Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news
Winchelsea & Winchelsea Beach news

Patronal weekend: This weekend you can expect plenty of activity at St Thomas’ Church since it is the annual Patronal Festival. Starting tomorrow July 2nd from 10.30am to 12 noon the Church Market will be in progress, being the first Saturday in the month. A time to get-together over coffee or tea with refreshments is on offer, plus home-grown produce for sale and quality books at reduced prices. Also thank you to all who supported last month’s Market which raised £363.31 and all proceeds are in aid of church funds.

Pegasus Choir: ‘Sounds and Sweet Airs’ is the title of the concert given by the Pegasus Choir at St Thomas’ Church on Saturday evening July 2nd at 7.30pm. Pegasus are sponsored by Winchelsea Arts and regularly entertain at the Church. They are one of London’s leading chamber choirs. Their programme of choral works and solo songs will have a Shakespearian theme to mark the 400th anniversary of his death and the readers will include local residents. The tickets are £13 (£6.50 under 18s) and are available at the door or online at and all are very welcome to attend.

Annual Patronal service: On Sunday 3rd July at 10.30am St Thomas’ Church will be celebrating its Patron Saint the Martyred Thomas a Becket. Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162-70 Becket was murdered by the alter in Canterbury Cathedral as vespers were being sung, following a long feud with Henry II. The Holy Communion service in St Thomas’ Church will be attended by the Mayor John Spencer and Corporation and the address will be delivered by the Reverend Mandy Ford, Canon Chancellor of Southwark Cathedral. Pegasus Choir will be singing and the service setting will be Missa Papae Marcelli by Palestrina.

Also on Becket: A fragment of bone thought to come from the arm of Thomas a Becket is to be returned to Canterbury from Hungary after 800 years. Regarded as a symbol of reconciliation between Anglicans and Catholics its presence in Hungary meant it escaped destruction during the Reformation in England. However, it is unusual for Anglican clerics to focus on the relics of a saint and this event would have been unimaginable a generation ago. The Liberal Democrat Lord Alton who is organising the pilgrimage of the relic suggested it would serve as a reminder of 21st century martyrdom of Christians in the Middle East.

Poetry Reading: Literary Society member Jonty Drive will give a poetry reading in St Mary in the Marsh as part of the Romney Marsh Festival, the JAM festival (John Armitage Memorial Festival) on Sunday 10th July at 4pm. This year Jonty will recite his poem ‘Before’ which is a sequence of twenty-two poems and violinist Peter Fields will combine the poems with a variety of popular, classical and folk tunes from Africa. For Jonty’s recital admission is free and the festival runs from 7th to 17th July in venues and churches across Romney Marsh.

EU result: It is strange that a number of pessimists have been petitioning for a second vote on this matter because they did not get their choice or even bother to vote at the time. If a second referendum was even attempted there would probably be riots followed by a call for a third referendum and then a fourth and so on, none of which would impress our European neighbours. Also it seems that many of these skeptics have forgotten the crucial motives for holding the referendum in the first place. The decision to leave the EU has been made, there is no going back and for many it is a time of celebration. So forget defeatism and let’s look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead in both Europe and the rest of the world.

Winchelsea Beach

Introduction to Reserve: On Saturday July 2nd there will be an introduction to Rye Harbour Nature Reserve – Part 3 beginning at 10am till 1pm and the place to meet is the public car park at Dogs Hill. This is the third and final walk of the series and Barry Yates the nature reserve manager will be exploring the southwest part of the reserve and the walk starts and ends at Winchelsea Beach. There is no charge but donations would be appreciated.

Beginner birdwatching: If you are interested in local birdwatching a short course for beginners has been arranged by Rye Harbour Nature Reserve called ‘Binoculars and Beyond’ on Sunday July 3rd at 10am till 1pm. It is an opportunity to identify common waders, gulls and terns that nest in the area of the reserve. The cost is £12 and the number for bookings is 01273 497561, also binoculars and field guides can be borrowed.

Church times: There will not be a Morning Worship service at St Richard’s Church on Sunday July 3rd due to the Patronal Festival in Winchelsea. Everyone is invited to join the celebration service at St Thomas’ Church as from 10.30am.

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