Christ Church Cathedral played host to the annual Retired Clergy Tea on May 21 — for two reasons. Bishop’s Court is the usual location, but it had not yet been spruced up after its winter role as an Out of the Cold winter shelter.
Secondly, the Cathedral is easily accessible, while Bishop’s Court has stairs to negotiate, sometimes an impediment for older people. The Cathedral’s health ministry team has switched its monthly teas from the hall to the church and the response has been very positive.
Bishop David Edwards acted as host and greeted the two dozen or so retired clergy and spouses who came to the Cathedral. As is the tradition, the bishop passed around tiny glasses of sherry to his guests. There was a great deal of hugging, handshaking, chatting and catching up during the afternoon.
The bishop used the opportunity to formally welcome the Rev. Bruce Glencross to the diocese. While Bruce and his wife, Carol, have lived in the Parish of Kent for a few years, and Bruce has been an honorary assistant there, his canonical residency had not been transferred from the Diocese of Montreal to the Diocese of Fredericton when he retired here. That was done last fall, and he is now a licenced priest and honorary assistant in the parish.
Guests mingled and caught up on the news as they enjoyed refreshments at tables set at the front of the nave.
Archdeacon Keith Osborne is only into his second year of retirement, and even then, he still runs a seniors’ ministry in Saint John, but he attended just the same.
“Fellowship with clergy is a big part of my life, so I take every opportunity to be with them,” he said. “I’m re-energized by them.”
This was the first time Charlene Routledge attended the gathering. She came with friends Bruce and Carol Glencross.
“It’s an opportunity to chat with fellow clergy people,” said Carol. “It’s a community of understanding. I love it. I have fun. Clergy life is special and unique, and it’s an opportunity to see like-minded people.”
The diocese hosts the retired clergy tea every spring to bring older clergy, their spouses and widows together for fellowship.
“We love to connect with our friends,” said Joan Pain. “It’s a wonderful way to get together.”