The 24th of July was a busy and emotional day for several churches in the Nidd Valley Circuit.

We said goodbye to Rev Nick Witham, Rev Tim Sims, Rev John Schofield – and a heartfelt thank you to Margaret Grant, who retires as Circuit Secretary.

nick_withamRev Nick leaves us after 9 years at Starbeck Methodist Church, and more recently Park Grove and Scotton. His final service was made even more special with the Baptism of two new members: Martha and Gabriel Sherwood. Nick has a particular gift with children of all ages and this was a fitting addition to a well-attended service.

Afterward we shared a time of fellowship together at a buffet lunch. Many thanks go to the members of our new neighbours at Life Destiny Church who moved their service and gave up their time to host the buffet. The hospitality was over-and-above and deeply appreciated.

Nick and Elaine were presented with several gifts: A framed photograph which featured specially-commissioned photos of the three churches, a photo-memory book. Thanks go to Simon Mulholland for organising these gifts and the buffet lunch, which was truly magic.

Elaine, who was as much a fixture at church as Nick himself and whose tireless ministry in Sundi Club, JMA and Messy Church will be missed by us and her colleagues at Starbeck Primary School, where she and Nick encouraged a knowledge of God in the young people there.

Timm SimmsWe also said goodbye to Rev Tim Simms who has been a part of the Circuit for a considerable time and now takes up his first post as Presbyter at the Northwich and Winsford Circuit. We say thanks to Tim’s wife, Pauline, for her fellowship at Starbeck and her support as Tim made the decision to candidate with the Methodist Church.

Thank you to Rev Mark Godfrey for leading us in worship in the 3pm farewell service. Mark admitted that it was his first such service – and it was a fitting tribute.

You will all be deeply missed, but we feel joy too, because we know that God will be with you and we will continue to keep you in our prayers and hearts.

We look forward now to welcoming Ann Fox, as she takes up her probationary position at Starbeck, Park Grove and Scotton. There is a welcome service to be held at 3pm on 11th September at Starbeck. Please join us if you can and help to welcome our new Minister.