Etchingham news
Etchingham news

SCHOOL CHRISTMAS FAIR: A large number of village residents and friends attended the annual Friends of Etchingham School (FES) Christmas Fair last Saturday (December 3), making it a record breaking event.

It all started back in September, the planning for the main FES fundraiser had begun. This was the second Christmas Fair in our new school. It is run by the Friends of Etchingham School, Mothers and Fathers helping to raise extra funds to give their children enriching and memorable opportunities beyond the curriculum, which enables them to see, try and take part in a wide selection of activities.

With meetings every three weeks throughout September, October and November enriched by regular emails, lists were prepared, artwork completed and supplied for the posters and flyers, stall holders invited, and parents continually reminded that it was Christmas and this is what we needed them to do.

The parents were amazing! Everything that was asked of them they did and exceeded all expectations. Wonderful raffle prizes were donated, jam jars filled with surprises and help given. Local businesses were asked for special little somethings for our raffle. They too were generous to a fault!

The invited stall holders had a varied and wide range of quality goods. There was something for everyone. Handmade felt gifts, knitted, crochet, and ceramic decorations. Beautiful walking canes with carved handles. Handmade soap and creams. Baskets of hyacinths and chocolate wonders. The list goes on and on.

The Christmas Café supplied one and all with hot drinks and homemade cakes. The Jingle Bell Barbeque turned out hot dogs with all the trimmings to those who needed to recharge in between shopping.

Father Christmas’s Grotto rose to new heights this year. The theme was Narnia, and the school library was turned into a magical retreat with twinkling lights, autumn leaves, Christmas trees, fur coats, marshmallows and the man himself. To hear both parents and children gasping as they walked in was truly magical.

It has been a wonderful year, the children are so grateful for everyone’s hard work and generosity. Too many people involved to be able to thank everyone personally, a huge thank you to everyone who helped in any way to make this event a great success.

And all this work and effort helped raise the magnificent sum of £2684, a record amount for the annual Christmas Fair.

There is talk of it being bigger and better next year in conjunction with another village charity. Watch this space!

I have uploaded a few pictures from the day to the usual location at Flickr

CHRISTMAS PLAY: The Christmas Concert and Play this year will be in the comfort of the village hall tomorrow (Saturday December 10), 7pm featuring Dick Etchingham and his Cat, there may still be some tickets available in the village shops, or contact Phil or Phillipa Hinde on 01580 819434.

CHURCH SERVICES: Church Services for the rest of December. Sunday December 11, 11am with Canon Patrick Sales; Sunday December 18, 8.30am with Canon Patrick Sales and 4pm Carol Servive with Reverend Sally Epps; Christmas Eve, 3pm Crib Service with Reverend Sally Epps and 11pm Midnight Service with Reverend Jean Manning; Christmas Day, 10am with Reverend Dick Dengate; Sunday January 1, 11am Canon Patrick Sales; Sunday January 8, 11am with Reverend Jean Manning.

HELP PAINT YOUR CHURCH: The white paintwork on the walls of the Church never really recovered from the flooding in 2000, but work has taken place to repaint the interior. The overall cost is roughly £5 per square foot of internal wall. the good news is that thanks to a couple of generous legacies, most of the money is in hand to cover the work. However this will use up most of the church fabric fund, leaving nothing in reserve for future contingencies in looking after the grade 1 listed building. Parishioners are invited to sponsor as many square feet as they can afford at £5 per square foot, contributions can given to Rev. Sally Epps or one of the Churchwardens, or you can send to the Treasurer at Englefield, High Street, Etchingham TN19 7AG. If you are a tax payer you can gift aid your contribution, there is a form in he current parish magazine or contact the treasurer for a form.

PAVEMENTS: In recent weeks I have been approached by village residents regarding a couple of issues with pavements in the village. One resident has complained about the number of times they have had to negotiate dog mess in the middle of the pavement - please remember if you have a dog it is your responsibility to clear up after it and not leave it for others to walk through. The second concern involves vehicles parked on pavements, forcing pedestrians to take the risky option of walking in the road. It is preferred that vehicles do not park on the pavement at all, but if you do need to park partly on the pavement make sure you have left enough space for someone with a pushchair or buggy, or someone in a wheelchair to get past your vehicle without walking in the road. Roads for cars - pavements for people.

CHURCH OPENING: The Church is open every day for visitors from 11am to 4pm. If you have not already been in, visit on a nice sunny day so that you can see how bright the Church now is with nice white walls.

JANUARY: I do not intend contributing anything for this column on December 23 and 30, unless anything urgent comes to my attention, so if you have items for January please give me the details now. The first column of the new year should be January 6, but the first one might not appear until January 13.

FUTURE EVENTS: Do you have events planned for coming months? Send me the dates and basic details now, I can then give your event a mention well in advance of the date, people can note the date and I can then put the full details in nearer the date.

SENDING INFORMATION: Get information for this column to me as soon as possible. There are several ways to get your info to me, but email is preferred because there is less chance of errors during copying. I need information by 10pm on Monday to be sure it will be in time for inclusion, I can sometimes add extra items on Tuesday morning, but this cannot be guaranteed. You can deliver to 2 Park Farm Close, telephone 01580 819532 or 07484 635014 or email you will also find a form on the village website ( ) to send your information from there, look for the Village Voice link near the bottom of the column of links on the left-hand side of the website page.

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