“Pilgrimage” is a hugely useful concept for looking at and exploring our Christian life.
In one of my previous churches, St. George’s in Newbury, we used to have walking pilgrimages which (though they could be quite arduous – I soon learnt the wisdom of doing the catering rather than the walking bit!) hugely helped build up a real sense of camaraderie and purpose within our community, a sense of belonging and achievement. The longest pilgrimage was from Newbury to Canterbury which we did over a number of years in week long chunks – via Winchester, Chichester, Brighton and Eastbourne, finally ending a on Sunday morning with a welcome into Canterbury Cathedral from Archbishop Rowan himself. An occasion I’ll never forget.
The Church of God is a Pilgrim People on the move; we journey on together, as individuals and communities, moving on towards our Goal, which is God’s Kingdom, both as it is glimpsed in this world and as it will be seen in its entirety in the next.
For Isfield we have a very significant staging post on our journey, with the coming of Fr. Mike Blanch into our Pilgrims’ band. He will be licensed at St. Margaret’s by Bishop Richard on 16th September at 7.00 p.m. as Associate Vicar and this will be a new chapter of our pilgrimage story . He has exciting plans for themed services, Messy Church and Bible studies, and we look forward to him and Penny joining us at St. Margaret’s and in the wider Plurality. They are hugely welcome.
Also, thinking of Pilgrimage, on the day before there is the Archdeaconry Pilgrimage to Chichester Cathedral on Saturday, 15th September, led by Bishop Richard. Part of the Diocesan Year of Prayer, the main focus will be a Eucharist service at 3 p.m. followed by a “bring and share” tea. See later in “the Link” for further information. I’m certainly going – I hope to see others from our Parishes there too!!
Journeying, sharing, arriving. Endings and new beginnings. All this is part of the movement of God’s love in our world, how the Holy Spirit leads us, encourages us and challenges us to grow.
Love, Fr. John
What a hot summer we have had! The beast from the east is now a distant memory when we had prolonged freezing temperatures from about 26th February to 3rd March. The one thing that we can predict about climate change is that the weather will become less predictable and more extreme over indeterminate periods.
Nature reacts to these events in different ways. Many migrant birds such as swifts and house martins were late arriving on their breeding grounds this year. Many species were down in number. However, there will always be some individuals that will be well adapted to the prevailing conditions and will breed successfully.
The unusually warm seas have generated population explosions of jellyfish. The warm land has resulted in a die-back of mosses. This will be welcomed by gardeners who like grassy lawns as the grass is more resilient to drought and will green-up again once the rain comes.
Amphibians such as frogs, toads and newts have probably suffered badly, first from being frozen during February and March and then from desiccation during June, July and August. Fish too will have problems in small water-bodies such as ponds and small streams. However, there will always be other organisms that will consume these.
In nature, the idea of disaster does not really exist, just changes in conditions. What is bad for one group of organisms is usually beneficial to others. Many readers will remember the ‘hurricane’ of 16th October 1987 when about 17 million trees were blown down during the early hours of the morning. Many people called this a disaster. However, in the wild-wood, trees came down, but most did not die unless people went in and cut them up and removed them. Most trees remained alive and just grew from horizontal stems. Those that did die provided food for billions of fungi and the beetles that fed off the rotting wood. These went on to feed increasing numbers of woodpeckers and other animals which also increased in numbers. Meanwhile, the clearings created by the fallen trees caused an abundance of woodland plants such as bluebells.
A totally amazing six thousand, three hundred and ninety-nine visitors came to The Church of the Holy Cross to see Tenth year of the Festival of Christmas Trees, and it is doubtful whether anyone left disappointed, because there were an incredible ninety-eight decorated positions to be seen and admired. The Church welcomed visitors from as far afield as Yorkshire and Hampshire and a considerable number from across the country boundary with Kent. This Festival retains the traditional methods of tree decorating, but the Sponsors are very much encouraged to be creative and innovative, and this year they certainly excelled. One very special display was titled “Santa’s Workshop” which had been several months in development while another display was a tree that had been decorated to represent a full length dress. Photographs of the Trees featured in this year’s Festival can be viewed in the Church’s website Photo Gallery, which can be accessed via the main Menu Bar at the top of this page, or see the link below. The ninety-eight displays had been sponsored by a cross section of Uckfield’s community – schools, businesses, voluntary organisations and associations, community support groups as well as individuals and families. During Friday afternoon visitors were entertained by Margaret Watson,harpist,and John Pontefract a singer and guitarist. Children could have their face painted by Pretty Fantastic Faces on both the Friday and Saturday afternoons.
All the bells were purchased from the Whitechapel foundry of William Mears and bear the company’s name, the date 1779, and inscriptions.
Church Clock Restored – 10th November 2011.
|4th Jul 2011||
Five months after the Clock was removed (on the 4th July 2011) for cleaning and overhauling, the mechanism was reinstated, and together with the repainted, and re-gilded, clock faces the town has its landmark timepiece back in action.
|12th Nov 2011|
The clock was made in 1883 and although on the clock’s ‘setting dial’ it bears the name of a local man and the word Uckfield, it was, in fact, made by Thwaites and Reed of Clerkenwell in London. It is typical of their design at that time and very similar to their clock in the Knightsbridge Barracks in London. The clock features dials that are unusually placed, being on the out-built mountings on the four sides of the spire. Likewise the clock itself is also unusually mounted because it is above the bell-frame in the belfry and on a level with the base of the spire.