Winchelsea

Church Market: The first Church Market for 2019 takes place tomorrow (Saturday) at 10.30am to 12pm and there will be stalls with home-baked produce, plants and books for sale. Everybody is invited to welcome in the New Year over coffee/tea, biscuits and good company and if possible make some new resolutions. Last month’s Market raised £358 for Church Funds and thank you to all who helped and took part in this enjoyable event.

Change of date: The Methodist Wesley Chapel usually has an annual joint service with St Thomas’ Church in mid-January. This year it has been decided to hold the service later in the year when the weather will be better and the probable date for your diary is mid-May. The next event at the Wesley Chapel will be a Love Feast in February and details on this will be finalised soon.

Burns Night: A Burns Night Supper and Ceilidh in aid of the Rye Harbour Discovery Centre Appeal will be held on Saturday January 26th in the New Hall from 7 to 11pm. Funds raised will go towards a new education centre at Rye Harbour that will consider the surrounding ecosystem and replace Lime Kiln Cottage which has been subjected to flooding. The ceilidh band will be the exciting Black Cat Band from Brighton and there will also be pipers, haggis, neeps (turnips/swedes) and tatties plus the odd dram and some Burn’s poetry readings. Tickets are £20 adults and £10 children which can be purchased online via Eventbrite at www.eventbrite.co.uk and families are very welcome to come along.

Organ Project and Restoration: Repairs to the church organ are set to begin this Monday January 7th. The funds raised for this project have now exceeded the £100,000 mark so thank you to all for donations over the year which were gratefully received. There will be a great deal of scaffolding set up in St Thomas’ Church during this period but services will carry on as normal.

Starting the year: Although January is usually a cold, slow beginning to the year, throughout history diverse and remarkable events have taken place during this month which have left their mark in many ways. Taking January 3rd as an example, on that day in 1496 Leonardo da Vinci who was inspired by the flight of winged creatures unsuccessfully tested a flying machine. It resembled a helicopter but failed to work because the machine strangely rotated in the opposite direction to the rotor. On January 3rd 1521 Martin Luther was excommunicated by Pope Leo X from the Roman Catholic Church for nailing his 95 Theses to the church door which started the Protestant Reformation and caused significant changes worldwide. William Joyce, nicknamed Lord Haw-Haw was hanged on January 3rd 1946 for treason in the UK. He was an Anglo-Irish politician and a Nazi propaganda broadcaster to the UK in World War II. His radio broadcasts recognisable by their derisive tone, tried to urge the British people to surrender to the Germans. Consequently, he failed in his attempts. More recently on January 3rd 2018 the first bionic hand with a sense of touch through the use of sensors and a computer was developed by robotic specialists from Italy, Switzerland and Germany. It was tested on an Italian woman who found it almost identical to a real hand. An advance of this type is only the beginning of neuroprosthetics which is considered the means of bringing the machine and human body (somewhat ominously) ever closer together. A memorable incident to complete New Year’s Eve on a note of optimism for the start of January 2019 concerned the escape of your writer from the De La Warr Pavilion. It happened that while looking around the art exhibition on the ground floor the room was suddenly plunged into darkness. This was due to the lights being rapidly switched off at 3pm as a clear indication that it was closing time. As the last to leave she sprinted towards the glass doors which were about to be locked and made it through the closing gap between the doors with seconds to spare as the key turned in the lock. It seemed that with the building shutting down so promptly the idea of spending the night there would have been possible as well as a notable start to January. Nevertheless, she was free to leave by the main entrance. Although New Year’s Eve would have been an ideal time for exciting events to take place throughout the evening it was surprising that the De La Warr closed early that day.

Winchelsea Beach

Fellowship Lunch: On Friday January 25th there will be a Fellowship Lunch at 12 for 12.30pm and as usual it is essential to book by phoning 01797 227168. As the Community Hall kitchen is being refurbished this Lunch will be held at nearby St Richard’s Church on Sea Road. It will include a variety of home-made dishes and donations towards a specific charity will be appreciated.