Stepping down... the Revd Stuart Adlington, pictured at his 70th birthday party with wife Louise.
Stuart steps down
The Revd Stuart Adlington has announced that he is stepping down from being a part of the Melton Mowbray Team Parish Ministry Team after nine years' service. Here he details a bit about his life and work...
I was born in 1943 to parents who were both in the Army (RAMC). My dad came from Chesterfield to join the Army as a cadet – and stayed. My mum was a nurse (QUARANC).
So, being an Army family, we travelled a lot and in 1949 we went off to Kenya for five years. On return, we lived in Maghull, Rock Ferry, Port Sunlight, Brentwood and Tidworth. Then in 1956 my parents went to Malaya and I spent my entire teenage years in a Boarding School in Surrey, visiting my family during the summer holidays.
I really enjoyed my school years and I finally decided to train as a teacher, taking a BSc in Zoology and Botany in Twickenham. My three, younger sisters followed me into teaching. I only have one sister now (Sandra) as, sadly, two have died (Rosemary and Elizabeth).
It was while I was studying in Twickenham that I met a girl with whom I fell helplessly in love - my wife Louise.
A young Stuart and Louise - graduation and the beginning of their married life.
Our son, Timothy, was born in 1967 and in 1968, after teaching for one year in Tottenham, I dragged my family to Northern Nigeria.
Our daughter, Jane was born in Nigeria and in 1973, we came back to England. I took on various teaching jobs in Southborne, Bromsgrove, Stockport (where our son, Peter, was born in 1984), ending up for the final 15 years as a deputy headteacher in Oldham.
In 2002 I retired and I was then ordained as a permanent deacon in the Roman Catholic Church and found myself looking after a parish on the edge of the Peak District as there wasn’t a priest available to act as a parish priest. So, I hadn’t really retired – just changed jobs (on a voluntary basis, of course).
It was in 2009 that Louise and I agreed that we should move to a different area – to be nearer our daughter who lived in Bishops Stortford, while our sons were still in Manchester. It was time for me to do a bit less in my Ministry and so I started in Melton Catholic Parish, where I helped the parish priest.
Stuart and his son Tim pictured in Nigeria where Stuart taught biology (hence the nets).
I thought I had my plans all worked out – help out a bit, spend more time with Louise, go on longer holidays. The ideal retirement! As we all know, God laughs at our plans – and he certainly did with my plans.
In 2011, I found myself looking towards the Anglican church – and with the support of Revd Sharon and Revd Kevin, and after months of soul-searching, I asked to be received into the Anglican Church. Bishop Christopher welcomed me and confirmed that I should continue as a Permanent Deacon.
It was a steep learning curve – there are a few differences as well as similarities within the Anglo-Catholic spectrum. Church wardens were a new thing to me -as were Readers and Church Services varied a lot more. The Catholic Sunday Service is, of course, the Mass, whereas there can be a variety of non-eucharistic Services in the Anglican church.
The hymns were often different, even unknown to me. The number of baptisms on a Sunday was sometimes quite high – three families at 2pm and three more at about 3pm at St Mary’s.
Refreshments after a Service were always welcome – and in some cases, cake to die for was an integral part of the Service. If you want to put on weight, go to Burton Lazars!
Stuart pictured at his Ordination in 2002 in Shrewsbury.
I would like to thank everybody in the Melton area for the welcome I received and the support I have had, in particular from the Ministry Team. Now that I have retired from Ministry, I can look back and wonder how I got on. With various family matters to deal with, I couldn’t do as much as I would have liked but I hope I have been at least of some help!
I shall refrain from making direct comparisons between the Anglican and Catholic denominations – we are all Christians in the end – but I have found there to be a strong sense of fellowship here in Melton Mowbray parish. I daren’t make any more plans, seeing as how God has laughed at all my others!
My son-in-law, Des, is now also a Permanent Deacon.
So, what is going to happen next, I really don’t know. Perhaps it’s about time I realised I was in God’s hands. Louise and I are not thinking of going abroad or moving elsewhere (fat chance anyway at the moment!).
So, we shall be around for a bit longer and involved in some way in Melton life. Wishing you all every happiness and thanks for your kindnesses….
Blessings from Stuart and Louise.
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