Isfield & Little Horsted

FRIENDS’ FUNDS: When the collection is made at services held in Isfield’s St Margaret’s Church, the total is, sadly, not something to get wildly excited about. This is no reflection on the generosity of the congregation, rather that the regular congregation is low on numbers. But no matter how many people attend church, the hard economic truth is that the cost of maintaining the church building and providing pastoral support to parishioners continues to mount. ‘We had a generous legacy some years ago, but that is dwindling and will not last forever,’ says Churchwarden Mervyn Griffiths. Mervyn takes up the subject in the annual newsletter of The Friends of St Margaret’s, and makes an appeal for more people to consider becoming Friends. He writes: ‘ The Friends … comprise regular churchgoers, occasional churchgoers and others in the village who recognise the value of the church to our community – not only providing regular worship in the church but pastoral support to any parishioner at the difficult times of life sickness, bereavement etc. It also, of course continues, after many centuries, to baptise, marry and lay to rest members of the village community.’ But, adds Mervyn, St Margaret’s faces financial challenges, as do most rural churches. He writes: ‘The proper maintenance of our Grade 1 Listed church, parts of which date back to the 13th century, is a cost which must be met (£9,700 in 2014). Routine running costs, heating churchyard maintenance etc, were £4,000 in the same year. However, the largest cost is he required contribution to the diocese, without which the church would be in danger of closed down. This was over £13,000 in 2014. It all adds up to £80 per day. This, we regret, is beyond the means of the regular weekly congregation, and we have been able to keep our heads above water only by the vital and generous support of the Friends.’ Anyone wishing to become a Friend of St Margaret’s can contact Mervyn at The Old House, Buckham Hill, Isfield, TN22 5EU or on 01825 750446. An annual get-together of Friends is being arranged for September 11.

SHOW TIME: Your scribe has plenty of sympathy for those folk who have been carefully tending their flowers and vegetables in readiness for this year’s Isfield Flower Show. It seems that we have sometimes had all the seasons in one day this summer, so the growers must be as frustrated as crops trying to figure out what’s for the best. The event will be hosted, as always, by the Isfield Forget-Me-Not Club, and is to be held on Saturday next week (August 15) at Isfield Village Hall from 2.30pm.Brenda Reynolds, one of the organisers, says: ‘This is a great opportunity to meet others from the village and to admire the exhibits. There are classes for cookery, handicrafts, flower-arranging and photography, as well as the usual classes for flowers, fruit and vegetables. In addition the show will feature excellent stalls for cakes and produce, with competitions, tombola and a raffle. And visitors can round off the afternoon with a lovely cup or tea or coffee and a slice of home-made cake.’ Mmmmmm!

FLOWER POWER: Ever wished you could become something of a dab hand at floral decoration? Well, there’s an opportunity coming along to pick up some tips and go home with an example of your handiwork. The Village Hall Committee has arranged for Jane Will, of Flowers and Daughters, to run a creative workshop focusing on Summer Tied Bouquets on Monday from 11am to 4pm. More details and booking arrangements from (email) jane@flowersanddaughters.co.uk

CHURCH SERVICES: St Margaret’s, Isfield (10am): First Sunday of the month, Holy Communion; second, Matins; third, Holy Communion; fourth, Family; fifth, Holy Communion. St Michael’s, Little Horsted: First Sunday, Communion (11am); second, Holy Communion, Book of Common Prayer (8am); third, Family service, (11am); fourth and fifth, Holy Communion, Book of Common Prayer (8am).

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