Palm Sunday clocks: This Palm Sunday, March 25th begins British Summer Time, with no snow forecast the day starts an hour earlier as the clocks go forward one hour. The 11am Sunday service in St Thomas' Church will start at the War Memorial with everyone gathering for the blessing of palms before processing into the Church. Palm Sunday service celebrates Jesus Christ's triumphal entry into Jerusalem on a young donkey, palm leaves strewn in his path and coming as the rightful King of the Jews, born of the line of King David. This fulfils the prophesy in Zechariah 9:9: '˜Rejoice greatly'¦behold your King cometh: He is just and having salvation; lowly and riding upon the colt of an ass'. The event marks the beginning of Holy Week and the services which are led by the Rector Jonathan Meyer, continue with a 6pm service at the Church on Maundy Thursday March 29th. Following this, the Good Friday service of crucifixion on March 30th will be at Icklesham Parish Church starting at 2pm. On Saturday March 31st the Easter Eve service takes place at 8pm in St Thomas' Church. Then on Resurrection Sunday April 1st the service begins at 8am in St Richard's Church and 11am at St Thomas'.
Nursery Talks: The Garden Society agreed at their Annual General Meeting that they would invite a number of local nurseries to come to Winchelsea and talk about their aims and specialisms. The first of these talks will be given by Wendy Bates of Rotherview Nursery on Tuesday March 27th at 2.30pm in the Court Hall. The event will last about an hour and all are invited to come along and support this first meeting. It is in very much in everyone’s interests that local nurseries continue to survive and flourish. Rotherview is a family-run business established in 1988. Originally an alpine nursery, they now grow and stock a wide range of hardy plants with an extensive collection of alpines, ferns, perennials and camellias. The latter numbers 300+ varieties and is known as The Coghurst Camellia Collection.
RHS Wisley: On the following day Wednesday March 28th the Garden Society will be making its annual visit to the RHS Garden at Wisley in Woking, Surrey. There are a few tickets left and if you would like to come along, please visit the Farm Kitchen to buy your ticket which is £16 for the full day out. You will find that there is plenty to do and see at Wisley; the gardens are lovely and there are good places to eat. The journey will be by a coach designed for comfort (by popular request) which leaves the Town Sign at 9am and aims to be back by 6pm.
Holy Week: On Wednesday March 28th at 7.30pm the Friends of the Methodist Chapel will be holding a service on ‘Reflections for Holy Week’. This service will be led by Keith Miller together with members from the Hastings, Bexhill and Rye circuit, in the Wesley Chapel. To ensure a good audience their purpose will be, in the words of John Wesley, to ‘Get on fire for God and men will come and see you burn.’ As usual a warm welcome awaits all and there will be light refreshments to follow.
500 miles: Last Tuesday at Five Villages Rector Jonathan Meyer gave an illustrated talk for Lent, on his pilgrimage along ‘The Camino de Santiago’ (Way of St James). The journey began in northern France and took 6 weeks, walking at an average of 12 miles per day, to complete the 500 miles to Santiago de Compostella in northwest Spain. He stayed in various hostels en-route, sleeping in dormitories, often where every bunk bed was taken apart from the one nearest the person who snored the loudest. This was in September 2016 and the temperature was a baking 35 degrees. With his boots shrinking in the heat and causing his feet to blister, the pleasure of the walk was temporarily lost until he was able to get to the nearest town and buy a more comfortable pair of boots. His route took him through open countryside that resembled the Van Gogh paintings of yellow wheat fields, vivid blue skies and tall poplar trees. It was possible that the artist had walked this far in his lifetime as he was known to be an adventurer and wanderer. On his journey Jonathan followed the narrow track which eventually led over the Pyrenees. There he enjoyed stunning views but on seeing the pathway extending into the distance the way seemed endless and daunting. This route was one of the most important Christian pilgrimage routes during medieval times and Jonathan remembered that the early pilgrims not only went the entire distance but returned the same way despite the many dangers they risked encountering on the journey. Once they returned home they presented a scallop shell as proof they had completed the pilgrimage, since the shells are indigenous to the coast of Galicia. Jonathan carried a rucksack with minimal luggage although this gradually put pressure on his knee so that he needed to stop at one of the many historical towns along the way to buy a bandage support. Along the route which was marked out by the occasional scallop shell he fell into conversation with other travellers each with their own stories and some of few words, their ages ranging from early 20s up to 89 years. He visited churches and monasteries, walked through vineyards in the Rioja region of northern Spain, feeling much fitter than when he had started out. He finally arrived in Santiago de Compostella where he was joyfully met by his wife and family. For Jonathan it had been a time to reflect, to discover why others were doing the walk and to challenge himself. Certainly it was a great experience. A good crowd turned up to hear Jonathan’s fascinating talk and find out more over tea, coffee and cakes.
St Richard’s congregation: On Palm Sunday March 25th there will not be a service at St Richard’s Church. Instead all are invited to attend the service at St Thomas’ at 11am; meeting first at the War Memorial (weather permitting) so come wind come weather! Easter Sunday April 1st begins with a morning worship service at 8am led by the Rector. Also St Richard’s will be joining with Icklesham and Winchelsea Churches for the services on Maundy Thursday, Good Friday and the Easter weekend.
Craft Fayre: Winchelsea Beach Community Association has organised a Spring Craft Fayre for this Sunday March 25th at 11am to 4pm. Everybody is welcome to visit the Community Hall on Sea Road and see what’s on offer from the various works of art. A delightful selection of items will be available to purchase, ranging from jewellery, toys, fudge, jams, fairy doors, puzzles, bath bombs, sweets, cards, cushions, glass dishes and screen printing, with free entry.
Community AGM: The WBCA are required to hold an Annual General Meeting to discuss the previous year and also to look to the future. This is your community so it would be great to have as many residents as possible at the AGM, plus, it’s a good opportunity to put forward your views and ideas. The input of local residents is valuable as it allows the WBCA to plan events which are appropriate and enjoyable to the area, so do make a note in your diary to come along on Wednesday March 28th at 7.30pm to the Community Hall.
Table Sale: WBCA arrange several Table Sales during the year which are very popular among the residents. Next Saturday March 31st there will be an Easter Table Sale at 2pm in the Community Hall. If you would like to book a Table on this occasion, please phone 07732 723096. There will be a tombola and the entrance cost is 50p which includes tea and biscuits.