Church Matters: The first service on Sunday is Morning Praise at St Andrew’s, starting at 10.30 am. Later, at 6.30 pm in fact, there’s the popular Sunday Live at St Peter’s.

The Bishop of Lewes is undertaking a Prayer Pilgrimage, to encourage prayer and involvement for the Diocesan Strategy. And this Sunday will see the Bishop at St Nicholas, Pett Level at 3 pm and then St Peter’s at 4 pm. He will be delighted to pray with as many of the congregation who are available to join him.

This year’s Lent Course has its fifth and final session on Wednesday next, March 18, at St Peter’s from 7.30 to 9 pm. The subject for the evening is Materialism, and it is to be led by Meriel Deasy

The session will be repeated the following day, Thursday, March 19, again at St Peter’s, but this time from 2.30 to 4 pm.

Cards on the tables: The penultimate Whist Drive of the winter season organised by the Bowls Club is tonight in the village hall at the usual time of 6.45 for a 7 pm start. The final fortnightly drive will be on Friday, April 3, after which it will not be long before the new bowls season begins.

The club knows that last date is Good Friday, and will be canvassing support to see just how many will be able to make that date. Whatever the decision, you’ll be able to read it here before the event.

The Green Party in Fairlight: Which has nothing whatsoever to do with politics and the general election, but is more of a bowling green party, of sorts, as this enterprising club holds its always highly popular coffee morning in the village hall tomorrow, Saturday, March 21. It runs from 10 am to 12 noon, and admission is free. Go along and have a chat over coffee, play a little bingo, and enjoy the many more attractions, along with the raffle, the home-made cake stall – and the good-as-new stall! It’s that bingo that finally makes you decide to go …!

MOPPs: Today, Friday, March 20, the ever popular Jim Saphin will be singing, with some new numbers in his set, though as I write, Jim’s throat is well below its best. There’s the added attraction of a visit from the free toe-nail cutting service. The lunch that follows consists of liver and bacon and then lemon meringue – good for you and mighty tasty, too. Next Friday, March 27, the entertainment will be by belly dancer Chloe, who will be followed by a roast turkey lunch, with fruit jelly to follow.

Coming under Fire(hills): Interest, and feelings, remain high concerning the proposed new Visitor Centre for the Firehills in Hastings Country Park, which is 660 acres, or 267 hectares, lying within the High Weald area of Outstanding Natural Beauty. The majority of the park has been designated a Special Area of Conservation, a Site of Special Scientific Interest and is a proposed Nature Reserve. The area includes ancient woodland and grassland together with dramatic coastline and cliffs spanning over three miles, in real money.

Harking back to the Hastings Borough Council’s recent Planning meeting when the Council’s own planning application for the new centre was passed, it is worth noting that one Councillor said ‘This application seeks to place a visual abomination in the midst of an unspoilt panorama. The local authority has a statutory duty to have regard to the purpose of conserving and enhancing the natural beauty of an Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty (AONB). Would you expect to encounter such a monstrosity on the slopes of the Great Gable or Scafell Pike as you gazed in awe across the Lake District? Of course you wouldn’t. Our countryside and heritage demands the protection of lions that will roar in its defence, not donkeys that bray like some ineffective instrument of appeasement. Hastings can boast seven Local Nature Reserves, three sites of Special Scientific Interest and one European designated site. None of this must ever be threatened by unwanted and unjustified development.’ Stirring words encapsulating completely the thoughts and feelings of many, not merely mere Fairlight residents, but those from further afield, like Bexhill and even Hastings.

But wait. The Councillor was referring to Rocklands at the top of Ecclesbourne Glen, an eyesore which is to be demolished, and not the new Firehills Centre. When it comes to the Firehills, it was another Councillor who said ‘Questions have been asked on why the need for a new centre. It’s a tourist attraction…’ Never mind all that Outstanding Natural Beauty, this comment tells you all you need to know about how the planners work.

Published correspondence about the centre includes enthusiasm for the usefulness of the new protection from inclement weather for schoolchildren, though it is hard to see just what protection an open air amphitheatre will offer.

The Parish Council: The Parish Council’s March meeting will be in the village hall next Tuesday, March 24 at 7.15 pm. Among the items up for discussion is the allocation of various amounts of grants from the council, which last year totalled a little over £6,000 to 13 organisations, as well as discussion of the Chairman’s allowance. There will be updates on the Community Shop, Highways, Planning and several Land Management issues, finishing with the popular Open Forum.

Included in the updates will be a report back following an important meeting last Monday with Southern Water, when PC Chairman Cllr Andrew Mier was present along with Vice Chair Cllr Rev Val Gibbs, Paul Capps of the Preservation Trust, Rother Councillor Roger Bird and planner Joe Edwards. They discussed the Lower Waites Lane sewer and the Market Garden site, and some serious progress was made.

Trefoil Guild: The Fairlight Trefoil Guild meets on Wednesday next, March 25 in St Peter’s from 10 am to 12 noon. This will be the Guild’s AGM meeting. If you’d like more information about Trefoil, why not give Betty Snow a call on 812694?

Yoga in Fairlight: Laura Leslie will be bringing Yoga classes to our village hall, giving Fairlight residents the chance of improving their flexibility, easing their breathing, and capturing some relaxation and calm. Laura already conducts classes in seven other localities, and her first class here will be at 7 pm on Wednesday next, March 25. The cost is £7, though there are concessions available. Should you require further information prior to the event, give Laura a call on either 01797 227564 or 07580 984539.

The Floral Club: The club meets next Thursday, March 26 in the village hall, starting at 2.15 pm, when the club will have its AGM. The business over, they will proceed to a fun event, but no actual flower arranging at all. There will be spot prizes, though none will be black spot prizes, welcome news for any roses reading this column. And the tea and coffee will be accompanied by cake! How’s that for excitement?!

The Great Activate Bake Off: Many congratulations to the youngsters from Activate, who did a lot of baking at an all-night event at the Wood Field clubhouse last Friday night. They stayed up making and decorating cakes, which were then sold in the morning outside the Post Office. Though it was freezing, all the cakes were sold for donations, thus raising £161.66 for Comic Relief’s Red Nose Day. Our congratulations to all who organised, baked and sold the goodies, and Activate would like to thank Ken and Pam for allowing them to sell outside their Post Office and General Stores – and for warming everyone up with hot cuppas.

Activate Race Night: Activate will be in the village hall on Saturday, March 28 with a Race Night, starting at 7.30 pm. Tickets for the event, which are £5 each, are available from the Post Office or from Wendy Hatch, who can be reached on 812297. These race nights always generate a lot of fun, and some useful funds for their organisers.

East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre: If your hearing aids are playing up, you’ve just missed the bus – that of the East Sussex Hearing Resource Centre, in which so much useful help and advice can be obtained, free of charge, for your hearing difficulties, as well as batteries and tubing for your aids. Never mind, they will be back in the village on Thursday, September 3, so make a diary or calendar note now.

Let’s go watch a kite: No, not the Mary Poppins sort, but the beautiful bird of prey, the red kite, which a Fairlight resident and her husband believe they may have seen flying over Battery Hill on a number of occasions recently, and then over Fairlight Cove before being chased off by seagulls. Although neither of the viewers is particularly knowledgeable about birds, those seen seem to fit the description in their reference book. Has anyone else had this pleasant experience and could they confirm the sightings? If so, please let the FRA know on fairlightres@aol.com.

Cove Easter Quiz night: The next Quiz Night at the Cove is on Wednesday, April 1, starting at 8pm. The inexpensive cost is £1.50 per person, which gets you into all three quizzes, and also lets you get at the sandwiches. Bob and Dec hope to see you there, and if you need any more info, please call either the Cove on 812110 or Bob on 812128.

Pot holes again!: Last year Broadway enjoyed (!) a moderately large and deep hole outside a property named Royd. This year its twin has emerged, just a couple of feet away from the original. It is magnificent, fully three times the area and, of course, three times the negative volume of its predecessor. It’s not just the traffic that has to worry, although that is bad enough as knowledgeable locals swerve to miss it and risk hitting oncoming vehicles head on, but also for those walking in the road in the dark, necessary because the verge is impassable, is going to lead to a broken ankle or two. I bet personal injury will cost the Council a lot more than a tyre, rim and suspension, especially if the victim has to be off work for any length of time.

Keith Pollard

Brookfield, Broadway