Theyon Web Title

Theydon Bois Village Web Site

.Village News Archive July - December 2013

6th December 2013: Don't Forget the Theydon Bois Christmas Tree Lighting and Market Tonight:

Christmas Event 2013

The evenings events will open with the lighting of the Village Christmas Tree by Villager of the Year Martin Oliver at the Village Hall at 6.00pm. This will be followed by the Christmas Market in Forest Drive with Santa's Grotto in Belgique from 6.30pm.

13th November 2013:TB Drama Society's January Variety Production:

Drama Society Poster

13th November 2013:Theydon Bois Primary School Invitation:

Primary School Event Poster

Primary School Link

13th November 2013: Gifts galore at St Clare's Festive Fair:

St. Clares

Looking for an extra special present to give to friends and loved ones this festive season? Then why not come along and see the beautiful range of stocking fillers and goodies on offer at a Christmas Gift Fair in aid of St Clare Hospice.

Printed home textiles, embroidered throws, stunning handcrafted jewellery and stylish leather goods will be among the beautiful and unusual gifts not normally found on the high street that will be on sale at the event at Theydon Bois village hall in Coppice Row on Saturday, November 16 from 10.30am to 3pm.

The gift fair has been organised by long-time Hospice supporter Peter Heap to offer shoppers the chance to pick up something special to leave under the Christmas tree for family and friends.

There will be a wide selection of stalls selling seasonal wares ranging from personalised gifts, health and beauty products and children’s toys and books to ladies clothing and accessories, paintings, vintage goods and Christmas decorations. There will also be homemade cupcakes, jams, mustards, dressings and confectionary.

And once you are all shopped out, there will be scrummy homemade refreshments and cakes on sale too!

Entry is £3 for adults and free for children under-12. All proceeds from ticket and refreshment sales will go directly to St Clare Hospice, helping us to continue providing free care and support to people with terminal and life-limiting illnesses.

Meanwhile, the Epping Friends of St Clare are holding their Christmas Fair the following Saturday on November 23.

They will be helping shoppers enter into the festive spirit with a variety of stalls selling gifts and other yuletide treats at Abridge village hall from 10am to 1pm. There will also be a raffle and a selection of refreshments, with all proceeds going to the Hospice

St Clare Hospice is a charity providing specialist care for people living with life-limiting illnesses in west Essex and east Herts border area.
The charity cares for patients and their families, providing physical, social, psychological and spiritual support. St Clare Hospice’s annual running costs total £2.8m, 70 per cent of which comes from voluntary income.

For more information, contact St Clare communications and marketing assistant Eleanor Scotchbrook on 01279 773748 or

1st October 2013: Theydon Bois Grandfather's Fund Raising Walk of Great Wall of China for St. Clares Hospice:

A grandfather-of-three is set to fulfil a schoolboy dream of trekking the Great Wall of China, raising more than £2,000 for St Clare Hospice.

Former policeman Paul Woodward, who now volunteers as a receptionist at the Hastingwood centre, will be part of a group completing the nine-day trip in October.

St. Clares Charity Walker Paul Woodward

The 62-year-old Theydon Bois resident said: “I remember learning about the Great Wall of China as a young boy at school in North London, thinking wow I’d love to do that and never ever thinking I’d be able to do it. But here I am, 50 years later and I’m ready to take on the challenge – I cannot wait.”

Paul’s association with St Clare began when his father Harry was cared for at the Hospice eight years ago. His mum Joy also attended Day Therapy at the Hospice until she passed away in March last year.

“I’ve been involved with the Hospice for many years and have seen what great work it does,” he said.

“While I was caring for Mum I joined the user involvement forum but joined as a volunteer as soon as I could because I just had to give something back. It was then that I saw the adverts for the Great Wall of China Challenge and I thought what a fantastic way to do something that I never thought possible, but raise money for St Clare at the same time.

“I called my friend Jack and asked him if he fancied doing it and he signed up before I did! He’s walking for the MS Society and I’m looking forward to meeting the other people on the trip. I already know that some are walking for hospices in their area but it will be good to hear all their stories too and what’s motivating them as we go along.”

Paul has been training hard in the months leading up to his trek on October 1, with regular gym sessions and bike rides around Epping Forest.

“The build-up has been fantastic and my fitness has improved, I now just can’t wait to go. Sounds cheesy but it will be an experience of a lifetime.”

1st October 2013: Are you brave enough to sign up for the St Clare Fright Hike?:

In the run-up to Halloween, why not spook yourself silly with a Fright Hike Challenge through Epping Forest at night in aid of St Clare Hospice?
Designed as a team event, the 30km overnight walk in six hours on Saturday, October 26 is one Hell of an adventure and will challenge your mind and body.
It is organised by a professional company, with marshalled checkpoints, so why not sign up with your friends, family of work colleagues...or dare you go it alone?
Notorious for ghost sightings and paranormal activity, Epping Forest is reputed to be home to the ghost of murderous highwayman Dick Turpin and with its large church, surrounding cemetery and the legendary Hangman’s Hill, where criminals and convicts were executed in days gone by, it provides a terror-ific backdrop for this fangtastic event.
This spooktacular walk is not for the faint-hearted and is guaranteed to be a night you will never forget!

For more information, call the St Clare fundraising team on 01279 773750 or email

1st October 2013:Preservation Society Free Talk:


13th September 2013:Fish Struggle for Air in Theydon Bois Pond:

As some of you may have noticed in the week before last that the fish in the village pond were coming to the surface, the pond having been restocked in July. 

Last Sunday morning, the lack of oxygen in the pond had become chronic, and following the call out of the Forest Keepers, at 11.30 on Sunday they were able to call out a specialist company that attended soon after 2.00pm.

By that time the pond oxygen level had dropped to 20% (the fish had been gasping for air) and they started pumps that re- oxygenation the water.

Fish start to die below 20%. It did full to 19% at one stage. The norm is 80%+ 

The pumps were going most of today with additional equipment and the levels have recovered well.

The cause was thought to be decomposing food (mainly bread) from over feeding of the ducks, combined the the recent hot weather.

The City are going to look for a solution to the basic problem, maybe in conjunction with Natural England, other City ponds have also had this problem where large volumes of bread are put into the water per Nick Baker (Head Keeper) who I spoke to on Sunday.

If anyone sees fish grasping at the surface of the water again please report this to the forest authorities

9th September 2013:Theydon Bois Golf Club Auction of Promises:

Golf Club Poster

8th September 2013:M25 Carriage Way Closures in September:

Advance warning of 5 overnight carriageway closures in September on the M25 has been issued by the Highways Agency. The closures are required in order to install various gantries.

As part of the upgrade works junctions 23 and 27 on the M25 will close on 5 separate occasions in September.

  1. Monday 9 September to Tuesday 10 September 2013 – the clockwise carriageway will be closed between junctions 23 and 25. The diversion route will be along the A1M, A406 and A10, and will be clearly signed. Closure times between midnight and 5am.
  2. Tuesday 10 September to Wednesday 11 September 2013 – the clockwise carriageway will be closed between junctions 23 and 25. The diversion route will be along the A1M, A406 and A10, and will be clearly signed. Closure times between midnight and 5am.
  3. Wednesday 11 September to Thursday 12 September 2013 – the clockwise carriageway will be closed between junctions 23 and 25. The diversion route will be along the A1M, A406 and A10, and will be clearly signed. Closure times between midnight and 5am.
  4. Saturday 28 September to Sunday 29 September 2013 – the clockwise carriageway will be closed between junctions 23 and 25. The diversion route will be along the A1M, A406 and the A10, and will be clearly signed. Closure times between 10pm and 6am.
  5. Monday 30 September to Tuesday 1 October 2013 – the anti-clockwise carriageway will be closed between junctions 25 and 23. The diversion route will be along the A10, A406 and A1M, and will be clearly signed. Closure times between midnight and 5am.

These carriageway closures are required to ensure the safety of both the road worker and the travelling public.

The opposite carriageway to the closure will remain open, with all of the machinery and equipment on the closed carriageway. During the short time of lifting the gantry in place, the Police will assist in a rolling road block to ensure the running traffic remains safe. This will only be for a very short time.

More information on the Highways Agency M25 Junctions 23 to 27 Managed Motorways website.

3rd September 2013: Spanish Children Walk in their Grandfather's Footsteps Around Theydon Bois:

Basque Children at Woodberry
The Basque Children at Woodberry, Piercing Hill in 1937. Vicente Romero (top far right),
his Brother Jose (bottom right, arms crossed) and Sister Maria (third from left in second row).

Village News and the Village Website have previously given coverage to Theydon’s Spanish Connection (see issues 64, 78 and 82 of Village News still available as pdf’s from the Newsletters Page. These issues told the story of Vincente Romero who stayed in Theydon Bois between May 1937 and February 1938 as one of the Basque Child Refugees from the Spanish Civil War.

Vincente, who will be 90 in December of this year, loved his brief time in Theydon and had always wanted to visit again. He finally managed to do that last year and came with his wife Consuelo and daughter Covadonga. 2012 was also the 75th anniversary of the ship La Habana, that had brought the children, arriving in Southampton and a reunion was held at the University in the town to commemorate this anniversary of the ships arrival in 1937. The Romero's also managed to attend this event on their visit to England.

David and Leticia at Woodberry
David & Leticia Alfonso at 'Woodberry' (Wansfell) where their grandfather stayed.

On returning home and speaking of his trip and his love of Theydon with his grandchildren, David Alfonso (12) and Leticia Alfonso (10) made them want to visit Theydon as well so they could see where their grandfather had stayed. This year they managed to persuade their parents (it did not take much effort) to bring them. They came recently with Vincente's daughter Covadonga (who came last year) and their parents, Covadonga's sister Consuelo and her husband Javier.

Alfonso & Romero family in Theydon Bois
L- R Linda Tilling, Javier Alfonso, Covadonga Romero, Consuelo, Leticia, David Alfonso and Jim Watts

They stayed in Theydon with our Web Editor, Jim Watts who has become a close friend of the family and he showed them the many places in Theydon that their grandfather knew, including the house in Piercing Hill called 'Woodberry' (which was to become 'Wansfell College' and is now 'Coopers Court' flats) where the Basque children stayed. They managed to see most of the places their grandfather knew, visited the pubs Vincente ate in on his return last year for meals with their parents and attended the St. Mary's Flower Festival where they met and talked with villager Bob Day who remembered the Basque children staying in Theydon from his own childhood. They were though glad that it was the school holidays here, as well as in Spain, so that they only needed to see the outside of our Primary School!

David & Leticia Alfonso in Theydon Bois
At the Queen Victoria and Theydon Bois Primary School

It is a strange coincidence that Vincente was like his grandson also around 12 years old when he first came to Theydon Bois and Leticia (10) is the same age as Vincente's sister Maria when she accompanied him and brother Jose (9) as refugees. Unfortunately his siblings have now died, but Vincente remains a very active 89 year old, who intends another visit to Theydon himself. Maybe next year?

David & Leticia Alfonso in Theydon Bois
David & Leticia at St. Mary's & below the room where their grandfather stayed at 'Woodberry'

David and Leticia said they had enjoyed their visit to Theydon Bois very much and would now be able to exchange stories with their grandfather. They said "Theydon Bois es maravilloso y que era mejor que nuestra visita a la tienda de juguetes de Hamleys" - "Theydon Bois is wonderful and was even better than our visit to Hamley's Toy Shop" which of course was another essential attraction to be visited on their trip to England.

3rd September 2013:St. Mary's Flower Festival Was Great Success:

TB Flower Festival 2013

Green fingered local flower arrangers under the direction of Joanna Miles McKelvey drew inspiration from the Bible in transforming St Mary's Church into a wonderful feast for the senses. The theme for this year’s festival was ‘Water of Life’. Reverend Stephen Walker said ‘In this Flower Festival we were telling some of the great stories in the Bible that have a connection with water and we started at the beginning with creation and journey through to the new heaven and new earth at the end of time’. 

The Church opened its doors for three days over the August Bank Holiday, inviting the community to enjoy the nineteen imaginative floral arrangements.

TB Flower Festival Muscians
Musicians Krista Kaspersz & Emma Wallace with Sally Crone, Rev. Stephan Walker & Joan McClean

Visitors to the Church were entertained by talented musicians Emma Wallace and Krista Kaspersz and the Davenant Community Choir. Theydon Bois & District Rural Preservation Society presented an interesting local history exhibition and visitors also had the opportunity to relax with home-made refreshments after visiting the well-stocked stalls.  Monday provided lots of family fun with barbecue, bouncy castle and children’s games.

Although we have yet to receive the official numbers we understand that circa £4400 profit was made at the Flower Festival and the folk at St Mary's are delighted and feel it was a very good result.

All moneys raised from the Festival will go towards the upkeep of the Church
building and to ministry costs.

3rd September 2013:Oak Tree Branch Collapse Was Potential Danger at the Flower Festival:

Oak Tree Branch Collapse
John & Jonathan Eaton clear the fallen branch

A huge branch split off one of the oldest Oak trees in St. Mary's Church Yard and plummeted to the ground around 8am on Thursday 22nd August as final preparations were being made for the Flower Festival on the following day. . It crushed a bench below and tree Surgeon Jonathan Eaton was called by his Dad John Eaton to clear up the debris prior to the Flower Festival celebrations. Horticultural Society Secretary Jane Turner, who had been working around the bench only a few minutes before said "I had just gone back into the church when I heard a large bang. I went out and the branch was covering the bench and path just where I had been working. It was I suppose fortunate that it came down today and not when the church would be filled with visitors".

3rd September 2013: Limes Questionnaire Update:

The Limes Questionnaire: Over 200 responses were received, and the Parish Council would wish to thank all those those that took the time to complete the questionnaire. We are currently analysing the information which hopefully we can share this with residents in due course. 

A brief snapshop from the questionnaire has highlighted the difficulty patients experience attempting to make an appointment, seeing a doctor of their choice particularly in timely manner and to ensure continuity of care, intermittent closure of the Theydon Surgery and difficulty getting through on the phone.

Representatives of the parish council, Cllrs Hammond,Woods ,Jones and Howard attended a very useful meeting chaired by Dr Ashford at the Limes on 11th July 2013 which was also attended by 3 other GP's and Limes staff. A number of key issues were raised.

3rd September 2013:Theydon Seniors September Event:

Theydon Seniors Poster

3rd September 2013:Theydon Bois is "Runner Up" in Best Kept Village in Essex Competition:

Councillors recieve Best Kept Village Award
Cllrs. George Howard & Annie Wood (back row) receive the 'runner up' award.

We are pleased to announce that Theydon Bois won "runner up" prize for best kept village in its class (class 2. i.e. population size between 2000 and 5000. The village of Alresford was first in this class. There are 5 classes dependent on population size.)  Cllrs. Annie Woods and George Howard attended the awards ceremony held this year at the Writtle Agricultural College. Chasing Rural Community Council of Essex for the photograph. We had to submit lengthy application form to participate this year so we are pleased it paid off!

3rd September 2013: Theydon Bois Prepares for Christmas Market on Friday 6th December:

It is worth mentioning the preparations for the Theydon Bois Christmas Market. We have set the date for Friday 6th December 2013. The Parish Council have been in discussion with Epping Town Council since they hold their Christmas Market on the first Friday in December and there was always some issue around others holding such markets on same day/evening. However they seem to relaxed regarding us holding ours same evening, which was confirmed couple of days ago. The Parish Council did explain rational behind Theydon's celebrations. We will also be arranging the lighting of the Christmas Tree again up at the village hall on the same evening. This will precede the market and will be in conjunction with the VA.

Our reason for mentioning the market already is to alert possible stall holders and our local shops and businesses who maybe thinking of setting up stalls on evening/getting involved. This will allow them more time to plan for the event. We will advise later re arrangements for booking a stall/plot etc as per last year etc. 

3rd September 2013: Healthwatch Essex:

Healthwatch is the new "voice" for the people of Essex in respect of both Health and Social Care Services. It's about collecting views and representing these views and experiences of adults and children in Essex and using that voice to shape and improve both NHS and Social Care Services. This is part of the NHS/Social Care reforms which came into being from April this year.

As part of getting to know Healthwatch, and what it can do for you, it has held 3 workshops in the past month for people involved in the voluntary sector in Chelmsford, Billericay and Colchester where a turnout of some 160 people attended in total.

For the people of West Essex, to get involved, a workshop has now been arranged for Friday 24th September from 9.30-12.30 at the Harlow Health Resource Centre. This workshop is primarily aimed, on this occasion, at people from the voluntary sector.

Anyone interested in attending should check out the website:- where they can book a place and find more details regarding the event. More details can also be found on the main Healthwatch Essex website:-

I will be attending and could offer a lift of up to 6 people if they would like to attend. You can contact me, Cllr. George Howard via the Parish Office TeL; 01992 813442 or at home Tel: 01992 812685

2nd September 2013:Parish Clerk Job Vacancy:

Parish Council Vacancy Ad

Download Job Description (pdf) here.

The Parish Council are seeking to fill the above vacancy. For more details telephone Mrs. Gloria Mussenden on 01992 813442 or e-mail The Parish Council apologise that the telephone number in the printed version of the September edition of Village News was incorrect. The above number and that in the online pdf are the correct ones.

2nd September 2013:Notices For Forthcoming Events:

Sept 2013 Theydon Bois Notices

6th August 2013:Plant Sale at St. Mary's Flower Festival:

St. Mary's Flower Festival Flowet Sale Poster

As part of this years Flower Festival St. Mary's will be having a 'Plant Sale'. Dates and times as above.

2nd August 2013:Horticultural Society Photographic Competition:

A reminder of the Photographic Classes to be brought on the night of the AGM, 14th November at the Village Hall. Photos to be in position by 7.45 pm.

One entry per class and name on the back please

  1. On a Horticultural Society Outing
  2. 2 photos, same scene – 1 with snow, 1 without
  3. A garden visitor (not human)
  4. Epping Forest
  5. London architecture
  6. Shadows
  7. A Theydon village detail.

Half the marks for technique – focus, exposure, colour, composition etc
Half the marks for interpretation of the subject.
Please try to present photographs on a suitable card mount. Mount not to exceed 8” x 10” (200 x 250mm)

There will also be a Flower arrangement competition – ‘A Christmas Table Decoration’ (7.45 at the Hall please)

There is a desperate need for new committee members so that the Horticultural Society can continue.  If interested please come along to the AGM on 14th November at the Village Hall at 8.00 pm.

2nd August 2013:Help Save Theydon's Trees By Becoming a Tree Warden:
As Tree wardens, we are always sorry to lose any village trees without good reason.
Although a recent petition failed to state that we were to have more new trees than the number felled, we understand 200 people signed it in order to save the street trees threatened with felling because the trees are considered dangerous.

We were very pleased to learn how much residents value the street trees and this seems an ideal time to ask: -

Tree Wardens in the EFDC district meet once in a while to get an update on any pressing matters. These include watching out for ‘sudden oak death’, the new problem with ash trees and the problems chestnut trees have. (At present we are helping with a nation-wide survey of chestnut trees).

We also have some interesting ‘training afternoons’ (not compulsory) and we were able to go along to Barcham’s the tree specialists near Ely when the oak trees were chosen for the New Avenue.
Sue and I remove the suckers on the street trees each year (which helps sight lines), check ties and report any substantial damage.  When new trees are planted we try to give the nearest householder a watering guide with the hope residents will help to make the trees flourish. 
More than anything we care about our trees and it is obvious a lot of other people do too.

If you would like to become a tree warden, please contact the Parish Office or either of us – Jane Turner 812652, Sue Warren 813045.

You do not need any previous experience – just a willing hand and in interest in our trees which play an important part in the character of our village.

26th July 2013:Summer Sun Makes Donkey Derby the Most Successful Ever:

Donkey Derby 2013

The scorching weather in July helped the Theydon Bois Donkey Derby achieve a record amount of fundraising. The final total has yet to be fully calculated but the derby looked to have raised at least £13,000 for the local scout and guide groups.

Even though the thermometer touched 32 degrees supporters flocked to the annual event held on the Green. But the heat did seem to have an effect on the donkeys who were more mischievous than ever with riders falling off in every single race. For many jockeys it was more a case of staying on the whole way round rather than trying to get out the front.
As well as the main event there was also a good take-up for the dog show which is growing in popularity every year. And to add to the traditional feel of the show there was a wooden helter skelter as well as the chair-o-planes and swing boats. 
This year the overall theme was a medieval one and the Methodist Church kindly lent the committee a great selection of outfits to wear but it was so hot most people could not bear to wear the heavy garments. Members of the Theydon Bois Scout Group Donkey Derby committee and supporters from throughout the village worked tirelessly in the boiling heat on the Saturday to help set up the marquees, stalls and gazebos for the event and dismantle it all afterwards. And people from the Guides, Scout and all over the village helped man the stalls on the day to help the successful event run smoothly.
Summing up the event, chairman of the committee Phil Koczan, said: "This years Donkey Derby was a fantastic day. The weather was very good to us compared to last year and we had great support from the public.
"The event was only possible because of the hard work of the committee that helped organize the event and the numerous volunteers that helped set up and run the event over the weekend.
"I would like to also thank the Corporation of London, the parish council and  our sponsors for their support.
"Together we raised what looks like a record amount for the local scout and guide groups and other local charities." 
If anyone would like to join the committee, which meets monthly in the Queen Vic pub from January then please feel free to contact Phil at: It is a very friendly committee, open to new ideas and helpers young and old.

26th July 2013:Police & Neighbourhood Watch Warnings:

An important message from Tony Ellis, Crime Prevention Officer, for Epping Forest & Brentwood:-

This is just a brief reminder that the hot weather we are experiencing brings increased opportunity to the ‘creeper’ burglar. There is a strong inclination to throw windows wide open in this weather and, because it is so hot at night, to leave those windows open when you go to bed. The burglar is aware of this and a summer rarely goes by when we don’t record a number of burglaries where entry to houses has been gained in this way.

In most cases it is OK to leave first floor windows open providing they are not above a flat roof or vulnerable in some other way but leaving ground floor windows open when you retire upstairs to bed is asking for trouble.

Also be aware of the ‘relief garden thief’. He is the one that, while you are working in your front garden, goes in through your open back door and relieves you of your cash and valuables.

Please keep these in mind as we go through summer.


fraud alert

24th July 2013:St. Mary's Flower Festival 2013:
Flower Festival 2013

August Bank Holiday Weekend: Festival Opening Times:Friday 23rd August 7pm to 9pm Evening Reception and Preview(Ticket Only £10 – Call 01992 813956 for tickets to include glass of wine and refreshments)
Saturday 24th August 10.30am to 4.30pm,
Sunday 25th August 12.30pm to 4.30pm,
Monday 26th August 10.30am to 4.30pm

Green fingered local flower arrangers will draw inspiration from the Bible for their floral displays to be exhibited at St Mary’s Church Flower Festival. The displays of blooming flowers will transform St Mary’s Church for three days and the community is invited to pop in to see the colours and smell the blooms for themselves. In this Flower Festival we are telling some of the great stories in the Bible that have a connection with water, the theme being ‘Water of Life’.

Theydon Bois & District Rural Preservation Society will have a display of photographs early local history and a performance by Davenant Community Choir will take place in the Churchyard at 2pm on Sunday. On Saturday there will a variety of stalls at the Church Hall, including a chance to buy garden plants. On Monday there will be an opportunity to visit the stalls and for families to enjoy a Family Fun Day with children’s activities including bouncy castle at the Church Hall.

Delicious refreshments will be served throughout the Festival.
Entry is by Programme (Minimum Donation £1)
Those who have contributed and sponsored the event include Daniel Robinson & Sons, Hetherington’s Estate Agents, James Sear Estate Agents, Theydon Pharmacy and FGS Accountancy and Taxation Limited.

24th July 2013:Voluntary Action Epping Forest Awards Ceremony:

Voluntary Action Epping ForestA fantastic event was held in the Village Hall recently.  The hall was packed with Volunteers and representatives of Voluntary Groups in Epping Forest.  The event was held in celebration of 20 years of VAEF in the local community (previously the CVS).
The main awards were presented by Cllr Mary Sartin, Chair of EFDC. Volunteers from Homestart, Macmillan Cancer Care and Cruse Bereavement Care were worthy winners and volunteer community gardeners, drivers and befrienders also won awards. 

A couple of Theydon residents were well represented at the awards; Christine Eyles, the Volunteer Centre Co-Ordinator and main person being organisation of the event lives in Woburn Avenue. She does an amazing job and thanks to her amazing organisation skills and imagination there was definitely something of the BAFTA's about the event!  

Also, one of the main awards was given to a Theydon Bois resident - Mrs Jean Edwards of Coppice Row.  Jean is over 80 herself but very glamorous and young at heart! After her husband died Jean threw herself in to helping with VAEF's Elderly Befriending project. She provides delicious home made cakes for the 'inmates', runs the kitchen at the weekly Elderly Day Club held at North Weald (which is attended by several residents from the village who are taken there by minibus) and also invites groups in to her own home for afternoon tea. 

24th July 2013 (revised 6/8/13):St. Mary's New Curate - John Fry:

St. Mary's new curate John FryJohn Fry is the new Assistant Curate St. Mary’s Theydon Bois with All Saints Theydon Garnon.
John grew up in Leigh-on-Sea, and studied Physics at Swansea University.  His Christian faith developed in his teenage years, especially through being part of the youth group at St Michael and All Angels, Westcliff- on-Sea.  Following a gap year spent on a volunteering on a Careforce placement at Sale West Community Church he returned to Swansea to train to teach Physics.  Subsequently, he worked at Dulwich College, and it was during this time that his sense of calling to ordination grew, especially whilst attending Holy Trinity Brompton.  Working with young people continues to be important to him, he has been a leader on CPAS Falcon Camps for a number of years, and continues to serve on the board of “redthread”, a small charity seeking to help adolescents in South London improve their wellbeing; physically, emotionally and spiritually.  In his spare time he enjoys cooking and going to the theatre.  He was sponsored during his training at Wycliffe Hall (which is a Permanent Private Hall of the University of Oxford) by Kensington Area of the Diocese of London.  He is married to Jennifer and they have one daughter, Abigail.  He will serve as curate at St Mary’s Theydon Bois and All Saints Theydon Garnon.

24th July 2013:Open Gardens Day Raises £3600 for Theydon Youth:

On 23rd June, Theydon Youth organised the Theydon Bois Open Gardens’ Day. The day was a huge success and the rain managed to stay away. The event, that has now been running for over 30 years and this year saw 12 gardens open its doors to the public.

Eleanor Laing at Open Gardens Day
Eleanor Laing MP (centre) at Open Gardens Day with organisers Karen Collins & Thea Buisson

Gardens from large formal to small informal proved very popular as were the Ploughmans lunches and Afternoon Teas! We managed to raise a fantastic £3600. There are many thanks that must be given, firstly to all the people who opened their gardens and those that visited them but also to the Village Association who allow us to use the hall each year, Theydon Bois Primary School who allow us to use their mini-bus, David Sullivan who makes a generous donation each year and of course to all the helpers on the day.

Open Gardens 2013 Youth Helpers
Youth Helpers at Open Gardens Day

Theydon Youth saw its last club nights before the Summer break with ‘Water Fun’. On both Tuesday night and Junior Wednesday there was a giant water slide, water bombs, water pistols and general mayhem! Both nights were popular with 25 attending on the Tuesday and 68 on the Wednesday and much fun and laughter was had by all!

Theydon Youth will be back opening its doors in September and are looking for new helpers to go on its rota. If you could spare a couple of hours once a month or want more information regarding Theydon Youth then please contact me, Thea Buisson, on 01992 815982 or at


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