It’s difficult to put into words the enormous gratitude I feel, following last Sunday’s final service and presentation.

I was so touched by the words spoken by Peter and Linda, our cathedral wardens and do thank them for what they said and for wonderfully generous cheque presented to me. Canon Andrew spoke on behalf of the Chapter and again, such kind and generous thoughts. It has been a real joy to me to work with my colleagues on Chapter and with such a dedicated congregation. I do thank Sir Andrew Macfarlane, who spoke on behalf of the Cathedral Council, and the Lord Lieutenant, who spoke on behalf of the county – believe me, it has been a pleasure and a privilege to work with them both and with all the local and civic leaders whom they represent. The appearance of the Archbishop of Canterbury was a complete surprise – but I was so touched that Archbishop Justin should take the time and trouble to do this – it meant a great deal. I was very moved by the words of Bishop Richard and deeply honoured that he should confer on me the title of Dean Emeritus.

Everybody has been so very kind and I’ve received the most lovely letters, cards and emails. I hope to reply to all, even if it takes me a little while! I remember our dear friend, the late Dean Peter Haynes, saying that the job of a dean was ‘all joy’. I think he meant it in contrast to the job of archdeacon (in which role he had also served)! I’m not sure about the ‘all’ – every ministry has its ups and downs – but I can honestly say that the joys have always shone through and you all have made that happen, through your constant kindness, support and encouragement.

Hereford will always have a special place in my heart and I shall be praying for you all, as you move to the next stage of life in this wonderful place: and I know that you will say a prayer for me as I cross the border into Wales! 

God bless you all.