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Rector’s Letter October 2017

This is, of course, my last magazine letter, prior to my retirement at the end of October. I want to begin by saying that it has been a great privilege to be Rector of the Parish of Llandudno for the last 13 years, and to have worked alongside such wonderful people. I will miss this beautiful town and our wonderful churches, but above all, I will miss you the people of Holy Trinity and St. Tudno’s. Thank you to everyone with whom I have served over these years, for your support, your hard work, and your friendship and humour in Christ. There were some difficult times in my early years but overwhelmingly the experience has been an enriching and enjoyable one.

Just like every other priest I am aware that failure has been mixed in with success and that I have certainly (to quote the 1662 Prayer Book) ‘left undone those things which (I) ought to have done; and….done those those things which (I) ought not to have done’. Thankfully, I think that most of my failures have been matters of omission rather than commission! My inertia has meant that there have been important things that we really should have done that didn’t get done. I am particularly sad that I didn’t push harder to have the Nave Altar Scheme at Holy Trinity carried out, and think that this scheme, or something like it, will have to be tackled sooner or later. But there is much that we have accomplished together or that others – such as the Children and Young Family Group and the work of the fabric committee, just to give two examples, have accomplished with my support. The re-establishment of the healing ministry with the Guild of Health and St. Raphael, and the creation of the Friends group at St. Tudno’s Church are two things I am proud of being involved with (together of course with many other people). I hope above all, that in some way I have brought Christ a little closer to you.

During my 13 years there have been some memorable acts of worship and events, among the most important of these being the 150th celebrations at Holy Trinity in 2015. It has been a great joy to preside at the Eucharist in the grandeur of Holy Trinity Church and in the simplicity of St. Tudno’s; a privilege to be alongside many of you in times of joy and distress, of new life and of death.

I wish the parish – and all of you – every blessing for the future and will continue to hold you – and your new parish priest (whoever that may be) in my prayers. He or she will lead you to new things, whilst (I hope) continuing this parish’s tradition of dignified, sacramentally based worship. If I have one message for you it is this: remain faithful to Christ, to His Holy Church and to His Sacraments and continue to be welcoming to all in His name. It is a matter of great joy that both our churches were awarded the Trip Advisor Certificate of Excellence this year (based on the comments of visitors), but even more joyful would it be if we drew more people, visitors and residents alike, to deeper faith in Christ.

Retirement for me is stepping down from holding an official position, not from being a Priest. I could no more cease to be a Priest than to be a Christian – for me both are intertwined. I hope to exercise a Priestly ministry in the area in which we will be living for as long as I am physically and mentally capable of doing so, a ministry similar to the one exercised here by the small band of ‘retired’ clergy whose friendship and support I have deeply valued.

Gaynor and I will be delighted to see any of you who would like to visit us in Abergele, but please let us know you are coming so that you know we will be at home to welcome you when you call.

Meanwhile during the interregnum you will be in the very capable hands of Archdeacon Paul, the Area Dean Robert Townsend, and our wonderful Wardens – Geoff and Judith aided by the deputy wardens, Christine, Jennifer, Terry, Cynthia and Eira. A note on the arrangements for the interregnum follows this letter.

With my blessing in Christ,

Canon John Nice SCP, Obl.Ben.

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