Our rector is moving on: what you need to know

Our rector Douglas and his wife Mary are moving to a new position in Cornwall, after XX years at St Mary’s, and we wish them the very best.

Here is an extract from Douglas’s February rector’s letter, explaining a bit more:

Dear Brothers and Sisters of St Mary’s,

Mary and I thank you for all of the kind words following the announcement of my appointment to a new parish in Cornwall. We are very excited about what we believe God has called us to, although also slightly daunted about the task of moving and especially about saying goodbye to so many lovely people here. It turns out that lots of people associated with St Mary’s know the area that we are moving to. I hope that this means that we will have lots of visitors.

Just to be crystal clear – I am not retiring, as some have suggested! This will be a demanding post as parts of the parish have been without clergy for several years and will be joining together into one new parish. In addition, there are plans to employ a Pioneer Minister to develop new forms of outreach and church in the parish. So, I’ve got plenty to get my teeth into.

Some have asked, quite reasonably, what will happen in our parish? The short answer is that most things will continue as before, just as they did during my sabbatical last year. St Mary’s is a church bung full of faithful and talented disciples and I have no doubt that you will thrive without me. The key people will be the churchwardens, Becky and Helen assisted by Tony and Glyn.

Do please pray for them, communicate and co-operate with them and offer them lots of cups of tea/coffee or wine. The Diocese in the shape of Sharon, our archdeacon, will work with the parish Church Council to discern God’s plan for the longer term future. It’s quite right and proper that at the beginning of a vacancy there is a review of the best shape of the parish and ministry in it, especially as Speldhurst has never had a full time Rector.

Meanwhile, my priority for the next two and a half months will be to do all that I can to support and encourage those with particular responsibilities here and also to build up people in the knowledge and love of God.