My time in Middlesbrough diocese is coming to a close after being here for the last three months.
As David Cross, the office manager, took over as Regional Manager, Carol stepped up into his role and I jumped in to cover Carol’s work.
Looking back over my time, the overall impression is the life that there is in Middlesbrough diocese. My first assignment was to accompany the Very Reverend Canon Derek Turnham (the Bishop’s assistant) to a presentation by Tony Compolo in Stockton. First problem was how to address a Very Reverend Canon? Is it “Father” or “Your Grace” or something else? I needn’t have worried as he was so friendly and it was a great night, listening to an inspirational speaker and being with like-minded people.
I’ve met volunteers and supporters at the office and even got to cheer them on as they ran by in the Yorkshire Marathon. I’ve worked with Luke and Eileen in the office who helped me enormously, being especially understanding when I couldn’t find keys around the office or I wasn’t sure of the right procedures. They certainly made things easier for me.
David and Carol have been a great help and inspiration in the way they work. Carol has organised events and always been on hand to help out with any problems. David is so down-to-earth, it’s refreshing to speak to someone with such a common-sense approach to life.
So, for now, there’ll be no more hurrying for trains, no more “Where do you keep the…?” no more running along the riverside (when it’s not flooded.)
I’m returning to Hexham & Newcastle office, hopefully as a better CAFOD staff member after experiencing another diocesan office and seeing how they work.
There’ll be a last chance to say “Hello” as I’ll be at the meeting with CAFOD partner, Patrick Jamiru of Caritas Kenema at Christ the King, Thornaby on 19 February. Hope to see you all there.
So it’s an “Au revoir” from me with a big “Thank You” to everyone, who I came into contact with. Each one of them was kind, courteous and made things as easy as they could.