Cindi Cogswell, 31 Highfords, Icklesham

Steve Knightley from Show of Hands is performing in St Thomas’ Church this evening (Friday) at 7.30pm. Much acclaimed folk singer and song writer Steve continues to enjoy success as a solo artist. The tickets are £10 on sale at Grammar School Records, Rye or the number to contact is 01797 224446. All proceeds from the concert will be shared between the Church and the Bonfire Boyes.

The special Christmas Celebration of Words and Music will be held at the Methodist Chapel tomorrow Saturday December 14th at 10.30am. This year the event will be led by the Worship Leaders from the local Methodist Circuit of Churches and you are warmly invited to join them. After the service there will be seasonal refreshments and a collection will take place for Surviving Christmas.

There will be a Carol Concert by the Winchelsea Singers tomorrow Saturday December 14th at 7pm with Conductor Duncan Reid and organist Iain Kerr. This event will be in St Thomas’ Church and entry is by programme at £10 p.p. at the door and funds raised are in aid of St Michael’s Hospice.

Tickets for the Snow Queen by Hans Christian Andersen can be purchased by telephoning: 01797 224446 and the cost is £10 adults and £6 under-16s with proceeds to Winchelsea Bonfire. The show is by the popular Rain Or Shine Theatre Company which performs annually in Winchelsea and this coming event is on Wednesday December 18th at 4.30pm (after school time).

The streets of Winchelsea are appointed to be alive with lights, colour and song on Thursday December 19th for the Lantern Procession by children of St Thomas’ Primary School. At 4pm, leaving from the school the children will parade around the town with their illuminated lanterns and superb characters carefully made for the event and held aloft. Come along and watch them as they make their way to the Nativity Scene in the Church porch. On the following day, Friday December 20th which is the last day of Term 2 the children will be tidying their class rooms ready for the Christmas break. Term 3 begins on Monday January 6th 2014.

On Tuesday December 17th and Thursday 19th the annual Carols Around the Town will be in action singing outside of many houses in the town. Wrap up well, bring a torch and children are welcome to join in. Please meet at the Church by 6pm to be finished by around 8pm and funds raised will go towards Shelter. If you would like to come along there is a list at the back of the Church where you can sign up for one or both evenings.

Experienced or otherwise you are welcome to take part in the Christmas decorating of St Thomas’ Church on Friday December 20th and Saturday 21st from 9.30pm to 4pm. If you have any holly with berries, particularly variegated bring it along and the number to contact is 07786266260 to let Nigel Ashton know that you are coming to help.

If you are ready to Deck the Hall with Boughs of Holly the Friends of the Ancient Monuments & Museum are having their annual Carols in the Court Hall on Friday December 20th. All are invited to join in the singing and raise the roof and this will begin at 6.30pm for 7pm in the Court Hall. Complimentary wine for dry throats plus refreshments will be available during the event.

The Christmas Fair on Saturday November 30th was a great success and raised £965.16 from the refreshments, raffle and tombola. We look forward to next year’s Christmas Fair only a year away and in the meantime Winchelsea New Hall Society thanks all who supported and helped at this event.

Ann Rachlin presented ‘Say it with Music’ last Sunday at the Church with her remarkable self-assurance as she described the fascinating life of Irving Berlin. A Jewish immigrant from Russia and one of eight children, Irving’s family came to New York in 1893. His father was a musician at the synagogue and despite being in abject poverty it was the only life Irving knew at the time. After his father died when Irving was 13, his mother sent him to work as a newspaper boy. He survived mainly on the New York streets singing for pennies and this was the start of his music career. Using only the black keys of the piano (he never used the white keys) he began composing catchy tunes and lyrics. His big break came when one morning he woke up with a tune in his mind which became the popular ‘Alexander’s Ragtime Band’. When the Depression struck in 1929 and industries were bankrupted Berlin overcame the worst of this through his music which continued to prosper. It may be that in times of recession music is the industry to be in. He was also able to rescue his once wealthy father-in-law who became a victim of the Depression. Berlin must have felt that justice had been done because his father-in-law had previously abandoned his daughter when she married Berlin. Ann Rachlin who also has a passion for music spent much of her life bringing the love of music into the lives of thousands of children, many with hearing impairments. As a result deaf children in the UK are learning to speak helped by Ann’s constant efforts to bring musical therapy into schools for the deaf through her charity, The Beethoven Fund for Deaf Children. For over forty years Ann taught many children from all backgrounds who came to her ‘Fun with Music’ sessions in London. Some famous pupils were Prince William and Prince Harry who attended her weekly sessions for four years. Other celebrities who sent their children to her included: Dame Judi Dench, Edward Fox, ‘Dame Edna’, Julian Lloyd-Webber, Prince & Princess Michael of Kent and Yehudi Menuhin. The evening’s Presentation involved an illustrated slide show of events in Berlin’s time, with Iain Kerr at the piano and the choir Pegasus singing many of his songs including the popular ‘Blue Skies’. Everyone joined in for the memorable ‘White Christmas’ which has only eight sentences in the entire song. This was a lyrical achievement for Berlin as the song eventually sold over 100 million copies. During the interval refreshments of wine, orange juice, crisps and Christmas cake which was a delicious work of art complete with iced chalets was served. It was then left to Pegasus with its musical creativity and team-work to conclude with the singing of the Wexford Carol, Oh Jerusalem in the Morning and Silent Night.

Winchelsea Beach

The Children’s Party arranged by Winchelsea Beach Community Association will be held tomorrow (Saturday) in the Community Hall from 4.30 to 6.30pm. Children living on the Beach will not have to pay but if you want to bring a friend or relative it is £3 per person.

St Richard’s Church meets for Morning Worship this Sunday December 15th at 9.15am. Leading the service will be Rector Robin Whitehead. The Evening Prayer services are at 3pm on the first Sunday in the month and the next one is scheduled for January 5th 2014.

Don’t forget that the annual Carol Concert arranged by WBCA is on Monday December 16th at 7.30pm in the Community Hall. This is when Winchelsea Beach residents are joined by Rye Methodist Choir for an evening of carol singing, to be followed by tea, mince pies and cake.

The pre-Christmas evening of Cash Bingo at the Community Hall is this Wednesday December 18th. As usual beginning at 7 for 7.30 pm and light refreshments are available.