Karen Ayling, The White House, Dixter Road

I’m having to write this before Christmas, so I hope you had a very Happy Christmas! I am sure that everyone enjoyed the two candle-lit services – Carols by Candlelight and the Crib Service, where I am sure all those wayward sheep were gathered together at the stable.

We now move on to 101 things to do with left-over turkey. Not a problem I have ever had to face, as I just love cold turkey in all its many manifestations!

Our next village event is the New Years’ Eve Glitter Ball which will be held in the Village Hall on Tuesday evening. If you haven’t planned anything yet, why not give Mervyn a call (253443) and join in the fun. Tickets are £12.50 a head, and there will be a DJ getting us on the dance floor. Bring your own drink (and glasses), light refreshments will be provided. Better than sitting in watching the telly!

2013 was another successful year for Northiam, with active clubs and societies, and plenty for everyone to do. There have been some exceptional concerts, fascinating speakers and varied sporting activities on offer for all ages and abilities.

Building on this community spirit, our new Bonfire Society brought together a wide range of people working as a team to produce a great event enjoyed by most of the village. And thank you all for your support throughout the year when we were fundraising, and on the night itself it was thrilling to see so many people lining the streets and piling onto the field.

A huge thank you to all those people who work throughout the year to plan interesting programmes, open up halls, boil kettles and do all the other jobs which are so essential to a varied social life in the village. Not least those people (yes we do mean you, Peter Hayman) who spend a great deal of time and effort shifting furniture about the village so we have tables and chairs in the right places for whatever we are planning.

Thank you to those who run businesses in the village, which are, actually, too many to mention! And are the lifeblood of the community. Thank you to our Parish Councillors and all the volunteers who help others in so many ways.

And, of course, thank you for supporting the societies, businesses and fund-raising events, which keeps them alive.

An that leads me neatly on to some of the events planned for the near future:

Coffee Stop offers coffee and a chat each Wednesday in the Church Centre between 10am and 12pm, and yes they are open on New Year’s Day!

On Tuesday 21st January, Shirley Saeed will be returning to Northiam to run another Spice up your Life evening, teaching the basics of an authentic curry. Tickets are available from me – 01797 253375 at £5.

Rye & District Lions host their annual Nearly Burns Night Concert with Sussex Brass on Friday 24th January, with tickets on sale at Beckley Motors £6.50. This is usually a sell-out event so it would be wise to get your ticket early!

The Conservation Society will be holding their ever-popular Quiz Night on Saturday 25th January, so gather your teams for a contest!

Showtimers are already planning their next extravaganza, and are looking for people to join this lively band. If you fancy joining the group, people are needed for on-stage, backstage, front of house or technical. Auditions will take place in January. For more information phone Geoff or Caroline Poyton on 01797 252918. (under 18s will need to be accompanied by a parent/guardian to participate)

If you enjoy hearing the church bells over the Christmas period, perhaps you might fancy having a go yourself? Alan, the Tower Captain, is looking for more ringers to join the team, and would welcome complete beginners or returning ringers to practice nights on Tuesdays in January (not the 1st, there may be headaches to nurture) at 7.30pm. Either turn up at the main entrance to the church, or phone Alan for more information – 01797-253580.

Services (29th): 8am Holy Communion, 10.30am Holy Communion