‘As you probably all know by now, September is one of my favourite months of the year. I love the change in the seasons and the feeling of a fresh start that never quite leaves us from our school days, the special services we look forward to throughout autumn – all these and so much more!’
That is how last September’s letter began and it is so true and apt that I decided to use it this year but I need to add that , as you probably all know by now, I am leaving the Benefice at the beginning of October for my own fresh start up in Durham. I am taking a year long Sabbatical during which I will move house, get married, and help my family to relocate and have their own fresh start too.
Whilst I feel truly blessed to have this wonderful new chapter in my life, there is sadness too as I come to the end of this chapter. I have grown to love the Benefice and have been privileged to walk alongside so many amazing people in my five years here. I will miss the schools (especially the fun we have had in Collective Worship!), I will miss the services (especially the slightly more unusual ones like the Pet Blessing), I will miss watching people grow in faith and discipleship, and I will miss whole families whose baptisms, weddings and, sadly, funerals, I have had the privilege of taking and to whom I have become close. I will miss so many kind individuals who have walked alongside me in my time here too. Thank you to all of you.
Please be assured that you are in extremely good hands as the churches go into vacancy. Your wonderful churchwardens and vergers will work with our kind local retired priests to ensure that services continue uninterrupted and our Diocesan Bishop, Helen-Ann, will work with Archdeacon Jonathan and Area Dean, John Smith, to discern the way forwards with you all.
I wish you well and I assure you of my ongoing thoughts and prayers for you. Please pray for me and my new beginning too.
With every blessing,
And now faith, hope, and love abide, these three; and the greatest of these is love.
1 Corinthians 13.13