Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday, also Sunday December 13 and 20 St Peter’s Church 8am Holy Communion, 10.15am Sunday School in the hall, 10.30am Parish Communion followed by coffee in the hall. On December 20 the Sunday School children and Toddler Tunes will perform their Nativity Play during the 10.30am Parish Communion service. On Christmas Eve Midnight Mass is at 11.30pm. On Christmas Day, 8am Holy Communion, 9.45am Family Communion.

MONDAY CLUB: The Monday Afternoon Club meet on December 14 for their Christmas Lunch at the earlier time of 12.30pm in St Peter’s Church Hall. If you require a lift contact Judith 01273 474356 or Caroline 01273 477151.

CHRISTMAS FAYRE: St Peter’s Christmas Fayre is on Saturday December 12 at St Thomas Hall in Clife High Street. Please contact Chris Glover, the organiser, for more details and if you have items to collect on 01273 400981.

CAROLS IN CHURCH: There will be Carols in Hamsey Church on Sunday December 13 at 3pm. Make sure you wrap up warm and take a candle. There will be Nine Lessons and Carols in St Peter’s Church on Sunday December 20 at 6.30pm.

OUR CHURCHES: We have two treasures in our parish which are the two much loved churches, St Peter’s Offham which has services every week and special services for Easter, Mothering Sunday, Harvest, Remembrance and Christmas. Also other special dates that are celebrated, with the church usually packed as it is like one big loving family with the congregation not just from this parish, but from other areas too. The other church is the much loved Hamsey Church where people have always come from far and wide to visit. As there is no electricity or heating it is used during the summer months for early morning Holy Communion and Evensong and the very popular Compline with Judge Michael Kennedy and his choir. Also the Musicians of All Saints usually hold two concerts there and on occasions there are weddings and baptisms. Then comes the long awaited Christmas Carols by Candlelight which is on Sunday December 13 at 3pm. You need to wrap up warm and take a candle. Sadly the above beautiful and historic Grade 1 Hamsey Church is suffering from the effects of 1000 years of worship and wear. The roof, in particular, badly needs attention. The Parochial Church Council has agreed to form a sub-committee, the Friends of Hamsey, with the purpose of raising grants to renovate Hamsey Church and maintain it into the future. The Friends of Hamsey hope you will be interested in this exciting project. If you would like to get involved, please get in touch. Jo Hughes 07887 764 3940; Alice Renton 01273 473404.

My book, Off the Beaten Track In Sussex by Arthur Stanley Cook, 1926, describes the church as an artist’s delight. Ivy-clad and ‘set like a beacon on a hill’, flanked by its farm and yellow stacks and dark yew trees and backed by Malling Down. It is a place of pilgrimage for many besides Lewes folk, with whom it is a favourite walk.

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