Church Market: Autumn makes its timely entrance tomorrow September 1st bringing with it a fall in leaves and temperature. As the nights close in the darkness also descends and soon another year has raced by. Yet not before the next Church Market has taken place this Saturday from 10.30am to noon. Coffee and tea will be on offer with a chance to meet friends in the historic and edifying surroundings of the church. In addition, everybody is invited to browse and buy from the stalls selling home-grown/home-made produce and books. The proceeds are in aid of church maintenance and thanks to all for supporting August’s Market which raised the useful sum of £306.34.
Last Post: Over the course of this year local residents have gathered at the War Memorial at sunset for the Last Post, on the centenary of the death of each of the Winchelsea men who died in the 1st World War. The last of these commemorations will be held on Wednesday September 5th to remember Frederick Penny, Private in the 1st Battalion, The Essex Regiment, 37th Division who died in Rouen from wounds, aged 46. He enlisted in Hastings, the son of Henry and Ada Penny of North Street, Winchelsea and was buried in St. Sever Cemetery in Rouen. The next service of commemoration will be the centenary of the Armistice on Sunday November 11th. This will be celebrated not only with the morning Remembrance service in St Thomas’ Church but also with the lighting of the town beacon in the evening. In addition, there will be a memorial concert on Friday November 9th in the Church.
Rye Arts Festival: The Rye Arts Festival events taking place in Winchelsea Church are two concerts each focussing on wartime music from different eras. On Wednesday September 26th there is ‘From Armenia to Armistice’ with husband and wife duo, Roland Roberts (piano) and Armenian violinist Ani Batikian. They will be presenting a programme to commemorate the centenary of the end of the 1st World War and the lesser known Armenian Genocide. The music is from five countries written during the period and two recently composed pieces. Doors open at 6.45 for 7.30pm and the concert finishes at 9.30pm. The second event is on Thursday September 27th and is called ‘Music in Time of War’ and concerns the Revolutionary Drawing Room. In the 1800s the Cinque Ports were preparing for an invasion from the French during the Napoleonic era while at the same time the salons of Vienna were presenting some of the finest chamber music in existence. The Revolutionary Drawing Room specialises in music from the classical and romantic periods at a time when Europe was undergoing revolution and conflict. Doors for this performance open at 6.45 for 7.30pm and the duration is 2 hours. If you would like to purchase tickets, the phone number is 01797 224442 for the Box Office.
Organ Project: After 80 years of service the church organ is due to be serviced and rewound in early January 2019. The air pump which will be fully serviced is located under the porch and is a single point of failure as it alone gets air to the pipes. In order for this necessary work to be undertaken the Friends of St Thomas’ Church have set up an Organ Appeal project to raise the £120,000 needed to cover the costs. To support this community project there is a box for donations which will be gratefully received, at the back of the church and so far £75,000 has been raised. The organ is the work of the eminent firm J.W. Walker & Sons Ltd. Joseph Walker (1802-1870) had built a strong reputation as an organ builder and the instrument at St Thomas’ Church dates from 1931. It was part of a generous bequest by Lord Blanesborough and was dedicated, along with the stained glass East and South windows, by Dr Lang, Archbishop of Canterbury on May 9th of that year.
Quiz Night: Next Saturday September 8th there will be a Quiz Night in the Community Hall from 7 to 11pm. Following the success of the Quiz Night in June with a great turn out of 59 players, the WBCA are pleased to arrange another one and again there will be a Cash Prize. Teams of up to six people are needed and all teams must be booked and paid for in advance in order to arrange for catering. The cost of a ticket is £10 per person which includes a Ploughman’s meal and please bring your own drinks. If you wish to book for this event the email address is firstname.lastname@example.org and there is also a booking form online.