Dear Friends: Welcoming Robert


Dear Friends,

Welcoming a new curate is a huge privilege. They are a lot thinner on the ground then they used to be (although numbers of vocations are back on the rise), and we are blessed to have Fr. Robert Kozak joining us at the beginning of July. As I write this Robert is still completing his exams in Cambridge where he has been undergoing formation at Westcott House (where I completed my formation 10 years ago), so you will have to wait until next month for him to introduce himself to you all.

I am aware in the past that All Saints had a Senior Curate as well as a Training Curate. The role of Senior Curate would now be known as a Team Vicar or Assistant Priest. Although Robert comes with a huge range of training and experience All Saints primary purpose is to be a good training ground as he grows into the Deacon and then Priest God has called him to be. I know All Saints is an excellent training environment because I have already learnt so much here!

I remember in my curacy the shock of it all. People stare at you in the street, especially if you are younger – sadly this happens to me less and less these days. People expect you to know answers to deep or esoteric questions of which you have no inkling - this still happens to me. People expect you to have that extra thick skin that clergy, teachers and similar jobs take time to develop - mine still has a couple of soft spots. Over the next couple of years Robert will experience of all this, as well as the joy of being part of a vibrant growing family that loves God and seeks to live life with him - that’s us.




Fr. Robert’s vocation is clear and has been recognised by the Church of England. In celebrating it over the coming years we have an opportunity to reflect on our own vocations. Vocation is not just for the ordained and the licensed. Each of us is called by God to roles in the world and in the church. Sometimes that vocation is not entirely clear and to discover it we have to ‘Let Go and Let God’ however corny that might sound.

As the year turns at Midsummer we celebrate John the Baptist who said of Jesus “He must increase, but I must decrease” (John 3:30). In our own lives we must be willing to let Jesus increase and our own desires decrease as we become who we fully can be in Christ. Traditionally at Midsummer, before the Reformation the festival of John would be kept with vigil and three fires, a ‘wakefyre’ of wood for the future, a ‘bonnefyre’ of bones for the past and a ‘St. John’s fire’ of both. At our Wednesday evening service on the 24th of June we shall light a Midsummer Fire as we give thanks for all the wonder and joy that has been, and eagerly look forward to all that God has in store for us in the future.

And there may well be marshmallows!

With much love,

Fr. Eddie

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