It was with a mixture of joy and sadness that we met to say farewell to Richard and Jane, and their son Tim, at a lunch after the service on the 7th January.
Speeches were made and gifts given, including a handsome cheque from the Forest Group via a collection from members and churches.
The following poem was written by Helen Tindall, formerly of Highams Park URC, and we are sure it is echoed by many members, who will remember our time with Richard and Jane very fondly.
Dear Richard, you’re leaving, you’ve come to the end
Of your journey in London – Farewell from your friends!
And now a new highway is waiting for you -
With hobbies and days out and nice things to do.
The Forest Group thanks you for all of your work
In Chingford and Woodford and ex-Highams Perk!
You’ve shared all your wisdom and made us more good,
Had more tea and biscuits than anyone should,
You’ve put up with quiz nights and concerts and shows,
And stood by our side through our highs and our lows.
You’ll see no more babies that you have to Christen,
No hymns sung so badly you can’t even listen,
No more Messy Church with the children so sticky,
And no more church politics – subjects so tricky.
No more church meetings and watching the clock,
For now this good shepherd is leaving his flock.
Just throw your old dog collar up in the air,
Dye your beard ginger and let down your hair!
It’s time for retirement up in the Wirral,
Where Laura and Jane can hang out with the squirrels.
Walk into the sunset with Jane, hand-in-hand –
We wish you good luck and we hope things are grand.
It’s farewell now, Richard, your sentence is served
And we wish you the happiness that you deserve!