Church matters: This Sunday, February 28, is the Third Sunday in Lent. There will be a service of Morning Praise at St Andrew’s, at 10.30 am. Sunday Live, which you may well have been expecting at St Peter’s this Sunday evening, has been cancelled.

It’s Women’s World Day of Prayer next Friday, March 4, at St Peter’s, starting at 2.30 pm.

The service this year has been written by Christian women in Cuba. The theme is ‘Receive children. Receive me’. Obviously, all ladies will be welcome.

MOPPs: Today, Celia King will be there with her chair-based exercises. There will be free hearing-aid maintenance available, too. And for lunch, it’s gammon and parsley sauce, and Eve’s pudding to follow. Next Friday, March 4, there’s a talk entitled ‘Magistrates in the Community’, given by local magistrate Sally Ann Hart. Then it’s lunch again, with roast beef, and meringue, fruit and cream for pud.

The entertainment thoroughly enjoyed by the members last week was by the Friends Unlimited Choir and, in a most pleasant surprise, the Choir – Helen, Brenda, Deirdre, Pat and Susie –also presented MOPPs with a cheque for £300 raised from a past event of theirs at the Hastings Museum. This magnificent gift came shortly after the reality of a £4,000 grant cut had begun to sink in. MOPPs offer a big thank you to Friends Unlimited and, indeed, to all those individuals, groups and organisations who support the group. Without such generosity they would be unable to continue.

It’s disco night tomorrow!: It’s the Residents Association’s 60’s and 70’s Disco Night is in the village hall tomorrow evening, starting at 7.30 pm. Tickets will only cost you £5 per head, and there’s to be a bar and a raffle, and you are invited to take along your own food. Incidentally, the person providing the music for the event is giving his services free with only a small charge to cover his expenses, and as he is not a Fairlight resident this is a very generous offer. The Post Office has the tickets and the event is in aid of the Cliffs Preservation Stage 3 appeal fund, that worthiest of Fairlight causes.

Overnight queues expected?: Well, probably not. But an excellent turnout can be safely assumed, as it’s the Fairlight Playgroup and Nursery Jumble Sale in the village hall tomorrow, Saturday, from 10 am to 12.30 pm. Admission is a mere 50p, and if you’ve seen it all happening in earlier years, you’ll know that toddlers will be seen walking away hand in hand with mum while dad pushes the buggy heavily laden with some excellent goodies. There’s tea, cakes and bargains to be had, and it’s not essential to queue from 9 am, though some may do so. All proceeds will help the running of this fine nursery.

The Neighbourhood Plan: The team behind our Neighbourhood Plan were delighted by the response of the residents to their drop-in session last Saturday, when no fewer than 134 souls attended, engaging in lively debate and discussion about village priorities and the advantages and disadvantages of potential development sites. The sheer depth of interest shown was far beyond what the team had anticipated, and it will take a little time to consider fully the implications of all the comments submitted. An initial analysis shows the key concerns to have been:- the need to protect the cliff; the need to upgrade infrastructure – particularly drainage and roads, including Fairlight Road; the protection of the character of Fairlight and traffic, transport and travel.

From now on, regular updates on the progress of the plan will be provided.

Stage 3 Cliff protection: Paul Capps of the Fairlight Preservation Trust has said that Rother District Council have now confirmed that Natural England have provided what is termed a ‘Letter of Comfort’ with regard to the project. In essence, this means that they have not raised any objections to the project going forward for consideration by Environment Agency for future funding. This is really a major step forward and boost to the possibility of ‘Stage 3’ being implemented, but the matter is not certain until it is announced that the scheme will get the final agreed funding from the Environment Agency.

While the current Partnership Funding amount for the Trust stands at £72,000, residents’ help is still needed if the £100,000 target is to be attained. Residents are reminded that the appeal is still very much ‘open’, and that any and all donations can still be made and will still be both meaningful and welcome.

On the edge: Laurie Beetham, Fairlight’s go-to man on all matters concerning the cliffs, the slips and falls, the groundwater and the effects of the weather, has issued an update on what has been happening this winter. January, you will not be surprised to learn, was extremely wet, with almost 176 mm of rain falling in the month, against the Fairlight average of 84 mm – more than double, in fact, and the wettest since 1988 when there was rainfall of 183 mm.

There have been cliff falls and slips all along the Parish coastline, off Channel Way West, Channel Way East, Rockmead Road, Cliff Way and Sea Road West, with the heaviest being on the western edge of the Rockmead Road Landslip Site and Channel Way East where there were small falls on the morning of Tuesday, February 16. These incidents are the largest since the Rockmead Road Landslip Site was completed in 2007, and they confirm that excess ground water is one of the main contributors to coastal erosion in the village.

Activate Youth Club: Along with the likes of MOPPs and the Fairlight Playgroup and Nursery, Activate is the holder of another of the most considerable feathers in the Fairlight cap. The club will be holding its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday, March 2 at 7.30 pm in the Clubhouse on Wood Field Rec. Why not go along and see what makes the club tick? All will be welcome!

The Conquest at its best: I’ve spent a fair share of my time in the Conquest over the last five years and, while it has had spells of being maligned and damned, have personally never found it rating less than 9 out of 10. And so it was again last week during a full day in the Cardiac Catheter Lab, when those like Chris, Annie, Jess and Vanessa were simultaneously superbly professional and yet light-hearted and full of good humour, an approach that was relaxing and reassuring in the face of an unaccustomed procedure. Earlier there had been Yeser (I think!) on ultrasound and Karen on the detailed pre-procedure meeting as well as on the day itself, when there were the consultants and registrar, too. Nine out of ten, again, with one point lost for the failed heating first thing on a chilly morning. However, a quick whip round for a few coins for the meter saved the day.

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