Carols, Coffee and Wine at St Mary’s Old Church

carol singersCarols, Coffee & Wine at St Mary’s Old Church

The Friends of St Mary’s Old Church are hosting their popular annual Carol Service this year on Sunday 21st December starting at 2:30pm.  Ideal timing to get the whole family in the spirit for Christmas.

For those keen to look around the Old Church, or to take out or renew membership of the Friends, Rhys Lloyd, treasurer of the Friends of St. Mary’s  Old Church will be at the old church on Thursday 4th, 11th and 18th December from 10 – 11 am.  He will be serving coffee and wine and would be pleased to welcome you.

Bluebell Open Day & Spring Nature Walk

Bluebell Open Day and Spring Nature Walk

Spring is here…

The Friends of Hillhouse Wood, in conjunction with Woodland Trust,  invite you to join Join Steve Hallam for their annual Bluebell Open Day and Spring Nature Walk.  As the Woodland Trust say:

Hillhouse Wood is a mosaic of different woodland types making it particularly interesting. It has two ponds and two streams running through, but volunteers have been busy creating footbridges and drying out the path edges. A carpet of bluebells in Spring.

Starting at the Old Church at 2pm on Saturday 19th April, you will see the bluebells (looking like being a great show this year), and other spring flowers, butterflies and spring bird life, possibly including early nightingales.

You can collect your map, family nature trail, and flora and fauna guide from the Friends’ Information Point, by St Mary’s Old Church.  Refreshments are available at St Mary’s Old Church.


Deanna Walker BEM & other news online

Banner of the West Bergholt Village BulletinThe latest Village Bulletin is now on-line and available for download/reading on-line on the Village Bulletin page.  News updates not previously reported here include:

Deanna Walker BEM

A West Bergholt woman has been recognised in the New Year’s Honours awards for her services to Higher Education.  Deanna Walker has been awarded the BEM (British Empire Medal) for her work at the University of Essex where she is administrator in the Registry Department.  She joined the university staff 25 years ago in the Admissions Department working in several administrative roles before reaching her present position as Senior Academic Officer.  Her work has included mentoring junior colleagues which, she believes, also contributed to colleagues recommending her for the award.

Deanna is modest about her achievements. She says:

The award came out of the blue. When the letter came notifying me, I couldn’t understand why I was chosen as I just do an ordinary working job.

[More… in the Bulletin]

Concert Band’s Christmas Concert raises £1,500 for St Helena Hospice

The Concert Band’s 2013 Christmas Concert was a huge success, as one audience member commented:

the most enjoyable Christmas Concert I’ve been to in many, many years.

The report continues to tell how they have raised nearly £30,000 in recent years and about their plans for 2014.

[More… in the Bulletin]

Voluntary Group & Club Updates

Well, there were quite a few including:

  • Friends of St Mary’s Old Church;
  • Hillhouse Wood;
  • Care Network;
  • Friendship Club;
  • Women’s Institute;
  • History Group;
  • Bergholt Heath YFC;
  • Workers’ Educational Association;
  • Gardeners;
  • Indoor Bowls;
  • First responders;
  • Allotments;
  • Badminton;
  • Churches; and
  • Orpen Players.

[More… in the Bulletin]

Last, but not least, the weather

As if we needed reminding, 2013 was pretty much the wettest we can recall – the following chart tells you just how wet West Bergholt was:

2013 rainfall in West Bergholt




Heritage Day at St Mary’s (Old) Church

Heritage of St Mary's Old Church
Heritage at St Mary’s Old Church, West Bergholt

The Friends of St Mary’s Old Church are holding a Heritage Day in the Old Church in conjunction with the Churches Conservation Trust between 10am – 4pm on Sunday 15th September.

Heritage walk around

A walk round leaflet costing 50p will tell you more about this old building so come and find out more about the Old Church:
  • view the Royal Coat of Arms, which was painted over the chancel arch by order of King James 1 (reigned 1603-25) and only discovered in 1986;
  • examine the massive oak chest which dates from about 1400; and
  • try the seats in the 18th C gallery.

Other attractions

There will also be:
  • an exhibition by professional and amateur artists;
  • Christmas cards of the Old Church for sale; and
  • Refreshments available
Find out more about the Old Church on our webpage, the location for those unsure is St. Mary’s (Old) Church, Hall Lane, West Bergholt, CO6 3DU.

Bluebell Open Day & Spring Walk at Hillhouse Wood

Poster advertising the Hillhouse Wood walkThe Friends of Hillhouse Wood’s popular Bluebell Oen day and Spring Walk is taking place on Saturday 4th May, a week later than originally intended, due to the wet winter and early spring.

The guided walk will be lead by Steve Hallam, starting outside St. Mary’s Old Church, Hall Road, at 2pm.  The Friends’ Information Point, there from 2pm, will also have a supply of maps, nature trails and family quizzes.

Within the church, refreshments will be provided by the Friends of St Mary’s Old Church during the afternoon.  In addition, there will also be an art exhibition there.

Bluebell walks at Hillhouse Wood were recently recognized by The Times as one of the top walks through woods in their Weekend Spring Special on 13th April.

Don’t forget to dress appropriately to the weather!


Friends of St Mary’s Old Church – AGM & Illustrated Talk

Exterior view of St Mary's Old Church, West Bergholt
Exterior view of St Mary’s Old Church, West Bergholt

Friends of St Mary’s Old Church will be holding their first AGM on Wednesday 20 February at 7.30pm in the New Church, New Church Road.

The AGM will be followed by an illustrated talk by John Vigar entitled “Churches in Retirement”.  John is a Trustee of The Friends of Friendless Churches, which is now the government body for redundant churches in Wales.  He also works for The Churches Conservation Trust in England, which makes him the ideal speaker on the subject.

Light refreshments will be served from 7pm.

Seniors Lunch in St Mary’s Church Hall 19 January 2013

Roast TurkeyThirty-two hardy soles braved the winter snows this Saturday to sit down and enjoy Roast Turkey, stuffing, chipolata, roast potatoes, mixed veg and gravy followed by choice of Crumble, Treacle  or Minced tart & Custard, Coffee and After Eight Mints, all served by the “Friends of St Mary’s Church” .

Thanks to our helpers and people who supplied the Desserts and don’t forget to look out for our next quarterly get together.

Murray Harlow & Kate Penrose