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The first Saturday in the month is when St Thomas’ Church is bustling with the Church Market to help raise funds for the church. Taking place tomorrow from 10.30am to noon there is opportunity to purchase some of the home-made and home-grown produce; also for sale is a selection of hard back books. You are very welcome to come along and enjoy the social gathering over coffee and refreshments. Also thank you to all who supported the June Market which raised £350 towards church maintenance.

A guided Cellar Tour organised by Winchelsea Archaeological Society will be held tomorrow (Saturday). Please meet in Castle Street at 2pm, a guide book will be provided and the cost is £5 p.p. You will need to reserve your place and 01797 224446 is the contact number.

Also tomorrow in St Thomas’ Church the London Chamber Choir Pegasus will be performing, For the Fallen. The concert begins at 7.30pm and is to commemorate the Centenary of the Great War. Readings which will include poems and correspondence from the front to local residents will be read by Ann Rachlin and Robin Whitehead. The tickets are £10 and can be bought from Winchelsea Farm Kitchen.

This year’s Patronal Festival which remembers the martyrs of the church and its patron St Thomas a Becket, will begin at 10.30am on Sunday July 6th in St Thomas’ Church. As usual the ceremony will be attended by the Mayor, currently Stephen Turner, with the Corporation and everybody is welcome to attend. The preacher will be Roman Catholic priest Paul Martin of Our Lady and St Anne at Caversham near Reading. Paul trained with Canon Robin Whitehead at an Anglican theological college in Oxford before going over to Catholicism. During the service Pegasus the choir will be singing and there will be light refreshments to follow the event.

A public exhibition on the Pipewell Gate project will be held in the Lower Court Hall on Saturday July 5th from 9am to 4pm and on Sunday July 6th from 10am to 1pm. The Pipewell Gate is one of the Towns three significant Ancient Monuments. The Corporation of Winchelsea, along with the Winchelsea Archaeological Society, the Friends of the Ancient Monuments and the Winchelsea Conservation Society are joining together to invite residents to comment on plans to restore the Medieval Gate. In the restoration Stephen Turner has explained that they would like to raise the status of Pipewell Gate as a historical visitor attraction, which in turn will help to attract Heritage Lottery funding. The views of residents as to the best options for the community and its heritage are important in formulating the type of bid needed for grant funding towards this project. It is likely that the total cost for the restoration project will be between £78,000 and £100,000. On Saturday July 12th at 10am there will be an opportunity to discuss the options at a public consultation meeting in the New Hall to which residents are invited. Also note that due to the exhibition in the Court Hall there will be no ward Councillors meeting on the Saturday.

St Thomas’ Primary School holds its Sports Day on Wednesday July 9th this year and there will be plenty of team races competing for the trophy. The fun is scheduled to start at 1.45pm and families and friends are always welcome to come along and cheer them on.

The next meeting of the Second Wednesday Society is this Wednesday July 9th at 2.30pm in the New Hall. Freda Parker will be giving the talk which is: Whistler and the River Thames. In 1859 American artist James McNeill Whistler set out to portray the rapidly changing inner-city environment of London with paintbrush and pastels. After the meeting delicious home-made teas are available and the charge is £3.50 for visitors and 50p members.

Opera South East is presenting a Summer Gala Concert in St Thomas’ Church on Saturday July 12th at 7.30pm. If you would like to picnic beforehand the church grounds are available from 6pm. The Musical Director for the Concert is Kenneth Roberts, along with accompanist Helen Ridout and special guest is Rene Bloice-Sanders. Tickets are £10 p.p. which can be bought on the door or from Hastings Information Centre.

Thank you to everyone who contributed towards the Christian Aid Week collection in Winchelsea which amounted to £660. Also thank you to all those who gift aided their donations as this added an extra £100 to the total which exceeded last year’s figure. It was a great outcome with thanks also to the collectors.

Winchelsea Beach

An Introduction to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve will take place tomorrow (Saturday) at 10am to 12pm. Please meet at the public toilets at Dogs Hill Road. You do not need to book and donations would be gratefully received. This is the third and final walk in the series of about three miles to investigate the most westerly part of the nature reserve.

On Sunday July 6th, On the Wing is an opportunity to observe the world of dragonflies, damselflies and butterflies over a 2.5 mile walk around the Nature Reserve. You will need to meet at Brede Lock for 2pm until 4pm and donations would be appreciated.

There will not be a morning Eucharist at St Richard’s Church on Sunday July 6th as everyone is invited to the Patronal Festival at St Thomas’ Church. The Patronal Festival begins at 10.30am and will be led by Roman Catholic priest Paul Martin.

This month’s Fellowship Lunch will be held on July 25th at 12 for 12.30pm in the Community Hall. Booking is essential for these lunches and you will need to contact 01797 227168 within good time.

Cindi Cogswell

31 Highfords, Icklesham