Parish of Leatherhead - Goodbye to David and Ginny

Statement to be read at all services on Sunday 26th October 2008

Canon David Eaton: I have written to the Bishop of Guildford to inform him of my intention to retire from being the Incumbent of the United Benefice of Leatherhead and Mickleham with effect from 28th February next year.

This gives a little longer notice than might be usual but it will allow the process of choosing my successor to get under way and hopefully reduce the length of the interregnum. Both parishes will be involved in the process of choosing my successor as will those churches which are in a Covenant relationship with the Parish of Leatherhead, Leatherhead Methodist Church and Leatherhead United Reformed Church.

The final appointment will be made by the Patron of the United Benefice which is the Bishop of Guildford and the Dean and Chapter of Rochester Cathedral, who act jointly.

from the December 2008 magazine
Most people will have heard by now that I intend to retire at the end of February next year, although my last Sunday in Leatherhead will actually be 1 March. Looking back, it only seems to me like five minutes ago that we arrived as a family in Leatherhead. Our daughter Carly, who was married at the Parish Church in August, was just seven. A lot has happened since 1989 and there will be an opportunity for me to say more nearer the time of leaving.

It has been a hugely significant time for Ginny and myself and our family and we shall be sorry to leave the many friends we have made in Leatherhead since arriving.

I have given a little more notice than might be usual, but this is to enable the process of appointing a successor to get underway. It hopefully means there will not be too long an interregnum. This appointment involves a process of consultation, which includes both the church councils of Leatherhead and Mickleham, because the two parishes are joined in a United Benefice. Our covenanting partner churches, the Methodists and the United Reformed Church, will also be consulted since we are in a Local Ecumenical Partnership.

The church council will appoint two members to represent it (usually the churchwardens). These will take part in the actual selection procedure under the guidance of the Bishop who will make the final appointment.

We are fortunate in having a strong team of churchwardens and clergy. During an interregnum the overall responsibility lies with the churchwardens and Rural Dean. The recently appointed Rural Dean is Robert Jenkins, vicar of Cobham, who was for many years a Reader at Leatherhead and knows the parish well. Mary Cruddas and Mike Stewart serve in this parish and will be able to offer continuity during the interregnum. However, they cannot be expected to do everything and some locum clergy ministry will also be needed.

The Parish Office will continue to be open in the mornings, Monday to Friday, where Jane Andrews, the Parish Secretary, can be contacted. You will help all these people by offering your assistance where you can and by not referring to them matters which you or others can deal with yourselves.

added 28 Jan: 14 Feb10am-noon Garage sale at Leatherhead Vicarage!