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Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway

In our churches this Sunday, December 15… the Holy Communion service at St Andrew’s commences at 10.30 am. Later, but not by much, there will be Evening prayer at St Peter’s starting at 4 pm

And, so you can’t say you didn’t know about any of them, here’s a run-down of what is on the horizon until the end of the month, an extremely important part of the Church’s year.

Nine days from today, on Sunday, December 22, St Andrew’s will be home to Carols by Candlelight, starting at 6 pm. Christmas Eve, on the Tuesday, at 4 pm, there’s the ever-popular Christingle service, with its orange(the world), a candle (the light of the world) and a red ribbon (the blood of Christ) and sweets on sticks (blessings), not to mention four alternative Christingles – the non-violent, with a white ribbon, the rich parish, with a chocolate orange and the elf and safety, with a glow stick instead of a candle. I kid you not (a bit tongue-in-cheek)! Anyway, get safely over that service, which is in aid of the Children’s Society, and it’s all back to St Andrew’s at 11.15 pm for the glorious Midnight Communion service. On Christmas Day (in the morning) there will be Christmas Communion at 9 am at St Peter’s on the corner of Broadway. Last mention is for the United Benefice Service at St Andrew’s, starting at 10.30 am, on Sunday, December 29.

And some Christmassy notes from Pett Methodist Chapel… Tomorrow, Saturday December 14, at 6.30pm, it’s ‘Carols in the Barn’ at Pickham Farm in Watermill Lane, all in aid of Farm Africa, as on at least one previous occasion. It is recommended that you wrap up warm and come and enjoy carols alongside the animals, all accompanied with mulled wine and mince pies. Next Tuesday, December 17 will be the second showing of the film ‘Nativity’, at the Chapel at 7.30 pm. The cost is absolutely nothing, and refreshments will be available. And on Christmas Day, the Worship celebrating Christ’s birth is at the slightly earlier time than usual, at 10.30 am.

The Village Hall’s Winter Fair… was all it usually is, and more. You could try umpteen games, raffles and a tombola, or purchase plants and cards, have lunch and mulled wine, or a cake or two and a cuppa. Youngsters could meet Father Christmas, get a gift and be thoroughly entertained. For the best part of three hours the halls were full, not to Black Hole proportions, but enough to be ‘friendly’. And the Hall Treasurer, Frank James, reports with gratitude and satisfaction that the proceeds amounted to a tenner and some small change under £1,500. That total, at £1,487.98 to be precise, is the best since he has been in the job, and possibly much further back, too. A credit, then, to all those who worked so hard to generate this success, and to all those who supported the event so strongly.

The Tuesday Ladies Club… will be seeing Christmas in, and the old year out, with their Christmas Tea on Tuesday next, December 17 at 2.15 pm. This is, not unreasonably, for members only. But having said that, this club really welcomes newcomers – including the fellas – and the New Year may well be an opportune time to join. It will cost you a mere £18 for the whole year, which covers you for 12 meetings, subsidised outings and two meals. Give Secretary Shirley Gilbert a call on 813441 if you’d like more details.

Market Harborough comes to Sussex… and all the while the geographers among you thought it was in Leicestershire. No, this is the Christmas Market at Harborough Nurseries, right on the A259 out at Guestling Thorn, where last Sunday some 30 stalls offering local made beauty products, fresh food, baked stuff, wooden garden things (all local crafted) cards, decorations, jewellery, pottery, and beautiful stained glass products. Each stallholder will be contributing a percentage of his or her takings to St Michael’s Hospice, and this very worthwhile exercise will be repeated this Sunday, December 15, running from 11 am to 3 pm. If you missed it last week, you can make up for it this time round. You’re sure to find something suitable for Aunt Agatha for Christmas (and probably for yourself as well!) This week will feature some new stalls in addition to several who are returning.

The PCC launches a £200,000 Community Fund… which I read in astonishment as I had little idea that the Parochial Church Council was that wealthy. But it isn’t that at all – it is all an initiative of Katy Bourne, the Sussex Police & Crime Commissioner, who is setting up a Safer in Sussex Community Fund, a new idea that will provide financial support to innovative local projects which aim to make Sussex communities safer. The Commissioner is seeking to help communities work together to come up with ways of tackling crime and disorder and is keen to support projects that demonstrate strong partnership working.

Applications will be welcome from any and all local groups and organisations that can demonstrate how they are tackling the issues in their area that support the priorities set out in Commissioner’s Police & Crime Plan. These include initiatives that tackle crime, reduce reoffending and address community priorities such as alcohol, drugs, anti-social behaviour, domestic abuse and road safety.

Bids will be considered on a quarterly basis with the first round of funding allocated after March 31, 2014. More information on the scheme and how to apply is available on the PCC website: www.sussex-pcc.gov.uk/safer-in-sussex-community-fund/

An invaluable facility gets under way in Fairlight… with the opening of the brand new Domiciliary Homecare agency ‘Positive Homecare’, which is situated on Battery Hill. Jason Michael, the owner, is a trained Counsellor and Clinical Supervisor who works for Macmillan at Eastbourne Hospital, and has worked within the care industry for 24 years. Jason has been operating as a private carer, including the time he has spent with more than 20 local residents over the past five years. So many people these days have caring needs, such as shopping and errands, collecting prescriptions and getting to their GP or hospital appointments, cooking, laundry and housework, and if you are one of them, it would be a good idea to call 813700 to get a free assessment.

At MOPPs today… you’ll be getting cottage pie, followed by meringue, fruit & cream. Entertainment is both chair-based exercises plus the MOPP Melody Makers, while Friday next, December 20, will be MOPP’s Christmas Party, with a traditional Christmas dinner and Christmas pudding, with Brian Howard at the keyboard and Jim Saphin leading the Singalong of Carols.

Let There Be Light… there are some lights on the tree on the Circle. These have been provided by the Parish Council, at a cost of £25 out of the Chairman’s, Cllr Andrew Mier’s, Allowance. That’s about 3p per household in the village, and the lighting is at the experimental stage, as the functioning is not, as yet, perfected. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that the installation has already moved Fairlight up in the ranked national list of locations with decorative community lighting, on which Blackpool is number one, from 12,743 to 12,741. Congratulations to all concerned (well, to Andrew!). Get it all hunky-dory and we could move up another couple of places.