Jill Jarrett, Henley Down Cottage

Thanks to Ann for her regular sports report: Sadly the weather interfered with gardening, farming and sport last week with the Point to Point Meeting at Buckholt cancelled. It was deemed the ground was too waterlogged for the horses and car parking and the fact that Sunday was a most beautiful day made the cancellation even more galling.

Our football team, however, had a splendid match on Saturday afternoon and for once we played well and won. The fixture was transferred to Catsfield and although extremely wet, the conditions must have suited us because the score 5 - 3 against Bexhill Athletic has encouraged wild thoughts of avoiding relegation. Captain Tony Luke scored twice and with goals from Glen Paffett and Colin White and one own goal, the team are looking forward to the two remaining games against Bexhill Athletic again on Saturday and Eastbourne Albert on the 27th.

The first stoolball practice is on Tuesday 23rd April, 6.45pm at the playing field (weather permitting). Please contact Lizzie on 07724855401 for any further information. Ladies and mixed stoolball played together, all very friendly.

Thanks to Vanessa for sending this report: The Spring Show on Saturday 13th was a great success, 197 entries from 48 entrants. We thought the entries would definitely be down on last year because of the weather, but we were pleasantly surprised with the amount of cards we had to write up! We had a lovely show of daffodils, which was unexpected, but grape hyacinths weren’t ready to show their faces, only one entry in that class! The rest of the classes were very well supported, with a fantastic array of floral displays, the most we’ve had for many years. There were entries in all of the cookery and handicraft classes and most importantly, eight children supported us with fantastic work in their section, which was rewarded with a well deserved rosette.

The hall was full of visitors in the afternoon, all welcomed with a cup of tea from Gwen, Caroline and Charlotte, the raffle from Elaine and Anne, plants from Libby, crafts from Helen, cakes from Janet and a warm welcome on the door from Mike! We would like to thank everyone who helped put on a great show and we now look forward to planning the summer show!

Thanks to Mike Cooper for this account of last Sunday’s church service.

A lie-in on Sunday morning is unusual for St. Laurence’s flock, but this particular morning service was special. It had been rescheduled for 11am so that The Right Reverend Mark Sowerby, Bishop of Horsham, could dedicate the tower doors, bookcase and altar bookstand. Appropriately the pews and choir stalls were filled with Catsfield and Crowhurst folk alike.

The Bishop preached on the ‘Shepherd and His Flock’ and afterwards was duly escorted by the churchwardens to bless the tower doors, which were serving their intended purpose of giving the Sunday School a place of their own. He then blessed the lovely bookcase in memory of Basil and Grace Crisford, a couple who had given much of their busy lives to the service of St. Laurence’s and it was good to see many of their descendants in the pews. Finally he blessed the expertly carved wooden altar bookstand and the service continued much as usual.

Towards the end, Father Michael, after the usual notices invited the Sunday School to tell of what they had been up to. They too had been talking about the shepherd and his sheep, but they felt they would like to ask the ‘shepherd’ some questions, especially as they had a senior one in their midst! It appeared that the Bishop was momentarily taken aback by this development but he was game to participate. We learned that he thought his flock was great, he thoroughly enjoyed the job and no, he hadn’t considered being a bishop, it had been a great surprise to him when the ‘phone call came through. Before he became a busy bishop one of his favourite pastimes was amateur dramatics, but he was not revealing what parts he had taken. He possesses more than one mitre and when not on official work often wears a shepherd’s cap like those worn in his native Yorkshire.

Normal service then resumed and as a final tribute the Sunday School percussion band escorted him down the aisle. The traditional bun fight then ensued, with much happy chatter from old and young alike and when everyone finally left the church they found that at least for that day, spring had arrived in all its warmth and glory!

The CADS will be reading another pantomime on Tuesday 23rd April, 7.30pm in Hermon Cottage. Anyone interested is more than welcome, so come along and see if there’s a part for you in our next big production!

The AGM of the Village Hall takes place at 7pm on Thursday 25th April, followed by the Annual Parish Assembly and the opportunities to hear how both these important organisations are faring.

On Saturday 27th April from 2pm – 5pm there will be an exhibition of photographs taken at Catsfield’s Jubilee Celebrations in June last year on the Playing Field. There will be a chance to view the many photographs on display in the Village Hall, admission is free and refreshments will be served.