Dear friends.

Following the great seasons of Lent and Easter the Church now enters a fairly quiet time in its liturgical calendar. We have Ascension Day, Pentecost (Whit Sunday) and Trinity Sunday to come of course but in the main it is a quiet time afterwards. The same cannot be said for events in our own team of Farnworth, Kearsley and Stoneclough as changes are on the way particularly in the team Ministry which is very ably led by our Team Rector Carol. Kim Lafferty will be joining us as Team Vicar during the summer and will have responsibility for St. Stephen’s in the main but also throughout the Parish. I am sure she will be made very welcome amongst our Christian community. Karsten approaches the end of his time as Team Curate with us and will no doubt be moving on to pastures new with our blessings and thanks for his work and ministry with us. Dorothy continues her successful ministry with us and Malcolm will be ordained as a Priest at the end of June in the capacity of Ordained Local Minister (OLM) a position currently held by yours truly.

This seems an appropriate time for me to fade into the background and give Malcolm a “Free run” as your new OLM. I have therefore decided to retire from active regular ministry within our team from the end of June 2015. I will still be around of course and available to assist as necessary with the occasional services but I am beginning to feel that I am running out of steam and becoming a bit stale.

I am taking this opportunity to express in writing my heartfelt thanks to all of you for the support, assistance and love and affection that I have received over the past 20 odd years. (There are those who say that if a Priest is loved he or she is not doing a good job, I disagree with that sentiment) Thanks to the people who nominated me to become the first OLM in this parish and to those who became part of my support team during training, which believe me wasn’t easy and only God knows why he called me!!

Thanks to all of you for bearing with me over the years, not least to my wife whose support has been invaluable and for listening to my sermons and my sometimes successful attempts to explain the Gospel message through humour, sometimes it works sometimes not but I have always believed that Jesus doesn’t want miserable churches and so I have tried to do my bit for him. I am sure that the team will make good progress with its new staff members and that the good news that Christ brings will continue to spread amongst all people. I will close my final Parish letter now with the words from the Gospels that I have always found most meaningful to me throughout my life and throughout my ministry ---



“The light shines in the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it”

John 1:5


And so in the future

Go in peace to love and serve the Lord.