Stonham Aspal Church December 2020

Happy Christmas from St Mary and St Lambert


Happy Christmas!


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   Sunday 20 December Monday 21 December Thursday 24 December  Christmas Eve Friday 25 December Christmas Day  6.30pm   6.30pm 7.00pm 4.00pm   10.00amEvening Prayer   Carol Service Longest Night Crib Service   Morning Worship for Christmas Day
Zoom services

In order to attend please email and Ruth will send you the link.


Thursday 24 December Christmas Eve11.30pmMidnight Eucharist 
Benefice service

For services in the church building masks must be worn, social distancing will be practised, there will be no singing or refreshments. Please let Rev. Philip know by 6pm Tuesday 22 December if you intend to come to Midnight Eucharist on 01449711684 or He will need your name, contact details and the number of people with you.


With the constraints of Covid we are still unable to sing in the church buildings, so we are planning two carol services across the Benefice. The first of these are Drive In Services on Sunday 13 December at the carpark by Gosbeck Village Hall at 2pm and 3.30pm. As the carpark can only hold a limited number of cars two services are planned. They will be identical, so you are only able to come to one or the other. The church band will lead the singing and you will be able to join in to your hearts content, but you will need to stay in your car which will be parked at a distance from the next ones. Booking a place will be essential so you will need to contact Philip by 6pm on Friday 11 December, informing him which service you wish to attend and giving him your name and the number of people there will be in your car.

There will also be a Zoom Carol Service on Sunday 20 December at 6.30pm.  As you will be joining this service from your own home you will be able to sing as loudly as you like! Ask Ruth for the link by emailing if you are not already on her email list.  


There will be two services on this day, the first at 2.30pm in Earl Stonham Church. The second will be a repeat of it on Zoom at 7.00pm. This is a new venture and is for those who may be finding this Christmas difficult for whatever reason. It will be a short service of readings, prayers and music. Hopefully, it will bring some comfort and joy. There will be no singing in Earl Stonham Church, but you can join in with singing on the Zoom service. Everyone welcome, but please ensure you book with Philip two days before for the physical service or with Ruth, if you are not on her mailing list, for the Zoom service.

CRIB SERVICE – Thursday 24 December, Christmas Eve

A crib service with a difference! This time it will be on Zoom as we are still not able to accommodate large numbers in the church building. So, meet us at 4pm on Zoom and we will be telling the Christmas story in words and song. If you have your own nativity set have this with you so you can put the characters in place as we go along. If you would like to bring your teddy, dressed as a character from the story, with you please do and you will be able to hold them up to your screen during the service. It will be different, but hopefully fun! See you there. Don’t forget to let Ruth know you want to come to get the link!


11.30pm will see the church building brightly lit as we gather inside for our Midnight service of Holy Communion. There will be music, but no singing, In line with Covid regulations and masks will be worn. During the service there will be the opportunity to receive Communion, but only the bread. You will be able to remove your mask when you have returned to your seat in order to eat the bread.  Everyone welcome at this very different Midnight service.


There will be two Christmas day services, one at Earl Stonham church and one on Zoom. Both will start at 10am. Please attend whichever you would like, but remember to book with Philip for the physical service or to let Ruth know you would like the link for Zoom if you are not on her regular mailing list.


As we come  to the end of the church’s financial year,  we would like to give you a ‘state of the union’ report on how we feel your church of St Mary and St Lambert has coped with the interruption of normal activities.  We have all missed the opportunities to meet in the church building to pray, sing and socialise together.  The Zoom services have been well attended and have been vital for collective worship to continue.  Some folks have enjoyed them so much that they will probably continue even when a new normality returns.  For the infirm and non-drivers, they have been a lifeline and have enabled us to meet people from other parishes and look forward to Benefice services in the future.

We remain hopeful that our congregation will return when we are again allowed to hold services and social gatherings such as Coffee Inn.  But we have to face the possibility that some people will be unable to play as large a part in church life as they have done in the past.  We need some younger volunteers to help in the running of the church as many of us who are active in the work are well into our twilight years. The next ten years will see enormous changes as the super tanker of the Church of England responds to post Covid life.  The survival of the C of E worship in Stonham Aspal and Mickfield will depend on folks well under pensionable age, not the current organisers. 

Finally, could we ask you to consider finance.  We have been unable to hold fund raising events this year.  Many have made extra donations to help us pay for insurance, heating, electricity and maintenance, plus our parish share, which funds our clergy, is approaching £800 a month.  We have a deficit of about £2,000 at present and we will probably not be able to resume normal services for several months.  Any donations would be very welcome, especially a regular contribution by standing order to:

  • Stonham Aspal and Mickfield P.C.C.
  • Sort Code:                   20-82-75
  • Account Number:       70836389

If you pay UK Income Tax, please consider Gift Aiding your donation. This will enable the church to reclaim a further 25% from HMRC, details from James as below.

Treasurer – James Mackintosh, Longshaw, The Street, Stonham Aspal

Tel: 07780 575505                    email:

Thank you all and every blessing for what we hope will be a Joyful and Memorable Christmas

David Tydeman and Alex Pratt  (Churchwardens)


Congratulations to the October 200 club draw winners.

  • 1st prize £50 no 62 Mr Cage
  • 2nd prize £20 no 207 M Jones
  • =3rd prize £15 no 60 J Mitson
  • =3rd prize £15 no 138 Mr Timms

And congratulations to the November 200 club draw winners.

  • 1st prize £50 no 247 C Warren
  • 2nd prize £20 no 94 Southgate
  • =3rd prize £15 no 29 G Yates
  • =3rd prize £15 no 229 H Gardiner

It is really good to be handing out more winnings, and the December draw will be the usual doubled prize money, with lucky winners receiving £100, £40, £30, £30.

On writing this we only have around twelve subs outstanding, thank you to everyone who has paid direct into the bank, or put cash and cheques through my door. A special big thank you to those who have set up standing orders to pay for their subs each year, please, please if you wish to save paperwork, why not set one up ready for next year!

For more details on joining this fundraiser please contact me on or 01449 711393

Alex Pratt

Lock Down Ladies ……that once enjoyed Brunch!

Hello, here we are again, zooming to keep in touch. In November I once again started up a zoom evening so that we can chat, see friendly faces and keep in contact. It’s open to anyone,  just as the Brunches were, but this is great because I don’t have to clean up beforehand…… but I am so looking forward to squeezing you in around the dining room table again…. and making Chelsea buns…… and cooking a big fry up. It will be very special when it does happen!!

Never Zoomed before? It is easy. I send out an email on the day of the zoom which contains a link for you to click on. The first time you use zoom it will give you some extra details, but it is very straightforward. Why not give it a go. Contact me on for you to be added to the email list.

The zooms will be held on Tuesdays or Wednesdays, probably alternating between and it will last 40 minutes. You can join now and again, whenever it fits in with you.

Bring along your cup of tea or a glass of good cheer as we keep in contact, keep supporting and growing a bigger circle of friends.

Alex Pratt

St Mary and St Lambert Stonham Aspal and Mickfield

Every Sunday during September there will be Morning Worship via Zoom at 9.30am with midweek services of Morning Prayer on Tuesdays at 9am, and Evening Prayer on Fridays at 6.30pm. In order to ‘attend’ please email and Ruth will send you the link. You are invited to attend any service, on line or in any church building, they are all Benefice services open to everyone.


6 September11.00amHoly CommunionPlease let Philip know by 6pm Saturday if you intend to come by 711684 or
27 September2.30pmHarvest at the Farm 


We look forward to welcoming you to the first service in our church building since lockdown. It will be at 11am on Sunday 6 September. Please stay 2m away from everyone who is not a member of your household and wear a face covering. We will meet you as you arrive and explain the seating arrangements and other details. An order of service will have been put on your seat by someone who has sanitised their hands. There will be music, but no singing. If you wish to take communion please come up the main aisle to the nave altar and stand at a distance while silently receiving the bread then use the side aisle to the right to return to your seat. At the end of the service leave by the south chancel door where there will be a plate for your offering and place your order of service in the box. Please maintain 2m distance from everyone as you leave.

HARVEST AT THE FARM – Come as you are, in your car!

Join in our drive-in Benefice Service to celebrate the end of the Harvest in a field at Broughton Hall on Sunday 27 September at 2.30pm. Drive to the service and park as directed a car’s width from the next car.  Stay in your car with your windows open to join in the fun. The Church Band will be providing the music and singing is encouraged! There will be more details on the pew sheet nearer to the time, or from Frankie or David


As things currently stand, this year’s Suffolk Historic Churches Trust Sponsored Ride and Stride will be taking place on Saturday 12 September, 9am-5pm.  The event will of course be different from normal with some churches possibly not open, no refreshments available and some churches with no recorders to welcome you. For sponsor forms or further information please call me on 01449 711443.

Andrew Fuller


As the new subscription year approaches we are very concerned about asking representatives to do door to door collections. So many of us are now familiar with online banking;  it would seem to be a good time to change our way of collecting your subscriptions.  The new system should make it easier for you to pay your subscription and make it safer for those who have collected it in the past.

Hopefully by October when the first draw of the club’s new year takes place, you will be able to pay your subscription on-line or by popping cash through my letter box. You will receive further details by post and we thank you in anticipation of your continued support.

The 200 Club draw takes place each month.  For an annual subscription of £12 you have one number which is entered into each monthly draw throughout the year. 1st prize £50, 2nd Prize £20, 2 equal 3rd Prizes of £15. In December the prize money is doubled!!!! All proceeds are divided between the Village Hall and the Church.

If you are new to the village, or not yet a member, and would like to support the 200 Club, please contact me on or 01449 711393


 1st £502nd £203rd= £153rd=£15
April173 Mr & Mrs Goodenough   92 Mr & Mrs Smith   50 Mr D Morley         232 Mrs P Rout
May176 Mr D Tydeman1 R Betts72 Mr & Mrs Ryland104 Mr N Garnham
June129 E Kerry228 C Francis82 Mr A Sutton86 E Williams
July23 Mr & Mrs Gamble128 A Bloom63 Mr R Tydeman211 Mrs L Moody

Community Council Update

As you will see the magazine is now back…..for the time being. Just in case the printers have to close again, all articles and announcements will be put on the village Facebook page and this website – as they have been over the past few months.


The annual subscription is usually collected in March, and I know for a few of you, this did happen. For everyone else, please note that your subscription will be collected in January and this will be for the new year. For those of you who have already paid, your payment will be carried forward to the new year.

Autumn Lunch

Very sadly, this has been cancelled for this year. As soon as we are able, we will advise you of the new date.

Santa’s Sleigh

The good news is that Santa has confirmed that he will be visiting the village on Christmas Eve, but has a few logistical problems to resolve beforehand! His elves are working on these and depending on the rules and regulations that are in force in December, it may be Santa will only stop in a few central areas in the village to deliver presents. Santa has promised to let us have regular updates, and these will be included in the October and November magazines.


Do you want much faster and reliable Broadband?

BT Openreach have now accepted that we are interested in a Community Fibre Project for the Village. I now have 15 days to enter details of interested people and properties. There is NO OBLIGATION if you express interest. There is fibre in Mill Green, but not in Stonham Aspal Village.

The plan is to get Fibre direct to every property, using your existing provider (at their standard normal cost), to give you speeds of 300 Mbps. The data is what they require, except for the Email which I will use to keep in contact with updates.

Please fill in the form here to help us

Village Hall and Tennis Court News


The Village Hall is now open. It has been a difficult time for everyone dealing with Covid-19 but the committee have agreed that the main hall is now available to hire for some events.  There is a restriction on the number of people allowed in the hall, but this is being monitored and in line with Government Guidelines.  At the moment the kitchen and committee room will be closed and not available for hire.

If you would like to hire the village hall then please contact me on the number below to discuss your requirements.

Tennis Courts       

Thank you to everyone who has renewed their membership this year. Membership this year has been extremely popular, and we now only have a couple of spaces left. I hope everyone has enjoyed the summer season of Tennis and that we have some good weather during the Autumn so that everyone can continue to use the court.

Maria Tydeman

on behalf of Stonham Aspal Village Hall

01449 711530

Friends of Debenham Library July 20 – Update to last post

Friends of Debenham Library

Debenham Library is open with a limited number of services. Mobile libraries are operating but the home library service remains suspended. Reservations have now resumed.

  • You can email or phone the library 01728 861940 during opening hours for a selection of titles for collection. Alternatively you can fill in the form at
  • There is browsing of books or use of computers, nor printing, faxing or photocopying.
  • All DVD and CD loans are free
  • You can use the Advanced Search at to check which titles are available at Debenham. Under “location”, choose or tick Debenham.
  • When you have finished with your books, please put them in our black bin outside the library.  Books borrowed before lockdown have been renewed automatically until 1st September.

Meanwhile you can still use all our online services for free audiobooks, ebooks, films and other services. Use your library card at for more details.

Summer Reading Challenge 2020

This year the Summer Reading Challenge, children aged 4 to 11, will be organised online. You will need to register at Books can be borrowed from the library (see above), or you can use eBooks or audiobooks, or books from your school.  

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

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

Ladies that Brunched July 2020

Ladies that Brunched!

Hello Ladies, I hope to be able to send an email around one day in August to say that I am hosting a ‘thing’ in the garden. I am not sure what the ‘thing’ is yet. It may not be a social distanced sit down knife and folk meal but perhaps an afternoon tea, coffee and cake, some sort of gathering where we can come together once more.

Whilst we have not been able to physically come together we have been zooming each week on a Tuesday evening. Many thanks to Helen Brookson for getting this off the ground. We have no idea how long we will keep zooming for, but whilst there is a need we shall carry on. This is open to anyone, please don’t feel that you have had to come to a Brunch to be able to join. If you are not use to zoom, you receive an invitation in the form of a email with a link to click on. The first time you use it, zoom will be downloaded on to your device, and you are ready to go. It is so very easy! Please let me know if you would like to receive an invitation to join our chats on

I am very aware that the finances at our church have been affected by this pandemic, so what ever event I hold, there will be a donation pot for church funds.

Looking forward to sharing our garden with you. Alex xx

Notes from The Cart Track July 2020

July 2020 Notes from The Cart track

The last couple of days have seen a cloudy, showery period with just over an inch of rain.  Very welcome indeed.  Evidence of it, in puddles on the Cart Track, will probably been gone by Monday but the beans, in particular, will benefit from it a lot.  Although the crop is short it has flowered very well and hopefully the bees from Cedar Lodge will make the most of the sunny weather to work their magic.  The upper pods appear to be filling well and the lower flowers have set pods, albeit very small at the moment.  Hopefully, this rain will allow them to fill as well.  Beans are very weather dependant crop and it is notoriously difficult to predict what yield will result.  They are far more fickle than cereals or sugar beet and are a prime example of weather being all powerful where profits are concerned, regardless of the skill of the farmer or the shininess of his expensive machinery.

Harvest is not more than 10 days away for some of our neighbours and I expect that some light land barley will be cut next week.  I am glad that we have had a cools showery week which will allow the crops more time to ripen naturally rather than die off.  It tends to help grain quality a bit.  We should be taking delivery of a new John Deere combine any day. Same model as before but many improvements that should make harvest more efficient.  It is fitted with the latest satellite guidance equipment which allows it to record yield and produces yield maps which will be recorded on our own arable management programme.  The programme can instruct the fertilizer spreader to vary rates depending on historical yield data and also control seeding rates on our drill to give us more efficient use of seed and fertilizer.  We have just been informed that the variable rates part of the software is not ready yet.  Somewhat worrying when it will be needed in seven weeks’ time.  It’s a bit like buying a new car and being told the windscreen wipers don’t work but will do at some point in the future.  No repayment of purchase price has been suggested yet but the dealer will lend us a controller until ours is ready.  I expect it has a virus – or its manufacturer has. 

Other equipment servicing is nearly done although we are still waiting for one set of earth wearing parts to arrive.  They were ordered in March as we were anticipating delays in delivery and to be fair we were given an end of June delivery date at the time.  In general the machinery dealerships have done a very good job in coping with all the problems of lockdown.  There are several cases of parts being incorrectly supplied but I think this is a problem which is common to automotive and truck part suppliers as well.  Machines have just become so complex and specifications change so frequently that it has become impossible for suppliers to stock every part.  The longer the chains of supply, the more chance there is of mistakes happening.  The moral of the story seems to be do not leave any repairs or servicing to the last minute or you may be disappointed.

David Tydeman