June 2018

First Thoughts (for the last time) : Terry

“When I was a lad I served a term
As office boy to an Attorney's firm.
I cleaned the windows and I swept the floor,
And I polished up the handle of the big front door.”

W. S. Gilbert - HMS Pinafore

Well, the first two lines are true, but there was no “cleaning of windows, sweeping the floor or polishing up the handle on the big front door” for me!

My first foray into the world of paid employment was as office boy with a firm of Brighton solicitors where it seemed one of my principal duties was to go to the local tobacconists and buy sixty Senior Service for the senior partner.

It was a time when I thought my future was to be in the law – an ordinary solicitor in general practice. But that was not to be; the Lord had different plans, and I slowly discerned a vocation to the priesthood.

A curious thing about all this is that the Brighton firm had an office in Shoreham, and probably my first introduction to our town was between school and university when I was seconded to the Shoreham office, now as “a Junior Clerk”.

The premises in John Street were also the offices of the Shoreham and Lancing Sea Defence Commissioners – the senior partner was their Clerk – and thus began an early tenuous link with Shoreham Beach as residents came in to pay their Sea Defence Rates.

During my lunch hour, I explored the town, particularly St Mary’s Church, little knowing that part of my future ministry would be here. When the time came for ordination in 1969, it was planned that I should serve in the parish of St Mary’s, Goring, but the Bishop changed his mind and, very late in the day, I was appointed to New and Old Shoreham, with Father Geoffrey Froggatt as my training incumbent.

Shoreham has played a significant part in my ministry. In 2008 I came back to assist Victor Standing at St Mary’s and St Nicolas’, then from 2011-2015 I was priest-in-charge of Kingston Buci, and for the past three years, Associate Priest at St Mary’s and the Good Shepherd.

It has been a great joy to me to have been able to serve God in many different communities across Sussex – from the very deprived part of Hastings to parishes across that affluent and influential central band of the county. So many people I have met have been a real source of blessing to me, and I thank God for them.

After forty-seven and half years of ordained ministry, it is now time to retire, and later in the summer Linda and I will move to live in the parish of East Blatchington, part of Seaford, where I hope to be able to give some assistance once we have settled in.

Two Farewell services are to be held at the end of this month. On Sunday, 17th June there will be Choral Evensong at St Mary’s at 6.00 pm, and the following Sunday, 24th June, a Parish Eucharist at the Church of the Good Shepherd at 10.00 am. Everyone is very warmly invited to be present, and I look forward to seeing you.

God bless you all,

Terry


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