Not so long ago our local vicar reached the grand old age of 65. We held a surprise retirement party for him in the local village hall.
I love these events. There is always such a variety of people there, and often people from the parish who I don’t see very often. It’s nice to have the opportunity to catch up on all their news and share my own with them.
The other thing I like about these events is the food. Being a real foodie I love the ‘shared suppers’ where everyone brings a plate of fare of their own choosing. There are always some extraordinary dishes on the table to try.
We had a collection for Tim, deciding to give him the cash rather than buy an inappropriate or unwanted gift. After all, at 65 he more than likely has everything he needs or wants. We decided he might like to use the money for something like a holiday, or maybe he has a project he can put it towards.
The amount collected was testiment of Tim’s good works in the parish. He was handed nearly £1,000 on the night, in a box that looked like it might have contained a carriage clock. I think he thought it was a carriage clock at first!
Tim made a speech; we expected nothing less from this great narrator. He told us how humbled he was by our generosity, and yet it is he who has been the generous one, constantly giving of his time, always having an ear to listen, a wise word to say. He told us about his decision to give his life to God, and made us all laugh when he said ‘neither of us mentioned me stopping at 65’!
We are expecting a new incumbent in the near future, but Tim will continue to work in our parish – mostly unpaid, of course, as he has been for some years now. People who work in a caring role don’t stop caring just because they reach retirement age. God Bless them.
Enjoy the journey.