Retirement party for St Cuthbert’s vicar
It was with great sadness that St Cuthbert’s Parish Council and congregation learned that the Revd. John McDermott had reached retiring age, meaning his last service was on Sunday 12 November.
John was vicar of St Cuthbert’s for over six years during which time he was the backbone of the parish, working hard to serve its needs spiritually, practically and socially. He used his gifts of positivity, encouragement and consultation to build up St Cuthbert’s in unity and faith. During his tenure, we saw the links between the parish and local schools strengthened with strong links within the community.
We could not let John and his wife, Jaki, leave without a party to show our appreciation, so on Friday 10 November the Parish Hall was the venue for a very happy, albeit tinged with sadness, send off. Church members decorated the hall with lights, bunting and balloons and donations of food were generous and plentiful. Paul Rigby and Ashley Sim ran a bar and the Mothers’ Union provided teas and coffees.
Amble Sword Dancers gave a display of traditional long sword dancing, accompanied by Beverley Palin and friends who played folk songs on guitar, violin and flute. Bartle Rippon kept the music going by organising the disco.
Following speeches of appreciation from Mack Hetherington and Margaret Riches, John was presented with a pair of binoculars and a cheque. Jaki received a box of chocolates. The Mothers’ Union presented a rose bush for their new home in Hauxley.
Both John and Jaki expressed their thanks for the welcome and support they received throughout their time in Amble. Party guests expressed their appreciation, commenting that John had always taken the time to get to know the people of Amble individually.
There is no doubt that John will be missed at St Cuthbert’s.