Minutes of Waltham Abbey Town Partnership Steering Committee

Tuesday October 11th. 2021

Present  P.Messenger (EFDC), D.Haslam (EFDC), J. Law, D. Bensted, R. Walters, A.Ako-Nai, M Sheffield, M Horton, A. Crowley.

Apologies Cllr H. Kane, D.Evans, B. Elliott, A. O’Connor, Rev. Peter Smith. Paula Violet.

Chair Paul Violet

Notes were taken by the Chair and transcribed by Paula Violet.

As apologies had been received from Cllr.H.Kane and T.O’Connor, and with the non- attendance of Cllr. J. Lea the question was raised if this could be an official meeting.  P. Messenger and D. Haslam suggested as officers at EFDC their attendance could enable the full meeting to take place.

AOB request.  From the Chair, re AGM.

Minutes of the September meeting were agreed. There was one matter arising. The accountant who required information, should read from  Conor Warin to Alwyns.

Waltham Abbey Church update.

The Abbey Church and the Friends’ shop remain open to visitors on Fridays 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m., Saturdays 10.00 a.m. to 4.00 p.m. and Sundays 12.00 noon to 4.00 p.m. (subject to services).

The 8.30 and 10.30am services on Sundays and the 10.30am service on Wednesdays continue as before. The Abbey Choir returned in September to lead worship at the 10.30 Sunday service, and evening 6.30pm services resumed on 26th September with the first Choral Evensong for eighteen months, though they are not yet weekly. The Evensong attended by the Friends of Waltham Abbey Church went ahead as scheduled on Sunday 10th October; the autumn Memorial Service is scheduled for Sunday 31st October at 6.30pm.

Bellringing continues on Sunday mornings and Wednesday evening practices and for weddings, now with unrestricted numbers but face coverings are still worn.

Music for Lunch resumes this Saturday, 16th October, and the autumn season runs until Saturday 27th November. Each recital begins at 12.30pm is about 30/40 minutes in length and admission is free, though with a retiring collection to cover expenses and for church funds. Due to on-going Covid restrictions refreshments will not be served and audience members will be asked to wear a face covering unless exempt. The upcoming programme is 16th October Megan Strachan and Elizabeth Nicholson soprano (Trinity Laban Conservatoire), 23rd October – Jonathan Lilley piano, 30th October Stephen Donner (from Vienna) organ.

Finally, the Abbey Church is mourning the passing on Saturday of Keith Utting, whose association with the church goes back sixty years, as a member of the choir, PCC member, Churchwarden and then Lay Reader – and so much more. Keith was a familiar figure in the community as well; as Reader he was a respected funeral minister for many Waltham Abbey families. On retirement he held the honorary title of Reader Emeritus. He will be much missed in church and community.

Sub Committee reports.

LVRP The two successful Music Festivals held at the Park will be repeated , but with some amendments as lessons have been learned.

Museum  No report available.


U3A are back to 100% operation. 3 photographic  groups are working outside and others on Zoom.  All groups are well attended.  There is to be Coffee morning this Saturday October 16th. (jointly U3A and MacMillan).  King Harold Day (small procession) on Thursday 14th.at 10.30 am.  Unfortunately, both events will have taken place prior to the Minutes being distributed.

Historical Society  No report available.


As Richard Walters had attended the recent meeting of the Tourism Sub Committee, he gave a report. Fiona Baxter from Gunpowder Mills reported that there will be a grand re-opening of the Mills at Easter 2022.A long report was given on the recent Falcon’s Flight event.Anthony O’Connor spoke at length on the planned Abbey gardens project.

Heritage Trail

Paul  gave a short update on the Heritage Boards, which are now awaiting details of the preferred Graphic Designer and board manufacturer.

Festival of Light and Cavalcade Plans

Paul summarised the Festival of Light arrangements and the Christmas Windows competition. All shops have had details of the Competition , but he emphasised that to be successful there is the need for all shop owners to join in!

As with the planned lighting up of our town this will only be a success if most businesses take part.

The singing outside the church has been well publicised and most people appear to be aware of the plans and developments.


Duncan Haslam mentioned the Essex Business Adaption Fund.

This is a grant of up to £5K to businesses that have had to permanently adapt their premises due to Covid19.

Applications to EFDC or direct to: [email protected].

Paul Messenger (Town Centre Manager).

Paul Messenger mentioned that the Loyal Free app is now operational.  All users will have the opportunity of winning £150 worth of vouchers as an incentive to use this. Hopefully this will develop into a very valuable and useful resource.


Paul reminded everyone that the AGM is due.  It has been agreed that it would be before or after next month’s usual meeting.  He asked if the James Suite may be available, but it will be being used by U3A at that time.

Notification of the AGM will be announced on all available social media platforms and publicised at the TIO.

Paul thanked everyone for their attendance.

Date of next Meeting – to include the AGM.   Tuesday November 9th, 2021, 9.15am.