Church Matters: There is one service in the Parish this Sunday, which is Holy Communion at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am

The Auction of Promises was a great success at Fairlight Lodge on Saturday last, with 80 lots on offer, the highlight of which was a holiday in Poland, as well as a holiday in the south of France. The evening was full of fun and laughter, and the outcome was a profit of just under £1,600 for the church, for which they are very grateful as they have a deficit of £30,000!

Christian Aid Week got off to a cracking start with their Fair in the village hall, as opposed to the more customary Coffee Morning in St Peter’s, and the format proved very popular, raising a record-breaking £738.32. Refreshments, bric-a-brac and tombola all did very brisk business. Congratulations to all who took part, whether as hard workers or customers! As you read this, the Christian Aid Week is coming to an end. Hopefully, you will have found time to pop a little something into the envelope that was delivered to your home earlier in the week.

Highlighting (and fire lighting!) the new Chichester Diocesan Strategy, and signalling that it is the Eve of Pentecost, the Fairlight Beacon, at the top of Peter James Lane, will be lit next Saturday, May 23 at 10 pm, simultaneously with many other beacons all over Sussex. The celebration marks the birth of the church at Pentecost, also known as Whitsun. Gather round, then, at 9.45 pm, and don’t forget to take a torch - of the electric kind rather than flaming! The beacon lighting will be preceded by a brief explanation, prayer and a trumpet blast.

On Pentecost Sunday, May 24 the 10.30 am service at St Peter’s will be followed by a picnic, so take one along and share time with others after the service. Everyone in the village is invited, so why not take someone with you?

You may well be a bit too late now to participate, but tomorrow, Saturday, May 16, sees the latest Men’s Breakfast at St Peter’s at 9 for 9.15 am. The after breakfast speaker will be Andrew Thomas.

MOPPs: Today, Friday, May 15, it’s Sale Day with Bon Marche clothing, Sandra Stunt’s greeting cards and a selection of local produce, and also a talk about Telecare by Sarah Tibbott from East Sussex County Council. Roast pork and then trifle will make it a morning to enjoy and remember. Next Friday, May 22, Celia King will be along with her chair-based exercises, and a lunch of quiche & cheesy mash followed by fruit crumble. Currently, numbers at MOPPs are high, and so if you have been procrastinating after Voice’s several prompts to join the happy throng, you have probably left it too late at present. However, things can change as members sometimes find it more difficult to get along on a Friday. So watch this space…

Fairlight Art Club Annual Exhibition: Tomorrow, Saturday, May 16, is the Fairlight Art Club’s annual Art Exhibition, and Cheese and Wine Evening, always one of the village highlights of the year. It’s open from 6 to 9 pm in the village hall, and each ticket, which gets you a glass of wine or a soft drink as well as admission, is available from the Post Office, or by calling 854360 or 813104, will cost you £4. If you leave it and pay on the door, it’s £5. Generously sponsored by Just Property, this is an event you don’t want to miss.

Tuesday Ladies Club: At their meeting on Tuesday next, May 19, in the village hall starting at 2.15 pm, the popular and frequent visitor to Fairlight, Heather Goodsell, will be talking about Hedge and Herb. Shirley Gilbert, on 813441, has further details should you require them. Visitors, including the menfolk, are always welcome at this friendly club’s fixtures.

A Vintner, but not of discontent!: Well, the planned return wine tasting visit of Phoenix and Plum on Monday last didn’t turn out as planned. At shortish notice, they said they couldn’t make it. But, fortunately, Tim Fletcher of Rodney Fletcher Vinters in Horsmorden, could, and this personable, knowledgeable and informative host took the group through four whites, four reds and a dessert wine. The evening was highly enjoyable and appreciated, though numbers present were unaccountably depleted, particularly puzzling as this was a no-cost part of ordinary membership. The next two Wine Club events are the ever popular pétanque evening at Fairlight Lodge Hotel in June, and the Thai evening in July. Contact Jill Lewing to claim your place on both, and pay your dosh.

The Parish Council AGM: takes place next Tuesday, May 19 in the village hall starting at 7.15 pm. As befits an AGM, there will be more meat and less gravy than at the customary monthly meetings, when a multiplicity of village issues can be discussed and often resolved. The business end of the meeting will encompass the election of next year’s Chairman and Vice-Chairman, the appointment of members to Committees and Working Groups and the appointment of members to official roles within the Council and representatives to outside bodies, for the ensuing year. New Councillors will be welcomed, both at District and Parish levels.

There will be time enough for Transport, Planning and Land management matters, as usual, plus the popular Open Forum.

Plus ça change: With Amber Rudd, who has been an excellent constituency MP (as, indeed, was Michael Foster before her, and was Labour candidate Sarah Owen promising to be) retaining her seat in Parliament, little has changed in the local parliamentary political world. Amber has, of course, become a Cabinet Minister as Secretary for Energy and Climate Change in the reshuffle. (Many congratulations, Amber!) As for the Marsham Ward of Rother District Council, the results appeared familiar, with Conservatives Roger Bird topping the poll with 1,421 votes, followed by Chris Saint, a candidate in place of the excellent retiring Robin Patten, polling 1,271 to come second. Among the other four candidates, one should note Liberal Democrat Derek Greenup, who was not elected on this occasion, but will be working hard for Fairlight anyway as he has now become a Parish Councillor. Welcome, Derek!

The John Lutman Award: You have only three days remaining until the closing date for nominations for this year’s John Lutman Award. I understand that there has been quality rather than quantity in the nominations thus far, but it is always preferable to have as many worthy names to consider as possible. Contact Andrew Mier with your choice, or fill in a form obtainable from the Post Office. The presentation to the selected recipient will take place at the Village Assembly on Tuesday, May 26, commencing at 6 pm.

Fairfest again: Most residents will be well aware that yer actual Fairfest event takes place every other year, and in the intervening years, a Summer Bash, almost a mini Fairfest, has become the norm. They will also know that each of these takes place on a Sunday. Which is more than I remembered last week, when I put the Bash on a Saturday, on a date that doesn’t exist. Whoops! Sorry about that, but it’s far enough away not to have made too much difference. I hope. Diaries out, then and go to Sunday, July 26 from 4 until 10 pm on Wood Field Recreation Ground.

Lower Waites Lane Maintenance Association: The Association enjoyed a successful meeting last Saturday, and details will follow shortly. It remains true that more residents of Lower Waites Lane itself and its feeder spine road should really consider membership of this group, which is potentially very important for the future of all living down that way. Membership of the Association is open to all, whether they are new buyers, renters or long term residents who have never got round to it. Sally Watson is the secretary of this group and is to be found on 813662. Join now!

Coming shortly: A new talk has been created by Ann Rachlin, a Fairlight favourite since her sparkling tribute to renowned actress Ellen Terry which she gave at a Players’ special social event a little while ago. Her new presentation is entitled The Ménage à Trois in Ellen Terry’s Garden, and is to be given at the Ellen Terry Barn Theatre at Smallhythe on Saturday, June 13 at 6 pm. It will tell you all about the trio of Bohemian feminists who defied Victorian prejudices, with private photographs taken from their personal albums, as Ann reveals the hidden lives of the three women as they cared for Ellen Terry in her last years. Tickets for the event are £5, and can be obtained by calling either 01580 762334 or 0844 2491895.

Parking on Tuesday mornings: Broadway and Waites Lane adjacent to St Peter’s, are always chaotic on Tuesday mornings during term time. So many parkers seem unable to read the No Parking signs in the verge, creating unnecessary hazards for those either entering or leaving Broadway. This selfish, lazy stance could lead to a very unpleasant incident if not corrected. As we never see a PCSO in the village these days, the problem needs to be self-regulated. On the Tuesday of last week it was a Peugeot in Waites Lane and a Ford Galaxy in Broadway that overstepped the marks. I can’t remember their number plates, I’m afraid…

Road all about it: How we all, especially me, love to moan about potholes and various road deficiencies, but those responsible are doing their best to make corrections. I even expect that the first stretch of Waites Lane and all of Battery Hill from the church down for a couple of hundred yards will eventually be improved, though my doctor advises me not to hold my breath. Meanwhile, a glance at eastsusseshighways@public.govdelivery.com will let you see just how much the powers that be plan and execute improvements all over the area in what must be a thankless, Forth-Bridge-painting type of job.