News from St Edmund

Margaret & John Webster and our dedicated team on .

St-EdmundJune has been a busy month for us. The 18th saw our Summer ‘Naughty Cakes’ coffee morning with weather just about clement enough to sit out in the garden bedecked with blooms of many kinds against a delightfully backdrop of greens of many hues; the Japanese maple looks especially fine.

A select number of supporters dropped in for a mardle accompanied by a delicious cake and coffee or tea. Despite the limited numbers we managed to add some £140 to church funds, which of course includes many donations from folk unable to visit on the day. Our ever popular raffle, expertly managed by Brenda G, helped swell the funds as usual with Joyce drawing the first ticket.

We are most grateful to all our supporters and hope to welcome you all and more at our next coffee morning on 17 September. But before then we have Forncett St Edmund’s Fête 5 on 15 August. Do offer to help! Do come and support us! Contact Margaret on 01953-788114.

A New Venture. The spirit of the past in our close-knit community was re-awakened as the pleasant notes of the New Buckenham Silver Band wafted across the locality from St Edmund’s on Midsummer’s Day. Directed by Sam the band’s members were cosily accommodated beneath a marquee and played a wide-ranging medley of musical pieces orchestrated for brass-band, including marches, songs from shows and special pieces, like the one for three trombones. We should like to thank those who make the much admired cakes and the little band of helpers especially eagle- eyed Gabi. And our thanks to Peter (and Paul!) for mowing the meadow impeccably for the event.

A goodly number of folk, some with children, came by to listen to the concert, many remarking how pleasant and enjoyable it was to relax – with a little refreshment – and meet and chat with other folk on a summer’s afternoon. And what was the spirit of the past? In the early decades of the 20th century it was traditional for the bands of the Friendly Societies (the Oddfellows or the Foresters) to march down or up the Norwich Road to church. A lovely tradition that has since passed into history. By the way, the NBSB rehearses every Thursday evening and is always looking to recruit new members, especially of the new generation.

We should like to thank all those that made our ‘new venture’ possible by supporting the event in the organization and attending a most enjoyable community event. Thanks to your enthusiasm we have added another £140 towards the new project.


Historic England - Angels Awards

May and Graham Prior on .


This year St. Mary's was entered for an 'Angels' award with Historic England, (formerly English Heritage). We have reached the final, and been shortlisted with three other projects in our category, which is rescue of a place of worship.

Details of the projects can be found on Historic England's website, and you can vote for your favourite - which we hope will be St. Mary's!! Do tell all your friends and relatives so they can vote as well.

Read the Forncett submission here ...

and then vote here ...

Some of the Friends group will be attending the awards ceremony in London in September to hear the judges' decision. This award is backed by Andrew Lloyd Webber, and was announced in the Daily Telegraph 22 July.


St Mary’s Church Open Weekend and Forncett Great War Project

May Prior and Jackie Lanaway. on .


Photos Richard Ball
(click pic for slideshow)

The weekend event of 4th and 5th July was a great success. Visitors were arriving as soon as it opened and did not drift away until after 4pm on both days, an hour after it was scheduled to finish! There was much interest shown in the transformation of St Mary’s church especially from older residents who had known and regularly attended services before closure. One family had particularly fond memories because their parents were married here; the last wedding before closure. May and Graham Prior were in the church to explain renovation work to visitors and were happy that the work was finished in time for their daughter’s wedding a few weeks earlier.

There is a new Colenso exhibition on show together with a bust of the man. John Colenso was a rector of St Mary’s in 1846 before becoming Bishop of Natal (now South Africa) in 1853. This exhibition was curated by John Webster and the bust is on permanent loan to the church.


Photos Richard Ball, except
where captioned otherwise.
(click pic for slideshow)

A lot of interest was also shown in the amount of WW1 memorabilia exhibited on behalf of Forncett History Group’s Great War Project, and Graham was also on hand all weekend to talk to people about them, together with Mike and Bill, two friends, one from the Western Front Association and all enthusiasts. Members of the History Group were also there.

The Timeline has been extended to June 1915 and is now permanently on show here. Work is in progress to complete the year 1915. Also on show were the Book of Remembrance and a DVD of photographs of the men named on Forncett’s war memorials. The highlight of Sunday was Nigel Amies’ appearance as a WW1 infantryman complete with authentic uniform, genuine WW1 drum and various artefacts. As well as demonstrating the equipment such a soldier needed to survive, people were able to handle and even wear objects. Nigel showed he had a very good singing voice and was an excellent drummer and communicator.

Many thanks go to all who lent exhibits, helped with the organisation, and made tea and excellent cakes, all ensuring this was a very successful weekend. We estimate about 200 people attended over the two days.


Forncett Fete on Jubilee Green 27th June 2015

Terry Henderson on behalf of Forncett Village Hall Management Committee, and Anne Frith, Fete 2015 Committee Chair on .


Photos by Su Leavesley
Click on pic for slideshow

Well what a day!! Jubilee Green was full of all the most interesting stalls - from bees to teddy bears, plants to bric-a-brac, and fun and games for all including target football, crockery smash and bouncy castle. The young ones (of all ages) really enjoyed the "stocks"( throwing wet sponges at the folks in the stocks), which degenerated into throwing buckets of water at the target.

As always there was excellent food to enjoy at the BBQ, as well as Tea & Cake in the hall and Tas Well Bar if you wanted something stronger. Some lovely vintage motorcycles were on display, as well as "guess the age of the lawn mower". So competitions, food, games and fun; what more could you want from a Village Fete? and the weather gods were on our side too. We were also treated to some lovely musical performances from Forncett School, Little Tractors and Gissing ballet in the centre ring.

Thanks to everyone who has helped us in any way: in the planning (with representatives of the Village Hall, School and 'Little Tractors'), hosting meetings, loan and transport of equipment, expertise, setting up the site, supplying prizes for the raffle and games, 'manning' stalls during the Fete, and clearing away afterwards.  Also, of course, to everyone who came along to support us and make all our combined efforts so worthwhile on what was a perfect day in a perfect setting.

Lots more photos in the 'Fete Supplement' of the July Forncett Flyer: Download just the Fete section here.