In the middle of March I shall be 65 and become an Old Age Pensioner.
When I was ordained aged 27, I always imagined that I would retire at or near 65. But I and Becky are so happy here that we want to go on a bit longer – but only another nine months.
My reasons for retiring in early December this year, 2017, are twofold:
1. Personal – issues to do with age, health and energy, family and opportunities for life and ministry in retirement mean that I will be ready.
2. Ministry in the Benefice – there is much I would still love to do and facilitate, to meet the needs and growing opportunities we have to be the church(es) God has called us to be. But we sense that we have done the key things that were for us to do here and that by the turn of the year Wiveliscombe and the Hills will be ready for a renewal and refreshment of vision for the next five years or more. The time has come for a new leader/minister/priest to come and work with you all to revisit our vision and strategies, and to see them through.
I realise that the coming 12-18 months will involve much change for our churches. So it will be important to communicate well and support each other through this time. I don’t want our move to become a disproportionate focus in the coming months as we have many exciting challenges to face and enjoy together. But do feel free to talk and ask questions as they arise. I and Becky will be around after the service at Wivey this morning, and at the breakfast next Sunday.
As I write we have not opened or processed the tenders for the re-ordering, but once the near future is clearer we will plan to hold a meeting to discuss the logistics of ‘St. Andrew’s on the road’.