Sunday, 7 August 2011

"Farewell MY Lovely"

Sorry about the title - just couldn't resist it.

This morning we, the Parish of St. Mary's with Bierton and Hulcott, said our final farewell to our beloved curate David Cloake.

I say final farewell, because there have been many. Each of the churches in the Benefice and all of the many individual communities and groups within them have had their own goodbyes.  Today was the last sermon he will  preach in St. M's so  his similarity to Dame Nellie Melba, who had more farewell concerts than during her performing life, end here.

It was for us as well as for David, a huge celebration of his time with us as well as overwhelmingly sad for us all.
His sermon, as we had expected was somewhat "off the wall", no change there then, and the rest of the service became more and more of a three-ring-circus than even we were used to.

The readings were excellently done, the first by a supremely confident 6 year old and the other shared by two young brothers.  Unusually and rather naughtily this produced a round of applause, (the first of many in this one-off service).

The two other priests in attendance joined in the spirit of this service/eucharist/event and the whole was rounded off by the organist playing - in place of the usual voluntary - "Wish me luck as you wave me Goodbye".

Altogether a wonderful mixture of joy and sadness with the country's best ring-master in overall charge.

We knew we had to let him go at some stage, but no-one wanted the actual day to come.  As one of the other two priests said "we love you David and you will be greatly missed".

Look out Whitton, you won't know what's hit you!


  1. I once heard the story of the curate who preached at his last service before moving on. His text was (something like - and I say that because I dont think I've found quite the correct passage) Genesis 22 v5, which he adapted to say (with reference to the vicar) "You stay here with the ass and I will go on ahead"!

  2. What a lovely post Ray.....I am sure he will remember you all with great affection.

  3. Only he could answer that one, but it would be nice to think so Jean.
    Thanks for the comment.

  4. A bittersweet day, no doubt. David's been a boon to you and your community and I'm glad to hear that the last day was hilarious, as seems fitting.

  5. Yes Penny, bittersweet indeed on so many levels, and it was good that he managed to conquer his "shyness"!!!!!
    Everyone who was there had only good things to say so a brilliant exit really.