Reverend Sandy Emery - Tribute by our Rector
There are many things to be sad about at this time, but one of my personal ones is that circumstances now dictate the Revd Sandy Emery will be allowed to slip away into retirement, a little early, and without ceremony. This is particularly sad as this marks the end of a remarkable ministry that has had much impact, in lively ways, with so many.
Being an associate priest is a difficult role. You are frontline clergy, doing practically as much work and dealing with as much trouble as anyone else, but at the same time you must “dance to someone else’s tune.” Sandy has served under three rectors (the first of whom has written his own article above). I can only imagine quite how our different approaches to life and ministry have pulled Sandy in different directions. And, of course, Sandy has thrown herself at managing this parish in vacancy (twice!). She has seen rectors come and go, and has seen turbulent times rise and fall, and this parish will always be indebted to her for holding our ship steady.
Characteristic of Sandy’s care for this benefice is wisdom and humour. She knows how to work hard and knows how to party just as hard! I have valued all these things, but especially her forthright honesty, as she helped guide me in the best ways for our church and community.
Dull moments and Sandy don’t go together! In many ways, Sandy is a microcosm of the Diocesan Motto – “I came that you might have life, life in all of its abundance.” Sandy has earned a lot of respect from people for coping so positively with the challenges this benefice has thrown at her, and for the witness to faith she shared with so many in our community, both young and old alike.
No tribute to Sandy would be complete without mention of Glynnis. Sandy and Glynnis were a great team - together they were a ‘force majeure’! Sandy with her gregarious nature and Glynnis quietly and warmly supporting her and everyone she got to know in the background. I dread to think what Glynnis has had to put up with when Sandy returned home at the end of many a frustrating day in this benefice!
This is not an obituary, or a resignation piece, so I shall not dwell any further on the past. Sandy will only temporarily be leaving us (and I’m sure we’ll be organising a big leaving/thank you party when we’re all allowed out!). I look forward to talking with Sandy in six months’ time about what new and exciting ministry challenges she is going to take up in the future, now she is enjoying the freedom of “retirement ministry”!
God bless you, Sandy, thank you for everything, and here’s wishing you a long and fruitful retirement, ministering to us in new ways in the future.
Yours in Christ,