From The Vicarage

RSS

MOVING ON

By now you will have heard that I have announced that I am resigning and retiring. My last service will be the Eucharist at 10.00am on February 2nd, the feast of the Presentation of Christ in the Temple.(“Candlemas”) This seems an appropriate day, as it brings to a conclusion our Christmas celebrations.

I will be retiring a little earlier than I had originally intended ( I will be 63) However, increasing health problems over the last year or two, have convinced me that now is the time to go. Leaving All Saints, and Maldon and our lovely home and garden, will be something of a bereavement for me and Sue. We have loved living in Maldon, have been very happy at All Saints, and will miss all those who have so generously given us their friendship, kindness and support over the last 10 years.

I am very conscious that I came very close to retirement in 2011 when I had my brain surgery. So the ability to take up my ministry again has been a huge bonus for which I am immensely grateful. Since my surgery, I have had a number of limitations. Quite honestly, it is only through the support of my colleagues in the ministry team, and others in the parish, and of course Sue, that has enabled me to carry on for as long as I have.

The greatest privilege of the past ten years has been in presiding at the Eucharist and leading the worship in All Saints week by week. But is has also been a great privilege to be allowed to share in so many of your lives both the joys and sorrows. This is one of the wonderful things about being a parish priest and for that I am immensely grateful.

But you have also shared in our lives as a family, particularly with all the support you gave us when I was ill. And we will never forget all the practical help, prayers and care we were shown when Nick had his accident in 2017. We cannot adequately express what this meant to us.

But now it is time to move on. We plan to retire to Manningtree and I hope that I will be able to be of use as a priest in the Harwich Deanery, though without the pressures and responsibility of being an incumbent. I honestly believe that this is the right decision, not only for me, but also for the parish. I was trained for ministry forty years ago; and the Church and society have changed immensely since then. The Church of England, nationally, faces huge challenges to present the Christian faith in a rapidly changing world. If All Saints is to grow and develop, the time has come for an incumbent who is younger and fitter than me, and who has gifts I do not possess to communicate the faith to our modern culture. I know that he or she will be supported by a wonderful team of people, who so generously offer their gifts for the life of our church.

Fr John at St Mary’s will also be retiring in 2020, and the vacancy in both parishes will give the diocese the opportunity to do some creative thinking about the shape of ministry in Maldon in the future.

We feel that you have not just been parishioners, but have become friends. You will understand the professional protocols that when a new incumbent is appointed, their predecessor is expected to keep a low profile in the parish. In fairness to my successor, when ever he or she is appointed, I will respect this. However there is nothing to stop you coming to see us! We hope that when we move, we will have lots of visitors to see us in our new home in Manningtree.

So please keep us in your prayers, as we will keep all of you in ours.

Stephen 

 

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Printer Printable Version