Christmas Church Services: As usual, it was a busy Christmas in St Mary’s. On Sunday December 21 at the Service of Nine Lessons and Carols, held jointly with St George’s Brede, we were treated to a tenth carol: in top form, Gary Marriott gave us a fine, sensitive rendering of “Jesus Christ the Apple Tree”. We’re very grateful to him for this, and to Duncan Reid for once again accompanying the rest of us in our carolling. On Christmas Eve the Children’s Crib Service was supported by even more young families than in previous years. Later that evening, we were reminded by Fr John Lee that as an emergency measure last year’s Christmas Midnight Mass had been celebrated by candlelight (as you may remember, a severe storm had cut the power supply to much of the village). This was so successful that it seemed well worth repeating this year. The atmosphere was indeed magical and once again proved to be a wonderful way to start Christmas Day. It may well be on its way to becoming a traditional part of the Udimore Christmas. On Christmas Morning the Family Sung Eucharist attracted a large congregation, of all ages. Among three generations of the Bingham family who were there, it was particularly good to see Penella, now slowly recovering from serious injuries sustained in a nasty car accident in the autumn, and to welcome Cathy back to accompany us at the organ once more. Tim Saville was there too, whose parents, Ruth and Mike, lived in Cock Marling for several years, before moving to Winchelsea Beach, and jointly writing a history of that community. Mike died several years ago, but it was good to have news of Ruth, now resident in Five Villages, Icklesham.

Church Service this Sunday: The first monthly Family Sung Eucharist of 2015 is due to start at 11.15am and will be followed by refreshments in the Hall. All welcome!

Wildlife talk: Swifts, Swallows and Martins will be the subject of a talk at 7.30pm in the Hall next Friday, January 9, open to all. The speaker will be Edward Mayer, an enthusiastic and internationally respected expert on this group of birds. Further details have already been circulated to members of Udimore Wildlife Society, but if you haven’t yet received this information and would like to know more, please contact Alex Boatwright Smith (01797 230659, or boatwrightsmith@aol.com).

Greetings: I should like to wish all readers of this column a happy and successful New Year.

Richard Holmes