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Words and Music: You are warmly invited to join the friends at the Methodist Chapel tomorrow (Saturday) for a Christmas Celebration of Words and Music. Beginning at 10.30am the celebration will be led by the Worship Leaders from the Hastings, Bexhill & Rye Methodist Circuit of Churches. There will be seasonal refreshments to follow and a collection for ‘Surviving Christmas’, as well as time to reflect that ‘God’s presence is the best present of all’.

Winchelsea Singers: Tomorrow December 13th the Winchelsea Singers’ Carol Concert will begin at 7pm in St Thomas’ Church. The concert Conductor is Duncan Reid, Piano: Ivora Rees and Organ: David Birchenough. Entrance is £10 by programme at the door and includes seasonal refreshments, with all proceeds going to St Michael’s Hospice.

Rain or Shine: The Bonfire Boyes will be hosting a matinee performance of Great Expectations by Charles Dickens on Sunday December 14th at 4.30pm in St Thomas’ Church. This production is by the Rain or Shine Theatre Company who have put on some great shows in Winchelsea over the last few years including the Christmas performances. Proceeds from the event will go towards Winchelsea Bonfire. Said Pip in response to an unexpected change in circumstances: “In a word, I was too cowardly to do what I knew to be right, as I had been too cowardly to avoid doing what I knew to be wrong.”

School Carols: St Thomas’ Primary School will be having its Carol Service on Wednesday December 17th at 6.30pm in the Church. As always friends and families are all welcome at the service which will be led by Canon Robin Whitehead.

Carols Round the Town: The annual carol singing around Winchelsea takes place on Wednesday December 17th at 6pm in the Rectory car park and on Thursday December 18th at 6pm in the Church Porch. Everybody is welcome to participate including accompanied children and the finishing time is about 8pm. Some good advice is to wrap up well, wear comfortable shoes and bring a torch. Song sheets will be provided and funds raised from the collection are in aid of Shelter, the charity for the homeless. Last year’s intrepid team of carol singers collected £450 for the charity. If you would like a particular carol sung this year please contact Carol on 222772.

FOAM Carols: The Friends of the Ancient Monuments & Museum are also celebrating Christmas with their annual Carol Singing in the Court Hall. This will be on Friday December 19th at 7pm and as usual everyone is invited to come along and really join in.

Support for Services: If you are able to help at some busy church services this month please sign up on the list at the back of St Thomas’ Church. There is a particular need for extra sidespeople and those doing the collection at the 9 Lessons & Carols on December 21st, the Crib Service and Midnight on Christmas Eve. Thank you to all for offers of support.

IPC: At last month’s meeting Icklesham Parish Council considered a grant application from the Winchelsea Emergency Group for £210 to purchase a security cabinet for a public access Automated External Defibrillator. It was noted that the Grants Budget is overspent for this year so there is a need to confirm the funding source for this application before taking it further. A new field gate is needed at the Jubilee Playground and to fund this contact was made with English Heritage. As a result IPC is concerned about the expense due to the conditions required by E.H. bearing in mind that the building work is minor, consisting of two small gates posts. The County Archaeologist’s response was that the work was unlikely to impact on anything of archaeological significance. However IPC will not be going ahead with the gates posts unless the costs are reduced.

Carol Concert: Rye Methodist Church Choir will be making their annual pilgrimage to Winchelsea Beach Community Hall for the Carol Concert on Monday December 15th at 7.30pm. All are invited and there will be mince pies sausage rolls and Christmas cake during the event and the collection is for Rye Memorial Hospital.

Fortnightly Bingo: The next Cash Bingo evening is on Wednesday December 17th in the Community Hall at Winchelsea Beach. As usual it will be at 7 for 7.15pm and light refreshments are available during the evening.

Christmas Dinner: The Winchelsea Beach over 60’s Christmas Dinner is held this year on Friday December 19th at 3.30 for 4pm. It is free to all who have paid their subs or £3. If you would like to attend please ring Jill on 01797 224820 or give your name to Judy at the Post Office when it re opens on Thursday December 11th.

IPC: Icklesham Parish Council met last month and the issue of having entrance gates into Winchelsea Beach was discussed. The cost for purchase and installation is £2795.75 but as there is some query over the proposed location of the gates the Clerk will be seeking authority to proceed. Regarding the flooding issue, there continues to be ongoing sewage and surface water drainage problems in the village due to the area regularly flooding after heavy rain. The Clerk expressed her concern that no preventative flooding measures were planned by Southern Water and that they needed to do more. In response the Clerk was advised to take this matter to the MP Amber Rudd and request her support in chairing an open meeting to hear suggestions. The issue of energy was raised and agreement is being sought via the Council for the development and installation of an energy strategy for Rye Harbour which will be used as a test bed for other wards.

Cindi Cogswell

31 Highfords, Icklesham