • Hopkins Home offer of land,
  • Orpen Hall trees, &
  • Parking in Colchester Road.
Continue reading “Environment & Highways 11th November 2021”

Advent Calendar for 2021

Some pictures from last years advent calendar

Will you help with an Advent Calendar for 2021?

Last year’s Giant Advent Calendar windows trail was so successful St Mary’s thought they would do it again for 2021! The idea is for 24 windows around the village to be decorated with a scene from the Christmas story, with 1 new window being revealed each day in December, up until Christmas Eve.

The video below shows the amazing designs people created last year (speakers on):

How to help

If you would like your house or business to be part of this year’s calendar, please contact [email protected] by Thursday 25 November. You can use an upstairs or downstairs window, as long as it is visible from the road.

What do you know about County Lines?

County Lines might be operating closer than you think

The National Crime Agency (NCA) operates a specialist centre to coordinate on all matters related to County Lines. They have identified Essex as a county where there is limited awareness of the signs of exploitation of children by County Lines groups. 

To address this a webinar has been prepared for parents with little or no understanding of what exploitation looks like. All parents will have access to it.

Continue reading “What do you know about County Lines?”

Planning for Festival Field 2022

Festival Field 2022 – Our Next Village Fete

Festival Field is 2022's Village Fete

Festival Field 2022 is the working title for next year’s Village Fete. Planned to take place on 4th June 2022 it will be closely linked to the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee celebrations with the beacon lighting on 2nd June. Planning started in September with a group of parish councillors and members of the public sharing ideas. Their outline plans for Festival Field include:


Sporting plans so far include:

Continue reading “Planning for Festival Field 2022”

From Digs to Jumbo – Local History Talks

The past & future of the Jumbo

The Balkerne Water Tower aka Jumbo

The next Local History Group meeting focuses on Colchester’s Victorian water tower, Jumbo. Andrew Crayston, a Trustee of the Colchester & North East Essex Building Preservation Trust, will lead the talk. You will hear about the past & future of the Balkerne water tower, affectionately referred to as Jumbo. There are some useful links below to find out more about Jumbo.

Where & When

The meeting will take place on November 10th in Orpen Hall starting at 7:30 pm. Members & non-members are welcome for £2 and £5 respectively (membership £10 per year). Please email the group at [email protected] if you want to attend; the group will then be able to keep you informed if there are any last minute changes to the meeting.

Roman discoveries at 2 recent digs

Continue reading “From Digs to Jumbo – Local History Talks”