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Pews news: There are two services in Fairlight this Sunday, the first being Morning Praise at St Andrew’s, starting at 10.30 am, and the second the monthly Sunday Live at St Peter’s at 6.30 pm (not the winter start time, you remember).

Present throughout the day will be two representatives from Through Faith Missions - Roger Murphy, evangelist, and David Colhane, administrator. And David will be preaching at both services, (having already preached at Pett at 9.30 am!) He’ll be needing a glass or two of water for all that busy programme! Additionally, there will be a working lunch at Haddoxcrest, Gorsethorn Way at around 1 pm, to plan future outreach in the benefice. If you have an interest in, or experience of, Christian outreach and would like to join the meeting, please let the Rector know. The team so far is: Richard Barron, Angela Hawksley and Gill Plank (Pett), Peter and Penny Button, Marcia Russell, David and Valerie Hornsby (Fairlight). Events and activities will be planned in the benefice so that Christians can share their faith and answer questions. The idea is to get people talking about their faith and views. The team would welcome your ideas or experience of what you think would work in this area today; please speak to one of the team before this Sunday. Among the ideas already mooted are breakfast meetings, brunches, house-to-house visiting, debates, quizzes, a speaker at a community group, school assembly, class visits and fun events. Perhaps you have other suggestions?

The Lent Course: will be taking place at St Peter’s each Wednesday from 7.30 - 9 pm, with the session repeated the following day, Thursday, from 2.30 - 4 pm. And the first session is on Wednesday next, February 25, entitled ‘Handling Hypocrisy’, to be led by Rev Kay Burnett. There’s a repeat the following day, Thursday, February 26 at 2.30 pm.

MOPPs: Today, Celia King will be along with her popular chair-based exercises (and there’s a free toe-nail cutting service, though not to music), and then Friday is Pie Day, with a lunch of cottage pie and banoffee pie. Next Friday, February 27, it’s Louise Denny and her piano accordion, and then lunch consisting of gammon with parsley sauce followed by fruit pie. Sounds good – it really is time to join the group!

The Pantomime Group: It’s their AGM tonight, in the village hall commencing at 7 pm. After the meeting, at approximately 7.30 pm, there’ll be a chance to watch the video of their 2014 production, Sleeping Beauty. Refreshments will be served in the interval.

The Parish Council: Next Tuesday, February 24, is the date for February’s Parish Council meeting, in the village hall small hall at 7.15 pm. The agenda is more typical than was the case last month, with a number of bread-and-butter items, all of which are of considerable interest.

Under the heading of Land Management, there will be updates on the land survey and valuation of Knowle Wood and the Warren Estate; on complaints about Southern Water; and on the wholesale removal of gorse on the Firehills.

Why not go along and see the way the council functions? You may finally be persuaded to volunteer your services as a Councillor, for which there is a vacancy. The council bears little or no relation to that imagined by J K Rowling, and executed (I use the word advisedly) by the BBC in ‘The Casual Vacancy’.

Shop? Stop!: Two unexpected emails arrived this week, one at 9 pm on Tuesday, and the other at 6 am on Wednesday. The first was from Drew Slaughter, Vice Chair of the Village Shop project, effectively putting the shop vision on hold, and the second from the Chair, Heather Black, resigning her position. It has been apparent from the outset that to succeed, the enterprise needed much money and many people skills. While the former has been building nicely, insufficient individuals with fundraising, marketing, human resources and secretarial talents have come forward to be able to convince major funders they can deliver a workable outcome. While they regroup, the committee will shortly be returning all monies previously donated as Community Shares. Please contact drew.slaughter@fairlightvillageshop.co.uk to help. The Sea Road Berm: With all the excitement of the possibility of the village being the owner of its own Post Office and General Store, plus the new attraction of maybe owning much more of Knowle Wood than we do already, the urgently needed joining of the east and west arms of the Sea Road berms seems to have pushed somewhat into the background. It would be remiss of us to forget that this project has the potential to be a genuine village saver, which would undoubtedly prevent an as yet unspecified number of properties from going into the sea. The way of financial support in 2015 is, quite reasonably, based around matched funding, where you don’t simply ask and get, but show your commitment by demonstrating your sincerity in pledging personal funding to the cause. Paul Capps, of the Preservation Trust, would be happy to hear from anyone who has yet to make their pledge.

Variety, the spice of village life: But the Sea Road berm has not been forgotten, a fact proven by the Residents Association’s forthcoming Variety Show, in a parade of local talent, in the village hall next Saturday, February 28, curtain up at 7.30 pm. There’s a slap up hot buffet supper and access to a reasonably priced bar, all included in the £8.50 ticket, which is available, as ever, from the Post Office. All proceeds will go to the Sea Road Stage 3 fund. The food and drink have been generously sponsored by the FRA.

Knowle Wood: Although the results are not yet known, the Parish Council has had a survey undertaken in Knowle Wood to make sure that it matches that carried out by Capital Estates on their portion. If anything is to come of the admirable desire to purchase the wood for the benefit of the village, it is essential that both parties are singing, if not from the same hymn sheet, at least the same ground plan.

Trefoil Guild: It’s time for Thinking Day Celebrations at the Guild’s meeting next Wednesday, February 25, from 10 am to 12 noon at St Peter’s. This is for members and invited guests. If you would like more details, please contact Betty Snow on 812694.

A demonstration by arrangement: The Floral Club’s first meeting of the year, which was a practice session, was well attended, and February’s meeting, on Thursday 26, sees them with a return demonstration by one of their firm favourites, Lynn Carter. Lynn will be giving her interpretation of ‘Colourtastic’, which is sure to be as popular and appreciated as her displays always are. It’s all happening in the village hall from 2.30 pm, and newcomers would be made welcome too.

Playgroup Jumble Sale: Just eight days to go until the keenly anticipated Playgroup Jumble Sale on Saturday, February 28 from 10 am to 12.30 pm. Whatever you do, you’ll be unlikely to be first in the queue, but do go along anyway. There’s always heaps of goodies to choose from, and you’ll be supporting a very good cause.

Whist tonight: Cards on the table again tonight at the village hall, 6.45 for 7 pm start, at the Bowls Club’s latest evening of whist.

Leslie Hall: A familiar face, especially to those attending the Players and Pantomime Group productions, will be missing after the death on Monday last of Les Hall. Les was 85, and had been associated with am dram in the village for almost 20 years, particularly on front-of-house duties and, earlier, on stage set construction. Les was also keen on his table tennis, playing at the village hall on Tuesdays until well into his eighties. Les leaves his widow, Margaret, still doing the props for the Players, and daughter Theresa, doing the group’s rehearsal teas and much more during the run of each play, and another daughter and a son.

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway