Peter and Valerie Miles,

Just about anything else ought to be more important than potholes but the situation has become critical. The lane outside the church is plain dangerous. Rocks Hill (by our car park) is not too clever for MAMILs (Middle Aged Men In Lycra) who hurtle down on their bikes only to find that there’s no road surface just before the bend… And at Park Pale, the broken surface is combined with wholesale subsidence of the road. I regularly manage it by daylight but this afternoon had a tooth-jarring experience in the dark.

John Longley from Rose Cottage, opposite the old saw mill by the village hall, rang ESCC to complain and was told that remedial work is planned but not until sometime in the next financial year. So the Parish Council returned to the fray, yet again, and wrote last week to the head of Highways pleading that, whatever budgetary constraints there may be, the section outside the church is urgent and cannot wait till sometime between April 2014 and April 2015. The road has already damaged vehicles and all BACT buses use that stretch of road, as do all visitors and deliveries to Photonic Science (one the parish’s three biggest employers), plus BG employees, churchgoers, MAMILs and worse. The initial response from Highways has been positive — or at least not downright negative — so… fingers crossed. We’ll keep you posted.

Here’s Jackie Spriggs with all sorts of church news (including Most Bizarre Geographical Fact of the Week and a passage where Jackie gets an attack of THE CAPITALS):

“All three parishes in our Benefice of Brightling, Mountfield and Netherfield were represented last Friday at Netherfield Church when Bishop Martin of Chichester came to us and celebrated Holy Communion as part of his Visitation programme of visiting every parish in the Diocese of Chichester. Also in the congregation was our incumbent elect, Rev’d. Anne Marie Crosse (of whom more later). After the service there was a social time over lunch with imaginative contributions from all three parishes.

“The Bishop and Churchwardens then adjourned for a meeting together where he informed us about the restructuring of the Diocese to make it more manageable and efficient. The diocese is a very odd shape: we at this end are the furthest away from our Cathedral – in fact the cathedrals of Canterbury, Rochester, St. Paul’s, Southwark and Westminster Abbey AND Boulogne are geographically closer as the crow flies!

“Bishop Martin was very easy to talk with and expressed his admiration at how our three parishes had managed to maintain regular services and activities for three years in the absence of an incumbent.

Then Bishop Martin went on a whistle-stop visit of ten minutes each to Mountfield and Brightling before whizzing off to his next place of Visitation.

“And now — great excitement — after three years managing ourselves, our new Incumbent, Rev’d Anne-Marie Crosse will be Licenced on Friday 13th (today) at 5.00 pm in St. John the Baptist Church, Netherfield, just in time for the busiest time in the Church’s year! She moved, with her dog Alfie, into the Rectory three weeks ago and has been visiting various events in the parishes so many of us have got to know her a little. Henceforth, if anyone needs to make enquiries regarding baptisms, marriages or funerals, they can contact Anne-Marie at Brightling Rectory on 01424 838504.

“The day following Anne-Marie’s Licencing, she’ll be thrown straight into village activities with Mountfield’s FESTIVE ELEVENSES in MOUNTFIELD CHURCH from 10.00 am - 12.00 am. There will be a FOOD BRING AND BUY and the DRAWING OF THE GRAND RAFFLE, with great prizes including CHAMPAGNE AND WINE, LOCAL PORK, VENISON AND PRODUCE, CHRISTMAS PUDDINGS, CAKES, MINCE PIES and MUCH MORE ! There will be a very warm welcome and all the proceeds will go to funds to keep our beautiful 12th century church open and in good repair for future generations.

“The following day, Sunday 15th, we welcome Anne-Marie to Mountfield when she will officiate at her first service as our incumbent at the 10.00am service of Holy Communion. It being Advent there will be the favourite Advent hymns to give a really rousing start to her ministry with us!”

THANK YOU to Jackie for that. Her MENTION of MINCE PIES smoothly introduces Spoonangel’s Christmas Fayre last Saturday which we trailed last week. They had a steady stream of visitors, many of whom said they hadn’t realised that there was such a resource on our doorstep for buying fabric, threads, tape, craft materials, etc. If you want to know more, call Lindsey and her team on 01424 870660. The cake sales, raffle and lucky dip raised a decent sum for charity which was shared between Demelza ( and a charity — and an extraordinary medical condition — which we’d never heard of before. For the internet-savvy, go to As we say, extraordinary.

There are still tickets for the Mountfield Club’s New Year’s Eve Disco & Buffet. It’s open to members and non-members alike: family tickets are just £17.00 and individuals £5.00, or £6.00 on the night. To book, give Sally Hayler a call on 079 888 72016.

There’s been a lot of coming and going in the village this year. Kevin Gray has managed to do both without leaving the village so we wish him — and his — well in their new home in Hoath Hill. We also bid welcome to Seb and Laura, plus children Ivy and Lucien, to their new home at Thorn Cottage, John’s Cross. And here, in Higher Mountfield, in Kevin’s old home at 2, Brickyard Cottages (next to Ruby) we welcome Nick and Chris Holden who have retired here from over Haywards Heath way.

Finally, a question. As you go up New Cut towards the London Road (A2100), behind the hedge on the right, there are eight, dirty great, concrete anti tank traps. We asked Fred Stace who could only confirm what they were. Does anyone know anything about them?

If so, you know where we are: 880614 (evenings) or