Well that was it - my last Sunday as Churchwarden. On Tuesday we have our APCM and my successor (carefully selected and nurtured for a couple of years) will be elected unanimously. After six long/short years I have just put away my stick (ebony, silver base, silver crown on the top - wouldn't last five minutes if not locked up) probably never to carry it again.
It's been an eventful six years. We got that event dreaded by all Churchwardens, an interregnum. Not unexpected, though, and well planned. I thoroughly enjoyed it, especially getting to pick the new Vicar! On the down side, we have had to dispense with the services of a number of people, either by virtue of redundancy or by 'encouraging resignations'.
I have been to at least 650 Eucharists, about 150 Evensongs and a Healing Service, a dozen or so Taize's and a few other odds & ends. I have been sworn in by the Archdeacon six times and received a full-blown Visitation. Five Confirmations, three Ordinations one First Mass. Innumerable funerals of people I have known for years including two priests and two former Churchwardens.
During this time my family got to see me once or twice. I have acquired six grandchildren - two sets of twins in the interest of efficiency - and lost my mother. My eldest son was accepted for training, Deaconed, Priested, served a Curacy and now is Vicar of his own parish. My younger son got divorced, found someone new, bought a house and now has two little boys.
I have put away the sticks, counted the collection, locked the doors and come home. Now what?
I think I'll just give in & do what I have been desperately fighting off all day and have a little weep.
Churchwarden checking out!