CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday is Remembrance Sunday and at St Peter’s Church there is a special 10.30am service when the community remember the 13 young men from the villages who gave their lives in the First World War and the seven who died in the Second World War. The Rector followed by the choir and congregation will gather by the Garden of Remembrance for the two minutes silence. Poppy wreaths will be placed by the Parochial Church Council and Hamsey parish Council. The Sunday School children will also place their poppies in the garden. Chris Grief, the bugler, will sound Reveille and has been coming to Offham Church for over 20 years. As the Rector Says, this is one of the most poignant services of the year.
AFTERNOON CLUB: The Monday Afternoon Club meet on November 13 when Shirley Harrap will show members some very easy ideas on how to transform their Christmas cake into a masterpiece. All materials provided. Meet at 2pm in Offham Church Hall. Lifts available by contacting either Judith on 01273 474356 or Caroline on 01273 477151.
HARVEST FESTIVAL: The Rector writes that it was wonderful, so many people worked so hard to make it one of the best Harvest Festivals ever. Thanks to Caroline and her team for the beautiful flowers in church and thanks to Jenny for negotiating the tinned goods donation from Tesco. It’s always a special moment at Harvest Festival when all the children bring up their Harvest offerings and these were added to by all the goodies from Hamsey Primary School who held their Harvest Service in church the next day. After that Phyl, Diane and Janice had the huge task of sorting all the produce with the majority this year going to the Fitzjohn’s Food Bank (At Christ Church).
FRIENDS OF HAMSEY: Are organising a rota to open the church for visitors every weekend until the end of the year. It is hoped that this will encourage lots of people to visit this architectural gem.
ADVANCE NOTICE: Although we are only just in to November, the weeks have been flying by so quickly that I am giving plenty of advance notice about events at St Peter’s Church. Sadly it is also the last year that our lovely Rector, Derek Bastide, and his wife Judith will be resident in Offham. I hope that the following dates will give people plenty of time to show their appreciation for all the years of devoted service to our very popular and much loved local church.
CAROLS: In Hamsey Church, Sunday December 10 at 3pm. Wrap up warmly and take a candle.
NINE LESSONS AND CAROLS: Sunday December 17 at 6.30pm in St Peter’s Church, followed by mulled wine n the church hall.
RECTOR’S LETTER: In the Rector’s letter for November/ December with the details of Christmas Service he says: ‘Do note that there will be no Midnight Mass this year. Over the past few years it has been noticed that it is Christmas morning rather than the midnight service which is by far the most popular, so it seems to make sense to combine the two. Do join us at one or all of these lovely services and take time off from the busy pace of everyday life to have your spirits lifted from the mundane world by the glorious music, the beautiful decorations, the familiar words of the Christmas story and the Sunday School and Toddlers Tunes would love to have your support as they perform their Nativity Play at the 10.30am service on December 17.’
END OF YEAR LUNCH: Saturday December 30 at 12.30pm onwards. This is always one of the nicest church social occasions when yo can enjoy a delicious buffet with, as Judith says, some very naughty puddings. An added bonus this year is cabaret by the fantastic Fleur de Paris (Lo and Nigel from Offham) at 2pm. Tickets £12. Do book early. All details from Judith on 01273 474356.
CHRISTMAS DAY: Family Communion 9.45am includes children’s candlelit procession and Crib Blessing.
IMPORTANT DATE: Derek Bastide’s final service at St Peter’s Church will be on Sunday January 14 at 10.30am. Do join in if you can to celebrate all that has been shared in the church and village over the past 34 years.
BACK IN TRAINING: I have been asked so many times over the past years how Nick, my youngest son, is. Many will remember him when we first moved to Courthouse and he would be seen leading out the Arab horses which he looked after for us and showed on occasions, but his one love had been thoroughbreds and he wanted to be a trainer. Although we were very sad when he left, we did not discourage him. Two years ago he decided to retire but not before he had made quite a name for himself in the horse racing world. I was delighted when he told me a few weeks ago that he was going to train again, but this time over the jumps. He was former multiple champion all-weather trainer. He trained more than 600 winners n his first spell as trainer, including an impressive 80 in 2002. He excelled on all-weather, but gained his most prestigious win in the Group 2 Flying Childers Stakes at Doncaster with Chateau Istana, who earlier this year had won the Windsor Castle stakes at Royal Ascot. The Abernant Stakes success of nine year old Cretan Gift, who had been among a handful of horses which he started out with. Explaining the change of heart he has said, ‘I just seem to have accumulated a few horses and quite frankly I might as well train them myself. It’s only small scale and I haven’t got the ambition to go back training 50 or so again.’ Although it is only a modest start, he is letting people know he is back now as he would welcome a few more. Nick is now in Norfolk but has taken 14 boxes at Jon Scargill’s at Newmarket where he was originally. I remember telling my father-in-law one day that Nick’s dreams of training racehorses was silly as the only thing he would train was a clothes horse. But Bill Clark, who’s life revolved around horses, ticked me off and told me to encourage him and it would happen. How wrong I was proved. I can now watch racing again when he has a runner, which I used to love when it was all weather or on the flat. Those of you that have asked about him, remember if you have a spare horse or two, he would love to hear from you.