August 2019 

This month’s newsletter is written by our new curate, Rev Sandi Wickens

It’s lovely to be here!

Hello – I’m Sandi the new Curate at St Denys’ here in Rotherfield and St Mark’s, Mark Cross. My husband Dave and I moved into Rotherfield at the end of May and are very much enjoying our first taste of life in the country. We already feel at home here. We haven’t moved far, just from Burgess Hill where we have spent the vast majority of our lives so far and which until recent years we thought would be our ‘forever home’. It seems though that God had other plans for us and so we have crossed the county border from West to East Sussex. 

This adventure began in May 2012 when I heard God calling me into ordained ministry in the Church of England – please stop me and ask what happened if you’d like to know more of that story. In 2016 I began the first part of my training at St Mellitus College in London taking a three year theology BA and during that time I was on placement at St Andrew’s Church, Burgess Hill, working alongside the vicar. Having completed my degree at the beginning of June this year I was ordained as a Deacon at ChichesterCathedral at the end of that month and it was lovely to see a group of people from St Denys’ and St Mark’s there to celebrate that and cheer me on. The role of a Deacon has a special emphasis on serving the community and I’ve been enjoying getting out and about to meet some of the many groups in Rotherfield, getting to know you and finding out how I can get involved. 

Being a curate is the next stage of ‘vicar-training’ which will last for about three years as I continue to study and grow in experience of leading worship and ministry in a rural church, in order that I will be equipped at the end of this time to be a vicar in another church. I think the best analogy I can think of for this stage of my training is that of learning to drive – I’ve passed my test and torn up the ‘L’ plates and now I’m wearing the ‘P’ plates, allowed out on my own and growing in experience. When you see me out and about please do stop me and say ‘hello’, I’d love to meet you; as Nigel wrote in last month’s magazine, I’m the newby wandering around the village in a clerical collar.

When the collar’s off and I’m not at work I love gardening and generally being outdoors.I like an eclectic mix of music and enjoy a trip to the cinema. After three years of only reading books on essay reading lists I’m looking forward to browsing the bookshop shelves and reading some more fiction. Dave and I are loving exploring the area (sometimes by motorbike) and getting to know all the local pubs, garden centrescafesand sampling their offerings.