Report for St John the Baptist Church
We are losing our Rector in the summer as Canon Tony Billett is retiring. It may be well into 2023 before we get a replacement which will leave the vicar, Rev’d John Cruse to care for 11 parishes. The day to day running of the church is really the responsibility of the churchwardens. At least this is the case in small county parishes like Bressingham. We have all seen what can happen if suddenly there are no churchwardens. I am the only one now for Bressingham and as I have held the position since 2008 there will soon come a time when I can no longer carry on.
Considering we have no fund raising events in the last year we have financially managed fairly well although we didn’t pay all of our Parish Share. Our other big expense is the insurance at well over £2k but this we did pay in full. For those who don’t realise, each parish church pays for Cock Crow in their village. This is very kindly distributed to every home in the village 6 times a year by volunteers. Just as we find in our homes electricity, water, maintenance etc all cost so much more now.
Although the building is mostly in good repair we do have a real problem with water getting in on the north side of the church. Eventually we hope to get another grant but that could be years away.
Our income comes mainly from collection at our monthly services, funerals and this year we had 2 substantial donations. Twelve people give regularly by covenant but only 5 live in the village. This really helps keep us afloat. The Parish Council also gave us £450 towards the upkeep of the burial ground and churchyard.
Churchwarden of St John the Baptist, Bressingham
Report of St Andrews Church, Fersfield
For most of 2021 the Covid pandemic, exacerbated by the resignation of both Church Wardens and the absence of a functioning Parochial Church Council (PCC), meant that the Church remained closed for most of the year.
During the year there were also genuine fears that reorganisations within the Church of England might result in St Andrews being closed with the result that a dedicated group of villagers met with clergy to ensure that this did not happen and that St Andrews remained open for worship and for community use. With the help of the Diss Clergy and the enthusiasm of the villagers this immediate threat seems to have passed, however we must remain vigilant as a community if we want our Church to remain open.
Resulting from this and from other meetings held during the year several working parties of villagers have been formed to maintain the fabric of the Church and to facilitate the use of the building for both worship and for community events.
To this end, services were held for Easter, Remembrance (when 38 villagers attended, the most for many years), Harvest and Christmas Carols. There were also several tea and cake afternoons and Laura Gosman should be congratulated on arranging a vital fundraising craft fair.
Of equal importance is the team of dedicated ladies, led by Sharon Cole, who have transformed the inside of the Church, thanks to them all.
Dan Richardson, with Karl Traynier, have been active in monitoring the external Fabric of the Church and have initiated a programme of maintenance, repair and tidying. In this they have been assisted by a number of villagers, you know who you are, who just turn up and work on a specific area of the Churchyard. Thank you.
We have our own passionate correspondent, Penny Thompson, to Cockrow
We would also like to thank Bressingham and Fersfield Parish Council for their financial support without which maintaining the Churchyard in good order would prove to be challenging.
With regard to Finances, St Andrews is able to pay its way for the time being but with the programme of maintenance that is envisaged will need to raise modest amounts of money. To this end a programme of fund raisers has been outlined and ‘A friends of St. Andrews’ association has been set up and promises of regular donations have been received from many villagers.
Finally, the Church now has a fully functioning PCC and also has refreshed and increased the number of people who are on the Church Parish Electoral Roll.
In brief, the Church is now in a much better position than it was a year ago, however it is an asset of the Village, it is your Church, so this is a plea to all of the villages to support the efforts of the various committees by attending services and events, helping with the maintenance and cleaning of the Church or by making regular contributions to the Church finances.
Report for the Elizabeth Barker Charity for the Annual Parish Council Meeting
19th April 2022
There is very little to report. No monies have been spent for several years. The accounts now stand at the following.
Elizabeth Barker Charity – half of which is for the church and half for the parish. This money is for the use of projects for the children at the village school and the church – £4,294.44
Elizabeth Barker Charity Church account – £1,018.72
Elizabeth Barker Charity Parish account – £1,116.13
Gerald Canfer, the rector and myself are the trustees at the moment.
19th April 2022
Bressingham Village Hall Committee Report
This last year has been a great improvement on the previous one. Major works have been completed to the hall. These comprised of structural repairs and insulation to the main and entrance hall roof, and a new boiler system and radiators due to the system being condemned. The fire door to the side lawn should be replaced and the threshold bought into line with disability requirements shortly, and certainly before the jubilee event.
The very overgrown laylandii hedging was removed on request of the football club, and the area cleared back. Native tree/hedge species to bound the farmers field will be ordered at the appropriate planting time.
The hall was recently approached by the petanque club fir help with funding and new surrounding sleepers etc have been purchased and works are in hand.
We are looking forward to hosting the Queen’s Jubilee village picnic, together with a tree planting arranged.
We are pleased to see that the user groups have now returned to the hall which gives us a boost to our coffers, together with the very successful Panto which raised a surprisingly large amount of funds considering the Covid cirumstances. We hope the upcoming Murder Mystery will be as successful.
As ever, the committee gives a very big thanks to the Parish Council, the Allotment Charity and other generous charities for their help this year. The fact that the hall is now in excellent condition is due to their kind assistance.
Chair of the Village Hall Committee
Afternoon Club Report
The 5th October 2021 was the first time the Afternoon Club had met since before Covid. It was very encouraging as twenty people arrived. Great result.
We started with tea/coffee cake. Then had a multiple answer quiz which Allan and Kay put together. Everyone was just glad to be out again.
We have a good selection of games to choose from, Scrabble, Cards, Puzzles or just sitting having a natter till 4pm.
Its a community Club with no pressure on anyone just being able to get out now is a real lift to everyone.
The December meeting was a Christmas Lunch at Diss Golf Club. attended by twenty eight. Allan Byrne has always organised this for us as he is a member
at the club. Lunch again was very enjoyable.
In the new year we all decided to hold the meetings on the third Tuesday of the month so as not to clash with other local groups. This appears to be working well.
Bressingham and Fersfield Village Website Report
Bressingham and Fersfield Website Annual Report – April 2022
The new village website was made live on 1st August 2021 and has so far been met with positive reactions. The WordPress content management system has enabled an improvement of the site’s content both from the point of view of broadening the range and also the depth of detail that can be displayed. For example, the location of planning applications is now shown on an interactive map and community services such as EV charging points are included.
Management of the site is far easier which allows a greater focus on the content rather than spending time on the means by which that content should be displayed.
Requests for upload of events and news items is slowly picking up following lockdown but there are still potentially a number of other ways which the site could be used to benefit the community. Examples might include:
- Surveys to gauge parish opinions and needs
- Online competitions (for example, photography)
- Greater use of the site by clubs and groups
- Input from ‘correspondents’ to report significant parish events
Website Statistics (1 Apr 2021 – 31 March 2022)