Jill Jarrett, Henley Down Cottage

Tomorrow, 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.

Last week’s jumble sale held as a fundraiser for St Laurence Church was a great success and raised nearly £250 towards church expenses. Many thanks to all who contributed jumble and helped on the day.

Thanks to Church Warden Mike Cooper who reports on the Annual Parochial Church Meeting.

Twenty-one members of the Electoral Roll of St. Laurence Church met on 15th April for the meeting. The election of two church wardens was not necessary fortunately, as there were only two candidates, Jane Overall and Mike Cooper. The meeting next devoted itself to firstly electing three new members to The Parochial Church Council, which assists the wardens and rector in the running of the church, the three elected candidates were: John Berryman, Brenda Ingram and Brenda Leece. The ten Sidesmen (or in modern parlance, the ‘meeters and greeters’) were voted in en bloc. This year the Electoral Roll was renewed so everyone had to sign up again and by the cut off at the end of March, only 71 had signed up. However all is not lost and one’s name can be added at any time. Fortunately this exercise will not have to be repeated until 2019.

The Financial Report made for sober reading as the church only just made ends meet and that was with the considerable help of extra fund raising organised by two enthusiastic members of the congregation. The current financial climate and members moving on in one way or another has taken its toll on the income. The Government in this country does not assist churches in the upkeep of its historic buildings and to have the benefit of a caring rector also needs paying for. Catsfield is fortunate to have to share Father Michael only with Crowhurst, not another half dozen parishes in other parts of the country. Sadly, Anita Heyworth our treasurer for many years, wishes to stand down and as yet no one has volunteered to take her place. She was duly thanked and agreed to guide any new treasurer.

Father Michael reported on a successful spiritual year from the pageant at the Diamond Jubilee to the ordination of David Jarratt, who has often said that he was bowled over by the worship at St. Laurence’s on his first visit and it started his journey towards the ordained life. The attendance has remained pretty constant although the makeup changes due to circumstance. Reports were received on the fabric, goods and ornaments of the church, additions to the latter you will have read about last week after the Bishop’s visit. The biggest alteration to the building is now underway; the repair of the spire and the eventual installation of a new weathervane, not the oversized Victorian cockerel that has adorned the church for many decades, but a smaller ‘flag’ design reminiscent of the one to be seen in the 18th century engravings of the church.

Reports were received about Deanery Synod Meetings and the Caring & Sharing Scheme, first set up in the 1980s. Positive news was also heard about the lively Sunday School, The Triple S (or Senior Sunday School) who meet monthly at the Rectory and the small but enthusiastic Junior Choir, members of which recently enjoyed singing in Chichester Cathedral. A mixture of all three also come together to provide the core at the regular workshops held at the Village Hall, the latest of which was on Good Friday, when twenty or more children and a similar number of parents took part in ‘The Way of The Cross’ a re-enactment of Jesus’ journey to his crucifixion. The meeting closed with prayers and a thank you to all those who in many ways small and large contribute to the life of the church in Catsfield.

Thanks to Ann Davey for the following report and the usual sports news.

The WI hosted a fascinating evening last Thursday 18th with a magic lantern show of Lady Brassey’s illustrations from her book “Voyage of the Sunbeam”. Over 60 people were enthralled by John and Thelma Burgess’s professional showing of these original hand painted tiny glass slides, complemented by the Catsfield History Group’s exhibition. We really got a flavour of Victorian entertainment and it was such a pleasure to view pictures without the noise we experience on television or in the cinema. A raffle was also held in aid of the WI’s charity Demelza Children’s Hospice which raised £110 and the slide show itself made £204 for WI funds. This event proved to be a perfect celebration of the 95 years our WI has been meeting in the Village Hall.

Our football team are finishing the season with a flourish, they won 3 - 0 against Bexhill Athletic away on Saturday, with Captain Tony Luke scoring a hat trick. Only one more match to go, away against Eastbourne Albert on Saturday.

Cricket is due to start on Sunday at home against Ashburnham, but whether our pitch, or even theirs will be ready in time is debatable with the terrible wet and cold winter we have experienced. Still, they will start eventually and then we can look forward to enjoying summer afternoons on our lovely Playing Field.