Vicar John Wright says goodbye to Tetbury
A POPULAR vicar who has served congregations in Tetbury for more than a decade is preparing to hang up his dog collar.
Reverend Canon John Wright became rector of Tetbury and surrounding parishes in August 2002 and is retiring this month.
John, 65, said he had taken up the position in Tetbury after seeing the post advertised while working in North Somerset.
“I saw an advert and I thought “actually, that could be interesting”,” he said “As it turns out I was right about that.”
Out of the many projects John has worked on in his time in the Town, he said he was particularly pleased with the way the church had been able to work with Tetbury Hospital as well as setting up an extremely popular animal service in Shipton Moyne and Beverston.
“One of the things I’m most proud of is a system we set up called Praying the Town where we pray for particular streets on a rotating basis,” he said. “I think that’s met some sort of need – people seem to find it helpful to know the church is interested in them.”
John – who was ordained in 1988 aged 40 after working as an accountant in Worcester – was made an honorary canon of Gloucester Cathedral in May last year and said he would miss the people of Tetbury most of all.
“However nice the scenery is it’s the people who keep you going,” he said.
John and his wife Liz – who is also retiring this month – are planning to move to Worcester, and the vicar said he felt it was “the right moment” to retire.
“I could have kept going until 70 but I felt the time was right,” he said.
“I have three grandchildren in America and we so rarely get to see them so we hope we can see more of them before they become stroppy teenagers.”
Tetbury town councillor Kevin Painter, who also edits church magazine The Beacon, said he wished John and Liz – along with their dog Tiz – a happy retirement.
“Anyone who ever met John Wright usually comes away with a smile or an anecdote,” he said.
“An endlessly enthusiastic man who truly cared for all and will be greatly missed by all who know him.”
John’s final service at St Mary’s Church will be held tomorrow at 10.30am.