Good Friday: Today the Good Friday Liturgy will be at St Georges church Crowhurst at 9.45am. The Watch of the Passion, '˜The Three Hours' will be at St Laurence church Catsfield from 12pm '“ 3pm. The three hours that Christ was on the cross is remembered through readings, hymns, reflections and prayer, people are invited to come and go as they wish. At 2.30pm there will be a children's play called '˜The Cross' in church. It starts at 2:30pm and will be finished by 3pm. We are then invited to go down to the village hall for hot cross buns. People coming to watch are asked to arrive from 2:10pm onwards.

Friday, 30th March 2018, 7:00 am

On Easter Sunday 1st April there will be the 9.15am Family Communion Service in Catsfield followed by refreshments and an Easter Egg Hunt afterwards.

WI: This coming week sees the start of celebrations for the 100th birthday of the Catsfield WI and it will kick off on Thursday with a party held in the Village Hall for members and invited guests. On Saturday 7th April in the Hall from 10am - 1pm there will be a free Coffee and cake morning and an exhibition of old photographs connected to the WI and village life. All local people are invited to join us to celebrate this special occasion. There is a Quiz night on Saturday 14th April from 7.30pm in the Hall and tickets can be bought from Ann Davey and Beryl Bodey for £5 each to include a free drink. Users of the Village Hall will see the lovely greetings cards pinned all around the walls made by the children of the village school to congratulate the WI on this great event.

Spring Show: (thanks to Victoria for this report)

What a good effort from everyone who joined in to make Catsfield Horticultural Spring Show a lovely successful day. There were 151 wonderful entries from 49 entrants, proving that village life is very much alive. Because our show was at least a week earlier this spring (so that we can enjoy the forthcoming centenary celebrations of Catsfield’s Women Institute) our dear gardens are still only just recovering from the harsh winter. Still everyone managed to find enough surviving daffodils and grape hyacinths, camellias, and tulips etc. to make a great colourful show. There was even some early rhubarb on display! Wonderful pots of flowering bulbs, flowering and non-flowering plants all made for an impressive display. The Decorative floral display classes, showed a varied and diverse style for all four classes. The ‘petite arrangement in an egg cup’, popular as ever, was also tackled by our rector Fr. Michael, who took third prize! ‘Tiptoe through the Tulips’ and ‘A basket of spring flowers’ both won prizes and the ‘Spring Watch’ Class had some interesting interpretations! The very best was created by Mrs Pauline Putland, who won first prize and took home the ‘Best in Whole Show Award’ (A £25 gift voucher to spend at Great Park Farm) for this arrangement.

There were the daintiest and the biggest cheese straws ever, in the cookery class! The judges also sampled some excellent sponges, cakes, biscuits, loaves, sausage rolls and marmalades. The entries in the photographic section made every one smile with ‘My best friend’ & ‘Sign of the Times’. As did the Under Five’s group with their charmingly decorated paper cups. All the children entered great works of art, with their imaginative paintings, fairy cakes and hard boiled eggs. And match boxes filled to the brim with all sorts of interestingly sourced treasures! The residence of Park Gate Manor made most beautiful Easter bonnets that truly brightened up the table. The Catsfield C of E primary School children painted fabulous cards, designed to commemorate our WI centenary. These (the cards, not the children) were hung around the entire walls of our Village Hall and will remain on display for the next few weeks. The sale stalls were overflowing with delicious home-made cakes, wild plants grown by Libby, donated raffle prizes and lovingly made hot drinks. The day was made all the better seeing everyone in the hall enjoying the afternoon, for which the committee wishes to thank everyone for coming and for the great help and support received on and prior to the event. What a lovely village Catsfield is! Our Summer Flower Show and Fete will be in the Playing Fields on August 4th 2018. Look forward to seeing you there. On behalf of the committee ... Have a happy Easter.

Farming News: (thank you Ann for the next two reports)

Recent reports in the press indicate that the British sheep industry is in trouble because the price for their animals has dropped. This was born out over the weekend when visiting a very well run farm locally to see the lambing. The shed was full of healthy ewes and lively lambs waiting to be turned out. For some reason, there are lots of twins and triplets this year, meaning there is a glut and therefore the lambs will have to be kept back, in the hope of better prices later in the year. Asking about shearing, we were told it costs about £1.60 to shear a sheep and the fleeces fetch 20p each. It is fast becoming a crisis, but why? Our land is suitable for grazing, we are good at rearing animals, the supply is abundant, yet the shop price is high and we are not buying enough lamb.

Sport: Oh, a groundsman’s lot is not a happy one, happy one! The pitch was marked out early, not too much rain fell, the rabbit holes had been filled and Saturday was fair. We played Sandhurst, who are a very good team and were leading 2 - 1 when a silly mistake let them get back in and we drew 2 - 2. During the match the groundsman was called to dash (?) onto the pitch to fill a missed rabbit hole, but generally all was going well. Back in the pavilion which hadn’t been used for some weeks, but with the heating left on, the water was turned on for the showers and a pipe in the roof burst. Fortunately, there was no water damage, but the groundsman had to climb into the roof amongst the itchy insulation to carry out repairs. I don’t know why it is, but no-one has ever got the right plumbing pipes, so the repair will have to wait until later in the week when someone who owes someone a favour will have to come in after work and climb into the roof with a torch to fix it. Such is sport on a shoestring.