Lunchtime on Sunday, 10th October 2010 was a very special occasion at St. Mary’s, for not only did we share our traditional harvest lunch, but also said farewell to our Assistant Curate, Revd. Paul Hambling. Paul has worked in the parish for three and a half years, first as a deacon and then as a priest. During this time, he has become a much loved member of St. Mary’s clergy team and is well known throughout Woodbridge. His work with young people in schools and organisations has shown his special gifts of communication and humour, whilst at the same time, he has displayed compassion and empathy with older folk, too.
During our Harvest Festival service in the morning, many moving tributes were paid to Paul, especially by Michael Booth. The congregation presented Paul with a gift and the children gave him a delightful card which they had made. This, his last service with us, was one of his finest: a clear voice; beautiful singing; a wonderful story, told to and acted with the children, had the aisles echoing with laughter. We have watched Paul grow in confidence and stature during his time with us and we are sorry to see him go. However, his new parish in Merton Priory Team Ministry, South London, has an amazing new priest to lead and inspire them and he goes with our best love and congratulations.
Adding to the sense of occasion, the flower arranging team had excelled in producing beautiful displays throughout the church, enhanced by the bright sunlight shining through the stunning stained glass windows. As the children brought their harvest gifts to the altar, voices were raised in joyful harmony, led by the choir and organ. A truly memorable morning, one which I’m sure Paul will remember, as we will remember him.
At the lunch, further tributes were paid to Paul by the Rector, Revd. Canon Kevan McCormack, and by the Assistant Priest, Revd. Dr. John Hare. A lovely gesture from Paul was to present St. Mary’s with a gift, which the churchwardens accepted on our behalf. For photographs of this special occasion, see here
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