Catsfield

WI Centenary: Tomorrow Saturday 7th April in the Village Hall from 10am - 1pm there will be a free Coffee and Cake morning and an exhibition of lovely old photographs connected to the WI and the village. Learn about the contribution that the WI has made to village life. All local people are invited to join us to celebrate this special occasion.

There is a Quiz night on Saturday 14th April from 7.30pm in the Hall and tickets can be bought from Ann Davey and Beryl Bodey for £5 each to include a free drink. Bring your own picnics and nibbles, wine and soft drinks will be available to purchase. Users of the Village Hall in April will see the lovely greetings cards pinned around the walls made by the children of the village school to congratulate the WI on this great event.

Concert: There will be a Spring Concert held at St Laurence Church on Saturday 27th April at 7.30pm. The prize winning St Laurence Church Choir will be performing and some local guest artists too. Tickets cost £7 each to include a light supper and are available from the Village Store or on the door

Easter: The calendar may have shown that it was Easter and the churchyard was certainly looking lovely with a wonderful display of daffodils and primroses, but the weather hadn’t got the message. It may not have been the coldest Easter weekend but surely it was the wettest? That didn’t deter the worshippers from both parishes attending the Maundy Thursday service and giving thanks for the gift of Holy Communion and the washing of feet. After stripping the altar of all ornaments and hangings to leave it stark for Good Friday, the candles were lit on the Altar of Repose at the side, all other lights were extinguished and silence descended as the Watch began from 9pm until midnight. A few people came and went throughout that time to be in Jesus’ presence and pray, at no time was the church left empty.

Good Friday was equally wet but still the congregation was not deterred and the three hours that Jesus was on the cross was remembered in prayer, readings and reflections. At 2.30pm the quietness ended as the children and their parents arrived for the re-enactment by the children of the story of the Crucifixion. Father Michael introduced the play and said that all the participants had behaved beautifully and learnt their parts well. This was evident as the play unfolded and was seriously performed, punctuated by hymns that also told the story of Jesus’ last hours. A Christingle candle was lit (not only significant at Christmas) and the children were given glow sticks to wave to signify God’s love for us lighting the world. There were about fifty adults and twenty-four children in the congregation and in spite of the weather, many of them walked cheerfully down the hill in the persistent rain with pushchairs and umbrellas to enjoy Hot Cross buns and tea in the Village Hall.

Easter Sunday was a day without rain, there was a large congregation of adults and children in church to celebrate the risen Christ and renew their Baptismal vows, the joyous hymns were sung with great gusto. Father Michael told a story about Harold the church cat who had been very tired after all the many services of Holy Week and he’d overslept on Easter Sunday. When he woke, to his horror he found that he had forgotten to get the Easter Eggs for the children’s hunt in the churchyard later and feared he’d be in great trouble with Father Michael. In desperation he climbed up the bell tower and his desperation became panic when he discovered that all the bells had disappeared. He slid down the ladder and ran outside looking for them, when suddenly there was an engine noise in the air and to his amazement, a strange-looking plane landed in the road by the church. A familiar smiling face wearing a funny hat leaned out of the cockpit and introduced himself as Flying Officer James Bigglesworth, usually called Biggles and his plane was a Sopwith Camel. Biggles showed Harold the wings on his uniform that meant he was a pilot and explained that today was the one hundredth anniversary of the formation of the RAF which, being April Fool’s Day, seemed to him to be a strange day to choose for something as important as the RAF.

Well, Harold knew all about Biggles because Father Michael has lots of books about him with his picture on the front that he often spends time reading when perhaps he should be doing other things. Harold explained that he was the church cat and he’d lost the bells, he said it was as if they’d just flown away. Biggles laughed and explained that that was exactly what they had done and that every year towards the end of Holy Week when they’re silent, all the church bells from many countries grow wings and fly off to Rome, returning with Easter Eggs for the children on Easter Sunday. He told Harold to jump in and they went whizzing up through the clouds, across Europe to Rome where they saw thousands of flying bells with wings starting to return home. Harold was very relieved, he suddenly woke with a start and found he was in the bell tower with all the bells hanging in their right places and a big pile of Easter Eggs next to them. He was delighted that Father Michael would be pleased with him and that the children would have their Easter Egg Hunt after all.

Admiral Nurses: A convivial afternoon was held in Thora Webber’s house the other day to raise money for Admiral Nurses. Thora wanted to help this charity in memory of her sister, who has recently died from a dementia related illness. We all crowded into the house, some in the front room, others in the kitchen and at one stage one of us was sitting on the stairs dishing out shoes, most of which went to the right owners. In all £230 was raised just by selling raffle tickets and donations towards tea and gorgeous cakes.

Sport: No good news of the groundsman this week, he is in despair. So much rain, so much to do to get the cricket wicket in shape for the first match at the end of the month. We know the drains are running well, but with more football matches still to be played or even arranged such is the fixture congestion, it will be touch and go if we will be able to play. We hope to play football against Sedlescombe tomorrow fortunately away, but that pitch lies very low, so we might have another cancellation. We press on.

Sussex Harmony: Sussex Harmony will be performing at All Saints Church, Waldron (near Heathfield) TN21 0RA at 7pm on Saturday 14th April. The title is “The Pattern of the Year”, a concert of secular and sacred music from 18th & 19th century Sussex. Entry is free but there will be a collection in aid of the organ fund. Refreshments available from 6.30pm.