Three Days to Remember
--- Page the Third and Last---
This developing feature records the various events in the United Benefice and elsewhere
during the three days from Friday, June 23rd to Sunday, June 25th, 2012.
During that time a concert, a bumper farewell party (see below for the second instalment of this epic event!)
and a final Sunday service at St Mary's marked the imminent departure of our vicar,
Fr Neil Kelley, for pastures new, after thirteen years as incumbent at St Faith's and St Mary's.
The same days saw the ordination to the Roman Catholic priesthood of Fr Ged Callacher,
our one-time organist and long-time friend and colleague: his ordination
and first Mass were attended by more than a few of the folk of both parishes.
The Final Farewells
Joan Tudhope writes about the party and the presentations
Each held a letter
which formed, when they were displayed in order, the
words 'Our Father', referring to Fr. Neil.
cheque was then presented to Fr. Neil, to which both
congregations had contributed, to thank him for all he
had contributed to our two churches during his
party turns, song and poetry, monologue and duets,
were performed, and were enjoyed by all present. The
finale of the evening
Thanks again to Kathy Zimak and Lillie Wilmot for the pictures. They say the party isn't over until the fat lady sings, but in this case it was Fr Dennis...
Chris Price writes
The next morning, at 11.00 am in Saint Mary's Church, Fr Neil celebrated the Eucharist for the last time.
A packed church witnessed the dignified and prayerful ritual which Fr Neil has made his own,
punctuated by a powerful farewell sermon (see the link at the foot of this page for the text of this).
There was a trumpeter to sound the retreat, and presentations from the children of our churches.
Then, at the end of the mass, in a moving and unique ceremony, before the altar,
the vicar removed his chasuble and vested Revd Denise McDougall, Honorary Assistant Curate,
who will chair the Ministry Team during the interregnum which was about to begin, with it.
Finally, accompanied by the Churchwardens of both churches, he walked slowly to the back of the church,
passed the church keys to them and left in silence through the doors. After this solemn ritual,
we were all glad of the traditional glass of 'bubbly' in the Church Hall and a chance to say a last
farewell at the end of thirteen eventful years in the life of our United Benefice.
Kathy Zimak's pictures capture the mood of this very special occasion.