As always, it’s going to be a busy December in Birlingham and details of the first batch of events are given below.
In this issue:
A Christmas-themed Cuppa & Chat will be held on Wednesday 2nd December from 3 00pm to 4 30pm in Birlingham Village Hall. In addition to the usual tea, cake and socialising there will also be mulled wine, mince pies, nibbles, a charity raffle and Christmas music. All are welcome and transport can be provided if required. So get yourself in a festive mood by coming along.
Contacts: Brenda Fletcher (01386 750173) or Adrianne Woodward (01386 750936).
Adrianne Woodward writes:
There will be a Church Cleaning Party on Saturday 5th December, starting at 10.00am, to give St James's Church its pre-Christmas spruce up. The cleaning sessions normally last one to two hours but help of any duration will be gratefully accepted. Brooms, dustpan and brush, polish, dusters, feather dusters and of course enthusiasm would be very useful! Refreshments will be provided.
Just turn up or if you have any queries ring Adrianne Woodward on 01386 750936.
Claire Lording writes:
The Church of England has written a discipleship course called ‘Pilgrim – A Course for the Christian Journey’ that was launched in October 2013. ‘Pilgrim’ is described as an innovative and inspiring programme for enquirers, new Christians and existing Christians. It approaches the great issues of faith not through persuasion, but participation in a pattern of contemplation and discussion in the company of a small group of fellow travellers. There are eight modules, of six sessions each, which look at major elements of the Christian faith, including: 'Turning to Christ’, which looks at the questions in the baptism service, 'The Lord’s Prayer’, ’The Commandments’, ’The Beatitudes’, ’The Creeds’. ’The Eucharist’, ‘The Bible’, ’The Church and Kingdom’.
We would like to run the Pilgrim Course in the Benefice but to give people a feel for what it is like I am running two taster sessions so you can come and see what it’s all about. One of these will be on Saturday 5th December from 2.00pm to 3.30pm in Birlingham Village Hall. All are welcome to come along and start the journey!
Services at St James’s Church during December will be held at the following times:
  • Sunday 6th: Morning Praise, 10.30am (with Peter Stansbie)
  • Sunday 13th: Holy Communion, 10.30am (Ven. Chris Liley)
  • Sunday 20th: Carol Service, 6.00pm (Rev. Henry Morgan)
  • Thursday 24th: Christingle and Blessing of the Crib, 4.00pm (Rev. Leonard Burn)
  • Friday 25th: Christmas Day Service – Holy Communion, 10.30am (Rev. Henry Morgan)
  • Sunday 27th: No service at St James’s
The Carol Service will be followed by mulled wine and mince pies in Birlingham Village Hall.
Angela Fitch writes:
Preparations are almost complete for the Christmas Fayre. However, we’re still looking for donations of seasonal greenery, books, CDs, DVDs, raffle prizes and tombola contributions.
We also need a rug to create a nice effect for Santa, alongside the presents and Christmas tree. If you have a ‘redundant’ rug which you would be happy to loan to the event (an old one, as people will walk on it and it may be marked) please contact Angela Fitch on 01386 751682 or
This year’s Carol Service takes place on Sunday 20th December at 6.00pm in St James’s Church, followed by mulled wine and mince pies in Birlingham Village Hall. This year it is hoped to have a choir, instrumental group and handbells:
  • Wimpy Derbyshire will be getting together a small choir to sing at the Carol Service. Could anyone who is interested please get in touch with her at  or call her on 07860 557761. Obviously there will be rehearsals!
  • Instrumentalists are invited to join a group to play some simple carols before the Carol Service. We are aiming to get a few players together to create a festive atmosphere and have some fun. All instruments and abilities welcome, so please dust off that case and come along! Contact Jon Komor on or call him on 07788 480197.
  • Would anyone interested in ringing handbells for this year’s Carol Service please contact Chris Woodward, Stuart Allen or Steve Morris, or email Numbers permitting we will arrange a pre-service practice.
If you are interested in taking part in any of these groups, please get in touch with the organisers by 2nd December.
7. Christmas at the Swan Inn
Zoe Haines writes:
Join us at The Swan Inn this December where we shall be opening our doors for our second year of festive fun throughout the Christmas period. With our Christmas menu starting the first week of December there shall be something to tick everyone’s box whether you’re looking for a catch up with friends at lunch, a celebratory dinner or a few drinks around the cosy log burner.
We’re filling up fast for New Year’s Eve so book your table today on 01386 750485. Opening times can be found at and we shall look forward to seeing you all soon.
Angela Fitch writes:
The New Year’s Eve Party takes place on Thursday 31st December from 8.00pm until late in Birlingham Village Hall. £10 per ticket, profits will be donated to Birlingham Village Hall.
Bring your own food and drinks and see the year out in style. Maurice Sherwood’s seven-piece band will provide the music, everything from jazz and swing through to today’s big hits. The hall will accommodate about 70 people, plus the dance floor, consequently tickets are limited and have already started to sell, so please book early to avoid disappointment.
We are looking for a sponsor for the fireworks – if you would like to promote your business by providing some modest sponsorship we would love to hear from you. Information about sponsorship and also booking via Angela Fitch on 01386 751682 or
At its meeting on 18th November, Birlingham Parish Council discussed a number of matters, including the following:
  • The Council are compiling more detailed results from the Village Survey and will be addressing the issues raised over the coming months.
  • Following the support of 76% of Village Survey respondents for a Village Design Statement, a public meeting will be held in the New Year to begin the process of creating the plan.
  • The budget for next year was discussed and a final decision on the precept will be made at the next meeting on Wednesday 13th January.
  • The Council discussed problems relating to HGVs and other traffic in New Barn Lane and Church Lane, and the poor state of the track from Berwick Lane to Nafford, and will look into ways of improving these lanes.
Full minutes of the Parish Council meeting will be available shortly at
Angela Fitch writes:
Calling all cooks! Pat Lightbody is collecting recipes, traditional and contemporary, to create a cookery book which will be sold and profits donated to St James’s Church.
What’s your signature dish? Do you have an heirloom recipe? Or maybe you have a great tip for: cooking for one, cooking for vegetarian guests, delicious diet dishes or a disaster-free dinner party!
Please send your recipes, hints, tips, photos and anything else that you think would make the book an interesting read to Pat Lightbody, The Row, Birlingham or email or phone 01386 751434.
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