Last day of term: St Thomas’ Primary School finishes today (Friday) for the Easter holiday and to reflect and celebrate the Rector Robin Whitehead will be leading the school in a Holy Week Service at 2.30pm in the Church. This event will involve the children in the Christian meaning of Easter and as always parents and friends are invited to be part of the service.

An hour on: British Summertime starts this Sunday March 29th as from 1am when clocks will need to be turned forward one hour to 2am. Although it means losing an hour’s sleep in the morning the benefits are that it will be lighter in the evenings for the next six months. BST is also known as Daylight Saving Time which is used to save energy and make better use of daylight and so we look forward to seeing a reduction in fuel bills.

Palm Sunday: On Sunday March 29th St Thomas’ Church will be celebrating Palm Sunday, beginning with a procession to the Church at 10.30am, followed by a reading of the Passion and Holy Communion. In the evening there will be a joint Evensong in the Church at 6.30pm when the combined church choirs of Winchelsea and Icklesham will be performing the words and music devotion entitled, ‘The Cross of Christ’. Palm Sunday, the final Sunday before Easter, marks the beginning of Holy Week. This is also when the Church will be distributing palms to commemorate Jesus’ triumphal entrance into Jerusalem on a colt as the crowds rejoiced with: ‘Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord’ (John 12:13). As usual everybody is welcome and the service will be led by Rector Robin Whitehead.

Wesley’s Chapel: During Holy Week a warm welcome is on offer at the Methodist Chapel this Wednesday April 1st at 7.30pm. On this occasion it is the turn of the Rev Roger Leslie (retired Methodist Minister) to share his ‘Reflections for Holy week’ to one and all; after which there will be a time of get-together over light refreshments.

Easter Services at St Thomas’: Beginning at 8pm on Maundy Thursday April 2nd there will be a Communion service of the Last Supper and Watch. On Good Friday April 3rd Stations of the Cross will be at 12 noon followed by a Meditation on the Passion with Veneration of the Cross at 2pm. Holy Saturday April 4th begins with Morning Prayer at 9.30am then Vigil and First Eucharist of Easter at 8pm. Easter Day April 5th is an early start at 6.30am with the Sunrise Service on Winchelsea Beach which is a joint service with Rye Baptist Church. This service will be followed by Morning Worship at 8am and an Easter Sung Eucharist at10.30am, both at St Thomas’ Church.

Found in translation: At last Friday’s Literary Society talk on: ‘The Bible as Literature’ Stephen Prickett, university professor of English Language and Literature, proposed that the Bible was Literary Art in the genre of poetry. Not everybody would agree but taking that perspective it could be compared to an epic poem like Beowulf with the focus on human invention rather than divine intervention. Despite the range of literature on this subject he selected a few opinions from Romanticists such as Wordsworth and Blake to support his view; thus claiming that the Bible is a product of the imagination which changes the reader into an ‘art form’. It was not entirely clear what was meant only that it relied too heavily on the imagination and lacked credibility. More importantly no attempt was made to consider the literal evidence that comprises the Bible and its challenge to sinful nature. Stephen was also cynical of the translation of the King James Bible even though it is maintained by biblical scholars as the most accurate of translations, being sourced from the original Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek texts. Despite the integrity of these translations Stephen reiterated a story he had heard which went as follows: At the finish of the Tudor translations in 1611 Shakespeare slipped his name as ‘shake’ and ‘spear’ into the verses of Psalm 46, using a coded number system based on 46. Needless to say the code proved inconsistent and numerical coincidences of this kind are plentiful. Furthermore Stephen had clearly not taken into account that the Hebrew words for shake and spear had been there in the Psalm for thousands of years prior to 1611. Although entertaining his sixty minute discussion was somewhat flawed. In truth the Bible traces the story of humanity, from beginning to eternity and is essentially God’s plan of redemption for fallen man. So rather than trying to discover codes and rhymes in the Bible it is more important to see what God is really saying through his straightforward message.

Winchelsea Beach

PCC Meeting: The Parochial Church Council meeting is being held at St Richard’s Church this evening (Friday) at 7pm. On the agenda will be matters relating to costs as this year St Thomas’ churchyard will be undergoing some maintenance and the project to retile the roof of the St Nicholas Chapel is planned within the next three years. To help meet these necessary costs fundraising events and other initiatives are to be arranged.

Palm Sunday: St Richard’s Church will be holding a Holy Communion service on Sunday March 29th at 9.15am. Residents and friends are always welcome and the Rector Robin Whitehead will be conducting the service.

WBCA AGM: Winchelsea Beach Community Association is having its Annual General Meeting on Wednesday April 1st at 7.30pm. Everybody is welcome to come along and hear the discussion and refreshments will be provided. If anyone would like to join the committee the number to contact is 01797 226614 to find out more.

Table Sale: The first Table Sale of the year is on Saturday April 4th at 11am in the Community Hall. As is the usual procedure if you would like to book a table the cost is £6 and please ring 224820 to be sure of a place.

Easter Sunrise: The annual Sunrise Service begins at the usual early time of 6.30pm on Easter Day April 5th, on the beach at the end of Dogs Hill Road. It is held jointly with Rye Baptist Church and after the service there is a short walk back to St Richard’s Church where a simple and warming breakfast, in good company, awaits all. Please note that there will not be a service at St Richard’s on Easter Day but everyone is invited to join in at St Thomas’ Church, Winchelsea.

Cindi Cogswell

31 Highfords, Icklesham