Cakes, History, Remembrance & Fitness

Remembrance pebblesCakes, History, Remembrance, Fitness & St Mary’s Update – Updated for Lockdown

This news update covers several topics, starting with Cakes, History & Xmas, then covering:

First let’s find out what Cakes, History & Xmas have in common:

Cards, Cakes, History & Xmas – what’s not to like?

One of 2020 Xmas Cards - features Old Church Organ
One of the cards available

With COVID-19 curtailing their regular fundraising activities the Friends of St Mary’s Old Church are hoping for a bumper turnout for their outdoor sale on Saturday 7th November.  On sale will be:

  • Christmas Cards featuring the Old Church – pack of 6 for just £3.50 or SPECIAL OFFER – 3 packs for £10.
  • Jon Landers’ books:
    • “People, Priests and Problems of a Country Parish”, which describes 1,200 years of West Bergholt’s history. A bargain at just £3.
    • “The Queen’s Champion”, which tells the story of Thomas Abell who for part of his early life lived in Cooks Hall Farm, West Bergholt. In 1527 he was appointed Queen Catherine of Aragon’s chaplain and sealed his fate defending her claim to the throne.  Just £5 for this insight into Tudor ‘politics’.
  • Delicious home-made cakes.

The money raised, as ever, goes towards the upkeep of this wonderful local asset.  Please pay a visit to the Long House, 29 Lexden Road, next Saturday 7th November between 10 am and 1 pm.

Remembrance Day Events – Updated

With the new Lockdown rules, the village can now only commemorate the fallen together in a church service by virtual means.  St Mary’s will be hosting a Zoom Remembrance Service on 8th November which will be led by Rev Ian Hilton and to which all are invited.   You can join the Zoom session from 10:30 am with the service due to start at 10:45 am; the meeting ID is 844 6583 7348 & passcode  600763.  The church bell will ring at 11 am for those at home wishing to take part in a doorstep 2-minute vigil, and then again at the end of the 2 minutes.

Other ideas that have been suggested to help with this commemoration include:

  • Paint a poppy for your window. As we thanked the NHS, perhaps we could also thank the fallen this way?
  • Paint a pebble. It seems to be an increasingly popular activity to leave painted pebbles alongside footpaths in the countryside, even streets.  Maybe, if you have a relative who you would like to remember, you could paint their name on a pebble and leave it somewhere to be found?

As ever, there will be wreaths to be laid but, this year, without the usual ceremony.  More about the Church activity is here.

COVID-19 – No Excuse to Lose Fitness

Active Essex is encouraging us all to improve our Health with their Better Health Greater Essex Campaign.  Being fit and healthy is very important today since we know that people are particularly susceptible to COVID-19 if they are:

Some simple exercises
Some simple exercises to get you started
  • inactive and overweight,
  • older people,
  • from Black, Asian or ethnic minority (BAME) backgrounds,
  • from more disadvantaged areas,
  • clinically extremely vulnerable or with long term health conditions.

So What is the Campaign Doing?

Better Health Greater Essex campaign offers a wealth of ideas and resources at : to inspire people to kick start and maintain a healthier lifestyle. It builds on the national Better Health campaign by providing local and targeted help to those most at risk from coronavirus and other health.  Better Health Greater Essex offers:

  • simple activities to do outside.
  • over 200 Keep Essex Active workout and gentle exercise videos to follow.
  • ideas on how to get active from the comfort of your own home.
  • tips on taking care of your wellbeing
  • weight management support with ACE.

St Mary's In the SunSt Mary’s News Update

This month’s update starts with Operation Shoebox and includes articles on:

and the usual listings of services and contacts but first:

Operation Shoebox

Operation ShoeboxApologies that this is a little short notice but if anyone would like to pack a shoebox of gifts and useful items for children a

cross the world in need, Dorothy and Richard Chadborn have kindly offered to take them to the collection point at Kingsland Church. Please drop your shoebox at the church office by Weds 11 Nov and don’t forget to include a £5 donation to cover transport costs. For details on what to include in your shoebox please see the OCC website.

Alternatively, you could ‘build a shoebox’ online. All you need to do is to go to this link and follow the instructions on the screen. The cost of sending the online box is £20, which includes the £5 donation usually made to cover the transport costs. If you feel this is a bit expensive, you could always share the cost with a friend. [email protected].

New Church Wardens

We are very grateful to Peter and Caroline Finlay and Kate and Stephen Penrose for volunteering to take on the role of Church Wardens. They were appointed at our Annual Church Meeting, held on Zoom on 25 October, and Rev. Mandy was able to officially ‘swear them in’ on behalf of the Archdeacon for the Colchester area. Their contact details are shown opposite.

A huge thank you to Ronnie Seymour and Sue Day who have done a great job as Church Wardens over the past 3-4 years. They will still be helping out as deputy Church Wardens, however, so not retiring completely!

Zoom Home Groups

As we are unable to meet in person at the current time, we have set up a couple of Zoom Bible Study Groups: one on Tuesday afternoons and one on Wednesday evenings (both fortnightly). All are welcome to take part.

For details of the Tuesday afternoon group please contact [email protected] and for the Wednesday evening group please contact Caroline Finlay on [email protected].

Remembrance Sunday

Things will be a little different to the usual Remembrance Service at the Orpen Hall, but we are grateful to Ron Seymour and Rev. Ian Hilton for making it possible to have a gathered Remembrance service at St Mary’s at 10.45 am.

Numbers in the church will of course need to be limited to ensure everyone’s safety so if you would like to attend in person, please contact Jo Rassell in the church office to book your place. The service will also be broadcast on Zoom and if you would like to receive the link to the service, please contact Jo on 01206 243683 or by email: [email protected].

A reminder that all of the 10 am Communion Services and also Messy Church & Café Church continue to be available via Zoom, and that a recording of the Communion service is posted on the church website each week.

Prayer & Light Relief

A Prayer

Keep us, good Lord, under the shadow of your mercy in this time of uncertainty and distress.

Sustain and support the anxious and fearful, and lift up all who are brought low;

That we may rejoice in your comfort knowing that nothing can separate us from your love in Christ Jesus our Lord.    Amen.

With apologies to all mother-in-laws!

A man, his wife and his mother-in-law went on holiday to the Holy Land. While they were there, the mother-in-law passed away. The undertaker told them they could have her transported home for £5,000 or buried in the Holy Land for £150. The man thought about it and said he would pay the £5,000 to have her transported home. The undertaker asked him why, and the man replied: “a man died here 2,000 years ago, was buried here, and 3 days later rose from the dead. I just can’t take that chance.

Services & Other Dates

All events are at St Mary’s unless stated otherwise.  Kids’ Church is our new form of Sunday school for children.  Note, no Evening Prayer Service during winter months.

1st November 10:00 am Gathered Communion with Zoom from St Mary’s, West Bergholt
8th November 10:45 am Remembrance: By Zoom from St Mary’s led by Rev Ian Hilton
15th November 8:00 am Communion by Zoom from St Mary’s
10:00 am Communion via Zoom (from West Bergholt)
22nd November 9:15 am Café Church via Zoom
10:00 am Communion Service via Zoom from St Mary’s
29th November 10:00 am Communion via Zoom
with guest speaker Rev. Tim Goodbody, Diocesan Director of Ordinands

If you would like to receive the Zoom link for any of these services, please email:    [email protected].


  • Priest in Charge:
    Revd Dr Mandy Elmes, 1 Church Close, CO6 3JZ
    email: [email protected].
    tel: 01206 240906.
  • Assistant Curate:
    Revd Anne Mason
    email: [email protected].
    tel: 07895 970834 (Sunday & Tuesday – Thursdays).
  • 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.
  • 3 Parish Families’ Worker:
    Jo Jeffery—07853 586683.
  • Church Administrator:
    Church Office Hours — weekdays 9 am—1 pm
    Janine Wilde — 01206 243683,
    email: [email protected].
  • Newsletter Editor:
    Liz Dixon—01206 243683
    email: [email protected].
  • Hire our hall:
    Nicole Long—01206 240443.
  • Website:
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