Church Market: This month’s Church Market will take place in St Thomas’ Church on Saturday February 2nd from 10.30am to noon. Everybody is invited to come along and enjoy time together over coffee, tea and a variety of refreshments. Also on sale will be books, plants and home-made produce, all likely to sell out quickly so do arrive in good time. The proceeds are in aid of church maintenance and last month’s Market raised £248 so thank you to all who attended and contributed to the event.
Quiz Night: Next Friday February 8th there will be a Quiz Night at St Thomas’ Primary School organised by the PTA. Doors open at 7pm and the entry cost of £10 includes a hot meal but please bring your own bottle. You will need to make your own team of 8 or come along and join a team on the night. The prize is a Wheelbarrow of Booze and there will also be a raffle. If you would like to purchase tickets, please ring 01797 226479 or buy them at Winchelsea Farm Kitchen and all money raised will go towards St Thomas’ Primary School PTA funds.
Macbeth Résumé: The actor David Meyer (born 1947) performed in the 1983 James Bond film Octopussy as a circus entertainer with a skill for knife throwing, together with his identical twin brother Anthony. More recently David played the scientist Sir Isaac Newton on tour in the USA and has been working at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. Last Friday David gave an interesting talk at the Literary Society’s meeting focussing on the theme of Black Magic in Shakespeare’s play Macbeth. The making of Macbeth was inspired by King James VI of Scotland who became King James I of England following the death of Elizabeth I in 1603. It was at the request of this same King that the Bible was translated from the original Hebrew and Greek languages into English in 1611 which was England’s authorised version (the KJV). King James I also took seriously the matter of witches and in 1604 passed an Act against Witchcraft which made it mandatory to hang someone convicted of being a witch. The play Macbeth revealed the precarious times in which Shakespeare lived which grew more unstable when in 1605 the Gunpowder Plot was exposed. The drama which was performed in front of King James in 1606, was driven by the witches’ prophecy that Macbeth would become King of Scotland. This led Macbeth to eliminate everyone that stood in his way assisted by his even more sinful wife. Macbeth’s visit to the witches can be compared to King Saul of Israel’s meeting with the witch of Endor in 1 Samuel 28 where he went in desperation to request a course of action against the threatening Philistines. Both kings ultimately failed in their hopes of success. In his book ‘Daemonologie’ King James asserted his belief in witchcraft as a dangerous practise and the punishment required to deal with it. Shakespeare’s perspective is less certain and it is questionable whether his depiction of witchcraft in Macbeth caters to the King’s interests or underlines the King’s involvement with witch-hunting. It is probably a bit of both. After the law passed in 1604 against witchcraft over 500 people were believed to have been executed. Often it was poor elderly women who were accused and the last trials were held in 1717. In 1736 the laws against witchcraft were annulled but fines would be imposed on people who claimed to use magic powers. At the time this caused much laughter among MPs who knew there was an interest in the occult amongst prominent members of society including Sir Isaac Newton. The Act was repealed in 1951 by the Fraudulent Mediums Act which in turn was repealed in 2008 so that there are now no laws banning witchcraft despite ongoing concerns about this practice. In his talk David’s interest in the supernatural which appeared to stop short of a belief in God, implied that he might have encountered an apparition while working in the theatre, since strange things are said to happen when Macbeth is performed, although it could have been an act.
WBCA Quiz: On Saturday February 16th a Quiz Night will be held at the Community Hall on Sea Road, organised by the Winchelsea Beach Community Association. Please arrive at 7 for a prompt 7.30pm start. Teams of up to six people are needed and there will be a Cash Prize for the winning team. The cost is £10 per person which includes supper but do bring your own drink and there will also be a raffle. You will need to download your booking forms online at www.winchelseabeachcommunityassociation.co.uk and within good time to ensure your place.