THINGS ARE DRAWING: gently to a close throughout our parish as our clubs, societies and social groups all close down for the Christmas period, enabling those that run these groups time out to enjoy their own festive time. It’s going to seem rather quieter within our community, as the Pre-School and Primary schools. both situated in Staplecross, will already have closed their doors following the end-of-term celebrations and no doubt, the children will be making the most of the holiday time in preparation for “The VISIT by HIM”.

I MUST MENTION: a special “Thank You” to all the teachers and their assistants for the ‘Nativity Service’ that took place at the Village Hall, in Staplecross last Thursday and Friday. Every pupil had a part to play, even the “newbies” who have only been at school for a few weeks, joined in with gusto and sang word perfect, - no mean feat when you’re only four !. Songs were sung, prayers were read and tales were told of the true story of Christmas- most ably acted out by the children. The starring role, of course, must go to baby Jesus, perfectly portrayed this year by Jacob, (-aged a matter of weeks! ) and who didn’t make a sound throughout it all and was looked after so beautifully by his big brother, Daniel, - a shepherd for the duration of the service !. Everyone had a smiles on their faces and joy in their hearts through the whole of the performance. The teachers, assistants, PTFA and parents alike all deserve a special pat on the back, not only for the super show, which must have been very hard work for all concerned, in whatever capacity, but also to the ‘Back Room Boys’ who so ably provided the hot Mulled Wine and all the yummy nibbles & mince pies, which really were much appreciated and enjoyed. Thank you ALL for all the extra time and effort you have all put in for our benefit. All the hard work and extra hours spent in making this ‘show’ possible, was so very much appreciated by every one who attended, - as seen by the tears of the Mums’ and the grins of the Dads’. Extra special thanks and appreciation must go to the stars themselves,- to ALL the pupils of Staplecross MCP school.---You all worked hard and made it magical and amazing, so now enjoy your own Christmas. --- P.S. Last week the school held their own annual Christmas tea and Fayre with a number of activities, stalls, gifts and a raffle. As a result of this, the amazing sum of £1047:00 was able to be added to the school funds. What a resounding success this event was and grateful thanks to all who contributed in any way are sent

ANOTHER PIECE OF GOOD NEWS: A very short, but very sweet meeting occured last Wednesday morning,10th December when our own ‘Village Bobby’ in the popular form of PCSO Demi Georghiou, and Katie Oliver, a member of the Public Engagement for Rother Neighbourhood Policing Team, met with three members of the Ewhurst Parish Council, Brigitte Fifield, Maggie Whitaker and Anne Reed. at the children’s Play Park, in Northiam Road, Staplecross. The special reason for this was to enable a cheque for £500:00 to be donated from the Police to the Ewhurst Parish Council to the fund for the up-grading of the children play area. Brigitte Fifield the Chairman of EPC stated - “Any amount, whatever the size, will always be gratefully received for projects such as this. and it’s good to see various bodies all working towards a goal for the benefit of the whole community.” PCSO Demi was proud to inform us that this is the first time an award has been made for the top amount payable from the Police Fund and he was very pleased it was going to a worthwhile project. As it so happened, the brilliant Staplecross Pre-School Play-group children were already enjoying the fresh air and fun of the existing play equipment and 3 year old Arthur Stevens (Grandson of Councillor Reed) was very happy to accept the cheque from PCSO Demi. However, this was quickly transferred into the secure, more grown up hands of Chairman Fifield, for safe keeping. This project will not only provide more stimulation for the young children, but will incorporate various other equipment that will be targeted towards the older age groups, therefore creating an area that will be enjoyed by all. Watch this space for news of the progress of this project in 2015.

CAROLS ON THE GREEN: Just to remind you all, as if you’ve forgotten, that tonight Friday 19th December from 6pm there will be the delightful traditional event of singing Christmas carols around the lovely Christmas tree in Ewhurst Green. Everyone is invited to come along and be a part of this lovely little festive celebration. Mulled Wine and mince pies will be offered to naturally help keep out the cold and to help with the singing- medicinal value, I guess, A warm welcome is extended to all, the more the merrier, as this promises to be a fun and friendly event. Carol sheets will be provided together with candles, but bring your own if you prefer. A small collection is made for the churches of the parish. Please do pop along and join in these festivities if you can.

GARDEN SOCIETY CHRISTMAS PARTY: Another reminder for fun and festivities, is the Ewhurst, Staplecross & Bodiam Garden Society Christmas Party, that will be taking place also tonight at the Village Hall, in Staplecross at 7pm. Invitations are extended not only to members of this society, together with their family and friends but also to anyone who is interested in any aspect of horticulture, however large or small, and who may be considering joining this very friendly, very helpful, super little gardening group.This promises to be quite a fun evening, with a delicious finger buffet, filled with many tempting nibbles, including Mulled Wine & mince pies. There will be lots to keep you happily entertained including a super raffle table, and a variety of quiz’s, cheekily guaranteed to have you groaning when given the solutions. Entrance is free for Members and just a small fee is payable by guests. Do come along and join in the fun and have an enjoyable evening amongst friends.

ROTHER RAMBLERS: After a very successful year, the Rother Ramblers walking group come to the last two (2) walks for this year and both are part of the “Winter Festival Walk” programme. The first is planned to take place on Friday December 26th.- Boxing Day-. This will be just a short jaunt of a 6 mile circular tour of Pett and Fairlight and those interested will be meeting at 10.0am Pett Village Hall. (SatNav TN354HD) There will be a short refreshment stop, but a visit to the pub at the end of the walk, if desired, can be arranged. Your doggy pals can enjoy this little meander with you, and the scenery can be quite spectacular. Sue is the lady who will be your ‘Walk Leader’ on this occasion and you can contact her on 01424~441018 for all further information. Bringing this year to a fitting close is walk no: 2. Entitled “Mulled Wine & Mince Pies”, this promises to be an 8 mile walk with a difference, - especially if there is too much of either !.- This walk is planned to take place on Sunday December 28th and all those who would like to take part in this special seasonal stroll, should meet on the Green, at Rushlake Green (SatNav TN219QE) at 10.30 am.On street parking around The Green, is the arrangement today, so please be considerate and park prettily. This will be a ‘Figure of 8’ walk, with consumption of seasonal goodies between walks. Sorry, but you’ll have to bring your own, - although some festive spirits have been known to share !!! . Once again man’s best friend can also enjoy this walk, but perhaps not the Mulled Wine !. Lionel is the ‘Walk Leader’ for today, so please contact him on: 01424~752452 for details and further information.

JERWOOD GALLERY COMPETITION: This versatile and increasingly popular art gallery is offering the chance to win a trip for two to the beachside gallery, in Hastings, with lunch at the gallery’s restaurant, ‘Webbe’s at Jerwood’ AND tickets for five (5) very lucky people for a private box to see “Madam Butterfly” at the Royal Albert Hall. Terms and conditions apply- so contact ESCC for details.To be in with a chance of winning this prize, simply send your name, address, ‘phone number and email address to: or post them to Editor, ‘Your County’, East Sussex County Council, County Hall, St. Annes Crescent, Lewes, East Sussex. BN7 1UE. Deadline is FRIDAY 30th JANUARY. - Good Luck.

OUT & ABOUT: A few last minute suggestions for out & abouting this week, either with the children or without. The first event to arrive is the Rye Arts & Crafts Fair. To be held on Sat December 20th between 11.0am and 5.0pm. This will be a vibrant and lively craft fair, full of beautiful artisan made arts and crafts in the Rye Community Centre, Conduit Hill, Rye TN32 7LE. Free Entry. All welcome. Fancy trying something new ?, - Well, How about a “Bateman’s Boxing Day Breakfast & Walk.” ? A hearty English breakfast, followed by a gentle guided countryside walk, could be just the thing !. Set in lovely surroundings amidst glorious countryside, this may be the perfect way to spend Boxing Day, and perhaps follow in the footsteps of one of Englands greatest writers. Charges are £15:00 per person and booking is essential, so please contact Bateman’s, Burwash, Etchingham. Telephone 01435~882302.

CHURCH SERVICES: Church services for the parish of Ewhurst will take place on a number of occasions and will begin this very special week in the church calender, with a service at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green on Sunday 21st December. Advent 4 at 9.30am. This service will also include Holy Communion. A service at St. Mark’s church, Northiam Road, Staplecross, will follow at 11.15am and this service will include a Christmas Holy Communion. A special event “Carols by Candlelight” will take place at St. Giles, Bodiam at On Wednesday December 24th there will be a traditional Christmas Eve Communion at 11.30pm and this will take place at St. Giles church, at Bodiam. On Christmas Day Thursday December 25th. There will be a service at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green at 9.30am which will include Holy Communion. There will follow directly after a service at St. Giles, Bodiam, at 11.15am which also will include Holy Communion. There will be NO SERVICE at St. Mark’s church, Staplecross, on this day. This holiest of weeks will conclude with a service on Sunday December 28th. Sunday after Christmas. at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green at 9.30am.This service will also include Holy Communion. There will be NO SERVICES at BOTH St. Giles, Bodiam and St Mark’s church, Staplecross. All of these services will be conducted by Reverend Gordon Winchester and if he can help you with any church matter, please don’t hesitate to contact him at The Rectory, or by ‘phone 01580~830268 or via email:

PLEASE CONTACT ME: If your Club, Charity, Group or Society is planning any celebrations,at any time of the year. I would love to be able to help publicise and promote your event, so please get in touch. In the meantime, may I take this opportunity to wish you all,, wherever you are and whatever you’re doing, a “Very Merry Christmas”. - and may 2015 bring you, “Love, Luck and Laughter” continuously throughout the year. Have lots of magical moments with plenty more to come Thank You.

Anne Reed