Today was the last service for Father Peter at our Church. Tomorrow he will board a plane back to the UK to start his hard earned retirement in Scotland. Peter has been with us 8 years, and many are sorry to see him go. He and his wife are also very sad to leave us. Switzerland is of course a beautiful country, slap in the middle of Europe with a top standard of living. They return to a country that is divided, and where many people live lives of quiet desperation. Little wonder they turn their frustrations onto the foreigner among them.
Actually that was a part of the sermon today. Sermons are available on our website if you want to take a listen. It was a good one today, so hopefully will be listed soon on the site
For the council we now have to start the search for a replacement. This is quite a process with the main focus being on finding out what our congregation like in our Church, and where they see us in the future. Then we need to draw up a profile of our ideal candidate plus ran an advert. The Diocese filter the applications based on our profile, and then at some point 2 people of our Parish along with other Church officials will conduct the interviews in London. Interviews are not expected before November, with the new Priest not expected to start before 1 March. The UK will have a new Prime Minister before we even do the interviews – seems strange really.
In the meantime we will have a series of Locums coming over, staying in the house, taking some services and enjoying Switzerland. Generally locums tend to be retired priests, but they always bring some variety and new wind to the Church, which can only be good. It might help us focus on what sort of Priest is the right one for us, or maybe what to avoid. We are not expecting a huge amount of candidates however, but we do not have to, as long as we get the right one.
So remember to pray for our departing Priest Peter, and his wife Shareene, and then to pray for the council as they go through the search process, and pray for the locums as they come to us. We need a lot of prayer.