Lent Meetings: These will be five sessions based on different aspects of the life of St Francis of Assisi and you are very welcome to attend one or all of these, which will be held on 17th and 24th February and 2nd, 9th and 16th March. There is a choice of daytime at Crowhurst in the Parish Room of St George’s Church at 10.30am for coffee and the session starting at 11am – 12pm, or at the Rectory in the evenings at 7pm for coffee and 7.30pm – 8.30pm for the session. Nobody has to speak if they don’t want to and all that is required is a willingness to listen.

Lent: This Sunday, 14th February is the first Sunday in Lent and is also St Valentine’s Day. As well as the usual morning Communion services in both parishes at 9.15am and 11am respectively, there will also be an Evensong for St Valentine in St Laurence Church at 6pm. There will be a Lent Lunch held in Catsfield Village Hall on Saturday 27th February from 11.30am – 1.30pm. The cost will be £5 each for adults and £3.50 for children, to raise money for St Laurence Church funds.

Women’s World Day of Prayer: This annual service will be on 4th March at St Laurence Church. This year the service is prepared by the Christian Women of Cuba and is entitled ‘Receive Children. Receive me.’ All are invited to stay for tea and refreshments after the service. Women’s World Day of Prayer started in America in a small way in the mid 1800’s and has now grown to become a truly international Day of Prayer. It has already begun when the sun rose over Samoa and the first service was held and it will go forward as a great wave of prayer that continues to encircle the earth. It is travelling across 170 countries and islands (over 6,000 services will have been held in the British Isles alone) until it reaches the last service to be held at sunset in American Samoa.

Catsfield WI: The February meeting of the Catsfield WI was well attended and in spite of apologies from several members, the hall seemed pretty full. The number of members is rising and many ladies who have come to the meetings as visitors have returned to join as full members and it’s good to welcome several new faces. We were reminded that the East Sussex Federation of Women’s Institutes will be holding its Annual Meeting on Saturday 9th April in the Winter Gardens, Eastbourne and members were invited to add their names to a list if they wished to attend. With thoughts of summer in mind, there will be a celebration of the Queen’s 90th birthday on Saturday 11th June. The WI will be holding a lunch and members are invited to bring a guest to the Village Hall for this special occasion. There will also be a summer outing to Firle Place on 19th July and a Garden Party in August.

Our speaker was Andy Dinsdale who told us about ‘Flotsam and Jetsam – Finding the Weird and Wonderful on our Beaches’. His relaxed and easy manner coupled with the interesting facts about his subject made it very easy and interesting listening. Apparently ‘Flotsam’ comes from a wreck, ‘Jetsam’ refers to things that are thrown overboard and a new word to us all ‘Lagan’, means things that come from the sea bed. We were shown a picture of a piece of amber found on a beach, which is one of the ultimate prizes of beachcombing as its worth many thousands of pounds and still can be found washed ashore if you’re very lucky. We were shown slides of all kinds of things to look out for such as Slipper Limpets, Sea Potatoes, Necklace Snails, Mermaid’s Purses and Starfish. Of course, sadly there is an increasing number of man-made debris washed up too from passing ships and from the beaches, pieces of plastic, rubber, discarded fishing nets, containers of chemicals, all of which do serious damage to the wild-life in the seas and oceans. Andy organises beach clean-ups and uses Facebook to stay in touch with other beachcombers, he suggests that if everyone walking on the beach took a bag to pick up some rubbish whilst enjoying their time there, it would make a considerable difference to the environment. He also touched on the sad instances of the recent beached whales and sometimes porpoises too. His talk was most interesting and made us want to investigate the high-tide line soon to see what we can find – maybe even some of the elusive, much sought after amber! A lovely WI homemade tea and the raffle brought a most enjoyable afternoon to a close. The next meeting will be on 3rd March at 2pm and the speaker will be Tony Smith, who is returning to tell us more about ‘The Work of the Brownbread Horse Rescue Charity’.

Sport: Well, after a two month lay-off for our football team, we had high hopes that they would return fully fit and in winning mode. The score against Eastbourne Athletic at half time was 3 - 3 and all was looking good, so to end in a thrashing of 3 - 9 at the final whistle was mystifying. The pitch was a bit wet, but no damage was done and it was good to get a game played at all. We face Hastings Rangers at home again tomorrow, weather permitting.

Local News: Sunday night we sat and watched in wonder at the thousands of starlings doing their murmurations in the sky over the farmland around Watermill Lane. The main flock was continually being joined by smaller groups hurrying to join them until the sky was black. Why and how do they do it?

We understand there are now two vacancies on the Parish Council. Where are the public spirited people of Catsfield? Important decisions will soon have to be made about the future of the village, housing development, road traffic etc. Please consider if you could join the committed team who give up their time in our interest.

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