Cindi Cogswell, 31 Highfords, icklesham

Carols in the Court Hall this evening at 7 pm. The Friends of the Ancient Monuments & Museum would like you to join them for a night of Carol Singing along with complimentary wine and refreshments and the doors will be open from 6.30 pm.

If you would like to take part in decorating St Thomas’ Church for Christmas at 9.30am today (Friday) or at the same time tomorrow contact 07786266260 to speak to organiser Nigel Ashton. Also bring along any foliage from your garden to enhance the traditional setting, such as mistletoe, pine cones and holly with berries.

Saturday December 21st is the winter solstice which marks the longest night and the shortest day of the year. However it’s a day to celebrate since after this peak moment the days will get longer and the nights shorter, at least for the next six months.

Christmas services at St Thomas’ Church, led by the Rector Robin Whitehead, begin on Sunday December 22nd with the 10.30 am Parish Eucharist. This will be followed at 6 pm by the Nine Lessons and Carols service in candlelight.

On Christmas Eve, Tuesday December 24th, the annual Crib Service will take place at 4pm in the Church and children, parents and friends are always welcome. After twenty three days travelling from house to house in Winchelsea the Mary and Joseph nativity figures will conclude their journey at the awaiting stable where sleeps Jesus as a baby surrounded by the animals and shepherds. During the service a charity collection will be taken which will be in aid of the Fellowship of St Nicholas.

At 11.30 pm on Christmas Eve the Midnight Eucharist which announces Jesus’ birth will take place for one hour. Later on Christmas morning there will be a celebratory Communion service at 10.30 am. Everybody is invited to attend these special services.

Don’t forget that on Boxing Day the annual Winchelsea Streete Game takes place in Castle Street at 11 am. This is a fast and furious game of medieval mayhem where three teams battle to get a replica head, known as the Frenchman’s Head into a single goal. There are no rules so no health and safety issues but look forward to great head-clearing fun after Christmas Day. If you would like to come and watch please do or you can join in at your own risk and learn to play as you go along. After about 30 minutes it will be down to the New Inn to reconcile any differences.

This December has been a successful fund raising month for the Church. Last weekend the Church Market raised £528.49 for Church Funds which was greatly appreciated and so thank you to all who contributed in every way. Also thank you to all who helped, supported and attended the Irving Berlin evening by Ann Rachlin last Sunday which realised £1,322.50 for Church Funds. The cost of heating the church each year is around £10,000 and so funds raised through hosting the various events are of great assistance.

Winchelsea Beach

On the morning of Christmas Day St Richard’s Church will be holding a Communion service led by the Rector Robin Whitehead. This will begin at 9.15 am and all are warmly invited to the service.

A date to keep in your diary is Saturday February 15th 2014 when there will be an opportunity to dance to Ricochet. This Rock and Roll band will be performing from 7.30pm in the Community Hall and the tickets are £10 each which includes a fish and chip supper.

May I wish you all a very happy Christmas and a peaceful 2014!