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Curate's Corner August 2017

The Curate’s Final Corner

So here we are, my final Curate’s Corner at the end of my Curacy in Uckfield. It feels very strange, but also right, to be writing my last one. Ever since arriving in Uckfield just over three years ago, I knew I would be here for only a few years. By the time you read this, all the goodbyes will have been said, and I and my family will be safely ensconced in Heathfield, God willing.
As I’ve been saying my various goodbyes over the last few weeks to the various churches, schools and organisations of which I have been a part, I have been reflecting on my time here in Uckfield and what  it’s been like. As I’ve been doing so, the image of a bridge has come to mind. Let me explain…
When I was first asked to consider serving my Curacy in Uckfield, I had a very strong sense of calling that it was the right thing to do. I couldn’t at that time, however, have told you why. It just felt that it was the right thing to do, and that God was calling me to serve the parishes of Uckfield during my training.
No one, of course, knew what lay ahead, and due to the tragic circumstances with which you will all be very familiar, I was plunged into leading the Plurality on my own just ten days before being ordained priest. Consequently, I became a much closer part of the community than might otherwise have been the case for a curate, and despite the steepest of learning curves, I came through the other side along with all of you, a little bruised and battered, but with a strong sense that the original sense of calling had been sound.

During that time, many people talked about the possibility of me taking over as Rector, but apart from the fact that it’s just not a job for a relatively inexperienced priest like me, it wasn’t what I was here to do. This is where the image of a bridge comes in…

Looking back at my three years in Uckfield, I believe my role here has in large part been to act as a bridge to help the church (and wider) community to journey from the tragedy of losing a much-loved incumbent, to a new Rector who would oversee the next phase of the life of the Church in Uckfield. At his Induction on 5th July as Rector, that role was, I believe, accomplished, and the bridge is no longer needed.

Since his arrival with us in September last year, Fr John has quickly established himself as a much-loved and respected pastor. He has been hugely gracious and generous in supporting me as I complete my curacy here, and I have valued his sense of fun and gentle wisdom enormously. 

And so I wish all of you well as you continue your journey to make Christ’s love known to all, and I thank you all for your love, your friendship and your extraordinary support that you have given me and my family in my time here.

God Bless, and “Au Revoir”!

Fr Mitch