I have called this post A celebration, a farewell, and a welcome. I want to take each of those in turn.

A celebration

For the last six months, I’ve been planning my retirement from work, and exit from the Canary Wharf Multifaith Chaplaincy, while also continuing with what I’ve done for the preceding twenty years – being Lead Chaplain!

Well, the bit about leading is not entirely true. I reduced my working hours this year, with no reduction in the workload a Lead Chaplain has, and my fellow Chaplains have stepped up to the plate and been brilliant. Thank you!

Starting from scratch as I did setting up the Canary Wharf Multifaith Chaplaincy twenty years ago with three years funding and a very broad brief, change was baked in from the start! I want to celebrate how all the Chaplains throughout our history have adapted positively to change and driven the Chaplaincy forward.

Our change as a Chaplaincy has come about in part by changes on Canary Wharf. At the outset the Wharf was primarily office focused with a financial sector slant. Now the office base is much broader, and there is a very significant residential and retail presence too. We have adapted to serve our audience – for example there are now retail Chaplains firmly in the mix. This change is to be celebrated, as Canary Wharf develops to embrace a wider audience.

We’ve also grown the range of faiths represented in Chaplains. There is a massive clue in our name that this was always an ambition, and we continue to work hard to ensure we can support the diversity of faiths across the Wharf – another cause for celebration.

A farewell

As I approach my final days as Lead Chaplain, I do want to take the opportunity to make a formal farewell. There was a celebration event on 10th June at which many of the people who’ve taken key role in supporting our work spoke about how the Chaplaincy came to be, and how it has developed over the years.

Inevitably, it also gave me an opportunity to say a big, formal thank you and farewell to everyone in the room. But not everyone I wanted to thank and say farewell to was in the room, so I am also taking this opportunity to do those things again.

It isn’t possible to name everyone I want to thank and say farewell to here, and it would be wrong to name some people and not others, so there are no names. But there are so many people I want to give heartfelt thanks to and say a warm farewell to:

My work colleagues, paid and volunteer, Chaplains and support staff, across all twenty years of our existence have been brilliant. Our Steering Group which has supported, guided and been a sounding board in the most productive way, quietly and in the background helping to keep us headed in the right direction. The business leaders who have given us opportunities at events as well as to be a resource for their staff in times of need have opened their doors and their hearts to us. And every single individual I and any other Chaplain have spoken to along the way and been able to give support to.

To you all, thank you and farewell.

A welcome

Finally, I want to close my last blog with a welcome to my successor, to whom I also say I hope your time leading Canary Wharf Multifaith Chaplaincy will be as rewarding and enjoyable as mine has been.