Letters have to be exchanged, and a new DBS certificate obtained (the latter being the main cause of the delay). In the meantime it's all kept confidential to a relatively small group of people until it can be announced officially in the old and new location simultaneously. It's an immense relief to have it all out in the open, so we can begin to work on the handover, and I can start to plan for my move.
A few people have asked why I am going, so I thought I'd blog a few thoughts about moving on.
After Debbie died, I remember being asked if I would move, and I knew at the time that I wasn't going to engage with thinking seriously about that for at least a year. You don't make good decisions in the midst of turmoil, and more importantly I felt that the church community and I needed to grieve and process what had happened together. From time to time I have seen jobs being advertised, and I had no interest in looking at them, so I knew that was the right instinct.
Then something happened which told me that things had changed. Someone I know referred to a post being advertised, and for some reason I took a look at it. As I did so, I realised I was beginning to take quite an active interest, and that I was thinking myself into the situation to see if it was a good fit. In other words, the prospect of moving on had taken a different character.
None of this was a negative reflection on my current church or parish - they've been great. I love Morecambe with its challenges, opportunities, characters, community and creativity. There are so many people, activities and places that I will miss, so it's not an easy decision. Plus it has one of the finest sunset views you'll get anywhere.
|A snap I took last night|
Besides that, I have always been very keen in all my appointments not to exceed my "best-before" date. Over the years, I have known a few clergy who weren't aware that they had, and it can have a detrimental effect on them and their ministry. My current parish has lots of good things going on, but I believe it now needs someone who can work with them on the next stage of development. For me to do that would effectively require me to commit to being here until I retire, and I know that wouldn't be the right thing. It's time for someone else with a fresh perspective to be involved in writing the next chapter for Morecambe Parish Church, just as I will be bringing a fresh perspective when I work with my new church at Beverley.
Underlying all of this is the very important principle that no-one is indispensable. That should be true for any organisation; it should be especially true for a church. As I said on Sunday, the life and ministry of this church doesn't depend on me, it depends on the God whose gifts we were celebrating at Pentecost.