Cooksbridge, Offham & Hamsey

CHURCH SERVICES: Sunday at St Peter’s Church, 10.15am Sunday School in the church hall, 10.30am Family Communion followed by coffee in the hall.

HAMSEY: Sunday is also the first Evensong of the summer season at Hamsey Church, which starts at 6pm. The Rural Dean, The Reverend Judith Egar will conduct the service.

ST PETER’S CHURCH: As I know how much sterling work goes in to the running of the church, especially at this time during an interregnum, those who give up their time to help in one way or another do like to hear that what they do is appreciated. For that reason I write the following message from churchwardens, Rachel and Roland, who say: Now that the Easter services are over, we would like to extend our grateful thanks to so many people. To Caroline and her team of flower arrangers, the church looked truly breathtaking. To Ursula and Cheryl for cleaning the church so beautifully and to Ursula for her delicious cake. To Chris and her helpers in the hall, for keeping us fed and watered. To Geoff, the choir and the various organists, for the beautiful music. Last, but not least, we are so grateful to you, the congregation, to see so may of you there gave a real buzz to the air and we genuinely appreciated your support, particularly at this time of interregnum. Finally we owe huge thanks to Martin Lloyd-Williams our Archdeacon, whose simple sincerity in celebrating the Eucharist and wacky sense of humour were so very much appreciated by all. As thanks are usually given within the four walls I thought it would be nice to make it public for all that are working so hard to make sure that the much loved church will stay open.

ADVANCE NOTICE: Monay May 14, the Monday Afternoon Club will meet in Offham Church Hall at 2pm. Instead of Guide Dogs for the Blind, which will be re-arranged later, the speaker will be Teresa Lipson from WaterAid, talking about the charity’s valuable work. St Peter’s Church support this very important charity. The talk will be followed by a lovely tea with home-made cakes. Reminder later.

TODDLER TUNES: 10am on Thursdays, including the school holidays, in Offham Church Hall. Singing, dancing and fun for all under fives.

HAMSEY HARMONY: Is an informal, friendly and fun monthly singing group to which anyone, local and beyond, is welcome. It developed out of a singing workshop to raise money for Hamsey church in 2016. They mainly meet for the fun of it and the joy of harmony singing, but also sing at Hamsey Church Carol Service each year. They meet on the first or second Sunday of the month in Offham Church Hall from 5.30pm to 7.30pm. Cost £6. Dates for 2018 are May 13, July 8, September 9, October 7, November 4 and December 8 (TBC). Everyone is welcome no auditions or note reading. If you would like further information please contact Julie on 07972 191932 or see www.julienye.org. They will not be meeting in June as some of them will be involved in singing at the WW1 Commemorative event at Hamsey Church on Saturday June 9.

ROYAL WEDDING: In celebration of the Royal Wedding, there will be afternoon tea on Saturday May 19 in Offham Church Hall at 3.30pm. Money raised will be donated to Christian Aid. If you wish to attend, please let Chris Glover know on 01273 400981.

JUDGE MICHAEL KENNEDY: On Friday June 8 Judge Michael Kennedy’s group will be singing Compline in Hamsey Church. The group will be at the church from 7pm for a rehearsal to which anyone is invited, and then the Office of Compline will commence at 8pm and will last for about 30 minutes. After that, do join the group for strawberries and a glass of wine. Compline was traditionally the final service of the day and takes the form of beautiful chants and sung in Latin.

HAMSEY CHURCH: The following afternoon, Saturday June 9, in the church will be World War One Remembered in music, poetry and prose. 5Pm exhibition I church, 6p performance. Tickets on the door £10, 13years and under, £5. Wine and soft drinks available. All proceeds to the Hamsey Church Restoration Fund. Join the Friends of Hamsey Church and help save it for another 1000 years www.friendsofhamsey.org. Reminders about the two above events later.

WILDLIFE: Although I had to laugh, I received a telephone call from a male asking me when I was going to write about the wildlife here again. Having had malicious phone calls in the middle of the night from July until October in 2017, I was very wary of answering, but listened intently as the caller asked about the hare population here. As I do know what is going on around the countryside, I suggested he spoke to the Sussex Police Wildlife Officer who might be able to give him the information he requires. As I though the caller withheld their number. With all that in mind I read the following which the caller might like to take note of. Hares out of place. Rural landowners are calling for action to combat criminal gangs betting on hare coursing. Outlawed in 2004, it now takes place illegally on private land without landowners consent and is on the increase. There have been thousands of incidents during autumn and winter and the CLA is calling for a crackdown that involves tailored sentencing guidelines, vehicle seizure and compensation for landowners. ‘Hare coursing is an abhorrent crime.’ Coursers often use threatening and intimidating behaviour (and) criminal violence. The crime raises concerns about animal cruelty, damages crops and private property and has a detrimental impact within rural communities. Not all police forces and magistrates take it seriously enough. Fines can be as low as £30 and the gambling side of the crime generates thousands, so there is no deterrent and perpetrators are getting away scot free. The CLA’s full plan of action can be found at www.cla.org.uk