It is only two weeks since our Farewell Service and yet it seems much longer because we have been occupied with a series of contractors, renewing a bathroom, having new doors, a cupboard and bookshelves, having a new fire installed and having the whole place painted. That’s not to mention opening removal boxes and unwrapping various items and putting up pictures – there are still plenty more boxes to open. We went to our local church on Mothering Sunday for a very friendly and informal service, a variation on Messy Church, but this morning we went to the Boston Stump for a more dignified Sung Eucharist, with the emphasis on making their church a place of hospitality – this is quite challenging as it is the biggest parish church in England and you can’t help feeling a bit lost in it, but there was a friendly welcome.
However, the purpose of this letter is to thank you all most sincerely for our tremendous and memorable send-off at the last service, with its kind words about our time with you and the extremely generous gift for my retirement, which is a big help with all we have to buy for the house and garden. We were also incredibly appreciative of the peal of bells, the wonderful organ playing and the singing of the joint choirs and the gorgeous refreshments in the hall afterwards. Most of all, it was a great encouragement to both of us to see so many of you there at this service marking the end of my full-time ministry. We shall miss you all, but we will always be pleased to see old friends, even as we have to make a new life with new friends and fresh opportunities for ministry here in Lincolnshire.
It just remains for us to wish you well in your search for a new parish priest.
With every blessing,
Stephen and Elaine.