Easter services: Today, Good Friday St Thomas’ Church begins the sacrificial message of the cross with Stations of the Cross at 12 noon. This will be followed by a united Benefice service of meditation at 2pm in Icklesham Parish Church. For Holy Saturday March 26th the Vigil and Holy Communion in St Thomas’ Church starts at 8pm; then on Sunday, Resurrection Day there is a Holy Communion service at 11am in the Church.

Winchelsea Mayoring: Since their records began in 1295 the Winchelsea Corporation has elected a new mayor every year from amongst its Freemen and 12 jurats. Winchelsea may be the only place in the UK where this form of election that does not require a ballot box, as members choose between them, still happens. The Mayoring tradition takes place every Easter Monday and this year is on March 28th beginning as usual at 11am in the Lower Court Hall. Mr John Spencer will be sworn in for a second term as mayor for 2016 and new Freemen will be elected. The ceremony is attended by many of the Cinque Port Mayors and local dignitaries, in full regalia and will be followed by a reception in the New Hall.

Crime writers: On Easter Sunday March 27th Winchelsea resident Guy Fraser-Sampson has organised a book launch with Rye author Tim Adler at the Rye Bookshop. They will be signing copies of their new crime novels, ‘Death in Profile’ and ‘Hold Still’ between 11am and 12.30pm and if you would like to discuss crime fiction over a glass of wine do come along. Guy’s Death in Profile while written for a contemporary audience harks back to the Golden Age of crime writing. He also wrote ‘Lucia on Holiday’ (a Mapp and Lucia Novel) and ‘The Mess We’re In’ which concerns the ongoing financial crises. Tim Adler has written for the Financial Times and the Daily Telegraph and his book Hold Still is described as a Murder on the Orient Express, Hitchcockian thriller.

Cellar Tour: During the Easter weekend the Archaeological Society has organised a Cellar Tour for Bank Holiday Monday March 28th. For those attending the Mayoring ceremony a tour of the medieval cellars would complete an interesting and enjoyable occasion. The phone number for bookings is 01797 224446 and the cost is £5 p.p. You will need to meet at 2pm in Castle Street for the 90 minute guided tour, wearing sensible shoes for the steps and a guide book will be provided.

IPC meeting: The Annual Icklesham Parish Meeting will be held on Wednesday March 30th at 7pm in the New Hall. An election for a parish councillor to replace Clive Pope is expected to take place during the meeting.

FOAM quiz: The Friends of the Ancient Monuments and Museum are looking for players and teams of up to six for the quiz they are holding on Saturday April 2nd. To make your reservation please contact 01797 227709 or 222772 and the cost is £8 p.p. which includes refreshments with a cash bar. Doors are open at 6.30 for 7pm at the New Hall venue.

Lighting the beacon: So far two clean-ups have been arranged by Icklesham Parish Council for the ‘Clean for the Queen’ birthday celebrations; one at Rye Harbour and the other at Winchelsea Beach during March. Details for cleaning events in Icklesham and Winchelsea are to be decided. The lighting of the beacon in Winchelsea will take place on the Queen’s birthday, Thursday April 21st at 7.30pm. Also on that day the celebrations will include refreshments in the New Hall and a short service at St Thomas’ Church.

Heart of stone: In his talk last Friday evening at the Literary Society’s meeting Bill Doherty gave an illustrated history of events during the Irish rebellion of 1916-1922. Among the group of insurgents at the time was Constance Markievicz (1868-1927) born into a wealthy Anglo-Irish background, she was a friend of the poet Yeats and fought in the 1916 Easter Rising. She was also a diehard republican who refused to compromise in the creation of the Irish Free State. In 1922 civil war broke out between these two factions and ironically she was imprisoned at the hands of the men she had fought with in 1916. In his Easter 1916 poem Yeats indicated that the ‘terrible beauty is born’ was none other than Constance who symbolised the provocative ‘Easter Rising’, and possessing a heart of stone, as suggested in the poem was necessary for those involved in the rebellion. Bill drew a contrast between this relentless mission and Sean O’Casey’s play Juno and the Paycock concerning a family caught up in the 1922 civil war. While violent death was a daily occurrence Juno appealed for hearts of flesh rather than hearts of stone and husband Jack was anxious and confused because all was in chaos. The insurgents were later executed by the British apart from Constance who because of her sex was imprisoned instead. Although their martyrdom may have helped the cause Yeats was more cynical in his poem implying that much could have been achieved without the need for disruption.

Winchelsea Beach

Easter Table Sale: Don’t forget there is an Easter Table Sale tomorrow, Saturday March 26th in the Community Hall. Entrance is 50p which includes tea and biscuits and the Sale starts promptly at 11am.

Easter service: St Richard’s Church will be celebrating Jesus’s resurrection with a Holy Communion service at 9.30am on Sunday March 27th. Also on Sunday morning don’t forget that the clocks will be going forward 1 hour; hopefully we’ll all get it right.

IPC Vacancy: Owing to the resignation of Councillor Clive Pope there is a vacancy at Icklesham Parish Council for a new councillor. The process involves an election being held if TEN electors for the Parish give notice to the Returning Officer, Malcolm Johnston (Rother District Council, Town Hall, Bexhill-on-Sea TN39 3JX). The election date for this current vacancy would need to be on Wednesday March 30th which is also the date for the Annual Parish Meeting at 7pm in the New Hall. However if the vacancy is not filled by election it will have to be filled by the Parish Council as soon as possible.

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