Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news
Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news

National Prayer: Today, Friday September 8th, is the National Day of Prayer for Great Britain. This is an opportunity for the nation to come together in prayer for Theresa May, Brexit, the unity of the UK, and for the nation to turn back to God and the Bible and ask Him to heal our land (2 Chronicles 7:14) The main meeting place is the Emmanuel Centre in Marsham Street London starting at 10.30am and finishing by 8.00pm and it will be a day of prayer and fasting. Alternatively, some local churches such as the Bethel Chapel in Ore will be open from 9am till 5pm, and home groups and individuals can also participate at this critical time. Interestingly September 8th 1940, exactly 77 years ago, was the National Prayer Day that led to victory in the Battle of Britain.

English Heritage Open Days: The annual Heritage Open Days, when Heritage Sites offer free admission, runs over this second weekend in September. On Saturday 9th the Court Hall and Museum are open from 12 to 4pm with a stunning exhibition in the Lower Court Hall depicting ‘pairs of pictures’ of important buildings in Winchelsea as they may have looked in medieval times compared to how they look now. The historic Methodist Chapel is open from 10am till 5pm and all are invited to call in. Blackfriar’s Barn offers tours of its cellar on Saturday 9th at 11.30am and then on Sunday 10th at 11am and 2pm, meeting in the Cricket Field. It is a unique opportunity to visit this well-preserved medieval cellar and see the various sketches of ships etched into the walls. These free guided tours will be undertaken by members of the Archaeological Society. Other main sites of town worth a visit are St Thomas’ Church, open from 9am to 5pm, the Town Well and the three medieval gates which are Pipewell, Strand and New Gate. Saturday September 9th is also the Sussex Historic Churches Trust sponsored ‘Ride and Stride’. This involves people walking or cycling between churches, to enjoy the countryside and raise funds to help protect the historic churches and chapels of Sussex for future generations. St Thomas’ Church and the Methodist Chapel will be welcoming Ride and Stride visitors throughout the day.

Advent Windows 2017: As December 1st is less than three months away it is time to start thinking about this year’s Advent Window displays. If you are interested in helping in any way and have ideas for a theme for the windows, please come along to the New Inn on Saturday September 9th at 11am for tea and coffee. Those volunteering to put on the window displays are very welcome. Advent Windows has been running for many years and has always delighted visitors and children to the town over the Christmas period with its fantastic presentations.

New Hall AGM: On Saturday September 9th the New Hall Management Committee (Registered Charity) meets at 10am in the New Hall for its Annual General Meeting. Local residents are welcome to come and hear about the progress made on activities and plans to continue to improve and modernise the hall and its services. The present Committee includes Robert Holland (chairman) Stephen Turner (treasurer) and Carol Scoines (secretary) along with five other members and there will be elections for new members during the meeting.

Fame and Misfortune: The Second Wednesday Society meets on Wednesday September 13th in the New Hall to hear an intriguing talk by local historian and author Malcolm Pratt on Medieval Winchelsea. He will be explaining how the early fame of the town was followed by misfortune. The talk begins at 2.30pm and is followed by an appetising home-made tea and total cost for non-members is £4.

The muse: Next Friday September 15th the Literary Society will be meeting in the Court Hall at 7 for 7.30pm to hear Douglas Skinner’s talk entitled, ‘The Muse Answers Back’. Douglas is a writer, editor and translator and a selection of his poems, ‘Heaven: New & Selected Poems’ appeared in 2014. Friends and non-members are welcome to come along, listen and discover more about this source of inspiration and creative endeavour. Light refreshments will be served as usual before the talk begins.

Garden Society: Thank you to everybody for supporting the Autumn Show last Saturday afternoon in the New Hall. It was a wonderful afternoon and a happy social event with the most entries we have had for many years. The number of entries was up again by twenty, so at present the future of the Society looks rosy. There were beautiful and interesting flowers and foliage, an excellent display of fruit and vegetables, mouthwatering cookery, plenty of beautiful handicrafts, photography and paintings as well as some extremely imaginative and innovative flower arrangements. Overall a very impressive show of talent from a small community. It was very good to have visitors popping in, hopefully feeling inspired and enjoying cups of tea and the raffle which raised a record £224. Congratulations to the winners of the Show and the results are as follows: The society’s challenge cup for flower Classes. John Dunk; The Veness award for Dahlias. John Dunk; The Challenge cup for floral Art. Howard Norton; The Cleveland challenge bowl for Vegetables and fruit. Gillian Alexander; The Armoury challenge bowl for cookery. Celia King; The Society’s challenge cup for handicrafts. Mary Redmond; The society’s cup for best exhibit in show. John Hamilton; The David and Margaret Bowen Memorial Cup for the top exhibitor in the show. Howard Norton; Award for the most popular choice in floral art. Howard Norton.

Garden Society trip: An afternoon trip to South Grange in Northiam is planned for Wednesday September 13th and the admission is £4. This is a ‘by appointment’ visit to the garden of Linda and Michael Belton, the local National Gardens Scheme organisers. They are also members of the charity Hardy Plant Society which supports the cultivation of hardy herbaceous plants and their garden looks especially good in the autumn, displaying their aster collection. The plan is to go in your own cars, aiming to arrive at 2.30pm. If you would like to come and can offer a lift or need one, please contact Howard 01797 226524 as soon as possible.

Festival cellar tours: Winchelsea will be opening its cellar doors to visitors for the Rye Festival. These guided cellar tours will take place in September on Saturday 16th, Tuesday 19th, Thursday 21st, Saturday 23rd, Sunday 24th, Tuesday 26th, and Thursday 28th starting at 11am for 90 minutes. The tickets are £7.50 each through the Festival Box Office on 01797 224442 or online at All the tours begin from Castle Street and you should bring a torch and wear sensible footwear as access to some cellars may be difficult. This visit is an opportunity to find out about Winchelsea’s 13th century cellars normally closed to the public and to gain an insight into the town’s colourful history.

Winchelsea Beach

St Richard’s: As it is the second Sunday in the month there will be a Holy Communion service in St Richard’s Church on September 10th. The service starts at 9.30am and friends, visitors and holidaymakers are very welcome to come along.

Next lunch: The next Fellowship Lunch takes place on Friday September 29th in the Community Hall at the usual time of 12 for 12.30pm. A selection of home-made dishes will be provided and donations towards a charity will be requested. The number to contact for bookings is 01797 227168 and please ensure that you let the caterers know in good time if you are coming as they need to know numbers.

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