Moving on

‘What will you do when you retire?’ is a question I have been asked a great number of times recently. The assumption being that after Assembly in Southport I will be at a loss as to how to fill my empty days.

My usual response it to point out that I ‘retired’ three years ago when I got to the magic age of 65. Since then I have been discovering the wisdom of the saying that perhaps retirement is a job for a younger person. I prefer to think that after next weekend I will have the opportunity to explore other interests beyond the church.

St. Neot's

St. Neot’s

Carla and I will be moving to Morpeth in Northumberland and although she will continue as a freelance practical theologian we both intend to pay attention to the community and the culture that will surround us. I will always be grateful for the opportunities that I have had to share in the life of congregations across Britain and in other parts of the world. To meet with faithful people fulfilling their vocation as the beloved people of God has been an inspiration and a joy. In often challenging circumstances sisters and brothers in Christ are doing what they need to do to tend the flame of faith. We often receive little reward for our witness but future generations will look back and say thank God for the church of the early 21st century who kept the faith alive when the easier option was to walk away.

Monks Chapel

Monks Chapel

As I move on I look forward to catching the whisper of the Spirit on the terraces at St. James’ Park, the beaches at Dunstanburgh, the concerts at the Sage, the art exhibitions at the Baltic and in the conversations with neighbours and friends. Of course you will rightly say that you shouldn’t have waited until you ‘retired’ to be so open to what God is saying and doing beyond the church. So listen to your own advice start listening and be the people of the way that embrace and enjoy God in contemporary culture and not just in the church.

Lindisfarne

Lindisfarne

Thank you for sharing the journey and if you happen to be in Northumberland come and share the story of being people of the way, building trust, restoring confidence, renewing hope and drinking deeply from all that God provides.

David Grosch-Miller

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