Congratulations to Maurice & Sue Winners – Rural Volunteer of the Year Award 2020

Congratulations to Maurice & Sue!   The Parish Council nominated you both, a couple of months back for a  ‘Hunts Forum Rural Volunteer Award’ in recognition of your amazing work setting up and sustaining the Neighbourhood cafe.  We are delighted to share this news that they were awarded a ‘Bronze David Morgan Rural Volunteer of the Year Award’!

This was announced on December 2, 2020 at Hunts Forum AGM, and you can see it on their website.  click here – Volunteer Awards 2020 Announced | Hunts Forum

Reason for nomination:

 The Neighbourhood Cafė in Hail Weston has now been running for four years. –  It was set up by Maurice & Sue Lee, independent of the Parish Council and was born out of a village Community Led Plan 2016-2021, that Maurice & Sue were very actively involved with.

One of their ambitions following the Community Plan was to set up a Community Café in the village hall for residents to meet, chat and enjoy a cuppa and homemade cakes.   They both set up (doesn’t really do the pair justice) as they researched and engaged with CCC, Care Network Cambridgeshire, Help the Aged, other local schemes, Village hall committee and villagers to name a few, to ensure a fantastic twice every month chance for residents and visitors a natter with tea, coffee and cake!

During that time they have organised a small team of volunteers in producing homemade cakes & bakes and serving tea, coffee and juice for members of the community. All ages of residents have benefited from 2 years of age to 89 years old, as well as visitors.

Maurice & Sue have throughout the four years have mostly welcomed visitors themselves, rarely missing a café.  Always with a friendly smile whilst collaborating with the Village Hall Committee, setting up chairs and tables, decorating hall and tables and inviting engaging speakers from beekeepers, security, defibrillator demonstration and health checks and local historical talks to the afternoons.

The donations that have been received from willing residents in exchange for chat and delicious home bakes has been instrumental in raising the amazing sum of £6,928.57 for a number of charities such as Upside Down Club, Mind, British Legion, Young Carers, Beds & Cambs Rural Support Group, Air Ambulance and St Nicolas Church restoration to name a few.  As well as funding the purchase of two village defibrillators.

You can imagine how proud the Neighbourhood Cafe teams is, and The Parish Council offer no hesitation in nominating Maurice and Sue particularly poignant this year as due to Covid -19 they feel the café is in safe hands to hand over to the small team of volunteers who have also been part of that huge community effort.

Unfortunately, Covid 19 has meant that they have been unable to run any cafė events since March of this year, but as Maurice and Sue say themselves nothing is forever!

Thank you!

Fund raising gospel reading Marathon on 31st May to raise funds to help keep our Churches alive and active

We are doing a gospel marathon reading to raise funds to help keep our Churches alive and active in these difficult times. Our normal fundraising has been curtailed because of social distancing but we are hoping to install broadband in all three churches so we can maintain our outreach to the community now and in the future. There are always people who cannot get to church but would love to join in the worship.

Weʼre raising £1,000 to support our churches in the Benefice of the Staughtons with Hail Weston with a non stop gospel reading marathon on Sunday 31st May

Churches of Great Staughton, Little Staughton and Hail Weston

Dear Villagers

We are trying out an e-newsletter for church during the virus outbreak. The first one is below.
If you would like a weekly update from the Staughton with Hail Weston Church family, please e mail giving permission to

Hello, Friends!

Everybody needs a Best Friend but never more than now.
During the time we can’t meet up, here is a way of keeping in touch with what is happening through our Church network.
Welcome to the First Newsletter

Message from Revd Nicki Bland
Please be assured that I am holding you all in my prayers.
As we keep being told on the news, these are very turbulent and worrying times. We must all play our part. For some of us that may mean going out to work with the sick and dying, it may be helping to put food on our tables, it may be looking out for a neighbour who can’t get out but for many of us it will be doing what we are told and staying in our houses.
What we mustn’t forget is God is with us. He is alongside us, helping to renew our strength. He heals our wounds and we are told not to let our hearts be troubled. In Romans 12;12 Paul tells us to ‘Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation and be constant in prayer.’
Many of us have time to be still and wait on the Lord.
In John 14 :27 Jesus says’ Peace I leave with you; my Peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your heart be troubled and do not be afraid.’
Sending you my every good wish
Nicki Bland

While we can’t meet together in church or in person, there are ways in which we can meet and pray together. We are using the Zoom app for all our services and it is really simple to use.

All you need to do is download the Zoom App and then when asked put in the following information; ID 712447549 and Password 022067.
It is very easy to join in.

We meet for Morning prayer at 8.30 am and Evening Prayer at 5.30 pm every day except Sunday.

Our weekly Sunday Service is at 10.30 am.
Meditation on Tuesdays at 7.00 pm and
Lent Course on Wednesdays at 2.00 pm.
* Easter Week services will be slightly different but we will send out a complete list of all that is going on at the end of THIS WEEK
* This will be a weekly newsletter and if you would like to receive it regularly please could you send your email to…

We all love a good pudding! Here is one that you will all remember, a Lemon Pudding where the lemon sauce stays in the middle of the cake and the pudding disappears almost as soon as it is out of the oven.

Lemon Layer Pudding
Juice and grated rind of a lemon, 2 ozs butter,4 ozs sugar, 2 eggs, separated, 1/2 pt of milk and 2 oz of self raising flour.
Add lemon rind to butter and sugar and beat till fluffy. Add egg yolks and flour and beat well. Stir in the milk and lemon juice. Whisk the egg white and fold into the mixture, pour into fairly large greased oven proof dish, place the dish in a shallow tin with water and cook at 200 degrees C for about 45 mins until the top is set and spongy.
Very good with cream or ice cream when you are feeling in need of that particular sort of comfort!

Update from St Nicolas Church Restoration Group

Tuesday, 29th May, was an historic moment for St Nicolas Church as we finally received planning permission from Huntingdon District Council for the sympathetic changes which need to be made to the church in order to enhance its facilities, thus enabling it to become a more viable community asset that can be used to benefit the whole community, not just regular worshipers.

None of this could have happened without the wonderful support of you all. Our District Councillor said that whilst the Council were used to receiving over 100 letters of objection, he could not think of a single instance where they had received over 100 letters of support, which made our case very unusual! You have all been absolutely amazing, whether writing letters, giving up your evening on Tuesday to come and show your support by sitting in the Public Gallery at the council meeting until late into the night, or attending or organising fund-raising activities to help fund the Restoration work.

I would particularly like to thank Paul and Wendy Baker who very generously provided us with transport on Tuesday evening, in the form of a beautiful old vintage bus, to take everyone to the meeting in Huntingdon. This was its final act of public service as it is being retired to a museum in Sussex next week.

We now look forward to the next phase of the project, as we continue towards delivering the necessary changes to St Nicolas Church for the benefit of the residents of Hail Weston, everyone in our benefice, our visitors and future generations.

– St Nicolas Church Restoration Group

New vicar inaugurated

The Rev Nicki Bland was installed as Church of England Priest-in-Charge of Great and Little Staughton and Hail Weston at a service on Tuesday 6th September.

Her ‘institution and licensing’ was overseen by the Bishop of Huntingdon and Archdeacon of Huntingdon and Wisbech in a packed church (St Andrew’s Great Staughton). During the service, Nicki was formally welcomed by various representatives from the church and local community. The evening ended with drinks, nibbles and time for chatting. As well as thanking the organisers, the Archdeacon thanked retired members of clergy who have helped with services during the time since Judy retired. Nicki gave special thanks to her husband John for his hard work since they moved into the vicarage at Great Staughton in July.

Nicki and John’s little grandson behaved impeccably throughout!

St Nicolas Church Restoration Group

Following our second meeting on 29th February, we have now produced a Statement of Significance, which is a document that lays out why the Church of St Nicolas is so important, both historically and to the local community.  This is accompanied by a Statement of Need which explains why we feel that some re-ordering of the church is needed now.  Both documents will be submitted shortly to the Diocese Advisory Council in Ely, along with some provisional sketches, and hopefully once these are accepted, the first of our four projects will be under way officially.


In the meantime, there is plenty to do, including making provision during re-ordering for the welfare of the bats who live in and around the churchyard, seeking funding, organising a bank account, visiting other churches and learning from their experiences, and researching new ideas so that any changes will be sympathetic to the needs and character of our church in the centuries to come.


Getting everything pulled together will take time, but it is exciting to be taking these first steps and feel that our project is finally getting under way.


Anne-Marie Hamilton


3rd March 2016