Jill Jarrett, Henley Down Cottage

Within the next few days, everyone in Catsfield will receive a letter from the Parochial Church Council appealing for help with funding our beautiful ancient parish church of St Laurence. This is not just the church trying to ‘swell the coffers’, this is a sincere and urgent appeal for regular donations from local residents, necessary to help the church tackle the basic day to day running costs and thereby survive. With regular contributors dying or moving away from the village, the loss of funding has been enormous and the situation is now getting critical.

Whether you are a regular attender at the church or not, maybe a parent with children at the Catsfield school or just a resident in this lovely village community, could you possibly make a regular contribution of even as little as £2 a month, by way of a bankers order? We’re all finding that times are hard but if enough people could make a regular gift or increase the donations that they’re already making, we could make a huge difference towards easing the financial shortfall in the church’s funding. Please don’t ignore this appeal and let us all join together in helping to maintain this important part of our village life and make it financially viable once more.

Whilst talking about raising money for St Laurence Church - last Friday’s ‘Evening of Song’ held in the church certainly made the rafters ring with the sound of beautiful and joyful voices. It was yet another of Sandra’s successful fundraising events which, with Linda’s help, she has organised throughout the year.

The programme started with the Catsfield Church Choir supplemented by some choristers from Crowhurst and accompanied by Bob Andrew on the piano. They sang a beautiful rendition of ‘God Be in My Head’ by Walford Davies followed by ‘Be Still My Soul’ by Sibelius. Young Ella Andrew skilfully changed the tone and the tempo with her haunting rendition of ‘Read All About It Pt 3’ which received well-deserved rapturous applause.

The Rother Community Choir, led by their charismatic conductor Adam Hepkin and with the addition of some pupils from Bexhill High School, filled the front of the church with their numbers and our ears with their melodic voices, beautiful harmonies and enthusiastic singing of a variety of songs. An interval followed during which an amazing selection of food was handed round and a choice of drinks was available as we chatted to old and new friends.

The second half of the evening again began with our own Catsfield Church Choir singing ‘Alleluia’ by William Boyce and ‘Surely’ from Handel’s Messiah. We had been told earlier that the soloist, Lucy Ashton had been delayed on her train journey from London and that her father had driven to Croydon to ensure that she arrived in time. She made it with ten minutes to spare and stunned everyone with her clear, strong soprano voice filling the whole building with wonderful music. What a talented and lovely young lady, whose bright smile and personality adds to the enjoyment of her performance.

The Rother Community Choir returned to the ‘stage’ and sang a wide range of different songs skilfully performed. The evening ended with drawing the raffle and a speech of thanks from church warden, Jane Overall to all who had entertained us so excellently, helped with the catering and assisted with the organisation of a most enjoyable evening. The audience and all the various choir members then joined together in a stirring rendition of Parry’s ‘Jerusalem’ before we all made our way home, with a full moon shining through the clouds to light our way. Sandra tells me that the evening raised the wonderful sum of £551

News from the sports club this week includes the good news that a ton of loam has been spread on the cricket square, supplemented by fertiliser and grass seed. There was a rush by Martin, Mike and Simon to get it done on Friday before the expected rain, but now the square has been officially put to bed for the winter. Football on Saturday at home saw the second team with another win 4 - 0 against Hailsham in the Cup and the first team drew away at Herstmonceux 2 - 2 with Jack Graham scoring our two goals. The first team are away again against Wittersham on the 26th and the seconds play Sedlescombe at home. The grass is getting very long, so there may have to be some emergency mowing of the pitch.

Seven members of the WI enjoyed an interesting morning at Bexhill Museum last Tuesday shown around by Ann Stacey. This is an excellent exhibition of Sussex Folklore and visitors will not be disappointed. This was followed by coffee at Terry and Ann’s flat on the seafront, where in glorious sunshine you could imagine being on the south coast of France. Apparently all you needed was Noel Coward to appear in his dressing gown and you were transported to a scene in ‘Private Lives’. Ahhhh!

Has anyone else noticed the lack of grey squirrels in Powdermill Wood this autumn? I regularly walk my dog there and especially at this time of year, we usually see at least seven or eight of them busily rummaging through the leaves gathering the fallen sweet chestnuts, whichever path we decide to take. This year however, we have seldom seen any. Does anyone have any idea what’s happened to them all?