Winchelsea

Church Market: Come along between 10.30am and 12pm to the monthly coffee and tea get-together in the church tomorrow Saturday. As usual the Church Market will provide refreshments, home-made produce and books with friends and visitors always welcome. Last month’s Market Raised £317.47 and the proceeds are in aid of church maintenance.

FOAM Cellar Tours: This Saturday and Sunday April 2nd and 3rd the Friends of the Ancient Monuments and Museum are holding the first of their seasonal guided Cellar Tours. Please book via email: cellars@winchelsea.com or phone 01797 222629. The cost is £5 p.p. and the funds raised will go towards maintaining and repairing the town’s ancient monuments. Most of the steps are steep and you are requested to wear sensible shoes and bring a torch. The tour will begin at the Town Well in Castle Street at 10.50 for 11am.

Spring Show: Next Saturday April 9th the Garden Society invites all to its Spring Show at 2pm in the New Hall. Before the event members, friends and relatives will need to enter their pot plants, flowers, vegetables, floral art, cookery and more. As always it’s the taking part that counts so don’t think you have to have perfect specimens. Entry forms should be with Sally and Graham Rhodda by the deadline of 7.30pm on Thursday April 7th and full details are in the Schedule. On the day all entries need to be staged by 11.30am at the latest so that the judges can get to work. Admission is free to view the show and refreshments will be served during the afternoon.

Easter reflections: The Wesley Chapel was open last Wednesday evening for friends to meet and contemplate the events of Holy Week, led by Methodist Minister Rev Ian Pruden. Although it was a cold, dark evening and a long drive from Bexhill and Little Common to our more remote part of Sussex sixteen hardy people came along. Rev Ian gave a significant ‘wake-up’ talk with dashes of humour on the matter of sleep. This he illustrated with reference to John Wesley whose mind it seemed was at its sharpest at 4 o’clock in the morning and so inspired him to conduct his church services at 5pm. Ian suggested that they should follow John’s example but not surprisingly the thought of an early start was met with little enthusiasm. The service reflected on the way people responded to Jesus in his last week on earth and how we would have reacted when asked to stay awake with him on that night of betrayal. Jesus had urged his disciples to watch with him but fatigue overcame them and in the midst of danger they were asleep. ‘Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing but the flesh is weak’, He said. (Matt. 26:41) The community of disciples was the beginning of the church and even as the early church needed to be awake and keeping watch at all times the same applies to the church of today. It too should keep watch and not be found slumbering in our present, chaotic times. After the meeting there was a time of fellowship with coffee, tea and biscuits which prepared us well for the journey home.

Mayoring 2016: In keeping with 700 years of tradition the appointment of a new mayor for Winchelsea took place on Easter Monday in the Court Hall. Every year the mayors of the Cinque Ports attend to give their support and are an important part of the hour-long ceremony; also present were local dignitaries, friends and relatives of the corporation. The Mayor’s Chaplain Canon Robin Whitehead began the ceremony with a prayer of blessing and goodwill to those holding positions of responsibility in the town and nation. Angela Hill the Town Clerk conducted the ceremony and the first speech was given by the ‘old’ mayor John Spencer who described the many duties and functions he and his wife Ann the Mayoress had performed and attended over the year. The ceremony continued with the ‘new’ mayor John Spencer being sworn in as the Mayor of Winchelsea for a second term of office and thus keeping his robes on. He then reappointed jurat Cynthia Ann Feast as his Deputy. Two Freemen were elected from the town and they are Mr David Merrifield and Mr John McKendrick. David Merrifield worked as a stockbroker in the City of London for many years and as a JP. His father David Merrifield, who recently died aged 91, was in the procession on Horse Guards Parade to commemorate VE Day last year. David Merrifield (senior) made a name for himself and front page news when he leapt out of his wheelchair, walked up to Prince Charles and shook his hand. Mr John McKendrick QC who was not able to attend the mayoring ceremony has an extensive background in law, business and banking. He continued his career for two years in South America and speaks fluent Spanish. Part of the role of being a Freeman means those honoured to be selected are required to use their skills and expertise in ways that will benefit the town. There was also a change within the ranks of the jurats with Mr Melvin Pett stepping down after many years of service to focus on writing a book concerning events in a certain street in Winchelsea. His previous book which he wrote with local resident Dominic Leahy, entitled ‘Winchelsea at the Millennium’, is a fascinating illustrated account of the residents living in Winchelsea during the year 2000. After the ceremony everybody made their way to the New Hall where there were wholesome refreshments and a social gathering.

Winchelsea Beach

AGM: On Monday April 4th the Winchelsea Beach Community Association is holding its Annual General Meeting at 7.30pm in the Community Hall. Local residents are invited to come along and support the meeting, see what goes on and to consider joining the committee. Refreshments will be provided during the evening.

WBCA plaque: As part of its work for the community the WBCA planted a flowering cherry tree in 2014 to commemorate the centenary of the Great War of 1914-1918 and this is inscribed on the plaque nearby. The tree is currently in blossom and becoming more impressive next to the anchor at the front of the Community Hall. In ancient traditions cherry blossom represents both the fragility of life and its endurance.

Evening of Bingo: The fortnightly Cash Bingo evening is held on Wednesday April 6th at 7 for 7.15pm in the Community Hall. There will be refreshments, a raffle and children are welcome along to watch how Bingo is played but must be accompanied by an adult.

Dance to Ricochet: If you are in the mood for a spring dance come along to the Community Hall next Saturday April 9th at 7.30pm. Ricochet will be playing their rock and roll numbers and popular hits that will get you out on the dance floor. The tickets are £10 each which includes a fish and chip supper and you will need to bring your own drinks and glasses. Please note that no tickets will be sold on the night and must be bought in advance by contacting 01797 224820 or Suttons Shop on Sea road. The profits from the event will go to St Michael’s Hospice.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.ryeandbattleobserver.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RyeandBattleObserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @RyeObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Rye and Battle Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.