Keith Pollard, Brookfield, Broadway

Just the one… service in our churches this Sunday, and that’s Morning Praise at St Andrew’s at St Andrews. This is just the calm before the, well, not storm, but an incredibly, and predictably, busy December in our two churches. Rather than overwhelm you, I’ll release all the bits before they happen so you can make a note and then just go.

Let there be light (continued)… as a sort of comparison update for the lighting up of St Andrew’s, it is worth pointing out the evening view visible when you’re coming home along the A21 Lamberhurst bypass. A glance over to the right (but not you, sir – concentrate on your driving!) shows the church, St Mary’s, warmly, discreetly and beautifully lit. Light pollution seems to be minimal. This could be ours!

Tomorrow afternoon… it’s the RSPCA’s Annual Christmas Fayre, in the village hall from 10 am to 1 pm. I trust you’ve already donated lots of marketable goodies, and now’s the time to go along and make a few purchases for yourself. There’ll be cakes on sale, a raffle, tombola, pet accessories and knick-knacks. Your 50p entrance donation will get you a cuppa, be it tea or coffee, as well as in the door. This event is in support of the local branch of the RSPCA, which includes dog and cat rescue, rather than some large, centralised organisation. Your help can make a real difference to the well-being of animals in our immediate area.

Tomorrow week… it’s that Fairfest Barn Dance at the village hall. The event starts at 7.30 pm and will going on until 11 pm, with dancing to the fabulous fiddlers of the ‘Flat Cat’ band who are not to be missed. (This is the real band, not the Flat Caps as they were erroneously entitled last week – sorry, all.) You can partake of a cheese or pâté ploughman’s as well as the usual bar and raffle. Tickets are on sale at the Post Office, priced at £7.50 each, from any member of the Fairfest team, Jennifer, 812476, Margaret, 814866 or Terry, 812144. This is a community event for the whole village. They are not out to make a profit, (and probably won’t at these prices!) but if there are any proceeds they will go towards next summer’s Third Music and Arts Festival on the Wood Field Recreation Ground on Sunday, July 27.

No Room at the Inn…? Which sounds extremely appropriate, until you realise that it’s the title of a talk to be given by Tony Mann about the Flushing Inn in Rye. The talk is at St Peter’s Church in Broadway on Wednesday next, November 27, for the Trefoil Guild. The session runs from 10 am to 12 noon, and this enterprising ‘Adult Guiders’ group welcomes visitors – the fellas as well as the girls.

MOPPs Up-date… Today the menu is Chicken and Ham Pie, with Fruit Jelly and Cream to follow. They will be doing Christmas crafts. Next Friday, November 29 they are looking forward to ham, egg and chips, with sticky toffee pudding for sweet. Michael Hoad will be along to present a Westminster walkabout.

It’s in front of you… as rehearsals get under way this week for the Pantomime Group in preparation for their forthcoming production of Sleeping Beauty, which will run during the last week of January, 2014. As usual, tickets will go on sale before Christmas at the Fairlight Post Office. The group last performed Sleeping Beauty in 2003/4 under the direction of Jim Duffy. This year Jennifer Annetts will be at the helm, and she has a new script of the fairytale favourite. In this, you don’t have to wait for the final Act to meet the handsome Prince - he and his valet arrive at an inn, in search of the Castle de Farleigh. He learns of the curse that was put upon the beautiful princess a hundred years earlier, causing her and everyone in the castle to fall asleep. He sets out to find the castle hidden in an overgrown valley, and break the curse.

Fairlight Floral Club… has moved on from its Halloween meeting and is now looking forward to Christmas, in the shape of a demonstration by Susan Shaw entitled ‘Five Gold Rings’. This will be taking place on Thursday, November 28 in the village hall, with the doors open at 2 for a 2.30 pm start. Tickets will be on sale at the door at £5.50 each, a sum that includes refreshments. For more information please ring Norma Huntley on 01797 223923 or Lynne Watts on 814732. As usual, visitors will be most welcome.

Have you done your Christmas shopping yet…? Why not do it at Polhill Outlet Centre this year? There are still a few places left on the Tuesday Ladies’ Club coach on Tuesday, November 26, leaving the Circle at 10 am. The trip is free for TLC members and only £6 for non-members. If you’d like further details, please call Mary Stewart on 813031. It’s next Tuesday, so hurry…

An old rubbish…? Residents are being urged to sign up for the new garden waste collection service ahead of its launch next year. From next summer, a fortnightly collection of garden waste is being offered to residents for an annual charge of just £25 (yes, this is the service that has been free thus far, but the system is changing) Residents will be able to register for the service online by visiting the garden waste registration page or calling the customer service contact centre on 0843 104 77 88

A leaflet about the service is currently being distributed to all households in the district. Residents can also fill out a form within the leaflet and return it by post to register.

Householders wanting to sign up for the service need to do so before next January 6, to allow time for the new bins to be ordered and collection schedules to be drawn up. The change to the service is part of Rother District Council’s new waste collection and street and beach cleaning contract.

The contract, awarded to Kier, is a joint venture between Rother, Wealden, Hastings and Eastbourne councils and will promote more recycling, reducing the amount of household waste the Council pays to send to landfill. Cardboard will in future go into the recycling bin as part of the improved service.

Councillor Tony Ganly, Rother District Council portfolio holder for waste and recycling, said ‘We feel this service continues to offer residents a much valued, easy to use way of getting rid of garden waste - at a charge that equates to around a pound per collection.’

The Parish Council meeting… is on Tuesday next, November 26 in the village hall at 7.15 pm. Among the items to be discussed the Precept and Budgets for 2014/15, and a report from Cllr Mendelson on applications received for grants. The Council has already had a request for grant funding from Rother Citizens Advice Bureau. Cllr Mrs Eades will be reporting back on the Police Speedwatch Conference Report and update.

They will be discussing the letter from Fairlight Preservation Trust concerning the Market Garden Site and how they would like to proceed. On Highways and Transport Matters, the fact that some 120 yards of Fairlight Road was left without a white line after the recent road top dressing requires discussion, as does the consideration of the replacement of existing grit bins. As for Land Management, topics on the agenda include the twitten in Knowle Road, together with an update on other footpaths. Tree felling in Channel Way, wildflower verges and the Knowle Wood safety inspection and necessary work will all be covered at the meeting. And all this before the evening ends with the popular Open Forum, which gives the residents the chance to have their say. See you there, then?

Just round the corner… is the Village Hall Fair, from 12 noon to 3 pm in the village hall (Fair enough!) on Saturday, December 7. All the usual, popular suspects will be present – the mulled wine, the tombola, the booze box, the raffles, the hot food (from the minute the Fair opens) and Father Christmas. Reminders will follow, as everyone who is anyone in Fairlight will be there.

Were you there…? At the Activate Quiz on Friday last? Well, those who were helped to raise £200 for club funds as well as £40 for children in Need. A lot of fun was had by all, and Wendy Hatch thanks all the ‘workers’ and the participants.

Next week at the Cove… on Wednesday, November 27, it’s another of their popular acoustic nights. Sure to be enjoyable as ever.

Fairlight favourites… Ann Rachlin and Iain Kerr will be in Winchelsea Church on Sunday, December 8 at 6.30 pm for Ann’s unmatchable ‘Say It With Music’, her presentation on the long life and wonderful music of Irving Berlin, with Iain accompanying the show and directing the London-based Pegasus Choir in the Berlin arrangements he has written. Tickets are £10 each, from Winchelsea Post Office, or contact Iain direct on 814477.

The Bonfire season is over… after its usual extended run, which ensures that double-booking town and village clashes are minimised, the carefully laid fires in Rye, Hastings, Battel (sic) and Lewes have all gone up in, well, smoke. But in Fairlight the season never ends – or, indeed, begins. (Some three years ago, someone in the village had a really stinky bonfire - on Boxing Day!) The trouble at this time of year, when the humidity is as high as the cotton in the summertime and if by chance it should be windless, then the smallest of village bonfires will share itself with everyone, cloying and clinging, whether they want it or not.