The Beacon December 2012 - Beacon Parish of Ditchling, Streat ...

The Beacon December 2012 - Beacon Parish of Ditchling, Streat ...

Christmas Card Designs

Joseph Jerrey (10) Gracie Smith (6)

Ella Forbes (11) Sam Bull (8)

Front cover: Christmas design by Hughie Cowley, age 7 from Ditchling (St. Margaret’s)

CE Primary School



The Revd David Wallis

The Vicarage, 2 Charlton Gardens,

Lewes Road, Ditchling, BN6 8WA

(01273) 843165

Churchwardens: Andrew Martin St Margaret’s (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

Stewardship Officer: Rodney Dodds 01444 250753

Organist: John Sandford St Margaret’s 07855 957644

Hon Organists:

Lynette Walker

Lynn Bond

Streat Church

St Martin’s

(01273) 891005

(01273) 842387

Parish office Email: Phone: 01273 843165

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:

The Revd David Wallis’s day off is Friday

The Beacon Parish is a registered charity,

number 1132488


The Beacon December 2012

The Magazine for the Parish of Ditchling, Streat & Westmeston


The Beacon Churches Calendar December 2012.............................................. 3

Fr David writes ....................................................................................................... 4

Bible Notes ............................................................................................................... 7

Waiting….waiting…waiting! ..................................................................................... 7

Beacon Parish News .............................................................................................. 9

Beacon Parish Church Duties December 2012 ......................................................12

Beacon Parish Church Duties December 2012 ......................................................13

Prayer Diary – December 2012 .........................................................................16

News from Chichester Diocese .........................................................................19

What’s On in December 2012 ...........................................................................20

What’s On in January 2013 ................................................................................21

Ditchling Women’s Groups ................................................................................23

Family Support Work .............................................................................................24

Children and Young People ................................................................................26

Village News .........................................................................................................29

Nature Corner ......................................................................................................37

The Beacon in the Past ..........................................................................................38

The Beacon Parish Office

Open on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday mornings

9.30 am to 12 noon (the place to direct any enquiries)

01273 843165 email:


The Beacon Churches Calendar December 2012

Morning Prayer at Ditchling: Monday to Friday at 9.00 am

1 Sat Wedding of Arabella and Jaron Ditchling 3.00pm


Eucharist (BCP) Ditchling 8.00am

All Age Eucharist Ditchling 9.45am

Morning Prayer Westmeston 9.45am

5 Wed Eucharist Ditchling 9.30am

8 Sat Wedding of Amber and Jonathan Ditchling 1.00pm


Sung Eucharist Ditchling 9.45am

Morning Prayer Streat 9.45am

12 Wed Eucharist Ditchling 9.30am


Eucharist (BCP) Ditchling 8.00am

Christingle Eucharist Ditchling 9.45am

Carols by Candlelight (followed by mince Streat 6.00pm

pies and mulled wine)

17 Mon St Margaret’s School Carols Ditchling 6.00pm

19 Wed Eucharist Ditchling 9.30am

21 Fri School End of Term Service Ditchling 2.00pm


Beacon Eucharist Ditchling 9.45am

Carols by Candlelight Westmeston 4.00pm

Carols by Candlelight Ditchling 6.00pm

(Both carol services followed by mince pies and mulled wine)


Family Crib Service (Children are invited Ditchling 4.30pm

to come dressed in nativity costume)

Midnight Mass Ditchling 11.30pm

Midnight Mass Westmeston 11.30pm


Christmas Celebration Ditchling 9.45am

Christmas Celebration Streat 9.45am

26 Wed Please note there is no Wednesday Communion


Beacon Eucharist Ditchling 9.45am


Fr David writes

A Christmas Message from the Vicar

Dear Friends

Around the world Christmas is celebrated in a wonderful

variety of different ways.

In Bethlehem, people paint a colourful cross over their

front door and place a manger in their window. In Mexico,

people walk the streets singing as they re-enact Joseph

and Mary searching for shelter. They decorate their homes

with poinsettias.

In West Africa, Christmas coincides with the cocoa harvest. Everyone brings a gift

to church which is placed at the altar. Then at the end of the service the gifts are

handed out as people leave. Their Christmas trees are palm trees decorated with

bells. In Bangladesh, people decorate the roads to the church with hollowed out

branches from banana trees. The branches are filled with oil and lit so that the

way to church is lit up for all to see.

In Iran, children are given new clothes at Christmas – ‘God has clothed himself in

humanity’, and over the border in Syria, Christmas begins with the lighting of the

fire of ‘light and peace’. Standing next to the fire, the priest touches the person

next to him with ‘the touch of peace’ which they then pass on to the person next

to them and so on. Syrian children have to wait until New Year’s Day for their

presents to represent the arrival of the Magi.

Dutch children, however, receive their presents early when Saint Nicholas arrives

on the 6 th of December. Saint Nicholas’ journey to bring their gifts is reported

daily on Dutch television news from mid-November; often he is filmed using

different modes of transport from a horse and cart one day to a train the next

and even occasionally a moped! Saint Nicholas, or in Dutch, Saint Nikolaos

(which has become Santa Claus), was a third century Bishop of Myra which is in

modern day Turkey. Nicholas’ wealthy parents died while he was young leaving

him a fortune which he gave to the poor and sick when under cover of night he

threw money through their windows. On the 5 th of December, just before Dutch

children go to bed, they leave their shoes in front of the fireplace hoping to find

them filled with presents the next morning once Saint Nicholas has visited.

That each country, culture and community should celebrate the birth of Jesus in

ways that are particularly meaningful to them is a great thing. As Christmas is


not just the celebration of the birth of Jesus at a particular moment and time in

history, but also the celebration of his birth into everyday life today. As we will

soon be singing in O Little Town of Bethlehem; ‘O come to us, abide with us,……

be born in us today’.

The wonder of the Incarnation is that God has been born in order to share in

your life. God wants to celebrate with you in your joys and share with you in

your worries and pains. We can search for God in star and sky and yet miss him

right here on earth where he is to be found in our daily lives. The Incarnation

shows us that God considers human life to be precious – the Incarnation shows

you that God considers you to be precious.

May God bless you and those that you love this Christmas

Fr David


Bible Notes

China is the most populous nation and has the 2 nd largest economy in the world

and on Bible Sunday at the combined churches service (on 2 nd October) we

learnt that they are leading the world in the number of Bibles being printed and

sold. Simon Strachan, the chief administrator from the United Bible Societies

gave us a most interesting illustrated talk about the keenness of the Chinese to

print and obtain their own Bibles, especially those from rural areas. There was

also a short film of an African tribe receiving the Bible translated into their own

language, showing their love of enthusiastic and colourful celebration. The Rev

Chris Powell gave us a really good service, thanking God for the great gift of His

word to us, which we are able to read and so learn more about God.

This month’s verse is from Joshua when he had to take over from Moses in

leading the Israelites into the Promised Land. Joshua 1: 5-6 (God said) “As I was

with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong

and courageous.” What a great encouragement that must have been to Joshua

facing such a huge task. In fact the first chapter is well worth reading.

Jill Veness


Waiting for news…..waiting for leave…..waiting for and also dreading the arrival

of a fateful letter or telegram. This must have been the worst aspect of life for

those at home during wartime and still must be for those who have loved ones

serving in Afghanistan. And as much for the families of Streat and Westmeston

as for anywhere else. In 1914, they had watched young men from all walks of life

go forth to war. Men such as Leonard Newnham, a cowman from Brickyard

Cottage up at Ditchling Potteries, and Frederick Athelstan Baines, an ex public

school boy from Winchester College. Both were barely eighteen years old and

both were to be killed within two years. And then, in the Second World War, the

grieving parents of Giles Bromley Martin, Richard Demetriardi and William

Rhodes-Moorhouse could share absolutely the pain felt by Mrs Penticost of

Sandpit Cottage over the loss of her son Ronald at the Battle of Monte Cassino in


Waiting for the expected invasion in 1940 found some mothers making their way

to Westmeston Manor where they could acquire pistols and learn to shoot, their

intention being to shoot their children and then themselves before they fell into

the hands of the invading enemy! No waiting in 1914 for Mrs Mildred Money of

Westmeston Place. She stepped forward to be the first Commandant of the

Ditchling Voluntary Aid Detachment 66 and then, in 1917, to be the first


President of the Ditchling WI, devoted to supporting the war effort. Meanwhile,

in both wars, many young women volunteered to work on the land to replace

farm workers at the front although one Sussex historian of the First World War

comments on the ‘pigheadedness of local farmers who even in their extremity

were still averse to employing women on their land’! Between 1939 and 1945,

6,000 women trainees passed through Plumpton College to go on to work on the


By the end of 1918, 10,000 men from Sussex had given their lives. For their

widows and loved ones the losses were traumatic. Princess Pauline Duleep Singh

was one who lost a husband to whom she had been married for less than a year.

He was John Torry, married in the late summer of 1914 and dying of his wounds

in September 1915. Sadness for Princess Pauline echoed at Streat Rectory where

Reverend Henry Torry and his wife Lucy mourned the loss of their eldest son, a

loss shared by two much younger sons Arthur and Geoffrey. And how sad the

Christmas and New Year celebrations must have been up at Rose Cottage,

Westmeston where the Leaney family (Elizabeth and her children Albert and

Florence) must have been so looking forward to Dad coming home for Christmas

leave. Henry Leaney was a driver of horses in the Royal Artillery, but on

December 22 nd 1917, one of the horses kicked him so severely that he died from

his injuries. Just three days before Christmas!

These vignettes from the war years can only serve to strengthen our yearning for

the Christmas message of Peace and Goodwill to become a reality in our

troubled world so that the waiting and suffering of those past generations will

not have been in vain.

NB Material taken from two Remembrance Sunday addresses at Streat.

Richard Allen


Beacon Parish News

Beacon Churches Bazaar, November 17 th 2012

The takings at the pre-Christmas Bazaar on November 17 amounted to £882.92

for church funds. Many thanks to all who ran stalls or came along to enjoy the


Sylvia Bain

Gift Weekend Postponed

The Gift weekend due to take place on 24 th & 25 th November has been

POSTPONED and will now take place in the New Year.

PCC Briefings

The PCC met on Thursday 8 th November, 2012, in St Margaret’s Vestry. Some of

the items discussed were: The Advent Course which will be to watch and discuss

the BBC film 'Nativity', the Christmas Services and Christingle Service to be held

on Sunday 16 th December. The interview process for the Youth Worker has been

delayed until the New Year.

The PCC approved the development of additional disabled parking spaces in St

Margaret's Churchyard. Later this month the Corsican Pine will have some

branches removed and the Cherry Tree close to West Street Boundary Wall will

have its height reduced.

Margaret Bovill, PCC Secretary

St Margaret’s Carol Service

The annual carol service in St Margaret’s will take place on Sunday 23 rd

December at 6pm. The Choir is looking for other singers to join them for this

occasion to sing traditional carols that we all know and love. Rehearsals for this

service are as listed below, all in St Margaret’s church:

• Friday 7 th December at 6pm

• Thursday 20 th December at 6.15pm

• Sunday 23 rd December at 4pm. This will be the final rehearsal before the

carol service.

Graham Sharpless


St Margaret's Church Flower Guild - Christmas

We will be decorating the church for Christmas on Saturday 22 nd December

between 9 am and 11 am. If you are not on our list of members but would like

to help please contact me or Gwen Searle (01273-842074). We are always very

grateful for donations towards the flowers, and if anyone would like to

contribute there will be a bowl at the back of the church from Sunday 2 nd

December onwards. Thank you.

Jenny Bell (01273-843194)

The Beacon Churches “100 Club”

The winners of the September draw were Bridget Thompson and Mike Burr both

receiving a prize of £20.

Pam Gaskin

Church Coffee

Many thanks to all the volunteers who ensure coffee is available each Sunday in

St Margaret’s and especially to Nicki Amas who provides the delicious cakes and


We are always looking for more volunteers to make lighter work for everyone.

You will not be required for more than one occasion every other month. If you

would like to help please contact Nicki Upton, 01273 844970.

Beacon Subscriptions

Subscriptions for The Beacon are due for renewal this month. The subscription

will remain at £6 per annum for 12 monthly issues, which, for those living in

Ditchling, Streat or Westmeston, will be delivered to your door.

Advertisers are also asked to renew their annual fees. The prices for

advertisements will remain unchanged at £240 for a full page or pro-rata for half

and quarter pages. Colour adverts, on the back and inside back cover, are priced

at £360 for a full page or pro-rata for smaller sizes.

Please see the Beacon Parish website at for

more information including the next deadline date for contributions and contact

forms for subscribing to the Beacon and for advertising.

Graham Sharpless




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Beacon Parish Church Duties December 2012

Time Church Service Lessons Readers Sidesmen

2 1 st Sunday of Advent Flowers: No Flowers in Advent



9.45am Ditchling








1 Thessalonians 3: 9 -


Luke 21: 25 - 36

1 Thessalonians 3: 9 -


Luke 21: 25 - 36

Jeremiah 33: 14 - 16

Luke 21: 25 - 36







Yvonne Sean



Carl Belfield





9 2 nd Sunday of Advent Flowers: No Flowers in Advent

9.45am Ditchling Eucharist





Philippians 1: 3 -11

Luke 3: 1 - 6

Malachi 3: 1 - 4

Luke 3: 1 - 6





Jane Juniper

Di Martin

Judy Essex

Sue Sewell

16 3 rd Sunday of Advent Flowers: No Flowers in Advent





Philippians 4: 4 - 7

Luke 3: 7 - 18

9.45am Ditchling Beacon Christingle Eucharist

Jenny Bell

Jenny Bell

Joan Styles



6 pm Streat Carol Service Mike Sewell

23 4 th Flowers: Streat: No Flowers in Advent

Sunday of Advent

Westmeston: All Flower Ladies

9.45am Ditchling







Carol Service

Ditchling Carol Service

Micah 5: 2 - 5a

Luke 1: 39 - 45




Ian Berill

Brenda Hall



Beacon Parish Church Duties December 2012

Time Church Service Lessons Readers Sidesmen

24 Christmas Eve Flowers: Streat: All Flower Ladies

4.30pm Ditchling Crib Service

11.30pm Ditchling



25 Christmas Day

9.45am Ditchling











30 1 st Sunday of Christmas

9.45am Ditchling



Isaiah 9: 2 - 7

Luke 2: 1 - 14

Isaiah 9: 2 - 7

Luke 2: 1 - 14

Isaiah 9: 2 - 7

Luke 2: 1 - 14

Isaiah 9: 2 - 7

Luke 2: 1 - 14


1 Samuel 2: 18 - 20, 26

Luke 2: 41 - end















Middleton Sue Sewell

Mike Sewell

Streat: Lynette Walker

Westmeston: Brenda Hall



Jasper &

Jenny Bell


Prayer Diary – December 2012

Feast Days

Prayer for the world church

& Prayer for this diocese

1 World AIDS Day Katsina (Nigeria)

Woodingdean, Holy Cross

2 Advent Sunday Kebbi (Nigeria)

Jonathan Prichard (Land registration &

3 Charles de Foucauld, hermit,


Clergy Retirement Officer)

Keewatin (Canada)

Brighton, St Nicholas

4 Kentucky

Brighton, St Luke Queen's Park

5 Kericho (Kenya)

Brighton, The Chapel Royal

6 Nicholas, Bp c 326 Khartoum (Sudan)

Rural Deanery of Chichester

7 Ambrose 397 Kibungo (Rwanda)

Apuldram; Fishbourne

8 Conception of the BVM Kigeme (Rwanda)

Boxgrove, St Mary & St Blaise

9 Advent 2 Kigezi (Uganda)

Workplace Chaplains

10 Kilmore, Elphin & Ardagh (Ireland)

Chichester St Paul with Westhampnett

11 Kimberley & Kuruman (Southern Africa)

Chichester, St Wilfrid

12 Kindu (Congo)

Chichester, St Pancras & St John

13 Kinkizi (Uganda)

Donnington, St George

14 John of the Cross 1591 The Congo

Earnley with East Wittering & Almodington

15 Kirinyaga (Kenya)

Lavant, St Mary

16 Advent 3 Kisangani (Congo)

Chancellor of the Diocese, The Worshipful

Mark Hill

17 Kita Kanto (Japan)

North Mundham with Hunston & Merston

18 Kitale (Kenya)

Whyke, St George

19 Kitgum (Uganda)

Selsey, St Peter

20 Kitui (Kenya)

Sidlesham, St Mary


Feast Days

Prayer for the world church

& Prayer for this diocese

21 Kivu (Rwanda)

Tangmere & Oving

22 Kobe (Japan)

West Wittering & Birdham with Itchenor

23 Advent 4 Koforidua (Ghana)

24 Christmas Eve Kolhapur (North India)

25 CHRISTMAS DAY Kondoa (Tanzania)

26 Stephen, Deacon and Martyr Kontagora (Nigeria)

27 Kootenay (Canada)

28 Holy Innocents Krishna-Godavari (South India)

29 Thomas Becket Kubwa (Nigeria)

30 Christmas 2 South East Asia

31 Kumasi (Ghana)

1. A galactic monsoon untwists

2. Healthily doth envy

3. Seafront myths now

4. Anagram ya wine

5. Gilded goring rhino hymn

6. Marshiest witch

Answers are on page 39

7. A garland heels her knights

8. A windsock glee song

9. A referee networking hoist

10. Idle tent yolk

11. My hybrid coals

12. Feline troths

In December we remember:

In Memoriam

8 th Stanley Holmes 8 th Rosemary Berrisford

9 th George Holman 10 th Nancy McKinlay

12 th Mary Ann McRae Davidson Walker 13 th Hilda Mabbutt

22 nd Rachel Colette Sharp 27 th Ernest Timms

29 th Peter Jackson 30 th Christopher Victor David Tennant

31 st Alfred Stevens


News from Chichester Diocese

For more information on these news items see the Diocesan website at

Diocesan Synod – 10 th November 2012

The Synod, held at The Meeting House on the Sussex University campus in

Falmer, was the setting for Bishops Martin’s presidential address which referred

to three key issues facing the diocese. Firstly, finance; secondly, forming of best

practice in the ministry of our bishops in shaping a strategy for the life and

mission of our household and thirdly ensuring that the diocesan household is

seen and known to be a safe environment. Bishop Martin discussed the need for

a strategy that would enable all the bishops in the diocese to collaborate

effectively together. He introduced a debate to consider the revoking of the

current Area Scheme which was overwhelmingly passed. More details will

emerge in readiness for the next Diocesan Synod.

Announcement of 105 th Archbishop of Canterbury

The Queen has approved the nomination of the Right Reverend Justin Welby for

election as the 105 th Archbishop of Canterbury. He will succeed Dr Rowan

Williams who is retiring at the end of December after ten years as Archbishop.

The Right Reverend Justin Welby, aged 56, is currently Bishop of Durham. He

will be enthroned as Archbishop of Canterbury in Canterbury Cathedral on 21 st

March 2013.

Church of England launches new online energy audit

The national Shrinking the Footprint Energy Audit for the Church of England has

been launched. The energy audit aims to build a better understanding of energy

usage and total carbon footprint so that energy saving actions can be supported

and the commitment met to protect God’s creation.

All churches and schools are able to access the online energy audit for free at

Local churches in the war on poverty

For the second year, local churches in Brighton and Hove have pledged their

support to help provide accommodation, food, and an evening of hospitality to

homeless people in the city as part of the Brighton & Hove Churches Night

Shelter Project (


1 Sat

What’s On in December 2012

Charity Christmas Ball & Casino, Plumpton Village


Ditchling Players Life & Beth, Ditchling Village Hall p 30

7 pm

8 pm

2 Sun The Christmas Lights, Barn on the Green, Ditchling p 5 4.30 pm

3 Mon Ditchling Scouts Christmas Raffle p 27

4 Tue

5 Wed

6 Thu

7 Fri

8 Sat

11 Tue

12 Wed

13 Thu

14 Fri

Ditchling Downs WI social evening ‘Festive Food

& Fun’, The White Horse

Beacon Parish Advent Course, St Margaret’s

Church, Ditchling

p 23

p 15

7.30 pm

7 pm

Ditchling WI meeting, Ditchling Village Hall p 23 2.30 pm

Ditchling Film Society film Midnight in Paris,

Ditchling Village Hall

St Margaret’s Choir rehearsal for Carol service, St

Margaret’s Church, Ditchling

Brighton Festival Chorus Christmas Concert, The

Dome, Brighton

Newick & District Decorative and Fine Art Society

lecture ‘Up to a Point’, Plumpton Village Hall

Women’s Fellowship Christmas Party, Eileen

Keeling's home

Frugal Lunch, The Old Meeting House

Beacon Parish Advent Course, St Margaret’s

Church, Ditchling

p 29

p 9

p 35

p 34

p 24

p 15

Ditchling WI Christmas Lunch p 23

St George’s Park Carol Service, Concert Hall, St


Deadline for January Beacon

Ditchling Museum Friends’ Association Christmas

Entertainment, Old Meeting House, the Twitten,


p 15

p 31

8 pm

6 pm

6 pm

2.15 pm

7 pm

12.30 pm

7 pm

4 pm

8 pm


What’s On in December 2012

15 Sat

18 Tue

19 Wed

20 Thu

22 Sat

23 Sun

Chailey School Christmas Fayre

Beacon Parish Carol singing and candlelit fondue

supper, Ditchling crossroads and St Margaret’s


Burgess Hill Choral Society Christmas Concert, St

Andrew’s Church, Junction Road, Burgess Hill

Ditchling Village Association Coffee Morning,

Ditchling Village Hall

p 35 10:30 am

p 13

p 34

p 29

5.30 pm

7.30 pm

10 am

Christmas Whist Drive, Westmeston Parish Hall p 34 7.15 pm

Beacon Parish Advent Course, St Margaret’s

Church, Ditchling

St Margaret’s Choir rehearsal for Carol service, St

Margaret’s Church, Ditchling

St Margaret's Church Flower Guild decorating the

church for Christmas.

St Margaret’s Choir final rehearsal for Carol

service, St Margaret’s Church, Ditchling

p 15

p 9

p 10

p 9

7 pm

6.15 pm

9 am

4 pm

5 Sat

What’s On in January 2013

Sussex Chorus Concert: Bach Christmas Oratorio,

St Bartholomew’s Church, Ann Street, Brighton

p 35

7.30 pm

9 Wed Frugal Lunch, Friends Meeting House 12.30 pm

10 Thu

Ditchling Film Society film Poetry, Ditchling Village


p 30

14 Mon Ditchling Players auditions p 30

15 Tue

Ditchling Village Association Coffee Morning,

Ditchling Village Hall

p 29

8 pm

10 am

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


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Directors: A L Standen & S M May

Company Reg. No. 814630 Registered at

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Ditchling, Sussex, BN6 8XE


Ditchling Women’s Groups

Ditchling Downs WI

Rosemary Alford was our guest speaker for our November meeting and gave a

talk entitled ‘Ditchling Connections’. She began her talk by admitting that she

was not the only girl in her husband’s affections. Michael has a passion for

collecting memorabilia for all things connected to the Gaiety Girls of the late

1800s and one in particular, Mabel Russell, who spent the last years of her life in

Barnfield Gardens, Ditchling.

This began when the estate of her son, living in his mother's house in Ditchling,

was being wound up in 1951 and a number of her personal correspondence and

photographs were being burnt in the garden by firm of house clearance. Michael

who had been gardening there seized the opportunity to rescue these wonderful

documents and thereby the collection began.

Rosemary explained that the Gaiety Girls were polite, well-behaved young

women, who were chosen for their beauty and singing voices. They became so

popular that wealthy gentlemen, termed "Stage Door Johnnies", would wait

outside the stage door hoping to escort them to dinner. In some cases, a

marriage into society and even the nobility resulted.

Mabel Russell retired from the stage and married Hilton Philipson who became a

member of parliament in 1923. Due to fraud on the part of his agent, Hilton

Philipson’s election was overturned. Mabel won the by-election, becoming only

the third female to become an MP. She retired in 1928 and on the death of her

husband returned to the stage.

Among the collection Rosemary brought with her were letters from soldiers from

the front during the First World War. Mabel had recorded a song 'A Broken Doll'

which had been a great hit with the troops, possibly making her the first Forces

Sweetheart to reside in Ditchling.

Our next meeting, 7pm for 7.30pm on Tuesday 4 th December, will be a social

evening at The White Horse and called ‘Festive Food & Fun’.

Barbara Dollings 01273 843892

Ditchling WI

Our Annual Meeting was held on 1 st November when a new President and

Committee were elected for 2013. The minutes of the last meeting were

available. We put our names down for the Christmas Lunch to be held on

December 13 th . Details will be given at the next meeting on December 6th, when


we have our party with refreshments, games, a pantomime by some of our

members. The President and Secretary reminded us of the speakers and events

of the past year, and were voted on as correct. The Treasurer explained the

Financial Statement which was passed. She had been made Group Chairman for

the next two years. We had a most amusing talk by Mr Dick Morley on the

intricacies of Clerihew, and tried our hands at inventing our own rhyming verses!

Our next meeting will be on December 6 th when new members will be welcome

to join us in Ditchling Village Hall at 2.30pm.

Sylvia MacGillivray

Women’s Fellowship

Our Christmas Party will be held on Tuesday 11 th December at 7pm at Eileen

Keeling's home, partners are welcome to join us. Please telephone Eileen to let

her know if you will be coming (842070) and bring a plate of finger food and a

bottle of a beverage.

Pam Burr

Family Support Work

Family Support work is a Christian organisation within the Diocese of Chichester,

working intensively with families to overcome difficult periods in their lives with

positive, emotional and practical advice and support. Their free and confidential

support is offered to parents or carers and their children; this includes anyone

who has responsibility for the care of children, whether they are married, single,

separated, partners, divorced, bereaved or grandparents. FSW is a small

organisation dependent on financial support from charities, churches and

individuals. Whilst various branches of local authorities are happy to refer

families to them, none of these give FSW financial support.

Marilyn Hills, who is Chairman, Hurst Deanery Committee, is looking for

someone to represent Ditchling on her Committee and would welcome enquiries

from people willing to offer their services, in any way possible. Please contact

Marilyn on 01273 832454 or

The rise in food and fuel costs is affecting everyone, but many of the families

supported by FSW are finding it hard to make ends meet. So we need your help!

We are looking for in-date, non-perishable food items. If you would like to help

us help our families by occasionally giving some food supplies, we would be

delighted. Please contact 01273 832363 to discuss donations, or visit our



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Family matters

Services for businesses

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Children and Young People

Ditchling (St. Margaret’s) CE Primary School

Students from the school have submitted

designs for the annual Beacon Parish

Christmas card and for the front of this

month’s Beacon magazine. A total of 34

designs were submitted from students

aged from 4 to 11.

The winning card design, shown on the

right, was by Eva Meredith, age 7. The

runner up was Hughie Cowley, also age 7,

and his design can be seen on the front of

this magazine.

It was obvious that a lot of effort and

thought had gone into all the submitted

designs, but a few that only just missed

being chosen included designs by Ella

Forbes (11), Gracie Smith (6), Joseph Jerrey

(10) and Sam Bull (8). These are shown on

the inside front cover of this magazine.

The finished Christmas card with the winning design, in full colour, will be

distributed to all homes in Ditchling, Streat and Westmeston in early December

and will contain information on the Christmas services in the Beacon Parish.

Graham Sharpless

1 st Ditchling Scout Group

Beavers – A night was devoted to the Aeronautics Badge in which the Beavers

researched four particular planes, made models and flew them to see which

were the best flyers. Halloween was celebrated with a campfire and songs at

Mac’s Farm. Later in the month they joined in with the Cubs and Brownies at a

Guy Fawkes evening. We thank Sunil Mathur for his work in buying the

fireworks and organising the display.

The Beavers practised their marching one evening in order to get it right for the

Remembrance Parade.


Cubs - Dave arranged for a Police Dog Handler to visit us with his two dogs, one

a spaniel sniffer-dog and the other a far more fearsome wolf-like alsatian! Dave

‘volunteered’ to don the protective arm pad and be “attacked”. Then of course

the Cubs asked for him to repeat it!! The Cubs behaved really well, that is until

this Sunday’s Parade and church service where we thought their behaviour was


Really big excitement came with our joint Firework and Bonfire Extravaganza

with the Cubs, Beavers and Brownies. The cubs made four brilliant guys and with

the help of an almost dry night, Sunil securing us some fabulous fireworks.

Tracey provided great hotdogs and gorgeous cakes and drinks for all the children

– it was a brilliant evening. Thanks to Karen, Simon, Dave, Richard and all our

other assistants for all the help and suggestions over the previous weeks.

One Monday, Ian Berrill came and talked to the boys about War and

Remembrance and they listened to some very moving stories which we hope

helped the boys to understand why we remember those who died so that they

could be safe and free.

Scouts – In order to widen their knowledge and gain the World Faith Badge the

Scouts had the opportunity of visiting the Mosque in Haywards Heath. Another

evening was devoted to circus skills. This included tight-rope walking in the

Headquarters which, incredibly enough, one of our boys managed to master.

Success with other circus activities resulted in Scouts gaining their Circus Skills

Badges - yes there is one!

We congratulate Oliver Waring who gained his Chief Scout’s Gold Award Badge,

the highest award which a Scout can achieve. The Badge was awarded in front

of the Group after the Remembrance Day Parade and Service.

Group – All members of the Group were pleased to take part in the annual

Remembrance Day Parade and Service and we would like to thank those who

complimented them on their participation and smartness. As in previous years,

members of the Group and the Brownies planted a cross for each person as his

name was read out from the Memorial during the Act of Remembrance. We

have pride in being part of this community activity each year.

Christmas Raffle – Once again the Group will be holding its annual Christmas

Raffle on Monday, 3 rd December. The top prize will again be £200 with the

second prize of £100, plus other prizes. Tickets are available from members of

the Scout Group and also at the Post Office. We thank you once again for your

valuable support.

Alec Gaskin, Group Chairman


Village News

Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal

The Royal British Legion Ditchling and District Branch would like to thank

everyone for their support over the past two weeks for Poppy Appeal. A special

thank you to all our House to House Collectors and to those Ditchling Village

Shops and Businesses who also collected on our behalf for Poppy Appeal. It was

good to see so many people at the War Memorial on Remembrance Sunday too.

We have begun the count and should have a total to publish in next month’s

Beacon. Once again our heartfelt thanks to you all.

RBL Ditchling and District Branch Committee

Ditchling Village Association Coffee Mornings

The next Ditchling Village Association Coffee Morning will be on Tuesday

December 18 th in the Ditchling Village Hall starting at 10 am and sponsored by

Friends of St Margaret’s. Dates and sponsors of coffee mornings for the first

few months of 2013 are listed below.


January 15 th

February 19 th

March 19 th

April 16 th

May 21 st


Ditchling Museum Friends Association

Ditchling Downs WI


Ditchling Players

Horticultural Society

Ditchling Film Society

On Thursday, 6 December 2012 our Christmas film will be Midnight in Paris.

Woody Allen is back on form with this witty romantic comedy commencing with

a stunning montage tribute of picture-postcard images accompanied by his

traditional jazz score. Gil (the proxy-Woody role played by Owen Wilson) is a

disillusioned Hollywood screenwriter, embarking on a tense trip to Paris with his

gorgeous fiancée, Inez (Rachel McAdams), and her parents. Idolising the

bohemian Paris of the 1920’s, Gil again longs to be a serious novelist and one

evening, when strolling in the city on his own, he gets caught up with the

champagne-swilling occupants of a mysterious vintage vehicle. Travelling back in

time with his new friends, Gil is whisked off to a glamorous party where he

meets up with his heroes from the 20’s – Scott Fitzgerald, Cole Porter and Ernest

Hemingway – and finds himself falling in love with Picasso’s mistress (played by


Marion Cotillard) and thus moving further away from his fiancée. A must-see for

all Woody Allen fans.

Director: Woody Allen US 2011 94 mins 12A cert.

Mince pies and mulled wine will be served to commence the Christmas


On Thursday, 10 January 2013 we shall be showing Poetry – a mysterious and

beautiful Korean film about a sixty-something grandmother, Mija, who is getting

by with a nursing job. She was once renowned for her beauty and still receives

extravagant compliments and praise, a fact which embarrasses her greatly. Mija

looks after her troubled teenage grandson who lives with her in a modest

apartment in the sticks. Upon discovering a heinous family crime and gradually

finding that she can no longer remember basic words, she is diagnosed with the

onset of Alzheimer’s. This appalling news inspires her to learn poetry, from

which she gains strength and purpose, and before the facility of language deserts

her utterly, her greatest wish then becomes to write a single poem.

Director: Lee Chang-dong South Korea 2010 138 mins 12A cert.

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

Ditchling Players

As you read this the Ditchling Players autumn production 'Life & Beth' by Alan

Ayckbourn will either be over or about to finish (production dates are 28 th

November to 1 st December).

If you managed to get along to one of the performances we do hope you

enjoyed the play and that it left you not only in a contemplative mood but a

happy one too, as there were certainly some very funny lines and situations,

typical of an Ayckbourn play which can mix both comedy and pathos so well.

We're now having a break for Christmas but on the 14 th January 2013 there will

be auditions for our spring production 'Far from the Madding Crowd' adapted by

Matthew White from the novel by Thomas Hardy. We are pleased to welcome,

Steve Thurley, who will be directing this production. As Steve says "it offers a

superb plot, immensely exciting characterisational opportunities and the chance

to, for a short time, become involved in one of the truly great British love



There is not, fortunately, a cast of thousands, but the 5 men and 4 women

involved will all have their part to play, so we look forward to seeing you on the

14th at 8.00pm at the Ditchling Village Hall for this exciting production. If you

are unable to make the audition but would still be interested in a part please

contact us on either 01273 842778 or 01273 844868 for further details.

In closing may I, on behalf of the Ditchling Players, wish you all a very Happy

Christmas and a Peaceful and Prosperous 2013.

David Tettersell

The Christmas Entertainment

Ditchling Museum Friends’ Association will be presenting their annual candlelit

evening of festive music and readings in the Old Meeting House, the Twitten,

on Friday 14 th December at 8 pm. Tickets (limited to a total of 80) at £8 each, to

include mulled wine and a mince pie, can be obtained from the Post Office.

Martin Roberts 01273 843890

60s Music Evening in Ditchling

The sold-out 60s disco on October 20 th was greatly enjoyed by all those 60s

music fans who attended and a great time was had by all! Like Elvis, we were

‘All Shook Up’ to find that the profit came to £1,400, even more than last year.

This money will go to help protect one of our most threatened great apes – the

critically endangered mountain gorilla, of which just 780 remain. The mountain

gorilla project is run by Fauna & Flora International, backed by Sir David

Attenborough, (patron HM the Queen, registered charity 1011102).

These gentle and charismatic animals are one of our closest fellow-primates,

sharing 98% of their genes with us, yet the mountain gorilla has been brought

close to extinction in the past by hunting and the destruction of their forest

home. The project we are supporting was begun in the 1990s by Sir David

Attenborough personally and great progress has been made to prevent further

illegal logging of their forest and to monitor their survival. Although their

recovery is fragile and much work is needed to protect them, there are grounds

for optimism for the future of this fascinating creature.

As the Beatles said, ‘Money Can’t Buy Me Love’, but it can certainly help protect

critically threatened primates. Many thanks to all those who attended and

danced the night away!

We have been told that our money qualifies for match funding from a

commercial donor so our £1400 has become £2800 and I am ‘Glad All Over’!

Sylvia Bain


Ditchling Morris and Mummers, Christmas 2012

Once again Ditchling Morris and Mummers will perform,

by kind permission of the management, at the Bull

Hotel, Ditchling at 1.00pm on Boxing Day, 26 December.

There will be Carol singing, Mummers and Morris. We

shall be collecting for the St Peter and St James Hospice.

Mumming plays and Morris are part of our heritage and

one of our principle aims and objectives is to promote

this. We perform Morris dances in the Cotswold and

Border style and Mumming plays from Sussex of which there are 17 in total. This

year’s play comes from the village of West Wittering – near Chichester.

Characters include King George, Father Christmas, Valiant Soldier, Noble Captain,

The Doctor, Turkey Night and First Man.

It is a very popular event and attracts well over 300 people from all over Sussex.

Last year we raised over £1,000 and our target this year is to exceed this figure.

The play will also be performed in the Lewes Pedestrian Precinct on 16

December at 11.00am. Don’t miss these events.


Streat Rectory


If you would like to book Streat

Rectory Barn please contact the

Parish Office either by email or by

phone on 01273 843165.

The Parish Office is open on

Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and

Thursday mornings from 9.30 am

to 12 noon.



Tuesday 18 th December,

Westmeston Parish Hall,

starting at 7.15pm

The first Whist Drive of 2013 will be

on Tuesday 24 th January at 7.15pm

Everyone is welcome to join the

friendly team of players.

For more details contact Doreen

Kallman (01273 844743)

Newick & District Decorative and Fine Art Society

Plumpton Village Hall Tuesday December 11 th , 2.15 pm

Did you know that there are pyramids in Britain? Well there are and the lecture

this month ‘Up to a Point’, will take you from Inverness to Cornwall, uncovering

forgotten corners of history and highlighting unusual discoveries such as

pyramids made of cast iron, Formica, or road signs. Pyramids are the lifelong

obsession of our lecturer David Winpenny. He is a truly fascinating speaker and

‘Up to a Point’ has something for everyone be it architecture, landscapes,

gardening, somewhat scandalous family histories or just what it is that prompts

people to place triangles together in the first place! Come and be surprised and

inspired. David is the author of newspaper and magazine articles, guidebooks

and books of walks and lectures on many subjects, including architecture,

stained glass, follies and landscape gardening. He was also a Mastermind finalist

in 1999. The lecture will be accompanied by a digital presentation.

If you are not a member of our society then the cost is £5 on the door with tea

and biscuits afterwards and a chance to talk to the speaker. We look forward to

welcoming you. Also we would like to wish everyone a very Happy Christmas! If

you require any further information please ring Marjorie Blunden on 01825


Annette Shelford

Burgess Hill Choral Society Christmas Concert

Come to the Burgess Hill Choral Society’s Christmas concert for a wonderful

festive evening of Bach (Cantata 214), Handel (Dettingen Te Deum) and carols


for choir and audience. The concert is on Saturday 15 th December, 7.30, at St

Andrew’s Church, Junction Road, Burgess Hill. Tickets (£13, concessions £11,

accompanied under-16s free) are available from BHCS members, the Council's

Help Point, 96 Church Walk, the ticket secretary (01444 831161), or at the door.

Brighton Festival Chorus Christmas Concert

Saturday 8 December, 6pm, the Brighton Dome

This will be a joyous celebration of the very best of Christmas music including

'Navidad Nuestra' a folk drama of the nativity based on the rhythms and

traditions of Hispanic America. The Brighton Festival Youth Choir and London

Gala Orchestra will join the Brighton Festival Chorus. Soloists will be Juliette

Pochin, mezzo-soprano and Andrew Mackenzie Wicks, tenor. The concert will be

conducted by James Morgan. Tickets are priced at £12.50 to £25 and can be

obtained at the Dome Box Office (01273 709709 –

Chailey School Christmas Fayre

Saturday 15 th Dec 10:30 – 1pm FREE ADMISSION

Our fabulous raffle this year includes prizes such as £100 Cash

from Archers Specialist treatments, £50 Meat Voucher from

Choice Cuts Butchers, Meals out vouchers from local Pubs,

Days out vouchers, and much more at only 50p per ticket!

There will be stalls for everyone, young and old: Why not try your luck at the

Tombola, or Tin Can Alley? You can browse the Garden, Jewellery and Gift stalls,

or simply grab a book from our second hand book stall and sit in the Chailey Café

with a Bacon Butty and Mince Pie! Come along and see for yourself.

If you would like to have a stall at the school fayre, please contact the Friends of

Chailey at:

Sandra Gedrych (Friends of Chailey Treasurer)

Sussex Chorus Bach Christmas Oratorio

Saturday 5 th January 2013, St Bartholomew’s Church, Brighton

With Helen-Jane Howells – soprano, Susan Legg - mezzo-soprano, Joseph

Cornwell – tenor, Rodney Clark – bass, Musicians of All Saints and Neil Jenkins –

conductor. Tickets £15, £12 concessions available from 01444 412579 or Dome

Box Office 01273 709709. See for

more information.

Graham Sharpless


Nature Corner

Nature Notes

As usual I tried to log the date of the latest Swallow seen. There were reports of

late broods with young not leaving the nest until mid-October so it was not

surprising that quite a number have been reported in early November. I saw

small groups on the first three days of the month.

Because of the failure of seed and berry crops, particularly in Scandinavia, many

more winter visitors have been seen early this season. Look out for Bramblings,

striking finches showing orange, black and white. They are about the same size

as a Chaffinch but as they fly up, they usually feed on the ground, show a white

patch on the rump. They have been seen in Sussex since mid-October and I

ringed a fine male in the garden earlier this month. Farther north in the Scottish

Isles flocks of Waxwings have already arrived and have recently been reported as

far south as the Isles of Scilly. .

On the Alders, those trees that grow in damp areas and produce small seedbearing

cones, you will find Siskins and Redpolls. Both are small streaked finches

and need patience to find and observe. Today I checked the Alders near here and

found a couple of Siskins by the slight movement high in the tree. Something

then alarmed them and a flock of ten flew to the next tree. I had no idea so

many were there but I suppose their camouflage and secretive movements do

not expose them to predators.

Goldcrests, those tiniest of British birds have also reached our shores in large

numbers from Scandinavia and Eastern Europe. Last winter few were seen but it

would seem that after a good breeding season their population is large and

winds favoured their migration to Britain. If they weigh only five grams and are

high in the sky in a strong wind, they have little choice in where they touch


It was interesting to see a Grey Squirrel eating Rose Hips today. As there are so

few acorns this autumn, they have to try new foods and if we do have a severe

winter much of the available food will have been used up early. Perhaps some of

the berries often left on the trees will be of value to the birds. The luscious

Bryony berries that hang like necklaces in the hedgerows seldom get eaten.

There is also a large tree on Streat Ridge that holds clusters of berries right

through to spring. It will be worth checking if it is the same this winter.

Reg Lanaway


All I Want for Christmas is …..

I believe my needs are few and simple and to prove it, this year I am asking for a

garden sculpture - preferably Greek or Roman! Having just returned from a

glorious route march around Cyprus visiting the ancient sites, I now realise that

my garden would be so enhanced by the addition of non-vegetative ornaments

and I am not talking about garden gnomes.

The true measure of a garden, is how

good it looks in winter. Topiary,

coloured stems, berries, early bulbs

and of course stalwarts like Euphorbia

wulfenii are essential to create a

reason for looking outside in

December. But how much better it is

to focus the viewpoints towards a

static object of beauty. And to add the

element of surprise, perhaps surround

them with planting that during the

summer, masks them completely.

The grande allées of French and Italian

gardens may be out of reach for the

majority of gardeners, but there is no

reason why a scaled down version is

not achievable. Garden ornamentation

comes in all shapes, sizes and materials to suit every budget. A visit to the

Hannah Peschar Sculpture Garden in Surrey is inspiring and illustrates how a

carefully selected piece can add the finishing touch to a vista.

Bear in mind that most sculptures are heavy and awkward to transport, so be

very certain of its final destination to avoid back-breaking waltzes around the

garden. Also ensure that its base is stable and level to avoid the Pisa problem.

It may take a while before I have persuaded my family to sacrifice a holiday in

favour of a garden sculpture, but in the meantime I can wish you a very happy

Christmas and a wonderful horticultural year in 2013.

Haut Talk by Karoline Baird 07742 731967

The Beacon in the Past

On the next page are excerpts from previous issues of the Ditchling Beacon.


40 years ago

From the Vicar (Tony Way):

Very soon we will be part of the Common Market. One of the Continental

customs which I very much hope will filter into our country is the practice many

parents with small children have of taking them into church during a service,

often just for a few minutes. Mothers frequently say to me, “I don’t bring my

children to church because the services are too long, they get bored.” If I suggest

they go out when they feel the children have had enough, they look at me in

blank astonishment. I suppose the reaction is, “What will other people think?”.

But why should they think anything, and what does it matter if they do? Ten

minutes in church catching a service and joining in for a short while – with a

simple explanation and discussion on the way home of what was seen and heard

is surely infinitely better than staying away altogether.

20 years ago

The Ordination of Women (excerpt) by Peter Coster

It is not often that sickness brings benefits, but it enabled me to follow a

momentous debate and voting of the General Synod….

The most salutary comments came from none other than the Bishop of Durham.

The Bishop was quite upset at the prospect of hurting one part of the church

in order to treat the other fairly, and the energies wasted whilst so many other

issues clamoured for our attention. He urged that whatever the result, we

should go forward together. In this he echoes the sentiments expressed by

Bishop Eric in November’s Diocesan Newsletter: although a strong opponent of

the proposal, unlike Durham, our Bishop laid great emphasis on the need to

remain together, to understand and be generous in our responses to others who

may not share our views.

Answers to quiz on page 17

1. Santa Claus is coming to town

2. The Holly and the Ivy

3. Frosty the Snowman

4. Away in a Manager

5. Ding Dong Merrily on high

6. White Christmas

7. Hark the Herald Angels sing

8. Good King Wenceslas

9. We three Kings of Orient are

10. Little Donkey

11. Mary’s boy child

12. The first Noel




Newsagents & Stationers

1 Lewes Road, Ditchling

Tel: 01273 842736


Newspapers Tobacco

Ice cream Postcards

Greetings cards Stationery

Maps Parking vouchers



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:

For more information see

Copy deadline for the January 2013 edition is

Friday 14 th December

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.

Printed by DPS Ltd, Burgess Hill

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