Cooksbridge, Offham and Hamsey

COMPLINE: In Hamsey Church tonight, Friday, at 8pm. Judge Michael Kennedy’s group will be singing the ancient service of Compline I the original plainchant. Any who would like to join the group in singing Compline this evening should arrive at 7pm to take part in the rehearsal. The service, which lasts about 30 minutes, is followed by wine and strawberries. All are very welcome.

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, at St Peter’s Church, 8am Holy Communion, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Parish Communion followed by coffee in the hall.

PARISH PICNIC: The annual Parish Picnic is on Sunday June 28 and Judith writes: Do join us if you possibly can for the Parish Picnic to celebrate St Peter’s Day straight after the 10.30am service on the church lawns at Offham (if wet in the church hall). It’s good if everyone brings a small plate of food (eg sausages, chicken drumsticks, quiche, strawberries etc) that we can pool, but the most important thing is to bring yourself. Coffee and soft drinks are on the house and wine will be available.

CHAMBER MUSIC FESTIVAL: There was a concert of Chamber Music in Hamsey Church on June 14 and the second concert in Hamsey will be on Sunday, performed by the Musicians of All Saints. If you would like to go, details are on the MAS website.

THEATRE TRIP: To Chichester Festival Theatre to see Damsel in Distress on Thursday, organised by Judith Bastide. Coach leaves the church hall at 11am. I think all tickets have been taken.

CHARITY COLLECTIONS: From St Peter’s Church. Water Aid: The Lent jam jar collections raised £105.57 which has gone to the village Ashalta in Ethiopia to provide a new well. Christian Aid: The Pop-up Café on May 23 raised £420 and the Rector thanks everyone for their generosity and says that he knows that we have all be touched by the suffering in Nepal following the recent earthquakes.

OBITUARY: The parish has lost another local resident. The news of Vicki Botting’s death has come as a great shock to all who knew her. Her funeral was held at St Peter’s Church on Wednesday June 10.

REPORT FROM THE RECTOR: Bishop Martin, The Bishop of Chichester, has certainly made his mark in the diocese in the three years he has been here. His most recent initiative is to encourage us all to give more thought to the work of the local church in the 21st century. As a starting point every member of the clergy has been given a large box of copies of St Luke’s gospel to hand out to anyone and everyone who would like one (they are free). They’re in a modern translation which makes the familiar stories of Baby Jesus, the Good Samaritan, the Prodigal son really come alive. I hope by now that everyone who has been in the church in the past month has picked up their own copy, but if you have missed out do just give me a call on 01273 474356 or even better, pop along and pick one up from the back of the church one Sunday morning.

THIEVES: Have struck again in Cooksbridge, stealing more fencing from a privately owned property. This is the third time and the third time that the fence has been erected. It had only been up for a few days when it was stolen again. When it was being erected again the people that were doing the job were subjected to a lot of abuse. What kind of people do we have living in our midst? Not only are they trespassing on private property but they are also stealing repeatedly and being abusive. Sussex Police do know about the incidents.

OLD MAP: Recently when looking through some old files, I found an old map that had been sent to me some time ago which I had forgotten about. I think it may have been sent by the late John Houghton, the historian, who always contacted me if I wrote about Courthouse and the area. The map is Budgen dated 1724 and has some very interesting notes attached to it as it was the first map to put in any detail. The Ditchling Road was not in existence then. If you wanted to go form Lewes to Plumpton you went along the top of the Downs on what is now the South Downs Way. At Offham there was a fork. The right fork was more or less the present A275 East Grinstead Road and the left fork took a north west direction across what is now fields to Wivelsfield and Cuckfield. Although Mount Harry is marked Blackcap isn’t, it is called Noffington Hall. Wooton, with only one ‘t’. The Old Mill at Plumpton is marked as a ‘Fulling Mill’, which is interesting. So many of the names are the same, that one might have felt quite at home if one had been transported back in time: Resting Oak Hill, Conyburrows, Wales Farm, Plumpton Place and so on.

No mention of Courthouse, although it is on the first Ordnance Survey of 1823. This also shows two houses on the left before getting to Newstead Farmhouse in Novington Lane and quite a large house on the right between Novington Land and the Manor Drive.

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