The Beacon February 2011 - Beacon Parish of Ditchling, Streat ...

The Beacon February 2011 - Beacon Parish of Ditchling, Streat ...





The Revd David Wallis

The Vicarage, 2 Charlton Gardens,

Lewes Road, Ditchling, BN6 8WA

Geoffrey Heath

St Margaret’s

Andrew Martin

(01273) 843165

(01273) 845134

(01273) 846123

Mike Sewell Streat Church (01273) 890366

Mark Moody-Stuart

Doreen Kallman

Richard Allen

Colyeen Blanchard

St Martin’s

(01273) 846525

(01273) 844743

(01273) 842919

01444 246186

Hon Treasurer: Mark Moody-Stuart (01273) 846525

Bookkeeper: Sue Sewell (01273) 890366

Hon Secretary: Margaret Bovill (01273) 845319

Organists and


Hon Organists:

Nick Hancock

John Sandford

Lynette Walker

Lynn Bond

St Margaret’s

Streat Church

St Martin’s

(01273) 841980

07855 957644

(01273) 891005

(01273) 842387

The Beacon

Editor: Graham Sharpless (01273) 845368


Sue & George Hancock (01273) 890298




Jenny Bell

Margaret Moore


(01273) 843194

(01273) 843805

Paul Charman Streat & Westmeston (01273) 844743

Full membership of the PCC can be found on the website at:

The Revd David Wallis’s day off is Friday

The Beacon Parish is a registered charity, number 1132488

Front cover: an unusual view of the chancel in St Margaret’s Church

taken from the scaffolding (photo by Graham Sharpless)

The Beacon Churches Calendar February 2011

During February there will be no weekday public services of Morning Prayer

2 Wed Eucharist at the home of Tony

and Briony Coomber

Cherry Tree Cottage, 45

East End Lane, Ditchling



Eucharist (BCP) The School 8.00am

All age Eucharist The School 9.45am

Morning Prayer Westmeston 9.45am

9 Wed Eucharist at the home of Pam and

Alec Gaskin (All Welcome)


1 Beaconhurst,



Family Eucharist The School 9.45am

Morning Prayer Streat 9.45am

16 Wed Eucharist at the home of Geoff and

Valerie Heath (All Welcome)


Oakshade, Nye

Lane, Ditchling


Eucharist (BCP) The School 8.00am

Morning Prayer The School 9.45am

Family Eucharist Streat 9.45am

Eucharist Westmeston 4.00pm

23 Wed Eucharist at The Vicarage (All




Charlton Gardens

St Margaret’s

School, Ditchling




Fr David Writes

Dear Friends

There has been much in the news recently about divisions

in the Church. Three Anglican bishops, a number of clergy

and several congregations have decided to leave the

Church of England and become Roman Catholics and it is

likely that, as the debate over women bishops continues,

further divisions will appear.

On Thursday 24 th March, we shall be holding an open

meeting of the PCC at Streat Barn at 6 pm to explore the

debate further. All are welcome to attend this meeting.

Divisions in the Church are not a new phenomenon. The apostle Paul had to

write to the church in Corinth appealing to them in the strongest terms that

there ‘should be agreement and no divisions’ and that they should be ’united in

the same mind and the same purpose’. Throughout the history of the church

such schisms and divisions have continued. The very fact that there are so many

different Christian denominations is an illustration of this. For as long as there

have been different denominations, people have changed between them and so

when we see three Anglican bishops leaving our Church to join another, as sad as

this may seem, we shouldn’t be too alarmed. Just by way of balancing the scales

a little, I know of a number of formerly Roman Catholic priests in this Diocese

alone who have become Anglican clergy, some because they wanted to get


“Our divisions obscure people from seeing Christ”

Nevertheless, this is a particularly painful time of division in the Anglican Church

and this needs to be recognised. If the Church truly is the body of Christ, just as

all bodies have times of growth and flourishing so also all bodies have times of

sickness and at the moment we need to pray for the healing of our sickness and

the wounds of our division. The need for healing is of paramount importance as

our divisions make the Church look irrelevant to the rest of the world as they

look on. Our divisions obscure people from seeing Christ. Instead of hearing his

gospel, they hear our arguments and our bickering, and so the Church appears to

have nothing of any worth to offer the world. ‘They claim to offer the world

God’s gift of peace and reconciliation but they can’t even get on with each other’

the critics may cry and to misquote St Paul slightly, ‘we make The Cross look like

foolishness to those who don’t believe’.


When we feel passionate about an issue, it can become very easy for us to tie

ourselves up in knots about it. It can become all we think about and the focus of

our lives. So when Jesus called the first disciples to give up their lives as

fishermen and follow him, we hear in the gospel that ‘immediately they put

down their nets and followed him’.

A Gallilean fisherman’s net was his lifetime’s occupation, always needing to be

repaired, disentangled and re-knotted. It was the focus of his day. Jesus tells

them ‘put down your nets because now you must focus on me’. So often we get

our focus wrong when we are concerned with a particular issue. Albeit with the

best of intentions, we tangle ourselves up and tie ourselves in knots over who

can and can’t be ordained, who can and can’t lead the Church, what worship

should be like and where it should take place. All of these are important issues

to consider, but if they have become our focus – then Christ is not. When issues

such as these are all we think about, we have taken our eyes off the cross. It is

often said that if we have a problem we should ‘take it to the Cross’ in the hope

that there we shall find a solution. But instead, we often find that at the Cross,

Christ becomes our focus once more and the issue we are concerned about is

put into perspective.

“We make The Cross look like foolishness to

those who don’t believe”

The Cross is THE place of unity. It is the place where Christ dies for all of us, it is

the place where we all find the forgiveness of God and of course, the closer we

draw to the Cross, the closer we come to one another. And so let us ask

ourselves when we speak world of criticism ‘would I say this if I were standing at

the Cross’?

The Cross is the place where we see the burden Christ tolerated for us and

where we should ask ourselves ‘surely I must be more tolerant of others?’

The Cross is the place where Christ begins to construct the Church from wood

and nails and where we should ask ourselves ‘do my words build up that


The Cross is the place where Jesus prays ‘Father forgive them, they know not

what they do’ and where we should ask ourselves ‘do I really try to see things

from the perspective of others?’ ‘Do I pray for them?’

The Cross is the place where even though we have broken our relationship with

God, it is God who is making the offer of reconciliation and we should ask

ourselves ‘do I really want to be reconciled with those with whom I disagree?’


The Cross is the place from where God looks at us in our worst and lowest

moment and loves us and were where we should ask ourselves ‘how can I

emulate that love’?

May God’s blessing be upon his whole Church and upon you

Fr David

In the Steps of the Plantagenets

Canon Peter Sills, the Rural Dean, is leading a pilgrimage from 5 – 19 September

2011 following the route taken by the Plantagenet Kings through western

France. From Mont-Saint-Michel to Bordeaux, the route passes though places

intertwined in French and English history and sanctified by the prayers of

countless pilgrims.

Highlights include the dramatic island sanctuary of Mont-Saint-Michel; the Castle

at Angers which houses the monumental Tapestry of the Apocalypse; the royal

Abbey of Fontevraud, burial place of the early Plantagenets; the magnificent

Romanesque Church of Ste-Marie-La-Grande in Poitiers; St-Savin-sur-Gartempe,

housing the largest collection of medieval wall paintings in France; St-Pierre in

Aulnay and St-Eutrope in Saintes, two of the most important Romanesque

churches in France; and the great city of Bordeaux with its cathedral and the

Basilica of St-Seurin, one of the earliest Christian sites in south-west France.

The itinerary allows a good amount of time for exploration, and there will also be

some fun times: a night tour of Angers and a visit to one of the Graves vineyards.

For full details contact Canon Sills on 01273 842760 /

Ditchling Services in St Margaret’s School

St Margaret’s Church is closed for major redecoration

until the beginning of March.

During that time all services will be held in

St Margaret’s School


Bible Notes

I start this month with the verses I finished last month “he who seeks finds”

Matthew 7:8 “You will seek me (God) and find me when you seek me with all

your heart” Jeremiah 29:13. They explain just what happened to Tony Jordan

who wrote The Nativity for the BBC shown during Christmas week which I am

sure a lot of you will have seen.

The words I read as coming from Jesus Christ are

the most truthful thing I have ever heard”

Apparently Tony Jordan writes for EastEnders and was asked to write a new

version of the nativity story. From studying the story deeply he produced this

excellent series and in an interview with The Telegraph stated: “The only thing I

know for sure is that the words I read as coming from Jesus Christ are the most

truthful thing I have ever heard”.

How good it was to hear the Queen speak about the good influence the Bible has

on this country. As we celebrate the 400 th anniversary of the King James Version

this year, let’s read the Bible regularly ourselves and value it as God’s word to us.

To read the Bible regularly it can be very helpful to have Bible Reading notes.

There are different types for all ages, some examples are Scripture Union which I

can provide (telephone: 843381), Bible Reading Fellowship available from Judy

Essex (telephone: 843089) and The Good Book Company. a free “Open up the Bible” magazine is

available online.

Jill Veness

Churchyard Working Parties

The next working party will be at Streat on Saturday February 12 th starting at

9.30 am. Please come along with cutters, clippers, gloves etc. and help to tidy

these lovely churchyard areas ready for the Spring - coffee and home-made cake

will as usual be provided.

Janet Cragg


Beacon Parish Church Duties February 2011

Time Church Service Lessons Readers Prayers Sidesmen

6 The Fifth Sunday before Lent Flowers:



9.45am Ditchling









1 Corinthians 2. 1-12

Matthew 5. 13-20

1 Corinthians 2. 1-12

Matthew 5. 13-20

1 Corinthians 2. 1-12

Matthew 5. 13-20

13 The Fourth Sunday before Lent Flowers:

9.45am Ditchling Eucharist





Deuteronomy 30.15 -


1 Corinthians 3. 1-9

Deuteronomy 30.15 -


1 Corinthians 3. 1-9

20 The Third Sunday before Lent Flowers:


9.45am Ditchling

Ditchling Eucharist




9.45am Streat Family Eucharist




1 Corinthians 3.10-


Matthew 5. 38-end

1 Corinthians 3.10-


Matthew 5. 38-end

1 Corinthians 3.10-


Matthew 5. 38-end

27 The Second Sunday before Lent Flowers:

9.45am Ditchling

Beacon Eucharist


Streat: Millie Taylor

Westmeston: Jo Wratten

Jenny Bell







Jenny Bell

Carl Belfield

Penny Tyas


Brenda Hall


Streat: Sallie Heine

Westmeston: Jo Wratten









Judy Essex

Di Martin

Sue Sewell

Streat: Sallie Heine

Westmeston:Sonia Norman



Pam Allen

Lyn Bond



Fr David





Jane Roberts



Streat: Jane Juniper

Westmeston:Sonia Norman


8.18-25 Penelope

Matthew Bennett


In Memoriam

In February we remember:

2 nd James Allen 19 th Braunda Pickup

3 rd Terence Covington 21 st Roy William Edwards

9 th Philip Petherbridge 22 nd Peggy Jean Spacek

16 th Roderick Webb 24 th Edward Armitage

17 th Alfred Crofton 28 th Joyce Sochon

17 th Sylvia Stevens 29 th Pamela Lane Owen

PCC Briefings

On Thursday 20 th January the first PCC meeting of 2011 was held at Westmeston

Parish Hall. Among the topics discussed were the new Treasurer, Mark Moody-

Stuart, and Bookkeeper, Sue Sewell. Sue will deal with day to day banking (for

the first time electronically) whilst Mark will oversee all the Beacon Churches

finances and produce the ACPM Report for the Auditors.

The re-decoration of the interior of St Margaret’s was also discussed as this will

now cost an extra £4,000 to remove additional cement rendering from the walls

before replastering. It was decided to inform Parishioners about this to see if

they would be prepared to contribute to this extra expense.

Other issues were the Mission Action Plan (MAP) which is now discussed at

every PCC Meeting. MAP covers all aspects of the Church (ie Worship, Home

Groups, Social Events, Weddings etc) and will be discussed at the Annual

Meeting in March.

The next PCC Meeting will be on Thursday 24 th March, 2011, at Streat Barn,

starting at 6.30 pm to which all Parishioners will be invited as one of the topics

up for discussion will be the role of Women Bishops and the Diocese has asked

for comments from the laity.

Margaret Bovill, PCC Secretary


Closure of St Margaret’s Church

St Margaret’s has been closed for the month of January and will not reopen until

the beginning of March. During this time the disfigured plasterwork is being

removed and replaced, and many parts of the interior are being redecorated.

The builders have unfortunately come across several areas where more work is

needed than was originally thought, and the outcome is that the budget will

over-run by £4,000. The Friends of St Margaret’s will be contributing £20,000 of

the total of £31,000, leaving £11,000 to be paid by the Beacon Parish.

Any contributions towards this over-run would be very gratefully received.

Mike Sewell

St Margaret's Cleaning Rota

We are all pleased to worship in a beautiful and clean church. We have been

fortunate over the years to have had a team of volunteers who have dusted and

polished the pews etc. However, this team has been reducing in numbers over

the years and we desperately require some new additions to ease the load of the

existing team. The greater the number of helpers the less frequently they have

to clean. The work is quite light, and usually takes about an hour. Often, a pair

of friends works together but our reduced numbers have caused more single

working in recent years.

If you feel able to help with this essential and rewarding work please let me

know as soon as possible as I must have the list completed well before the

church re-opens in March. I look forward to hundreds of replies!

Geoff Heath – Churchwarden


The Editor would like to apologise for errors and omissions in the January

issue of The Beacon, particularly the incorrect times for some services and

the omission of the word ‘weekday’ from the text concerning morning

prayer services.

While all contributions are checked and any errors found corrected, some

errors do unfortunately go unnoticed particularly when time is short.


St Margaret’s Church Choir

In a recent television programme, Great British Railway Journeys, Michael

Portillo visited Durham Cathedral, where he asked James Lancelot, Director of

Music, how long a choir had existed there. The answer was since the Cathedral

was built.

St Margaret’s choir has probably not existed as long, but there has been a choir

for a considerable length of time. In recent years the choir has become very

much smaller. Currently there are five sopranos, three altos, one tenor and two

basses. Most members attend nearly all choir practices and Sunday services plus

weddings, funerals and other special services.

The choir is fortunate to have two excellent organists, Nick Hancock and John

Sandford, who spend a lot of time training and rehearsing the choir, as well as

choosing and preparing the music for us to sing.

If it is to survive, the choir desperately needs new singers in all voice parts. We

were fortunate that the Jubilee Choir sand with us for the Carol Service, but this

is not possible at other times.


The success of the newly formed Ditchling Singers shows that people like to sing.

If you enjoy singing please come along to one of our practices, which in February

are held on Fridays at 6.15 pm at Margaret Moore’s home, 46a Lewes Road,

which is just opposite the school. You will find a very friendly group of people

who enjoy singing.

Graham Sharpless


For 17 years we have been running the “100 Club” and raised much needed

funds and many people have enjoyed the thrill of winning a prize.

The initial outlay is £12 per share which amounts to £1 a month. We draw

two £20 prizes for eleven months of the year and two £50 prizes at Easter.

The Club will begin when 100 shares have been received, hopefully by the

end of February. Winners are notified and names placed in The Beacon each


If you would like to take part, please fill in the form below and send it to Mrs.

Pam Gaskin, 1 Beaconhurst, Keymer, Hassocks BN6 8RE. Tel 843182.

Cheques or cash will be passed to the Treasurer of the PCC.

The winners of the December 2010 Draw were Margaret Moore and

Shirley Cox.


Pam Gaskin


Name(s) ……………………………………………………………………………



No. of Shares …… (no limit!) Signed……………………………………………

Cheques made payable to “Ditchling, Streat and Westmeston P.C.C.”

numbered cards and receipt will be sent when all the shares are received.





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Prayer Diary – February 2011

Feast Days

1 Brigid, Abbess of

Kildare, c525

2 Presentation of our

Lord: Candlemas

3 Anskar, Abp of


Missionary in

Denmark and

Sweden, 865

4 Gilbert of

Sempringham, 1189

Prayer for the world church

& for this diocese

Machakos (Kenya)

Archdeaconry of Horsham:

Roger Combes, AD

Madhya Kerala (India)

Rural deanery of Cuckfield

Madi & West Nile (Uganda)



Prayer topic for the day

The people of Haiti

Lord, now lettest thou they

servant depart in peace,

according to thy word; For

mine eyes have seen thy

salvation, which thou has

prepared before the face of

all people, to be a light to

lighten the Gentiles, and to

be the glory of thy people


Ditchling Pre-School

Madurai-Ramnad (India) Outreach Committee


5 Mahajanga (Indian Ocean) Events Group

Bolney, St Mary Magdalene

6 5th Sunday before



Youth, Church House

Accession of Queen

Elizabeth II

7 Maiduguri (Nigeria)

Cuckfield, Holy Trinity

For those preparing for


8 Maine (USA)

Haywards Heath, St Wilfrid

St Peter and St James’


9 Makamba (Burundi)

Haywards Heath, St Richard

For those who are stressed

by work

10 Scholastica, c.543 Makurdi (Nigeria)

For Fellowship

Highbrook and West Hoathly

11 Malaita (Melanesia) For new parents

12 Malakal (Sudan)


Streat Churchyard working


13 4th Sunday before


Those going through

marriage breakup

Kampala (Uganda)

For the young people on the

Encounter Scheme: Leah

Wagstaff and Luke Evason

Feast Days

14 Valentine, Martyr at

Rome, c269

Prayer for the world church

& for this diocese


Scaynes Hill

15 Thomas Bray, Priest,

Founder of SPCK and

SPG, 1730

Mandalay (Myanmar)

Slaugham & Staplefield


16 Manicaland (Central Africa)


17 Janani Luwum, Abp

of Uganda, Martyr,


Mara (Tanzania)

Haywards Heath, The


18 Marathwada (North India)

Deanery of East Grinstead

19 Maridi (Sudan)


20 3rd Sunday before Llandaff


Education Sunday

21 Maryland (USA)


22 Masasi (Tanzania)

Crawley Down

23 Polycarp c 155 Maseno North (Kenya)

Crawley, Southgate

24 Matthias the Apostle Masindi-Kitara (Uganda)

East Grinstead, St Swithun

25 Massachusetts

East Grinstead, St Mary

26 Masvingo (Central Africa)

Forest Row

27 2nd Sunday before


George Herbert,



Ministry and Adult Christian

Education Department

(MACE), Church House

28 Matabeleland (Central


Cowden with Hammerwood

Prayer topic for the day

For all those who will be

married in our churches

this year

For humility

For our neighbours

Deanery Synod meeting


For all who work outside

For our local surgery

For those in the

community who go to

other churches

For our local undertakers

For all involved in

producing and distributing

the Beacon Magazine

For our neighbouring


For our Parish Coffee

Morning today

For our District and County


For Ditchling Village Post


The Parish Finance Team

For the first signs of spring


William Booth (1829 – 1912)

William Booth, founder of the Salvation Army, just gets into our list of leading

20 th century Christian leaders, but the result of his work was to last for the full

hundred years and beyond.

He was born in Nottingham, was apprenticed to a local pawnbroker and soon

experienced at first hand the poverty in which so many lived. Through early

membership of the Methodist Church, Booth came to believe that his mission in

life was to preach and to convert. He was always graphically aware of the

contrast between a life of salvation through Christ and the hell of life through

the evil of Satan. Hence his preaching and his energies were directed at rescuing

those he saw living a life of squalor, dogged by violence, drink and despair.

His move to London was followed by marriage to Catherine Mumford in 1855

and she was a tremendous influence on William in his work. Together they broke

away from their Methodist affiliations and set up independent Christian missions

relying increasingly on open-air preaching. In this way they were able to reach

those who would be reluctant to enter a church – indeed Salvationists often

claim that the movement began life in a tent in a Quaker cemetery in

Whitechapel, East London.

The advent of the … brass band was originally to drown

out the jeers of the crowds who gathered to mock”

By 1878, the Salvation Army was formed with its military structure, its uniforms

and its marching. The Army insisted always on equality for women and on all

members being teetotal. As the movement grew, so it continued to attack the

evils of drink and prostitution but it also called for practical reforms such as the

creation of labour exchanges to help the unemployed, the provision of legal aid

for the poor and it set up a bureau to help families trace missing relations.

The advent of the familiar brass band was originally to drown out the jeers of the

crowds who gathered to mock. Unscrupulous brewers and innkeepers were

quick to encourage such attacks and there were many serious riots in Sussex,

particularly in the sedate resorts of Worthing and Eastbourne. Captain Margetts

reporting on the Army’s visit to Worthing in 1883: ‘Hall packed at night; crowds

outside; stormy meeting; many wounded…..’ Whilst, later in 1991, William Head,

a young Salvationist, reported a huge gathering of opponents in Eastbourne

where there was ‘cursing and swearing, boos, hoots, whistles coupled with flour,

rotten eggs, fish, rotten fruit and vegetables, and many more horrible and dirty


things were thrown at us’ Yet the Diocesan Bishop, Bishop Durnford addressed

the Chichester Diocesan Conference and advised Anglicans not to treat the

Salvation Army with contempt or dislike ‘lest haply we be found to fight against


Thus by the beginning of the 20 th Century, the Salvation Army was seen to be

much more than just a revivalist craze, and was fully established as a section of

the Christian Church. William Booth was received by King Edward VII in 1904,

and in 1905 he became a Freeman of the City of London. By the time he died in

1912, he could point to the Salvation Army in 58 different countries, and he was

said to have travelled 5 million miles himself and preached just under 60,000


Richard Allen

Chinese New Year Meal

Come along for a Chinese inspired meal and lots of fun at

The General on Friday 5 th February 7.30pm

Tickets £12

Contact Nicky Amas (842791)

Putting St Margaret’s back together again

Please come along to help ‘set up’ the church after the building

work is completed on

Monday 28 th February at 9.30am

Women Bishops

Every parish in the Diocese has been asked to discuss this current issue.

We shall be doing this at an open PCC meeting on Thursday 24 th March at

Streat Barn. All are welcome to attend.


What’s On in February 2011

1 Tue

Ditchling Downs WI meeting and talk I Married

the Vicar, Friends Meeting House, East Gardens,


p 22


3 Thu

Ditchling WI meeting and talk Adur

Valley,Ditchling Village Hall

Ditchling Film Society Film Departures, Ditchling

Village Hall

p 22

p 27

2.30 pm

8 pm

4 Fri

Ditchling History Project talk The place of Fairs

in English social history, Ditchling Village Hall

p 34

7.30 pm

5 Sat

Ditchling Pre-School Charity Jumble Sale,

Ditchling Village Hall

p 29

2 pm

Chinese New Year Meal, The General, Ditchling p 19 7.30pm

8 Tue

Newick Decorative and Fine Arts Society lecture

Porcelain for the Chinese Emperors, Plumpton

Village Hall

p 32

2.15 pm

9 Wed Frugal Lunch, Emmanuel Chapel 12.30 pm

12 Sat Churchyard Working Party, Streat Church p 5 9.30 am

15 Tue

Ditchling Village Asssociation Coffee Morning,

Ditchling Village Hall

10.30 am

Women’s Fellowship meeting, 81 Lewes Road p 22 7.30 pm

17 Thu

Ditchling Film Society film All My Loved One,

Ditchling village Hall

p 28

8 pm

19 Sat

Ditchling WI ‘Marmalade Morning’, Ditchling

village Hall

p 22

10.30 am

22 Tue Whist Drive, Westmeston Parish Hall p 34 7.15 pm

24 Thu Beacon Parish Coffee Morning, Southwind, Streat p 30 10.45 am

28 Mon Putting St Margaret’s back together again p 17 9.30 am


3 Thu

What’s On in March 2011

Ditchling Film Society film Everlasting Moments,

Ditchling Village Hall

8 pm

6 Sun Pilgrimage Preparation Evening, St Margaret’s Church 6 pm

18 Fri

Ditchling Village Asssociation Newcomers’ Party,

Ditchling Village Hall

8 pm

24 Thu PCC Meeting, Streat Barn 6.30 pm

27 Sun APCM, St Margaret’s Church, Ditchling

29 Tue Whist Drive, Westmeston Parish Hall 7.15 pm

"Something old, something new"

The events group have had their first meeting of the year and already we have

something planned for most months in 2011. Some events will be back by

popular demand and we have some new ideas for you to try too. There are even

a few surprises up our sleeves but you will have to wait till nearer the time to

find out about those.

It may be too late by the time you read this but in February we thought we

would use Chinese New Year as our theme and on Saturday the 5 th we will be

celebrating this with a Chinese style meal at The General. And in case you didn't

know, it is the Year of the Rabbit. We may float a few lanterns but I am not sure

if we will be treated to one of Father David's infamous themed quizzes yet.

Confirmed future dates for your diary include the following:

April 30 th (Sat) The "wear a hat" BBQ. Come and celebrate the royal wedding

with a street party style lunch.

June 18 th (Sat) Safari Supper. As last year this will start and end in the Church

with your main course at the house of a mystery host.

October 1 st (Sat) Concert by Ambrose Page playing the music of Rossini.

October - date to be confirmed. Race night. Get ready to lay your bets for a

fun filled evening at the Ditchling Derby

November 26 th (Sat) St Andrews Night. Haggis, music and dancing (kilts



During the summer months there will also be another 6 aside cricket

competition and Jazz on the Green picnic.

Please put these dates in your diary and perhaps consider bringing someone

along who does not come to Church. These events are open to everyone in our


We need your support to make these events worthwhile. If you would like to

join the Events Group, help out with or attend a specific event then please

contact Nicki on 01273 842791.

Nicki Amas

Ditchling (St Margaret's) CE Primary School

Visiting The Globe

On Tuesday 18 th January 2011 Key Stage 2 went to The Globe Theatre in London.

We met at Hassocks station at 9.10 am, but we had to wait ages for the train. It

was cold too! When the train eventually arrived, I sat with Ellie and Natalie. The

train was good fun because we played hangman and other games.

We arrived at London Bridge station and had a short walk to The Globe, along

which we saw The Golden Hind. First we went in the exhibition. We saw William

Shakespeare's will and many amazing costumes that had been worn in

performances around 400 years ago. We also saw some actors practising their

sword fighting. At midday we had our lunch.

The afternoon started with a drama workshop. An actor called Adam led us

through some activities, such as warm-ups and role play. Then we practised

some excerpts from Romeo & Juliet. Finally we went into The Globe theatre,

which was amazing.

Adam told us about the history of The Globe. The highlight of the day was for us

to perform our parts of Romeo & Juliet on the stage. I think this was everyone's

favourite part of the day.

Finally, we headed back to the train station, arriving back in Hassocks at 4.10 pm.

It had been a brilliant day that I'll always remember.

Isabella Axtell, Year 6


Ditchling Women’s Groups

Ditchling Downs WI

After a highly successful concert featuring Paul Weakley called 'A Tenor's Worth'

in The Old Meeting House we have pleasure in welcoming for our meeting on

Tuesday 1 st February Romy McCabe whose talk is entitled 'I Married the Vicar'.

This will be in the Friends Meeting House, East Gardens, Ditchling, 7.30pm for


Barbara Dollings, 01273 843892

Ditchling WI

Ditchling WI Held its New Year meeting on January 6 th 2011 in the Village hall.

We had a fascinating talk, with slides, on Family Trees given by Roma Leon. It

was made easy to follow as she used her own family history as an example.

After the talk we had ‘flower of the month’, a raffle, and tea and biscuits.

Our next meeting will be on February 3 rd at 2.30 pm in the Village Hall when Dr

Janet Pennington will talk on the ‘Adur Valley’.

We will be holding our famous ‘Marmalade Morning’ on Saturday 19 th February

2011 at 10.30 until 12.00 pm in Ditchling village Hall. Coffee and refreshments

will be served and there will be stalls where you can purchase cakes and also

Plants. A Grand Raffle with some great prizes will also be held. All welcome.

Joan Sayer, 01273 845255

Women’s Fellowship

Our first meeting of the year was at the home of Pam Burr, on 18 th January.

Nineteen members attended. Ideas were given and venues arranged. Pam Burr

opened the meeting with a prayer. Joan Styles gave an account of the money

donations - £315 was sent to St Peter and St James Hospice and it was agreed to

do the same this year. Joan was thanked and agreed to continue.

Pam Burr went through the monthly dates and ideas and speakers were

suggested. We look forward to learning new things and enjoying each others


Pam was thanked for her hospitality. The next meeting will be on Tuesday 15 th

February at 7.30 pm at Jonn Grinstead's home, 81 Lewes Road. Janet and David

Cragg are bringing the handbells, hoping to teach us to join in.

Please phone Jonn 01273 846752 to let her know if you will be coming.

Rosemary Taylor


1st Ditchling Scout Group

Beavers – Beavers started the new term in January with a very active games


Cubs – Thanks to John Bacon the Cubs were able to enjoy an evening learning

about and practising the skills of Morris Dancing, something which is very

popular in our village.

Scouts – The new session started with an evening of rifle shooting which is

always very popular. The following week the Scouts were planning their menus

ready for the annual inter-Patrol cooking competition and it is expected that the

standard will match the very high level of achievement which was reached last


Plans are already afoot for the main events taking place this year including a

joint Cub and Scout camp in the Spring.

Alec Gaskin, Group Chairman

The Turner-Dumbrell Foundation

During the year Ivor Blomfeld retired after serving as Chairman, and the

remaining Trustees expressed their thanks to him for all his hard work and

commitment to the Foundation. Janet Cragg took over as Chairman. After an

unprecedented number of applications this year, at their meeting in January the

Trustees agreed grants totalling £23,000 to the following:

St Margaret’s Church

St Peter & St James Hospice

Oldland Mill

The Monday Group

Ditchling Museum

The Pavilion Club

Ditchling Pre-School Group

The Old Meeting House

You can find out more about the Foundation - its history and purpose and the

Workshops in North End on our new web site at

Roma Leon

Ditchling Village Asssociation

TO ALL NEWCOMERS to Ditchling since March last year – we look forward to

meeting you at our annual Newcomers’ Party on Friday 18 th March at 8 pm in

the Village Hall. You will soon be receiving an invitation from your Good

Neighbour but if you don’t, please get in touch with us so that we can send you

one. This is a lovely evening and a great way to meet other newcomers to the


village and representatives of the many clubs and societies that exist here

making Ditchling the village it is. Please contact Pam Gaskin on 01273 843182 e-

mail address:

Pam Gaskin

Ditchling Pre-school

Christmas is always a fantastic time to be working with children as you get to

share in the wonder of it every year with fresh eyes. This year has been no

exception and the children at Ditchling Pre-school have been really enjoying

learning about the Christmas story. They helped to create a nativity scene on

our display board using a variety of media, including a whole lot of glitter! We

then added in their own words, thoughts and ideas of the nativity story and were

very impressed with how much they knew and had remembered about it.

Last week we were lucky enough to visit Father David and Sally in St Margaret's

Church. As ever the children had a fantastic time. They went on a treasure hunt

around the Church to find different figurines from the Nativity scene and then

got to create their very own Christmas tableau. We then learnt a new song

about advent (which we are still singing) as we lit the advent candles and even

got to play musical bumps. It is always wonderful to see the children having so

much fun and being part of such a magical experience for them.

Katy Widdows

Photos of St Margaret’s church clockwise from top left: View of scaffolding in nave

and crossing; removing old plaster in south transept; top view of the south arch

above the scaffolding; chapel wall with plaster removed and south aisle wall.


Ditchling Film Society

In February we shall be screening two films with the first on Thursday, 3 rd

February being Departures which tells the story of Daigo Kobayashi, a devoted

cellist in an orchestra which has just been dissolved. When Diago finds himself

without a job, he decides to moves from Tokyo back to his old hometown with

his understanding wife, Mika, to look for employment. He replies to a classified

advert entitled “Departures” believing it to be for a travel agency only to find he

has the job of a mortician’s assistant. Shamed by the idea of making a living by

death, he continues the well paid job keeping it a secret from everyone,

including his wife. The film is not only a delightful journey into the heartland of

Japan but also an astonishingly beautiful look at a sacred part of Japan’s cultural


Director: Yôjirô Takita. Japan 2009. 130 min.

On Thursday 17 th February 2011 our film will be All My Loved Ones – Matej

Minac’s heartbreaking and poignant story of one family’s experience at the

onset of World War II was inspired by the real life heroics of Nicholas Winton, an

English stockbroker, who saved hundreds of Czech Jewish children from the

Nazis. The film centres on the Silbersteins, a large and close knit extended family

living a good life in the countryside. Believing in the decency of mankind, they

pay little heed to the Nazi threat and although their daily life becomes more

intolerable, they realize too late the true horror of what is happening and have

to make their toughest decision ever – do they entrust their young son to

Winton and risk never seeing him again? This is a tragic story but one where

warm humour alternates with poignant scenes of family life in the shadow of the

Nazi threat. Rupert Graves gives a very sensitive performance as Nicholas


Director: Matej Minac. Czech Republic 2000. 91 min.

On Thursday, 3 rd March 2011 our film will be Everlasting Moments, a beautiful,

tender unsentimental film set in Malmo, southern Sweden from Jan Troell. It

tells the true story of Maria Larsson, a young woman, who in 1909 wins a camera

in a lottery. Her delight in the emerging magic of photography stands in stark

contrast to the often grim reality of working class life and marriage.

Director: Jan Troell. Sweden 2008. 125 min.

The films will be shown in Ditchling Village Hall. Films start at 8.00 pm. Doors

open at 7.30 pm. Free coffee and biscuits beforehand and ample free parking

behind the hall. Guests and temporary members are welcome for a small charge

payable at the door.

Rowena Cager and Melanie Samuel



The Music Express runs music and drama workshops for children

aged 7 to 12.

A 3 day workshop is being held at Great Walstead School from

12 th to 14 th April. If you wish to be on our mailing list to

receive more information or would like an application, please ring

John Sandford on 07855 957644.

The April workshop will include the usual mix of activities

including songs, drama and percussion work. The cost of the 3

day workshop is £75. Please book early to avoid disappointment.

The Music Express Team

Ditchling Pre-School Charity Jumble Sale

Saturday 5th February, Ditchling Village Hall

£1 entry

Doors open 2 pm - get there early to avoid the queue.

Final sale 4pm.

Drop your jumble in advance of the event at Lisa's

07934474572 or Laurie 07776242992


Beacon Parish Coffee Morning

Thursday 24 th February at 10.45 am

at Southwind, Streat

Thorn in my Side

Valentine’s Day approaches when red, scentless cut roses that seem to wilt

within a day, will be bought in their millions. I cannot be the only person who

would prefer receiving a rose bush that will produce magnificent scented blooms

for the entire summer.

Bare-rooted plants are still available now and are much cheaper than potted

roses, which of course means that you can buy more! A newly planted single

rose does not pack much punch in a border. Try planting three of the same

variety, very closely together. When flowering it will look like a single plant and

will give impact in its first year.

It is easy to be seduced by a rose in picture, but I would strongly recommend

that you research your subject thoroughly before committing to purchase. Roses

come in all shapes, sizes, colours ….. and some have appalling thorns. There are

roses that are more problem-free than others. I would never purchase a rose

that only blooms once a year, has no scent, or is prone to “rose balling” (a

condition that prevents a flower from opening).

Roses in themselves are remarkably ugly plants. From the neck down, they

really need disguising and their ankles are truly awful. Surround them with

perennials that provide the modesty they need, the size of which will be

determined by the height of your rose. Climbers obviously need to have clouds

of planting compared to shorter shrub roses. There is no mystery about pruning.

In late autumn, reduce the length of stems by about a third and remove any

deadwood. Then in the spring when the sap starts to rise, look out for buds

starting to swell and prune hard to encourage the production of plenty of new


Any man reading this article who has not organised a fabulous weekend in Paris

for his beloved, would do well to start looking at rose websites right away!

Karoline Baird


Newick Decorative and Fine Arts Society

Tuesday February 8th at Plumpton Village Hall 2.15 pm

Porcelain for the Chinese Emperors.

For this lecture we are lucky enough to have Anne Haworth who not only

lectures at the Victoria and Albert Museum, and the British Museum but is also a

Guide for private tours of the State Rooms and the Queen's Gallery at

Buckingham Palace. This will be a digital presentation and the illustrations are


Porcelain was originally only made for the Emperors and their families from as

early as 500 AD. It was not until much later in the 17 th century that it was begun

to be made for the Western market.

Come and enjoy what should be a very interesting lecture. Payment for non

members is £5 on the door with tea and biscuits afterwards. If you need any

further information please contact our secretary Carole Burgon on 01273

890301 or Marjorie Blunden on 01825 723250.

Annette Shelford

Nature Notes

The Waxwings I wrote about in the December magazine, duly made it to this part

of the country. Typically the ones I saw just after Christmas were in Tesco’s car

park in Lewes. Many supermarket car parks have attracted these birds, not by

any of the products in the stores, but because many of them have been planted

with berry-bearing trees, the food supply of these wandering birds. The light was

not good but we had clear views of over a dozen of them.

An idea of how far they wander is demonstrated by the colour-ringing of an

early one that arrived in Scotland from northern Russia, in October being

photographed on Portland just after the New Year. The advantage of putting a

combination of coloured rings on the legs of birds is that, without capture they

can be positively identified in the field or in this case a television aerial.

After the second bout of cold weather, there are still many birds coming to the

feeders but there must have been considerable mortality in such severe

temperatures. This will be confirmed and measured by the many surveys that

amateur naturalists take part in. These can be by the simple Garden Bird Counts

many of us complete to the more complex ongoing studies of breeding

populations and the Atlas work. The smallest contributions are valuable, putting


another tiny splash into the large bucket of knowledge being collected all the


If, in February we do get any days of warmth and bright sunshine, the first

butterflies will emerge from hibernation. Peacock and Brimstone will be the first

we see and what a wonderful sign of Spring and of hope they are. These two

species are at the adult stage of their life cycle for longer than any others. They

will have emerged from the chrysalis at the end of last July or early August, fed

on flower nectar in the late summer, found a dry safe place in a shed or wood

pile for the winter and will feed on spring flowers before pairing up and laying

eggs on Stinging Nettles in late April or May. They are therefore an adult for

about nine months of their yearly cycle.

February is also a good month to erect hole-fronted nest boxes for Blue tits,

Great tits and Nuthatches and half-fronted ones for Robins, Pied Wagtails etc.

We have had boxes put up as late as March used just a few weeks later but

generally the birds need a few weeks to become accustomed to new sites. Nest

boxes are also vital for use as a roost during the winter. Any existing boxes

should be cleaned out to avoid a build up of parasites, so always provide a lid

that can be opened. In that way the contents and breeding success or otherwise

can be proved.

Reg Lanaway

The Ditchling Dialogue is Recorded on Cassette

Anyone who finds it very difficult to read the print edition of the Ditchling

Dialogue can enjoy a copy sent free by post every month, recorded on audio

cassette. Known as Talk About on Tape, it includes

Ninety minutes of local news read by local people

Each issue begins with a calendar of events in the area and lists all Age

Concern activities

Edited for easy listening

A unique section provides updates on special services for people with poor


Funded by Friends & Neighbours and local donations

Telephone 01273 845882 to join or receive a sample copy


Great Walstead School

Great Walstead is a delightful and

distinctively Christian independent

prep school just outside Lindfield.

The School is seeking to appoint a

new Bursar (Chief Financial Officer)

and details of the vacancy can be

found on the school website at If you

are interested in this post or know

of someone who may be, please

have a look."


Tuesday 22 nd February

Westmeston Parish Hall

starting at 7.15pm

Everyone is welcome to join the

friendly team of players.

The next whist drive will be

held on Tuesday 29 th


For more details contact

Doreen Kallman on 844743.

Ditchling History Project

The Ditchling History Project is delighted and proud to sponsor an illustrated

talk by Robert Harris titled “The place of Fairs in English social history”, on

Friday February 4 th 2011 in Ditchling Village Hall starting at 7.30pm.

Tickets are £6 including a glass of wine or soft drink and are available from the

Post Office or Parkers in Ditchling High Street or by phoning Penney Pepler

01273 835770, Tom Dufty 844110, Roma Leon 843113, Janet Cragg 845383.

The Beacon in the Past

Below are excerpts from previous issues of the Ditchling Beacon.

40 years ago

In his letter in the February 1971 issue the Vicar, Rev Tony Way, referred to the

Christmas services and thanked the organist, choir, servers and “so many others

for helping to make this, my first major Festival in Ditchling, such a joyful and

wonderful occasion”.


Lent started in February in 1971 but the Vicar was “not yet in a position to

announce any details of a Lent Programme except to tell you that I am trying to

arrange a series of sermons at Evensong by laymen on the theme ‘Christianity

and my work.’”

The Vicar also referred to his second job. “In 1963, when the Sussex Church

Campaign was first launched, I was asked by the Bishop … to serve on the

Diocesan Buildings Committee. … Faced with a large building programme of

twenty-six new churches, ten new halls, and eighteen enlargements to existing

church buildings several of us on the Committee recommended that a first step

might be a thorough study of the problem to see what modern methods of

building technique could be applied to keep costs down and make the best

possible use of our resources.

“At the end of about eighteen month’s very intensive work we produced our

report entitled ‘Buildings and Breakthrough’ which the Institute for Study of

Worship and Religious Architecture … published for us”.

One of its recommendations was to appoint someone “with suitable

qualifications to carry out most of the others”. The Vicar was appointed and had

been carrying out these duties for the past four years on a part time basis. But

he stressed that “I look upon myself as first and foremost your Parish Priest”.

20 years ago

The February 1991 issue included a reference by the Vicar to the loss of another

of Ditchling’s major characters, Joanna Bourne, “whose contribution to the life of

Ditchling and to its preservation has been incalculable”. She was born in India on

3 rd December 1906. Following her education in England “she became French

Mistress at Bradford High School but had to leave after two years as a result of

increasing deafness”. After being tutor to the daughters of Lord Howard de

Walden, Joanna “joined the Childrens’ Country Holidays Fund and was

responsible for finding homes for children from London to give them a

fortnight’s holiday in the country”.

After the war she became sub-editor of the weekly review Time and Tide, but

“once her career in London was over, Joanna concentrated her efforts and

interests in preserving Ditchling as a true downland village working tirelessly

with others to ensure that threats to the integrity of the place were met with

determined resistance”.

Graham Sharpless




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Directors: A L Standen & S M May

C o mp a n y R e g . No . 81 4 63 0 R e g is t er e d at

As hd o w n Co tt a g e, U nd er h ill L a ne ,

Ditchling, Sussex, BN6 8XE

If you would like to contribute to our magazine on church and village

community matters, or receive further copies, please get in touch with:

Graham Sharpless, 23 North Court, Hassocks, BN6 8JS

Tel: 01273 845368 E-mail:

Copy deadline for the March 2011 edition is

Friday 18 th February

Contributions should, where possible, be sent by email to the email

address above either in the body of the email or as a Microsoft Word

file. For events please ensure that all necessary details are included,

such as title, venue, date, time, ticket prices and availability.

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