Essex CO7 6DE
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As Heather, Lauren and I prepare to take our leave of you early in the New Year, I realise that I will have spent a third of my life here in Dedham, and that it is the only home that Heather and Lauren can fully remember - so it will not be easy for us to say 'farewell'. I am very grateful to Be Burleigh and others who will be organising an occasion when we can thank you and to take our leave, after my final service on Sunday 18 January.
There remain many decisions to make, many things to do - and so many people to see in the few weeks that are left to me before I begin another part of my life, as the Chaplain of Bloxham School in Oxfordshire. Please continue to pray for me, as well as for all those here in Dedham who will have extra responsibilities during the months ahead.
Between now and then there is Advent and Christmas for us to enjoy. I find that I get more joy from Christmas if the Advent weeks have be used fully as they are intended - for 'getting ready' spiritually. I invite you to use the services of worship in December so as to get more out of Christmas, that together we may celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ - and the freedom we have to do so.
WHEN THE VICAR LEAVES
When a parish minister leaves there is a wide range of possibilities as to how another may be found. One likely outcome is a 'Suspension of the Benefice'. This means that the Bishop, through various diocesan officers and committees, will then be able to decide whether Dedham is to be linked by its ministry with any neighbouring parish. This process can take up to a year.
When the time eventually comes to make a new appointment, the PCC specifies the post and the kind of person they seek (this is called a 'Parish Profile'); the Patrons (i.e. Dedham Ecclesiastical Lectureship Trust) nominate a suitable minister; the Parish Representatives (i.e. the two Churchwardens) decide whether to accept the nominated candidate; and finally the Bishop institutes (if it is to be a permanent appointment) or licenses (if it is to be temporary) the new minister.
Vicar & Lecturer