Remembrance Day Poppy Project

St Mary's Walsham le Willows, church wall adorned with poppies for Armistace Day

Almost 10,000 knitted and crocheted poppies decorate the inside and outside of St Mary’s Church in Walsham-le-Willows (Suffolk) in an act of remembrance of those who gave their lives during the First and Second World Wars.  Come along and take a look.

Tea/coffee and cake will be served in the church from 10 o’clock until 4 o’clock.

Take a look at a slide-show of images from this year’s display and watch a video commemoration for soldiers who fell.

Cathedral Choir Comes To Country Church!

handwritten 'for your diary' logoThe nationally renowned Wallingford Parish Church Choir regularly stand in at St Paul’s Cathedral, Westminster Abbey and St Georges Chapel, Windsor. We are excited to offer you a unique opportunity to hear them in the intimate setting of St. Mary’s Church Walsham-le-Willows.

The concert will be on Saturday April 7th at 7.30pm. Entrance is free. There will be a retiring collection with all profits to St Mary’s Church.

There will also be a Sung Eucharist on Sunday April 8th 11.00am.

Walsham Mobile Data Network and Cellular Signals

Graphic depicting the signal strength of a cellular mobile phone signal
Mobile Phone Cellular Signal Bars

If you did not know, Walsham now has a new mobile mast on St. Mary’s Church tower.

It was originally suggested that the mast would be an Orange installation.

Latterly is has been suggested the mast is a Vodafone installation.

graphic of number 4 and letter g in form of rubber stamp impression
4G – The fastest available Mobile Data Network protocol (2017)

What seems to work best are the Vodafone and Orange networks which now give a 4G data network signal and 3-4 bars Cellular mobile phone signal indoors in the majority of locations along The Street. Out at the end of the Ixworth Road 4G and 2 bars have been reported.

Obviously there will always be variability but the information on the best Network Providers for this area is anecdotal until confirmed by the Parochial Church Council but it appears that Walsham now has 4G data speeds and a decent cellular mobile signal !

tabulated information of the various mobile data network speeds

Epiphany Singers Carol Concert 2018


handwritten 'for your diary' logo

Saturday 6th January 2018 7.30 p.m.

St Mary’s Church, Walsham le Willows


Conductor: Simon Carrington – Yale Professor emeritus

 Organist: David Hill – Conductor, London Bach Choir


line drawing of notes on stave with crossFor many years Walsham has been privileged to have this very talented group of people come and sing in our church.  They arrive from all over the country and abroad, many of international fame.

This is a very special evening. You don’t have to be a church-goer, just someone who enjoys beautiful music and the most wonderful singing. Some of the pieces you may recognise, others will be new, but all will be memorable.

Tickets are not required but there will be a retiring collection.

Lighting of Walsham Christmas Tree 2017

Brightly lit christmas tree, branches dusted with snow against a snow filled backgroundThe Garden Weekebds Committee will be lighting the Christmas Tree outside St. Mary’s Church on Sunday 3rd December at 4pm.

Do come along and enjoy the start of the Christmas celebrations.

Mulled wine and mince pies will be served in the Priory Room afterwards.

Robin Newell

St. Mary’s church ‘yarn bombed’

Knitted poppies affixed to a fine net and draped from the top of St Mary's church tower showing the wisp of almost invisible net starting at the top and widening as it falls down the tower covering the whole of the porch wall at the base.St. Mary’s church, Walsham-le-Willows, has been ‘yarn bombed’ overnight in the run up to Remembrance Day, with over 5000 hand-crafted red poppies now to be seen cascading from the bell tower and over the walls .

There are also 40 poppies on display inside the church commemorating the 40 men from Walsham who died in the First and Second World Wars and whose names are listed on the War Memorial in the churchyard.

Knitted poppies affixed to a fine net interspersed with some artificial leaf much like camouflage netting and draped from the top of the tall flint and brick wall to the side of St. Mary's church.Jan Hall, who led the project with the village British Legion representative Fiona Glover, has been overwhelmed by the response to their appeal to local, talented crafters to make the profusion of poppies that have been knitted and crocheted by more than 75 individuals to mark Armistice Day and raise funds for the British Legion Poppy Appeal. Continue reading “St. Mary’s church ‘yarn bombed’”

St. Mary’s Organ Replacement Fund

[thermometer raised=30000 target=35000 align=left height=400]

With a new vicar at the helm, and a (nearly) watertight church, we have news for all our generous supporters. A Porritt Organ, beautiful and perfectly sized to replace our much-loved instrument, is available and, equally important, affordable. This organ has the approval of our team of organ experts, including David Hill, of the Epiphany Singers. It will have more variety of sound, and an electrified action. It should last for at least 50 years and probably many more.

There are still many formalities we must complete before we can embark on the actual work of  organ transplant, but we are very hopeful that mid 2018 will see the new Porritt organ in place.

Once the project is up and running, we hope to involve supporters with activities such as a trip to the organ workshop, and a talk about church organs.

On behalf of Rev. Merry and the PCC, many thanks to all who have supported this aspect of the church’s future, and we shall keep you updated as the project becomes reality.

Read more on this from Matthew Lockyer

Buckingham Palace Garden Talk

image of buckingham palace from the end of pall mall with brightly coloured planting in the beds in foreground

Ron and Ella Higginson had the idea and the drive to make this happen. They would like to thank Mark himself and everyone who came to the talk.  A total of £746.30  was raised towards St Mary’s Church fabric fund, £114.30 of that was from the sale of tea and cakes. Special thanks go to the bakers who excelled as they usually do! Joan, Angela and Debbie were also our amazing tea ladies on the day.

Ron and Ella would also like to note that this event could not have got off the ground without the help and organisation of Maggie Barber, Judith Harlow and Ian Bartholomew.

Diary of an ‘Organised Cycle Ride’ Published

ian's cycle diary 2017The diary of Ian Toulson’s Organised 2604 mile Cycle Ride over seven weeks in April and May this year has been published.  

Suggested minimum donation is £7.50 with all proceeds going to St Mary’s Church for the Fabric and Organ Funds. 

Contact Ian for a copy on 01359 259 646 or see him in the Coffee Shop in Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Janet Kerridge Awarded British Empire Medal

British Empire MedalOur very own Janet Kerridge was awarded a British Empire Medal for services to her community.  Janet has worked through St. Mary The Virgin Church since she was a child and had, until this year, been Church Secretary since 1973,
She said: “I was very surprised and have been congratulated by my friends.  Twelve people wrote letters to help recommend me for this award and that was the most surprising thing.  I am most proud of organising the children’s praise and Christmas praise.”

Ian’s Cathedrals Ride – Update – Day 45

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Start: Canterbury (10.30 am)
Finish: Rochester (6.30 pm)
Distance:  46.8 miles
Bike Time:  5h 08min
Ave Speed: 9.1 mph
Max Speed:  22.9 mph
Total Distance: 2432.5 miles
Total Time:  231h 22min

It was lucky that I arrived late the day before since I had to go back to the cathedral to take some pictures.  When I came out the heavens opened and there was thunder and lightning, so I waited for the skies to clear.  An earlier start and I would have been in the thick of it outside.

Continue reading “Ian’s Cathedrals Ride – Update – Day 45”

Ian’s Cathedral Ride – Update – Day 44

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Sweet-Shop-in-RyeCathedrals Ride Day 44 Friday 26th May

Start: Winchelsea (8.20 am)
Finish: Canterbury (4.40 pm)
Distance: 48.8 miles
Bike Time: 5h 03min
Ave Speed: 9.6 mph
Max Speed: 22.8 mph
Total Distance:
2385.7 miles
Total Time: 226h 14min

Breakfast, collect laundry, pack up and remember to hand over the key as I pay my bill. Then the first cycling was uphill, but afterwards I was rewarded with a compensating downhill and then for the rest of the morning it was basically on the level. Continue reading “Ian’s Cathedral Ride – Update – Day 44”

Ian’s Cathedral Ride – Update – Days 41-43

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Winchester-CathedralCathedrals Ride Day 41 Tuesday 23rd May
Start: Winchester (9.30am)
Finish: Chichester (5.30 pm)
Distance:  40.9  miles
Bike Time:  3h 46min
Ave Speed: 10.8 mph
Max Speed:  28.8 mph
Total Distance: 2232.9 miles
Total Time:  210h 34min


Nice to feel no pressure first thing in the morning. The only other guests were Australians who seemed to be almost permanently on holiday, well at least from the list of holiday destinations that they told me about.  Met my ‘twin’ Judy and her husband Peter at the cathedral, having first met Patryk, initially from Poland, walking the End-to-End with his fluffy gorilla Wilson Continue reading “Ian’s Cathedral Ride – Update – Days 41-43”

Ian’s Cathedrals Ride – Update – Day 41

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Start: Kilmington (8.15am)Salisbury-Market-Crossroads
Finish: Winchester (5.35 pm)
Distance:  63.0  miles
Bike Time:  5h 33min
Ave Speed: 11.3 mph
Max Speed:  28.8 mph
Total Distance: 2192.0 miles
Total Time:  206h 48min
Up and off early as I had to make sure that I arrived in Winchester well before six, as I was going out in the evening with my university friend.  First though I had a meeting with the Selina, the latest addition to Mary Jane’s side of the family. Then off for Salisbury on a none too strenuous ride.  Far fewer hills than the day before.

Continue reading “Ian’s Cathedrals Ride – Update – Day 41”

Ian’s Cathedral Ride – Update – Day 39

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Church at Southleigh set in rolling green hillsStart: Ottery St Mary (9.20am)
Finish: Kilmingon Common (7.35 pm)
Distance:  71.0  miles
Bike Time:  6h 59min
Ave Speed: 10.1 mph
Max Speed:  28.8 mph
Total Distance: 2129.0 miles
Total Time:  201h 15min

Breakfast later than usual so departure was a little later.  Left shoe in danger of falling apart.  Met two cyclists early on who tell me that there is a severe hill coming soon. Continue reading “Ian’s Cathedral Ride – Update – Day 39”

Ian’s Cathedral Ride – Update – Day 38

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Exeter Cathedral against a grey skyStart: West Monkton (9.15am)
Finish: Ottery St Mary (6.40 pm)
Distance:  53.7  miles
Bike Time:  5h 22min
Ave Speed: 10.0 mph
Max Speed:  25.2 mph
Total Distance: 2058.0 miles
Total Time:  194h 16min

A slight re-route was planned over the phone with one of Tiggie’s sons.  As I left  there was a slight clicking, which turned out to be a drawing pin just slightly sticking into the tyre.  Upon removing it there appeared to be no damage, but twelve miles later I could feel the lack of pressure and needed to change the inner-tube. It was then that I discovered that some member of the ‘pond-life’ brigade had removed the tool kit from under the saddle. Continue reading “Ian’s Cathedral Ride – Update – Day 38”

Ian’s Cathedrals Ride – Update – Day 37

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three men in a boat on chew lakeStart: Long Ashton (9.15am)
Finish: West Monkton (6.45 pm)
Distance:  56.5  miles
Bike Time:  5h 17min
Ave Speed: 10.6 mph
Max Speed:  26.5 mph
Total Distance: 2004.3 miles
Total Time:  188h 54min

Photo of leaving is a must before setting off for Wells.  Chew up the road with Chew Magna, Stoke Chew and Chew Lake, before having a break at Harptree. Then a hard climb up to the top  of the Mendips, along with a number on a charity ride. Continue reading “Ian’s Cathedrals Ride – Update – Day 37”

Ian’s Cathedral Ride – Update – Day 34

Statue of Edward Elgar against a gloomy sky
Edward Elgar

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Start: Kington (8.50am)
Distance:  62.9  miles
Ave Speed: 10.7 mph
Total Distance: 1863.8 miles
Finish: Malvern (6.30 pm)
Bike Time:  5h 59min
Max Speed:  26.3 mph
Total Time:  175h 25min

Another day when a little route planning was required, but not much  –  just to get me to Breadwedine, and then I was riding on the other side of the Golden Valley, which last time I had ridden it I got soaked. No different this time.

Continue reading “Ian’s Cathedral Ride – Update – Day 34”

Ian’s Cathedrals Ride – Update- Day 33

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bus top with a bookshelf
Books at the Bus Stop

Start: Brecon (9.15am)
Distance: 40.0 miles
Ave Speed: 10.7 mph Max
Total Distance: 1800.9 miles
Finish: Kington (6.45 pm)
Bike Time: 3h 44min
Speed: 28.0 mph
Total Time: 169h 26min


The first chore, after breakfast was to take the bike to the bike shop to get the brakes seen to, then visit the cathedral and then rather than later to set off for the day’s ride. Continue reading “Ian’s Cathedrals Ride – Update- Day 33”

Ian’s Cathedrals Ride – Update – Day 32

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Image of Brecon Beacons on a clear day with blue sky and white clouds in the skyStart: Llandysul (9.15am)
Distance:  64.5  miles
Ave Speed: 9.9 mph
Total Distance:  1760.9 miles
Finish: Brecon (6.45 pm)
Bike Time:  6h 45min
Max Speed:  31.3 mph
Total Time:  165h 42min

Mapped from what ‘claimed’ to be Llandysul to Pontwelly worked fine, and the further ride to Llangadog was also without mishap. There was a constant flow of Classic Cars on some sort of Jolly Rally, but was never in the right place at the right time for the most retro conveyances.
Continue reading “Ian’s Cathedrals Ride – Update – Day 32”

Ian’s Cathedrals Ride – Update – Day 31

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Start: St David’s (9.20am)Image bright sunny day, blue sky, looking down a winding road to newgale strand and the sea
Distance: 62.7 miles
Ave Speed: 10.5 mph
Total Distance: 1696.4 miles
Finish: Llandysul (6.05 pm)
Bike Time: 5h 57min
Max Speed: 30.5 mph
Total Time: 158h 57min

Quick re-route so as to follow the coast road to Newgale and then head inland to Haycastle. Unfortunately this new route took me, in the end over the Preseli Mountains, but the view was great, the wind blew hard – in the right direction – and the descent was long and fast.
Continue reading “Ian’s Cathedrals Ride – Update – Day 31”

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