St Mary’s Grand Christmas Fayre: With as many choice items as ever for sale, stallholders had a good morning last Saturday in St Mary’s Community Hall, their takings combining with raffles, tombola, donations and other receipts to raise some £900 towards church funds. Always keenly contested, the Wick Farm hamper was won by Ann Barker, well deserved after all her fundraising for the Hall. On such a fine sunny morning, the event might have attracted more supporters than it did, we felt, but those of you who weren’t there missed a most enjoyable couple of hours, and some excellent mulled wine. Nan Hacking would like to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the event in any way, not least those who came along to support it.

Backa Quacka: Next day perfect conditions continued for the duck race. The Tillingham wasn’t nearly as high or fast-flowing as it had been earlier in the month, so the many punters who came along had no difficulty keeping up with the leaders, many of which had formed themselves into clusters (and seemed to travel a little faster that way than those that swam on their own). For a while this looked like giving the finish judges a bit of a headache, but fortunately in the end it was easy to spot the clear winner (backed by Rupert Lord) and runner-up (backed by Gerald Sturgeon), and a photo finish determined the remaining eight prizewinners (among whom the winner of a meal for two at The Plough was Al Ball). Many of the punters then adjourned to The Plough, for confirmation of the result and awarding of the prizes by Robert Wheeler, who thanked everyone who had taken part, and was in turn thanked for a highly successful initiative, which raised some £400 towards church funds.

Mobile Library: This is probably the last month we shall have library visits as frequently as for the last few years and at the same two sites. If you read this in time, this morning (Friday) the library will be at Lower Cross from 10.15 to 10.40am, and at the Hall from 10.55 to 11.15am.

Sunday Service: For the first Sunday in the month (and also in the Church’s year, Advent Sunday) at 9.30am in St Mary’s Church Fr John Lee will lead the monthly Family Eucharist, at which everyone will be welcome, as well as to the refreshments in the Hall afterwards.

Christmas Singalong: In the Hall at 7pm on Thursday (December 11) everyone is invited to gather for “Deck the Halls”, a Christmas Singalong accompanied by Vocality. The entry price of £5 will include a glass of mulled wine and a mince pie, children free (refreshments to be provided for them too). There will be a raffle for a bottle of champagne. All proceeds towards Hall funds.

Winter Lunch Party: For its next fundraising event the Overseas Group Committee invites you all to a Winter Lunch party in the Hall on Thursday January 22, starting at 12.45pm. For a two-course hot meal tickets cost £8.50 (bring your own wine, or other drinks). There will also be a raffle. For tickets, please ring Liz Turgoose (01424 882657, or Judy Edwards (01424 882222). The Committee is delighted to report that its previous event, the Sunday afternoon tea party on November 16, raised £664.15 (including many donations) for the DEC Ebola Emergency Fund.

Food Bank in Rye: As you may well have heard, the Rye Branch of Bexhill Food Bank was due to open for the first time yesterday (Thursday). You can support this excellent scheme by placing contributions of food in the large box now to be found behind the check-outs at the Jempsons Supermarket in Rye. On this box you should be able to find a list of the packeted, tinned or bottled foods which are currently required, but you may also find this information on the scheme’s website www.bexhill.foodbank.org.uk

Richard Holmes