Firewalk Fundraiser for St Helena Hospice

The Firewalk Saw Orpen Hall Car Park Set Alight

The firewalk in flames before it settled down to red hot coals

Along with around 70 others, the Chair of West Bergholt Parish Council did a firewalk in the Orpen Hall car park last week. (See video below).

The fundraising event was organised by St Helena Hospice and proved very successful raising around £10,000!

The Hospice had arranged for a world record holding firewalker to brief the firewalkers in advance of braving the coals. This was quite an in-depth session taking about an hour ensuring that all participants would be safe walking barefoot over the coals.

Chair of the Council, Brian Butcher, said afterwards:

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Do You Have Time To Spare?

Time to Become a Community Special Constable?

Spike did and he doesn’t regret using it as a Special Constable:

Recruiting Community Specials

The parish has a low crime rate but does suffer from occasional antisocial behaviour and parking issues, along with sporadic rural crime.  West Bergholt Parish Council are supporting Essex Police to increase local and visible policing in their area. 

Community Special Constables are more focussed than Special Constables, they dedicate their voluntary service to the area that matters most to them – their town or parish. In return, the local council will pay the allowances and expenses of their officers and they’ll have a say in the issues that their local Specials deal with.

If you already know you are interested then apply online:

What Are Community Specials?

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St Mary’s News – the Posada Edition

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with the Advent Experience of Posada, and continues with other news including:

The Advent Experience of Posada

Posada originates from Mexico where people dress as Mary and Joseph and re-enact the journey to Bethlehem, travelling from house to house asking for a place to stay (the word Posada means an inn). In recent years, this idea has been modified by churches in this country by sending the figures of Mary and Joseph and the donkey from house to house during Advent.

This year, we are offering the Posada experience in our village. From Sunday 27th November until Christmas Day, figures representing Mary and Joseph will travel round our community from home to home, stopping by arrangement, where there is a place for them and a warm welcome waiting.

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Warm Welcoming Space Opens 7th November

Social Club Room venue for the Warm Space

West Bergholt Care Network Announce Warm Welcoming Space Opening

The Care Network will open the doors to their Warm Welcoming Space project at 9:30am on Monday 7th November. On Monday and Friday each week the social club meeting room at the Orpen Hall will open to everyone in the village between 9.30am and 12.30pm. Free coffee, tea, biscuits and Wi-Fi are available. All age groups are very welcome – although under sixteens must be in the company of an adult.

There is no membership, entrance fee, or booking required. You can simply turn up with friends, meet others or just enjoy a little time alone. The ‘warm welcoming space’ can be whatever you want it to be.

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Halloween – Fun or Fear?

Halloween imagery

Essex Police are concerned that while many enjoy Halloween, some might not.  Also, below, is news of a Colchester Business Opinion Survey. If you run a small, or a large business, you might want to check it out.  First of all, though, what do Essex Police have to say about Halloween?


Halloween is a fun and exciting time for many but some people can find it unsettling. It’s often a busy time for police too.  This Halloween they would like to remind everyone to think of others and be considerate around those not taking part. They say that they will take a robust approach to anyone causing problems.

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Autumn Quiz for Inclusive Play

Village Quiz to raise funds for Inclusive Play Equipment

Following the Spring Quiz raising an amazing £385 for Ukraine, the Autumn quiz will support those closer to home with Inclusive Play Equipment for the Lorkin Daniell playground.

Anybody can join in with teams of 4 to 6 players allowed; the winning team will have their name engraved on the WB Challenge Cup. There will be ten rounds on subjects such as food and drink, sport and many other trivial matters; each round will comprise 10 questions. As the evening progresses you will be able to track the running total of each teams score.

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Environment & Highways 13th October 2022

Highlights of Environment & Highways Meeting on 13th October 2022

Lexden Road Pond

The Environment & Highways Committee of West Bergholt Parish Council met on 13th October 2022 with topics including:

  • Restoring wooden benches & other handymen activities,
  • Hedge trimming and access requirements,
  • Christmas tree,
  • New Friendly Bench near the Scout Hut,
  • Budget planning,
  • Ponds low due to the dry summer.

Environment Committee Minutes

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Vacancy for a Clerk’s Assistant

New Role of Clerk’s Assistant

Are you the person who could help shape this new role of Clerk’s Assistant?

A unique opportunity has arisen to join the Parish Council’s Administrative Team to assist, support and provide cover for the Parish Clerk in all aspects of day-to-day management and operation of Council services.

The role is a permanent position, office and home based 12 hours per week (flexible and will include attending at least one evening meeting per month and attendance at community events which may take place at weekends).

Salary paid monthly at Local Government Scale SCP LC1 13-17 £11.97-£12.95 per hour with attractive holiday entitlement and pension scheme.

Can you bring these qualities with you?

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Colchester takes action against Anti-social Vehicle Use

Anti-social vehicle use is targeted by Public Space Protection Order

Map showing area in which Anti-social vehicle use will be targeted

Following a period of consultation Colchester Borough Council has introduced a Public Space Protection Order to target anti-social vehicle use. The order came into effect on 30th September and will remain in place for three years.

Specifically, within the area shown on the map, the council prohibits:

  1. Engaging in, promoting, encouraging, or assisting in the carrying out of any activity connected to the use of a motor vehicle, inclusive of motorbikes on a public highway, public car park or any other land to which the public has access in the Colchester Borough Council district area (Restricted Area) and which causes or is likely to cause harassment, alarm, or distress.
  2. Congregating or loitering as part of a group surrounding or within one or more stationary vehicles at any time where such activity causes noise, exhaust fumes, harassment, alarm, or distress
  3. Causing or permitting excessive amplified music or vehicular noise, and/or excessive emissions of exhaust fumes where such activity causes harassment, alarm, or distress
  4. Using a skateboard, pedal cycle, which includes a power assisted pedal cycle, or a pedal cycle in combination with a trailer, constructed or adapted for carrying one or more passengers, scooter, skates or any other self-propelled wheeled vehicle in such a manner as to cause damage to property or that causes or is likely to cause intimidation, harassment, alarm, distress, nuisance or annoyance to any person.

Why the order is coming into place

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St Mary’s News – Bread of Life Edition

I am the Bread of Life - Jesus

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with Liz Dixon reflecting on Jesus being “the bread of life”, and continues with other news including:

The Bread of Life

Then Jesus declared ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’

John 6:35

More Sustainable

In an effort to live more sustainably, I decided to try and grow some vegetables in my garden for the first time this year. I made lots of mistakes so the results were very mixed. The broad beans were covered in black fly, the dwarf pea plants produced about 6 peas from 20 plants, and the carrots were very tiny. But I did manage to grow some passable red peppers!

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