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.
I don’t know about you, but I have a feeling 2016 is going to go down in history as the year in which we lost an extraordinary number of much-loved and highly-talented personalities from the world of music, television, film and radio.
We began the year with the sad news of David Bowie’s death – a man who, whatever you thought of his music, was clearly very gifted and influenced a generation or more of musicians. The following week we learned of the death of actor Alan Rickman, a man with a voice as distinctive as many of the characters he played, in particular ‘Professor Snape’ in the Harry Potter films.
Then we heard that Sir Terry Wogan had died, and new adjectives had to be found to describe the loss of such a well-loved household name. Frank Kelly of Fr Ted fame; Tony Warren, creator of Coronation Street; Paul Daniels, the cheesy but loveable magician who many of my own age-group grew up with on a Saturday night. Surely that would be the last of it for a while?
But two weeks later, another giant of the entertainment business (excuse the irony), Ronnie Corbett, died, giving an excuse, if one were needed, to watch that wonderful fork ‘andles sketch again! Then a real favourite of mine, Victoria Wood, followed just a couple of weeks later, and even since beginning to write this article, we heard of the death of the pop star ‘Prince’.
As I am writing this, currently from Aquitaine in France, some of the observations may seem slightly exotic, as there seem to be so many more plant and animal species here than in Sussex. I am about 700 miles south of Sussex. The climate reflects this, as when the sun comes out it soon gets quite warm, even in April. The lizards soon appear and start to sun themselves. Orange tip and brimstone butterflies appear to visit the pink and mauve ladies smock flowers growing in and around damp ditches. The early purple orchids are well in bloom on the sunny banks among the rapidly growing grass and other herbs. Birdsong is everywhere as the male birds sing to defend their territories and attract mates. I have seen and heard black redstarts, swallows, blue tits, great tits, goldfinches, blackbirds, mistle thrushes, woodpeckers both green and black, and the latter never seen in the British Isles as far as I know.
I'm so excited about being your new Parish Priest! I've known Uckfield since Fr. Bill Peters' time, & hugely look forward to coming to your town.
I've been ordained almost twenty seven years now, and have served in parishes in Crawley and central Brighton, Newbury in Berkshire and - for the last ten years - have been Team Rector of Moulsecoomb in Brighton. Having been brought up in Sussex, I went to the University of York (I have a M.A. in Medieval Art & Iconography and I relish the prospect of finally having medieval buildings in my care!) & then tested my vocation by nursing at St. Christopher's Hospice in Sydenham before training as a priest at St. Stephen's House in Oxford.
It's going to be a huge wrench leaving Moulsecoomb, which I've loved. It has quite a reputation (when I first got there I got a post card addressed "Fr. John Wall, the Rectory, the Dodgy Bit of Brighton" & it got to me...) I've been very active in the local community, as School Governor, running a networking local community leaders' lunch (I'm a good & enthusiastic cook!) as well as being heavily involved in opening a community co-operative pub, "the Bevy" - but that's another and quite long story. My leaving do at "the Bevy" is, I think, going to be quite a local community event above & beyond my church farewells! I've also done a lot in Brighton in the wider City as chaplain to three of the recent Mayors, and I'm looking forward to being involved in the Civic life in Uckfield.
Other interests include entertaining (food again...), theatre, films, (I hear good things about the cinema in Uckfield!), Art, and I used to sing Opera, but a long time ago.... I'm single but will come with a happy little Labrador called Sophie who adores being the Rectory dog. I also write a regular humorous (hopefully) column in "the Church Times" which is pretty much the Church of England's trade magazine.
I'm starting a four month sabbatical after Easter, (Art in Rome and Venice, with, I suspect quite a lot of pasta and Veneto wine) and will be moving over to you after that.
I'm so looking forward to meeting you all and joining in with your communities on this next stage of our Pilgrimage together, being the people of God, walking and growing in the footsteps of Jesus.
I think it's going to be fun!
Love Fr. John