Church Matters: Tonight, Christmas Eve, there’s the traditional Midnight Communion Service at St Andrew’s. Despite the fact that it will be still going on at midnight, it actually commences at 11.15 pm. Don’t be late!

But if you miss the service tonight, you can quickly put things right again with Holy Communion at St Peter’s, at 8 am – nice and early on Christmas morning. Later in the morning, at 10.30 am, there will be Informal Communion at St Andrew’s.

And finally at the end of Christmas week, on Sunday, December 27, there’s a Benefice Communion at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am.

MOPPs: This is, of course, the year when Christmas Day falls on a MOPP’s Friday, and consequently there will be no meeting tomorrow.

Never mind, for they’re back with ‘Business as Usual’ the following Friday, which is the first day of yet another New Year, by now a very familiar feeling for all the members. Let’s hope the trimmings and mince pies have all settled nicely, leaving them as sharp as new pins for the entertainment, which will be Joan’s Quiz. There’s to be a New Year Star Prize for the raffle, too! And, starting as they mean to go on (and have been going on for a long time) lunch will be a delicious roast beef, followed by Pavlova.

The RSPCA Christmas Fayre: Last Saturday’s Christmas Fayre was eagerly awaited, with an orderly queue forming prior to the event, making the entrance to the village hall look a bit like Harrods on Boxing Day, though with not quite as many Rollers. Of course, in years gone by, there would have been a number of rollers in evidence, warm and hidden beneath headscarves!

The queue may have had inside information, or just previous experience of this event, because the organisers report a bumper harvest of no less than £864.72, all of which goes to the Sussex East and Hastings branch of the RSPCA (Dogs and Cats), a very highly respected unit.

At the end of a month which has seen it suggested that perhaps H M the Queen should disassociate herself from the heavy and ugly politicisation of the Society, as the Royal connection could be damaging to the image of the monarchy, it is pleasing to record such a clear local demonstration of the fact that we still love out four-legged friends – and the people we trust to look out for them.

The Pantomime Group: The tickets for this year’s Pantomime Group offering went on sale last Sunday. It’s Beauty and the Beast, directed by Jennifer Annetts with choreography by Emily Wood, and you can catch up with the production from Thursday 28 to Saturday 30 January, at 7.30 pm each evening, or at the 2.30 pm Matinee on Saturday. Prices are £6 for adults and £3 for children at the first two evenings and at the matinee, while for Saturday evening, all tickets, be they for adults, children and everyone in between, are £7. They’re starting to go already, so get your order down to the Post Office p.d.q.

Coming up in the New Year: An item heading that appeared last week. Unfortunately, what followed the heading suffered from a severe attack of conflation, when I mentioned the Tuesday Ladies Club, but none of their activities, but gave details of an event that properly belonged to the Wine and Social Club, who didn’t get named at all. It’s all down to cut and paste, which in the good old daysused to be with sharp scissors and that white paste that smelt deliciously of coconut, ideal for manufacturing ransom or threatening letters using individual characters from a wide variety of outrageous fonts. It is so much easier to make a mess-up with a computer! Let’s try again, shall we?

Tuesday Ladies Club: The last meeting of the year for the Club was their Christmas Party, and before the ladies tucked into their food and wine they were thoroughly entertained in a highly enjoyable sing-a-long with popular Fairlight resident, Jim Saphin. The Club has recently had a surge in membership and is looking forward to another successful year, starting with the meeting on Tuesday, January 19 which will feature two quizzes plus a review of the past year, starting in the village hall at 2.15 pm. The yearly subscription of £18 will be due in January, but it is worth noting that this covers all 12 meetings plus two subsidised outings and two meals free to members. Meetings are monthly in the village hall, each commencing at 2.15 pm, and visitors, including mere men, are always welcome for £2 – so give it a try.

The Wine and Social Club: Their New Year meetings start on Monday, February 8, with speaker Terry Kane with ‘Wartime to the 1950’s Radio’, which promises to be interesting and evocative. It’s in the village hall, starting at 7.30 pm. Visitors are, as usual, welcome, but the club itself has a few vacancies for full members. Give Christine Jones a call to check it out. She’s on 813538. The annual sub is £10, which is due before the end of January. There are sometimes extra fees, of a very reasonable level, for ‘Specials’.

A word of thanks: is due to Shirley Gilbert, possibly the senior stringer on my patch, who makes sure I am up to speed on three major institutions in the village. This week she kindly, and very gently, pointed out the pretty poor errors in last week’s copy. Thanks, Shirley, for allowing me to scrape most of the egg from my face!

It only remains: for me to wish all readers of this column, be they in Fairlight or further flung, an extremely Merry Christmas. I must resist the temptation to mention any Healthy or Wealthy wishes for next week, or I shan’t have anything left to write about for December 31.

Don’t miss out on all the latest breaking news where you live.

Here are four ways you can be sure you’ll be amongst the first to know what’s going on.

1) Make our website your homepage at www.ryeandbattleobserver.co.uk/

2) Like our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RyeandBattleObserver

3) Follow us on Twitter @RyeObs

4) Register with us by clicking on ‘sign in’ (top right corner). You can then receive our daily newsletter AND add your point of view to stories that you read here.

And do share with your family and friends - so they don’t miss out!

The Rye and Battle Observer - always the first with your local news.

Be part of it.