Central Suffolk Area Partnership

Pastoral Advocate: Dr Richard Jurd

News, Events, Awareness and Reflection

A message from our Pastoral Advocate: Dr Richard Jurd


I have just had a rather busy few weeks clearing out my office prior to taking full retirement from the University of Essex on 30 June after almost 36 years as a university teacher in the Department of Biological Sciences.

It's amazing how much 'stuff' one can accumulate since 1975. I discovered quite a few historical relics - a manual typewriter (bought with my first pay packet as a research assistant in 1967); hundreds of old 35 mm lantern slides - we all use PowerPoint today (in 1980 a power point was what you plugged your Hoover into!); text-books embarrassingly out-of-date - science in many areas moves very fast. I managed to fill four big metal skips, each about two cubic metres, with rubbish, passed on lots of (useful) books to students, colleagues and schools, and I kept a few souvenirs including lots of casts of fossil human skulls! At long last the office was bare and could be passed on to a successor.

More critical, though, is getting used to a rather changed lifestyle. I am now a pensioner. I am told that I shall have lots of leisure, but most retirees tell me that they are even busier now they are retired than before. Certainly my continuing Open University work, a rather nebulous status as (an unpaid) 'Visiting Fellow' in my old Essex department, in work helping Elizabeth as a librarian with the Landmark Trust, the garden, travel, and learning grand-parenting skills for little Sam will all keep me busy, not to mention my work in the Church as a busy lay preacher and as a minor ecclesiastical bureaucrat(!): these should keep me from hanging around on street corners...

We all face changes in our lives, some welcome and some much less welcome. Family changes, illness and disability, marriage or divorce, new children or grandchildren, bereavement, new jobs, retirement, a new home, less independence.

Often we feel uncertain about the future. However we are assured that amid the changes our loving God remains constant. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews says, to a readership that was facing terrible and bloody, life-threatening changes in the decades following Jesus' Resurrection: "Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and for ever" (Hebrews 13 8 - NRSV). That is a constancy that should reassure us and strengthen us, whatever changes we may face.

With best wishes to you all for the summer. I was sorry to miss our social afternoon and worship at Debenham - I was on a holiday to 'celebrate' my retirement!

Richard Jurd

PS: My e-mail remains as jurdr@essex.ac.uk for the foreseeable future.

Central Suffolk Area Partnership

Vote of thanks from Stowmarket

Just a big thank you to all who attended and helped in any way in making the 60 years Celebration of Ministry by the Revd Leslie Ivory such a success.

The Concert on the 1st July by David Ivory and the Service on the 3rd July, conducted by Leslie Ivory was enjoyed by all.

Christchurch Needham Market 2012 Celebrations

Plans are proceeding well and we anticipate full details will be ready for sharing after our October Church Meeting. The suggested programme includes opportunities for Town Churches, those in the Partnership and the Bury St Edmunds Methodist Circuit to join with us and take part too! More soon.

Mission Projects





Church websites

As well as the worthwhile facelift last year, REFORM now has e-format sample articles on the URC website: www.urc.org.uk

Details of Eastern Synod news and documents can be found at www.urc-eastern.org.uk, including Vision4Life.



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