St Mary’s News – The Oaks & Acorns Edition

Oaks & Acorns

St Mary’s News – Mighty Oaks & Acorns

This Oaks & Acorns edition of St Mary’s News starts with Revd. Heather’s message about sowing seeds and the relation that has with the Resurrection; it then continues with:

The usual listings of services and contacts.

Message from Rev Heather Wilcox

Mighty oaks from little acorns grow

It’s that time of year once again, when I, along with many other amateur gardeners, disappear for short periods of time into the sanctuary of my greenhouse and in faith set out row upon row of pots, fill them with compost and then place little tiny seeds into the soil, water them, and then patiently, or not so patiently, wait in anticipation that something will happen.  That by some small miracle, the seed, which to all appearances was lifeless, will spring into life, and ultimately produce a plant, which will go on to produce enough tomatoes, courgettes, butternut squashes, cucumbers, or whatever else has been sown, to keep us well fed with fresh vegetables for several months to come.

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Winter 2023-4 Photography Competition

Results of the Winter ’24 Photography Competition

Banksy style AI Generated Image Photography competition

Our Winter Themed  Photography Competition for under 18’s and under 12’s, ran from the 5th December 2023 to  the 16th January 2024. This is one of what the Parish Council hopes to establish as regular village events. The competition had a number of themed categories and, although multiple entries could be made, an individual could only win one prize in each category.

We were delighted with the quality of the entries and it made the judging challenging! Fortunately the panel was led by Tony Morris (our local Photographer) who provided expertise supported by Cllrs Butcher and Cullis. Much deliberating took place before the judging was concluded and the winners selected.

Tony said that

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St Mary’s News – The Lambing Edition

Revd. Emma Barr is used to lambing - seen here with one of her lambs
Revd. Emma Barr & Lamb

St Mary’s News – Lambing & Flocks

This Lambing edition of St Mary’s News starts with Revd. Emma Bar’s seasonal message about God’s Beloved Flock and then continues with:

Message from Revd. Emma Barr

God’s Beloved Flock

Spring is making an attack on winter with the now lighter mornings and drawn out evenings, something I always rejoice at as we are in the middle of lambing and it makes it so much easier and cheerier having light.

This year with 103 ewes scanned in lamb we were set for a busy time. It is always a time of waiting and watching, with excitement and anticipation knowing there will be the amazing success stories of lambs being adopted to other mothers and little ones making it against all the odds, but as with all things there are also the sad stories of loss.

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St Mary’s News – What are you thankful for?

In this edition Revd Heather asks “What are you thankful for?”

Orphan train is used as a reference point when Rev. Heather asks What are you thankful for.

After discussing ‘what are you thankful for’ this edition continues with:

A copy of the PCC (Parochial Church Council) minutes are available to view in the Church (in the leaflet rack on top of the side cupboards).

Rev. Heather’s  asks “What are you thankful for?”

What are you thankful for? As I ask this question I am reminded of the film ‘The Orphan train’, which depicts the journey, Emma Simms, niece of Reverend Simms, made taking orphan children to find new homes in the West of America. The journey is accompanied by many traumas, including a fire in their train carriage, arriving in the town of Clayhorn, only to be driven away by the townsfolk and a massive storm causing a bridge collapse, with the last few orphans, having to walk the final 15 miles to the town of Mildred.

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St Mary’s News – the Summer Holiday Edition

Summer Holidays

In this edition Revd Heather reflects on Summer Holidays

After discussing Summer Holidays, this edition continues with:

Rev. Heather’s Summer Message

It is that time of year when, for many of us, our minds turn to summer holidays.

Weather House - Hot or old?

Whether we are escaping to far flung places and the promise of hours of uninterrupted sunshine, sweltering temperatures, and beautiful beaches, or opting to take our chances with the British weather, staying in this country, whilst also being assured that wherever we go we are blessed with a beautiful country with plenty to see and to learn about. For me and the family this year it is a holiday in Northumberland that we are looking forward to.

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St Mary’s News – the “He is not here” edition

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with Heather’s “He is not here” message and then continues with:

He is not here, he has risen – Rev. Heather’s Easter Message

April begins in a rather playful mood, with April Fools day. Be it on TV, radio or in the papers, over the year, there have been some rather clever April fools jokes played on us, the unsuspecting public.

April Fools Pranks

Who can forget, Richard Dimbleby’s report in 1957 on a particularly bountiful crop of spaghetti in Switzerland, due in part to the disappearance of the pesky spaghetti weevil.

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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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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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St Mary’s News – Bread of Life Edition

I am the Bread of Life - Jesus

This edition of St Mary’s News starts with Liz Dixon reflecting on Jesus being “the bread of life”, and continues with other news including:

The Bread of Life

Then Jesus declared ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’

John 6:35

More Sustainable

In an effort to live more sustainably, I decided to try and grow some vegetables in my garden for the first time this year. I made lots of mistakes so the results were very mixed. The broad beans were covered in black fly, the dwarf pea plants produced about 6 peas from 20 plants, and the carrots were very tiny. But I did manage to grow some passable red peppers!

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