Methodist Women with Men: The Methodist Chapel will be hosting a circuit Easter Offering service arranged by the Methodist Women in Britain local group. This will be on Saturday April 25th at 10 for 10.30am. As usual with this annual service it is not restricted to women, also welcome are men.

King John: Tomorrow Saturday 25th Winchelsea Archaeological Society has organised a talk on King John by Professor Stephen Church from the University of East Anglia. One of the most controversial of England’s rulers King John was famous for being compelled to accept the Magna Carta which stated that the monarch was as much under the rule of law as his people. The talk is open to all and will take place in St Thomas’ Church at 3pm.

Medieval Ports: The day conference given by Winchelsea Archaeological Society takes place this Sunday April 26th at 10am to 3.45pm in the New Hall. Medieval Ports, Ships and Sailors are the theme of the conference which features specialists from the University of Southampton and English Heritage. The individual talks will include Port Development in Post-Roman Britain, The Medieval Harbour of Winchelsea and, Sailors and Navigators on the English Channel, amongst others. There will also be a guided tour of Winchelsea along with a visit to the cellars under Blackfriars Barn to view the medieval ship graffiti. If you would like to attend the number to contact is 01797 224446 for bookings and more details.

Services at St Thomas’: The weekend services at St Thomas’ Church begin with Morning Prayer on Saturday April 25th at 9.30am. Then on the Sunday there will be Holy Communion including a Baptism as from 10.30am, to be led by Rector Robin Whitehead who is expected back from his restful break in Italy.

Bowls Club: Winchelsea Bowls Club was founded in 1936 and has retained its popularity ever since. Situated behind the New Hall it possesses a 4 rink green and enjoys outstanding views of the Brede Valley. A pleasant two hour session on a summer’s day is as close as it gets to stress-free relaxation. If you would like to join the Club is holding an Open Day on Sunday April 26th at 2pm and families are invited. This is a great opportunity to enjoy a cup of tea and a chat while trying your hand at Bowls.

The winners: On Thursday April 16th the football tournament for smaller schools took place at Peasmarsh School playing for the Oliver Curd Cup. The team from Year 6 in St. Thomas’ Church of England School (Winchelsea) were the undefeated winners. The results were: Icklesham C of E 0 - St Thomas’ 1; Guestling Bradshaw 0 - St Thomas’ 1; Peasmarsh 0 - St Thomas’ 1 and in the Final: Beckley 0 – St Thomas’ 1. The winning squad was: Tom Wilkieson (Captain), Jacob Ray, Bas Fiddimore, Ben Lee-Roy Lewis, Roman Cameron-Dick, Liam Wearing and Beth Chamberlain. Well done to the St Thomas’ team for their football success!

Milton’s epic: The Literary Society met last Friday evening to hear Lorna Challand’s talk on Paradise Lost, the epic poem which dramatised the fall of man and the removal of Satan from Heaven. Lorna introduced Milton’s work as, in the genre of an epic poem having many of the components such as the influence of the gods, fate of mortals and visits to the underworld and likened it to Homer’s Iliad and Virgil’s Aeneid. Milton was also a person of his time and his epic style was unique in its combination of the poetic, political and biblical contexts. He wrote in the 17th century at a time of social and political turmoil during the English Civil War. In 1649 King Charles I, who believed in the: ‘divine right of kings’ was executed for treason by Parliament. Milton’s political writings favoured Puritan reformation in the church and the replacement of the monarchy with a free commonwealth. His support for Cromwell led to his appointment in 1649 as Secretary for Foreign Languages and in that time he wrote with great passion and dispute. Although Paradise Lost can be read as a political allegory the basis of this writing overshadows the fleeting events of the time. The substance of this poem begins with man’s disobedience in the Garden of Eden through Satan’s deception, who with his rebel angels was cast by God into Hell. It is a remarkable and familiar account in highly descriptive language but the poem can be challenging. Before her retirement Lorna described a situation when she was teaching Paradise Lost to her A Level students. It became clear that their difficulty with the poem was due to a great lack of knowledge of the Bible. Despite having been taught other religions in the past, most of which they had forgotten, they had not received a sufficient grounding in their Christian heritage. In response to this Lorna gave them a detailed explanation of the events of Creation in the book of Genesis which clarified the matter and proved beneficial in their exams.

Spring Concert Magnificent: It was an atmospheric evening of beautiful music last Saturday when the Winchelsea singers performed their Spring Concert to a large crowd in St Thomas’ Church. The music began with the singing of John Rutter’s Magnificat which is Mary’s song of praise as told in Luke’ gospel 1:46-55 ‘My soul doth magnify the Lord’. The second movement was an English setting of the 15th century ‘Of a Rose, a Lovely Rose’. Inspired by Luke’s text the seven movements which followed were described as ‘alternating between bold exaltation and praise and a more reflective inward emotion’. After the interval Gabriel Faure’s Requiem which was written at the end of the 19th century came across as a work of peaceful hope and reconciliation and has remained a favourite with choirs and audiences. The two vocal soloists Grace Constable – Soprano and Michael White – Bass performed with great expertise and frequently appear in the Winchelsea Singers concerts. At the piano Ivora Rees brought dedication and talent to her accompaniment and the concert was professionally directed by Duncan Reid, both of whom regularly work with Winchelsea Singers. It has to be said that congratulations must go to all the musicians for their commitment and high standard performance. There are usually concerts throughout the year and a date for your diary is the Winchelsea Singers Summer Soiree on June 27th in the New Hall.

Winchelsea Beach

Wildlife Walk: The Castle Water Wildlife Walk takes place tomorrow Saturday April 25th at 1pm. This is a 2.5 mile circular walk that looks at various forms of wildlife in the fields and ditches around Camber Castle and includes a visit to the bird hide at Castle Water. The place to meet is Brede Lock at 1pm to be finished by 4pm. There is no need to book and donations towards Rye Harbour Nature Reserve will be gratefully received.

Sing Up: On Sunday April 26th there will be a Holy Communion service at the usual time of 9.15am in St Richard’s Church. In the afternoon from 4.30 to 5.30pm St Richard’s will host the first of many Sing Up Sundays. This new singing venture is supported by a number of local musical professionals which include Peter Hatch and Mrs Susan Hargreaves. All ages and abilities are welcome to join and it is not a church service but a singing just for joy community group. After the singing light refreshments will be available and £1 contribution is all it costs.

Table Sale: Winchelsea Beach Community Association invite all to the next Table Sale which is on Saturday May 2nd at 11am in the Community Hall. If you would like to book a table for next week please contact 01797 224820. Entrance cost is 40p which includes tea and biscuit and there will be a good tombola as well as plenty of purchases on offer.

Cindi Cogswell

31 Highfords, Icklesham