Your Church Needs Your Help

This weekend (22-25th May 2020) would usually have played host to some of the most important fundraising events of the year in the Benefice.  In past years these events between them would have raised in excess of £20-25,000, money which each parish would have used in a variety of ways such as for the upkeep, maintenance, improvements to facilities and of course for the ongoing mission and outreach of the Church in Stoke, Nayland and Wiston.

However, with Stoke’s Spring Fair and Art Exhibition, and the Nayland Fete all falling victim to the Virus, and with other planned events for later in the year across the Benefice unlikely to take place, we cannot escape the fact that that there will now be significant shortfalls in our parish finances, and that our limited reserves cannot last for ever.

Therefore I am making an appeal to all our regular worshiping community, as well as our friends and neighbours in our parishes, that if you would normally have made a donation, or spent money at these events, would you please consider making a gift to your respective church – there has never been a more important time to ensure that the work and mission of our churches, benefice and diocese continues without undue fear and worry over finances.

Cheques etc can be sent to your chosen Church Treasurer (details below) for the work of that specific church, or please do contact them directly and they will be able to provide you details of how you can make a one off gift by Bank Transfer/Online Banking, and provide a Gift Aid Form if required.

St James’ Church, Nayland
Treasurer:      Mr Jonathan Pearson, Stourfields, 42 Stoke Road, Nayland CO6 4JD
Tel. 01206 263965    Email.

St Mary’s Church, Wissington (Wiston)
Treasurer:      Mr John Branfield, 11 The Brackens, Highwoods, Colchester CO4 9SD
Tel. 01206 845107     Email.

St Matthew’s Church, Leavenheath
Treasurer:      Mr Andy Phipps, 21 Mayfields, Leavenheath, CO6 4US
Tel. 01206 263618     Email.

St Mary’s Church, Stoke-by-Nayland
Treasurer:      Mr Adam Sedgwick, Downs House, Church Street, Stoke by Nayland, CO6 4QR
Tel. 01206 262437     Email.

St Mary’s Church, Polstead
Treasurer:      Mr Martin Mitchell, Oak Lodge, Straight Road, Polstead Heath, CO6 5BB
Tel. 01787 210476     Email.

Of course if you are able to make a regular monthly gift by Direct Debit using the Parish Giving Scheme, please see the information in the pages below.

Like many other charities, our much valued Parish Churches in this Benefice are facing a significant reduction in income and giving as a result of not being able receive collections during our Sunday and other services, and also having to cancel many significant fundraising events because of the virus. Whilst we are doing all that we can to mitigate our expenses we cannot reduce them entirely and so are reliant on all of you to continue to give as generously as you can to your church.

One of the easiest and most efficient ways to do this is via the “Parish Giving Scheme” this allows individual donors to set up a regular gift to the parish of their choice by Direct Debit.

You can now do this quickly and efficiently (it normally takes around 15 minutes) simply by calling the following telephone number:  0333 002 1271

You will need to have the following information to hand:

  • Personal bank account details
  • The name of the parish you wish to donate to (see below)
  • You will need to confirm if they want to increase their gift in line with inflation each year (if you can please say ‘Yes’)
  • Confirm if you are eligible for Gift Aid
  • The PGS code for your chosen parish (see below)

Stoke-by-Nayland, St Mary – 330633068
 Leavenheath, St Matthew – 330633059
Polstead, St Mary – 330633064
Nayland, St James – 330633062
Wissington, St Mary the Virgin – 330633071

Once you have signed up you will receive written confirmation (by email or post) of your Direct Debit, including details of the parish you are supporting, the amount of your gift and the date of your first donation.

If you are already signed up to the Parish Giving Scheme, thank you.  Should you wish to make any changes to the amount you currently give you can notify a member of the PGS team by phone 0333 002 1260, email or in writing to “Parish Giving Scheme, 76 Kingsholm Road, Gloucester GL1 3BD”

You can download this message to share with those who do not have access to a computer here: —->  Your Church Needs Your Help (May 2020)

Nayland Fete 2019 – A Massive THANK YOU!

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Annual Church Fete at Nayland Village Hall.

There was a wonderful community atmosphere as people from across the village (and further afield) enjoyed the side stalls, children’s and adults fun races, the Beer and Pimms Tents, the wonderful local sausages and burgers, the music and so much more.

All of this couldn’t have happened with a lot of hard work from a fantastic committee and team of volunteers, as well as the financial support of our local business sponsors.

All the profits from the event will be used to maintain and enhance the physical building of St James Church, to preserve it for future generations of villagers, as well as helping us to develop it into a valuable community space, as well as an important and much valued place of worship.

Nayland Church Fete 2019

This coming Bank Holiday Monday (27th May) sees the return of our Annual Nayland Church Fete on the Recreation Ground behind the Village Hall (CO6 4JH) .

There is so much going on this year that we have extended the opening times from 1pm to 4pm just so that you have the chance to see and do everything!

In addition to the Classic Car Display, the £150 Top Prize Raffle, the ever popular Children’s and Adult’s Sports and Tug-O-War,  NEW THIS YEAR we are introducing  “Have a Go Archery” with White Dragon Archery, that is on top of all of the stalls listed below!

Glass and China
Kitchen and Picnic
Pictures & Soft Furnishings
Bric a Brac
Jewellery & Handbags
Good Condition Ladies Clothes
Garden Tools/DIY
Bottle Tombola
China Smash

Cakes and biscuits
Ice Creams
Strawberries and Cream Teas
Hot Dogs & Burgers
Beer Tent
Pimms Tent

Last year over £14,000 was raised again which was used towards the improvements to St James’ Church, providing a new servery and accessible bathroom.  More work is planned in the coming years to make the church an accessible asset for the whole community.

Adults – £3
Concessions – £2
Children – Free

Ample Free Parking (follow local signs)

We look forward to seeing you all there – but thank you in advance to everyone, visitors, sponsors, volunteers who make this event happen.


Spring Fair & Church Fete – Thank You

What a difference it makes when the Bank Holiday weather is not only dry but fantastically warm!

The good weather certainly brought out the crowds in the morning for Stoke by Nayland’s bi-annual Spring Fair, where people enjoyed climbing St Mary’s tower to admire the views, watch the kites being flown, purchased, ice creams, beer and crafts, as well as watching a wonderful demonstration of May Pole Dancing by the pupils of Stoke by Nayland Church of England Primary School…. even the vicar joined in!

Then in the afternoon, many went down the hill to join in all the traditional fun and games at Nayland Church Fete.   The children (and a few adults) got into the swing of things with the sack race, egg and spoon race, three legged races, and the fiercely fought sprints – followed with more ice creams (and for the adults at least a chance to drink the Pimms tent dry not once but twice!)

In what seems to be turning into an annual occurrence The Revd Mark Woodrow once again volunteered to have wet sponges thrown at him (although we suspect that this might have just been a ploy to cool down!)

All in all it was the most wonderful day, raising much needed funds for St Mary’s Church in Stoke-by-Nayland, St James’ Church in Nayland and St Mary’s Church in Wissington.

Can we say a massive thank you to all the Committee members and Volunteers who made both events such a success, and for all of our Parishioners, Visitors and Friends for once again supporting these events.

Benefice responds to those affected by Hurricane Irma

Devastation in wake of Hurricane Irma

Following the devastation that has been wrought throughout the Caribbean Islands and the United States, the benefice have decided to offer those across the benefice the opportunity to make a donation to help those in some of the poorest islands who have lost everything.

Please do encourage friends and neighbours to give what they can.  Collecting boxes have been place at the following points in the Benefice,


  • St Mary’s Church
  • The Village Store and Post Office
  • The Cock Inn


  • St Matthew’s Church
  • The Hare & Hounds Pub
  • The Lion Inn


  • St James Church (then at the Post Office during the week)
  • Kerridge the Butcher’s
  • The Village Stores Bear Street
  • The Anchor Inn


  • The Church of St Mary the Virgin (c/o Nicola Thorogood)

Stoke by Nayland:

  • The Church of St Mary
  • The Village Store and Post Office
  • The Crown Inn
  • The Angel Inn
  • Eaves Garage
  • The S-b-N Hotel & Golf Club

The collecting boxes will be in place for another week until about 18th or 19th September.

If you would like to donate online, directly with Aid Organisation helping those affected please donate to:

Oxfam Hurricane Irma Appeal

World Vision Hurricane Irma Appeal

Care International Hurricane Irma Appeal

USPG Rapid Response Caribbean Appeal

We continue to pray for all who suffer as a result of this catastrophe, and what is to follow, as well as those having to abandon and flee their homes, and homelands, through persecution, tyranny  and other disaster.

Record Breaking Fete!

Despite the Bank Holiday Monday weather not being the best, this years church fete in Nayland was the most successful ever!

After expenses it raised £13,893.66 with a further £199.00 being raised by “The Friends of St James’, Nayland”; and £850 by St Mary’s, Wiston.

With substantial restoration works currently underway at St James’ such a wonderful total will certainly go some way to helping with the significant costs involved in maintaining our church for future generations.

A MASSIVE THANK YOU to everyone who came, donated or helped we really couldn’t have done it without you!


Nayland Church Fete – Mon. 29th May 2017


Our Traditional village fete will once again be held in the beautiful medieval village of Nayland on this upcoming Bank Holiday Monday:

Come along and:-

  • Admire the Great Classic Vehicle Display
  • Take part in adults and children’s novelty sports and Tug of War.
  • Shop for plants, books, vintage, gifts and more.
  • Enjoy sideshows for all ages including Splat the Rat, Bouncy Castle, Welly boot throw, China Smash and face painting.
  • Feast on hotdogs, homemade cakes, strawberries and cream and ices.
  • There will be a raffle with a £150 first prize Great fun for all

All proceeds to St James’ Church Fabric Fund.

Gates Open 1.30pm – Stalls Open 2pm

Adults £2
Concessions £1
Children 50p

Free Parking

For more information please contact:  Lorna Burgin (

Carols on the Green in Stoke by Nayland

The Village of Stoke by Nayland began its Christmas Celebrations in earnest this evening, as they gathered around the Christmas Tree to sing carols accompanied by the Boxted Methodist Silver Band.

Boxted Silver Band

Boxted Methodist Silver Band

Christmas Tree and Band

Christmas Tree and Band

Massed Choir!

Massed Choir!

A great time was had by all, helped in no short part by the generous provision of Minced Pies and Mulled Wine by The Crown Inn.

A collection was taken which will support the work of the Band and also their chosen charity Action for Children.


In dulci jubilo (in sweet rejoicing) at Wiston Church

Marenzio Singers at Wiston Church

Marenzio Singers at Wiston Church

Last night in a packed Wiston Church,  we were entertained to a delightful selection of seasonal music, both sacred and secular,  from across the centuries by the wonderful Marenzio Singers.

The evening was organised by the Friends of Wiston Church (Registered Charity No. 1158565) .

Thank you to all who attended, those who prepared refreshements, and of course the Marenzio Singers themselves.