Sunday 21st May 2023
It has been nothing but a privilege for Sarah and I to be here for the last 16 ½ years. You have made us so welcome. For us it has been the happiest and most fulfilling time in our 41 years of ministry together and for that we are profoundly grateful.
When we began here, the bishop entrusted me with the cure of souls not just of a congregation, but of the parish of Rose Hill, Donnington and Iffley village.
The cure of souls is a sacred trust. That responsibility has been shared with many others in the parish, and with Sarah in particular. Without all of you it wouldn’t have been possible.
And in exercising that sacred trust I have been sustained, loved and supported by Sarah, by our family, by our friends, by the ministry team, and in more ways than you can possibly imagine, by you all.
In one way or another you have all contributed to the countless wonderful memories that we take with us.
But there’s always more. More that we could have done; more that there is still to be done. The number of vicars on the board at the back of church is 52, and those are just the names that we know – please God there will be many more.
I leave you with some words of a theologian who said:
‘Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime;
therefore we must be saved by hope.
Nothing truly beautiful or good makes complete
sense in any immediate context of history;
therefore we must be saved by faith.
Nothing we do, however virtuous,
can be accomplished alone;
therefore we must be saved by love.
No virtuous act is quite as virtuous from the
standpoint of our friend or foe,
as from our own standpoint;
therefore we must be saved by that final form of love
which is forgiveness.’
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you.