Time to move on…

By now I hope you will all have caught up with the news that I shared with the congregation on 1st July, that, after 13 years as your minister, I shall be moving to a new post at the beginning of October. I will be taking on the responsibility for managing Stepwise, the URC’s new Discipleship Development Programme and successor to Training for Learning and Serving (TLS). Some of you I know have completed aspects of this in the past.

As a minister, making the decision to move is never easy as there is always more to it than just changing jobs. As well as all the practicalities there is also the emotional and spiritual attachment that one feels towards people in the church and community, and the joy and privilege of being your minister is not an easy thing to give up.

We have been richly blessed during our time in North Wales. We have made many friends, found joy and fulfilment in ministry and got to know people well, not just in Dyserth and Holywell but across the region and Synod. But part of ministry is responding to God’s call and, when the time comes, journeying on.

Yet whilst I know this and believe it to be true, when it happens it is always rather unexpected! It would be fair to say that I had not been ‘seeking a move’, but in ways that are hard to explain, I was minded to explore further this new role when I saw it advertised. Then through conversations with colleagues and trusted friends, and following the recruitment process and subsequent offer of the post, the sense that this was indeed a genuine call seemed to be confirmed.

So will we be moving from Dyserth? Well, not quite yet. Adam will go into Year 11 in September which is the final GCSE year so it is important for him that he doesn’t change schools at this point. We are therefore grateful that we are able to remain living in Dyserth until next summer when we will probably move further south to be nearer family in Bristol.

Some questions were asked at the Annual Church Meeting about future ministry for Horeb and in North Wales following my departure. As has been reported in Praxis over the past few months we know that the situation was to change anyway and that the churches are all being consulted about how best to provide ministry with fewer ministers. My leaving may accelerate this process and so it is important that the church engage fully with this as it happens. Watch this space!

Looking ahead, one or two events are planned to take place in September so listen for the details of these. My last Sunday will be the 30th Sept with a United Pastorate Service at St Peter’s Church in Holywell starting at 11.00am, when our Synod Moderator, the Revd Simon Walkling will be the preacher. I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunity for conversation between then and now, and if anyone has any particular questions then please don’t hesitate to ask.