Serving the communities of Bures St Mary and Bures Hamlet


Europa Bures 2009


3rd - 6th July 2009

Bures St Mary, Bures Hamlet and Mount Bures hosted "Europa Bures"

where we welcomed guests from the villages of


across Europe.

Background:-In 1993 Mr Joel Deom of Bure in Belgium contacted Bures/Bure/Buren in Europe and invited them to the first Europa weekend in his village.

We were not involved in that weekend, but in 1999 Bures-sur-Yvette on the southern outskirts of Paris hosted a weekend which was attended by a coach load of people from Bures St Mary, Bures Hamlet and Mount Bures

Subsequent Europa weekends have taken place as follows, all of which were attended by a small delegation from our villagers

2003:- Bures54 near Nancy in France
2005:- Bure near Verona in Italy
2007:- Bure in the Jura Hills of Switzerland


Now In 2009, it was the turn of Bures St Mary, Bures Hamlet and Mount Bures to host Europa Bures.

We know that there are many Bures in France one in Italy several in Switzerland one in Belgium a few in Germany and one, with suitable spelling, in Russia  We have also located one in Bulgaria,Denmark, Spain, Sweden and The Netherlands 

Over the weekend, we welcomed approximately 130 Guests from:-

France....Bure Les Templiers, F21290 Burgundy
France....Bures F-54370 Lorraine
France......Bures-Morainvilleirs F78630
Germany...Buren, Nordrhein
Germany ..Buresn, Gescher
Italy..........Bure, Nr Verona

Accommodation was provided locally by residents and the Hill Lodge Hotel in Sudbury.

Programme of Events:-

Friday:- The weekend proved to be a spectacular event. 130 guests from 8 different communities across Belgium, France, Germany, Italy, Slovenia and Switzerland arrived by train, car and coach on the Friday afternoon to the sound of St Mary's Church bells ringing a quarter peal.
After a warm welcome in the Community Centre they enjoyed an informal evening in a packed Marquee with a Hog Roast and entertainment provided by Bures Primary, Stoke Middle and Cornard Upper Schools. By the end of the evening it didn`t matter if you could speak the language or not, the atmosphere was electric with everyone obviously enjoying themselves.
This was followed by live entertainment at the Swan including singing and dancing in the street led by the Slovenians.

Saturday:- The visitors left early in coaches and minibuses for a tour of our Constable country taking in Lavenham, Long Melford and Mount Bures where they were provided with well earned refreshments. They visited the Church and the Mount before returning to the Community Centre ready for the Carnival

In glorious sunshine, the Carnival set off from Normandie Way at 1.30pm led by the Band of the Royal Anglian Regiment (TA). Crowds of people lined the route to watch the many magnificent floats go by each one representing a different European Country. The crowds were delighted to see our visitors from Bure near Verona in Italy taking part in the procession depicting Romeo and Juliet all dressed in the appropriate attire.
All the costumes were brought over to the UK with their own personal luggage.
Every step of the way was greeted with loud applause from the crowds.

There were traditional stalls such as coconut shies, fairground music and ice cream. The rest of the recreation ground had other stalls offering gifts, crafts, fresh produce, cake, books, sweets and at least two barbecues.
Teas were provided along with an Art Exhibition in the Community Centre. Meanwhile, inside the marquee our European guests had set up information about their own villages which attracted a lot of interest.

The highlight of the afternoon was The Royal Artillery parachute display team, descending from the skies bearing the flags of our visiting countries to land within yards of a marker laid out beside the cricket pitch

Teas were provided along with an art exhibition in the Community Centre. Inside the Marquee, our European guests had set up displays featuring information about their own villages, which attracted a great deal of interest

Amongst the most popular events, were the boat and canoe trips taking place on the river, a classic English setting with the swans, wildfowl and picturesque scenery.













The day was brought to a close with a magnificent meal served in the Marquee with the formal presentations from the nine mayors or civic leaders from the different villages. All the representatives were pleased to thank the English organisers, but mostly they identified the dedicated work of lan Gibbs the man who has worked tirelessly for the last nine months to make this Europa Bures event such a success.

Sunday:- Fortunately a less hectic day for all, with all our guests invited to the morning service at St Mary`s Church.
The Deacon from Bure in Belgium read the Gospel in French. The Rev. Wolton, who had been ordained at St Edmundsbury Cathedral the previous day celebrated his first communion. With the regular congregation and our guests from Europe, the church was packed full for the service.
Unfortunately, Robin King the Bures Vicar could not be with us, as he was was lying in a hospital bed having broken his hip in a bicycle accident.

Afterwards there were guided tours of Bures Hamlet and St Mary, finishing with a traditional English lunch at either The Eight Bells or The Swan.

The afternoon was devoted to tea on the lawn in the wonderful setting of Gt Bevills, where the guests enjoyed bowls, croquet and a jazz
band on the lawn.

Each visiting country was invited to play croquet on the main lawn.
Looking relatively easy, it soon became apparent there was more skill required to this game than just launching a ball towards a metal hoop.
Refreshments were served by a waitress who seemed well over 10ft tall with the aid of her very agile stilts.

Finally in the evening, it was once again back to the Marquee where supper was provided for the guests, hosts and the helpers who had worked so hard to make this event a success.

Monday:- We said farewell to our visitors and wished them a safe journey home as they left Bures, hopefully taking good memories away with them of their time in rural England. No doubt friendships will be maintained until the next Europa meeting in two years time.

The next Europa Bures gatherings are planned to take place as follows:

2011 - Bure-les-Templiers, near Dijon in Burgundy in France
2013 - Bure, Belgium
2015 - Zbure, Slovenia

Web Counters


David Lee & Gill Jackson, Bures Hamlet & Bures St Mary Parish Councils: On behalf of the Parish Council's of Bures Hamlet, Bures St. Mary and Mount Bures I would like to publicly thank Ian Gibbs for his planning and organisation of the splendid Europa Bures Weekend. The whole event was enjoyed by hosts and guests alike and the memories will live with us for a very long time. Thank you Ian

Switzerland - From the Mayor of Bure: A week after our return from England we have been able to reflect on the magnitude of what was accomplished by your committee for the Europa Bures weekend. Our stay was marvellous and each participant will maintain special lasting memories. I write in the name of the Swiss Bure delegation to express this warm message of friendship and thanks to you, the organising committee and to all the people who made us so welcome and took us into their homes.

I also want to warmly thank the Church, the different organisations in the three villages and the Parish Councils of Bures St Mary, Bures Hamlet and Mount Bures who all contributed to such a memorable weekend.

France - From the Mayor of Bures-Morainvilliers: I want to thank you for the wonderful weekend. Everyone of our delegation was delighted with this event. Bures in England is a very agreeable location. The organisation was perfect and our hosts really lovely. I hope it will be the beginning of exchanges between our village and the other villages that are involved with Europa Bures.

Italy - From Gian Carlo Paiola, organiser of the contingent from Bure: After our happy return to Italy, I wish to again express our sincere thanks for the fantastic welcome we received and for all the wonderful events organised for the 6th Europa Bures gathering. Interpreting the feelings of all the Italian delegation, I wish to assure you that these beautiful days will rest engraved in our memories for a long time to come. In thanking all those involved in organising the weekend for everything that was done, and in the hope that we will meet again soon, I greet you and all the people of Bures UK and all our European friends who we met at this very beautiful gathering.

Slovenia From Miha Gorenc the guide from Zbure :
We had a great time, hope you all did as well. See you in France 2011, or maybe even earlier. Some of us might visit England in the meantime, and you are invited to visit us in Slovenia. We are ready to organise EUROPA BURES 2015, or any other, if this is already taken. Keep in touch.

Belgium - From Joel Deom of Bure (the founder of Europa Bures): I write to thank you for the welcome and the very well organised programme for our stay in Bures England. Not a day goes by without hearing of people talking about their stay in England with memories of one or other of the events that took place over the weekend of the 6th Europa Bures gathering. The best moment in the eyes of my colleagues was the afternoon at Bevills, each taking it as a communion between the different Bures, the Slovenians were missing but we all equally appreciated their good humour and bonhomie. It was a veritable success. Please thank again all those involved in organising the weekend. We are left with many photographs, films and lots of memories and souvenirs. We are now starting to organise 2013 in the hope that we can lay on a weekend as good as the one in England.

France - From Michel Marchal Mayor of Bures 54: I write to congratulate all those involved in the organisation of the recent Bures gathering. It was very well organised and we greatly appreciated the warm welcome from all the English. These are days that we do not want to forget. Thank you to you all and well done.