My dear brothers and sisters, I am writing this brief item for the parish newsletter with a very heavy heart. It seems only yesterday that Father Gerry was taken ill and had to be taken to Kingston Hospital. As you know, Father’s health and mobility have been in decline over the past year, and for Father his greatest fear was that the time for him to leave his beloved parish was drawing ever closer. As anyone who knew Father Gerry will appreciate without me telling them, Father has never put his needs above those of the people he served (his family, that is you and me), but the time has now come when his needs must become what we want for him.
Father too has realised that he cannot do the many things that a parish family of this size requires and it is therefore with a heavy heart that he has decided that now is perhaps the best time for him to place the care of the parish of St Agatha in new and younger hands. It is therefore his decision that now is the right time for him to retire from active parish life. Naturally, he will continue to be close to this parish in spirit and to be involved in our lives with his love and his prayers.
I am certain that you will with me wish OUR Father Gerry every blessing asking him at the same time to continue to care and bless us while we and he enter into the next part of our journey of life. Fr Geoffrey
Fr Gerry will be living for the time being at Coloma Court, West Wickham. We will provide a telephone number on which he can be contacted in due course.