Jonathan and Paul returning to the UK

Jonathan and Paul will soon be returning to the UK after almost 6 wonderful years in Canada

As you see from the title of this article, we will soon be returning to the UK after almost 6 wonderful years in Canada. It has been a very rich experience – living in a city which is like Europe, but isn’t, like France, but isn’t, like the USA but isn’t and like Canada but isn’t – it is full of contradictions and hugely diverse life-experiences – both fun and over-serious at the same time.

The Cathedral, where we have both worked in various areas of church and musical life, is also an exciting place with some wonderful people.   We will miss our friends from the cathedral and from the city greatly.

But, in November, we are returning to London.  Paul has accepted the House for Duty post of Associate priest at St Andrew’s Leytonstone, conveniently on the Central Line. The House for Duty element means that there will be more free time to pursue hobbies and interests, and to catch up with our friends after 6 years.  In March this year Paul’s father died in Devon and after some serious family conversations we all decided that this was the right time to return to the UK and for Nick, Paul’s brother, to move into the new vicarage with us both.  Tim will also be living with us for a while as well, and it will be lovely to be spending more time with him too.

Wonderfully the vicarage is an old fashioned large Edwardian semi with lots of large high-ceiling rooms and five bedrooms.  So we will we be able to spread ourselves out between garden, music room and study and there will be space for guests and friends to visit us.  We are looking forward to that again.

When we moved to Canada we sold, gave away and generally got rid of almost everything we had.  Now that we are moving back we will only be bringing our pictures, photos, books and personal items.  This means we will have a big house which will need absolutely everything from sofas and wardrobes, to duvet covers and pillow cases.  Partly because of cost, but mainly because of environmental and consumerist concerns, we have decided to try not to buy any new items for ourselves and for the house.  We do not want to cause any expense or trouble or work for our friends, but we are hoping that family and friends might have pre-loved but not longer used items of all sorts sitting in lofts, cellars, cupboards and boxes.  If you have just one or two old and used things – from chest freezers to flannels, that would love a new home with new loving owners then we would be delighted to have them.   Timothy, Marie-Caroline and Philippa are keeping a sort of excel spreadsheet of stuff so that we don’t end up with 10 toasters and no kettle if you see what I mean.   Their email addresses are below, so if you have anything you think you can spare us, please send an email to all three addresses. Thank you!

We are very much looking forward to being back in the UK and to being able to catch up with you once more.  We arrive on November 24th in the morning, and the licensing service at St Andrew’s will be on Monday 19th December in the evening.  You are very much invited, and we will probably do an open-house buffet tea in the vicarage during the afternoon to which you are also very welcome.

with love,

Paul and Jonathan.