GREETINGS: Here we are, within 24 hours of the great day that has been in many thoughts and activities for weeks and weeks. Puddings are stirred, decorations are up, lots of carols have been sung, probably your tree is decorated unless your family has a tradition of bringing the tree in on Christmas Eve. Have you got your Santa Suit out and brushed down?

CHURCH NEWS: This afternoon at 4 pm there is the Crib service in church. Do bring the children to this special service. At 11pm there is the first Eucharist of Christmas. On Christmas Day there will be a United Benefice Eucharist at St. Thomas’ Winchelsea. This will be a lovely way to celebrate together, the wonderful gift from God. This takes place at 10.30 am. On Sunday 27th there is a Parish Eucharist at 10.30 am celebrating St. John the Evangelist. On January 3rd, the service time changes to 9.30 am This will be celebrating the Epiphany, when legend has it that the Three Kings arrived at the stable. This new time will be the future pattern of services. The early time may not suit everyone, but remember that we are part of the UNITED Benefice, and you will be very welcome at Winchesea at 11am.

WEATHER: Still w w w with gardens showing soggy bottoms. There are lots of flowers out, so enjoy them although they are too early really. Now that we have passed the Winter Solstice, the days should be getting longer. Have you noticed? On Christmas Day there is a full moon. This is an unusual occurrence and some are designating it Blue Moon status. Normally that means that there are two full moons within one month. But I think a full Christmas moon is rather nice and should help Santa see his way to deliver parcels.

STUART HAS BEEN BUSY AGAIN! PARISH COUNCIL: On Monday 14th December several residents attended the Parish Council meeting in the Memorial Hall to discuss the proposed footprint of the New Pavilion. We were given plenty of opportunity to make our case but it was difficult when making reference to the Open Meeting of the Trust held on 15th May 2012, as no minutes were taken of this village meeting. We therefore had to speak from memory. It was very evident that not many of the Parish Councillors present were aware that we had held this meeting which had a unanimous vote to replace our present pavilion. The proposal was to site the New Build opposite the junction into Oast House Road. This met with a lot of local opposition. We then referred back to the Open Meeting and explained the four proposals which were, 1. Keep the existing; 2. Extend the existing; 3. Build on the existing site; 4. Keep the existing and build new on a different site. Proposal 4. was not discussed as it not viable. A question was asked about this at the Open Meeting, therefore three options were left which was the unanimous outcome. After putting our various views and opinions it was decided that subject to outline planning approval, we would build on the present site. Obviously the footprint is bigger than that existing. Therefore this would require negotiations with the Parish Council Open Spaces Group. Stuart reports that the Parish Councillors voted in favour of the proposal. There was just one abstention. All four Icklesham PCs voted in favour. On behalf of the New Pavilion supporters, Stuart wishes to thank the Parish Councillors for support and co-operation to date. A special big thankyou to Councillor Nick Warren who has worked closely with the supporters group from day one. We do need to crack on with fund raising in 2016. Encourage everyone to take part in the Lottery. It is £1 a month, or £12 a year. Stuart says, “Merry Christmas” to everyone and thanks for the excellent support.

MURDER MYSTERY: On 23rd January there will be a Murder Mystery Evening in the Memorial Hall.Tickets are £10 which includes supper. This is a New Pavilion Fund raiser. email gdadstu@hotmail.co.uk to book your team of up to 6 people.

QUEEN’S HEAD: Live music will be played on Monday 28th from 4 - 6 pm by Pete Prescott Band, playing rockn soul. There will be a Quiz on Wednesday 30 December at 8.30 pm in aid of St. Michael’s Hospice. The question is ‘which US First Lady wrote “Christmas 1940?”On New Year’s Eve Ricochet will be playing for a party, party, party.On Wednesday 6th January at 8.30 pm there will be another quiz. The question is “Where was it always winter and never Xmas?”

ROBIN HOOD: There are two sittings for Christmas day - 12pm and 3 pm. A 4 course dinner costs £39.95 per person, children under 12 £19.99 per person. Boxing Day food will be served until 3pm. Three courses cost £24.95 and Mr. Steve Sinatra will be singing and dancing the afternoon away.

New Year’s Eve will see DJ KIRK in the house with music from every era on the CURRYOKE night . This is not a ticketed event. and a free curry / buffet will be provided. The fancy dress theme is Cowboys and Indians for adults and TV movie characters for children. Have you seen the magical Winter Wonderland marquee ? It is heated and is to help with the large number of bookings.

SCHOOL NEWS: There was a wonderful last week of term with many fabulous Christmas events. The Christmas Fayre raised a grand total of £1254.79. Jane says a huge thank you to all the helpers. Xanthe guessed the name of the reindeer and Jolie guessed the Bauble and won £10. The Carol Service raised £134.93 for Shelter. The head Teacher awards in the last week of term went to Caterpillars, Harry;, Spiders, Heidi; Dragonflies, Amelie T; and Bees, Sophie. Spiders won the attendance award. The new term begins on 5th January. Clubs will start on 11th January.

CONTACT: Please keep me posted about anything which you have planned.

AND FINALLY: May I take the opportunity to wish all readers a really Happy Christmas and a Peaceful, Healthy and pain free, Prosperous New Year.

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