Richard Holmes, Beauchamps

On the Sunday evening before Christmas both our church and its huge twinkling Christmas tree were brilliantly lit for the Udimore and Brede Carol Service. With Duncan Reid at the organ, the large congregation rose to the occasion, afterwards enjoying substantial seasonal refreshments generously produced and served in the Hall by the Wheeler family.

By Christmas Eve a series of gales had cut off the electricity supply from much of the village, including our church. So at another well attended service, the Midnight Mass, carols were sung unaccompanied (but with great gusto), in a church unlit by anything except a few candles and our pocket torches. These combined to create a very special atmosphere, a reminder of what evening services in the church must have been like when it was lit only by candles and a few paraffin lamps. Worth repeating in future years, perhaps? The service itself certainly is.

Although some of us fortunately haven’t so far lost our power supply, and others were cut off for only a few hours, many households in the western part of Udimore had no power at all for some two weeks. Even now at the time of writing some properties still have to be supplied by emergency roadside generators. It’s been altogether very disruptive to many people’s lives (and disastrous for the contents of their freezers). It came at the most inconvenient time of the year imaginable, both for the suffering households and for the power companies’ repair teams, whose task has been made even harder by the difficulty of access to power lines across rain-saturated farmland.

Anyone who would like to come to the Wildlife Society’s owls presentation in the Hall at 2.30pm tomorrow afternoon (Friday) but hasn’t yet booked should ring Alex Boatwright-Smith (01797 230659) as soon as possible.

The church services on Sunday are the celebration of Holy Communion at 8am, and the monthly Family Service for All at 11.15am, followed by a social get-together in the Hall, with refreshments.

At 6.30pm on Wednesday (January 15) in the Hall there’ll be a meeting of the Parish Council, at which the support of parishioners will be very welcome: our opportunity to find out what County, District and Parish Councillors are deciding on our behalf.

It’s still not too late to book for the Udimore Quiz Night next Saturday (January 18) in the Hall. Please ring Frank Langrish to find out what tables are available. Tickets cost £10 and include a fish and chip supper, which will be served at the start of the evening, 6.45pm. Bring your own drinks. There’ll be a raffle too, for joints of a local lamb.