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Second series of Island Parish virtually certain

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IF THE accounts reaching me are anything to go by then the BBC2 Island Parish series on Sark is being very well received by viewers everywhere – and not only those who know the island well.

IF THE accounts reaching me are anything to go by then the BBC2 Island Parish series on Sark is being very well received by viewers everywhere – and not only those who know the island well.

The messages I have had have all been very positive and other island residents tell me that they have experienced the same sort of reaction from friends and relatives who've contacted them.

All that makes a welcome change from the repetitive gloom, criticism and despondency preached with monotonous regularity from certain quarters – a change which hopefully will benefit the Sark hospitality industry as a whole, no matter who owns the outlets.

The present series is due to end at Christmas and the word in The Avenue – and particularly from those who spend a good deal more time in and around the churches at the centre of the programmes than I do – is that its popularity means a second series is now virtually certain, although there has been no confirmation of that.

The value of this sort of publicity, which reaches several million television viewers on a regular basis at no cost at all to Sark, cannot be measured.

Hopefully it will be of considerable use to the island's Tourism Committee.

I heard last weekend of an interesting and certainly pleasing side-effect of the series. My neighbour, Pam de Carteret, received a letter addressed to 'Pam, whose maiden name was Bassett, living in Sark, Channel Islands'.

It was from an old friend who, having seen the television programme, recalled that Pam had left England more than 40 years ago to live and work in Sark.

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I have to say that expecting success from such information on an envelope is a very long shot indeed, but all credit to Sark's post office staff

for making a couple of old friends very happy indeed. They are now in regular email contact for the first time in all those years – thanks also to Island Parish.

In the meantime, Pam's husband Rossford's ewes have started lambing – a mite earlier, as I recall from previous years, than the usual just before or after Christmas.

The first five lambs – including two sets of twins – were born more than a week ago and are with the rest of the flock near the headland above Derrible Bay on Sark's east coast. No doubt they will be joined by many more in the coming days and weeks.

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Sark's carol singers got into gear on Thursday when they sang at the switch-on ceremony for the Chamber of Commerce's Christmas Lights in and around The Avenue.

They annually brave the elements and raise money for various charities in return for little more than the occasional mince pie or a range of other edible delights, not to mention a nip or three of something liquid to keep them warm.

The singers will also be out and about next

week on their regular trips around the whole island. Each session starts at 6pm and the first is on Sunday, with others on Monday, Friday 21 and Saturday 22 December, followed by what might be termed the grand finale on Christmas Eve morning in The Avenue.

Organiser Jan Guy told me everyone is welcome to join the group – energy and enthusiasm taking precedence over musical ability – and this year's beneficiaries are Hope Cancer Research and the Flying Christine Marine Ambulance.

l The email address for comment is fallesark@sark.net.

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