Catsfield School: A huge thank you to the children and staff of Catsfield school who in the week before Christmas, invited residents of the village to have tea and cakes with them and join in their carol singing. About thirty villagers comprising mainly of family and friends, were welcomed by the children who served us with cups of tea and a variety of delicious cakes that they had baked that morning in school. They sat and chatted to us whilst we enjoyed and admired their culinary skills and then they and all the children of Leopards and Panthers joined together to form a choir and sang an amazing collection of about fifteen or so carols, in which we joined them for the more traditional ones. Apparently they were missing nineteen of their friends who were suffering from a bug that’s going around the school. Their enthusiasm was delightful to see and their singing was excellent. Thank you again children for a really lovely afternoon.

Carol Singing: The evening of carol singing in the village hall on Saturday 20th December was most enjoyable and there seemed to be even more people in the hall than in previous years. With Bob playing the piano and the choir leading the singing, we worked our way through twenty-one carols, which every one sang with great enthusiasm, punctuated here and there with readings of amusing and thought provoking Christmas stories and a poem. Jane worked hard keeping the delicious mulled wine flowing and the supplies of mince pies on the tables replenished. Everyone was feeling quite Christmassy by the time the evening ended and the collection for St Michael’s Hospice raised a wonderful £174.

Crib Service: Following on with the Christmas theme, a mention must be made of the Crib Service at St Laurence’s church on Christmas Eve. The church was packed with approximately 195 children and adults and everyone was enchanted by the children’s performance of the Nativity. They were magnificently dressed in wonderful costumes all made by Pauline Putland – what an achievement! The service was enthusiastically led by Father Michael and the carols were beautifully accompanied by Bob Andrew on the piano, whilst two narrators confidently told the story of the Nativity using hand-held microphones. Shepherds, Wise Men, Angels, of course, Mary and Joseph and even an unknown animal (?) played their parts with expertise as they gathered around the manger. There was even a large and impressive Herod played by John Overall! A retiring collection raised a generous amount for charity. Of course there were many other Christmas services held both in Catsfield and Crowhurst, too numerous to mention individually but all were well attended and led with reverence and enthusiasm by Father Michael, whom we are so lucky to have as our Rector.

Catsfield 100 Club: Members of the Catsfield 100 will shortly be receiving reminders from Victoria that their subscription will need renewing before 20th January at the very reasonable cost of £12 per number. Every number goes into the monthly draw for the £25 prize and for the special draws for £100 three times a year. The proceeds, after payments and prizes, go to the Maintenance Fund of the Catsfield Village Hall and last year the 100 Club raised £800 for this hub of the village community.

Catsfield WI: The first WI meeting of 2015 will be on Thursday 8th January at 2pm, when the speaker will be Andy Dinsdale. He will give a talk entitled ‘Beach Combing in the South East – My Search for a Sea Bean’, a somewhat intriguing title! Don’t forget to bring your handmade greetings card for the competition – remember the piece of card that Nicky gave us all a few weeks ago? Well, now’s your chance to bring it back, decorated in any way you choose and your reward will be a delicious WI tea!

Jill Jarrett

Broadview, Bexhill