The village motto of 'A vibrant and caring community, set in a treasured landscape' is enacted and enhanced by the villagers daily.
Led by an active Parish Council, this village involves its residents. Recent examples have been the success in obtaining 'Warm Room' sponsorship, following a village survey. Also, joint action through a special campaign, helped stop inappropriate industrial development on the edge of the village. A special sub-committee of the PC organised excellent Jubilee celebrations on the village field, which is maintained with help from villagers.
Very concerned about this area of outstanding natural beauty, the Parish Council have devolved responsibility for the litter collecting on all roads and the foreshore within the parish to enthusiastic individuals and we don't have litter! This is augmented by OCCL employees, who organise voluntary lunchtime collections.
A 'Welcome Pack' with over 20 articles of information is produced by the village and personal contact is made with each new resident as they arrive. They are invited to coffee mornings and other events and a short article in the bi-monthly village Newsletter introduces them to the village at large.
The excellently appointed Village Hall is well used by village organisations including the very active and successful WI, the Gardening Club, Coffee Mornings, Flower Show and other one-off events, eg Macmillan Coffee Morning when over £700 was raised (2022).
St Peter's Church is an active presence in many aspects of village life; it has two services each month and plays an active part in supporting the newly formed 8 parish benefice, including substantial financial support (£18,000 in 2021). In 2022 the church organised an 18 stage Benefice Pilgrimage to the Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, which included special meals and services, including visiting choirs. In December 2022 the Church ran the Village Christmas 'Festive Feast', which was enjoyed by almost 50 parishioners in the Village Hall. The church is generous in supporting others; in 2022 it has donated over £1,600 to various charities.
The Friends of St Peter's, which is considered a beacon of good practice within the diocese, has worked for 24 years, raising and investing in excess of £250,000 in the church and churchyard; the result is spectacular. Recently described in the Suffolk Magazine as possibly the 'best kept churchyard in Suffolk'. It is helped by the 30+ volunteer mowers in the summer and the weekly leaf-collection in the autumn.
At Christmas The Friends erect a huge illuminated star on the church and organise the Felixstowe Salvation Army Band to play carols on the village field. In return it collects for the Salvation Army each Christmas (2022-£5,000 - not bad for a village of just over 100 houses!). The generous Harvest Festival donations of produce come from both individuals (for Basic Life in Felixstowe) and commerical companies (for FIND in Ipswich).
The Ride and Stride collection for The Suffolk Historic Church Trust in September 2022 was greatly helped by two Ukrainians, who road wearing their national flag as shawls. The Ukrainians arrived in the village in April 2022 and apart from the offer of a small house, they have been given employment, TEFL lessons, second-hand bicycles and the loan of a car.
A village WhatsApp Group was set up during the pandemic lockdown to keep villagers communiating with one another; it continues and has over 70 households subscribing. Also during Lockdown the village enjoyed a 'Levingtoncorona' website, which kept villagers superbly informed on a daily basis of the national pandemic restrictions and had reports on the local news. During lockdown the village organised a 'Buddy System' for the vulnerable, to ensure that no one was forgotten. The village also organises the charity that runs, with Nacton, and the Sir Robert Hitcham's Almshouses (4) within the village.
Our earliest record of Church Field is in an 1839 legal document that converted tithe payments to rent-charge. At this time, it was the private ownership of Baronet Sir Philip Bowers Vere Broke, and sub worked by John Dawson.
In 1949, the land, of around 2 acres, was sold by the Right Honourable James St Vincent Broke, Baron De Saumarez, to Hodsoll Walter Hurlock and Felix Clement Smith, the latter becoming the subsequent sole owner. In 1982, upon his death, part of the land was legally transferred, with conditions and in peretuity, to Levington and Stratton Hall Parish Council. In general, this was for recreational use that also respected and preserved the surrounding natural environment.
Church Field forms a delightfull setting, which links St Peter's Church to neighbouring privately owned Levington Meadows that slope to the River Orwell.
To the East it adjoins a public footpath, on private land, which is opposite The Ship Inn, and is known as Pilots Way. At one time this had elm trees alongside, which formed the boundary of Church Field. As these became diseased, they were replaced in the late 1990s by a line of green beech trees. This was after a village meeting, and all the trees were sponsored by individuals.
The fence, which runs between the Field and Church Lane, was erected in 2004, and was funded by a donations from the Village Lunch Club.
To the West of the field is a small copse, known as Tricker's Wood. In 2006 various suckers were removed and replaced by native species, Field Maple, White Poplar, Sweet Chuestnut and Hazel. All cut wood has been formed into piles for insect use (Stage Beetles are to be found in this area).
A villager using the family tractor and mower regularly cuts the grass in Church Field, but two ribbon strips are left along two boundaries so that the grass can grow long for the benefit of wildlife.
The Parish Council manages Church Field in accord with the Management Plan adopted by the Council in March 2005, after consultation with residents. This results in careful maintenace to preserve the naturall environment, habitat and seasonal changes, whilst allowing for non-intrusive village use. To view the Management Plan, please use the link below (please note this will open in a new browser windows):