The Revd David Wallis
The Vicarage, 2 Charlton Gardens,
Lewes Road, Ditchling, BN6 8WA
Mike Sewell Streat Church (01273) 890366
Hon Treasurer: Mark Moody-Stuart (01273) 846525
Bookkeeper: Sue Sewell (01273) 890366
Hon Secretary: Margaret Bovill (01273) 845319
Stewardship Officer: Rodney Dodds 01444 250753
Parish office Email: email@example.com Phone: 01273 843165
Editor: Graham Sharpless (01273) 845368
Sue & George Hancock (01273) 890298
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
St Margaret’s Church, Ditchling with the new notice board.
The Beacon May 2012
The Beacon Churches Calendar May 2012 ................................................... 2
Fr David writes about St George and Edward the Confessor ....................... 3
Beacon Parish News ..................................................................................... 6
Beacon Parish Church Duties May 2012 .................................................... 11
The Busy Vicar of Ditchling! with three churches ....................................... 13
Bible Notes ................................................................................................. 14
Prayer Diary – May 2012 ............................................................................ 16
What’s On in May 2012 .............................................................................. 18
What’s On in June 2012 .............................................................................. 19
Ditchling Women’s Groups ......................................................................... 21
Children and Young People ........................................................................ 23
Village News from Ditchling, Streat and Westmeston ............................... 26
Nature Corner ............................................................................................. 33
The Beacon in the Past ............................................................................... 34
To Celebrate the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Saturday 2 nd June, Church Lane, Ditchling
For the most regal or zany crown!
Come and join the fun and delicious food from 12.30pm
Adults £7.50 Children £5.00 (includes first drink)
Tickets from the Post Office or telephone Nicki 842791
If wet the party will be in St Margaret’s Church
The Beacon Churches Calendar May 2012
Morning Prayer at Ditchling: Monday to Friday at 9.00 am
2 Wed Eucharist Ditchling 9.30am
6 Sun FIFTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Eucharist (BCP) Ditchling 8.00am
All Age Sung Eucharist Ditchling 9.45am
Morning Prayer Westmeston 9.45am
9 Wed Eucharist Ditchling 9.30am
13 Sun SIXTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Sung Eucharist Ditchling 9.45am
Morning Prayer Streat 9.45am
16 Wed Eucharist Ditchling 9.30am
17 Thu ASCENSION DAY
Ascension Day Morning Prayer Ditchling 9.00am
20 Sun SEVENTH SUNDAY OF EASTER
Eucharist (BCP) Ditchling 8.00am
Morning Prayer Ditchling 9.45am
Eucharist Streat 9.45am
Eucharist Westmeston 6.00pm
23 Wed Eucharist Ditchling 9.30am
25 Fri Wedding of Ian and Hannah 2.00pm
26 Sat Wedding of Luke and Naomi 1.00pm
27 Sun PENTECOST
THE BEACON EUCHARIST Ditchling 9.45am
30 Wed Eucharist Ditchling 9.30am
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Fr David writes
I write to you on the eve of St George’s Day. Although
George is our patron saint, I can’t help feeling that we
don’t allow ourselves to enjoy celebrating our patron as
much as our brothers and sisters in other parts of the
United Kingdom enjoy celebrating theirs. Why is that?
Perhaps it is because we don’t know a great deal about
George – so let me fill you in. The precise details of
George’s life have been lost in time but we do know some
facts about him and with a touch of imagination and a
little poetic licence we can fill in the blanks.
George was an officer in the Roman army and possibly part of the emperors’
guard. At some point, he became a Christian, and during the Emperor
Diocletian’s persecution of Christians in the year 303, George was put on trial for
his faith. But he would not reject Christ and this cost him his life. Over time the
legend developed that he slew a dragon. This was probably a way of
representing the courage with which he stood up to the evil of persecution. He
became the patron saint of Crusaders when in 1187, Richard I took George’s
symbol of a red cross as his uniform. George became very popular, not only with
Crusaders, but also back in England and eventually he became patron saint of
England in 1347 relegating St Edward the Confessor, who had previously been
England’s patron. His popularity endured for many years which Shakespeare
used to good effect, when in Henry V’s speech before the Battle of Agincourt,
the King proclaimed “Follow your spirit; and upon this charge, cry, ‘God’, for
Harry, England and Saint George”.
“George … was a man who gave us a great
example of courage and faith”
Would we, however, have been better off to keep Edward as our patron saint?
Edward, known as the Confessor, because of his reputation for piety was born
some time between 1002 and 1004. He was the son of King Ethelred II or as I am
sure you referred to him at school ‘Ethelred the Unready’. ‘Unready’ is actually a
mistranslation of the old English word ‘unræd’ which means ‘bad counsel’, this
was a play on Ethelred’s name which means ‘noble counsel’. Ethelred, perhaps
determined that his son would be much more of ‘noble counsel’ sent young
Edward to the court of Normandy to be educated. Edward became king in 1042
but it is in many ways his death that is more interesting than his life. The fact
that he had at different times promised the succession of his throne to two
different people – Harold Godwinson and William of Normandy – set the stage
for an epic confrontation, the most famous battle in English history and the
transformation of England’s future.
Less than a century after Edward’s death, he was canonised by Pope Alexander
III in 1161. What were the grounds for this? Edward had taken a vow to make a
pilgrimage to St Peter’s tomb in Rome but when the journey became too
dangerous, the Pope converted Edward’s promised pilgrimage into the building
of a monastery dedicated to St Peter and so began the construction of
So given the choice between Edward and George, who would you choose to
have as the patron saint of England? Edward’s legacy is clear to see. Westminster
Abbey has been the focus for the nation’s devotion ever since the time of its
construction. Rubbing shoulders with the Houses of Parliament, it is the very
heart of our capital city. George, however, was a man who gave us a great
example of courage and faith. He reminds us of the importance of placing our
commitment to Christ above all other things, even if the cost to us is very, very
Whether you would prefer George or Edward, both men serve to remind us of
the central and pivotal role that the Christian faith has played in the life and
history of our nation. Throughout the centuries, the Church, with all its flaws, has
been there at the heart of this land. So perhaps the ideal is that we celebrate
the legacy of both George and Edward by (to misquote Shakespeare) “Following
our spirit and crying ‘O God, bless England that we may live as faithfully as
William and George.’”
Marjorie Lee - an acknowledgement
We would like to thank Fr David and everyone who came to join us in celebrating
Marjorie's life on April 10, many of whom were unknown to us. It was a truly
lovely service that leaves us with happy memories. Our sincere thanks go to the
choir members who led the singing so well and included the Anthem 'Lead me
Lord'. Thank you too for all your donations to St Margaret's Church.
Roger Earl, Susan Alder and Pauline Smith (Marjorie's siblings)
Beacon Parish News
The Beacon Parish Finances
A surplus created by generous bequests
The full Parish Accounts are now on the Beacon Website (at
www.beaconparishes.org/papers/accounts2011). The headline results are a
surplus of income over expenditure of almost £47,000. This surplus was almost
entirely due to the very generous bequest from Audrey Day, who left the Parish
over £43,000 (a preliminary £5,000 of this was included in last year’s accounts).
We also received £6,000 from the family of Valerie Hoare and a legacy of £1,000
from Honor Davies. We are all most grateful for these very generous gifts which
will be put to use in the Parish. They have been set aside until the PCC decides to
what use the funds should be put. Without these very generous donations the
surplus would have been only £1,432. This is more or less in line with the
situation outlined in The Beacon last October.
Increased regular giving, but some exceptional costs
It is very encouraging that the Trio campaign resulted in seven new standing
orders bringing in some £3,400 including Gift Aid tax recovery. In addition 12
people increased their standing orders by £2,565 pa. When some additional
cheques are included the additional income is some £8,000. This more than
offsets the reductions due to deaths or people moving away from the Parish as
well as the continuous rise in costs.
There was major expenditure on St Margaret’s of £35,450 for the re-plastering of
the interior and architect’s fees, only £20,000 of which was covered by grants
from the Friends of St Margaret’s and £3,000 from an earlier grant from Sussex
Historic Churches Trust. There was also exceptional expenditure of £9,500
needed on the flint wall of St Margaret’s churchyard and a further £3,000 on the
flint wall of Streat church. Together this meant that some £24,500 of these
major repairs was covered from Parish funds, not grants from other bodies.
Generous Grants from the Community and Trusts
We are fortunate in receiving grants not only from the Friends of St Margaret’s
and Sussex Historic Churches trust, but £7,000 from the Turner Dumbrell
Foundation for churchyard upkeep, £405 from Ditchling Parish Council for the
upkeep of St Margaret’s clock, and grants from Streat Parish Council (£200) and
Westmeston Parish Council (£350) for the upkeep of churchyards. The Listed
Places of Worship Scheme also enabled the recovery of VAT on building
expenditure and there are also funds such as the Mabel Baines, Swan Perkins, Dr
McConnell and the Chancel Fund which can be drawn upon for the repairs of the
fabric of specified churches. In addition a portion of the St Margaret’s School
house Trust can be draw upon for Parish youth work on application. The PCC and
everyone in the Parish can be grateful for these contributions to maintaining the
three churches as a central part of our community.
Contribution to the Diocese and what we get back
As always the largest expenditure of the Parish is the contribution to the Diocese
of £63,000 which covers the housing, stipend and pension costs of the clergy and
church insurance plus a sum for diocesan central costs, clergy training and a
contribution to national church funds. The Parish fully meets its share of overall
diocesan costs and the increase over last year’s assessment was very small,
which is encouraging. In addition £2,163 was paid to the Diocese as statutory
fees for weddings and funerals. The Parish share of these fees plus generous
collections at weddings and funerals contributed some £10,000 to overall Parish
income. Streat Barn and the Beacon Parish Magazine more than covered their
“We have three beautiful church buildings which
are however each some nine hundred years old and
which inevitably will need major work”
The overall picture
Standing back and looking at the overall state of our Parish Finances, it is
encouraging that planned giving and Gift Aided contributions rose. Had we not
had major expenditures, not covered by grants, on replastering St Margaret’s
and repairing the old flint walls of Streat and St Margaret’s churchyards, we
would have had a surplus of some £24,000 which could be applied, for example,
to work with young people in our community or making the churches more
suitable for wider community use.
But before we get carried away with such ongoing commitments we should
remind ourselves that we have three beautiful church buildings which are
however each some nine hundred years old and which inevitably will need major
work from time to time. So while being pleased that our finances are in balance,
we do not yet have the flexibility to do some of the things which I think everyone
in our community, whether church going or not, would appreciate. Regular
committed giving supplemented by generous legacy provision such as we have
seen during the year will help us to achieve these goals.
Mark Moody-Stuart, Hon Treasurer
The PCC met on 22 nd March, 2012, at St Margaret’s Vestry and was the last PCC
Meeting before the APCM on Sunday 29 th April after the 10.45 Service at St
Margaret’s Church when the new PCC will be elected. Items discussed were as
The Annual Report and Financial Statements
The PCC were asked to approve the Report before sending it to the Auditors
then presenting at the ACPM.
Hurst Deanery Synod
The Synod has accepted Chris Burgon as a member of the Steering Group
together with Fr David.
Video camera and monitor
The Fabric Committee are looking at the possibility of installing a video camera
and monitor in the South Aisle of St Margaret’s.
Welcome Packs are now available from the Parish Office for any newcomers
moving into the Beacon Parish.
Margaret Bovill, PCC Secretary
The Beacon Churches “100 Club”
The winners of the March Draw were Pam Burr and Ann Baeltz both receiving a
prize of £20.
In May we remember:
1 st Diana (Miranda) Prickett 3 rd Thirza Ann Morrow
5 th Robert (Bob) Essex 19 th Margaret Florence Tingley
20 th Hyacinthe Amor 20 th Aileen McHugo
24 th Mick Comber 28 th John Barrow
31 st Claude Pascoe 31 st Michael Greenstreet
Jubilee Choir - 10 th Anniversary
This June the Jubilee Choir will be celebrating its 10 th birthday. In 2002 Canon
John, then Priest in Charge at Streat and Westmeston, set the wheels in motion
to form a small choir to sing at the Queen's Golden Jubilee service in
Westmeston Church on 2 nd June 2002. Ten years on we enjoy singing as much as
ever and have more than doubled in size with members from all the surrounding
To celebrate this occasion we are
organising a small concert and
reception on the evening of Friday,
8 th June at 1930 hours in
Westmeston Parish Hall. There will
be no entry fee but we would be
very grateful if you could give
generously to our chosen charity,
the Martlets Hospice.
The evening will be a mixture of
music and entertainment with
interval drinks and light
refreshments. Some local
parishioners have already kindly
volunteered to 'do a turn'. If
Jubilee Choir in 2002
anyone else feels that they would like to participate (eg with a sketch,
instrumental, reading etc) then please do contact us. We look forward to
hearing from you and seeing you on 8 th June.
Helen Firmin - Tel: 01273-844144
Prayer for the Nation
A night or rather half night of Prayer for the Nation has been arranged by the
three churches in Lindfield, at the URC church in the High Street on Wednesday
May 9 th between 6 and 11pm. It will be possible to come and go.
The three denominations involved are the Anglicans, United Reformed and
Evangelical Free churches. Members from all these churches have prayed
together every Saturday morning for over ten years and have developed a great
fellowship. We all agree the nation is in desperate trouble and needs prayer. All
who will join us are welcome.
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Beacon Parish Church Duties May 2012
Time Church Service Lessons Readers Sidesmen
6 Fifth Sunday of Easter
13 Sixth Sunday of Easter
20 Sunday after Ascension Day
9.45am Streat Eucharist
27 Pentecost (Whit Sunday)
Acts 8: 26 - end
John 15: 1 - 8
Acts 8: 26 - end
John 15: 1 - 8
Acts 8: 26 - end
John 15: 1 - 8
Acts 10: 44 - 48
John 15: 9 - 17
Isaiah 55: 1 - 11
Acts 10: 44 - 48
Flowers: Streat: Gill Mc Pate
Westmeston: Helen Firmin,
Flowers: Streat: Sallie Heine
Westmeston: Tessa Houghton
Flowers: Streat: Sallie Heine
Westmeston: Tessa Houghton
Acts 1: 15-17,21 -end
Colin French Colin French
John 17: 6 - 19
Acts 1: 15-17, 21 - end
John 17: 20 - 26
Acts 1: 15-17,21 -end
John 17: 6 - 19
Acts 1: 15-17, 21 - end
John 17: 6 - 19
Flowers: Streat: Holly Maxwell-Gumbleton
Westmeston: Tessa Houghton
Acts 2: 1 -21
John 15: 26-27,16: 4b-
It was still light, an early spring evening in England, but very cold.
It was pitch black in Jerusalem, mid-night and bitterly cold.
She was wearing jeans and a light jumper.
He was dressed in a light cotton robe.
“You must be cold?” “Yes”, she replied – “Someone is bringing me a coat”.
No-one cared if he was cold; he had no family or friend to bring him a coat.
She was kindling the fire for the Easter Vigil – soon she’d have warmth.
He had to keep in the shadows away from the fire - no warmth for him.
She was safe, secure in the business ahead.
He was waiting to see what would happen. Scared half witless
She would soon be joined by friends and family.
He was alone, an outcast, hiding in the shadows. His companions had all
run away and his only true friend arrested.
No-one challenged her “Why are you here?”
He was challenged and he denied.
She had no need to explain.
He was challenged and he denied.
She was known and welcomed.
He was challenged and he denied.
She heard the quiet murmurs of the congregation.
He heard the cock crow.
She saw the smiles of friendship.
He saw the look that said “I told you so”.
She entered the warmth of friendship and communion.
He crept away and cried bitterly.
Moonwalk London 2012
The 1 st Ditchling Cub Leaders Dorothy Porter, Naomi Jerrey and friend Audra are
taking part in the London Moonwalk 2012 as the `Ditchling_Walkie_Talkies`.
On May 12 th starting at Hyde Park the girls will be power walking a marathon of
26.2 miles around London during the night with 17,000 other people, to help
raise money for Breast cancer care. To sponsor online go to
The Busy Vicar of Ditchling!
‘Mr Lamb of Ditcheling went to Stenning to take care of Mr William Martin’s
school till his returne.’
So wrote, on April 1 st 1728, Thomas Marchant, diarist, landowner and
prominent figure from Hurstpierpoint. Mr Lamb was William Lamb, Vicar of
Ditchling from 1721 until 1740. He was to be the locum schoolmaster at the
grammar school in Steyning where he was to stay for as long as he was required.
This diary entry is one piece of evidence of how well known this Vicar of
Ditchling became in this part of Sussex. His problem was that Ditchling was a
poor living compared to almost all other surrounding parishes. He, a Cambridge
graduate, had arrived as a very newly qualified priest in December 1721. He had
a wife, Elizabeth and, by 1728, five little ‘Lambs’ had been baptised at St
Margaret’s! Not surprisingly, therefore we find Mr Lamb looking for other
means of raising his income. It is more than possible that he took in boarders in
the Vicarage to teach them the Classics in preparation for entry to public schools
or, perhaps to prepare them for entry into their father’s businesses. Certainly,
we can deduce that William Lamb was no absentee Vicar.
“He had a wife, Elizabeth and, by 1728, five little
‘Lambs’ had been baptised at St Margaret’s!”
In 1724, the Bishop of Chichester had sent out commissioners to check on the
state of the parishes in his Diocese. The commissioners found that all was well in
Ditchling – the church and vicarage were in good repair, there was a ‘Divine
Service and sermon once every Lord’s Day’ and that ‘the cure is supplied by the
Vicar’. When the commissioners arrived in the village of Patcham, they found
that, as in Ditchling, there was a service each Sunday, but that it was conducted
by none other than ‘William Lamb, Vicar of Ditchling who is the curate.’!
The connection between Ditchling and Patcham had been enhanced in 1719
when Patcham Place was bought by George, Lord Abergavenny who was also the
leading landowner here in Ditchling. So, on Sundays, was there a horse saddled
and bridled in the churchyard at St Margaret’s ready to convey our young Vicar
over the Downs to Patcham? And our interest in him deepens when we discover
that, between 1731 and 1739, William Lamb was also Vicar of Wivelsfield, at
which church there was, of course, a Sunday service!
There are all sorts of possible explanations of how one priest could apparently
be in three places at once on a Sunday – perhaps he had ceased to be curate at
Patcham before becoming Vicar of Wivelsfield or perhaps he employed another
priest to cover some of his Sunday duties or perhaps the times of the services
were varied to allow him to travel between all three churches. And then there
were his schoolmasterly duties! Whatever the explanation, the fact remains that
William Lamb was indeed a busy Vicar of Ditchling!
It is interesting that two of the missions of our church formerly supported have
combined their work for evangelism. The Bible Society has produced magazinestyle
Bibles for Mission Aviation Fellowship to place in the seat pockets of their
planes, as they do flights in Arnhem Land in Northern Australia.
They are pleased for the copies to go, or some passengers even ask to keep
them. They thank God for this novel approach to evangelism. Indeed, the Bible
alone is a tool for evangelism; as St Paul says in 2 Timothy 3:15-16 “the holy
Scriptures are able to make you wise for salvation through Jesus Christ. All
Scripture is God-breathed.” 2 Peter 1:20-21: “Scripture … men spoke from God as
they were carried along by the Holy Spirit”.
“I love to find a verse or two from each book of the
Bible which shows God’s love for man.”
I once read that a Bible was shared between prisoners, page by page. One
prisoner was converted to Jesus by some verses from Jeremiah! Amazing!
But I love to find a verse or two from each book of the Bible which shows God’s
love for man. Starting at the beginning with Genesis, one of the saddest verses
in the Bible is Genesis ch 6:5-6. Because the Lord saw how evil man was … “The
Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled
with pain”. But two chapters later, because God was pleased with Noah’s
obedience and sacrifice, (Genesis 8:21-23) “God said in his heart, never again will
I destroy all living creatures as I have done. As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night will
never cease”. What a promise. With God there is always grace before
Bible Society Quiz
There will be a Bible Quiz at Hassocks United Reformed Church on Wednesday
May 30 th at 7.30 pm. Do come and join in. We will divide into teams of four and
there will be refreshments.
Prayer Diary – May 2012
Prayer for the world church
& Prayer for this diocese
1 Philip & James, Apostles Florida
Heyshott, St James
3 Athanasius, Bp of Alexandria,
Teacher of the Faith, 373
Linch with Iping Marsh & Milland
4 English Saints & Martyrs of the
Lynchmere & Camelsdale
5 New York
Rogate with Terwick & Trotton with
6 Easter 5 Korea
Family Support Work
Stedham with Iping
8 Julian of Norwich, Spiritual
Rural Deanery of Petworth
Barlavington, Burton with Coates & Sutton
Bury with Houghton & Coldwaltham &
Duncton; Tillington; Up Waltham
12 Pancras, Martyr, 304 Zimbabwe
13 Easter 6 Melanesia
For the retired clergy
14 Matthias, Apostle Chandigarh (India)
North Chapel with Ebernoe; Lurgashall
16 Caroline Chisholm, 1877 Coimbatore (India)
Prayer for the world church
& Prayer for this diocese
Petworth, St Mary; Egdean, St
17 Ascension Day Sheffield
Stopham & Fittleworth
Wisborough Green, St Peter ad Vincula
19 Dunstan, ABp of Canterbury, 988
Rural Deanery of Storrington
20 Ascension Sunday
The Diocesan Board of Finance
Anglican Communion Sunday
21 Helena, 330 Chicago
Amberley with North Stoke & Parham,
Wiggonholt & Greatham
Ashurst, St James; Steyning, St Andrew
Beeding & Bramber with Botolphs
24 John & Charles Wesley, 1791 &
Pulborough, St Mary
25 The Ven Bede, 735 Christ the King (Southern Africa)
West Chiltington, St Mary
26 Augustine, 1 st ABp of
Ashington, Washington & Wiston with
27 Pentecost Mexico
The Diocesan Board of Education
28 Lanfranc, monk, abp, scholar,
Storrington, St Mary
29 Clogher (Ireland)
Sullington & Thakeham with Warminghurst
30 Josephine Butler, 1906 Colombia
Rural Deanery of Westbourne
31 The Visit of the Blessed Virgin
Mary to Elizabeth
Bosham, Holy Trinity
What’s On in May 2012
Ditchling Downs WI meeting and talk on Ditchling p 21 8 pm
Memories, Friends Meeting House, East Gardens,
3 Thu Ditchling WI meeting, Ditchling Village Hall p 21 2.30 pm
An Evening with the Twagger Band, The Old
Newick Decorative and Fine Art Society lecture
Painting with Light, Plumpton Village Hall
Westmeston Annual Parish Meeting p 30 6.30 pm
Prayer for the Nation, URC church, High Street,
Choir Practice, St Margaret’s Church, Ditchling
Ditchling Film Society film Conversations with my
Gardener, Ditchling Village Hall
Streat Barn Garden working party
Ditchling_Walkie_Talkies on Moonwalk London
2012, Hyde Park
13 - 19 Christian Aid Week 2012
Ditchling Village Association Coffee Morning,
Ditchling Village Hall
Women’s Fellowship meeting, 46a Lewes Road,
Ditchling Players When we are Married, Ditchling
16 - 19
p 28 8 pm
24 Thu Choir Practice, St Margaret’s Church, Ditchling 6.15 pm
Ditchling History Project evening stroll around
the village, Ditchling Village Hall
Ruth Fund Celebratory Concert, St Margaret’s
29 Tue Whist Drive, Westmeston Parish Hall p 31 7.15 pm
30 Wed Bible Quiz, Hassocks United Reformed Church p 14 7.30 pm
What’s On in June 2012
2 Sat Beacon Parish Street Party, Church Lane, Ditchling p 1 12.30 pm
Ditchling Film Society film Budrus, Ditchling
Jubilee Choir 10 th Anniversary Concert and
Reception, Westmeston Parish Hall
Ditchling History Project talk on Harris’s Fair, the
Old Meeting House
Ditchling History Project Ditchling Fair Show and
Tell history morning, Stoneywish
Ditchling Film Society mini Glyndebourne
evening, Ditchling Village Hall
16 Sat DITCHLING FAIR p 26
Ditchling Village Association Coffee Morning,
Ditchling Village Hall
p 28 10 am
26 Tue Whist Drive, Westmeston Parish Hall p 31 7.15 pm
The Music Express
Summer Music and Drama Workshops
The Music Express runs music and drama workshops for children aged 7 to 12.
The venue is Great Walstead School, Lindfield. Reasons to choose Music
• no auditions – all children are welcome
• every child gets a major role, regardless of age
• we offer the full range of performing arts activities, including dance,
drama, singing, mask work, drumming
• small classes in which individual talent can flourish
• a relaxed and supportive environment
There is only one course this summer which runs from 23 rd to 27 th July.
The cost for the week is £140.
For further information and to obtain an application form, contact John
Sandford on 07855 957644 or email email@example.com.
Ditchling Women’s Groups
Ditchling Downs WI
For our April meeting we welcomed Ian Everest as our guest speaker. Ian gave a
most interesting talk together with a cine film of what farming was like in the
1950’s. The film was made by John Willets and covered a year in the life of the
Willets’ farm from 1955 - 56. The farm was situated in Bishopstone, on the South
Downs between Newhaven and Seaford and on the face of it the film looked
idyllic, sunshine every day but Ian went on to explain the 20 farm workers
worked a 50 hour week and lived in very basic cottages with no indoor plumbing
and no tenure to their homes. One worker had an accident with a piece of farm
machinery and was given one minute’s notice to leave his employment and
immediate eviction from his cottage. These were harsh times. The film also
showed workers washing cattle with an organophosphate to prevent warble fly,
now banned, with no protection from gloves or special clothing. Perhaps things
were not all good in the old days. One beautiful scene was a field full of stacks of
corn covered with thatch. They looked like rows of pretty thatched cottages .
Congratulations were given to W.I member Janet Walford who was given a
highly commended award for her pennant design for the county competition
and shown at the Region’s AGM.
For our May meeting, on Tuesday 1 st May in the Friends Meeting House, East
Gardens, Ditchling, 7.30pm for 8pm, our guest speaker will be Dick Morley who
will give a talk on Ditchling Memories. There will also be our annual bring & buy
plant sale. Visitors will be welcome – contact Barbara Dollings 01273 843892
Barbara Dollings 01273 843892
On Thursday April 5 th we had a very fun talk with slides on “The British seaside
Holiday” by Jackie Marsh Hobbs. We were told how doctors used to recommend
dipping in the sea for your health. We were also shown slides of various piers;
the very first pier was built in Ryde in 1814. Deck chairs made an appearance in
1898. Punch and Judy came over from France in 1662. We saw how swimming
costumes have altered over the years. We then had a Photo competition called
‘British holiday’ which was won by Joan Sayer. There was a nice Easter tea and
Flower of the Month plus a Grand Raffle.
Our next meeting will be the WI resolutions and will be held on Thursday May
3 rd at 2.30 pm in the Village Hall. Visitors will be very welcome.
Joan Sayer, Tel 01273845255
Our April Meeting was held at the home of Jenny and Jasper Bell where they had
invited Richard and Tim from the Camelia Botnar Foundation. They gave us an
excellent presentation on the Foundation which provides residential training for
young people between the ages of 16 and 21 years who have been in
disadvantaged or problematic situations in their lives. There are eight
departments from which they can choose from: Metalwork, Carpentry and
Joinery, Catering, Estate and Grounds Maintenance, Horticulture, Pottery, Light
Building Work and Painting & Decorating. Many of these young people gain
much expertise in their chosen work winning awards and diplomas at the end of
their two and a half years. We were all very inspired by what the Foundation has
achieved. All the Camelia Botnar products are finished to a high standard and
can be seen and purchased at the Camelia Botnar Homes and Gardens in
Littleworth Lane, Cowfold. There is a Nursery, Gift Shop and a Bistro. We were
all very keen to make a visit and also enjoy a meal at the Bistro.
Our meeting on the 15 th May will be held at the home of Margaret Moore, 46a
Lewes Road (843805) at 7.30 pm. Members are asked to bring along a special
memento and give a short talk on its significance to you. Please let Margaret
know if you will be attending.
Children and Young People
1 st Ditchling Scout Group
Beavers - For Mothers’ Day the Beavers made cards which incorporated origami
flowers. The Brighton and Hove Reform Synagogue was visited towards the end
of term and everyone learned about the Jewish Faith as part of their Faith
Challenge Badge. The term ended with an Easter Egg Hunt on an absolutely
perfect evening. There were no meetings during Easter but the Beavers are
now busy preparing material for their float for the Ditchling Village Fair.
Cubs - Jacqui Page and Mike Cohen came from the Guide Dogs for the Blind to
tell everyone about the work of this fabulous organisation. The Cubs all enjoyed
stroking Jacqui’s gorgeous dog. The Cubs will be doing a sponsored walk in May
with Jacqui and her dog going with them. A visit to Blacklands Farm saw the
Cubs enjoying abseiling and an activity called “The Perch”. We congratulate
Joseph Jerrey, Hugh Porter and Dylan Williams all of whom have been awarded
their Chief Scout Silver Badges – the highest award a Cub Scout can achieve.
The Cubs have now started working on the float for the Fair.
Scouts – The Scouts had a busy month before Easter. One of the events held
was a visit to Crowborough Pool for a Scuba Diving Taster Session which was
fantastic fun. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the experience and there are hopes
that this interest can be taken further.
Alec Gaskin, Group Chairman
A CELEBRATORY CONCERT
A programme of Choral and Instrumental music & song
Saturday 26 th May at 7 pm
St Margaret’s Church, Ditchling
In aid of The Ruth Fund
The programme will include
The award winning Coastline Harmony Chorus,
Precious Metalz, Hannah Labus Euphonium Trio
and The Bothy Singers
After 11 years of support for the Rwandan family group whose lives were
brutally affected by the Genocide we are raising funds for Luke to complete
his A level studies at school in Kampala. Our success includes Ruth who
completed her education at Kingston University and works for Radisson
Group, brother Bernard who gained a first class degree at Makerere
University and is now making great progress in Nairobi, Barnabas who is
working freelance and Simon who is studying at Kingston College.
Tickets £10 to include a glass of wine and canapés in the interval available
from Sue Hancock 01273 890298
Please support us once again and be entertained by these talented musicians.
Specialists in Landscape Planning
Garden Construction Waterscape Landscape
& Waterscape Maintenance Service
UNDERHILL LANE, DITCHLING
TEL: (01273) 843283, FAX: 842335
Directors: A L Standen & S M May
Company Reg. No. 814630 Registered at
Ashdown Cottage, Underhill Lane,
Ditchling, Sussex, BN6 8XE
Ditchling Fair Saturday 16 th June 2012
For the refreshments in the barn
we would like help with the
1. Delivering 'Volunteers and
cake makers needed' letters
to houses in your street in
2. Making sandwiches in the
barn on the morning of the
fair from about 9-11am.
3. Getting the urns ready for the
'opening' at 12.
4. Cutting cake and/or serving
the teas and coffees for an
hour on the day.
5. Washing up the cups, saucers
and plates for an hour on the Ditchling Fair Procession 1948
6. Collecting used cups, saucers and plates for an hour on the day.
7. Cashiers for an hour on the day.
8. Bringing roses to the barn on Friday 15 th to put in jam jars to decorate the
9. Cooking about 50 eggs on Friday to make egg and cress sandwiches on
10. Tidying up the barn at about 4.30 on Saturday.
11. Carrying tables from various places to bring down to the barn on Friday.
12. Returning tables to their rightful places on Saturday evening or Sunday.
13. Providing garden tables and chairs for using outside for people to eat and
14. Making cakes that we can cut up and sell on the day.
15. People to sell cold drinks for an hour on the day.
If you can help with any of these jobs, please contact Fiona Hughes on 845636.
Ditchling History Project
Enjoy an evening stroll around the village and find out more about its history
with members of the Ditchling History Project on Friday May 25 th meeting at the
village hall at 7.00 pm. Tickets are available from the Post Office and Parkers.
As part of the 700 th anniversary celebration, members of the History Project
have been tracing the history of Ditchling Fair and find a first mention of Harris’s
funfair in 1910. We are therefore delighted to announce that Robert Harris will
give a talk on Harris’s Fair in Ditchling on Thursday June 14 th at 7.30pm in the
Old Meeting House. Tickets are £6, including wine, from Ditchling Post Office,
Parkers and the Village Hair Studio.
We will also be hosting a ‘Ditchling Fair Show and Tell’ history morning at
Stoneywish on Friday 15 th June so please bring along your photos and share your
memories any time between 10am and 1pm. Entry is free with refreshments for
Next month look out for our Village History trail which will go up to coincide
with the famous Ditchling Fair Scarecrow trail.
If you would like to know more about these events or about Ditchling History
Project have a look at our website www.ditchlinghistoryproject.org or you can
phone me on 01273 845383.
Ditchling Film Society
On Thursday, 10 May 2012 we will be showing a film called Conversations with
my Gardener which is an affectionate French film about a flashy artist whose
wife is leaving him and whose mistress is having an affair. The artist, beautifully
played by Daniel Auteuil, leaves Paris for inspiration and returns to the village of
his childhood where he hires an old friend, a retired railroad worker, as his
gardener. Reunited through a series of naturalistic and yet increasingly intimate
conversations, the two men inform and reform each other’s lives just in time for
a startling denouement. With its beautiful settings, the film is a wonderful
appreciation of close friendship and simple rustic pleasures.
Director: Jean Becker. France 2007. 109 mins.
On Thursday, 7 June 2012 our film will be Budrus - a powerful documentary
account of the non-violent struggle by residents of a small town in the West
Bank’s Occupied Territories against Israel’s plans to re-route its “separation
barrier” which would deprive the community of 3,000 olive trees on which its
economy depends. Refusing to move, the townsfolk plant themselves in the
path of the bulldozers despite increasingly heated provocation. This involving
film is an eye-opener.
Directors: Julia Bacher. Israel/Palestine 2009. 70 mins.
SPECIAL EVENT FOR OPERA LOVERS
On FRIDAY, 15 JUNE 2012 the Ditchling Film Society will be hosting a “mini
Glyndebourne evening” in the Village Hall with a special screening of a surprise
opera to be accompanied by champagne. Please look out for posters and ticket
prices for this special event. Formal dress is positively encouraged.
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 Village Association Coffee Mornings
The Coffee Morning on Tuesday May 15 th in Ditchling Village Hall will be run by
the Horticultural Society, from 10am to 11.30am as we have to ensure that we
vacate the village hall by 12 noon. Dates for subsequent coffee mornings during
2012 are shown below:
June 19 th
July 17 th
August 21 st
September 18 th
October 16 th
November 20 th
December 18 th
Ditchling Morris Dancers
Friends of Village Green
Ditchling Film Society
Friends of St Margaret’s
‘When we are Married’ – 16 th to 19 th May 2012
As you read this it’s only a matter of weeks away from curtain up on the
Ditchling Players spring production.
It seems only a short time ago that we were holding auditions & casting the play
but now the pace is really stepping up. Lines are being gone over again and
again (will we ever remember them all?) Parts of the set are being built ready to
bring together on the day of the set build and costumes, props etc are being
sourced from all manner of places. All of this hard work by the members of the
Players is being done to bring yet another successful production to you the
Performances are at Ditchling Village Hall with curtain up at 8.00pm (Doors
open at 7.15pm). Tickets are £7.00 (Wednesday) and £8.00 (Thursday to
Saturday) and are on sale now from Clifford Dann, High Street, Ditchling. Tel
No: 01273 843344. We look forward to seeing you there.
For practical services
from friendly people
Wills & Estates
Property Sales & Purchases
Inheritance tax planning
Services for businesses
32-34 Keymer Road, Hassocks
Authorised and Regulated by the
Solicitors Regulation Authority
The Old Meeting House
On Saturday May 5 th , there will be An Evening with the Twagger Band at 8pm.
The Twaggers play mainly traditional music on a wide variety of instruments.
Tickets are £10 including a glass of wine whilst the cost for children and students
will be £7, with all proceeds for the benefit of the Old Meeting House. They will
be available from Ditchling Post Office, Ian Chisholm (01273 843699) or Brian
Clutterbuck (01273 844746). For further information about the band their web
site is www.twaggerband.co.uk or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Brian Clutterbuck (Trustee of the Old Meeting House)
Westmeston Parish News
The following is taken from the April issue of Westmeston Parish News.
Parish Council Meetings
The Annual Parish Meeting … will be held on Tuesday 8 th May at 6.30pm, when a
report to parishioners will be given by the Parish Council chairman – Philip
Tucker. There will be words from District Councillor Thomas Jones.
Parking Ban at Westmeston Church Corner
It is proposed that as a result of an EU Eco directive, three of the parking spaces
at Westmeston Church Corner will no longer be available on an unrestricted
basis. These will be exclusively for the recharging of electric vehicles, with a
small wind turbine as the power source. Apparently this decision followed a
review of charging points when it was found that a disproportionate number of
grant-aided charge points have been provided in urban areas.
Has Ditchling Beacon been moved?
The Ditchling church magazine THE BEACON gives a full coverage of Ditchling but
mainly of the village and not the whole parish as its geography is a little suspect.
The March edition has a very attractive cover which is a view of Westmeston
“village” i.e. the church and surrounding houses. The foreground features a
hybrid squeeze stile designed and installed by the Monday Group which serves
to double the compliment to Westmeston and its residents. However the cover
picture is incorrectly captioned as the “View from Ditchling Beacon” whereas
every Westmestonian will tell you, it is in fact the view from Home Brow,
Westmeston – almost half a mile away from Ditchling Beacon.
[My thanks go to the Westmeston Parish News for providing this information.
The Beacon, as the front cover states, is the magazine for the parish of Ditchling,
Streat and Westmeston and I am always delighted to include news and
information from Westmeston and Streat as well as Ditchling. Ed]
You lucky walkers
With the reopening of the footpath through Middleton Common Farm … only
one Westmeston footpath remains blocked and unusable. It has taken many
years to get our wonderful local footpath network to this satisfactory condition
and the Footpaths Conservation Society (covering Ditchling, Westmeston and
Streat) is working on the one remaining blocked path. The Society, now just over
50 years old owes its origin to an even older society The Commons, Open Spaces
and Footpaths Preservation Society and to Octavia Hill who also helped to found
the National Trust.
Newick Decorative and Fine Art Society
‘Painting with Light’, Plumpton Village Hall, 2.15 pm, May 8 th
The lecture this month will cover the works of Pierre Bonnard, the French
Impressionist painter and printmaker. His pictures are a delight to the eye with
their intense use of colour, and their subject matter of sunlit rooms or gardens
full of flowers, friends and family. Unlike many artists he had an extremely
happy personal life and friendships with such other painters as Manet, Matisse
and Toulouse-Lautrec all contributed to his style. He started his life training to
be a lawyer, his father thought it a much more worthy profession than that of an
artist, but fortunately he failed the exams and the rest, as they say, is history! So
do come and enjoy a really lovely lecture by Julian Halsby, RBA . Julian is also a
painter and has written seven books on Art History.
Entry £5 on the door for non-members with tea and biscuits afterwards and a
chance to talk to the speaker. If you require any further information please ring
Carole Burgon on 01273 890301 or Marjorie Blunden on 01825 723250
Tuesday 29 th May, Westmeston Parish H all
starting at 7.15pm
Everyone is welcome to join the friendly team of players. The next
whist drive will be on Tuesday 26 th June 2012 at 7.15pm
For more details contact Doreen Kallman (01273 844743)
As so often happens in Nature, things are evened out over a period of time. The
extraordinary warmth of March, during which time flowers bloomed before the
normal date, birds began building their nests, some having well grown young
before the end of the month and large numbers of migrant birds arriving from
the south was followed by much lower temperatures.
At Portland in Dorset, migrants arrived in huge numbers on the last day of
March. It is normal for the West Country to get the first influx of these Summer
Visitors at least a week before we do farther east but this land-fall was of record
proportions when over six hundred were ringed. This was estimated at being
only a fifth of the total birds arriving. The weather conditions were ideal for such
a phenomenon, the sky being clear over night as they left the Continent but the
northerly wind brought cloud cover at dawn and unable to navigate, they were
grounded. The following day with clear blue skies, hardly any were seen as they
carried on flying inland.
This year there is to be a count of the Nightingales breeding in Britain. This is a
species that is found to the south of the country and we are in one of the best
locations for them. The census will be done by counting the number of males
singing as each one sings to defend its own patch and it is likely that each will be
matched by a female. This species has only one breeding attempt each year so
the song occurs from mid April until the first week of June at the latest and
during this time the nest will be built on the woodland floor, the four or five eggs
laid and the young reared to be self reliant. Having but one brood annually, the
life expectancy of Nightingales is longer than most small birds as the turnover is
smaller. Many live for more than five years, the record being about twelve.
Another summer migrant you may care to look for is the abundant Whitethroat.
Along many of the hedgerows and field margins these lively warblers breed in
low Brambles or Nettle beds. Their territorial song is a spluttering effort
delivered either from a tall piece of vegetation or as a flight dance about ten feet
in the air. These birds nest throughout the summer with their later nestlings still
being fed well into July. They are easy to recognise as though they are “Little
Brown Jobs”, the white throat and white outer tail stripes are very visible.
I have just had a report of a Blue tit getting tangled in the green netting of a fat
ball at a feeder. It had to be cut free and was successfully released. I had not
heard of any such problem before but please be aware.
Ripe for Change
In an ideal world, there would be no weeds or backache, endless time to
complete all those seasonal garden jobs and unlimited funds to spend on plants.
But the reality is that many find the burden of caring for their garden a little
overwhelming. I remember how depressed I was when the garden went from
diva to down-and-out after my child was born.
If things are going from bad to worse in
your garden, take action now to save on
heartache and work later. The single most
important thing is weed control – if you
can keep on top of these monsters, then
your garden remains manageable. Weed
seeds settle on exposed soil, so ensure full
coverage. This can be achieved using geotextile
membranes, mulch, weed mats or
by dense planting. Mulches of chipped
bark should be applied in very thick layers
as it breaks down over time. An added
advantage of mulch is that it reduces
water evaporation and increases soil
insulation. Pretty it is not, but ANYTHING is better than a border seething with
My preferred weed suppression technique takes the form of blanket planting -
this doesn’t have to be hugely expensive or time consuming. Buy annuals and
biennial seeds that form soil-covering mounds or carpets and invest in perennials
that spread quickly and will out-compete the weeds. Within a few years, forgetme-nots
can form dense forests, foxgloves, love-in-the-mist, lady’s mantle and
calendula self-seed madly, so a single purchase provides years of coverage. Just
fling the seeds in various spots around the garden and enjoy the haphazard
result. Fast-spreading perennials with basal leaves are perfect for weed
suppression: Phlomis russelliana, verbascums, geraniums and polemoniums.
Don’t forget ornamental grasses, which are superb for the war on weeds. And if
all this seems just like too much work, buy some grass seed and just have fence
to fence lawn!
Haut Talk by Karoline Baird
07742 731967 email@example.com
The Beacon in the Past
On the opposite page are excerpts from previous issues of the Ditchling Beacon.
40 years ago
In the May 1972 issue, after reporting on the events of Holy Week and Easter,
the Vicar was able to announce that “apart from £800 of our £1,000 loan from
the Diocese we are now completely out of debt having paid for both the new
vestry and the repairs to the churchyard wall. This is mainly due to a very
generous gift of £460 from an anonymous donor, who I have … thanked very
sincerely for closing the final gap. I write ‘mainly due’ as we were also greatly
helped by the simply wonderful result of the coffee morning and bring and buy
organised by Mrs. Faure-Walker at her house. This raised £113.53.”
A visit to Taizé was being organised by the Diocese and “The P.C.C. agreed
recently to raise the money to help four young people to go (two boys and two
girls)”. Two boys had been found to go but at the time of writing no girl.
The St Margaret’s Flower Guild reported that “Ditchling has adopted a London
church, St. Mary’s Battersea, where the only member of the congregation with a
garden is a local doctor whose family devote it to growing flowers for use in their
church. Ditchling is so rich in gardens with lovely flowers that it seemed a good
idea to decorate their church on June 23rd as this weekend is in the midst of a
special effort organised by the London Diocese”.
20 years ago
In his letter for May 1992 the Vicar said “I am sure you are as delighted as I am
with the appearance of the new frontal and hangings which were dedicated on
Palm Sunday in memory of the late Joanna Bourne and provided for the church
by her family. The transformation of the Abergavenny chapel has been the most
impressive. The material was woven from wool spun locally by Mrs Greenstreet
and embroidered by a team of helpers under the direction of Mrs Annett and
made up into hangings by Mrs Berry.”
In the Churchwardens’ report for 1991, it was mentioned that “with the help of
the Ecclesiastical Insurance Group we have replaced the chairs stolen a few years
ago, and the windows in the Choir Vestry have been renewed. The flagpole has
been replaced and we were especially grateful to the children of the Sunday
School who paid for the magnificent Diocesan flag.” On the subject of finance
the Church faced problems “due to the declining central support from the Church
Commissioners’ as a result of the reduction in investment income. This means
that the Diocese must seek a greater contribution from the parishes by raising
the Quota. This is at present 40% of our income, and is likely to rise substantially
in the next year or so. Therefore we must seek to raise our income as a matter
Newsagents & Stationers
1 Lewes Road, Ditchling
Tel: 01273 842736
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: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copy deadline for the June 2012 edition is
Friday 18 th May
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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