This year we were favoured with excellent weather, and we were able to welcome some new stallholders and exhibitors who made contact after we created a profile for the event on the UK Craft Fairs website.
Business sponsorship was again very generous, with Village Heating Company and Twisted Toppings pizza coming on board. Twisted Toppings are with us in the church hall car park every other Wednesday from between 5.00 and 8.00. Bishop’s of Uckfield once again provided the burgers and sausages for the BBQ.
The church looked at its very best, with our ex-organist David Bailey making a welcome return to play for us while visitors looked at the displays of the history of the church, and browsed the book and bric-a-brac stalls. These did particularly well, raising £190 for the St Mary’s flower fund.
It was marvellous to see local organisations present, and the WI stall was particularly impressive, with a giant gazebo and all the ladies in matching aprons (see photo). The Horticultural Society had a very informative display in the Chapel Lobby.
Last year several under 12s were disappointed when the advertised Bouncy Castle failed to appear. This was due to the torrential rain which we had to endure. However this year we had a giant Bouncy Farmyard supplied by Cook’s Castles of Uckfield and our thanks go to Sandie, Lesley and Louise for acting as stewards.
Raffle prizes were provided via a mixture of individual and business sponsorship, with a first prize of a £100 John Lewis Partnership voucher, together with nine other prizes. All of these were collected by the lucky winners.
One of our themes is industrial heritage, and the Claude Jessett Trust (Tinker’s Park) were once again with us. The magnificent Southern Queen showman’s engine was our central exhibit in the front car park (see photo) and the fairground organ again contributed to the festive atmosphere. The ever popular steam miniature railway provided rides in the Community Garden, and thanks to Tinker’s Park for the donation of all monies raised from the public from the rides.
This year we concluded with what our banners called ‘A Bit Of A Do’. This evening event was a sound and light display with a firework finale, sponsored and organised for us by Guy Osborne of local firm Festive Illuminations. There was stirring ‘Last Night of the Proms’ music, combined with the illumination of the east wall of the church in ever changing colours, and the highlighting of the chapel window. All of this was to celebrate the fifth anniversary of the restoration of the Top Field, now the Community Garden.
In all, the event raised £2,300 for Parish funds, but equally importantly brought the village together for fellowship and showcased our beautiful church and its extensive grounds.
Following the St Mary’s Open day in the community garden.
Fine Food, Good Drink, Classic Tunes with illuminating finale!
7.30 – 10.00 pm
It’s Open Day & Craft Fair time!
This year’s event is on Saturday 21st May, with a total of 28 stalls and attractions across the whole of St Mary’s site. Business sponsorship has again been very generous, and we welcome Village Heating and Twisted Toppings pizza as new sponsors.
The Claude Jessett Trust (Tinker’s Park) and its volunteers are once again major partners. We particularly value the time and expertise they put in to help us run the event. This year we will have the Southern Queen showman’s engine on display, together with the fairground organ and steam miniature railway.
The range of craft stalls will be considerably wider this year as we have linked up with the UK Craft Fairs website. This has enabled us to make contact with crafters right across East and West Sussex. New additions this year are a pop up boutique, sculpture from reclaimed metal, and a sale of rustic crafted bird tables.
Local organisations are well represented, with Buxted C of E Primary School, the WI, Art Club and Horticultural Society all in attendance.
The church will be looking its best, with floral displays and a bric-a-brac and book stall. There is also the opportunity to hear our wonderful organ being played between 2.00 and 3.00.
There will no shortage of food and drink! The ever popular Harvey’s Beer tent will be operating in the Top Field, manned by Tinker’s Park volunteers. There is a BBQ, with Bishop’s burgers and sausages. We like to cater for all tastes, so in the car park area you will find the Vegan Snack Wagon. Just behind, the Woodreed Vineyard from Five Ashes will be selling their English sparkling wine.
Round about 6.00, we will take a short breather to prepare for a sound and light display at dusk, sponsored by local firm Festive Illuminations. The Walsingham chapel stained glass window will be lit up from inside, along with the east elevation of the church, to the accompaniment of stirring music. Finally, there is a flourish of fireworks.
Do come along and be a part of it! Entry and parking are free, but do look out for our volunteers with their donation buckets.
NEWS FROM S. MARY’S
It is uncertain when Christians first began to make an annual memorial of the death and resurrection of Christ, over time, the Pascha (Passover) developed into the articulated structure of Holy Week and Easter. Through the participation in the whole sequence of services, Christians share in Christ’s own journey, from the triumphal entry into Jerusalem on Palm Sunday to the empty tomb on Easter morning. The procession with palms, which was already observed in Jerusalem in the fourth century, is accompanied by the reading or singing of the Passion Narrative, in which the whole story of the week is anticipated. Maundy Thursday (meaning Commandment) contains a rich complex of themes: humble Christian service expressed through Christ’s washing of his disciples’ feet, the institution of the Eucharist, the perfection of Christ’s loving obedience through the agony of Gethsemane.
After keeping vigil, Thursday passes into Good Friday with its characteristic episodes, the first being the veneration of the Cross. It is custom for there not to be a celebration of the Eucharist on Good Friday, but for the consecrated bread and wine remaining from the Maundy Thursday Eucharist to be given in communion. The church remains stripped of all decoration. It continues bare and empty through the following day, which is a day without a liturgy: there can be no adequate way of recalling the death of the Son of God, other than silence and desolation. But within the silence there grows a sense of peace and completion, and then rising excitement as the Easter Vigil draws near.
From earliest times Christians have gathered through the night of Easter to recall the story of God’s saving work, from creation through to the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. However, the Easter Liturgy is not merely a presentation of God’s work. It is meant to be a real experience of new life for the worshipper, a passing from darkness to light which offers hope to all the faithful. It is therefore important that the preparation is prayerful and thorough. The Easter Vigil marks the end of the emptiness of Holy Saturday, and leads into the celebration of Christ’s resurrection.
Adapted from Times and Seasons – Common Worship
Please see separate advertisement for Holy Week and Easter. You are welcome at all of the services.
THE QUEEN’S PLATINUM JUBILEE
In support of the ‘Green Canopy’ as part of the
Jubilee celebrations, St. Mary’s will be planting a number of trees in the churchyard and Community Garden. If you would like support this initiative by sponsoring a tree, please contact:
Colin Woolgrove – Tel: 01825 830076
HOLY WEEK AND EASTER
AT S. MARY’S
10th PALM SUNDAY – 11.15 a.m. Parish Mass
13th WEDNESDAY – 10.30 a.m. Stations of the Cross
15th GOOD FRIDAY – 3.00 p.m. Liturgy of the Passion
16th EASTER EVE – 7.30 p.m. Easter Vigil and First Mass of Easter
17th EASTER SUNDAY – 11.15 a.m. Parish Mass
Over the last few months due to ill health and the need to shield, I have been unable to attend worship weekly at St Mary’s. Now whilst it is most certainly true that God is not confirmed to bricks and mortar within church walls and it is perfectly possible to worship and pray anywhere and anytime, there is something uniquely important, necessary even and nourishing in community worship and in celebration of sharing bread and wine in the Eucharist, to remember the death and resurrection of Jesus and God’s good grace, at our Sunday Mass.
There is solid guidance on this. King David, the psalmist said:
I rejoiced with those who said to me,
“Let us go to the house of the Lord.” (Psalm 122, v1)
And Jesus said in Matthew 18, v20: “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”
But for many it can be challenging. People say: Sunday is a day of rest; a day to take time out from the hectic days of the week beforehand; to spend time with family and friends. Well yes, it is and can be all of these things. It is good to have a day set apart from the busyness of our lives throughout the week. However, making time for God on Sunday is also a means of personal renewal, time to refocus, of reconnection not just with God but also with those in our community, of putting our week past and ahead in context, of laying bare and before God our happiness, our anxiety, our hopes and fears for what is going to happen in the days to come.
Worship can be all manner of things depending on how you feel when you come together in church at our Parish services. We are so changeable, and understandably so, given all the things that have happened to us over the past two years. But the remarkable thing is that whether we are low or upbeat, sad or content, God is the same yesterday, today and forever. Our God is dependable and true and ready to accept us in whatever state we find ourselves, quiet as we listen to the readings and prayers, doubting and uncertain if all we are hearing can possibly true, mouthing our prayers in the earnest hope and trust that they will be answered, in ways we may never expect or understand. God welcomes us all into his church; there is no membership criteria, “Sunday best” or goody-two-shoes, only an open heart and willingness to hear what God has to offer us and respond.
So yes, whilst I say my prayers and read the bible on my own, I do miss out if I don’t make church on Sunday. My loss truly.
There is a lot going on in March and in the lead up to Easter. We call it Lent but its just as much about reflection as it is about giving up things. Why not come and explore worship together at St Mary’s or any of our Parish churches. You will always receive a warm hello and a friendly smile. And God will be there.