A Letter From the Manse

May 5th, 2017 by Church Admin Leave a reply »

Dear Friends,
Since the last newsletter in February, one of the most commonly asked questions I have been asked is “Are you looking forward to retirement?”.
To which part of the answer is “Yes” – as it will be good to be able to do what other retired people do – take up last minute offers of a few days away without having to get pastoral cover or pulpit supply!
Be able, as we plan to do, to attend concerts without having to check the diary to see if there is a church meeting to chair.
Be able to accept invitations to attend events at our grandson’s school.

But while we are looking forward to things like these – and more – there is also the sense of leaving behind the familiar. 28 years is the longest that either Frances or I have ever been settled in one place.

It is not possible to have been so much part of a community, and not feel a sense of loss, almost bereavement, that the people amongst whom we have lived all these years, will no longer be the people amongst whom we will be living. To have been part of the lives of so many people, and indeed generations of people in Carnoustie, has been an immense privilege.

While I will have the opportunity to say more in the next Newsletter, one or two things can be said now. I am pleased that Presbytery has appointed Rev Alasdair Graham, minister of Arbroath West Kirk as Interim Moderator. Alasdair is a good friend and some of you will remember he was Interim Moderator the last time there was a Vacancy here! He has already had a meeting with the Kirk Session and Vacancy Advisory Committee, (appointed by Presbytery) about the way forward, and I know that Alasdair will lead you well. I, of course, have no part to play in meetings and discussions to do with the Vacancy.

I am also pleased that Rev Dougal Edwards has accepted the invitation of the Kirk Session to act as Locum during the Vacancy. Dougal also retires at the end of June, and is already known to many of you, having undertaken Pastoral Cover when I was on holiday and also in 2003 for the 10 weeks I was in Bangladesh on Study Leave. He will be working Sunday and 2 days (which includes preparation for Sunday) and so the level of Pastoral Cover will not be as great as it has been with a full time minister, but the Kirk Session is aware that they will have additional responsibilities during the Vacancy.

It is also very important that the congregation continues to support the Church during this period of change and transition – through continued support financially and also by attendance at Sunday Worship. Don’t get out of the habit of coming to church!

There will be a number of Edicts to be read in the coming weeks and months, particularly on the last two Sundays of June, calling a Congregational Meeting on Sunday 2nd July where a Nominating Committee of 11 people will be elected. Please do not underestimate the importance of this meeting. These will be the people who will begin the search for a new minister.

It is a strange feeling being the minister until the end of June, but with other events taking place which do not involve me – but I believe you are in a good position to attract nominations to be your new minister in Carnoustie Panbride, someone who will lead you in the years to come.

So, am I looking forward to retirement? When I get there, yes – it will be a new adventure for both Frances and me, but it will also be a new adventure for you in Carnoustie Panbride. But God goes ahead, preparing the way.

Yours sincerely,
Matthew

Leave a Reply