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Retirement.

2014 July 9
by Gordon Reid

For most of one’s working life, retirement seems a very long way off. Then it comes a little closer, and then suddenly it rushes upon one. At least that is how it has seemed to me.

I will be leaving St Clement’s, Philadelphia, on August 31, just over eleven years after I came to preach on the Feast of the Assumption of Our Lady at the invitation of Bishop and Vestry. And looking back, these eleven  years have passed in a flash. I have recorded in this blog much of the joy I have had in the life and work of St Clement’s and my increasing pleasure in living in Philadelphia. Now I must leave them both.

The sadness of leaving will be mightily tempered by  the Vestry’s inspired choice of  my successor, Fr Rick Alton, whom I first got to know when he was Rector of St Mark’s, Locust St, in this same city. We became firm friends, and I am so happy that the Vestry’s choice fell upon him. I am sure that he will develop and expand the Catholic witness of St Clement’s within the Episcopal Church.

The sadness of leaving is also tempered, I have to admit, by the fact that I intend to continue to make my home in Philadelphia. But first I intend to take a long break and make myself scarce. However friendly one may be, it is a very good convention that a new Rector (or a new Bishop, for that matter) should not have his predecessor hanging around. So in September I am off to  the UK to spend some time seeing many old friends.

5 Responses leave one →
  1. Bob Warsham permalink
    July 9, 2014

    To paraphrase Andrew Mead who recently preached his final sermon at S. Thomas 5th Ave, you are not being “replaced”, you are being “suceeded” . Best wishes for a long and fruitful retirement…I suspect you will be busy. Perhaps memoirs or collected writings?

  2. Brenda Goodwin permalink
    July 9, 2014

    Are you going to be around Europe as well as the UK after the beginning of September ? Maybe we could coincide somewhere ?

    I think you’re going to have a great retirement. You’ve had a fantastic time at St. Clements, but I’m sure that more exciting things are yet to come. I know from experience that “retirement” is what you make it, and with all your experience and creativity you’ll be able to do wonderful things and realise some long-held dreams. And of course, you have a book to finish …

    I hope your remaining time at St. Clements will be happy and satisfying.

    Love,

    Brenda.

  3. July 9, 2014

    After your retirement, are you also going to visit Belgium?

  4. Paul Emmons permalink
    July 10, 2014

    We will miss you, Fr. Reid! Maybe you can do as Fr. John Andrew did. Apparently retirement in Bath, England left him bored, so he returned to New York for a challenging interim rectorship at another major parish, and then quietly resumed a humble place at S. Thomas, where he is still serving. Whenever I see him, I think, “thou art a priest forever…”

  5. Tom van alen permalink
    July 16, 2014

    Haven,t yet heard about Ghicago. Perhaps now I’m Marblehead I’ll find time to call you!!!

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