Church news: A busy weekend for St Thomas’ Church begins on Saturday July 23rd with morning worship at 9.30am followed by a wedding at 3.30pm. On Sunday 24th Holy Communion is from 11am and at 1pm there will be a baptism. The Rector Robin Whitehead has let it be known of Facebook and to members of the Church that he will be leaving the ministry next January 2017 after 3 years serving in Winchelsea where he ministered at all three churches in the parish. Having already retired once this will be Robin’s second and possibly last retirement as he looks forward to a combination of travel and rest in the future.
Community gardens: Similar but different from the Open Gardens charity events but just as delightful are the community garden openings. These community openings are for members and friends of the Garden Society to have a look at each other’s gardens and share ideas without the pressures of a full-scale public opening. The date for the next community garden visit is Wednesday July 27th. Once again the Open Gardens were a great success with this year’s National Gardens Scheme attracting 700 visitors which raised £5,100 from entry costs and the sale of teas which will go towards nursing charities. Thank you to everybody who helped and supported the Open Garden events.
IPC vacancy: Following the resignation of Mrs Patsy Hollands from Winchelsea Beach (recently co-opted onto Icklesham Parish Council as the councillor for Winchelsea) a casual vacancy has occurred for a new parish councillor for the Winchelsea Ward. If you are interested in standing for election please contact: Malcolm Johnston Returning Officer, Rother District Council, Town Hall, Bexhill-On-Sea, East Sussex TN39 3JX.
Uncertainty of certainty: Sir Mark Tully gave an interesting talk on ‘Why India matters to us all’ at the Literary Society’s meeting in St Thomas’ School last Friday. Former BBC India correspondent and journalist Sir Mark has lived most of his life in India. He was educated in Britain and had intended becoming a priest in the Church of England but gave up the vocation after just two terms. At the age of 76 Sir Mark has developed an interest in Hinduism and Buddhism which he has attempted to combine, unsuccessfully, with his Christian views. On his Sunday evening programme ‘Something Understood’ on Radio 4 where religious ethics are discussed it was noted that Christianity has been watered down in favour of his interest in eastern religions. Sir Mark is attracted to Hinduism because in his view it has no absolutes like Christianity and Judaism. He likes the ‘uncertainty of certainty’ found in Hinduism which he considers a work in progress that is clearly rooted in evolution; although the caste system would seem to place restrictions on this theory. He also suggests there is much to be learnt from Indian democracy which can be subtle and entertaining. For example, train travel can at times be frustrating for a westerner until the time-tabling system is better understood through patience and experience. Sir Mark is an advocate for socialism in India (as well as globally) as he is not impressed by the new economy in India which is changing the culture and causing the newly prosperous entrepreneurs to adopt western values. There are also increasing inequalities and with a population of 1.2 billion only a few can have regular use of energy in order to maintain the nation’s limited power supply. It is possible that since India enjoys maximum sunlight there may be an opening in the future for solar energy. After his stimulating talk Sir Mark had a busy time answering the many questions from the audience.
Medieval Fair: A date for your diary is the town’s Medieval Fair on Saturday August 13th at 2pm in Rookery Field on Rookery Lane. There will be side shows, stalls, refreshments, a chance at the longbow, Medieval fortune telling and plenty more fun. The clubs and societies in the town are invited to get involved and should contact members of the Bonfire Boyes or the Winchelsea Mummers.
Under Wesley’s Tree: On Thursday 1790 John Wesley gave his last sermon to the people in Winchelsea under the ash tree in the town centre. He called the townsfolk over to him saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand: repent and believe in the Gospel’ and it seemed that all who heard were almost persuaded. The ash tree blew down in 1927 but a new tree was grown from a cutting taken from the original tree. This tree known as the ‘Wesley Tree’ is where the friends of the Wesley Chapel meet every year to celebrate the Chapel’s anniversary, now in its 231st year, and sing popular hymns. Last Sunday was gloriously hot and the large number of friends were pleased to assemble under the sheltering canopy of leaves. Following the singing everyone adjourned to the Chapel to hear Baptist Minister Rev. Neville Barnett’s sermon. Picking up from John Wesley on the kingdom of heaven Rev. Neville referred to Psalm 2 ‘Why do the nations rage? The kings and rulers take counsel against God and his son Jesus, saying let us break their bonds.’ These leaders have a sinful attitude because God is not a bringer of oppression but He sets free from bondage. Thus God looks at the way man plots against him and laughs from heaven. Rev Neville discussed the necessity of serving the Lord with fear and wise leadership and quoted from the Lord’s prayer: ‘Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven’. After which prayers were said for our new government leaders that they will lead in wisdom and humanity. The collection taken was in aid of church funds and after the service all gathered for fellowship, tea and cakes.
Fortnightly Bingo: Families and friends are always welcome to the fortnightly Cash Bingo evenings in the Community Hall. The next Bingo evening is on Wednesday July 27th at 7 for 7.15pm. Light refreshments of tea and biscuits and a raffle will be available during the event.
IPC vacancy: Following the resignation of Mrs Patsy Hollands (from Winchelsea Beach) who was co-opted as the the councillor for Winchelsea, a casual vacancy has occurred at Icklesham Parish Council for a new parish councillor. If you live in the Winchelsea Ward area and are interested in standing for election please contact: Malcolm Johnston Returning Officer, Rother District Council, Town Hall, Bexhill-On-Sea, East Sussex TN39 3JX.
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