Hambledon has said a fond farewell to its associate vicar Catherine McBride, who has left the village to become vicar of St Mary’s, Market Drayton, Shropshire.
Catherine arrived in Hambledon more than five years ago and quickly became a popular figure; among her congregation at St Peter’s and within the village as a whole. She will be much missed but goes with the best wishes and blessings of the many friends she made.
Her departure was marked in several ways: at her final Sunday services on October 15, at a farewell tea party hosted at Feathercombe, and at a get-together at the Merry Harriers a few days earlier on October 12.
She then took a short holiday in Iceland before returning to pack her bags at Mervil Bottom, her Hambledon home, in preparation for beginning her new life and challenge in Shropshire, close to the Welsh borders from where she hails.
She takes up her responsibilities in Market Drayton with her licensing service on November 22. In the meantime, the Busbridge and Hambledon Benefice has started the process to find a replacement and interviews will be held later this month.
Before moving last week Catherine told the village website: “I can honestly say that Hambledon has been the most amazing place to live and work. I have been extremely happy here and it is in no small part due to the wonderful community in the village, who made me feel so welcome. I feel I have made some good friends here, who I am sure I will keep in touch with.
“I would encourage everyone to cherish the village and what it has to offer: continue to be a warm and loving community, which looks out for each other and where everyone ‘does their bit’ so that Hambledon can continue to thrive.
“I’ll take some very special memories with me of the times when I’ve had the privilege of being part of significant moments and occasions for Hambledon families and will certainly keep you all in my prayers.
Many thanks and God bless”.
At her leaving party at Feathercombe, the home of Ion and Muriel Campbell, she was presented with a cake made by Katherine Frogley, which was decorated to illustrate some of Catherine’s passions; the church, rugby, the Welsh dragon – and a pint of bitter.
Farewell speeches were made by Simon Taylor, rector of Busbridge and Hambledon, churchwardens Alan Harvey and Liz Cooke and PCC treasurer Alison Martin.
At her farewell party in the Merry Harriers, where Catherine would enjoy a pint of Surrey Hills bitter and take part in quiz and music nights, she took to the microphone to give a rendition of the Tom Jones hit Delilah, accompanied by Mike Blanchard on key board. See photograph below. Many villagers were in attendance.
A relaxing evening of opera, the joyful strains of jazz and classics from the West End and Gilbert and Sullivan.
Bring your picnic, drinks and something to sit on.
Tickets available from Hambledon village shop or online at http://www.bhcgodalming.org/tickets/malthouse
Just a reminder that there are some differences in our services at Hambledon Church over the next couple of Sundays…
This Sunday – 2nd April – there is no 9.00am service. We have our All Age family service at 10.30am and then a special choral Evensong service at 3.30pm to mark the beginning of Passiontide; that time in the Church calendar where we begin to focus of the events leading up to that first Easter.
The following Sunday – 9th April – is Palm Sunday. There will be only one combined service at 10.00am, followed by a walk down to Village Shop. Do join us.
Our next Messy Church service at Hambledon Church is on Sunday 4th September at 10.30am. All the usual crafts, songs and fun for all ages, as we learn about St Peter’s story. Peter’s life was full of ups and downs, just like ours. Sometimes he let his friend, Jesus, down badly; but Jesus didn’t give up on him and he doesn’t give up on us. Come along to find out more. All welcome.
Sunday 31st July: There is no 10.30am service. There will be a 9.00am service as usual.
Sunday 7th August: There will be no services at Hambledon this morning, as we will be going to the Churches Together in Godalming service (10.00am) at the Bandstand in Godalming – everyone welcome – come and join the fun!
Have a great Summer everyone.