No other building rivals Salisbury for its majesty and beauty and to have landed in this ‘pleasant and fair ground’ for most of the duration of its ambitious repair programme, as both Treasurer and Dean, has been a fantastic privilege.
I have so loved my connection with all our parishes of Wiltshire and Dorset, from the Lyme Bay Deanery where I once did a weekly Lent Course to Calne where I was once ‘Prebend’.
I have enjoyed enormously that association. It’s been a time when the Church of England has had to adjust, knowing that familiar loyalties and sympathies to the Church no longer work for most of the community. In doing that here we’ve been fantastically well served by Chapter members, staff, volunteers and well-wishers who bring to what we do a practical wisdom, integrating our desire for outreach with the ancient meaning and rhythms of faith.
Their collegiality has been a blessing I will never forget. For it’s the relationships which have meant most of all and for which I will continue to thank God in years to come.
It’s who we are as a community, pursuing integrity, generosity and compassion, that makes the difference. On behalf of Paul, Meg and Tom, let me say that we have deeply appreciated the blessed gift of love we have known here and which we will continue to cherish.
Now it is time to go to what I suspect will be the best job in the Church in Wales and to a different Spire. Pray for me as I will go on praying for you.
The Very Revd. June Osborne