Bishop Martin Warner blesses Winchelsea's new Rector Robin Whitehead
Bishop Martin Warner blesses Winchelsea's new Rector Robin Whitehead

Cindi Cogswell, 31 Highfords, Icklesham

Everyone is welcome to this year’s Christmas Fair tomorrow (Saturday) from 10am-1pm in the New Hall. Admission is 50p and you can sit down and rest your feet over tea or coffee with mince pies and Christmas cake. A fantastic raffle is on offer plus tombola, and stalls of pottery, jewellery, handicrafts and handmade skincare just to name a few, with Bren entertaining on the organ.

An Advent Carol Service will be held in St Thomas’ Church on Sunday December 1st beginning at 6pm. The service will be conducted by the new Rector Robin Whitehead and will consist of music and readings to mark the start of Advent.

Winchelsea Advent Windows 2013, now in its fourth year will continue to delight with its magical scenes that transform the town into the pages of a Christmas story. Once again, a series of decorative windows will be lit around the town during the run-up to Christmas. At 4pm every afternoon from Sunday December 1st until Tuesday December 24th a new Advent Window will be unveiled. Each window will illustrate a different Christmas theme and will be lit daily from 4pm until 10 pm. By Christmas Eve all 24 windows will be on show and most will remain on display until Thursday 31 December, New Year’s Eve. Come along and see them for yourself.

Mary and Joseph with the Travelling Crib will begin their journey around the town on December 1st, this Advent. If you are prepared to offer shelter for a night or two to these little nativity figures when the travellers knock at the door please contact 01797 222615. After welcoming them into the home as hosts a candle is lit and prayers are said to commemorate the holy birth. Then on the following night they are carried to the next shelter until eventually being returned to the Church on Christmas Eve.

Say it with Music is the presentation of the life and songs of Irving Berlin, written and presented by Ann Rachlin. This intriguing story of one of America’s most popular song writers will be accompanied by a large collection of images and video clips. The songs, often heard on radio during the war years, have been arranged by Iain Kerr and will be performed by members of the London choir Pegasus. This event will take place on Sunday December 8th at 6.30pm in St Thomas’ Church and tickets are £10 p.p. from Winchelsea Post Office.

Attending the church service last Sunday to institute Canon Robin Whitehead as the new Rector for the parishes of Winchelsea and Icklesham were: the Bishop of Chichester, Martin Warner, the Archdeacon of Lewes & Hastings, Philip Jones, The Bishop’s Chaplain and the Rural Dean of Rye. Guests included the Mayor Steve Turner, his Deputy John Spencer representing Winchelsea Corporation and Mary Westhead Head Teacher of St Thomas’ Primary School. Also present to celebrate the event was a large congregation which consisted of members from all three churches in the parish: St Thomas, St Richard Winchelsea Beach and St Nicholas Icklesham, as well as St Mary’s Rye and all were pleased to welcome in the new Rector. The Bishop introduced the ceremony in accordance with the order of service; proclaiming from the Gospel that Jesus is God incarnate and emphasising that, doctrines and theologies aside, it is imperative that all should have a personal relationship with the Lord God. A reading was then taken from St Paul’s letter to the Colossians beginning with: ‘May you be made strong with all the strength that comes from his glorious power’ and a second reading came from the Gospel of Luke on the unforgettable events leading up to the crucifixion. The service continued with the full instituting of the new Rector which involved Robin Whitehead standing before the Bishop and affirming his duty to bring the grace and truth of Christ to this generation and to pay canonical obedience to the Bishop of Chichester. After signing the Declaration and Oaths, Robin accepted the responsible task of the Cure of Souls, a duty which also belonged to the Bishop who, in turn, proceeded to give Robin a blessing that he would act with wisdom, understanding and in the fear of the Lord. The formality which followed was for Robin to be inducted into the possession of the church and this meant leaving the church and re-entering with the Archdeacon, having placed his hand upon the door handle. Once this had been accomplished the Archdeacon announced that Robin was now inducted into the actual possession of the Rectory and Parish Churches of St Thomas, St Richard and St Nicholas. From that moment it was Robin’s task to open and shut the door then proceed to the bell rope and toll the bell to signify his taking possession. The bell rang for about thirty seconds before the celebration continued with prayers and Holy Communion; after which the Rector Robin Whitehead concluded the service by reading out the notices and leading the Prayer of St Richard of Chichester before the final hymn: Christ triumphant, ever reigning. A great journey had been covered in the one hour and ten minutes of the service which ended in a social gathering at the school for refreshments and an opportunity to meet Rector Whitehead who will begin his ministry next Sunday.

Winchelsea Beach

An Evening Prayer Service will take place at St Richard’s Church this Advent Sunday December 1st, beginning at 3pm. Visitors are very welcome to join the service.

Look forward to an evening of Cash Bingo in the Community Hall on Wednesday December 4th at 7 for 7.30pm. Light refreshments will be available.

Less than a year ago the proposal by Rother District Council to charge £25 a year for garden waste collection was completely voted down by residents in the area. The main reason is that this service is already included in the Council Tax bill and is working effectively and does not need changing; also to charge an additional rate is likely to provoke an increase in the cost of other services. Yet despite requiring this extra money from residents the Council already profits from the sale of the recycled garden waste, all collected for free. In fact the Council should be paying residents to take away their garden waste. However it seems that the Council has forgotten all this, as leaflets have now been posted around the locality stating that they intend to proceed with the £25 yearly charge in January for doing the same work as before. Regardless of your views they will be issuing new brown bins (so throw away the green ones) to those who take up this unpopular offer. Already it is proving to be wasteful and costly.