WI: The first meeting of the Catsfield WI in 2017 will be at 2pm in the Village Hall on Thursday 5th January when the guest speaker will be Terry Stacey who will give a talk with the intriguing title of ‘A White Elephant?’ Members are reminded that their annual subscription is due and Ann will be ready to collect your cash or cheques. New members are always welcome to join, or just come and see what it’s like first and can be sure of a warm welcome and a delicious tea.
Catsfield 100 Club: As usual January is the time to renew your Village Hall 100 Club subscriptions and Victoria will be writing to you and waiting for your payment of £12 per number. There are monthly draws with a prize of £25 and three special draws during the year of £100. Remember, over £800 is annually given to the Hall and this sum helps keep down the hiring charges. For ticket sales or further information contact Victoria on 01424 893711 or email email@example.com
Burns Night: The fundraisers for St Laurence’s Church will be celebrating Burn’s Night on Saturday 21st January at 7pm in the Village Hall. Enjoy a three course traditional Burn’s Night Dinner and a ‘wee dram’ for only £10 per person. Booking opens on 1st January, contact Sandra Shoobridge on either 01424 774708. Those of you who have attended this event on previous occasions will know what an enjoyable evening this is and I’d advise booking as soon as possible to avoid disappointment.
Christmas in Catsfield: This Christmas in Catsfield was as joyous as ever and started with the school and Pre-school children carol singing and performing Nativity plays in the traditional way, delighting both the parents and villagers who attended. On the fourth Sunday in Advent many children and adults attended the Family Morning Service in St Laurence’s Church and were delighted to hear Father Michael tell another story about Harold, the church cat who sat quietly on the laps of the children as he spoke. Apparently Harold had been mocked by the village cats for having no decorations up in the church when their homes were brightly lit with flashing lights and Christmas trees. Harold explained that the church was never decorated throughout Advent until Christmas Eve. However, he was decidedly miffed about the whole thing and when he met a lady whom he mistook for the church cleaner, he was pretty grumpy, until they talked and it turned out that she was the Virgin Mary (despite not being dressed in blue) and she was there to give thanks to God. If you remember, last year Harold met the angel Gabriel, after whom one of the church bells is named, which goes to show that you never can be sure just who you may meet in God’s house.
Carol Singing: On Tuesday 20th December the annual evening of carol singing took place in the Village Hall and this year the hall was packed with far more people than ever before. The tables were all soon filled and more chairs and carol sheets had to be found to accommodate everyone, Jane was kept busy serving a delicious mulled wine and soft drinks and the tables were laid with plates of mince pies. The singing was led by the choir with Bob Andrew at the piano as we sang our way through the booklet of traditional carols and punctuated by various seasonal readings of pieces by Kipling, Bob Copper, Laurie Lee and others. The quartet of Mike and Rosemary, Linda and James sang a couple of old West Gallery carols and impressed us with the difficult harmonies skilfully performed. The whole evening was a lovely start to the last few days before the Christmas weekend. The retiring collection raised £200 for St Michael’s Hospice.
The Christmas Eve Crib Service: St Laurence Church was crammed full to bursting on the afternoon of Christmas Eve with parents, grandparents, siblings, friends and villagers all present to see the children perform the story of the Nativity. Discreetly stage managed by Sarah and Rebecca Campbell and narrated by Maya Andrew assisted by Father Michael, the assorted cast of the Holy Family, angels, shepherds and kings re-enacted the story of the first Christmas, punctuated by the singing of carols in appropriate places. A perfect way to take time out from the busy preparation for the festivities and remind ourselves of the Christmas story. The collection from this service raised £342 for the Seaview Project, a charity helping disadvantaged people in the St Leonards area.
The Christmas Morning Family Service: Again it was lovely to see St Laurence Church with a larger than usual congregation who had turned out on Christmas Day for the 10am Family Communion service. The final candle was lit on the Advent wreath and the baby Jesus was placed in the manger before the model Crib was blessed at the beginning of the service. Carols were joyfully sung and once again Father Michael treated us to an amusing story about Harold the church cat. On this occasion Harold was joined by Justin, one of the Queen’s corgis, whom he had met on a trip to London and who had invited him to spend Christmas with the royal family at Sandringham. Harold was very anxious when he was told that he would be expected to sing after dinner because as everyone knows, cats can’t sing! To cut a long and delightful story short, after consulting with various important figures from the Nativity whilst in church, a robin showed him how to sing with great joy and love from his heart and Father Michael sang us a sample of the Christmas song that Harold would be singing later that day for the Queen. The service was a wonderful start to the festivities and reminded us all of the full meaning of Christmas and the birth of Jesus.
Sport: Christmas cheer from the footballers who beat Bexhill United at The Polegrove on the 17th, which lifts us up to 3rd place. The victory was well celebrated at The Azure the following day and now for the training period over the holidays until 7th January when we host Sibex at home.
Mobile Library: The East Sussex Mobile Library will be in its usual place next Friday 6th January outside the Village Hall from 11.55am until 12.30pm.
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