It was a joyous time of celebration within the Eight Saints Cluster as they all gathered together to welcome their new clergy, Revd Karen Hunter Jones as Associate Priest and Revd Richard Wallis as Curate, and to thank their Priest-in-Charge, Revd Father Simon Bone.

Father Simon was taken aback to be thanked publicly, insisting that he could have only held the fort over the past year because of the amazing support from his church family. And the service did indeed feel like a family get together, people pleased to be catching up, sharing and enjoying time spent in the presence of God.

Sharing church family gifts and talents

Revd Karen led the service that included the considerable gifts and talents of the various congregations. There was the Open the Book team, the choir from St Paul’s Chacewater and hand-bell ringers from St Piran’s, Perran-ar-worthal, all of whom beautifully lived out the meaning of the parable of the talents that Revd Richard preached on.

Watch where God is working, then join in

Revd Richard talked about how the previous Archbishop, Rowan Williams, once said to watch where God was working and then join in. He said that one of the reasons he was so happy to join the Cluster was because God was so evidently at work here. He also said it was because, after his placement there, he experienced the love of an extended church family and how central to that were the efforts, care and compassion of Father Simon.

“Bloomin’ heck! You deserve it!” says churchwarden

Father Simon looks on slightly bemused as churchwarden Clare Beard talks about him

An affectionate tribute was given by Feock churchwarden Clare Beard, much to Father Simon’s embarrassment, that teased him about his time-keeping, his chairing of PCC meetings, sometimes well, but also about how he had listened and enabled the churches to make decisions and keep moving forward and the extensive pastoral work, quietly undertaken. Excruciating as it was for Father Simon, Clare insisted that he needed to be thanked because, “Bloomin’ heck! You deserve it!”

Exciting times lie ahead for the Eight Saints Saints Cluster. Much is spoken about ‘church family’ and what that means, but on that balmy evening at the end of July, it didn’t need to be explained, the love each member had for another was palpable.

And just like in every family, they celebrated a birthday, all joining together to sing to churchwarden Annette Hillman. Annette, whose age was modestly withheld, said, “The service was just lovely, and so good to be able to thank Father Simon. We just love him to bits!”

Church Family

Churchwardens from St Day, Sue Manley & Annette Hillman

“The service was just lovely, and so good to be able to thank Father Simon. We just love him to bits!”