Many readers of our newsletter will already have heard the news that Peter and Alison will be leaving Battersea and St Mary’s in the summer. They have had a longterm plan to settle for the next part of their retirement in Suffolk, close to where Alison grew up. Shortly after Christmas, they found a dream home in the centre of Woodbridge and have managed to sell their home in Beechmore Road to a family with children at Thomas’s School.
Peter and Alison will be saying farewell to us over the coming weeks and, as a church, we will have a proper opportunity to say thank you and goodbye to them. I am sure there will be many of you who will want to offer them a more personal, individual appreciation for particular aspects of their kindness, service and Christian ministry over a quarter of a century at St Mary’s. More details of the church farewell will be available soon.
However, readers will want to know that their final services at St Mary’s will be on Sunday 24th July, when Peter will preside and preach at both morning services and there will be some sort of social event over the lunchtime of that day. While this is in the summer holiday period, everyone who is able to come to church that weekend is warmly invited to do so, so that we can give thanks to God for Peter and Alison and all their love and kindness, and we can pray for God’s blessing on their future life and service together in their new home and community.
PS. A number of people have already been in touch with me about the need to provide supportive clergy assistance in the parish. Although it is unlikely that we will have a curate at St Mary’s for a couple of years, the Bishops, Archdeacon and I are already talking about what we might be able to do in the next few years, and I hope those conversations will bear fruit before too long.