Pews News: This Sunday, June 3, there will be a service of Family Worship at St Andrew’s at 10.30 am. The

Crèche will be available, too. Then, at 6 pm, there is to be an Informal Holy Communion service at St Peter’s. Over at Pett Methodist Chapel, the 10.45 am service will be led by visiting preacher Mrs Pen Wilcock.

How pleasant it was last week-end to have a visit from former Pett Methodist stalwarts Betty and Derek Snow, together with their daughter Gillian. Betty was also a prominent pillar in the gardening and floral clubs as well as Trefoil.

Val Relfe reports on the outcome of this year’s Christian Aid week, the annual fund raising behind which she is the driving force. The House to House collection in aid of Christian Aid raised a total of £1,134 thanks to the efforts of 15 volunteers. The Coffee Morning at St Peter’s on the opening Saturday enhanced this figure by a substantial £250, and a donation from a Pett Church collection added £141 to the excellent total, which stands at £1525. The contribution that will come from Gift Aid has yet to be calculated, and it is hoped this will add a further significant amount.

MOPPs today and next Friday: Today, Friday, June 1, the entertainment will be by Tim Gibson, the singer and guitarist, and the toenail cutting service presented by Nicola’s on behalf of Age UK will also be taking place. Luncheon today is fish pie, with panna cotta to follow. We can’t tell you what’s coming up next Friday yet, because Jim has had a bit of a holiday. As soon as he’s back, we’ll let you know…

The Village Hall Summer Fair: Tomorrow, Saturday, June 2 is the next Fairlight Village Hall Summer Fair, when most of the clubs and societies in the village will have a stall. Food and refreshments, and tea, coffee and Pimms will all be available, so do go along and help them raise funds in support of the upkeep of the hall, such a vital and well-used part of village life. Opening hours are from 12 noon until 3 pm, and the always popular lunches will be available from opening time.

Parish Memorial: Please don’t forget that there will be a short Memorial Service at St Andrew’s Church on Sunday week, June 10, starting at 3 pm. This service is for the families, relatives and friends of those who are buried in St Andrew’s Churchyard. It’s not too late (quite) to let the Rector, the Rev Richard Barron, know you’d like to be there, on 812799. Then there will be sufficient refreshments to include yourself after the service. This is a splendid idea, and let’s hope it gets the support it – and the relatives, families and friends – deserve.

The Youth Club 20th Anniversary: The Club’s 20th anniversary last Sunday from 11 am until 9 pm was ‘brilliant’, says Wendy Hatch. She couldn’t be sure who won the tug-of-war but it was a lot of fun. The new Hastings mayor turned up for a while and lots of people from the village. It was really great to see all the old, past club members who managed to make it. Congratulations on a lovely celebratory day, and more importantly to Wendy and countless other helpers and supporters, plus the youngsters themselves, for the longevity of such a worthwhile endeavour.

Open Gardens, 2018: On four previous occasions, Fairlight’s Open Gardens have proved to offer a fascinating weekend’s tours of gardens large and small, formal and easy going, with food and drink and other goodies all variously available somewhere on the circuit. And now we approach the Open Gardens for the fifth time of asking, with all monies raised by this excellent exercise going this time round to MOPPs, the charitable Friday home-from-home for many of our elderly residents. Among the new show gardens are those of Gardening Club multi-award winners Bernard and Anne Cruttenden; Katie and Ollie Gronow, who not only have bee hives in their garden but will be providing lots of additional information on bees; Jim and Peter at the Lookout, where Pimm’s will augment the most stunning views in the village. In a special category, following the success of the transformation of the Circle by the Gardening Club, it will be ‘opening’ as a prime example of a ‘community garden’ with details of all the plants and, where possible, the names of those who donated them. Refreshments will be available at Mistral, Shepherds Way so visitors to the Circle can enjoy a cup of tea whilst wandering round! The Open weekend is now a fortnight away, on Saturday and Sunday, June 16 and 17, from 10.30 am to 4 pm on each of the two days. Tickets are available from the Post Office and will cost you £5 each, and you will gain admittance to all the gardens on both days for your fiver. Children who accompany you go free. There are 11 gardens featured this year. Give them all a look. You will not be alone… .

The Gardening Club: The June meeting on Monday next, June 4, will feature guest speaker Colin Moat ‘In Praise of Higher Things’ – Echiums perhaps? The Meeting is in the village hall and it starts at 2.30 pm.

East Field Development: Last week’s cri de Coeur in this column seems to have found quite a few people in wholehearted agreement with what was said. Of course, as it turned out, last Friday’s edition in which it appeared included the front page news about development in Playden, a community of some 340 souls, with the possibility of 24 new houses, which must mean 48 people, or an increase of some 14%. One sympathises with their village-changing plight. And yet, we could be facing more than seven times as many new properties in our rural retreat. Even more senseless in Fairlight than Playden. Protestors there blame greedy developers. We agree, but many believe that the District Councillors just see our problem as bringing loads more Council Tax for them to spend. What do they think we are? Milton Keynes II? The infrastructure supporting Fairlight as it stands is so weak as to be practically non-existent in respect of the roads, sewerage, water, schooling and medical care.

The Parish Council: The Council’s May meeting saw interim volunteer Chairman Andrew Mier come to the end of his invaluable bridging stint, and his successor, Cllr David Shortman, was duly acclaimed. The vacancy for Vice Chairman remains vacant until the June meeting. With the new Chairman playing himself in carefully for a long innings, one hopes, there were no fireworks. Among items of note was the fact that Marion Roberts, the temporary co-ordinator of Marsham SpeedWatch, has resigned, and so a replacement for her will be required. If you could be interested, please contact Pauline Collins, our Parish Clerk. The job is strictly admin – no being part of the out at the roadside team. Later, the meeting approved a grant application for the new Community Library, which is in the note that follows.

Booking ahead: The team behind the new Community Library were delighted to receive a £200 grant from the Parish Council, which will enable them to complete the necessary physical adjustments for the Library within the Post Office and General Stores. As they say, all systems are now go! The opening will be in mid-June on a date yet to be confirmed. As recorded earlier, it is planned to be open each Tuesday and Thursday afternoon between 2 and 4 pm. They would like to hear from volunteers who would be willing to staff the operation on a regular basis. If this could be you, please contact either John Sinclair or Graeme Gambrell. Meanwhile, it is hoped that they will see you all at the Library in the coming weeks.

Parkhurst Cricket Club: Just a reminder. The club will be in action with a Super Six tournament on next Saturday, June 9 at 2 pm. Should be well wort a look and get yourself a cuppa while you’re about it!

A smaller legion of fun for the Royal British Legion: On Saturday, June 16, the planned Opportunity will not be Knocking as previously advertised, due to a multiplicity of unexpected contingencies.

However, on the following day, Sunday, June 17, at the Fairlight Lodge Hotel, there is to be a Boot Fair from 1 until 5 pm. It will cost you £10 for your car, or for a stall, £15 for a van and £20 for a van and trailer. No food sales allowed! If you’d like to book your spot, please call Margaret Pulfer on 814866. If you don’t fancy being a seller, at least you can see what others have on offer!

Boxing not so clever: Fortnight in, fortnight out, I wheel out my green recycle bin, and then struggle with my green box, heavily laden with soft drink glass bottles. OK, perhaps one or two are wine bottles. When the sound of the collection lorry makes me look out of the window, I watch the operative tip all the boxed bottles into the wheelie bin, and deposit the lot in the lorry. To save him the trouble of doing this, and my trouble in carrying something heavy that I could otherwise wheel, I now do the mixture for him. Does anyone else do this, I wonder?