Peter and Valerie Miles

Rock Cottage

First of all, a final reminder that tomorrow (July 13) is the Mountfield and Whatlington Primary School Fête, 11.30am to 2pm for all the fun of the fair including barbecue. This is one of the days that pupils, parents and visitors really enjoy. This year along with the usual stalls, games and barbecue, there will be some nice surprises, so come along, enjoy yourselves and support our local village school.

Mountfield Community Arts is celebrating the end of its sixth successful yar of art classes held in Mountfield Village Hall. Tutors Barbara Valentine and Juliette Dodd, and many of their students, will hold their annual art exhibition at Barbara’s studio at Mountfield Park Farmhouse, from Saturday July 20 to Sunday July 28. The exhibition is open each day from 10am until 4pm and entrance is free. Barbara will be pleased to do a quick portrait of you, your children or your dogs in exchange for a donation to St Michael’s Hospice. Portraits take just 15 to 20 minutes. You may know that Barbara and Juliette have painted many ‘ordinary’ local people but you may not know that they have also, by invitation, painted Tom Baker, Martin Shaw, Patricia Hodge, Felicity Kendal and many other actors. It should also be said that the exhibition is also a perfect excuse to visit the hamlet of Mountfield Park Farm with its lovely buildings and the Glottenham Stream running through the middle. More about Barbara next week.

The launch meeting of the Darwell Area Conservation Society took place last Sunday afternoon against the background of the hottest day of the summer so far — a perfect BBQ Sunday — and a little sporting matter up at Wimbledon. Everyone feared the worst but, in the event, Mountfield Village Hall was packed. It goes to show that there are plenty of folk who really do care about this lovely area. There was a real buzz in the hall as everyone enjoyed the exhibition of old photographs, bought books of local interest, chatted with neighbours, tucked into tea and cakes and, of course, signed up as members of DACS.

About 35 members of Mountfield Horticultural Society and friends set off on June 23 to visit Loseley Park Gardens. Despite a downpour on the journey, the time at the gardens was fine and all enjoyed the planting and excellent lunch and tea.

Schedules for the flower show (July 27) are available from 9 Hoath Hill and 13 Eatenden Lane. There are classes for flowers, vegetables, soft fruit, flower arranging, handicrafts, photographs, cookery and juniors. Go on have a go, there must be something in your garden you can enter or perhaps you can cook up a storm for those classes. We look forward to seeing as many from the village entering or just coming along on the day. The Flower Show is at the Village Hall and is open to the public from 2.30pm with refreshments, games, raffle, etc.

News is just in that Archdeacon of Hastings and Lewes will be conducting the service in Mountfield Church on Sunday July 21 at 10am. Which brings us on to other church news courtesy of Jackie Spriggs.

Although All Saints Mountfield has been without a Rector for two-and-a-half years, and with no one yet in the offing, the linked parishes of Mountfield, Netherfield and Brightling have been functioning very well with the goodwill of a number of retired clergy. Obviously it is not possible to have services in each parish each week but a pattern has been established with Mountfield and Netherfield working together and Brightling arranging the services in that parish.

The pattern runs thus: on the first Sunday of the month there is a non-sacramental service in either Mountfield or Netherfield – for Mountfield, the next ones are September and November. Holy Communion on the second Sunday in the month is at Brightling, on the third Sunday at Mountfield and on the fourth Sunday at Netherfield. All services commence at 10am. On the fifth Sunday of the month (if there is one!) we take it in turns to provide the service for which we give separate notice as often it is a bit out of the ordinary… so watch this space.

At Mountfield we usually only get a wedding once in every couple of years but already in 2013 we have had two weddings, one blessing of marriage and two more weddings pending. in every case they have been for couples outside of the parish who have happened upon our church, and felt drawn to its unique atmosphere and idyllic setting. It used to be that you could not marry outside of the parish of abode but this rule has now been relaxed by the Church. Mountfield was also chosen for a ‘gathering’ or memorial service for a regular visitor.

On the subject of rules and regulations, restrictions re burials have become more stringent. No longer can we take bookings for burial plots and only those living, or dying, in the parish may be buried in the churchyard. This is because we are already reburying on used ground and once this is full, interments will have to be at Hastings Cemetery.

We have an open church policy – the church door stands open when the weather is fine, and the door is always unlocked between approx. 9.00am and early evening. Come and visit - we have a very special church.

For information on baptisms, marriages or funerals please contact Jackie Spriggs, Churchwarden, on 01580 880261 in the first instance

Mountfield Parish Council’s next meeting is Tuesday July 16, 7.30pm in the village hall. The question of M&W School is on the agenda so we’ll see whether the situation is any clearer following the crucial meeting at County last Monday (8th).

Each week so far, we seem to have had a brief footnote about some of the little detail of life. We commented recently that this strange year hadn’t produced any doodlebugs — i.e. May bugs — only for one to turn up in July. But the big excitement this week was when Pete looked out at one of our feeders and saw what looked like a pigeon in hawk’s clothing: a turtle dove — very rare and very exciting.