Winchelsea village voice

TWO local art groups, Icklesham and Three Oaks will be holding a joint exhibition of their members’ work on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th July in the Lower Court Hall. The work will all be for sale and a percentage of the proceeds will be donated to the Parkinson’s disease Society. The exhibition is open from 10 am till 6 pm, entry is free and refreshments will be served.

The 227th Anniversary of Winchelsea Methodist Chapel which dates from 1785 will be celebrated this Sunday 15th July. All are invited to assemble under the ‘Wesley Tree’ (by the churchyard) at 2.30 pm for the traditional hymn singing before adjourning at 3 pm to the Chapel for the service of celebration. The service will be conducted by Rev. Malcolm Hope (Methodist Minister in the Hastings, Bexhill and Rye Circuit) and will be attended by Roger and Tina Neaves the Mayor and Mayoress of Winchelsea. Malcolm will be retiring and leaving the circuit early in August and moving with his wife Christine to Minehead in Somerset. After the service light refreshments will be available.

The Olympic torch relay event leaves Hastings on Wednesday 18th July after 8 am. It will be passing through Winchelsea soonafter, about 8.15 – 9.15 am, to arrive in Rye at 9.45 am. The pupils from St Thomas’ Primary School will be assembling at the start of the route in Wish Street, Rye and will join in the procession as it passes, waving flags and dressed in colourful costumes. The torch bearer and Rye College carnival along with drumming groups will then be followed by the local primary schools. The route is expected to be lined with hundreds of spectators as it is a once in a lifetime event, and to round off the day the children will have a picnic on the field next to Rye College. It is going to be a great day with plenty of sunshine!

The Evening Bus Service, operated by Rye & District Community Transport, is in action on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. It leaves Rye (Station Approach) at 10 pm and heads for Winchelsea, Winchelsea Beach, Icklesham and Rye Harbour and will drop passengers as close to their home as possible. The service is timed to leave Rye after the Last train from Hastings has arrived and will wait if the train is running late. For only £1 adults and 50p under 16s you can make this journey.

An announcement was made to the congregation at the Patronal Festival Service in St Thomas’ Church last Sunday by Revd Canon Howard Cocks. It concerned a formal complaint made by the Archdeacon of the Diocese under the Clergy Discipline Measure 2003 against Revd Cocks and clergyman David Page (retired in 2008). The reason for the complaint was that David had been preaching at services without the bishop’s permission and Revd Cocks had authorised this. Also David had intended to preach at the Patronal Festival that morning but the Archdeacon had forbidden it so instead Revd Cocks preached his sermon for him during the service. Revd Cocks in his announcement restated much of what David Page wrote in a letter, copies of which were recently sent to households in Winchelsea outlining David’s views in contrast to the Church of England’s stance on gay clergy. As David is in a gay civil partnership he feels discriminated against and thwarted by the Bishop’s ruling against gay clergy. However David is hoping for a more mutual solution to this entire issue. On 5th August Revd Cocks is retiring and there will be an interregnum period before a new Rector is selected. During that time it will be the Bishop’s responsibility to decide whom to appoint in the interval and the Archdeacon will be attending the Parochial Church Council meeting today (Friday) to discuss arrangements. In meantime, throughout this period of upheaval many members of the church will be praying for a wise and acceptable outcome.