PRIESTLY PONDERINGS firstname.lastname@example.org
Now is the time to say “Goodbye”. My retirement begins in early October following my final service at East Malling on the 11th October at 10am. Of course, you are most welcome to join my wife and I for that occasion so that we can say goodbye to as many of you as possible
It is a little short of 14 years that I have been your Vicar here in Wateringbury and I just can’t believe how quickly that time has passed by. I arrived in the January of 2002 and was immediately made welcome by the community and I thank you all for that. I am so aware of how fortunate I have been to be so intimately involved with the community, particularly through Baptisms, Weddings and Funerals (and you can imagine how many of those I have conducted over these years!). I have always viewed my role as one of being the servant to others and this has always been a privilege and a joy. I have taken the community very seriously and enjoyed a strong relationship with the many groups, organisations and institutions which form a strong community here in Wateringbury (This especially includes our School, uniformed groups and local businesses). I have found the community have always been supportive of the Church too. For all of this I offer you a most sincere thank you.
Moving on into retirement will be interesting, challenging and exciting. I have many hobbies and interests that I am looking forward to pursuing and so I shan’t be bored. I shall be standing to one side and allowing my successor an opportunity to establish themselves and I respect this protocol. This, of course, is difficult for my wife and I because we have established many friendships and acquaintances but we understand how important it is. However, we shall take away many very happy memories of our time with you all, it has been such a joy for us both.
Wateringbury has been a most wonderful place to serve and to be a part of and work in. There is something so very special about it which includes its diversity, friendliness and joy. I find the people here genuine and sincere and I have only ever experienced much support, respect and love. You are all so fortunate to be a part of this most fantastic community. Take good care of it and value it. It’s worth looking after.
Jean and I thank you all for the past 14 years and pray that God will Bless you all for the future.