From our Former Assistant Minister, The Rev. Sandy GeddesSeptember 7, 2011
I would like to take this opportunity to explain to the congregation why, at this particular time, I have made the difficult decision to relinquish my position in Maxwelltown West.
One way (and, I confess, the easiest way!) for me to do this would be to quote a few passages (slightly edited, taking into account the time lapse until you read this) from a letter read to the Kirk Session near the end of June.
“I am doing this for several reasons. Firstly, I have been feeling under extra pressure with a rather heavier workload after Colin Sutherland gave up as Locum so unexpectedly in March. Secondly, I shall reach my 75th birthday in July” (now history!). “Thirdly, (and perhaps most importantly), our family, who live in Newton Mearns, Troon and Kilmacolm, have encouraged us strongly for some time to move closer to them so that they are available to help out in the event of a medical emergency (to which both my wife Elizabeth and I are increasingly prone)” (because of our respective health problems). “Therefore, I have after much thought and with considerable regret, decided to tender my resignation as Assistant Minister at Maxwelltown West Church, to take effect at the end of August.
I am in many ways very sad about giving up my work at Max West, but having done that work (I hope satisfactorily) for over twelve years, I feel the time has come to go, although I have deliberately postponed my decision to resign, until Gordon Savage’s health has improved sufficiently to give some hope that he will be able to make a relatively early return to full-time work.
I would like to express my thanks to both the Kirk Session and the Deacons’ Court for their support, and my appreciation also to the many older folk in the congregation whom I have come to know through my regular visiting schedule and who, in many cases, have become my good friends.”
Between June and the end of August, I successfully carried out my intention to make a final visit to all the folk on my visiting list to say farewell to them personally, and in some cases to break the news to them that I was leaving, and that I found stressful, particularly on the several occasions when tears were the order of the day.
I have enjoyed my time in Dumfries with you, and I know how much both my wife and I will miss the fellowship of our many friends in Maxwelltown West. Since this is being written at the end of July in order to be included in the September issue of “Contact”, it is impossible to say anything about where we shall be going or about my last Service on the 28th of August, when I have opted to speak to the children and preach the sermon, as well as to make a small parting gift to the church which I hope will mark permanently the bond between us and the congregation since 1999.
Thank you for your many good wishes for our future, and for the love we have received from so many of you. May the Lord bless you and keep you. Sandy Geddes