Under the Wesley tree: The 232nd anniversary of the Methodist Chapel where John Wesley preached in 1789 will be celebrated this Sunday July 9th and all are invited. Starting at 2.30pm under the ‘Wesley Tree’ (opposite the New Inn) to sing some of the great top-of-the-Methodist-charts hymns. Usually it is a hot and sunny occasion with the tree providing a good shade. At 3pm, or earlier if it rains, everyone will make their way to the Chapel for a special service. This will be led by the Revd Stephen Maunder from the Methodist circuit and afterwards light refreshments will be served.
The Journey Back: JAM on the Marsh (the John Armitage Memorial Trust) is the annual multi-art festival based on Romney Marsh during July. Jonty Driver who is a member of Winchelsea Literary Society will be returning to the festival to recite his poems and all are welcome to come and listen. His co-performer Peter Fields will be playing Corelli’s variations on the violin in between the poems. The event is free and takes place at the church of St Mary in the Marsh on Saturday July 8th at 3pm for about one hour. Jonty is a former anti-apartheid political prisoner, an educationalist, poet and writer. The Journey Back, published in the 1990s, concerns his return visit to South Africa after thirty years in exile. At the performance a collection will be taken in aid of the Hantam Community Education Trust located in the semi-desert Karoo in South Africa.
Cricket fixtures: Winchelsea Cricket Club holds matches on Sundays at the Cricket Field which overlooks stunning views of the Brede Valley. The next matches throughout July are at home against Crowhurst Park on 9th, Parkhurst on 16th and Newenden on 23rd. They play away at Wadhurst on 30th and at Northiam on August 6th. All the matches begin at 2pm and if you are interested in joining the team please speak to Winchelsea’s captain after the match.
Banksy talk: This Wednesday July 12th the Second Wednesday Society meets at 2.30pm in the New Hall to hear how a street graffiti artist became a national treasure. Banksy is the subject of the talk given by Andrew Ashton and non-members pay £4 which includes a delicious home-made tea. The latest graffiti by the anonymous Banksy is a huge Brexit themed mural on the side of a building in Dover. It depicts the blue EU flag with one of its stars being chiseled off by a workman standing on a ladder. Incredibly the painting was made in the dark on Friday May 5th (2017) and completed overnight. It’s sudden appearance the following morning caused people to stop and look.
FOAM cellars: When it’s hot outside a cool spot is needed and for the month of July there will be tours of Winchelsea’s medieval cellars on
Saturday 15th, Sunday 16th and Saturday 29th all beginning at 11am. The tour on the 29th takes place during the town’s next NGS Open Gardens event. £5 is the cost for the 90-minute guided tour which provides insight into the historic background of some of the fifty cellars under the town. All proceeds are in aid of the charity Friends of the Ancient Monuments and Museum and the number to phone for bookings is 07596 182874. On the day please meet at 10.50am by the Town Well in Castle Street.
Prophet loss and gain: St Thomas’ annual Patronal Festival took place last Sunday and was attended by the Mayor Cynthia Feast and Corporation, as well as visitors and members of the church. Revd David Page led the service and Revd Ian Pruden of the Methodist circuit gave the sermon. Over the last week attending funerals and assisting with medical issues in the family had tested Ian’s resolve. Nevertheless, he was determined to overcome and this was the subject of his sermon taken from 1 Kings 19:9-13 concerning the prophet Elijah who showed the early Israelites that Yahweh was the one true God. At the time they had taken to worshipping the god of the Canaanites the sun god Baal. Such worship involved the evil practice of offering child sacrifices to appease this god and obtain favours. On Mount Carmel Elijah told the people to call on Baal to set fire to their meat offering. They cried aloud but there was no answer to their desperate pleas. So Elijah mocked them suggesting perhaps Baal was taking a nap. He then doused his meat offering with barrels of water and called upon Yahweh to set it alight which he promptly did and the fire consumed everything including the water. Although Elijah gained this victory the perverse Jezebel wife of King Ahab of Israel wanted him killed for ordering the people to kill the prophets of Baal. Fearing Jezebel Elijah lost his confidence and hid in a cave. He was not there for long. God’s still small voice strengthened him and he came out of hiding and accomplished great deeds. Considering his recent ordeals Ian focused on this inspiring event to demonstrate the importance of being prepared for obstacles. After the service a collection was taken in aid of church maintenance and all enjoyed the selection of light refreshments which followed.
Summer Ball: This year’s Summer Ball arranged by the WBCA will have a Caribbean theme, so pineapples, palm trees, rum punch, bananas and all things exotic come to mind. Although a cloudy 21 degrees C is predicted for that day a good tango, salsa and rhumba will help raise the temperature on the dance floor. Tickets include a fish & chip supper and as usual are purchased from Hugh at Suttons on Sea Road (or phone 01797 224820) and please note that you will not be able to buy tickets on the door. The date, time and venue of the Ball is Saturday July 15th at 7.30pm in the Community Hall.
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