Staplecross news
Staplecross news

COMMUNITY NEWS & REVIEWS: JUST TO REMIND YOU ALL: This is going to be the last edition of Ewhurst Parish contribution to the Village Voice section for this year. The year is drawing ever faster to a close and it seems we all still have lot’s to do, with last minute shopping, wrapping, posting and other ‘just remembered’ arrangements, - as well as the overseeing of the huge food mountain that we always appear to ‘must have’ for Christmas. Many of us have the days planned out with lots to see and enjoy before 2016 finally bows out amidst much noise, merriment and the inevitable “New Year Resolutions”- when we all once more, celebrate and welcome the beginning of another year. So enjoy this wonderful Festive Season in the way it pleases you, whether buried under mountains of wrapping paper and the hustle & bustle of noise and mayhem, whether among family or friends or just quietly at home with peace and tranquillity - however you choose to spend this Christmas time, may the beauty and true spirit of Christmas be with you every step along the way. I wish you all a very “Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year”

STAPLECROSS VILLAGE HALL: CHRISTMAS DECORATION- Apologies are extended to those residents who have been wondering why the Village Hall has not been adorned with it’s usual Christmas decorations this year. Well, I’m happy to report that the internal decorations ARE NOW UP and are looking as joyful and festive as usual. The lateness of installing these decorations were due to the various commitments of the V. H. Committee members - and their good natured and supporting spouses - which is always heavier at this time of the year. But the decorations are now up, the Christmas trees are decorated and the hall, as usual looks just lovely - full of festive, seasonal cheerfulness, which is sure to enhance all the various parties, lunches and meetings which will soon be taking place, not forgetting, of course the school’s Nativity Play. Thank you everyone who gave up their Sunday morning to come along and help create this Christmas look, - it was and is, very much appreciated.

ROTHER DISTRICT COUNCIL: A missive has come in from our local R. D. Councillor Mr. Tony Ganly asking to have this notice included and circulated as the information could be very important to many of our residents throughout the community. If you think this includes you, then please make sure you apply to be included on the register as soon as possible. ~

The notice reads: - UK Power Networks delivers the electricity to homes and businesses across London the East and South East of England, including Ewhurst & Sedlescombe, and it’s our job to make sure that the lights stay on. Since 2010 we have reduced the frequency of power cuts by 42%, however we recognise that while power cuts are less frequent, when they do still occur they can be very worrying, especially to older people, people with chronic medical conditions or parents of very young children. That’s why we have set up a ‘Priority Services Register’ to enable us to identify vulnerable people quickly in the event of a power cut and get them the help they need.You can find more about our free Priority Service Register, including information about who is eligible to register at: This winter we are keen to increase the number of people who are registered for help so we can provide the support they need quicker in case of a power cut. We are therefore asking for the help of local councillors to encourage constituents, who may be eligible for help, to join the Priority Services Register.

Do you or someone you know need extra help if there’s a power cut? If so, please encourage them to register by contacting: Although power cuts don’t happen very often when they do they can be worrying. UK Power Networks is the electricity network and it provides a ‘Priority Services Register’ for people who might need extra help in a power cut. Older people, families with very young children, and people with specific medical conditions are among the many people who are eligible to register for free support. You can find more details and register by visiting or calling 0800 169 9970.

ROTHER DISTRICT COUNCIL: Just a gentle reminder that all residents, businesses and Council Tax payers throughout the region are being invited to ‘Have Your Say’ on the Rother District Council’s Revenue Budget for 2017/2018. This includes potential changes to Council Tax. With significant cuts in government funding since 2011, R.D.C. has worked hard to maintain the services that their residents have advised are important to them. They have filled funding gaps through savings, new partnerships and by reducing waste and inefficiency. Staff has been reduced by a third with their offices by a similar amount, since 2011 and this approach is intended to continue. RDC are also looking at generating new sources of income, at investing in technology, so people who can help themselves, have the right tools and look to others to help them deliver lower priority services. Income from Council Tax is essential to support the costs of delivering their day-to-day operations, such as waste collections, street cleaning, leisure facilities, planning and many more services. To protect services, Rother D.C. is considering whether to freeze or increase Council Tax for the financial year 2017/18. The options they will consider are: 1) Raise the Council Tax by £5:00 per year based on a Band D property- therefore RDC would receive £169:32 instead of £164:32. ~Option 2) Freeze the Council Tax at it’s current level. This would result in having to find other ways to make savings from the services they already deliver. ~Option 3) Raise the Council Tax by less than £5:00 per year and find any shortfall from somewhere else. Rother D.C. are asking you to tell them which options you would choose & why? How you think Council Tax monies should be spent ? Which services are the most important to you & why ? Which services the Council should stop - or cut back - in order to make savings and why? All of your responses will help R.D.C. make decisions about the 2017/18 Budget & Council Tax. Leave your answers on their online survey at If you have any questions regarding this matter, you may also email them to: or write to them at Council Budget Consultation, R.D.C. Town Hall, Bexhill-on-Sea, East Sussex TN39 3JX. If you want to be the first to take part in the consultations and hear about the results ‘join our residents panel’ This consultation began a little while ago & will continue until the 6th January 2017- so if you’d like to join it, - please don’t delay.

E.S. & B. GARDEN SOCIETY: Another gentle reminder about a Christmas event that is taking place TONIGHT. Friday December 16th. at 7.00pm. I’m talking about the popular local Garden Society’s ‘Christmas Party Do’ - Christmas is just around the corner, so it’s THAT time of the year, when family and friends are gathering together to celebrate Christmas with fun and festivities . That’s exactly what the members of the Ewhurst, Staplecross & Bodiam Garden Society are also hoping to achieve when they invite you to join them in celebrating this Festive Season at their CHRISTMAS PARTY. “Buffet, Brain-teasers and Banter”, will be the order of the day (or night!) and many a grouch or groan- admidst much laughter,- will be heard when the answers are later revealed!. This is planned to take place on Friday December 16th at 7.00pm in the Village Hall, Northiam Road, Staplecross. The buffet table will be groaning under the weight of a huge array of seasonal culinary delights to suit most palates and diets, and with specially prepared Mulled Wine for you to also enjoy, why not give into temptation and indulge yourself?. As well as being amongst family, and friends, old and new, the members of this friendly local horticultural society will all be on hand to ensure you have a wonderful evening, in pleasant surroundings and congenial company, and enjoy once more, the light-hearted fun that this party night has arranged for you. Members are free, but all guests are welcomed at a miserly cost of just £3:00 per person and you don’t have to live in the parish to be a part of these festivities. This Christmas Party promises to be yet another great event,- the last in their 2016 Programme of Events. - So please do come along and share in the fun. We are always happy to welcome new members and if you’d like to know more of what’s in store for next year, please contact any member of the group or contact Chairman Maggie Whitaker on 01580~830041 or check out the Parish website ~ or on facebook ~ Ewhurst, Staplecross and Bodiam Garden Society

ROTHER RAMBLERS: Continuing their enjoyment of the great outdoors, the members of this popular walking group, have arranged two (2) walks for our enjoyment, if we wish to join them. Walk No:1 is arranged for Sunday December 18th and is a 10 mile circular stroll of the quaint and typically English villages of Wilmington to Litlington which are set amongst the delightful scenery of the South Downs. The meeting point is the Long Man car park, in Wilmington. OS EXP123. TQ543041. (SatNav BN26 5SW) at 10.00am. As always, a picnic lunch is suggested. Richard is to be your ‘walk leader’ for this outing and you may contact him on 01424~892865 for all further details. Walk No:2 is ‘A Morning Walk from Little Common’ and promises to be an interesting stroll of just 6.5 miles. The meeting point is the ‘Wheatsheaf Inn’ at Little Common. OS EXP124. TQ4079. (SatNav TN39 4LR) again at 10.00am. The walk notes suggest the possibility of a Christmas drink at the Wheatsheaf Inn, after the meander. What better way to finish off a lovely walk!. Lucy is to be your ‘walk leader’ for this excursion and you may contact her on 01424~848332 or mobile 07817~279241 for any further information.

STAPLECROSS LUNCHEON CLUB: Once more the members of this lovely little Dining Group will be meeting on Wednesday December 21st. and due to the added preparation times etc.- for this month only - will commence at 1.00pm. in the Village Hall, Northiam Road, Staplecross. As stated before, new members (of 50 years young and over!) are still desperately needed to help keep this very friendly and happy social group from becoming just another sad village reminder of yet another lost activity. On the menu this month, and in keeping with the festive season, will be a full Christmas Lunch, consisting of Roast Turkey with all fresh seasonal vegetables and the trimmings followed by a choice of three (3) delicious desserts to choose from ~ either Christmas Pudding with a yummy brandy sauce,- Fruit Salad, - or Cheese and Biscuits. followed by tea or coffee and a mint. To accompany all this amazing repast, we hope you will enjoy a glass of wine, a traditional courteous gesture from Ewhurst Parish Council. All this, for the miserly sum of £6:00 per person. If this is not to your taste - or dietary needs - then please let the organisers know, and an alternative meal can be provided for you. In view of the larger than normal financial outlay and numbers of those attending to be catered for, on this occasion, places will need to be booked, so please reserve your place as soon as possible. When doing so, will you please state your choice of dessert also. The monthly menu’s are always very varied, delicious, plentiful, reasonable and freshly cooked and with no clearing up or washing up involved, there’s really no reason for you not to come & be a part of it. -- so no excuses. ‘Rules’ are few & far between, - you have to be ‘of a certain age’,- and promise, whenever possible to attend each month - this avoids unnecessary wastage in food, time, money and energy - so important in this day and age, when economy matters. You don’t even have to live within the parish as many of our valued diners come from outside our villages. Also, you don’t have to have lived in the community for a generation or more, before you are ‘entitled’ to join. This means that if you have recently moved into the parish, in any of our three villages, then this could be just the opportunity you need to make new contacts, colleagues and of course, new friends. So please, just give the two organisers a ring - Sally on 01580~830000 or Dennis on 01580~830816 for all further details and to make your reservation. Please come along and support us, and you’ll soon be a very welcome and much valued member of this lovely, sociable dining group.

EAST SUSSEX MOBILE LIBRARY SERVICE: That brilliant little Mobile Library van will be back trundling along our country lanes once more, as it continues with it’s full and busy schedule. This time the little white van will be visiting Ewhurst Green on Thursday December 22nd for the last of two visits to this village, this month. The van is due to arrive at 10.40am and will be departing at 11.10am. - so please ensure that you don’t miss it. There are so many things of interest within the portals of this wonderful and so far still free, Mobile Library Service vehicle,- so please come along and find out for yourself. With the vast array of services at your fingertips, Libraries are now certainly, more than just books.

OUR COMMUNITY CAROL SERVICES (P.C.C.) It is at this time of year many reflect on the months gone by and all that has transpired during that time. Our community and church life was dominated this year by the death of our much loved rector and vicar, Gordon Winchester, who was so much a part of all three churches and the communities that they encompassed. It has been a very sad and challenging time for all our communities, and our sincere thoughts, prayers and love continue to go to Judy. Many thanks are sent to all who have helped in so many ways throughout this difficult year and your steadfast and unwavering support have been deeply appreciated.

CAROL SERVICES: Bodiam & Ewhurst Parishes. ~ Here are the proposed events which will be taking place in our churches and communities throughout this festive season. Everyone will be most welcome to attend any of these celebrations regardless of which village you may reside in and we all look forward to welcoming you at one or all of them. The first Christmas festivity on the list is the ever popular Carol Service at ST. JAMES the GREAT Church, EWHURST GREEN. This will take place on Saturday December 17th. at 6.00pm. The programme will include the Tongwood Choir which is always delight to listen to. At the end of the carol service, delicious mince pies and mulled wine will be served which always adds to the warm glow & feel good factor obtained at these events. ST. GILES church, BODIAM, The young and old get in the Christmas Spirit with a beautiful traditional service of Nine Lessons and Carols by Candlelight at the lovely village church in Bodiam on Sunday December 18th beginning at 6.00pm. To reward those stalwart singers, award-winning mulled wine, with more mince pies will be served afterwards. The guest organist on this occasion will be Jackie Spriggs. Please bring your friends and their children to join in this special service.

CAROLS ON THE GREEN: Invitations are extended to all and sundry, young and old, male or female and of whatever faith, to come along and join in this superb little outdoor event where traditional carols are sung with enthusiasm and great gusto around the fantastic and large Christmas tree on the village green in Ewhurst Green. This cheerful and friendly little meeting held last year in the most appalling weather conditions, will take place on Thursday December 22nd, beginning at 6.00pm. To help us all get into the ‘spirit’ of the singing - the welcome and ever present additions of Mulled Wine & Mince Pies will be available and served in order to lend aid to our vocal cords and warm or flag up our weary bodies as we wend our way through a delightful choice of popular and traditional carols, for which a welcome carol sheet is available to all. A collection will be made in aid of Ewhurst P.C.C. Torches would be a very sensible suggestion to bring along to light your way, as the sky does become very black when the night draws in - but it’s such a privilege to be able to see so many stars twinkling up there, that this little drawback is happily overlooked. Perhaps also, an umbrella to shield you, - in case of rain, - as last year we valiantly battled on as best we could, during the torrential downpour and only admitted defeat when the song sheets disintegrated in the rain ! This is a fun place to be as the happy cheerful people from here, there & everywhere, all join together to celebrate this special and magical time of the year. Please do pop along and join in. It’s great fun among great people.

CHRISTINGLE and CRIB BLESSING: On Christmas Eve, Saturday December 24th at 3.30pm, the Christingle and Blessing of the Crib will take place at ST. MARK’S church, STAPLECROSS. This little service will be a first for this lovely little village church and we invite children (- and Parents, Grandparents and other family members-) to come along to this event which is a great way to start the Christmas celebrations. It also gives you the opportunity to take a much welcome - & possibly needed - break from all the cooking and present wrapping. This year the Christingle might be something different to the traditional orange - please come along and find out !. One and all will be very warmly welcomed.

CHURCH SERVICES AT CHRISTMAS-TIME: Church services for the parish of Ewhurst will commence at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green, on Sunday December 18th Advent 4. at 9.30am. This service will include Holy Communion.There will be NO SERVICE today at BOTH St. Giles church, Bodiam and St. Mark’s church, Staplecross. Please see previous notices regarding events at these two sister churches.

CHRISTMAS DAY SERVICES: Church services for the parish of Ewhurst, - for Christmas Day - will commence at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green at 9.30am. This service will include Holy Communion. A service at St. Giles church, Bodiam will follow directly after at 11.15am. This service will also include Holy Communion. There will be NO SERVICE TODAY at St. Mark’s church, Staplecross. Sunday JANUARY 1st 2017. sees the New Year start afresh with a service take place at St. James the Great, Ewhurst Green, commencing at 9.30am. This service will again include Holy Communion (BCP) There will again be NO SERVICES on this day at BOTH sister churches.

If there is any church matter on which you feel you may need further assistance, especially Baptisms, Weddings and sadly Funerals, then for the time being, do please get in touch with the appropriate Churchwardens: ~ For all Bodiam matters, please contact Graham Peters - email at or telephone number 01580~830203. For all Ewhurst Parish matters please contact Jo Goodwin - email or telephone number 01580~830601. Help in some way is always at hand and always so generously given, so do please contact them.

PLEASE CONTACT ME: If you are arranging an event in the foreseeable future, --- whatever the nature of the event and however large or small, if you’d like some extra coverage for it, then please get in touch. If it’s of interest to you, - it’s of interest to us.

It’s never too early to send in any of the details and to tell us what you are planning, - Christmas is now upon us along, with the New Year and all that it entails. New beginnings; new plans; new resolutions; and new ideas - so please do contact me, as I’d love to hear from you and to help ‘spread the word’ on your behalf...............Thank You

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