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It was announced, to a rather shocked congregation, on Sunday 28 April, that Fr Christopher Hardy is to retire as the incumbent of All Saints' East Finchley, due to ill health, on 30 June 2019.  He was inducted as Parish Priest on 6 July 1995 and has therefore served here for nearly 24 years.  During those 24 years, we have seen the institution of the annual East Finchley Arts Festival at All Saints', the nurturing of our musical tradition, and the completion of a number of major works to the interior of the church budiling.  The building is now, of course, undergoing further major works, this time to the nave and aisle roofs and high level stonework.   Fr Christopher has been instrumental in establishing an "open church" strategy at All Saints', ensuring that the church is welcoming and open to all. This will continue as we share our heritage, and all that our building and worship mean to us, with the local community and beyond.  He has been a regular visitor at Holy Trinity School over the years and it is recalled that, after his first assembly at Holy Trinity School many years ago, the children enjoyed it so much they were still talking about it at playtime. His skills, as animator, were never more evident than at the extremely popular annual Christmas Eve Children's Service!

Fr Christopher is hugely thanked for his ministry here at All Saints' and he and Regan are wished well in their retirement.

The following is a letter to the congregation, dated 11 May 2019, from the Bishop of Fulham:

 

To all at All Saints, East Finchley

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ

I write to assure you all of my thoughts and prayers as the parish moves towards a period of vacancy, following the announcement that Fr Christopher has submitted his resignation as your Vicar.

I am sure that many of you must be feeling more than a little bewildered at this time. It is always an emotional time when a long serving parish priest comes to retire, and no doubt the swift and, I imagine to most of you, unexpected, timing of Fr Christopher’s decision to retire will have intensified those emotions.

Please do hold Fr Christopher and his family in your prayers, as I am sure you are doing.

Meanwhile, we are hugely thankful for the ministry offered by Fr Richard: this will ensure stability despite the inevitable sense of turbulence.

I look forward very much to working with all of you, and especially with the PCC and the parish representatives who will be elected in due course, in taking forward the process of appointing a new Vicar for All Saints. Working with your representatives and with the Archdeacon, I can assure you that the appointment process will move forward promptly and efficiently. I am quite sure that God has already called an excellent priest to some and serve you at All Saints – we now have to find out who that priest is!

I am so grateful for the life, worship and witness of All Saints parish. I am sure that by God’s grace and with the prayers of all the saints, the future is a bright one.

This comes with joy in our risen Lord in this Easter season.

With every blessing