SPRING JUMBLE SALE: Chris Holden writes: “It’s time for a good clear out! The Village Hall Committee will be holding a Grand Jumble Sale plus a raffle and refreshments at Mountfield Village Hall on Saturday March 21st. The proceeds will be split between the Mountfield Family Bonfire, the annual children’s Christmas Tree Party and St. Michael’s Hospice. Please start collecting all your unwanted new and used items of clothing, books, CDs, DVDs, bric-à-brac, household goods, tools, etc and, of course, any Christmas gifts that you’d like to pass on [or, as your Village Voices prefer to call them, pre-opened pleasures]! The hall will be open to accept your items on the following dates: Saturday January 17th from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon, Saturday February 14th from 2.00 pm to 4.00 pm, and Saturday March 14th from 10.00 am to 12.00 noon. Thank you for your support.”

CHRISTMAS PAST: Jackie Spriggs, our Religious Affairs Correspondent, reports: “Wasn’t it just the most perfect Christmas Eve? Clear as crystal — and we all stood outside to watch and wave as Father Christmas swooped across the sky! Someone completely blinded by science said it was the International Space Station. Silly Billy — we knew just who it was. Then — such joy — a very bright sunny Christmas Day and a goodly crowd in the church who came and adored in superb voice. We ding-donged very merrily on high, visited the little town of Bethlehem, awayed in a manger, listened intently to the excellent homily given by the former Dean of Battle, the Reverend John Chater, then harked to the herald angels in fine voice and volume with descants soaring to the rafters to round off a most uplifting celebration in honour and remembrance of the birth of the Babe of Bethlehem! The church looked wonderful with the very tall and beautiful birch Christmas tree sparkling up to the barrel roof and the windows filled with traditional evergreens and flowers (thank you ladies, you know who you are). Thanks too to British Gypsum for the perfectly proportioned Christmas tree which has stood outside the south porch twinkling merrily away with solar lights to welcome all-comers.”

AND FUTURE: Jackie continues: “On Sunday, January 4th, the Feast of the Epiphany will be celebrated at a Family Service in Mountfield at 10.00 am to remember the coming of the eastern sages (traditionally thought to have been called Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar and no, they did not come in a taxi or a car, but very uncomfortably atop whiffy and temperamental camels) so another really good sing can be expected to round off the festive season. Everyone very welcome! Happy New Year!”

RWANDA AID: And from Jackie Spriggs, who is also our Profane Affairs Correspondent (don’t ask), we have this “On December 23rd, I was thrilled to attend a special fundraising concert at Vinehall School Theatre given by Tom Chaplin of Keane fame for Rwanda Aid, the charity founded by Tom’s father David, which works with the poorest and most needy people of that country. It is a charity with no administration costs as all involved are volunteers and give their time freely. The evening began with David recounting some of the situations he has encountered in Rwanda and reading a poem he had written about Christmas in Rwanda followed by an extract from the Dylan Thomas favourite “A Child’s Christmas in Wales”. Then a girl called Emily read beautifully the carol “It came upon a midnight clear”, the words of which are so appropriate for the warring in the world at any given time which causes such devastation, misery and hardship. Then… what a concert! Tom and friends gave us a fantastic evening, performing new songs from his own album, and covers of Elton John and Paul McCartney numbers, and was then joined by special guest Tim Rice-Oxley for some of the favourite Keane numbers. My grandchildren were on another warp. They have been to large venue pop concerts, but being in such an intimate setting with two of their pop idols was beyond their wildest dreams. And more classically minded Granny was singing along too — equally amazing! Tom Chaplin covered all the costs of the performance so every penny benefited Rwanda Aid. What an evening for such a very worthy cause!”

CONTACT: Your Village Voices wish you a peaceful New Year. If you have anything for the Village Voice, we can be contacted on 880614 or via

Peter and Valerie Miles