I am finding it difficult to find the words for this letter. My last service at Brook Street will be on 31st July, and shortly after that, Jean and I will be moving to Wales.
It seems hard to believe that I first came to Knutsford 24 years ago! Someone who was there on that occasion, told me recently that I spoke well but looked a little nervous. Another person at that first service (I never found out who it was) told a friend of mine that she really felt as if she had been to church. I gathered that it was meant as a compliment!
I have been exceptionally happy in my time as Minister at Brook Street, not least when Jean and I were married 13 years ago. There were many things that went to make my ministry a rewarding and fulfilling experience, but they can be summed up in three words: ‘all of you’.
Ours is a very special community, a kind of extended family. We have fun and laughter in the happy times, and we support each other in times of difficulty, illness or bereavement. There is a depth of feeling in our worship which makes it a very special place, a place of sanctuary and a place of peace. Our Free Christian faith in the Unitarian tradition enables us to worship God in freedom and in truth.
There are so many of you whom I want to thank, for all the different ways in which you have worked for our chapel over the years. Our Officers and our committee members, both past and present, work tirelessly to do the important work of administration and finance, which keep our chapel going. Our organists, both present and past, add a wonderful musical dimension to our worship every Sunday. Many others, not on the committee, give generously, both financially and in their time, talents, and skills. Here are just a few examples: our newsletter editors, our door stewards, those who do the Sunday refreshments, those who help with special events, those who give flowers, those who arrange the flowers, to all of these and more, I say a heartfelt thank you. There are too many of you to name and it would be invidious to leave anyone out so I will name one person only, my wife and fellow minister, Jean. She has been my constant companion, steadfast support, and soul mate over the last few years, both when she was your minister and in the last few years when I returned to be your minister. Thank you, Jean.
Jean and I are looking forward to spending more time together and pursuing our various interests and hobbies. We will miss seeing all our friends at Brook Street on Sunday mornings, but the chapel will always have a very special place in our heart. We look forward to hearing news of all our Brook Street friends in the future, and our thoughts and prayers will always be with you.
Thank you so much for having entrusted me with the honour of being your minister over the past few years. It has been a joy to share those years with you. I wish you love, light and peace, and may God bless you in all your ways.