Haywards Heath priest ‘will be greatly missed by all who knew him’

Tributes have been paid to a ‘kind, dedicated and loyal’ Haywards Heath priest.

Tuesday, 2nd March 2021, 4:14 pm

Father Martin Jakubas, priest of St Paul’s Church in Hazelgrove Road, died peacefully at the Princess Royal Hospital on January 29, at the age of 64.

A funeral mass was held at the church on February 15, and it was streamed live on YouTube.

This week, the church said ‘he will be greatly missed by all who knew him’.

Father Martin Jakubas. Picture: Sophie Markall
Father Martin Jakubas. Picture: Sophie Markall

“Although in the last few years his health was against him, and all that he still wanted to do, he remained a kind, dedicated and loyal priest, always with a listening ear and a big heart,” said a spokesman.

Father Martin was born on April 6, 1956, in Surrey. He was a pupil at St Peter’s school in Guildford, where he was later to serve as a school governor.

Despite embarking on a career as a professional musician, he knew that God was still calling him somewhere else, down a path of service to the people of God.

He was ordained to the priesthood on July 9, 1983.

Father Martin Jakubas. Picture: Jo Turner

Father Martin brought his wealth of musical expertise to his dedication to the liturgy, which resulted in a period of study in Chicago where he gained his masters.

As well as dedicated service as a diocesan priest, he also served on the Bishop’s Conference Liturgical Formation Subcommittee, was chairman of the A&B Diocesan Liturgy Commission, an advisor to the Bishop’s conference of England and Wales, and was regularly invited to give keynote speeches at liturgical development days and conferences.

Dozens of people have paid tribute on the church’s website.

Lesley Partington said: “Such a truly wonderful man that has brought such joy and happy memories. We will really miss him and feel so blessed to have known him and enjoyed his wonderful services and singing. Rest in peace Father Martin.”

Father Martin Jakubas. Picture: Andrew Hornett

Zoe Cliftlands also said: “Father Martin will always have a special place in my heart.

“He guided me through my many confirmation questions – transition from the Church of England – providing an honest view of the world.

“I will miss bumping into him in Waitrose and hope he has found peace now. RIP Father Martin, always in our prayers, Zoe Cliftlands, Phil, Hannah and Frances.”