Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday St Peter’s Church, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Family Communion followed by coffee in the hall. Maundy Thursday, Sung Eucharist of the Last Supper, 8am. Good Friday, March 30, The Liturgy, 10am.

EASTER SATURDAY: Making the church look beautiful for Easter. The church will be decorated on Saturday Morning, March 31, from 10am. Gifts of flowers and greenery will be much appreciated and lots of pairs of willing hands to help decorate.

EASTER SUNDAY: April 1, Sunday School in the church hall, 10.15am, Family Communion 10.30am followed by an Easter Egg Hunt in the church grounds with coffee in the hall, and maybe a slice of Easter cake.

INTERREGNUM: Now that Derek Bastide has retired the parish has to enter into an interregnum. Officially an interregnum must last for a minimum of six months, during which time local retired priests (notably the Rev David Perks and the Rev Martin Shepherd) take the Sunday services. The Archdeacon of Lewes, The Rev Martin Lloyd Williams, took the Ash Wednesday service and will officiate at each of the services over the Easter period. In order to improve the parishes chances of having a priest appointed solely for St Peter’s, there is a need to convince the Dioceses that St Peter’s can afford to pay for one and that the congregations are large enough to warrant one. For this reason it is most important that the services over Easter are very well attended so that the Archdeacon can report very positively back to the Diocese.

DURING THE INTERREGNUM: To arrange baptisms, weddings, blessings, renewal of marriage vows, funerals, sick communion etc, or to discuss any pastoral matter during the interregnum, please contact the churchwardens Roland Gough 01273 486510 or Rachael Brown 07973 187568.

HEARTFELT THANKS: From Derek and Judith Bastide. Dear friends, so many, thanks for the incredible day we all shared on Sunday January 14, the memory of it will stay with us always. The flowers in the church masterminded by Caroline, were so beautiful and the 34 roses on the font to mark Derek’s 34 years as Rector were an inspired idea. Thank you Jenny. Thanks to choirmaster Geoff for the inspirational music from the choir and to Chris and her helpers for the most amazing reception afterwards. Never before have so many enjoyed such wonderful food in the church hall. We were very humbled by, and very thrilled with, all your gifts. Most of all, thank yo for your love and support over the past 34 years, in all we have shared, in good times and bad.

TONY SHEPHARD: I was very sad to hear of the death of Tony, although he had been ill for some time and in a care home. I first met Tony when I was district councillor and he persuaded myself and Derek to go to a fete at Conyboro that he had organised, as he was one of the house-masters at the school there. He was a great character, always full of life and joy and I met him may times when it was late night shopping in Lewes, he raising money for the chosen charity and myself on duty for what was then Lewes and District Crime Prevention Panel. One year Tony was dressed as Batman and Jean Cox, who used to be the receptionist at Lewes House, was Wonder Woman. I also used to dress up and supplied the home-made mince pies so that we could get into the Christmas spirit. Tony was always the life and soul of the party. When at Conyboro he also commissioned and paid for the brazier for the parish beacon which, when he retired, he gave to Hamsey Parish. It is now sited up on the Downs at Mount Harry and has been used on several occasions. My lasting memories of Tony will be his wonderful Christmas cards to me, with a funny little drawing of a face and always signed from you Shephard Boy. For many years he organised concerts at St Peter’ Church, Offham to raise money for charity which included his great love of the little school in the Gambia, the Aji Awa Bah, which many of us in the parish supported. His funeral was held at St Peter’s Church on March 7. A great character who will be sadly missed by his friends.

TODDLER TUNES: Still going strong and meet every Thursday at 10am (including the school holidays) in Offham Church Hall. Singing, dancing and fun for all under 5s.

ADVANCE NOTICES: Dates for your dairy. Saturday June 9 in Hamsey Church. An event commemorating World War 1 in music, poetry and prose, with accounts of soldiers from Offham, among others. Refreshments will be available. It should be an interesting evening. Tickets on the door, adults £10. More details later.

ANNUAL THEATRE TRIP: Once again Judith is organising the annual theatre trip for Monday Club members and friends. This year’s will be to Chichester Festival Theatre on July 19 to see Me and My Girl. Do let Judith know on 07889 281214 or judithbastide@yahoo.co.uk. Please let er her know as soon as possible so that she has some idea of how many tickets to book.