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February 2020 Letter

by John De Martino

GOOD PLANNING AND PREPARATION It was a momentous day Sunday 9th February 2020. The weather forecast had a yellow storm and gale warning. People were advised not to make unnecessary journeys but despite howling gales and sheets of water falling from the skies, we ploughed along flooded roads on a wing, hope and a prayer. Despite the difficulties of the journey over 130 people of The Riverside Parishes from both sides of the River Tees had gathered to celebrate the 37 years ministry and service of Adrian and Helen Thorpe. I noted with amusement their first visit to Hurworth had been on a bright, crisp day, Adrian was later quoted as saying, “If you’ll have us we’re coming”. It has been a great privilege to spend the last three years of their long ministry with them. The day marked the end of an era. Adrian and Helen Thorpe have been with us for three short but very productive years. In that time their knowledge and wisdom has been tested by four very different parishes. They have instilled new life into our Church, tidied up many loose ends and have certainly done their very best to prepare us for the future. It was a tough task but they have used all the skills and understanding acquired in 37 varied years of ministry to our benefit. We have been well blessed. They have led us far better able to cope with whatever the future may hold; in the strong knowledge of God’s love and firm in the support and care we provide one for another. Now, the two people who so graciously’ shared their years of acquired wisdom and provided us with much useful guidance, have departed. They will be missed enormously. Of course we knew from the start they would not be with us for long but there was so much to do and they were shared between four churches and we were not ready to part; there is still so much we need to learn. What do we do? How will we manage without them?

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