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