Renewing Old Friendships
Retired Clergy Tea brings people together
By Gisele McKnight
About 30 retired clergy, their spouses and clergy widows attended the annual Retired Clergy Tea at Bishop's Court May 17.
The event used to be held in the fall, but was changed to spring time this year.
The Rev. Canon Howard and Carol Anningson made a special trip from their home in Niagara Falls.
"We got the invitation, and it's a long way to come, but there was a model train show happening as well, and Howard likes that," said Carol.
They are also visiting family and friends, and are heading back to Ontario this week.
Howard served from 1990 until his retirement in 2012 — in Bay du Vin, Grand Manan, and the Lower West Side of Saint John.
For Carol and the Rev. Bruce Glencross, attending a diocesan event includes a lot of new faces. Bruce retired from the Diocese of Montreal 18 months ago. Both have strong New Brunswick family connections and spent many vacations in Kent County over the years. Bruce inherited the family home in Clairville in the Parish of Kent and they are enjoying what they call their piece of paradise.
"All occasions in the diocese are 'get to know you' occasions," said Bruce.
"It's a wonderful opportunity to meet other retired clergy," said Carol. "It's a very special feeling to be invited and welcomed in."
Archdeacon Patricia Drummond enjoys meeting up with many of her colleagues from years past.
"This is a lovely annual event," said Pat. "I heard several people say how it is the only time they get to re-connect with old friends and how much they look forward to it.
"Cheryl Jacobs (the bishop's secretary) and the Cathedral ACW did a great job of making the tea both delicious and delightful to look at!"
Pat did, however, note that a few clergy were not in attendance — for good reason.
"I noticed that several of our more recent retirees were missing," she said. "This could be because so many of them are still filling in in vacant parishes."
Dottie Maxwell loves visiting Bishop's Court and was enjoying the company of old friends during the tea.
"It's so nice to come and be invited to Bishop's Court," she said. "I love it here. It's lovely to be reacquainted with people we haven't seen for a year or two.
"And we love hearing from the bishop. He lets us know what's going on in the diocese."
Bishop David Edwards, always the humble servant, answered the doorbell, greeted guests, served platters of food and made the rounds, speaking with visitors throughout the afternoon.
"Having the opportunity to meet with retired clergy is something I enjoy," said Bishop David. "There are always stories which fill in gaps in my knowledge and give me a better understanding of our diocese.
"It was a joy to have so many people at Bishop's Court, especially the Anningsons visiting from Ontario and Anne Marie LeGrand from Cape Breton.
"I am told that those who have retired appreciate the opportunity to renew acquaintances, relive memories and meet new people."