Fibre update

Fibre update: Openreach have just informed me that they now have the funding completed, and that the central part of Stonham Aspal (78 houses) will have direct fibre (for free) to each house within the year. I am still awaiting the costs on covering the rest of the Village. East End lane is subject to funding by Suffolk County, and I am trying to get further information on this as well. If you are in Mill Green it is worth checking if you have it already, as much of that area does have Fibre now.

Saturday 13th March Notes from the Cart Track

Saturday 13th March Notes from the Cart Track

The recent spell of dry, calmer weather has allowed us to make a start on some of the spring land work.  With quite a heavy workload ahead and some fairly soggy soil to deal with, it is a relief to be able to get going.  The gales, hail and rain have stopped us again but the promise of more settled weather, to celebrate St. Patrick next week, gives cause for optimism.

We managed to spray the cover crops with glyphosate to start the decaying process on 23rd February.  We are advised to leave these fields for 5 weeks before drilling into the untouched soils to reduce the quantity of plant material the drill has to cut through and also to apply a modest dose of liquid nitrogen and sulphur fertiliser to get the barley growing as quickly as possible.  We have dug some trial patches with a spade to check on the state of the soil these cover crops have achieved and we are fairly optimistic.  The thick growth of rye, common vetch and phacelia has left the soil very friable  with no solid clods near the surface and a multitude of worms and roots in the top 30cm.  the soil is quite moist but should dry with warmer dry weather as the green material dries off.  We have fitted a different coulter arrangement to the Claydon Drill which has discs to cut through the plant material and sprung tines to sow the seed.  A small amount of frustration occurred over this.  Defra are keen to promote direct drilling and our use of cover and catching cropping is in their view desirable.  This system of crop establishment is “greener” than the more traditional system of ploughing, power harrow and drill.  Grants are available for the purchase of new machinery to achieve this but not for retro fitting direct drilling coulters to existing machines.  So, if we invested £50,000 in a new version of our drill, we would get a sizable grant but spending £9000 on a conversion we get nothing!!

All the rape and wheat have had their first application of Nitrogen and Sulphur.  Sam was very concerned at the muddy state of the tramlines through the crops, but the majority of the fields are bearable, and I suspect tramlines will remain muddy for quite a while this year.

We installed our new security gate last week and we are now thinking of becoming Broughton Scrubs!  We have left a good wide pathway round the side for pushchairs, dogs, bicycles and walkers and would stress that footpath users are very welcome as before.  The gate will be open for school parking at the beginning and end of the school day.  Anyone that has been in the habit of leaving the car while they run or walk the dog may need one of us to let them out.  It is unfortunate that criminal behaviour by the few impacts on all our lives in so many ways.

David Tydeman

Mickfield Evangelical Church March 2021

Rich Tearle (Pastor) Tel: 710101 (Church Office) or
For latest service info/times please see the website.
But did it REALLY happen???
This is now our second Easter under the impact of Covid-19. Easter is a crucial celebration for Christians. We focus on the death and resurrection of Jesus. We believe Jesus rose from the dead. A shocking claim for sure, and one that we don’t just accept blindly with no reason. Many people have examined the evidence for the resurrection and have been convinced.
Here are the 6 E’s of evidence for Jesus’ resurrection:
Existence. Jesus of Nazareth was a real human being. If you’d been there you could have met him! The historical evidence is vast. Historians of all beliefs are convinced by it. We have references to Jesus in the Roman authors: Pliny the Younger, Suetonius and Tacitus. We have the Jewish historian Josephus and the Greek author Lucian of Samosata. We also have early Christian references in Papias, Ignatius and Clement. And on top of that we have the 4 early gospel accounts of Jesus life. Each one is built on a ton of actual eyewitness testimony.
Execution. Jesus was definitely dead on the cross! Sometimes people claim he didn’t actually die, and therefore didn’t rise. This is known as the ‘swoon’ theory. But the brutality of Jesus’ treatment, the expert Roman execution, and the medical evidence backed up by modern science, show that he really was dead. The vicious scourging prior to his crucifixion was enough to kill someone.
Empty Tomb. Leaders of all kinds die, and leave a tomb or grave. But Jesus left behind an empty tomb. His body wasn’t stolen, as some claim, because it couldn’t have been. His body was placed in a marked, sealed and double guarded tomb. And even if the disciples had been able to steal the body, why would they be willingly martyred for something they knew was a lie? The most plausible explanation for the empty tomb is the resurrection of Jesus.
Eyewitnesses. When I was at college studying A-level History, the class know-it-all was going on and on about a miner’s strike back in the 1970s. They told us all the details! The tutor waited…and waited. And then finally he said, in his gentle and quiet voice: ‘I know…I was there’. He’d been there. He’d been involved. He was an eyewitness.
There were hundreds of eye-witnesses who met the risen Jesus. Sometimes one or two or a small group. At least once the risen Jesus met a group of more than 500 people. There is no such thing as ‘mass-hallucination’. It doesn’t happen! Many of these people we’re hard-nosed sceptics. They weren’t easily-led. They weren’t stupid. But they were convinced. And many willingly gave up their lives preaching the message that Jesus died and rose again.
Example of Paul. Saul was a religious zealot on a mission to arrest Christians. He hated them. But fast forward…Take a look at his life years later: he’s one of the main early Christian leaders, he’s a church-planter, a Christian author, a pastor-theologian, a defender of the faith. He’s convinced. And he’s changed his name to Paul! What on earth could cause such a dramatic transformation? Simply this: He met the risen Jesus on the road to Damascus.
Experience of many. Sensible, educated, reasonable people have become convinced by the evidence. One such man is called Lee Strobel. He was born in 1952 in America. Lee got a Law degree from Yale Law School and became an investigative journalist. And he was a firm atheist. But when his wife became a Christian, annoyed, he decided to investigate Jesus and try to disprove her beliefs. He read many books. He interviewed experts exploring history and archaeology and ancient literature. He tested out the resurrection of Jesus. And he became convinced. He became a Christian. As Lee put it: he was ‘ambushed by the evidence’.
You can read more in Lee’s book: The Case for Christ.
If Jesus rose from the dead, then there is life beyond the grave. And that, is the most important news you’ll ever hear…
Rich T

Friends of Debenham Library

See for the latest details

Libraries are now open again for “Select and Collect” service and reservations so that people can request and pick up items from their library.

There will be no rush to bring items back as loan periods will again be extended and charges suspended. Browsing inside libraries and the use of computers will remain unavailable for the time being. The mobile library services and home library service will also remain suspended for now.

As always our plans are dependent on any changes in infection rates or government guidance.

At Debenham the garden outside the library has been receiving attention, and we have planted primulas in the letters SRH cut in the grass beside the drive. We hope they will still be there when you visit, despite the snow and cold!

For free audiobooks, ebooks, films, newspapers/magazines and other online services, use your library card at There are also podcasts and videos available on the YouTube channel

  • Book ahead to use a computer: phone or email the library; or just turn up. Printing, faxing and photocopying are also available.
  •   We have reintroduced charges for overdue items. This will only apply to items borrowed on or after Monday 5 October which are due back on 2 November onwards. Library loan periods will remain at four weeks.
  •   We have also reintroduced charges for DVDs.

School corner, Debenham IP14 6PL (next to the Primary School). Opening hours:

Tuesday:     0930 am – 1300 pm        Wednesday : 1500  – 1930 pm

Saturday:     0900 am – 1300 pm        Sunday:         1200 – 1600 pm

Tel: 01728 861940
Facebook: @DebenhamLibraryFriends          Email:

Notes from The Cart Track February 13th 2021

What a selection of weather conditions we have had over the last three weeks, floods, gales, brilliant sun, fog and snowfall, which has turned the Suffolk Lowlands into something much more exotic. I am very glad that after four decades of being tied to pigs’ tails I do not have to worry about thawing out water pipes and pig drinkers each morning. I am not looking forward to the result of 15 cm of snow melting onto already saturated land but perhaps we will get some drying winds to sort it all out.

We are part of Suffolk highways conscripted snow clearance contractors who get called upon to clear snow drifts on the minor roads in the area. We use our telescopic loader and JCB digger to assist doing A roads first, B roads second and the smaller roads last. People watching from the cab is a fascinating experience. Adverse weather really does bring out the best and worse in drivers. Clearing single track roads which are impassable is the best experience because nothing can get past so progress can be rapid. A roads which are partially blocked can be exciting because it is legal to travel at 60mph even when it is icy! B roads on which one track has been cleared are the worst because drivers coming up behind
Can see a way through and expect the snow clearing vehicle to get out of their way instantly. Some of my fellow contractors employed a crafty method where they created a snow drift behind and in front of the genuine one to allow them to work without interruption for a while. Probably not officially allowed but very effective and much easier on the nerves. I begin to have sympathy with the road closure signs which annoy us all so much! There is an expectation that road users should be able to go wherever they want at any hour of the day or night and in any weather conditions. I suppose that swearing at a digger driver who is clearing a snow drift on the road has to be expected in this world of instant gratification.

This years snow clearance has been the best organised ever in my experience. We were put on standby 48 hours ahead of the snow and given a mobile number to ring if conditions got bad. We were not allowed out in the dark but were called at 6.30am and told which roads we were responsible for and given a priority list. At the end of each day we were contacted for a progress report and hours worked. The highways get a lot of stick over potholes, verges and road surfacing, but I cannot fault the way they dealt with the snow.

Did any of you do the RSPB garden bird watch at the end of January? We had 15 species this year with Jay, great spotted woodpecker and song thrush being the favourites. The first morning’s snow brought 11 chaffinches, presumably shifted off our field of bird seed because of the wind. Our bird feeders have been a great experience during this last year’s confinement

David Tydeman

From The Rectory – March 2021 – Dawn

Picture the scene for a moment. It’s early morning and dawn is breaking. Alone in the garden you watch as the first shadowy trees emerge, silhouetted against the dawn sky. It will be a warm spring morning. Soon, in the midst of the hustle and bustle of the city, this will be a place of peaceful refuge, but for the moment all is quiet, all is still. At this hour the city still sleeps and you are alone.

Except, not everyone is sleeping. By a fresh grave stands a young woman. She is weeping. She has come here mourning for a friend; a man she loved; a man who had given her a sense of dignity and purpose. She had joined him on a journey, full of hope and expectation. Now he lies dead; murdered. Now she has come to mourn his passing and as she does, she mourns for herself too. She stands and weeps. The grave is as empty as her heart; where have they taken him, why couldn’t they just leave his body in peace?

The woman at the graveside is Mary Magdalene, it’s Easter morning and the grave she has come to is Jesus’. [It feels strange to be writing about Easter before we have even started Lent. But this is a story for our time.]

Now is a season of mourning. As we mourn for those who have died; we also mourn a wider loss: jobs, businesses, friendships and family connections; education and the many joys and challenges for young people just branching out into the world; plans for retirement and closing years; above all, perhaps, a sense of a loss of freedom. We mourn as if the life we know has been stolen from us.

St John (John 20:11-18) tells us that as Mary wept a man appeared behind her. “Why are you weeping? For whom are you looking?” he asked. Slowly the penny drops. Jesus is alive. The tomb is empty because he no longer needs it. “Do not hold on to me” he says. Now, seeing him before her once more, she has to let him go again, but now she knows she is letting go, not into death but into new life. As we watch them both go, Mary back to the city, Jesus to his father, a new day has dawned. Where will that day take us?

Rev Philip

Church News February 2021

St Mary and St Lambert,

Stonham Aspal and Mickfield


If we can help you in any way please contact any one of us:

RECTOR: Rev Philip Payne Tel: 01449 711684

ASSISTANT PRIEST: Revd. Helen Norris, Tel: 01449 761867

Churchwardens and Lay Elders:          

David Tydeman 01449 711124

Alex Pratt 01449 711393

Lay Elders:

Mary Payne 01449711684

Liz Ince 01449 711365




Contact: for the link

There may be changes to services due to Covid 19 regulations. More up to date information can be found on the weekly Pew Sheet. If you would like to be added to the email circulation please send your email address to


Sundays9.30amMorning Worship
Wednesdays9.00amMorning Prayer
Fridays   Friday 5 March Sunday 14 March Sunday 28 March6.30pm   6.30pm 9.30am 9.30amCompline   World Day of Prayer Mothering Sunday Worship Palm Sunday Worship


Activities for children during Lent have been delivered to families around the parish. The activities began with the launch of the Bishops’ Kagera Lent Appeal on Ash Wednesday and follow with more for all the weeks during Lent, including World Day of Prayer, Mothering Sunday, Palm Sunday and Easter.


This year the day of prayer has been prepared by the Christian Women of Vanuatu which is just over 1,100 miles east of Australia in the Pacific Ocean. To find out more about Vanuatu and to join in this world wide ecumenical day of prayer contact Ruth for the link. The service will be held on Zoom at 6.30pm on 5 March.


The service at 9.30am on Sunday 14 March on Zoom will celebrate ‘mothering’ in all its diverse forms, and remember how young women in service in the past would make the journey home to their ‘Mother Church’ mid-way through Lent.


As I write this we are still in lockdown and are not expecting that much will change before Easter, so our usual walk with a donkey will once again be impossible. We will celebrate Palm Sunday in a different way, on Zoom at 9.30am on 28 March, remembering Christ’s final journey into Jerusalem.


We have some pennies to give out, congratulations to all those who have been lucky in the January and February draw. Thank you to all those who continue to support this village hall and church fundraiser. A donation of £12 gives one number which is included in the draw each month of the year, with prize money being doubled up for December. If you are not already in the draw and would like to take part, please contact me on 711393 or

Once again thank you again for supporting this fundraiser during these challenging times, it is very much appreciated. Alex

January Winners

1st prize £50 No 18 H Fuller

2nd prize £20 No 61 L Power

=3rd prize £15 No 213 J Mitchel

=3rd prize £15 No 47 M Greaves

February Winners

1st prize £50 No 7 G Kinsey

2nd prize £20 No 73 J Wright

=3rd prize £15 No 103 R Boulton

=3rd prize £15 No 213 J Mitchel

WI February 2021

Come and try the WI for free in March! Visitors can attend our Zoom meeting for free – just email Ruth on for the meeting link.
Over the last 11 months, Stonham Aspal WI has, like many groups, continued to meet over Zoom. For several months we cancelled our speakers, but now we are back with a full programme for 2021. Whether we will hold these meetings over Zoom or in the Village Hall will depend on the restrictions at the time. We will post updates on the Village website and Facebook.

Our speakers for the next few months are:
Monday 15th March – “Dick Turpin – the myth and the man”
Monday 19th April – “HealthWatch Suffolk” – who, what and how we can make a difference to health services with your help.
Monday 17th May – “Drought Gardening”.
Monday 21st June – a garden party plus discussion of the campaigns that the National WI is putting forward
Monday 19th July – Trek for Life – why did 4 middle aged people decided to trek to Everest base camp?
Ruth Wailes   01449 711997