Gardeners’ Newsletter January 2023

West Bergholt Gardeners’ Newsletter – January 21st 2023 

Helebores & Aconites feature  in the Gardeners' Newsletter January 2023

Hello and a Happy New Year from your Committee

Talking of whom, we have had a meeting to discuss Speaker and subject ideas for our next season from this September through to May 2024.  I know it sounds a long way off as we’ve only just jumped into 2023 but Speakers are rapidly becoming booked up! We hope we shall do our best for you all and make choices that will enthuse and interest you in anything horticultural! 

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St Mary’s News – the Daffodils & Hope edition

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with Daffodils & Hope and then continues with:

Daffodils - By Genet, CC BY-SA 3.0,

Daffodils and Hope

As March beckons, spring bursts onto the scene. The words of William Wordsworth might come to mind as we see the daffodils emerging from beneath the ground:

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St Mary’s News – the “Love Is All Around Me” edition

Love is all around me

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with “hopes for 2023″Love is all around me”, and continues with other news including:

Love Is All Around Me

Love actually

‘I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes, Christmas is all around me and so the feeling grows

… say the lyrics of the Christmas film, which has just celebrated its 20th anniversary, Love Actually.

It doesn’t seem five minutes since we were celebrating Christmas, and yet in the world of advertising and card manufacture, we have definitely moved on, into a season more appropriately linked to the original lyrics of the song, first performed by the Troggs in 1967 ‘I feel it in my fingers, I feel it in my toes, Love is all around me, and so the feeling grows.’

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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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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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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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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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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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