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Medieval Pirates: Tomorrow (Saturday) Winchelsea Archaeological Society will be presenting its historical talk on the interesting subject of Medieval Pirates (1204-1453) which will be given by author Jill Eddison. Everybody welcome and the talk will begin at 3pm in St Thomas’ Church.

One year on: Canon Robin Whitehead will have been the Rector of St Thomas’ Church for one year this Sunday November 23rd. It is also the feast of Christ the King and it is hoped that the church will be well attended on Sunday morning in celebration of both the feast day and Robin’s anniversary at St Thomas’ Church. The feast of Christ the King is celebrated on the Sunday before the first Sunday of Advent; observed by Catholic and Anglican churches it involves a contemplation of the Lord Jesus Christ the King of the Universe. The communion service will be a Sung Eucharist beginning at 10.30am.

Gardeners’ Questions: The Garden Society is holding a Gardeners’ Questions evening for all those keen on gardening with questions to ask. On the Panel will be: Julia Cooper, John Dunk, Chris Mears and Gilly Tugman with Alice Kenyon in the chair. This event will be on Thursday November 27th at 7 for 7.30pm in the Lower Court Hall.

Christmas Fair: The New Hall Society has organised this year’s Christmas Fair for Saturday November 29th at 10am till 1pm in the New Hall. On offer will be a Fantastic Raffle, tombola, pottery, jewellery, handicrafts, home-made produce, Christmas decorations, woodcraft, glassware and ceramics, plus refreshments. In the meantime if you would like to donate any produce please contact 01797 223223. And look forward to seeing you on the 29th.

Advent Windows: The annual Advent Windows display around Winchelsea is soon to begin. At 4 pm every afternoon from Monday December 1st until Wednesday December 24th a new Advent Window will be unveiled around the town. All are welcome to come to the openings each day. Every window illustrates a different Christmas theme and will be lit daily from 4 pm until 10 pm. By Christmas Eve, all 24 windows will be on show and most will remain on display until Wednesday December 31st New Year’s Eve. From the end of November, maps and details will be available in the town from the New Inn and Winchelsea Farm Kitchen. Please donate at least £1 for the leaflet as money collected will go towards funds for the Friends of the Memorial Hospital at Rye. When walking around the town, you may find it useful to carry a small torch to help you read the map. Also do remember to supervise any children or dogs with you. Keep to the footpaths wherever possible, as there is still traffic passing through the town in the evenings. With just four and a half weeks to go all involved in the displays wish you a Merry Christmas and hope that you will enjoy their Advent Windows.

Sharing thoughts: The Rev Ian Pruden shared his thoughts and gave an interesting talk on, ‘Spirituality and Faith in WWI’ last Saturday morning in the Methodist Chapel. To start everyone was treated to a war-rationed diet of jam and corned beef sandwiches with cups of tea which went down well enough and added to the camaraderie. Then thoughts turned to more moving and serious matters as Ian described growing up in a northern village where once all the men including his grandfather had gone off to war and some had not returned. In the village chapel he attended there were two ornate stained glass windows with the names of the local young men who had fallen in the Great War. As a young boy Ian remembered two war widows, in their nineties at the time who were also part of the congregation. Their surnames were displayed with great honour and beautifully inscribed on the windows, having been the wives of two of the soldiers. A few years later when the chapel was demolished those same windows were thrown away and forgotten until one day they suddenly appeared on e-Bay. A woman who happened to be working online recognised their value and bought the pair of windows for £124 and kindly donated them to the church archives where they can now be viewed. Similarly another item of value Ian referred to was the small New Testament book, which often consisted of just the Gospel of John. These books were given to the servicemen to keep and take into battle, to be read and even worn as a breastplate. Not all took them but those who did carried a copy of the New Testament in his top left hand pocket above the heart and miraculously many were saved when the bullet went through the chest and out the other side, with the New Testament acting as type of a shock absorber. The question remains, what lessons have we learnt from this and proceeding wars? Unfortunately the answer would seem to be, simply the ability to make more sophisticated weapons. In Philip Larkin’s poem MCMXIV (1914) he describes the early days of the war as men in holiday mood waiting at the recruitment office: ‘Those long uneven lines, Standing as patiently, as if they were stretched outside, The Oval or Villa Park’ and having no idea of the enormity of it. The extent of it was very clear in the recent picture Ian had taken of the river of 888,246 poppies entitled, ‘Blood Swept Lands’ that filled the moat of the Tower of London. Two other people that visited the poppies during Remembrance week on separate occasions had their hopes raised by the appearance of the full arch of a rainbow which stood over the landscape and was seen by thousands.

Lichens of Rye: The Friends’ of Rye Harbour Nature Reserve have arranged a talk on Saturday November 22nd as part of their Winter Talk Series. This will be given by local naturalist Keith Palmer entitled, ‘Lichens of the Rye Area’ in which he will unravel some of the mysteries of those intriguing organisms which flourish on buildings, trees, the ground as well as the shingle at Rye Harbour. The talk is open to all and donations would be appreciated. Please meet at the Community Hall for 2.30pm.

Morning Worship: St Richard’s Church, Winchelsea Beach, invites all to its Holy Communion service on Sunday November 23rd at 9.15am. The morning service will be led by Canon Robin Whitehead.

Art & Craft: The Winchelsea Beach Community Hall hosts a weekly Art & Craft for All get-together, every Wednesday morning from 10am till 12pm. This informal and friendly group meet to enjoy their own crafts which include: painting, knitting, sewing, card-making, decoupage, glass painting and more. They also learn from each other, experimenting with new ideas and media. Coffee and laughter are all dispensed! The sessions don’t require booking, anyone is welcome and the cost is just £2 per person, including refreshments. It is a great opportunity to get together, relax and be productive too. If you would like to find out more please contact Maureen on 01424 8113928 or just turn up one Wednesday.

Fellowship Lunch: Don’t forget that this month’s Fellowship Lunch is on Friday November 28th in the Winchelsea Beach Community Hall at 12 for 12.30pm. This includes a very appetising meal followed by a short talk and donations are invited in aid of local charities. The number to contact is 01797 227168 as booking is essential.

Cindi Cogswell

31 Highfords, Icklesham