The First Window Opens This Evening (& other news)

The first windowThe First Window Opens

This news round-up starts with the First Window opening this evening and then also covers:

How it Started

Inspired by other places around the country that turn their village into a giant advent calendar, St Mary’s are very grateful to those who volunteered to decorate a window representing a part of the nativity story.

The idea is that each window has a number in it representing their day and that the actual design is not revealed until the allocated day. The revealed designs are then lit each day from 4-7 pm so that people can walk around the village and see them all.

The Trail

  1

St Mary’s Church, New Church Road

God sent the Angel Gabriel to a girl named Mary

2

Heathlands School

The Angel said to Mary, “Don’t be afraid, God is very pleased with you.”

 3

50 New Church Road

“Listen! You will become pregnant and have a baby boy. You will name him Jesus”.

4

4 Church Close

He will be great. People will call him Son of the Most High”.

 5

33 Mumford Road

Mary said “I am the Lord’s servant. Let this thing you have said happen to me”.

 6

87 Lexden Road

Caesar sent out an order that everyone’s name must be put on a list.

 7

85 Lexden Rd

Everyone travelled to their hometowns to have their name put on the list.

 8

37 Chapel Road

Joseph went with Mary to the town of David because he was from the family of David.

 9

Orchard Cottage Chapel Lane

While Mary and Joseph were in Bethlehem, Mary gave birth to her first son.

 10

7 Valley Crescent

There were no rooms at the inn so Mary wrapped the baby in cloths and laid him in a box where animals feed.

 11

21 Valley Crescent

That night some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep.

 12

Nine Nettles, Bourne Road

An angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them.

 13

The Queens Head

The angel said “Don’t be afraid, I am bringing you good news!”

 14

4 New Church Road

“Today your Saviour was born in David’s town. He is Christ the Lord”.

 15

1 Maltings Park Road

“This is how you will know him. You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a feeding box”.

 16

7 Coopers Crescent

All the angels were praising God saying “Give glory to God in heaven, and on earth peace to everyone”.

 17

31 Maltings Park Rd

The shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph and the baby.

 18

Heathlands School

The shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for what they had seen.

 19

52 Colchester Road

After Jesus was born some wisemen came from the east.

 20

43a Colchester Road

When the wise men saw the star they were filled with joy. 

 21

16 The Grays, Lexden Rd

The wisemen went to the home of Jesus and bowed down and worshipped him.

 22

Miltor House, Hall Rd

The wisemen gave him treasures of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.

 23

2 Hall Road

A child will be born to us. God will give a son to us. His name will be Prince of Peace.

 24

St Mary’s Church, New Church Road

For God so loved the world that he gave his only son that whoever believes in him would have eternal life.

Kids Christmas Activities

This Christmas break Essex Boys & Girls Clubs are running FREE activity sessions for young people aged 5 – 13! Each session will be filled with fun activities from sports to arts and crafts. Lunch will be provided!

When:

Monday 21st to Thursday 24th December!

  • Monday – Wednesday 10 am – 2 pm.
  • Thursday 9 am – 1 pm.

Where:

St. Annes Community Centre,
252 Harwich Road, Colchester, CO4 3DH

To Book:

Please head to the EBGC website to book your place!  For more information please call the office on 01245 264783.

BOOKING IS ESSENTIAL

ECCChristmas Support Fund

Essex County Council is wrapping a protective blanket around the most vulnerable this winter, providing warmth, food, emergency grants and support to residents hit by the pandemic.  A government winter grant of £3.8m is being added to £2.4m existing funding to see struggling families and adults through Christmas and the dark days of winter.

What Does It Include?

The blanket £6.2m package for December to March 2021 recognises the many ways the pandemic has affected people. It includes:

  • Free school meals vouchers for all eligible children through the Christmas and half-term school holidays,
  • Winter warmth packages for vulnerable adults leaving hospital,
  • Emergency grants for food, heating, energy and water bills and essential household goods for people struggling to pay bills,
  • Home-Start packages for parents of 0-5 year-old children, targeted at the most deprived wards across the county,
  • Support for carers and people with learning disabilities,
  • Christmas food and gift hampers for care leavers,
  • Grants for local community food initiatives nominated by local Essex County Councillors.

The package also provides funding to increase capacity and resource for food banks and food delivery projects, housing and debt advice, mental health, domestic abuse and drug and alcohol support. Both holiday hunger and activity programmes are set to be expanded further to reach even more vulnerable children and support their families.

In addition, an offer for school children during the Easter, Summer, and Christmas 2021 holidays is currently being developed and details will follow.

How To Apply?

Complete the following form:

… and send it to:

Funding Officer: Louise Gambardella
Email: [email protected]
Telephone: 01371 879 722

Befriending

Age Concern are asking if you would like a lovely, friendly cup of tea, a chat or just some company to spend some time with.  Their local friendly Befriending service could be just the ticket for you with the chance to chat, share common interests or just enjoy some company.  If you are interested you can contact them on 01206 368420 (option 3).

Would you like to volunteer to help?

Volunteers help Age Concern to:

  • Befriend people – and brighten the week of someone in need with a phone call or visit
  • Listen to people – when they need someone to talk to after a bereavement or at a difficult time.
  • Sit with people – when they are facing the end of their life alone at home.
  • Advise people – to help find solutions to the problems they face in life.

To Apply to volunteer visit www.ageconcerncolchester.org.uk and choose the ‘volunteer’ button.

Other Services

Age Concern offers a wide range of services:

  • Advice – assistance with benefit entitlements and support with applications.
  • Befriending – connection to local friendships and community support.
  • Care Support – access to assistance with home help, shopping & cleaning.
  • The Veranda centre – bringing those in later life together for social connection.
  • Emotional support – specialist assistance for those facing end of life and bereavement.
  • Dementia support – advice and support for anyone affected by dementia.
  • Local service directory – pointing you to local services.

Contact

Call them on 01206 368420 and select the correct option:

  • 1 for food ,medical supplies; care or home help.
  • 2 for bereavement, emotional and end of life support
  • 3 for befriending or volunteering to befriend.
  • 4 for welfare, advice, help completing forms.
  • 5 for dementia support.

Tennis Racket and Balls - Picture by Vladsinger at en.wikipediaMUGA Reopens

As we exit Lockdown we are now able to enjoy using outdoor sports facilities again.  Accordingly, from Wednesday 2nd December, the MUGA will be open but ONLY for playing tennis.

To protect the health of our staff, the parish council is not currently taking cash to hire the tennis court, however, we would ask that you pay via BACS when you book in advance to ensure social distancing is adhered to.  To book the court for an hour, text or call Victoria Beckwith-Cole, at any reasonable time, on 07434 949631.

Conditions

in order to use this tennis court, you must comply with the following:

  • Social distancing to be maintained before, during and after play.
  • Wash your hands at home before and after play.
  • Antibacterial gel is available inside the MUGA. Follow public health guidelines for hygiene.
  • Singles & doubles play allowed (Rule of 6 applies).
  • Group coaching for up to 15 children (or 12 adults) is permitted.
  • Do not play if you are self-isolating. If you start to display symptoms of COVID-19 after playing, notify the Gov.uk website’s “test & trace”.
  • You must not use the MUGA for tennis without first pre-booking a court with Victoria.

FaNsMail appealASDA & FaNs Christmas Card Appeal

CBC in conjunction with ASDA Colcehster and the Friends and Neighbours Network have launched a Christmas Card Appeal.  FaNs exists to help keep older people in Essex care homes connected to their wider community.  Their Christmas project is to spread some festive joy.

Join In – All It Costs is the Price of a Xmas Card

They would love people to help support this special community project, which is working to ensure 831 local care home residents receive a personalised Christmas card.

From today, a special post box will be located at the exit foyer of ASDA Colchester. All people need to do is pick a name from the list, then pop a card addressed to them in the box. There is no need for a stamp, the cards will be forwarded on by the project team.

Tier 2 Beckons

Tomorrow Essex goes into the High Alert Tier 2.

What Does Tier 2 Mean for You?

Socialising

  • You must not socialise with anyone you do not live with or whom is not in your support bubble in any indoor setting, whether at home or in a public place.
  • You must not socialise in a group of more than 6 people outside, including in a garden or a public space – this is called the ‘Rule of Six.’

Hospitality

  • Businesses and venues can continue to operate, in a Covid-19 secure manner, other than those which remain closed by law, such as nightclubs.
  • Pubs and bars must close, unless operating as restaurants. Hospitality venues can only serve alcohol with substantial meals.
  • Hospitality businesses selling food & drink for consumption on site are required to:
    1. Provide table service only, in premises which sell alcohol,
    2. Close between 11pm & 5am (hospitality venues in airports, ports, transport services and motorway service areas are exempted from this),
    3. Stop taking orders after 10pm.
  • Hospitality businesses and venues selling food and drink for consumption off site can continue to do so after 10 pm as long as this is through delivery service, click-and-collect or a drive-through.

Entertainments

  • Early closure (11 pm) applies to casinos, cinemas, theatres, museums, bowling alleys, amusement arcades, funfairs, theme parks, adventure parks and activities, and bingo halls.
    Cinemas, theatres and concert halls can stay open beyond 11 pm in order to conclude performances that start before 10 pm.
  • Public attendance at out & indoor events (performances/ shows) is permitted, limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 in.
  • Public attendance at spectator sport and business events can resume inside and out, subject to social contact rules and limited to whichever is lower: 50% capacity, or either 2,000 people outdoors or 1,000 in.

Worship & Other Services

  • Places of worship remain open but you must not socialise with people from outside your household or support bubble while you are indoors there, unless a legal exemption applies.
  • Weddings and funerals can go ahead with restrictions on numbers of attendees: 15 people can attend wedding ceremonies and receptions, 30 people can attend funeral ceremonies, and 15 people can attend linked commemorative events such as wakes or stone settings.

Sport

  • Organised outdoor sport, and physical activity and exercise classes can continue.
  • Organised indoor sport, physical activity and exercise classes will only be permitted if it is possible for people to avoid mixing with people they do not live with (or share a support bubble with). There are exceptions for indoor disability sport, sport for
    educational purposes and supervised sport and physical activity for under-18s, which can take place with larger groups mixing.

Travel

  • You can continue to travel to venues or amenities which are open, but should aim to reduce the number of journeys you make where possible.
  • If you live in a Tier 2 area, you must continue to follow Tier 2 rules when you travel to a Tier 1 area. Avoid travel to, or overnight stays in, Tier 3 areas wherever possible.