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
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
Front cover: Some of the entries from St Margaret’s School for this year’s
The Beacon Churches Calendar December 2011
Morning Prayer at Ditchling:
Monday to Friday at 9.00 am
3 Sat Wedding of Robin and Glenda Ditchling 2.00pm
4 Sun SECOND SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Eucharist (BCP) Ditchling 8.00am
All Age Eucharist Ditchling 9.45am
Dedication Sunday Eucharist Westmeston 9.45am
6 Tue Ditchling Pre-School Crib Service Ditchling 10.00am
7 Wed Eucharist Ditchling 9.30am
11 Sun THIRD SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Morning Prayer Ditchling 9.45am
Dedication Sunday Eucharist Streat 9.45am
14 Wed Eucharist Ditchling 9.30am
18 Sun FOURTH SUNDAY OF ADVENT
Eucharist (BCP) Ditchling 8.00am
Sung Eucharist Ditchling 9.45am
Morning Prayer Streat 9.45am
Carols by Candlelight (followed by mince
pies and mulled wine)
20 Tue Carol Singing The Vicarage 7.00pm
21 Wed Eucharist Ditchling 9.30am
24 Sat CHRISTMAS EVE
Crib Service Ditchling 4.30pm
Midnight Mass Ditchling 11.30pm
Midnight Mass Streat 11.30pm
25 Sun CHRISTMAS DAY
Christmas Celebration Ditchling 9.45am
Christmas Celebration Westmeston 9.45am
28 Wed Please note there is no Wednesday Communion
A Christmas message from
Bishop Mark of Horsham
Not just for Christmas...
The much publicised number of shopping days to Christmas is fast declining and
Christmas will soon be upon us. There are celebratory meals to plan, Christmas
trees to find and decorations to hang. There are also presents to buy.
The custom of giving presents at Christmas gives expression to one of human
beings’ best qualities - generosity. People give gifts that they think will be
appreciated, perhaps for their usefulness, perhaps because they represent a
treat, or perhaps a relief from some need or anxiety. One way or another they
say 'I love you’. Christmas gifts, whether to family, friends, colleagues, or via
charities to anonymous beneficiaries, are an expression of care - and of
“Levels of giving in the Diocese of Chichester
have been surprisingly low”
At Christmas we may remember all kinds of people with a gift, but it is all too
easy to miss out the one whose birth Christmas celebrates. Perhaps above all, at
Christmas, we should make a special gift to Christ through his church. This year,
many people's Christmas generosity will be set against a background of financial
stringency and so will be more sacrificial than usual.
The fashion, a while ago, for giving people a puppy for Christmas was much
criticised and concerned charities came up with the slogan 'a dog is for life, not
just for Christmas’. What is true of dogs is also true of generosity - it is for life
and not only for Christmas. If the Church, of which Christ is the head, is to have
what it needs for mission in the year ahead, then it must rely upon all its
members showing that generosity which is born of love and commitment. Levels
of giving in the Diocese of Chichester have been surprisingly low when compared
with other parts of the Church of England. Let us set this right with a generous
gift at Christmas and let us carry that generosity beyond the festive season into
Wishing you much joy in giving, both at Christmas and in the New Year,
Beacon Parish News
St Margaret's Church Flower Guild
We will be decorating the Church for Christmas on Saturday 24 th December
between 9 am and 11 am. There will be a plate at the back of the church
during services in December for contributions towards the purchase of flowers
and these will be very much appreciated.
Gwen Searle & Jenny Bell
Nine Lessons & Carols, Streat Church
Come and join us in Streat Church on 16 th December at 6.30pm for a service of
Nine Lessons & Carols and afterwards Mulled wine & mince pies.
St Patrick’s Trust
As usual, St Patrick’s will be welcoming homeless men and women over the
Christmas period and donations would be very helpful. Wrapped presents with
labels indicating what is inside, or gifts of non-perishable food are especially
useful. Suggested items are chocolate bars, sweets, biscuits, nuts, socks, gloves,
scarves, hats, shaving razors and foam, talcum powder, shower gel, soap,
Gifts can be left in Sylvia Bain’s porch (58 East End Lane, Ditchling) until Friday
December 16 th .
The Beacon Churches “100 Club” 2011
The winners of the October Draw were Helen Firmin and Nan Crofton receiving
prizes of £20.
The PCC met on Tuesday 15th November. The meeting began with a
presentation at Clayton Village Hall. Fr Christopher and Fr David had invited the
Diocesan Youth Officer to speak to both PCC's and the topic was on Youth Work
and how in the future we can collaborate on this. After the presentation there
was an opportunity for some discussion. The PCC then continued with our own
meeting at the White Horse in Ditchling. This was a brief meeting and items
discussed were the Advent Course and Christmas Services. Sue Sewell reported
that our Parish contribution to the Diocese has been increased. The PCC gave
approval for the purchase of a laptop for use in the Admin Office. Following this
the discussion on Youth Work and a joint Youth Worker continued. Janet Cragg
offered to begin a feasibility study together with Colin Juniper and will report
back to the PCC in the New Year.
Margaret Bovill, PCC Secretary
Beacon Parish Christmas Card
The children at St Margaret's Church of England Primary School have once again
been asked to submit artwork for the Beacon Parish Christmas Card, which will
be distributed to all homes in the Beacon Parish in early December. This year’s
theme is ‘Christmas Trees’ but the children were asked to include some part of
the story of Jesus’ birth such as Jesus, Mary, Joseph, angels, shepherds, kings etc.
A large number of entries were submitted from children aged from 4 to 10 and
were of a high quality making it difficult to choose the one to be on the front of
the Christmas Card. The winner was submitted by Iris Slater, age 7. The runner
up was by Kira Showk, age 7.
Some of the entries are shown on the front cover of the magazine and more can
be seen on the website at www.beaconparishes.org/gallery. The runner up is
the top left pictre on the front cover. To see the winner you will have to wait for
your Christmas Card to arrive.
The Beacon Churches Harvest Quiz
Thank you to everyone who took part in the Quiz. The winners are as follows:
1 st Pam Burr, 2 nd Sue Fawcett, 3 rd Sue Marshall, 4 th The Coombers. For those of
you who did not win this time - don't worry - there will be another one soon!
Here are the answers.
1 Written by Arnold Wesker (5,4,10) CHIPS WITH EVERYTHING
2 Relegated from Premiership (4,3,6) WEST HAM UNITED
3 A blow with the fist (7,8) KNUCKLE SANDWICH
4 Advertising placards (8,6) SANDWICH MAN
5 Played by Orson Wells (5,4) HARRY LIME
6 Deborah Kerr film (3,3,8) TEA AND SYMPATHY
7 Imperturbable (4,2,1,8) COOL AS A CUCUMBER
8 Late ITV Newsreader (7,6) LEONARD PARKIN
9 Intensely enthusiastic (4,2,7) KEEN AS MUSTARD
10 Friend of Larry Grayson (7,3) APRICOT LIL
11 Shelagh Delaney wrote this (1,5,2,5) A TASTE OF HONEY
12 Russian Church feature (5,4) ONION DOME
13 Road congestion (7,3) TRAFFIC JAM
14 Nothing at all (3,1,7) NOT A SAUSAGE
15 Andrew Lloyd Webber partner (3,4) TIM RICE
16 Sung by Max Bygraves (3,6,3) RUN RABBIT RUN
17 Serve a jail sentence (2,8) DO PORRIDGE
18 A controversial issue (3,6) HOT POTATO
19 Created by Annette Mills (6,3,4) MUFFIN THE MULE
20 Native language (6,6) MOTHER TONGUE
21 “Give em the money Barney” (7,7) WILFRED PICKLES
22 I should say so (1,6,5) I SHOULD COCOA
23 A fairground sideshow (7,3) COCONUT SHY
24 Mendips ravine (7,5) CHEDDAR GORGE
25 Shrove Tuesday (7,3) PANCAKE DAY
26 Obsolete (3,2,4) OUT OF DATE
27 Geg (9,3) SCRAMBLED EGG
28 Puppet Show (5,3,4) PUNCH AND JUDY
29 Avid Television viewer (5,6) COUCH POTATO
30 Flatter (6,2) BUTTER UP
31 In pawn (2,4) IN HOCK
32 Go to bed (3,3,4) HIT THE SACK
33 Former name of Hawaii(8,7) SANDWICH ISLANDS
34 Sung by Frankie Laine (4,5) COOL WATER
35 Aston Villa playing colours (6,3,4) CLARET AND BLUE
36 Creator of Tarzan (5,4,9) EDGAR RICE BURROUGHS
37 Defoliant containing Dioxin (5,6) AGENT ORANGE
38 Seek to ingratiate oneself (5,6) CURRY FAVOUR
39 Compton Mackenzie wrote this (6,6) WHISKY GALORE
40 Tough luck (4,6) HARD CHEESE
41 An experienced sailor (3,4) OLD SALT
42 Protruding stomach (4,5) BEER BELLY
43 Doris Day film (3,3,3) TEA FOR TWO
44 Something easy to do (1,5,2,4) A PIECE OF CAKE
45 Great Fire of London started here (7,4) PUDDING LANE
46 Idle enjoyment (4,3,8) BEER AND SKITTLES
47 Sung by New Edition (5,4) CANDY GIRL
48 The conclusion of a joke (5,4) PUNCH LINE
49 Mario Lanza film (3,5,2,3,7) THE TOAST OF NEW ORLEANS
50 He played ‘Soames’ on TV (4,6) ERIC PORTER
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Beacon Parish Wine and Cheese Thank You Parties
Some 90 people attended these parties on Friday and Saturday evenings
November 18 th and 19 th in Westmeston Parish Hall. Those invited had
responded positively to the 2009/10 TRIO (The Responsibility Is Ours) appeal for
Promised Giving funds. Support for Trio had come from a wide range of wellwishers,
often not church goers, all of whom recognise that our churches have a
value way beyond the churchyard walls.
The purpose of the parties was to say thank you for so much generous support
and to persuade our communities to extend the principles of Stewardship in
2012 beyond the offering of Treasure so as to encompass also the other 2 Ts:
Time and Talents.
Hon Treasurer Mark Moody-Stuart first answered questions about his financial
report in the October Beacon. He explained how the Parish finances had
improved in 2011 so as to be nearly in balance. Mark warned that for 2012 we
must stay on our toes because of the effect on future finances of a 5% inflation
rate, as well as of a steady natural flow of leavers. Contributors were asked,
where circumstances allowed, to increase their giving in 2012 to compensate for
those who could not afford an increase. He urged those not already doing so to
make full use of Gift Aid which produces a 25% lift to anything given.
Finally, Father David talked about some new areas of activity for 2012 that
needed volunteers to offer their services on the Talents Pledge form (especially
work with young people that is restarting and the new admin office).
He went on to remind everyone that being a member of the Christian family
meant by definition you were entering on a strong vocation. This meant the
giving of the whole self to the service of Christ in the family and in the
community. Everyone however old or frail had a contribution to make. For
example he said that those who did attend midweek Morning Prayer and
communion were providing a unique support to himself in his work as leader.
Parishes were now ranked by the Diocese in perceived order of excellence, a 1
for Excellent, 2 for Good ...down to 4 for "in danger of having to close". The
Beacon Parish has been ranked 1, though Fr David felt so much needed to be
done that we should not be higher than 2. We were being held up as an example
of how mergers of separate churches should be done. Not any of his doing, he
claimed, but the result of teamwork and outstanding leadership from the lay
readers. He was confident and full of hope for the future both of the Parish and
of the C of E as a whole. Last year had seen more C of E ordinands offering
themselves nationally than in any of the past 100 years. At local level there was a
new spirit of cooperation between neighbouring churches in the Deanery; we
were presently in conversation about cooperating in the hiring of youth work
To round off the Saturday party Nick Hancock led half an hour of communal
singing of old favourites as well as a few Flanders and Swann solo items sung by
Many thanks to Nicki Amas and Erica Trueman for the excellent catering, to Nick
Hancock for the music ,to Carole Ulph for the lovely overhead projection picture
show, to Penelope Bennett, Margaret Bovill and Alix Clarke for the endless
paperwork and to Doreen Kallman for the so fit for purpose parish hall.
Rodney Dodds, Parish Stewardship Coordinator
St Margaret’s Choir
In recent weeks, in consultation with Father David and the two organists, some
changes have been made to St Margaret’s choir in order to better meet the
current needs of our church.
The choir will continue to fulfil its two principal roles of upholding the
tradition of sacred choral music and of leading the congregation in its
Choir practices will in future be held on a Thursday evening instead of a
Friday and will take place only twice a month, with extra practices being held
The choir will continue to participate in Deanery Evensongs, the Chichester
Choir Festival and other special services and events.
The Jubilee Choir will be invited to join with our choir for festival services or
occasions such as Christmas, Easter and Harvest.
There will be no robed choir at the All Age Eucharist in order to make the
service less formal for children and young people.
The choir is here to serve and will always be happy to receive suggestions or
requests from church members for hymns, anthems and such.
The choir will continue to encourage others to join the choir, particularly
now that the practice commitment has been reduced.
Forthcoming Beacon Parish Events
On February 4 th 2012 there will be a Race night. Details will follow in next
Subscriptions for The Beacon are due for renewal in December for 2012. 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.
Flowers in Streat and Westmeston
Streat 24 th December: All Flower Ladies.
Westmeston 4 th
- 11 th Doreen Kallman, 18 th Jo Wratten, 24 th All Flower Ladies.
“Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men”.
Front-page adverts, placed by the Egyptian Bible Society in eight Egyptian
national newspapers, have been allowed to quote the Bible for the very first
time in the wake of the worst violence against Christians in decades.
The adverts, part of the Society’s campaign called ‘Rebuild Egypt’, quote the
prophet Jeremiah’s call to ‘seek the peace of the city and pray to the LORD for
‘This is the first time we have been allowed to quote a Bible verse in any of our
public advertising,’ said Bible Society of Egypt General Secretary Ramez Atallah.
‘Many people from all religious backgrounds have called the Bible Society to
thank us for the timely message and positive role.
‘One prominent political figure, the editor of a major newspaper, called to say
that he is grateful for all that we are doing to promote peace and unity in these
Some five thousand Bible Society booklets highlighting Christian hope in the face
of death were also distributed at a mass funeral in Cairo’s Coptic cathedral.
John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as
the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”
Philippians 4:6-7 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by
prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the
peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and
your minds in Christ Jesus.”
Beacon Parish Church Duties December 2011
Time Church Service Lessons Readers Sidesmen
4 2 nd Sunday of Advent
8am Ditchling Eucharist BCP
11 3 rd Sunday of Advent
9.45am Ditchling Morning Prayer
16 6.30pm Streat 9 Lessons & Carols
18 4 th Sunday of Advent
2 Peter 3: 815a
Markc 1: 1-8
1 Thessal’ns 5: 16-24
John 1: 6-8,19-28
Romans 16: 25-end
8am Ditchling Eucharist BCP
Jenny Bell Jenny Bell
Luke 1: 26-38
Romans 16: 25-end
9.45am Ditchling Sung Eucharist
Luke 1: 26-38
2 Samuel 7: 1-1,16 Derek Walker
9.45am Streat Morning Prayer
Luke 1: 1-8 Carol Burgon
6pm Ditchling Beacon Carol Service Tony Blanchard
24 Christmas Eve
4.30pm Ditchling Crib Service Tony Blanchard
Midnight Isaiah 9: 2-7
Eucharist Luke 2: 1-14
Midnight Isaiah 9: 2-7 Sallie Heine
Eucharist Luke 2: 1-14 Myrtle Skelton
25 CHRISTMAS DAY
Isaiah 9: 2-7
Luke 2: 1-14
Isaiah 9: 2-7
Luke 2: 1-14
Advent Carol Service
St Margaret’s Church
27 th November, 6 pm
Advent Hymns and readings
Wednesdays at 7pm in St Margaret’s Church
To help us get ready for the true meaning of Christmas
as together we look for Christ’s coming
23 November: The Forerunner
(prophecies in the Old Testament)
30 November: Those who sit in darkness
7 December: Looking for the light
14 December: The King and his Kingdom
Please bring your completed forms for Treasure, Talents
and Time to one of these services:
St Margaret's Church on Sunday 27 th November 2011 at 9.45 am
St Martin's Church Westmeston on Sunday December 4 th at 9.45 am
Streat Church on Sunday 11 th December at 9.45 am
The Beacon Parish Office
Open on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday mornings
9.30 am to 12 noon
the place to direct any enquiries
Film Presentation of the Holy Land
Fridays 2 nd and 9 th December, 7.15 pm
Coum Cottage, The Sandrocks, Ditchling
CHRISTMAS WHIST DRIVE
Tuesday 13 th December
Westmeston Parish Hall
starting at 7.15pm
Everyone is welcome to join the friendly team of players.
The first whist drive of 2012 will be held on Tuesday 31 st January 7.15pm
For more details contact Doreen Kallman on 844743
Streat Rectory Barn
is available for appropriate use by organisations and individuals
with connections to the Beacon Parish.
A heated room with capacity for 40 people.
A small kitchen and WC.
Parking for 10 cars.
Advance bookings can be made by telephone between 9.30 am and 5
pm on 01273 891005.
Prayer Diary – December 2011
Prayer for the world church
& Prayer for this diocese
1 World AIDS Day West Tennessee
Earnley with East Wittering & Almodington
2 West Texas
Lavant, St Mary
3 Western Izon (Nigeria)
4 ADVENT 2 Western Kansas
5 Western Louisiana
Whyke, St George
6 Nicholas, bishop c 326 Western Massachusetts
Selsey, St Peter
7 Ambrose 397 Western Mexico
8 Conception of the BVM Western Michigan
Sidlesham, St Mary
9 Western New York
Tangmere & Oving
10 Western Newfoundland (Canada)
West Wittering & Birdham with Itchenor
11 ADVENT 3 Western North Carolina
Angela Sibson (Diocesan Secretary)
12 Wiawso (West Africa)
Rural Deanery of Hove
13 Willochra (South Australia)
14 Ember day. John of the Cross
Hangleton, St Helen
15 Windward Islands (West Indies)
Prayer for the world church
& Prayer for this diocese
16 Ember day Worcester
Hove, Bishop Hannington Memorial Church
17 O Sapienta Wusasa (Province of Kaduna, Nigeria)
Hove, St Barnabas and St Agnes
18 ADVENT 4
19 O Radix Yambio (Sudan)
20 O Clavis Bishop of Yei (Sudan)
21 O Oriens Yewa (Province of Lagos, Nigeria)
22 O Rex Yirol (Sudan)
23 O Emmanuel Yokohama (Japan)
24 Christmas Eve Yola (Province of Jos, Nigeria)
25 CHRISTMAS DAY York ABp John Sentamu
26 Stephen, Deacon and Martyr Ysabel (Melanesia)
27 John, Apostle and Evangelist Yukon (British Columbia & the Yukon,
28 The Holy Innocents Zaki-Biam (Nigeria)
29 Thomas Becket Zanzibar (Tanzania)
30 Zonkwa (Province of Abuja, Nigeria)
In December we remember:
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
What’s On in December 2011
Ditchling WI meeting, Ditchling Village Hall p 21 2.30 pm
Ditchling Film Society film Made in Dagenham,
Ditchling Village Hall
Funeral of Murray Paine, St Margaret’s, Ditchling
Film Presentation of the Holy Land, Coum
Cottage, The Sandrocks, Ditchling
Ditchling Village Association Older Resident's
Lunch, Ditchling Village Hall
Sussex Chorus Advent Concert, Hurstpierpoint
p 22 12.45 pm
Dedication Service, St Martin's Church
p 13 9.45 am
Ditchling Pre-School Christmas Fair, Ditchling p 30 10 am
5 Mon Ditchling Scouts Christmas Raffle p 25
Ditchling Downs WI annual social gathering, The
p 21 8 pm
7 Wed Advent Course, St Margaret’s Church p 13 7 pm
Funeral of Peggy Edwards, St Margaret’s, Ditchling
Film Presentation of the Holy Land, Coum
Cottage, The Sandrocks, Ditchling
Chailey School Christmas Fayre
p 30 10:30 am
Burgess Hill Choral Society’s concert, St Andrew’s 7:30 pm
Church, Junction Road, Burgess Hill
11 Sun Dedication Service, Streat Church p 13 9.45 am
Newick Decorative and Fine Art Society lecture
‘Cooking for Kings’, Plumpton Village Hall
p 29 2.15 pm
Women’s Fellowship Christmas Party, home of p 22 7 pm
Christmas Whist Drive, Westmeston Parish Hall p 15 7.15 pm
14 Wed Advent Course, St Margaret’s Church p 13 7 pm
What’s On in December 2011
Nine Lessons & Carols, Streat Church p 4 6.30 pm
Ditchling Museum Friends’ Association Christmas
Entertainment, the Old Meeting House, the
p 13 8 pm
Brighton Festival Chorus Christmas Concert,
p 23 4 pm
20 Tue Carol Singing, The Vicarage p 1 7 pm
St Margaret's Church Flower Guild decorating the
Church for Christmas
Ditchling Morris Mummers Play, the Bull Hotel,
What’s On in January 2012
9 Mon Ditchling Players auditions, Ditchling Village Hall p 23 8 pm
Ditchling Film Society film In the Mood for Love,
Ditchling Village Hall
p 27 8.00pm
Women’s Fellowship meeting, Jonn Grinsted's
p 22 7 pm
31 Tue Whist Drive, Westmeston Parish Hall 7.15 pm
Carols by Candlelight
Sunday 18 th December, 6 pm
St Margaret’s Church
Christmas Carols and Readings
(followed by mince pies and mulled wine)
Ditchling Women’s Groups
Ditchling Downs WI
For our November meeting, members welcomed Derek Middlehurst from First
Response, an organization of volunteers who work with the Accident &
Emergency services, in many cases arriving at venues before the ambulance,
usually on their own. Trained by the Ambulance Service, First Response
volunteers are from all walks of life. They are not paid and rely heavily on fundraising
in order to buy their necessary equipment – for instance a defibrillator
costs £18,000 and each volunteer has one. His talk was amusing and serious by
turns, but always reassuring. He finished a lively question and answer session
promising to return to give an Up to date Basic First Aid talk in the near future.
Our annual social gathering with supper will be on Tuesday 6 th December in The
White Horse starting at 8 pm and will be followed by a quiz.
Barbara Dollings 01273 843892
We held our Annual Meeting on Thursday 3 rd November. After the WI news and
Annual reports we had our committee election. Our President is Jean Morley.
We had a raffle, flower of the month and a nice tea and biscuits.
Our next meeting, on Thursday December 1 st at 2.30 pm in the Village Hall, will
be our Christmas party when we will have a quiz, games and a small panto.
There will also be a competition for a handmade Christmas card. Following this
there will be a lovely Christmas tea. Visitors very welcome.
Joan Sayer, Tel 01273845255
In October we welcomed a speaker from WaterAid. We take for granted the
availability and accessibility of water. We turn on the tap, bathe, wash clothes,
flush the toilet and water plants but one in eight people in the world doesn’t
have safe water to drink and over two and a half billion live without somewhere
safe and clean to go to the toilet.
Jinanne, a volunteer speaker for WaterAid gave us an illuminating illustrated talk
on their work and then answered our Questions. WaterAid works in partnership
with local organizations to enable the world’s poorest people to gain access to
safe water, sanitation and hygiene education. At the end of the evening we gave
Jinanne a donation to WaterAid from our group.
Our meeting on Tuesday 15 th November was held at the home of Pam Gaskin for
the very popular Quiz which Pam and Alec prepare for us, and which has become
a much-looked-forward-to annual event. The "brains" team this year was
Belinda Brittain, Sally Willis and Judy Essex. Everyone thoroughly enjoyed the
questions - who did write the Book of Acts? and how many colours of the
rainbow end in a vowel? - oh the relief of knowing the answer and the
frustration of searching for it!
Our Christmas Party will be at the home of Eileen Keeling on Tuesday 13 th
December at 7 pm. Please let Eileen know if you will be going (842070) and as
usual take along a plate of food and a bottle. We look forward to welcoming
husbands and partners to this event.
As advance notice, please would members note that the January 2012 meeting
will be held on Tuesday 24 th January (a week later than usual) at Jonn Grinsted's
home when the programme for the forthcoming year will be discussed.
Pam Burr and Jenny Bell
Ditchling Village Association Older Resident's Lunch
12.45 for 1pm Saturday 3 rd December 2011, Ditchling Village Hall
Booking list now available in the Ditchling Post Office. I look forward to seeing
you as a start to celebrating Christmas.
Catharine Robinson, Chairman
Royal British Legion Poppy Appeal
On behalf of the Royal British Legion Ditchling and District Branch and the
Women’s Section please accept our grateful thanks for all your support and
generosity during this year’s Poppy Appeal. Although we are only a very small
Branch it looks like we will have raised in the region of £4,000 which is fantastic.
It was wonderful to see so many people at the War Memorial last Sunday and in
addition there were at about forty people at the Memorial on Friday 11 th
November. Once the final total of our collection is known, which should be in
the next couple of weeks, we will publish this in the Beacon. Again, please
accept our heartfelt thanks to all our Collectors, Static Points and to all of you
who have given so generously.
Tom Jones, Chair Main Branch, Pauline Lee, Chair Women’s Section and
Margaret Bovill, Hon Poppy Organiser
The Christmas Entertainment
Ditchling Museum Friends’ Association will be presenting their annual evening of
festive music and readings by candlelight, in the Old Meeting House, the
Twitten, on Friday 16 th December at 8 pm.
Tickets (limited to a total of 80) at £8 each, to include mulled wine and a minced
pie, can be obtained from the Post Office or Martin Roberts (843890)
Ditchling Football Club
Ditchling Football Club is seeking a manager, coach and welfare officer for their
Junior Section 5-16 age group. If you are interested or wish to be involved in any
way please contact Michael Stratford Chairman 01273 845919
As you read this Sarah, Penelope and everyone involved in our autumn
production will be putting their feet up and taking a well earned rest from the
two one act plays – The Virtuous Burglar & Shop for Charity - which I’m pleased
to say, went very well.
I’m sure that they would all like me to thank those of you who came along to
give them your support and it was certainly good to hear the laughter coming
out of the hall during the evening. We are now looking forward to spring 2012
and I’m pleased to announce that Tom Dufty is hoping to produce the popular
‘When we are Married’ by J B Priestley. The dates for this production are 16 th to
19 th May and auditions will be taking place on Monday 9th January at Ditchling
Village Hall from 8.00 onwards.
If you would like to be involved in this production, in whatever capacity, but
can't make the audition please contact me on either 01273 844868 or by e-mail
In the meantime, on behalf of the Players, may I wish you all a very Happy
Christmas and a Healthy & Peaceful 2012.
1 st Ditchling Scout Group
Beavers – Three “Guys” were constructed for the Scout Group’s Bonfire and
Fireworks display which was thoroughly enjoyed on an unusually fine evening
this year. We thank Sunil for the sourcing, setting up and lighting of the fireworks
and Andrew for the bonfire building. Thanks also to the team who provided the
eats and drinks. A cooking night was held making dough mixtures which was a lot
of fun. A marching practice was arranged ahead of the Remembrance Day
Parade. We have now formed a link with the 108th Pentland Beaver Colony
from Edinburgh. One of our Beavers, Hugh Middleton, attended one of their
meetings and brought back a scrapbook with postcards from all of their Beavers.
At the end of the month the Beavers plan to do some star-gazing through one of
the parent’s telescopes.
Cubs – The Cubs followed up an evening learning about the use of compasses
with a walk to put their skills to the test. A Halloween Party was held at the end
of October. Everyone joined in with the rest of the Scout Group in the Bonfire
and Fireworks Display. We thank Father David Wallis for his talk with the boys
about the forthcoming Remembrance Day in readiness for the Parade and
Service. An interesting evening was held at the end of November with a Junk
Night Challenge in which the boys had to build an animal of some sort out of
cardboard boxes and other materials. Curiously, on this occasion, penguins
seemed to be the most favoured animal.
Scouts – Further evenings have been devoted to practice in preparation for the
District Air Rifle Shooting Competition. Prior to Remembrance Day an evening
was devoted to understanding the effect of incapacity arising from the
disabilities endured by members of the Armed Forces and others in times of
Group – All members of the Group were pleased to take part in the annual
Remembrance Day Parade and Service and would like to thank those who
complimented them on their participation. As in the previous year, 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.
Raffle – Once again the Group will be holding its annual Christmas Raffle on
Monday, 5 th 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,
the Brownies and at the Ditchling Post Office. We thank you for your valuable
support once again.
Alec Gaskin, Group Chairman
Ditchling Film Society
On Thursday, 1 December 2011 our Christmas offering will be Made in
Dagenham. In 1968 a group of female workers went on strike at the Ford
Dagenham car plant. Crammed into a rundown section of the factory the
women coped without complaint until the bosses re-graded the women’s pay to
“unskilled” and they went on strike. Their protest made national news and the
strike became a template for achieving equal rights for women which
successfully brought about the Sexual Discrimination Act of 1975. It is a
poignant reflection on British social reform with a breezy modern tone evoking
the Ealing style of humour. Hugely enjoyable, this fast paced film wonderfully
captures the spirit of the sixties and features a great cast including Sally Hawkins
as the feisty heroine, a brilliant portrayal of Barbara Castle by Miranda
Richardson together with a terrific performance from Rosamund Pike.
Director: Nigel Cole. UK2010. 113 mins.
Please note that before our December film, in accordance with tradition, we
will be serving our usual festive mulled wine and mince pies.
Our first film in the New Year on Thursday, 12 January 2012 will be In the Mood
for Love a beautifully tailored, low key but always dramatic story by Kar Wai
Wong. The film is set in Hong Kong in 1962 and tells the story of the developing
relationship between Chow, a newspaper editor, and Li-zhen, a secretary both of
whom are dismayed to learn that their respective spouses are cheating on them.
The main characters are gradually drawn together, initially by a pleasant, warm
formality and eventually by much deeper feelings. A beautiful film which
deservedly won a handful of awards at Cannes in 2000.
Director: Kar Wai Wong. Hong Kong 2000. 98 Mins
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 Morris and Mummers Christmas 2011
Once again Ditchling Morris and Mummers will appear at the
Bull Hotel, Ditchling on Boxing Day. 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 East Preston - a couple of miles west of
Worthing. Characters include Father Christmas, Jolly Jack, King George the
Turkish Knight, Valiant Soldier and Noble Captain, the Prince of Peace and of
course the Doctor.
It is a very popular event and attracts well over 300 people from all over Sussex.
Last year we raised over £1000 and our target this year is to exceed this figure.
Don’t miss this event on Monday 26 December, Boxing Day at the Bull Hotel,
Ditchling at 1.00pm. We will have carol singing followed by the mummers play
and morris dancing. The play will also take place in the Lewes Pedestrian
Precinct on Sunday 18 December between 11.00am and 1.00pm.
Please come and join us and help swell the funds for St Peter & St James.
Sussex Chorus Advent Concert
Saturday 3 rd December, 7.30 pm, Hurstpierpoint Chapel.
John Rutter: Birthday Madrigals; Vivaldi: Magnificat; Bach: Cantata ‘Wachet
auf’ plus Advent carols.
Sussex Chorus, Kent Sinfonia, conducted by Neil Jenkins. Tickets £15 (£12
concessions, children free) are available from the Ticket Manager 01444 412579
or 01273 273333, from Carousel Music and www.WeGotTickets.com.
A Festive Christmas Concert
Burgess Hill Choral Society’s concert on Saturday 10 th December, 7:30pm at St
Andrew’s Church, Junction Road, features two joyous works in honour of the
Virgin Mary. The Rutter Magnificat, described by its composer as ‘a canticle of
praise and trust and joy’ and the lovely Brahms Marienlieder (songs of Mary). An
intriguing version of The Twelve Days of Christmas complete the programme.
Tickets (£13, concessions £11, accompanied under-16s free) available from BHCS
members, the BHTC Help Point, 96 Church Walk, the ticket secretary (01444
831161), or at the door.
Brighton Festival Chorus Christmas Concert
Join Brighton Festival Chorus, Brighton Festival Youth Choir and London Gala
Orchestra for this annual festive highlight - a joyous Sunday afternoon
celebration of the very best of Christmas music.
London Gala Orchestra and Brighton Festival Youth Choir, James Morgan,
conductor and Juliette Pochin mezzo-soprano
Sun 18 Dec, 4pm, Brighton Dome, Concert Hall, tickets £12.50, £15, £20, £25
Book now at http://www.brightondome.org/events/Christmas-Concert/4424.
Newick Decorative and Fine Art Society
Plumpton Village Hall, 2.15 December 12 th ‘Cooking for Kings’.
This lecture by Ian Kelly is on the superb master chef, Antonin Careme, the
creator of ‘haut cuisine.’ He began his career in the late 18 th Century working
for a Patisserie in Paris but his work, - he revelled in producing enormous
confections sometimes several feet high, soon came to the notice of Napoleon.
His cooking was so inventive that he could produce menus for a year without
repetition and only using the freshest of ingredients. After Napoleon’s fall he
moved to London where he used his culinary skills in the service of the Prince
Regent. This lecture will be accompanied by an excellent digital presentation
and you never know perhaps you might find some ideas for your own Christmas
menus this year! We look forward to welcoming you, £5 on the door for nonmembers,
tea and festive refreshments afterwards.
If any further information is required please ring Carole Burgon on 01273 890301
or Marjorie Blunden on 01825 723250. May we wish everybody a Merry
Christmas and a Happy New Year?
Sunday 4 th December,
10am - 2pm
Ditchling Village Hall
Lots of stalls - prizes to be won
Raffle – Tombola - Name the Reindeer
Face Painting – Arts & Craft
Mulled Wine – Mince Pies
And much more not forgetting SANTA’S GROTTO
Admission £1 per family
Come and join the festive fun!
Chailey School Christmas Fayre
Saturday 10 th December 10:30 – 1pm
Our fabulous raffle this year includes prizes such as £100 cash from
Archer’s Specialist Treatments, £50 meat voucher from Choice Cuts
Butchers, meals out vouchers from local pubs, days out vouchers, hair and
beauty gifts and much more. 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 you will be most welcome
Specialists in Landscape Planning
Garden Construction Waterscape Landscape
& Waterscape Maintenance Service
UNDERHILL LANE, DITCHLING SUSSEX
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
This has been a remarkable Autumn regarding the number of scarce and rare
birds seen around the country. It is easy to follow such movements by visiting
the websites of the Bird Observatories that are situated around the coast in
strategic localities. Many of the birds will have come to Britain on the quite
violent weather systems of the season. Some are North American species while
others bred in Arctic Russia and intended to head for their winter quarters in
Asia but were disorientated towards these shores. Though interesting and
exciting for many who like to follow rarities, it is unlikely that many of these
birds will ever find their way back to their usual range. It is said that “a rare bird
is a lost bird” which may well be true. A few have been ringed so the remote
possibility of a recovery could shed light on their movements or plight.
Back in June when we ringed the four Barn Owl chicks in the box on the college
estate we caught up the female with them. She was wearing a ring and now, in
the fullness of time I have received the information about her. She was ringed as
a nestling in 2005 at Scaynes Hill a distance of ten kilometres away and is now a
mature and experienced breeding bird. The longevity record for a Barn Owl, that
is time from ringing to recovery, is over fourteen years, another benefit of being
able to recognise a bird as an individual.
I had another go at the seemingly unending task of clearing the blanket weed
from the little pond at the Hospice. I was surprised to find not only tiny newts
but a full grown one still in the water. I expected that by now they would be
hibernating and torpid beneath a piece of wood or stone. There were also many
different sized Broad-bodied Chaser Dragonfly nymphs, terrifying looking
creatures and voracious feeders of anything small in the ponds.
Last month I wrote about Siskins at the garden feeders. There has also been an
influx of another small finch, the Redpoll to many parts of the county. They do
come to feeders but are most likely to be found on Birch or Alder trees,
particularly those growing beside water, seeking out the vast numbers of tiny
seeds carried in the cones. Those with younger hearing than I now have will
often locate them by the chattering feeding notes that keep the flock together.
Only two days ago I came across a large mixed flock in some streamside Alders.
Siskins, Redpolls were acrobatically feeding on the cones and with them a
number of Long=tailed Tits looking like flying lollipops.
All I Want for Christmas is …..
The search for suitable Christmas presents is made a great deal easier these days
with internet shopping. But there is only so much space in a house to
accommodate “stuff”. Happily, a garden is an entirely different proposition. My
shoehorn is always on standby to assist in squeezing yet another plant into the
garden. Which is probably why my borders have middle age spread in sharp
contrast to my lawn that gets thinner and thinner!
Happily, Christmas coincides with bare-root season, whereby it is possible to
purchase trees and shrubs grown in the ground and not in pots. They are
generally supplied with their root balls in a hessian sack. Bare-rooted plants are
cheaper & have the added advantage of usually being tougher, having withstood
the elements rather having the pampered existence of potted plants.
Most large plant producers have a mail order service, which means that the
plants will generally arrive well packaged. Notable exceptions, however, are
plug plants which I have found problematic as they often seem to arrive broken
or damaged in some way. However, if you are old fashioned like me and prefer
to eyeball a plant prior to purchase to ensure the plant’s shape and condition,
then there is an excellent local supplier of bare rooted plants: Pure Plants in
Blackboys, contact them on firstname.lastname@example.org for their full list of barerooted
trees & shrubs.
So if you really can’t face more handkerchiefs or socks, then what about a green
Christmas present? A friend asked for a hedge and received a couple of metre’s
worth from each gift-giver. What a useful and long lasting present.
Let’s hope 2012 is a kinder year meteorologically & horticulturally, than 2011 has
been. A very happy Christmas to you.
Haughty Culture Garden Design 07742 731967 Email: email@example.com
Annual Christmas Show of beautiful Arts and Crafts
all made in the UK
Streat Place Barn, Streat. BN6 8RU
Opening weekend Saturday November 26 th 2pm - 8 pm,
Sunday November 27 th 10.30am - 5 pm
Then every Thursday Friday, Saturday and Sunday 10.30 - 5pm from Thursday
1 st December until Sunday 18 th December. Come and enjoy a glass of mulled
wine, a real fire and some gentle festive shopping
Jinks McGrath, 01273 890771 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Beacon in the Past
Below are excerpts from previous issues of the Ditchling Beacon.
40 years ago
In December 1971 the Bishop of Horsham was due to come to St Margaret’s to
confirm nine candidates and to bless the “oak vestment chest *in the Vicar’s
vestry] which many parishioners will already have admired and which is making
life so much easier for our sacristan and verger. It is the gift of Mrs. Marjorie
Read and is a memorial to her late husband Leonard who was Churchwarden at
the time of his death in June 1969”.
The Vicar wrote that, following completion of the new vestry, we all owe “a
tremendous debt to Mr. Malcolm Payne for the splendid job he had made of the
new cupboard by the side of the organ console in the church, as well as making
notice boards and doing a number of finishing off jobs not carried out by the
The Vicar finished his letter by extending an invitation “to those members of the
Roman Catholic and Free Churches who normally attend their own churches
elsewhere, to join us at our Carol Service on Christmas Eve, if they possibly can”.
Two senior choir boys, “one Head Decani” the other “Head Cantoris” lost their
treble voices and would be missed, but they will be “continuing in their capacity
20 years ago
In the December 1991 Ditchling Beacon the Vicar reported that the Christingle
Service would be moved from the second Sunday in December to early February.
“There are several reasons for the change. Firstly we thought that there are
already many calls on the time of children and parents … Secondly, the service of
Christingle is not associated exclusively with Christmas … Thirdly, the children
are likely to derive more understanding of its theme from a service which occurs
at a time when it can ‘stand on its own feet’”. But “on Advent Sunday .. we shall
be having our customary Advent Carol Service in place of Evensong”.
In a report on a recent meeting of the Diocesan Synod, it was mentioned that a
vote on the ordination of women was as follows “Priests 64-42 against and Laity
58-47 for. As all Houses have to be in favour for it to be approved, the motion
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Tel: 01273 845368 E-mail: email@example.com
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