Sunday 17th September was the day the Parish managed to surprise our Rector.
At the end of the 10:30am Service, the Rector – to his great surprise and perhaps some shock – was invited to join Alan Rhodes as Lay Minister, at the steps of the sanctuary. Alan stated that there are many occasions for celebration in the life of our church and perhaps one of the most important ones is that of an anniversary. He went to say that on St. Matthew’s Day in 2007 – 21st September and some 10 years ago, (Leonard) John was instituted as Rector of Tullow Parish. On behalf of the Parish, Alan expressed the thanks of the congrega6on present and the wider parish family to John for his ministry over the past 10 years, particularly on pastoral matters in which he showed empathy and caring to all and how greatly it was appreciated by so many in the Parish. However, it was in the unseen things done by John that the Parish wanted to record; such as visiting people whether in hospital or at home; painting windows; climbing ladders to clear gutters on the church roof; barbequing and much more.
As Rector’s churchwarden, Mandy Swanwick then presented John with a Cross pen and propelling pencil desk-set inscribed with “Tullow 2017”. In reply, (once he had managed to get over the shock!) John expressed his sincere thanks to everyone and said his deepest wish for Tullow, both at the time of his institution and to this day, was that Tullow would be an active, thriving and popular Parish in which to worship and enjoy.
The congrega6on then followed with an extended round of applause in the church. Following the happy scenes in church, a heavily-indulgent chocolate cake with an inscrip6on “Tullow 10 Years” awaited all in the church hall at coffee. The Rector having successfully made the first cut and all had eaten heartily, about half the large cake was saved for the Sundown evening service at 7pm. The Sundown service then provided us the opportunity to present Vera, John’s wife, with an Anthurium “flamingo flower” plant in a copper plant-pot.
Vera was thanked for her support to John and their family and for her personal commitment to the Parish and deep involvement in so much of Parish life. Vera thanked all present and said how much they enjoyed being part of the Tullow