St Mary’s Building Project

St Mary the Virgin sees change in staff

St Mary’s Building Project

This edition of St Mary’s News reports on the Church’s building project, Christmas and also provides listings of services and contacts.

Prayer Weekend

Praying together is an important part of our life as a church and so we have arranged for a special prayer weekend with three opportunities to meet together to pray for our church and community:

  • Friday 1st Nov: 7.30pm—9pm—prayers by candlelight,
  • Saturday 2nd Nov: 3pm-5pm,
  • Sunday 3rd Nov: 11am-12 noon (after the morning service).


Our Remembrance Sunday service will take place at 10:45 am in The Orpen Hall.  All are very welcome to our Village Remembrance Service, led this year by Rev Ian Hilton with music from the West Bergholt Concert Band.

It is always a very moving service,  especially when the names of those from our village who died in the two World Wars are read out and the last post is played. PS NO MESSY CHURCH.

Building Project Update

Rev. Mandy has invited Jo Jeffery and myself to feedback on developments with the church building project while she is convalescing following her knee operation.

The temporary prefabricated hall at the rear of the church is growing tired and reaching the end of its life span. We therefore have a once in a generation opportunity to grow our vision of the church and build something that will serve both the community’s priorities and ours even better in the future. It is a chance, thoughtfully and prayfully, to consider what we see our mission in this place to be.

Methodist Church for saleMethodist Church Option?

With the support of the Parish Council, we have explored the possibility of securing funding from the Diocese towards developing the Methodist Church as a community resource. But, due to the financial climate becoming more challenging, this no longer seems possible. So unless God has other plans it would seem the door has closed on this option at the moment.

Brilliant Ideas

However, some brilliant ideas have been generated through our vision process in the summer and the Parish Council consultation day. What seems clear is that there is a real appetite for people in the village to see more community resource: ideas such as a café, a zero waste shop, closer links with the school, improved disabled access, improved hearing loop, and so on. We also want the building to be a special place of encounter with God. The PCC are currently sifting through the many ideas.

The apparent set back with the Methodist Church is a disappointment but in some ways, it makes our way forward clearer in that we have just one centre to concentrate on at the moment. Church and community seem to both be glimpsing the opportunity and we now need to work together to make it happen. It is a venture of faith!

Ian and Jo

Christmas Is Coming!

Christmas Shoebox Appeal 2019

A reminder that leaflets explaining what to pack in your shoebox, and also pre-printed shoeboxes are now available from the church office.  The shoeboxes need to be dropped off at the church office by Thurs 14 November. Contact [email protected] for more details.

Christmas Pop-up Choir

Sarah White will be heading up our Christmas Pop-Up choir again this year. Rehearsals start on Sun 1 Dec @ 10.45am in church and all are welcome—no audition required! The choir will be singing at the Christmas Eve Carol Service @ 6.45pm.

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.

Every Thursday in term-time 9:00 am Open House Coffee Morning in the church hall
Every Thursday afternoon 2:30 pm 5Ts fellowship for over 60s in the church hall
Every Tuesday evening Home Group — contact Shelagh Newman (241190).
Every Tuesday afternoon Home Group — contact Liz Dixon (243683).
Every Thursday evening Home Group — contact Shelagh Newman (241190).
Once a month 7:45 pm Wired Youth Group — next sessions 8 Nov & 13 Dec.
Sunday 3rd November 9:30 am Communion + Kids’ Church
Sunday 10th November 10:45 am Remembrance at Orpen Hall
Sunday 17th November 11:15 am Communion + Kids’ Church
Sunday 24th November 9:30 am Praise on 4 Café Church
Sunday 1st December 9:30 am Communion + Kids’ Church
Sunday 8th December 9:30 am Messy Church


  • Priest in Charge:
    Rev Dr Mandy Elmes, 1 Church Close, CO6 3JZ
    email: [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”]
    tel: 01206 240906.
  • Assistant Curate:Anne Mason
    email: [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].
  • Church Wardens:
    Sue Day—01206 241040;
    Ron Seymour—01206 273579.
  • Lay Readers:
    Richard Chadborn—01206 240541;
    Michael Foster—01206 241022;
    Joy Budden—01206 241871.
  • Parish Evangelist
    Ron Seymour—01206 272579.
  • Pastoral Assistant:
    Dorothy Chadborn—01206 240541.
  • 3 Parish Families’ Worker:
    Jo Jeffery—07853 586683.
  • Church Administrator:
    Church Office Hours — weekdays 9 am—1 pm
    Janine Wilde — 01206 243683,
    email: [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].
  • Newsletter Editor:
    Liz Dixon—01206 243683
    email: [antibot mailto=”[email protected]”].
  • Hire our hall:
    Nicole Long—01206 240443.
  • Website:
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