Home Page

From-  VOL34 No 9 December 2016 Sparkford's PARISH NEWS     
- for Sparkford, Weston Bampfylde and Little Weston with Sutton Montis

From The Editors Desk.
Welcome to the Last edition of 2016 of the magazine I am now entering my most favorite time of the year. it’s been a very busy year I would like to thank you all for the continued support and for using the magazine. If anyone has any ideas or items to be included, please contact me.

I have no longer got anyone to deliver for me at Wolfester Terrace end of Sparkford if one of you could please do this for me then I will be delighted. Due to my busy home & work life I have decided to trial a Bi monthly format to make things easier. This issue will be the second in this new format covering Sept I October I hope to make the magazine covering the following dates Sept / Oct. Nov I Dec, Jan I Feb, Mar I Apr, May I Jun, July /Aug an so on. The deadline will still be on the 1 5th of each month but each edition will cover 2 months creating 6 editions per year I will see how this works over the next few months

Please send all items to me at: editor@sparkfordvillage.co.uk or direct via post or hand delivered to my home address shown on back of magazine.

Countess Gytha Primary School

A message from the Head teacher 
We held our first AGM for Friends of Countess Gytha School (FrOCGS yesterday). We were able to: agree the constitution, elect three officers and set a date for our next meeting Wednesday November 16th at 2.45pm. The focus of this meeting will be to make arrangements for the Christmas Fayre, the suggested date of which is Friday 9th December. Frocgs is open to everyone so please do come and join us. I look forward to hearing your views and putting your ideas into action.
Many thanks as always for your continued support.

Following elections, we would like to announce this year’s House Captains, more details about Houses and your child’s House will be sent home next week.

House Captains
Mendips - Hannah & Louis
Quantocks - Tyler & Evie
Blackdowns - Jasmine & Ethan
Poldens - Olivia & Ben

 School Council
Merlin - Marley & Stanley
Pendragon - Georgia & Finley
King Arthur - Jude & Tegan
Guinevere - Maddison & Finn

Excalibur - Kiera & Jay
Lancelot - Aimee & Charlie

Taigne & Freya

A School Council Newsletter will follow shortly with Film Club details and other fundraising events.
Please see our website which has lots of photographs of the new school http://www.countessgythaprimary.co.uk/news/.
Sue English

3rd Sparkford Scout Group
Latest from 3rd Sparkford Beavers, Cubs and Scouts

Our Cubs and Scouts had an amazing trip to Osmington at the start of half term, where they faced a fantastic range of challenges, from raft building at Portland, to mountain biking and team building games. And they achieved great heights on the climbing walls and now infamous ‘Jacobs Ladder’ — showing amazing confidence and determination, even when their legs did feel like jelly!

 Our young Beavers have been busy earning their Personal Challenge Awards and Cooking Activity badge. They too are off climbing at the end of this month before they start looking forward to Christmas. We have a fantastic full section and new leaders who are developing the colony brilliantly.

Our Cubs have been learning about Remembrance Day during their recent meetings, and all our sections were represented superbly at the Remembrance Day Parade held at Queen Camel Church, with flag bearers from age six upwards, all marking this important occasion.

We are continuing to fundraise for a new minibus — we have an opportunity to purchase one from a local school in the coming months so we are doing our very best to try to make that happen so that we can organise many more adventures!

Anyone interested in joining or helping please email sparkfordscoutgroup@gmail.com

Or if you have any ideas for fundraising or donations of equipment/craft materials to our group please contact Helen Wooldridge — helen@cudd!edrv.com

YOU can help us too when you order your oil — by saving money via this price comparison link     https://www.boilerjuice.com/community/3rd-sparkford-scout-group/ - who donate money to our group for every litre of oil you order! Please do use it if you can — thank you.

We are always keen to hear from members of our local communities who have skills or ideas to share with our group — please do contact us on.helen@cuddledry.com   or call Helen Wooldridge 01963 440801


As you all now know Sparkford no longer has a Neighborhood Watch, If was disbanded in April 2016 due to no one willing to step forward to fake the helm which is an unfortunate
This comes at a time when our security and peace of mind is eroded not only by the inability of the police to continue the support and protection we had once all come to expect, but also by what is happening in the world around us.
Neighborhood Watch has always provided a link between ourselves and the Police and even been referred to as the “eyes & ears” of the Police. It has also helped in consolidating a community from a social angle as well as a security one.Everything was handed over to the Parish Council as of April the onus was placed firmly on our Parish council to at least keep a “watching brief” on the Neighbourhood Watch. This I believe is a possible solution and would be in line with councils who delegate the various responsibilities, such as planning, footpaths, frees etc. to different councillors.I would like to again Ask if there is anyone in our community who would be willing to take on the running of the watch. If this is something you could see yourself doing please contact a member of the Sparkford Parish Council whom would be able to help you set it up once more.

Village Agent

I love it when the dark nights draw in During the summer,I feel I must be outside until all hours of the evening, making the most of the sunlight. By late August. this has usually worn thin and I begin to enjoy the fact that there is no point getting up early if it is still dark (work days excluded of course!)
Trouble is, all that early evening tv arid glass of wine has it’s downside....

How timely it is that Devon have launched a campaign to get us all up and movingl The new research states that we increase our chances of diabetes mid decreased bone density by sitting for more than 3 hours a day. Furthermore, the findings state that a short session of intense exercise to eradicate the day’s sitting is not enough! Moving against gravity throughout the day is vital to our health. Take a look at www.devon.gov.uk/areyousittingcomfortably

So go and get that warm drink, walk outside and get some autumn sun and dance m the ad breaksl If you are at work, do some squats by the photocopier (no don’t, you may lose your job I).
My husband is a fan of the log fire, so while we all shiver upstairs getting our evening showers, the sitting room is gloriously ablaze for the cat. THATS IT! lime to put the heating on!

However to make the most of every drop of oil firing those radiators, make sure you are insulated! I am not talking the big stuff, but putting reflective insulation behind a wood burner or radiators, lining the keyhole and the letter box and one I haven’t thought of - the loft opening! It all helps.

If you have an old boiler you may decide to insure against when it breaks down. Get boiler cover, which starts for as little as £4.9~ per month. If you’ve never had boiler cover before. USWitch have a boiler cover comparison webslte.
British Gas are offering £400 off a new boiler which includes their 5 year warranty — but only until 31st October, so act fast to get the deal. Doubt they supply oil fired ones though...

If the worst happens and we get another power cut, you can now call 105 to report it. Quicker than trying to find your electricity provider. Wish it would have worked when my broadband went out again this morning.
Well outside right now, the sky is blue and the trees are still green. I am beginning to feel a little over prepared for the winter, time to get out for a walk I think!
Cath Holloway - Village Agent

My role is to support people in living efficiently and independently and to negotiate the number of services available In South Somerset. I am also available to help build closer communities by supporting the set up of local groups. So do give me a call on 07968   521746 or email cath@tsomersetrcc.org.uk. If you think I can help. My support is free and confidential courtesy of our super funders.
Enjoy feeling organised!


The next CaféXtra Village Breakfast Gathering Will take place on Sunday 11 th December. Breakfast served 9.30am - 11 .00am
Sparkford Church welcomes everyone for good coffee, Toast, Croissant, milkshake bar &

A round of bacon rolls. This venture aims to provide a monthly meeting point for our village, with the option too to pray and hear a Bible story at one point in the morning.
No charge for breakfast but contributions welcome

Queen Camel Tuesday Group  Report

October / November Report
The October meeting was a riotous affair! After the usual ‘meet and greet’ of coffees, teas, delicious cakes and chats with friends you may not have seen for four weeks, we finally, settled down to the business part of the morning. This is usually quite short but can still be amusing or entertaining sometimes.

It was then time for our speaker, Graham Gould, or in this case, ‘singer’ for the day. We were lead through a medley of 1960’s music that brought back long forgotten memories, mostly good. This teased our brains with ‘who sang this,’ or ‘what was the title,’ or even ‘what was the next line?’ Of course, sometimes these questions proved too difficult as we are all ‘far too young to remember the songs??! He then regaled us with his Elvis impressions to wind up a very loud meeting.

November was our AGM and I am delighted to report that the current officers were all voted back in post for another year. They have done such a sterling job, with the help of the committee, that this was no surprise.
We rounded off the morning with Bingo. The husband of one of our members, Nigel Young, is always willing to share his expertise with us and interject with amusing quips, which everyone enjoys and which lifts, beautifully, an otherwise sober meeting.

Next month is our Christmas Dinner at the ‘Northover Manor’ in Ilchester, including a ‘Secret Santa’ in more ways than one!

 We meet, as you know, on the first Tuesday of each month at the Queen Camel Memorial Hall arriving at 10.00am for a 10.30am start. Our membership grows by the month and we would love you to share in that success. If you want any more information about our activities, please call Pat Champion on 01963 32264 or Marion Chapman on 01963 220741


Wonder and worship

Have you ever wondered how many stars there are? We know there are lots and we know we can’t count them. It is clearly not a straightforward question. So, what do we know? We believe the universe is some 14 billion light years old. We think it is expanding, but we don’t know if it is infinitely large or not. And the fact that space-time seems to be curved makes it even more complicated. But if the Milky Way has some 100 million stars in it and if there are in the order of 100 trillion galaxies, we are looking at something like ‘1 followed by 24 noughts’ as an answer. That is a lot of stars! And throughout all of human historV people have wondered not only how many stars there are but also who made them.

The Bible gives us an answer to this and reveals God as the Creator of all things. The prophet Isaiah wrote this:

‘Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens: Who created all these? He brings out the starry host one by one, and calls them each by name. Because of his great power and mighty strength, not I one of them Is missing.’ (Isaiah 40: 26)

Stars are beautiful, mysterious, awe-inspiring. They cause us to wonder and marvel. Who has not stopped at some point and just gazed at the night sky? it is said that the US President Franklin D Roosevelt used to take his guest out after dinner to look at the night sky. They would stare at the -stars and then he would say: ‘Now that we feel small enough, let us discuss our business.’

At the first Christmas, it was a star that led the wise men to the baby Jesus. ‘When they saw the child with his mother Mary, they bowed down and worshipped him.’ Christmas reminds us that Jesus is God’s Son, our Saviour and our Lord. In the midst of all else that is happening may we make sure that we take time to wonder and to worship.
+ Peter Bath & Wells

The Revd Rose Hoskins writes:
So here we are back after our island ramblings, many thanks, by the way, for your appreciative comments about the bk,g it~s good to know you have been reading and enjoying it. Lots of people are asking what did you discover, which was your favourite island?

In due course I am hoping to put together a presentation to share about our adventures.
But right now looking back on the hundreds of photos taken I am struck by how often lighthouses feature. I remember being fascinated as a little girl by lighthouses and the famous story of Grace Darling the lighthouse keeper’s daughter who in 1838 assisted in the rescue of survivors from the paddle steamer Forfarshire which ran aground off the Fame Islands. Today many lighthouses are automated and the former lighthouse keepers accommodation has been turned over to holiday self-catering accommodation. But theres still something strangely evocative about seeing that beam of light sweeping across the water guiding ships, sometimes re-directing them on a safe course and in the process saving lives.

The theme of light and life is a familiar theme in the Scriptures. As we approach the end of November, for many the gloomiest month of the year, a time we when really long for the sun, we begin the season of Advent. In our churches our prayers remind us there is glimmer of light in the darkness as we begin to prepare the welcome the one who brings light and life to all and whose birth we celebrate at Christmas. But before we skip to the Christmas bit It Is worth lingering with those words about light and life and the image of the lighthouse.

On our first evening back from study leave Alan and I were delighted to joln with the Cam Vale Mens Fellowship and hear Bishop Ruth our new Bishop of Taunton. She spoke of the people who had encouraged and inspired her. People who, rather like a lighthouse, had guided and re-directed her life. Coming from a conservative evangelical church background, where women were never allowed to preach or lead worship, Bishop Ruth spoke of how her life direction was changed when, just at the point she was considering what she should study at university, someone encouraged her to consider studying theology. This marked a C change and played a key role in making her the person she is today.

So often we lament the missing generation/s from our church. At one end there are the very young at the other there are the sliver surfers but not a lot In between. We can blame all kinds of things vicars, the church institution, the church buildings, education In schools, parents not passing on the faith, various Sunday activities the list is endless. Then we make excuses for ourselves as to why we don~t step In and try to do something. Were too old, were too young, were not experienced with youngsters, It’s the parentS’ job, the teacher’s job, the vicar’s job or weve simply not enough time again the list is endless. But all of us can be a lighthouse for someone and it’s not really too hard to do.

We can do it by sharing our faith story or by listening to someone elses story and helping them tease out where God has been at work, even if they havent been aware of it.

Finally there’s that wonderful question: Have you ever considered that someone may be calling you to..? If we summon the courage to ask it you never know where it may lead.

Local Business

DON’T MISS OUT! Booking a family get together, wedding or a special party?
Our luxury Georgian mansion will be yours throughout your stay, including 23 acres of stunning parkland, orchards and gardens, plus our tribe of alpacas & miniature ponies. The house has 11 bedrooms, a huge kitchen for family meals, several lounges and even a downstairs party room for up to 150 guests.
Please call Tony on 07971 234333 or email tony@sparkfordhallco.uk

Mill House Flowers   
Floral Design ,  Country Garden,   Wedding Flowers for Bridal,  Churches and Marquees,
   tel (44) 01963-440427 Mobile  07711362292
Web page:

Vale of Camelot Grower
Opening Friday 22nd April 2016
Opening times   
Tuesday - Saturdays 
9am - 4.30pm Sundays 10.00 - 4.00pm
You can find us between Sparkford and South Cadbury on the old A303.    Tel. 07969372979 for details


MOBILE No: 07763202864
LAND LINE: 01935 851322
COUNTRYMAN Countryside & Garden
Peter Keenlyside
Mobile: 07706364709
Landline: 01963 251 733
Copy deadline for inclusion by noon on 15th of each month send to Peter Downton   editor@sparkfordvillage.co.uk

Home Page
Last Months News