by Kate Fleming
On 26th February Rev Michael Maine was collated at Holy Trinity Church. That doesn’t mean that he was placed in order as the sheets of a book for binding, but that he, officially, became Vicar of Cuckfield.
The church was packed with parishioners past, present and possibly future who had come to welcome Michael Maine and to participate in the ancient and yet strangely significant ceremony which admitted him to the ‘Cure of Souls’ in this parish. The bells rang, the choir sang, the ritual was rich and appropriate, and we applauded the induction of our new vicar.
After having been without an incumbent for nearly a year, this was surely a time for village celebrations.
Michael Maine is a Cornishman by birth but now truly embedded in the heart of West, East and now Mid Sussex. He is a musician, singer and organist, indeed known in The Netherlands as The Singing Organist, a teacher and comparatively recently an ordained priest. After a successful, albeit unexpected ministry at St Mary the Virgin, Willingdon, he has left the seaside and travelled North across the Downs to become part of our community, take responsibility for our beautiful reordered church and be there to guide us along the rocky path of 21st century societal change.
Michael Maine ‘fills the room’. He is tall and broad but also possesses that unusual personality trait that makes you feel that you have known him forever, not exactly dé jà vu but wavering around that sensation. He has a great sense of humour, laughs with genuine verve and appreciates innuendoes, jokes and anecdotes. As a child of the manse I do know the importance of this quality in a vocation where sorrow and joy ride precariously in parallel and the ability to embrace both, often simultaneously, is essential.
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