TRINITY SOUTH MALLING: (Parish Church). At last South Malling’s bells are in place again. After a long silence, members asked for them to ring out to call the congregation to worship on Sundays, and mark weddings, funerals and other special occasions. They have been cleaned, and reconditioned and could be heard, doing their duty, last Sunday morning. If you missed them last week, listen again in two weeks time. There is no service in church this coming Sunday. The service is in South Malling School Hall instead. In this All Age service, the teaching is geared to children but includes everyone. The service is led by by the, All Age Service team, with music and teaching appropriate to children but also available to adults. The Service begins at 9.30am as usual.

SUSSEX HARMONY: Who use South Malling Church as their headquarters, held a day of Shape-Note Singing last Saturday. This brings those committed to this kind of religious music from a wide range of locations, for a really good sing. Last week Rachel Jordan called it ‘powerful, rhythmic. Vibrant and vigorous a capella music with haunting modal harmonies in the shape note tradition.’ And so it was. Shape Note singing has also been described as the, ‘heavy metal a capella music of the 19th century, and is the oldest American a capella harmony tradition. I went down to listen last Saturday and thought it was wonderful.’ Last weekend was chosen for the event because of its closeness to July 4. The singers at South Malling last Saturday paid their American forebears a worthy tribute. Watch out for next Fourth of July. Curious visitors are welcome and well rewarded.

RESIDENTS ASSOCIATION: Malling Tenants and Residents Association. Cllr John Lamb reports that ‘There is a hot debate in the Town Council about wildflowers and verge cutting.’ County Council verges were cut four times a year. ‘That was reduced last year to two, allowing wild verges to grow. This year the County Council will only pay for two. The Town Council is considering paying for two more, with wildflower areas on Malling Down and The Martlets. Some argue there should only be two cuts per year to allow wildflowers and food for wildlife to grow. Areas at the top of Church Lane and outside Martlets Court are District responsibility.’ You are welcome to get back to him with any comments.