Catsfield

Car Boot Sale: This will be held tomorrow, Saturday 20th June at the Playing Field to raise funds for St Laurence’s Church. It’s an 8.30am start for Stall Holders and 9am – 11.30am for Buyers. Cars £7, Vans £10 and Browsers 50p. Hot and cold refreshments will be available.

Cream Teas and Craft Sale: Unfortunately the WI have had to postpone this fundraising event to a date to be announced a little later in the summer owing to a clash with another village event on the same day.

The 200th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo:

Thanks to Mike Cooper for this report of a memorable evening:

The cakes were made, the kettles boiled and the chairs laid out for the invasion of Catsfield, not by the French but by Sussex Harmony and Friends who descended on the Village Hall last Sunday to attend the workshop in preparation for the Thanksgiving Evensong for the 200th anniversary of The Battle of Waterloo. By 2pm around 45 singers and a dozen or so instrumentalists had assembled in the Village Hall from all over East & West Sussex and a sole representative from Kent. Under the inspirational guidance of Rachel Jordan (MD of Sussex Harmony) we were soon singing in near perfect harmony.

She started off with some familiar hymn tunes to give everyone confidence, then after a swift tea break, she gradually led us on to the pinnacle of the service, a five-page anthem based on Psalm 147 by William Knapp a well-known 19th Century Dorset composer who was by trade a glove maker. This anthem has the lot; duets, repeated choruses, fuging and a great many hallelujahs and with such a great choir it was a joy to sing. After that more teas & a goodly number of cakes were consumed in preparation for the evensong.

A lovely summer’s evening enabled most to walk to the church to be met by an enthusiastic congregation. With such a large contingent a deal of shuffling around was necessary to get all seated in the correct places.

However soon after 6pm we were under way with a rousing anthem by a Lewes composer William Figg entitled ‘The Little Island’ a sort of Sussex ‘Rule Britannia’ which painted the French in a rather poor light and finished with much waving of Union flags. This however was the voluntary and the service itself was a little more circumspect. Much of the music was to be found originally in the Catsfield manuscripts either those published in ‘The Singing Seat’ or unearthed and transcribed by Rachel from the unpublished books given to the Sussex Archaeological Society by Louisa Blackman in the 1950s. The anthem having been delivered with suitable West Gallery gusto it was then time for Father Michael to give an excellently researched sermon on the history of and the events surrounding the Battle but fortunately it was not as long a sermon as it might have been in 1815.

Time for a couple of congregational hymns and the evensong closed to ’Grant us thy peace, Lord in the coming night’ to a lovely tune normally used at Christmas. A collective sigh of relief was breathed before we were plied with sandwiches, beer, wine and other goodies in traditional Catsfield style. Very many thanks to all who were involved in any way for making it such a successful and enjoyable event. (As a member of the congregation, I can heartily endorse that!)

Mobile Library: Today at 11.55am until 12.30pm the East Sussex Mobile Library will be in its usual place outside the Village Hall.

Sport: Unfortunately there is no sports news this week as our match versus Sidley was cancelled because they couldn’t get a team. What a shame. We hope to play Brightling Park at their intimate rural ground on Sunday of this week and the following Sunday Crowhurst away. A three week rest for the tea ladies!

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