18 April, 2021
I have this week given notice to the Bishop that I will be retiring from my ministry here in Ducklington on 15 July.
Nicci and I have been praying about our next stage of life and as I would any case have to retire by my 70th birthday, we had been looking to God to guide us in our decision-making. When our tenant in Berkhamsted asked if they could advance the end of their tenancy by 2 months, we took that as a prompt to check out the housing market as we had already decided that we would not return to our old house which has an upward sloping drive and a long upward sloping garden. If you know Berkhamsted, generally the only way is “up” (or down!) and we wouldn’t choose that location at this stage in life – not over-friendly to increasingly arthritic joints!
We are now in the hands of God and our solicitor as we progress with both the sale of Berkhamsted and the purchase of our new home in nearby Tring.
I shall be chairing the Annual Parochial Church Meetings on 4 July and will preach and preside at our final formal service on Sunday 11 July. Nicci and I will then finish our preparations for our move to Tring in early August. We hope to arrange a couple of occasions to “bring and share” lunch together, begging the continued relaxation of COVID restrictions.
To give support and encouragement to the parish, I am delighted that our newly consecrated area bishop, +Gavin will visit St. Bartholomew’s on Sunday 16 May to preach and preside at The Eucharist.
We will leave you with our prayers for the continued flourishing of God’s mission here and for your own distinct calling to be part of this ministry, empowered by the Holy Spirit.
With God’s blessing,
Paul and Nicci