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A Message from Fr Jack Mulder

Dear Friends,

September is a time when new things happen. A new school year begins and exciting challenges will be experienced. St Mary’s Church and the Parish of Pulborough will also be experiencing the excitement of having a new priest installed on 19th September. Suddenly there is a greater sense of urgency with plans being made for the big welcome of Fr. Paul the Third. There is much expectation in the air which is great to see. A year after Fr Paul the Second left, St Mary’s stands proud and bold having continued almost seamlessly in worship, pastoral activities and school ministry. From this firm base St Mary’s is well positioned to look to the future and the changes and challenges it may bring but always in the knowledge that we all have our important role to play in church, community and the wider world.

The unpredictability of events is still freshly in our minds. We have seen Britain voting to come out of the EU, a new Prime Minister take office, an Opposition Leader elected twice by his party against all odds and we witnessed the country’s unexpected election results.

Across the Atlantic we witnessed a new president being installed even though many thought he would never win the vote but he did. On the sports front we have seen key tennis players not making the final rounds and a number one seed losing. On the athletics field, the favourite ‘of all time’ loses both in heats and comes third in the final. In the long distance race, the champion is outrun. All the above outcomes were wrongly predicted.

What lessons if any can we take from these outcomes? Yes, there are lessons, because we have become too reliant on predictions and not facts. Many of us have become so sure we know what the future holds when really we cannot even be certain about the weather even after humankind’s many years of evolution. But of course no one can see into the future and we need to accept this. Once accepted we can focus on being ready for change whether in our families, communities, the nation or the world. We will be able to respond more positively and be able to meet the future whatever it will hold.

The Christian message has always been one of being ready to face the challenges of the world however hard they may be. And because it can be so hard, we are assured that God stands with us and that we need not fear what the future may bring if we accept that Christ came to the world to walk with us, to teach us and to embrace us when it gets to tough.

If we are able to trust in Him then all else is of less importance. This is a great lesson we need to teach our children so that they may face the future with confidence.

During the past year I have had the pleasure of being involved with St Mary’s School and have experienced the wonderful work that is done there both in education and the Christian message. When the children sing it’s with enthusiasm and joy and their faces do shine with hope for the future. May we all approach the future with such youthful enthusiasm and faith.

In September I will be ending what has been a great year for me as ‘the stand-in priest’ at St Mary’s. Many thanks to so many for your welcome and your friendship. All good wishes for the years ahead.


Fr Jack Mulder


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