Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

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CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, Palm Sunday, 8am Holy Communion, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Palm Procession. Maundy Thursday, 8pm Sung Eucharist of the Last Supper. Good Friday service (The Liturgy). Easter Day, 8am Holy Communion, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Family Communion followed by Easter Egg hunt in the church grounds. Decorating the church for Easter will take place on Saturday, March 26, from 10am. Gifts of flowers and greenery will be most welcome with as many pairs of hands as possible to help with the decorating on Saturday morning.

ADVANCE NOTICE: Message from Judith. One of the most popular social events at Offham Church is the annual coach trip to see a musical at Chichester Festival Theatre with a carvery supper on the way home. Judith now has 30 tickets for this year’s production of Half a Sixpence on Wednesday August 3. Many will remember Tommy Steel in the original production. The theatre requests payment by April 1, so you need to be in touch with Judith on 01273 474356 straight away if you want to join this great day out.

MESSAGE FROM JUDITH: Tony Shephard, who many have come into contact with over many years and was involved in so much in and around Lewes, sadly had to move because of health issues into residential care at Christmas time. He is such a special person and is very much missed by all those who attend Offham Church. Judith knows he would love to hear from his many friends in the area. He is at Roclyns Care Home, Telscombe Cliffs BN10 7FW Tel: 01273 583923. With the coming of spring and better weather it is hoped that he will be able to go out to Offham Church on some Sunday mornings. Judith says he is still as lively and chirpy as ever. My own little personal message to Tony: I miss our little chats, but knowing you as I have done for a number of years, I know that you will be doing what you always told me to do. Keep smiling.

TONY SHEPHARD: The fact that East Chiltington PC will be lighting the beacon to celebrate the 90th birthday of Her Majesty the Queen on April 21 at 7.30pm takes me back to when I first met Tony at Conyboro School, Cooksbridge where Tony was a Housefather. They were holding a fete to celebrate the Queen’s Jubilee and tony was the person who commissioned and paid for the brazier to be made. When he left the school the beacon was stored in Offham and then handed to the church who handed it to Hamsey Parish Council. I am not sure how it has landed up with the EC Parish Council who will be lighting it. Tony then moved to Lewes and the next time I met him was at late night shopping. I was on duty for the now defunct Lewes and District Crime Prevention Panel and Tony was supporting one of the many charities that he was involved with. I was handing out hot mince pies when Tony swept through the door dressed as Batman followed closely by our then LDC receptionist, Jean Cox, as Wonder Woman. He was always such fun to be around the kept us all laughing that evening.

HORRIFIC: I was so horrified to hear about the farmer who has lost almost an entire flock of sheep which were probably attacked by dogs. I have been writing about irresponsible dog owners for years and surely this is the time when much more should be done to stop such an appalling thing from happening again. A few years back we had sheep worrying in one of our fields. The culprits had dogs and then drove around scaring the sheep who had older lambs with them. They had some of their fleeces torn out by the dogs and then they left the gate open onto the B2116 where they had broken in. Fortunately the sheep did not escape onto the road, but had been herded up with some being stolen and others traumatised when my son checked in the morning. The culprits had come during the night and then drove their vehicles through our boundary hedge into the lane, causing a lot of damage. In spite of warnings being given out on the radio and news, some people never learn and still lose their dogs off into the bridleway. With lambing now underway I am keeping a close eye on things. It takes years to build up a flock and my heart goes out to the poor farmer who has lost so many, including in lamb ewes.

PARISH COUNCIL: When East Chiltington Parish Council met recently a resident showed concern that 14 telegraph poles have been erected in Wickham Lane despite there being underground ducting available. They asked if the parish council would lobby against the rights of BT to be able to put poles wherever they want, including cutting back trees, with no permission needed. It was also asked that if ESCC do not own the land where the poles have been installed, does that make a difference. The PC were asked to check this. Another local resident said a pole had been erected on her land outside her house. She had done some research and thought BT would need a way leave to have the pole on her land. Also she found it was not a lot more expensive to put cables underground. Cllr Israel has met the County Ecologist and others to discuss maintenance of the wildflower verge in Novington Lane. ESCC agree to cut twice per year and to flail the ditch and below the hedge. Network Rail will not contribute towards the cost of repairs to the verge in Novington Lane, damaged when the lane was used as a cut through. The chairman will contact ESCC Highways as the drop off from the lane is dangerous in many places. LDC have dropped the New Homes Project at Hollycroft for the present time. Council will write to Maria Caulfield to thank her for supporting the parish in their position. LDC contested the latest ECPC evidence for Village Green application on February 8 and ESPC responded to that on February 11. This is now with ESCC. Council discussed the Neighbourhood Plan and decided that there was no benefit at present to producing a Neighbourhood Plan and this should be removed from the agenda. Cllr Tingle asked for it to be noted that she strongly disagreed with the decision.

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