This is my last (or possibly penultimate) writing of Kinneigh Notes as I will be departing these shores on the 22nd January.
It does feel very strange on several accounts - we'll all be reading the Diocesan Magazine in January and I am writing this early December before I've even got round to thinking about Christmas cards! I have also written a â€˜Vicar's Letter' for the new parish in England. At the Rectory here, I continue my wonderful sort out and throw out. People who come to the door nearly all go away with something! It is not just that I am feeling bountiful but it is so helpful to find homes for things I don't really need anymore. It is amazing how much one person can acquire. As I sort, I analyse everything - things that bring back memories, things that are â€˜family' - they are not mine so much but I am their custodian for the time being; things that are functional or useful and things that are not. I think we all need times of reflection on our lives at all levels. How we are spiritually, mentally, physically and where our values are, often reflects how our homes are. Everything is connected.
I will be living in a very small but cosy cottage for the first year or so; hence my desire to lessen my worldly goods. Meanwhile a brand new (hopefully eco-friendly) vicarage will be built but not as big as the Rectory in Ballineen. I have enjoyed the house and garden here and will be very sorry to leave what has become home for a while. Leaving has mixed emotions. I am going back to a part of England which has very many family connections for me. I will be â€˜local' in a sense I could never be here. The feeling of going home, being near old friends and family is a good feeling. I will be in easier reach of my mother, now in her ninety second year. On the other hand I am sad to be leaving friends here. I have enjoyed getting to know you all and I now understand the West Cork way of speaking – just!
I already know I will eventually come back for visits (and no I won't get in my successor's way and will only come on invitation) but there are some important occasions coming up – there are two bicentenary celebrations to organise in 2010 and 2011 (Kilmeen and Farranthomas), and the 1000 years of the Round Tower in 2014. There is a lot to look forward to in this Union and I leave knowing there is the will to flourish and get on with the life of the Union.
Thank you to all who have made me feel welcome these last six and a bit years; not only in the Union but beyond in the wider Diocese and those outside the church family. Thank you also (writing in anticipation) to all who made Christmas special in this Union - the decoration of the churches, participation in the various parties and get-togethers, Carol Services, Christmas itself and the Christingle Service.
Happy New Year and all blessings for 2009 and beyondâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦ from your friend Judith.