BISHOP NIGEL WRITES

Clergy don’t really retire. God reimagines our ministry and we adjust our lives. However, we probably did not anticipate these extraordinary times. I hope you and your family are well and coping with the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Busy as some of us are, months of social distancing and missing worship in church are emotionally difficult, and maybe you have medical or practical concerns to contend with. I retired to Welton in Lincoln Diocese in 2017 and serve as an Honorary Assistant Bishop. Bishop David has asked me to support our two Officers for Retired Clergy & Widows/Widowers, Rev Canon Christine Pennock and Rev Jeremy Green. They introduced themselves to you back in February and we thought it was time for an autumn newsletter.

We believe that retired clergy and widows/widowers are a blessing and are reflecting on how best to serve you with advice and support moving forward. We would very much like to work closely with Rural Deans and Deaneries within which many of us serve and find our pastoral support. The Retired Clergy Handbook 2016 remains a useful source of information and is being updated. The Retired Clergy Support Group has now come to an end and we thank the Venerable Geoff Arrand, Rev Canons Michael Boughton, Peter Hall, John Thorold, Revs Martin Brebner, David Hill and Ian Walker for their generous service over many years. Links with the national Retired Clergy Association continue.

 

For the foreseeable future social restrictions mean that diocesan events for retired clergy, widow/widowers will not be possible, which highlights the importance of local expressions of friendship. In challenging times and as we head into the winter season, we need to look out for each other, living each day to the full. [email protected]

 

CONTACTING THE OFFICERS FOR RETIRED CLERGY, WIDOWS/WIDOWERS

 

      

Rev Canon Christine Pennock [email protected] Tel 07854 847780 should be contacted for those in the following Deaneries in the southern half of the Diocese: Stamford, Beltisloe, Christianity, Elloe East, Elloe West, Graffoe, Grantham, Holland East, Holland West, Lafford, Lovenden.

Rev Jeremy Green [email protected] Tel. 07939 785572 should be contacted for those in the following Deaneries in the northern half of the Diocese: Isle of Axholme, Corringham, Lawres, Manlake, West Wold, Yarborough, Bolingbroke, Calcethwaite & Candleshoe, Grimsby & Cleethorpes, Haverstowe, Horncastle, Louthesk.

 

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

for fellowship and support but sadly Covid-19 has made that impossible for the foreseeable future.

We do hope that you have been able to find any necessary support locally in your Deaneries, but please do let us know if either of us could help you in any way. As many of you will know, there are some grant-making charities if you are in particular need, and we would be happy to give you contact details for these charities if you are unable to find them on line.

Please also let us know if there are any gatherings we could organise (Covid-19) permitting, that might be of support to you. For example, as we mentioned in our last letter, we have wondered whether those of you who have recently retired might find it beneficial to meet together to talk about the expectations, challenges and opportunities of that new situation, and to provide a possible mutual support group for clergy at a time of considerable readjustment. Are there other gatherings we could facilitate that would be beneficial to you?

We do hope that you will feel free to contact either of us (depending on whether you are in the North or South of the Diocese) if you think that we can be of assistance, recognising of course that in no way do we wish to supplant the vital role and responsibilities of your own local incumbent and Rural Dean. During the present Covd-19 situation all communication will need to be by email or telephone.

 

With warm good wishes

      

Autumn Bonfire Photo by Raymund McQuillan

 

In the present pandemic circumstances, it has not been possible to send this Newsletter by post to clergy widows / widowers whose email addresses we do not have. May we ask you to copy this on to any such individuals you know locally? Many thanks.