A letter from Rev Robert Saunders following his recent statement:
I was most moved by the concern and love from you that followed my announcement of my retirement in August, which is the end of the Methodist Church Year.
This will be my second retirement, though in Methodism we talk not of a minister’s retirement but of the minister “sitting down”. (Something I have been doing a lot of just lately!) Our years in service are counted as year’s “travelled”.
I first “sat down” some six years ago, but was put back on my feet four years ago when I took the part-time appointment in the circuit. That in itself was a complicated process. Ministers are not employed by the Methodist Church in any way or at any level. Neither does the church keep any records of our appointments and so I had to submit my CV of everything I had done since leaving Theological College in 1969. My appointment was then approved, after a number of committees, by the Conference. Now as I “sit down” a similar process in reverse takes place.
Marion and I will not be leaving Dobwalls. Our house belongs to the Methodist Minister’s Housing Association and is not owned by the local circuit. So we will still be around and after a break I will, I hope, be able to return to preaching. The Methodist Constitution expects all ministers (God willing) to exercise their ministry until the end of the lives!!!
We have, of course, enjoyed being part of Connon. We began, when I first arrived as members of the congregation and then for the last four years I have been blessed to share in the ministry of all the members and friends of the Chapel.
With my prayers for you all.