Pentecost Weekend: Starting this morning (Friday) there will be a Pentecost School Eucharist for St Thomas’ Primary School at 9am before the school breaks up for half term. On Sunday May 24th a Pentecost Parade will take place from 3.30pm at St Thomas’ Church and will be based around the Sing Up Sunday events. This will involve young people constructing percussion instruments and small flags for what will follow. First there will be a tea party between 4 and 4.30pm and this will lead into the Sing Up with songs that include ‘Down to the River to Pray’ and ‘We are Marching in the Light of God’. The Rector Robin Whitehead will give a Gospel message and then all will gather by 5.30pm in a procession around the churchyard singing joyfully. Everybody is welcome to come along and hopefully friends from St Richard’s and Icklesham Parish Church will join in. During the 40 days after Jesus’ resurrection he met several times with his disciples to instruct them on how to carry out his teachings. On the 40th day he ascended into heaven and Ascension Day marks the end of the Easter season. Pentecost occurs 10 days later marking the event when the Holy Spirit descended upon the apostles and they received the gift of tongues. This enabled them to share the Gospel in many different languages with Jewish people from all over the world who flocked to Jerusalem for the Feast of Shavuot. The symbols of Pentecost are those of the Holy Spirit and include flames, fire, wind and a dove.

Barons’ War: Winchelsea and the Cinque Ports in the Barons’ War at Sea is the theme of the talk given by Dr Adrian Jobson next Saturday May 30th. Winchelsea Archaeological Society has organised the event which begins at 3pm in St Thomas’ Church. The cost for non-members is £4 p.p. and is free to members and under 16s. Dr Adrian Jobson was formerly Senior Medieval Records Specialist at The National Archives in Richmond, Surrey. During his career he has written many academic papers on the age of reform and rebellion and edited the volume English Government in the Thirteenth Century. He is also the author of The First English Revolution: Simon de Montfort, Henry III and the Barons’ War (2012) and is prominent member of the Sussex Archaeological Society.

Udimore Garden Safari: For garden enthusiasts seven beautiful gardens in Udimore will be open to the public on Saturday May 30th from 1.30 till 5.30pm. This is the village’s very first garden safari. The combined entry cost is £6 p.p., free for under 12s and the proceeds are in aid of St Mary’s Church, Udimore. You can buy tickets and get a map at the Community Hall near the Church. There will also be home-made teas, refreshments and a plant stall at the hall as well as at Beauchamps.

Life saving advice: Having received an email on life saving advice it seemed a good idea to share what may prove very useful. It is as follows: You have been trained in CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) but not taught how to perform it upon yourself. Since many people are alone when they suffer a heart attack and with only about 10 seconds before losing consciousness these victims can help themselves by coughing repeatedly and very vigorously. A deep breath should be taken before each cough and the cough must be deep and prolonged from inside the chest. A breath and a cough must be repeated about every two seconds without let-up until help arrives, or until the heart is felt to be beating normally again. Deep breaths get oxygen into the lungs and coughing movements squeeze the heart and keep the blood circulating. The squeezing pressure on the heart also helps it regain normal rhythm. In this way, heart attack victims can get to a hospital.

In search of a plot: Last Friday’s Literary Society meeting was very well attended for the talk given by the popular novelists Margaret Drabble and husband Michael Holroyd. It was held in St Thomas’ school hall watched over by sizeable replicas of the planets Jupiter, Mars and Venus suspended from the ceiling above the attentive audience. Both Michael and Margaret described the pleasures and hard work that that went into writing their biographical and fictional novels. For Margaret it had involved walking miles in search of a plot and characters, as well as eavesdropping on buses and in cafes while avoiding the wrong voices and immersing herself in particular contexts. Her latest book ‘The Pure Gold Baby’ (2013) is set in 1960’s London and concerns a young anthropology student who takes on the responsibilities of a single parent in a fast-changing world. The exciting part for Margaret is when she completes the up-hill first half of the story she is writing after which the book almost writes itself. Michael explained that in writing his latest novel ‘A Dog’s Life’ the making of it was a story in itself. He started it in 1953 but it took about 40 years to complete and combined facts with humour and imagination. The book was only published in America as his father was horrified over the way Michael, with the mercilessness of youth, had portrayed him and his family and threatened to sue if it appeared in Britain. Now that he has also reached the age of 80 Michael accepts that his father was right and that he should have been more sensitive about age. However he admits that it was not easy to obtain information from his parents and indicated that his questions came too late for answers and so he had to find answers of his own. The talk concluded with a range of questions and answers and grateful thanks for an enjoyable evening before Michael and Margaret left to catch their train back to London.

Winchelsea Beach

Bargain Sale: Don’t forget tomorrow (Saturday) there will be a Table Sale at the Community Hall starting at 11am. If you would like to book a table please contact the Winchelsea Beach Community Association on 01797 224820. Lots of bargains to be had and the tea, coffee and biscuits are included in the 40p entrance fee.

Creepy Crawlies: This activity is suitable for all ages and fun for children during half term week, accompanied by an adult. The walk is about one mile around Rye Harbour Nature Reserve led by the warden Chris to get a closer look at the intriguing and uncanny world of insects and spiders. Booking is essential for this event and you will need to meet on Wednesday May 27th at Lime Kiln Cottage Information Centre at 1.30 for 2pm to be finished by 3.30pm.