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Seasonal Reflections: Varied; part 1!: As Christmas draws ever nearer, we all start to retreat from work meetings, sign off from groups and societies till the new year, and focus on all things closer to hearth and home. However much, or little, time we have over the festive break, it has to be spent in the best, most enjoyable, relaxing or productive way possible...and difficult decisions must be made, by very tired brains, on all the elements required for said Seasonal Splendour.! As I said in the column last week, there are less diary events to list now, for this week and next, so I’d love some stories, anecdotes, good wishes/greetings/proposals, or reflections, to put in for the Christmas edition of the Observer. This week we have the Christmas services listed below, a report from the Sparke Pavilion ceremony and the first of many (I hope) reflective contributions. So, to start.

Christmas Services in Ninfield and Hooe: St Mary’s Parish Church Sunday 18th at 9.30am - Family Service - St Oswald’s 11.15 am Parish Eucharist - Then St Mary’s Ninfield, will hold a Christingle and Carol Service this Sunday,18th December, for all the family, at 3pm. St Oswald’s in Hooe will have their Carol Service on Tuesday 20th December at 7.30pm.

On Sunday 18th, at 10.30am, the Methodist Church will be having an all-age Christmas Carol and Family Church with Marktime Band.

Christmas Eve: The Methodist Church will have a workshop at 3pm for all young people to go and make their Christingles ready for the Candlelight Christingle Celebration at 4.30pm - 5.15pm.

Parish Church St Mary’s Ninfield, Combined Christmas Eucharist at 6pm.

Christmas Day: St Mary’s Parish Church 9.30am - Christmas Day Eucharist - St Oswald’s 11.15 am

Methodist Church - 9.30am - Combined with St Mary’s or 10.30am at Sackville Road, Bexhill, Methodist Church.

I have had messages of love, light and all season’s wishes from representatives of both Parish and Methodist Churches- to send to all residents of Ninfield and Hooe, wherever you are this Christmas, may peace be with everyone... The Christmas services; times and venues, will be repeated in next weeks paper.

Sparke Pavilion: Those of you who have been keeping a weather eye open, and tracking the progress of the new building on the Recreation ground, while receiving the updates from the Parish Council, and through this column; Well, you will know that the ‘soft’ re-opening of the splendid Sparke Pavilion was held on Sunday last, 11th December, and those who came along for a guided tour, a glass of prosecco and a mince pie were absolutely delighted at the fantastic new facility. Everyone was forgiving of the fact that it isn’t quite finished yet...hence the ‘soft’ re-opening, but despite painting and tiling being not quite done, flooring yet to finish and woodwork to seal and complete, the overall vision of the building is stunning, and drew many positive comments from those present. Elaine, who was one of the guests of honour- having family connections with the original building- was moved to say that the changing rooms, although bigger and of a very high spec, still had a friendly feel, just like the original, and when she found out that the original designation stone, with the hidden ‘note’, was still intact and replaced, her smile beamed! Great tributes were paid to Pete Holland, who redesigned the Pavilion, keeping the new one in the same glamorous sweeping style of the old; and all the local volunteers who have helped with many man-hours in decorating, and donations of materials and equipment, were thanked and their community spirit praised highly. There was a short but very warm ceremony where the Names were announced for the Rooms within the Pavilion. The votes were cast largely for 4 names; so now the two changing rooms are the Ted Hills and Jim Hoad rooms; the referee’s room will be Eddie Cocksedge room, and delightfully, as so many said, the upstairs Archive and meeting area will be know as the Cynthia Pettet Suite...Cynthia was such a fabulous character, with so many keen interests in the Village, whether Historical, Horticultural or just social!, and she was a brilliant, prolific writer for this Village Voice...still hugely missed, but now remembered with love.. and with a giggle, as we all know she would LOVE standing on the Pavilion’s new balconies upstairs, waving at all those residents traversing the rec.! Hilarious, Dear heart!!

Reflection and Thanks: This lovely piece is from Kevin Regan, a stalwart of Ninfield, who, with his lovely wife Nicky, has immersed himself in Village life, and both have become fantastic supporters of all the dotty shenanigans that make up ‘Ninfield’! Kevin says...”Firstly, I’d like to thank all those villagers who regularly volunteer to help out at the many events, functions and clubs, and who do their work so well they’re in danger of being taken for granted! Nothing would happen without their unpaid and seemingly thankless efforts, so this is one opportunity I can’t miss to say Thank You to each and every one of you! The Clubs and Societies that keep Ninfield buzzing depend on stalwarts to ensure they keep going; The Village Society, The Bonfire Society, The Carnival Assoc.,so much fundraising and such first class events.. and then, so many others who find speakers, create local historic interest and generally ensure that the Village has a vibrancy that many others lack. Then there is the Parish Council, always an easy target to grumble about, but, along with the Clerk, they manage to cope with and effectively manage the huge workloads; with diligence, professionalism and sometimes a necessary humour... especially the huge Planning Applications...! If you have the time and inclination to become a Parish Councillor, there is currently a welcome spot, so go on,contact the parish Clerk! And then, there is the Village Memorial Hall..a heritage building that I have become increasingly fascinated with, as it has over 150 years of history and has served the Village through wars and peace, and now needs some necessary funds and T.L.C. Please, find out more about this wonderful village amenity - use it, don’t lose it- it needs more hirings, and weekend spaces are available - It is just great for a Wedding, Birthday, Function or Dance, and looks a treat when decked out in all it’s glory... So, to all in Ninfield, may I wish you a Happy Christmas, and if you are on you own, please don’t be lonely- there’s a warm welcome if you can venture out to a Club or Group in the Village, there’s always someone out there who cares...”

Thank you Kevin..! Now, it’s your turn, send in your stories, or greetings, have some Christmas Fun!! Give me a call on 893699, and/or text 07970650321 email samanthaguard@btinternet.com or Tweet @guard_jane...”..On the 9th day of Christmas....!”

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