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A personal announcement from Fr Andrew

As with all of you, these past strange months have been a time of reflection and reassessment.

Many of you will have realised that since the death of our son David two years ago and certainly since the effects of Covid infection, I have not been my old self.

Following some time to think, pray and take counsel, before and over the Christmas period, I have decided to take early retirement from full time parish ministry. This means that, subject to the usual official & safeguarding processes, I shall leave St Stephen’s sometime after Easter. I shall be taking up the retirement ministry post of Master of Archbishop Holgate Hospital Almshouses in The Diocese of Leeds.

This has been one of the most difficult decisions of my life, but in the end I think it is right for me, Helen and my family and also for St Stephen’s which I am convinced, now needs new leadership and energy.

I have felt truly blessed in ministering here for the last 17 years - half of my ordained ministry - and I am heartbroken to go. I felt called by God to come here, and I truly feel called by God to move on now, confident that God will call a new, faithful priest to minister here.

The time is never right, but this is as right as it will ever be.

I finish this statement with two requests:

I ask for your understanding

but I ask most of all your prayers.

Please be assured of my prayers for you as a new chapter begins for us all.


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