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Last updated 14th October 2021

Impending retirement of Diocesan Secretary, Graeme Pollard

 

The following letter went sent to all in the Diocese on October 13, by the Bishop of Blackburn, Rt Rev. Julian Henderson who is pictured with Diocesan Secretary Graeme Pollard.

 

Dear friends,

It is being announced today that Graeme Pollard, our Diocesan Secretary for the past 16 years, (pictured) has decided to retire at the end of this year.

Any decision of this magnitude is never easy and I know Graeme has wrestled over a number of months to discern what God wants him to do. At a time when there is much exciting work going on across the diocese, with the Vision 2026 implementation plan, the Mission and Financial Flourishing programme and new Strategic Development Funding projects getting underway, to name just a few, there never seems to be a right time.

Graeme has expressed his concern that he feels a decision to retire is letting the diocese down. I have tried to reassure him that is far from the case, not least because of his faithful and very dedicated service over such a long period of time.

The Diocese of Blackburn is in a very different place from what it was 16 years ago and Graeme has played a significant part in that period of transformation. A Diocesan Secretary is a key player in the team with a huge responsibility that carries a heavy load. Yes, there are others who share that load, but in the end much rests on the shoulders of the Diocesan Secretary. Graeme has borne the weight of that responsibility through lots of change with courage, persistence, flexibility and his strong faith in Jesus Christ.

Personally I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Graeme for his loyalty and support over the last 8 years. He has been available, wise and generous in dealing with the many complex issues that have been, and in some cases still are, needing to be addressed. As Graeme steps down, there is much to celebrate and thank God for from his service in the diocese.

This news was announced at the Staff Eucharist at Whalley Abbey earlier today, 13th October, and Graeme’s final day of work will be marked by the staff Christmas party on December 13th. There will obviously be other occasions, still to be worked out, at which we will be able to express our appreciation to Graeme.

In the meantime, please remember Graeme and Mel in your prayers, as they prepare for this transition, and also for those who will now need to plan for what is needed as we look to the future.

At moments like this my mind is taken to Psalm 31.14/15, where the psalmist says:

“I trust in You, O Lord, I say You are my God. My times are in Your hands.”

That conviction is expanded so well in the hymn that uses those words in each verse:

 

My times are in Your hand

My God I wish them there!

My life, my friends, my soul I leave

Entirely in Your care.

 

My times are in Your hand

Whatever they may be

Pleasing or painful, dark or bright

As You know best for me

 

My times are in Your hand

Why should I doubt or fear?

My Father’s hand will never cause

His child a needless tear.

 

My times are in Your hand

Jesus the crucified;

Those hands my cruel sins have pierced

Are now my guard and guide.

 

My times are in Your hand

Such faith You give to me,

That after death, at Your right hand,

I shall for ever be.

 

 

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