A popular and well-respected vicar, who both started and ended his ministerial career in the town, has said farewell to his Shoreham Beach congregation.
The Rev Terry Stratford has retired from the Church of Good Shepherd after 47 years of ordained ministry.
Father Terry, who will be moving with his wife Linda to their new home in Seaford, said: “It has been a great joy to me to have been able to serve God in many different communities across Sussex – from the very deprived part of Hastings to parishes across that affluent and influential central band of the county.
“So many people I have met have been a real source of blessing to me and I thank God for them.”
Shoreham has always played a significant part in Father Terry’s ministry.
In 1969, he was appointed to New and Old Shoreham with Father Geoffrey Froggatt as his training incumbent.
He left the parish – comprising St Mary de Haura and St Nicolas Churches – in 1973 and then served in a variety of parishes across the Chichester Diocese, including Ferring and Ovingdean.
In 2008, Father Terry came back to assist Victor Standing at St Mary’s and St Nicolas’. From 2011 to 2015 he was priest-in-charge of Kingston Buci and for the past three years he has been associate priest at St Mary’s and the Church of the Good Shepherd on Shoreham Beach.
Born in Brighton in 1945, Father Terry’s first foray into the world of paid employment was in the office of a Brighton solicitors firm.
He said: “It was a time when I thought my future was to be in the law – an ordinary solicitor in general practice.
“But that was not to be, the Lord had different plans and I slowly discerned a vocation to the priesthood.”
With his departure, the Church of the Good Shepherd enters a period of vacancy.
The Rev Jane Bartlett will be stepping up to help guide church life, under the supervision of Canon Ann Waizeneker, pending the appointment of a new priest.
Canon Ann said: “We wish Terry and Linda a very long, happy and successful retirement and would like to offer our very sincere and heartfelt thanks for everything they have done within the parish.
“They will always be remembered with great respect, gratitude and love.”
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