LETTER FROM THE VICARAGE - FEBRUARY 2021
We reproduce here the monthly letter from our Vicar as it appears in our parish magazine, the Parish News.
Letter from the vicarage
LETTER OF INTRODUCTION
Brother and sisters, pray for us that the message of the Lord may spread rapidly and be honoured, just as it is with you. 2 Thessalonians 3:1
I have been asked to write a brief, potted history for you, so that you can get to know me a little better in these strange times we are living through. Hopefully, when we are able to meet again more freely and in a more relaxed way we will be able to meet face-to-face, but until then it will be via email, virtual services or Zoom.
I'm a Sussex lad, born and bred, having spent most of my growing up in the village of Hassocks, 8 miles north of Brighton. I enjoyed my school days, although being dyslexic, my academic work was often C+ 'could try harder”! However I enjoyed sports and achieved a couple of 'O' levels. The careers teacher pointed me towards a career 'out of doors'. Like many boys of 16, I dreamt of becoming a professional footballer; or a career in the military, or joining the police. Instead I started work in a nursery (plants, not children), which was rather dull, tedious and hot in the glasshouses during the summer. I then spent a number of months working in forestry, or more precisely, clearing brambles and cutting down Christmas trees by hand.
My father's side of the family were railwaymen, my grandad was a top-link loco driver on the LMS (London, Midland and Scottish Railway) and my father and his brother, started work as engine cleaners, but decided 5 years of shovelling coal and cleaning engines wasn't for them and they both joined the army and survived World War 2. I also joined the railway and could still have been there if it wasn't for our new Curate in Hassocks, who encouraged me to go to a newly formed youth group that the local Church was running. I made a commitment to follow Christ at 18 years old, and was confirmed. At 21 I attended a selection course for Christian Ministry in the Church of England and they saw potential in me to serve in ordained ministry. Having not had a university education, I attended the Aston Training Scheme, a non-residential pre-theological training course for 2 years. During this time I got engaged to my future wife, Marion, who you will also meet in the not too distant future, we hope. We married in 1981, when we went to Theological College, and I was ordained deacon at Chichester Cathedral in 1984, serving my Title Curacy in East Grinstead. We moved to Broadbridge Heath (BBH) in 1987 as Curate of St Mary's Horsham and a year later, Team Vicar of St John's, BBH. In 1990, I became Youth Officer for the western half of the Diocese and we moved to Pulborough. It was a 5 year contract, extended to 61⁄2. During that time we also moved to Amberley, where I was Priest-in-Charge of the Wild Brooks Churches.
Some of you may remember Bishop Lindsay, who was Bishop of Horsham. He asked me to go to Southbourne with West Thorney, where we stayed for 18 years until 2015, when we came to Wisborough Green.
We have four children. Daniel, our eldest is Diocesan Youth Officer for the whole of Chichester Diocese (following Dad's footsteps!) Rachel is married to Eric and they have 5 young children. She is working in Uganda as a mission partner with Youth with a Mission (YWAM). Bethany and Hannah, our youngest 2 children are both Beauty Therapists in West Sussex.
Both Marion and I are looking forward to getting to know the Parish of Kirdford with Plaistow and we pray that we may be able to build on the solid foundations laid by Pauline and Stephen to see God's Kingdom prosper in this local community.
To him be glory in the Church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. Ephesians 3:21