White Christmas or a Weather Crisis?

‘sno Joke – Weather is changing

The recent unexpected and rapid change in weather caught us short.  Despite this the Snow Patrol, with their usual efficiency, stepped in to mitigate risks as much as they could – more about them later.

We saw, perhaps 2″ of snowfall in West Bergholt, meanwhile our webmaster reported nearer 4″ falling in just a few hours;  he lives in Brentwood! By contrast, Greenstead and St. Johns had virtually none.

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Candlelit Service Returns to the Old Church

Return of the annual candlelit service at St Mary’s Old Church

For the first time since 2018, the Friends of St Mary’s Old Church are holding a Candlelit Service in the Old Church. Following the success of their Mulled Wine & Mince Pies event, the Friends look forward to welcoming you on Sunday 18th December at 2:30 pm. The service is free and open to all and there’s now dedicated car parking opposite the church.  Reverend Heather Wilcox will lead the service.

In 2019, the Friends were able to hold a Carol service but, because of redecoration works at the time they could not run it by candlelight. Since then, of course, the services have been unable to run due to Covid. So do come along and welcome this annual tradition back to the village.

Dress for the weather!

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Celebrate Christmas with Vocal Zones Choir

Celebrate Christmas with Vocal Zones Choir

Join Vocal Zones Choir as they Celebrate Christmas

Next Friday 16th December Vocal Zones Choir invite you to join them to celebrate Christmas. The event starts at 7:30pm in St Mary’s Church, New Church Road.

As well as the singing, there will also be wine and mince pies! Entry is free, there will be a raffle with some great prizes to be won.

About Vocal Zones

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Christmas Crime

Father Christmas
Father Christmas might not be the only guest to surprise you

Christmas Crime

Not everybody makes the same preparations at Christmas, some are planning to take advantage of the season with some Christmas Crime. Essex Police have previously offered the following advice:

With the Christmas holiday season almost upon us, now is a good time to remind ourselves to take steps to make sure our Christmas isn’t spoiled by criminals.

It creates opportunities for criminals.   The hustle and bustle of town centres as we rush around, the value of the goods we buy as presents and store in our homes until the big day. We might also be more trusting and generous at Christmas when requests for charity are made, giving the unscrupulous a chance to collect for their own causes.

So what can we do?

The advice below is often common sense, but you might overlook it in your haste to get everything ready.

Out Shopping

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Old Church Invite to Mulled Wine & Mince Pies

Invitation to Mulled Wine and Mince Pies with a side order of music by Octavia

Invitation To Enjoy Music, Mulled Wine & Mince Pies

Next Sunday, 27th November, the Friends of St Mary’s Old Church invite you to enjoy Mulled Wine & Mince Pies with them. This event will also afford you the opportunity to renew or join the friends.


Octavia will be performing during the event, which runs from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Octavia is a ‘sub-group’ of Quire.

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Environment & Highways 10th November 2022

Highlights of Environment & Highways Meeting on 10th November 2022


The Environment & Highways Committee of West Bergholt Parish Council met on 10th November 2022 with topics including:

  • 2023/24 Budget,
  • Poor’s Land restoration following firework display,
  • New sign on Heath,
  • Christmas Tree, and
  • Ponds refilling nicely.

Environment Committee Minutes

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Battle by Quiz

Gill Poole, captain of the winning quiz team, receiving trophy from Brian Butcher
At the end of the evening Brian Butcher, organizer and Chair of the Council, awarded the trophy to the captain of the History Group, Gill Poole.

Last weekend teams assembled in the Orpen Memorial Hall to do battle, by quiz, for the ‘Village Cup’. This was the opening fundraising action to buy new play equipment that is also suitable for children with physical or intellectual impairments. The intent is to install this new ‘inclusive’ equipment on the Lorkin Daniell field once sufficient money is raised.

The Quiz

The quiz comprised ten rounds with one ‘long round’. After five rounds there was a comfort break when the raffle was also held. One team “The only chance is the raffle” clearly saw this as their primary objective. 

The battle was fierce, with a maximum of 234 points up for grabs.  At the end of the evening the top three were:

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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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