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SOME PAST NEWS from 2018 & 2017

HARVEST THANKSGIVING - Sunday 16 September 2018
Members and friends of Fersfield's community, and members of St John's (Bressingham), came together for the annual Harvest Thanksgiving on Sunday 16 September. St.Andrew's Parish Church was beautifully decorated with seasonal produce, flowers and specially made items, including the bread baked in the form of sheaves for the main altar. The Thanksgiving started with a special harvest service at 11 am, which had as the main themes the reliability of the seasons, the team-work necessary for food to travel from field to table and our reliance on nature's natural bounty. We went to the South Porch to bless Dan's vintage Ferguson tractor, and moved back inside the church for traditional hymns, prayers and related readings. At the end of the service, the church was prepared as a breathtaking setting for the Harvest Lunch, with a splendid variety of main dishes and delicious desserts. Digestion was aided with a variety of individually chosen beverages and tea/coffee. HUGE thanks are due to all those who contributed to such a successful day: publicity, photography, furniture moving, decorating, cooking and serving and the many other tasks. We are so fortunate to have a dedicated team of wonderful people who help at Fersfield's festival events.  A total of 85+ people enjoyed the event. Click here to see photos from the event >
The Afternoon Club's Annual Trip was a roaring success yesterday. After leaving at 9.30 we made our way to Southwold and arrived there in time for us to have a walk along the front or the promenade and get a coffee or an ice cream. Some intrepid people managed a walk up to town and back - no mean feat!! The weather was lovely warm but with a cooling sea breeze. From here we went to Aldeburgh where Reg & Brenda were dropped off outside the fish & chip shop to collect our order. Our very kind bus driver allowed us to eat on the coach and he too enjoyed a lovely piece of fish. They were superb and there was not a single complaint.

We had about 2 hours to have a wander or sit and people watch and then our lovely driver, Tony, brought us home the scenic route via Thorpeness where we saw the "house in the clouds" from both sides. We arrived home just after 5.00 pm after what was a glorious day. Where to next year??

Beautiful Bressingham & Fragrant Fersfield
Open Gardens Event, June 2nd & 3rd

The Open gardens planning team would like to sincerely thank all the people involved in this lovely event:

  • the Open Gardeners without which - no event,
  • those who advertised in our programme/booklet thereby helping us to raise more funds
  • the ever patient Mervyn Porter who arranged the booklet,
  • St Mary's Church Office who printed the booklets,
  • the stallholders for both their financial contributions and making inside and outside the hall look special
  • the cake bakers, marquee raisers, ticket sellers and photo takers,
  • the refreshment crew (we loved those toasties!)
Thank you to the Wheelbarrow displayers and to Jaime and Anthea Blake for judging.The winning barrow was by M and P Hall of Common Road. The profit referred to above will be shared equally between our Village Hall and the two Churches for much needed upkeep and repairs.

The weather was kind to us on the morning of Saturday 12 May, when a considerable number of people attended St Andrew's Plant, Craft and Cake Sale. The marquee was full of super plants, flower and vegetable, and delicious cakes and beautiful crafts were available inside the church, where refreshments were also served. The event has so far raised a marvellous £960.00 towards the church's restoration fund (recently boosted by a generous grant from Norfolk Churches' Trust). Considerable thanks are due to Sally, Sharon, Shirley, and all their great team, and all those who baked, grew, worked, crafted, photographed and supported to achieve such a successful outcome......and, have you noticed?  The scaffolding is at last up around the east end of St. Andrew's! Photos by John Walker.

EASTER AT st andrew's CHURCH, fersfield
A short service was held in St Andrew's, Fersfield, on Easter Sunday Morning, following which the congregation of some 35 adults and children enjoyed tea or coffee, buns (and festal chocolate!) and a good chat. Our thanks to all those who decorated the church and porch so beautifully, catered the refreshments and helped prepare the event.

Bressingham church was delighted to welcome the Rt Revd David Gillett on Easter Day.  This was the first service David had taken at Bressingham and the photograph shows him with the churchwarden and the two flower arrangers for the church,  Mary Tupper and Hilary Hadingham.

Music Camp Day: St Andrew’s Church, Fersfield
Monday 21 August 2017
To see more photos taken by Krys Wakefield click here >>

Rosemary Warren-Green’s orchestral arrangement of Peter Maxwell Davies’ beautiful ‘Farewell to Stromness’ enthralled the young people attending the opening of the Music Camp Day in Fersfield Church recently. The day, organised by Rosemary Warren-Green and her husband Christopher, both celebrated musicians, and their colleagues, including members of the London Chamber Orchestra and Kenninghall flautist Delcine Dunsmore, provided the opportunity to hear expert instrumentalists and for the youngsters to make their own music – and how the sounds reverberated in the splendid acoustics of this lovely old building.

Instruments of the orchestra were demonstrated and explained: violas, violins, cellos, keyboards, flutes, a harp, saxophone and clarinet were all seen at close quarters by those taking part, and there was later the opportunity to use them -with expert  support!. There was a session called ‘forage for instruments’ when instruments were ‘manufactured’ from items found around the church – from a roof tile to a blade of grass. A great favourite was the ‘guitar and bucket’ band’…….the rhythms produced were amazing. The afternoon consisted of a practice session, when experts and pupils worked together on a themed melody. There was also an enthralling exhibition of violin and string instrument construction by Sylvia and James, who showed some of the secrets of their Thornham Magna workshop. After an opportunity to let off a little steam, there was further serious practice before it was time to go home. Parents arrived – first to be presented with the ‘foraged instruments’, and then to attend the inaugural concert of the Fersfield Symphony Orchestra, as guest conductor Christopher Warren-Green, of the London Chamber and Charlotte Symphony Orchestras, led the combined talents of pupils and their expert tutors in a performance of ‘Farewell to Stromness’. The finale to a great day was a rocking performance by the Guitar and Bucket Ensemble.  Requests are already being received for the next session!

The day was sponsored by South Norfolk District Council, Bressingham & Fersfield Parish Council and St. Andrew’s PCC, Fersfield.

See more photos by
Krys Wakefield
- click here

The weather was kind on Sunday 17 September when the Bressingham & Fersfield community and neighbouring parishes jointly celebrated Harvest Festival at Fersfield’s St. Andrew’s Church. A beautiful vintage Ferguson tractor took centre stage for the opening part of the thanksgiving service, outside the South Door, following which the congregation entered the church to sing the well-known Harvest hymns and pray for the needs of the world and for the work of our gardeners, farmers, fishermen and other food producers. Rector Tony Billett conducted the service and Jean Collins was organist.

St. Andrew’s was beautifully decorated and the chancel contained Anna’s beautiful cornucopia of vegetables and flowers. The ‘team’ is to be thanked and congratulated for the church’s magnificent decoration and atmosphere.

Following the service, many of the congregation remained, and were joined by others, for a delightful Harvest Lunch, which consisted of a multi-choice, hot, two-course meal.  There was plenty to enjoy, and everyone tucked in enthusiastically.  Again, the ‘team’ and  the many community members who made main course and dessert dishes, or helped in any way, are to be greatly thanked.  It really was a shared and special occasion.

News >> History >> Community Interviews >>
Large numbers of members of the Bressingham & Fersfield community and their friends came together for three linked events in the two villages on Remembrance Sunday. The Village Hall Committee, The Ladies’ Club, St. John’s and St. Andrew’s Parish Churches and the Parish Council worked together to produce a fitting tribute to those who sacrificed so much for us.  There was a service at Bressingham War memorial followed by a delicious lunch and themed entertainment in the Bressingham & Fersfield Village Hall. Events concluded at a dusk-tide service at  Fersfield’s St. Andrew’s Church and the newly restored War Memorial.  Reflecting the locality’s extremely strong links with American allies during World War 2, a guest throughout the day was Captain Shirley de la Rosa, a doctor serving in the US Airforce, who a laid a wreath at each War memorial. Both villages had a display of wartime artefacts and historical items, including splendidly-presented results of research into those who gave their lives during conflict.  Everyone who contributed to the catering, ceremonial, display and performance for this evocative and enjoyable day is to be thanked and congratulated. See the photos taken by Krys Wakefield >>

South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band at Bressingham Church

There was a good attendance for South Norfolk Youth Symphonic Band at Bressingham Church on Saturday evening (6 May). The audience was treated to a spirited repertoire, from Jazz to favourite songs from the 1980s. The young band gave a fantastic performance, and the rapport between the band and conductor Mike Booty was obvious to all. 

The evening was kindly sponsored by Leslie and Alison Dumbell. Bressingham PCC and Friends of Bressingham Church would like to extend a massive thanks to them for all their hard work putting on such a great evening. Thanks also to everyone who helped setting up and baking. Over £800 was raised which is a fantastic contribution towards funding the current building works at the church.

What a brilliant weekend!  Thankfully, Saturday’s heavy rain did not deter people from attending.  Demowbrays Retinue, a troupe of living history interpreters, were superb. Each of the 17 characters, ranging from the Duchess, Elizabeth de Mowbray to a humble baker, managed to convey 15th century England for the 430 visitors who seemed to thoroughly enjoy the event.

Demowbrays attention to detail was astounding: all the tents, costumes and artefacts such as medieval fiddles were carefully researched and authentically recreated. Demowbrays stayed in character throughout - visitors could have come early morning to see them mustering and holding household prayers in Latin. Their historical research was meticulous, such as recreating 15th Century Bressingham manorial court under the lordship of Sir Thomas Pilkington. Processing each afternoon into the church led by the Duchess, Elizabeth de Mowbray, Demowbrays were truly magnificent to see. They very effectively kept a balance between entertaining and informing people about the medieval manorial court system. The court culminated with the baker found guilty of selling underweight bread and led out of the church to the stocks, to be pelted by the visitors with eggs!

Visitors also enjoyed looking at the historical documents and local history display in the church. Thanks to the recent Heritage Lottery Funded bench ends research project, many admired and learned about Bressingham Church's magnificent and rare late 15th century to mid 16th century ornately carved bench ends. Visitors further appreciated seeing the archaeological finds discovered during building repair groundworks, especially as one of the archaeologists, Simon Underdown, helped out at the event explaining the finds. Visitors were further treated to medieval music beautifully played on the organ by Adrian Kitchen. And, of course, refreshments were served by a welcoming team of volunteers.

Visitors were treated to a wide variety of home-baked cakes and savoury items, plus Pimms and a delicious local ale were served. At the end of each day, Demowbrays Retinue reentered the church to drink this ale in recreation of a traditional leet ale. A wonderful weekend!

Thanks to everyone who volunteered at the event, baked cakes, delivered or displayed flyers and shook Donation buckets. Special thanks goes to Diana Burroughes for her dedication to the survival of Bressingham Church, her brilliant front-of-house skills, and encouragement of the Bressingham Church team!


Fersfield Remembrance Service
SUNDAY 12 November 2017
The poor weather miraculously held off for the duration of the Fersfield Remembrance Service on Sunday afternoon, when a large gathering came to St. Andrew's for the annual ceremony and wreath-laying.  Those present were able to go out to the War Memorial, where wreaths and crosses were placed by the Parochial Church Council and the Parish Council.  Young people played a pleasingly prominent part:  Arthur Wildish and Isabella Kirby placed crosses for those who gave their lives in conflict but have no known resting-place and for all the children who have died through war.
Remembrance service
Click here to see more of Krys Wakefield's photos from the day >

Christmas Day Service, Fersfield - click here to see photos taken by Krys Wakefield >>
St. Andrew's again welcomed a large congregation - which contained many children - to the third of our Christmas Week services - the Christmas Morning Family Service. Following a welcome, we lit the Christmas Candle and placed the Baby Jesus doll in his manger. Well-known and loved carols,with organist Jenny Vere at the console, were enthusiastically sung, and there were the traditional Christmas Story reading and themed poems. Rector, Canon Tony, joined us to give his Christmas Blessing. A very generous series of Christmas offertories has enabled us to make donations to Discord's Cancer Relief charity (they were with us for the Carol Service the week before Christmas) and to local housing charity 'Solo'.

The Fersfield Carol Service - click here to see photos taken by Krys Wakefield >>
As usual for the occasion, Fersfield's St Andrew's Church was full for the annual Carol Service on Thursday 20 December. The building was beautifully decorated and specially floodlit for the occasion.  Michael Dann and Discord were with us, as were our Clergy - Rector Tony, Vicar John and Curate Samuel. We listened to the delightful singing of Discord, enjoyed an introductory item from 'The Three Wise Men' just mentioned, heard readings and poems read by village members and joined enthusiastically in the singing of well-loved carols. A generous collection of nearly £500 will be shared between charities for cancer research and the homeless and the church's restoration fund. After the service, everyone enjoyed mulled wine, excellent refreshments and a good chat! Massive thanks are due to all those who worked hard to make this event so successful by preparing and decorating the church, catering, singing, reading and enjoying the event. Christmas Morning Service is at 10.30: a short service of carols and readings for all ages, which will finish in plenty of time for getting the sprouts on! 
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