Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway

We are approaching the Church’s most significant and possibly busiest time… with Easter firmly in our sights. This Sunday, March 24 at 10.30 am at St Andrew’s, there will be a service of Morning Praise for Palm Sunday. This will include a distribution of Palm Crosses as we remember Jesus triumphal entry into Jerusalem riding on a donkey.

On Thursday 28, which is Maundy Thursday, there is a 7.30 pm Communion Service at St Peter’s, at which the Lord’s Last Supper will be remembered.

And Friday 29 is Good Friday itself, with a 10.30 am service at St Andrew’s. This is clearly a day when there is much to remember and learn.

Sunday, March 31 is Easter Day, and it starts early for churchgoers with a 6 am Dawn Service on the Firehills, led by the Salvation Army. If it’s fine it is wonderful to see the sun rise over the sea at Dungeness, but you are advised to wrap up well. At 9 am there is Holy Communion at St Peter’s, and then 10.30 am Parish Communion at St Andrew’s, when there is so much to celebrate on this especially important day in the church calendar.

Did you miss this special event…? A Masterclass was held recently at Fairlight Hall as part of Hastings Piano Week. It took place in the new recital room, and those attending found the entrance lit by burning beacons, with smart and attentive young men offering wine and canapés. All thre of the young pianists were excellent, and bravely accepted the criticism of the three learned Professors of Music, one German, one French and one English. Truly, this was an evening that will stay in the minds of those present, who would, no doubt, all offer their thanks to the Kowitz Family Foundation.

At MOPPs today, Friday March 22… the meal will be ham, egg and chips, followed by apple pie. If you are going along, there will be entertainment, too, though at the time of writing what it will be escapes me! If you would like to join all those who benefit from the camaraderie, food and fun enjoyed by MOPP’s members, please have a word with Sheila Thomas on 01304 219767, or call the village hall direct on 01424 814726, but only on a Friday between 9 am and 2 pm, the hours when MOPPs is either getting ready, or actually operating. You will be able to find out if there are vacancies, about transport and anything else you need to know.

In the pink on the green… no, nothing to do with snooker, but our thriving FairlightBowls Club. They held their spring coffee morning last Saturday and as befits an always popular and very well attended event, a highly creditable £550 was raised, a figure that is a little higher than last year. The official opening of the green is actually on Saturday, April 20, and a reminder will follow nearer that date. No doubt new Chairman Sylvia Taylor will ensure that all the club’s important dates are put before you in good time!

Pyjama Party at Hairbase last Friday… and the staff were duly suitably attired, down to dressing gowns, but no rollers or headscarves. Suitably dressed men were conspicuous by their absence, but the organisers had been told that Fairlight men do not wear pyjamas. Elementary research suggests that this is true, but not for macho or raunchy reasons. No, what they wear is thermal long johns, winter weight onesies, a thick fleece and a beanie hat (as long as it’s not by Armani!) I’ll let you know what they raised next week.

Happy as a Sandbag… an unlikely title for a very good revue, by Ken Lee, in this case of the Second World War, depicted in sketches, songs, sounds and some of the sights of the period. Fairlight Players recommend this nostalgic, funny and often moving tribute to the last war to everybody with a patriotic streak, and a pride in our history. They would like to hear from any and all village residents who were involved in the war – in the services, land girls, Bevin boys, Salvation army, Home Guard, ARP, munitions workers, home front, evacuees – if you were there, please make contact with Keith Pollard, who is directing the show. His address is given at the head of this Village Voice.

The Annual Church meeting of St Andrew’s and St Peter’s… was held after the service last Sunday, with some 30 people in attendance, and they enjoyed an excellent bring and share lunch following their meeting. First item on the agenda was the election of Church Wardens, with both Dinah Hepburn and Penny Button retiring following 5 years service.

Each was presented with a bouquet and a gift voucher of flowers and gift vouchers following a speech of appreciation. Dinah responded for the pair, thanking the church family for their support and prayers as well as the kind gifts and words. She mentioned that the church, having come through a difficult period with a long interregnum, was now in a good place from which to move forward with the new Rector Richard Barron, supported by his wife Kath, leading the church community into a period of growth, both reaching out to our neighbours and friends whilst growing together spiritually. She thanked the Rector for coming to Fairlight to lead us into an exciting ‘new season’. The Rector replied and thanked both Church Wardens for their sterling efforts over the years, and most particularly for the help and support they had given to him and his wife since their arrival in October.

There was just one nomination for Church Warden and John Miles was duly elected. It is hoped that someone else may come forward in the weeks ahead to take up the second position. Two new P.C.C. members were elected namely Dot James for a second term and Marcia Russell. Alex Brodie retired from the Treasurer’s role, and he was warmly thanked for all his invaluable work over the years; John Relfe has kindly volunteered to take over as Treasurer to the P.C.C.

The Annual review, containing 23 different reports, was duly accepted and approved, with grateful thanks particularly given to Mr Dennis Smith for examining and approving the Financial Statement of Accounts.

The churches of St Andrew’s and St Peter’s are particularly blessed with a goodly number of willing and able volunteers who give their time and service in a humble and generous spirit.

The Rector briefly outlined his vision for the future in Fairlight, with some exciting developments on the horizon, details of which will be revealed in due course.

Following the business of the meeting there was a timely reminder from the new Treasurer designate, that at present the church’s income is not meeting its expenditure - it costs around £1000.00 per week to keep both St Andrew’s and St Peter’s going! It would indeed be sad if it proved impossible to keep them open. Donations, of course, are always welcome.

The Lutman Award… is given annually by Fairlight Parish Council for Community Service, in memory of the late John Lutman, for 30 years a Fairlight Parish Councillor and also a District Councillor and Chairman of Rother DC. The prize is £100 to go to the good cause of the winner’s choice. Nominations for this year’s award are now invited - nomination forms are available at Fairlight Post Office and Stores and through the Residents’ Association email contact scheme. “Community Service” covers a very wide range of activities, and the award is open to all who have served in Fairlight in some way, except that Parish Councillors cannot be nominated. The winner will be announced, and the Award given, at the Parish Assembly at 6.30 pm on Friday, April 19 at the Village Hall.