Operatic arias: This Sunday July 19th the Royal Opera House Concert, organised by the Friends of Winchelsea Church begins at 6.30 for 7pm start in the Church. Tickets are £25 each from the Box Office (01797 228514) and will need to be bought in advance as it will not be possible to buy on the door. The singers include current and former members of The Royal Opera’s Jette Parker Young Artists Programme which is designed to support the artistic development of talented singers at the beginning of their career. All funds raised from the concert will go towards much needed roof repairs to the Church.

FOAM tours: This weekend the Friends of the Ancient Monuments & Museum have organised two 90 minute guided Cellar Tours, one on each day, for July18th and 19th. Please meet by the Town Well in Castle Street at 10.50 for 11am start on both days. The cost is £5 each with proceeds to FOAM and the booking number to ring is 01797 222629. FOAM notes that the cellars in Winchelsea pre-date the first houses on the sites which they occupy. This is because it would have been impossible to construct such an open space after a house had been built above. Therefore the cellars must have been some of the first structures in the town from 1290.

Quartet at Smallhythe: The Literary Society has booked tickets to see the play Quartet at the Barn Theatre Smallhythe on the evening of Friday July 24th. If you would like to purchase a ticket please contact Howard Norton (secretary) on 01797 226524. Quartet is well-known as the comedy film starring Dustin Hoffman and concerns the human spirit undeterred by old age and growing in hope and amusement.

Battle of Waterloo: Winchelsea Archaeological Society has organised a talk on the Battle of Waterloo for next Saturday July 25th at 3pm in the Court Hall. The talk is given by Colonel Anthony Kimber who chairs REACT (Rye Emergency Action Community Team) which tackles community issues and flood risks. Everybody is invited to the event which costs £4 p.p. and is free for members and under 16s.

Winchelsea Summer Fete: Every year at this time preparations for the Summer Fete begin to gather pace and with only 4 weeks to go it is time to start looking forward to a great afternoon out on Saturday 8th August. As usual the Fete will be held in the Cricket Field beginning at 1.45 till 4.30pm with Battle Town Band providing the musical entertainment. There will also be a BBQ, Pimm’s Bar, Afternoon Tea, Fantastic Fun Dog Show, Craft Stalls, Ice-Creams, a Grand Raffle with amazing prizes and Pett level Rescue Boat will have a stand. Everybody is welcome to come along and all proceeds from this year’s Fete will go towards: The St Thomas’s Church Roof Appeal, the Pipewell Gate Appeal, Rother Responders, Pett Level Rescue Boat and Rye Sea Cadets.

Chief cornerstone: Now in its 230th year there was a good turn out last Sunday afternoon for the Anniversary of Winchelsea Methodist Chapel. Usually a sunny occasion the weather this year was unpredictable. Apart from a few bright patches the sky was overcast and as a precaution several people were armed with umbrellas for the traditional hymn singing under the Wesley Tree. Barry Turnbull read out a piece of John Wesley’s famous sermon which he preached under the original tree in 1790: “The Kingdom of God is at hand, repent ye and believe the Gospel” (Mark 1:15). The force of the singing which followed and the accompanying strong breeze were enough to keep the rain at bay and all were able to adjourn to the Chapel just slightly windswept. Rev Cynthia Park led the service and introduced herself as one of the founding Friends of the Methodist Chapel who assisted in its restoration when there were thoughts of selling it as a Bed & Breakfast enterprise in the 1990’s. This would have meant the loss of an important historical site but fortunately the Friends saw its potential and focused on making it the special place of worship it has become. Rev Cynthia was also reminded of the passage of scripture: “The stone the builders rejected has become the cornerstone”; from Mark 12:10 which is Jesus the Messiah on whom depended the existence and support of the Kingdom of God. The cornerstone, which stands at the base and binds together two principal walls, is Jesus who unites Jew and Gentile in one holy house. A collection was taken in aid of the Chapel and the service concluded with celebratory cakes, tea and coffee. Rev Peggy Heim who also attended the service explained that at the recent Circuit meeting it was agreed that the ‘Wesley Tree’ would be nominated for the BBC ‘Countryfile’ Tree of the Year and she has submitted their entry and hopefully it will win. Last year’s winner was the Major Oak around 1000 years old and situated in Sherwood Forest, Nottingham.

Winchelsea Beach

Dance and Supper: Tomorrow (Saturday) the rock n’ roll band ‘Something Else’ will be playing at the Dance evening in the Community Hall from 7.30 till 10.30pm. Tickets are £10 each which includes a fish and chip supper and can be bought from Suttons in Sea Road or contact 01797 224820. Please bring your own drinks and glasses.

World of Spiders: A walk of 2 miles around Rye Harbour Nature Reserve led by the warden Chris is an opportunity to take a closer look at and discover more about the fascinating world of spiders. This event is on Sunday July 19th at 2 till 3.30pm meeting at Lime Kiln Cottage Information Centre and there is no need to book but donations would be appreciated. Some of the arachnids found at the reserve include the hobo spider, flat-bellied spider and trapdoor spider. There are far more as spiders are great travellers who can walk on water, navigate oceans and also change their appearance.

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