We can all, I expect, recall major ‘goodbye’ moments of our lives. There may be ones that were painful and unwanted, and others that were full of hope and expectation despite all we left behind. As I move on to new pastures this week, I know there are faces and voices, laughs and smiles, that I will miss dearly. There are routines and rhythms, places and spaces, that will no longer be there.
I have much to say thank you for to all at St Mary’s, for your welcome and support, your inspiration and challenge, over the past two years. There have been highs aplenty – the raucous laughter and irreverence at Mardi Gras evenings, the raw honesty of student discussion dinners, the 12-foot rainbow Jesus strolling down Cornmarket Street for Oxford Pride, the glory of the Advent and Christmas Carol Services. At low moments, I have always been thankful for the support and kindness of colleagues, parishioners and friends, to help me see my way through and grow.
St Mary’s has so much to offer the modern world – in its ability and enthusiasm to think anew about faith in ways that meet the challenges and insights of contemporary life, in its artistic and active life that seeks to build a more imaginative and hopeful world, and in the warmth of its community and welcome. These are gifts I will cherish as I leave, and that I hope and pray I take with me and will hold on to.
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