Friday 1st December 10.00 am to 9.00 pm
Saturday 2nd December 10.00 am to 6.00 pm
Sunday 3rd December 11.30 am to 4.00 pm
followed by a Christmas Service at 4.30 pm
Welcome to our website for Holy Cross Church with St Saviours in Uckfield together with St Michael’s at Little Horsted and St Margaret’s at Isfield.
Our Churches were formally linked in the 1970’s and work together in faith and fellowship. Having visited our site we hope that you will be encouraged and inspired by what you see here and that you too will want to be part of the Mission of Christ’s Church.
A few nights ago I saw the new Bladerunner 2049 in the Uckfield Picture House.
I don’t get out much these days so I was terribly excited! I remember seeing the original “Bladerunner” back in the 1980’s and was terribly moved by it: and this sequel, some 35 years later is worthy of it – dark, brooding and melancholy with amazing visuals of a ruined apocalyptic world.
It’s also a meditation on what it means to be real, and human. In it we encounter sentient holograms who can love and feel, and artificial people, replicants, who – through their choices and self sacrifice – are more humane than the humans around them. For Christians what ultimately is “real” isn’t the world around us or even the situations we find ourselves in. For us, the ultimate reality is God, the creator of it all who holds it all in being, and the measure of what it is to be human is to be found in the person of Jesus, God self-sacrificially made flesh.
I am due to give a talk about blue tits in Norway later this month (October), so I thought I would rehearse some of it here.
DNA studies have revealed that the ancestors of blue tits originated in China about 7 million years ago. They dispersed across central Asia to Europe and eventually North Africa. Since then, a series of ice ages and climate changes caused these ancestral blue tits to go extinct, leaving the North African population isolated. Here their plumage probably attained its colourful blue, yellow, green, black and white tones. That is, all the colours that can be seen from space when looking at our planet. African birds tend to be colourful, because the brightness of plumage is an honest signal of health and freedom from parasites. Parasite abundance increases with proximity to the equator. About 3 million years ago, these African blue tits colonised the Canary Islands, forming new isolated populations on 7 of the islands, there are now 4 recognised species of blue tit on the archipelago, the Tenerife blue tit, the Fuerteventura blue tit, the Palma blue tit and the Hierro blue tit.
WILTY, anyone? It stands for (I discovered) the B.B.C. quiz show “Would I lie to you?”, a sort of re-furbished “Call my Bluff”: and, in the everlasting service of parish fundraising, we had a go. My Team, Holy Cross Uckfield, took on Uckfield FM to see who were the best liars. Our redoubtable Team Captain, Julia, claimed a broken arm through babysitting, putting a laxative in a chocolate mousse and an invite to a Silvio Berlusconi “Bonga Bonga” party in the 1970s. (Mercifully all lies). David our splendid assistant priest and a former hospital chaplain, claimed to have given the Last Rites dressed as a Mexican Bandit (false) and to have been given a standing ovation on a Spanish beach for persevering in mounting a recalcitrant lilo for an hour (surreal, but true). From Uckfield FM we discovered that Alvin Stardust had led an impromptu rendition of “Ma coo ca coo” in an Uckfield café (true), another contestant purportedly dressed as a Womble (false) and another had taken valves under cover of night and the watchful eyes of the Police to Radio Caroline (I’m delighted to say, true). And me? I said I discovered a monkey called Derek in my apple tree (a lie – as Church Times readers know it was actually a nameless chicken). And my truth? At a party I was once mistaken for a novelty strip-a-gram. I don’t know whether to be annoyed or actually pleased that Uckfield F.M. won, proving to be better liars than we were. We tweeted some photos, and the cherry on the cake was when the real B.B.C. WILTY tweeted back “This might be one of our favourite things ever”. I suspect a reprise in next year’s fundraising schedule…..
“Where’s Sophie?” asked the parishioner I had come to visit, more interested (I’d say understandably) in a visit from the Rectory dog than an encounter with the Rector. Luckily she was in the car, so pastoral crisis averted. People often ask me about my little Labrador with canine Muscular Dystrophy, and I’m delighted to say she’s doing remarkably well. Still on reduced doses of steroids, as she gets older she’s getting stronger and more able to cope. The fact she doesn’t know she’s ill helps enormously. I was worried about her coming to a new house: used to lodgers around, I was afraid she’d be lonely, but she’s thriving, largely due to her being taken to my new parishioners’ hearts. I bring her to services where she is wrangled by a variety of people. In two of the churches, she has her own dog bed, where she just curls up, until enticed out by a dog biscuit from her own biscuit boxes. I think, frankly, the Parish has taken to her more than they have to me – again perfectly understandable. So much so that my first Open House for the parish is being held later in November to celebrate her 4th birthday. (Bearing in mind at one time I thought she’d be dead before she was two). There will be balloons, doggie treats and I believe even a bone shaped birthday cake. Maybe every clergy house should come supplied with an attendant clergy dog: a pastoral aid of the first order!