Catsfield WI: Next Thursday February 4th the WI will meet in the Village Hall at 2pm and the speaker will be Andy Dinsdale talking to us about ‘Flotsam and Jetsam – Finding the Weird and Wonderful on our Beaches’. You may remember that last January on the day of our meeting, Church Road was flooded (as it nearly was before this January’s meeting too) and we had to postpone for a couple of weeks. Unfortunately Andy was due to speak to us on that occasion about beach combing and so we’ll keep fingers crossed that this time, the weather will be kind and we can enjoy hearing what he has to tell us. Members are reminded if they didn’t come to the last meeting, that subscriptions are due now at £37.50. We are always ready to welcome new members and visitors, so come and join us to find out what it’s all about and enjoy a delicious WI tea.

Bishop Mark: The Rt Rev’d Mark Sowerby, the Bishop of Horsham visited Catsfield Village Hall last Saturday morning when he came to talk to a large number of parishioners from both parishes on ‘The Importance of Holy Communion’. For those of us who had never met the Bishop before, his immediate warm, gentle and welcoming smile made everyone feel comfortable and take an instant liking to him, whilst his often twinkling eyes and wise, knowledgeable guidance lead us through an interesting and informative four hours. He first likened the church building to a family home and we were encouraged to list the features of the interior of both our churches and we were surprised by the many different details which some of us had noticed. He then led us through the experience and importance of the Eucharist, the significance of the worship, words, traditions and ceremony of this deeply spiritual event and likened it to coming home to a ‘family meal’. From talking to others present, I think we all gained a great deal from this morning of teaching and discussion and would welcome the opportunity to listen to the Bishop again. Burns Night: Congratulations and many thanks go to Sandra Shoobridge and all her helpers for a great evening in the Village Hall last Saturday. Father Michael read ‘The Selkirk Grace’ at the start of the meal. Serving sixty-five hungry diners with a three-course dinner plus tea and coffee from the small kitchen in the hall was no mean feat, it was all hot and delicious and there were long queues for ‘seconds’ too! Large bowls of trifle were placed on each table for dessert and throughout the evening there was a bar available. The haggis was piped in by Sandra and Valerie before John Overall read Rabbie Burns address to ‘A Haggis’, in his best Scottish accent, wielding the knive with dramatic effect. Then everyone rose to their feet to toast the haggis with ‘a wee dram’. The hall and the tables looked lovely with blue and white arrangements on each of six long tables to represent the flag of St Andrew and white cloths and blue napkins. After the meal, David accompanied the lively singing of all twelve verses of ‘On the First Hour of Burns Night!’ on the piano and that was followed by a more gentle rendition of ‘The Skye Boat Song’. The cabaret was by Jane and Father Michael (he looking splendid in a kilt and wearing a tam o shanter and a ginger wig) and consisted of two short and amusing sketches performed in occasional Scottish accents! A suitably-themed raffle and an enthusiastic singing of ‘Auld Lang Syne’ brought the evening to a close. This really enjoyable village event raised the wonderful sum of £730 for church funds and the indefatiguable Sandra has said that she’ll do it all again next year!

Lent: Lent is early this year and the start of the forty days to Easter begins in the second week of February. The St Laurence Church fundraisers will be holding a Lent Lunch in the Village Hall on Saturday 27th February from 11.30am – 1.30pm. Tickets will cost £5 for adults and £3.50 for children and will be available soon. There will also be a concert held in the church on Friday 11th March, more details to follow.

Spring: In spite of the vagarity of the English weather, spring really IS on its way and the early lambs are frolicking in the meadow in Watermill Lane. Many wild and garden flowers are already in bloom far earlier than usual and of course, Easter eggs and hot cross buns have been on sale in the supermarkets since Christmas!

Mobile Library: Next Friday 5th February, the East Sussex Mobile Library will be in its usual place outside the Village Hall from 11.55am – 12.30 pm.

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