CAROL SINGING: Carol Singing is planned for next Tuesday, Dec 23. Please meet at the church at 7pm and then singers will be making their way to meeting the commuters off the train around 7.10pm, then along the High Street including the Closes and finishing (weather permitting) at about 8.30pm. Bring a torch and come warmly wrapped! All money collected will be given to charity. Apologies for the incorrect date given in this column last week, the changed date came to me too late to amend the details.

CHRISTMAS ARRIVES: Last Saturday, December 13, Christmas officially arrived in Etchingham. In the morning the two village Christmas trees were put in place and lit, one at the entrance to the Church and one alongside the village sign. Then at 7pm came the annual evening of words, music and drama to get everyone in the festive mood. The evening started with another excellent performance by the Etchingham Singers, treating the audience to many seasonal songs, including The Most Wonderful Time of the Year, Sleigh Ride, Christmas is Coming and Mary’s Boy Child to name just a few. This was followed by an offering from our resident Welshman, Ken Thomas, reading an extract from ‘A Child’s Christmas in Wales’ by Dylan Thomas. Courtney Kenny treated us to songs by Flanders & Swann, and Percy French, this took us up to the interval when the audience enjoyed mince pies, mulled wine and a chat. Then came the main event of the evening, this year’s Christmas Play written and directed by Phillip Hinde. “Send for Saint Nicholas” , a light-hearted play set in Etchingham in the middle of the 17th century, a play for the Feast of Saint Lucy. Can Saints Nicholas and Lucy save Christmas from the Puritans? King Charles, the Merry Monarch, brings fun of Christmas back to Etchingham. Another superb creation by Phillip Hinde, December 13 is the Feast of Saint Lucy, commemorated in Scandanavia as Lucia, because of her association with light. Phillip linked her story with St. Nicholas, the patron Saint of our village Church, combining this with the text of an authentic Mummers’ Play from the Sussex village of Ovingdean.

THE ETCHINGHAM SINGERS: The Etchingham Singers are a village group who sing for fun, the only qualification for joining is a love of singing. Anyone is welcome to join, the choir meets on Wednesdays 7.30pm to 9pm. To find out more about joining contact Mary Barnes 01580 819142

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday Church Service, services will now be held at 11am for the winter months. A reminder the Church is open daily 11am to 4pm. December 21 there is not a morning service, there will be the annual Carol Service at 4pm followed by coffee and mince pies. On Christmas Eve there will be a Crib and Christingle Service at 4pm, the Midnight Service will commence at 11pm with Reverend Jean Manning. On Christmas day Reverend Dick Dengate will take the Family Service at 10am. Everyone welcome at all services. A reminder that the church is open for visitors daily 11am to 4pm.

PARISH CLERK VACANCY: Due to the impending retirement of the current Parish Clerk the Parish Council need to appoint a new Clerk. The post is a part-time position, the post will be based in the Parish Office which is part of the new community facilities. The successful applicant will be responsible for the day to day administration and management of the Parish Council, including all financial matters as RFO. The ideal applicant will have administrative and financial experience and be able to deliver projects on schedule and within agreed budgets, Applicants should also be able to demonstrate a willingness to work with local residents and community groups for the benefit of the Parish. The closing date for applications is January 5, 2015, interviews will be held in late January. It is anticipated that the post holder will commence duties on March 2 2015. Full details are on the village website, contact the current Clerk for application form Bob Hodgson 01424 716232

CHRISTMAS TREE RECYCLING: For the second year St Michael’s Hospice are offering a Christmas Tree collection service, for a small donation per tree, they will pick up your tree and take it away for recycling. The trees will be donated to Port Lympne Reserve where they will find a new home being used for building shelters for a variety of animals. Collection of trees will be on the weekend of January 11-12. To sign up for the Christmas tree recycling scheme and make your donation visit or call the Hospice Donation Centre on 01424 728728

PROMOTE YOUR ORGANISATION: Do you want to get new members for your group or organisation? Want to tell people what your group does? If you are connected with a village group or organisation send me some details and I will publicise your group in this column. Send me details of what your organisation does, when you meet, how to join, who to contact and any other details that you would like to add, I will then add details of your organisation, as space allows, over the coming weeks.

INFORMATION: Please send information as soon as possible to make sure your items are included. You can deliver to 2 Park Farm Close, telephone 01580 819532 or 07941 786244 or email .

AND FINALLY: Many thanks to everyone who has supplied me with information for the column throughout the year. I wish you all a very Happy Christmas.

Colin Boylett

2 Park Farm Close