After 17 years as minister at Bradwell Church, the Rev Andy Jowitt, has announced he is to take early retirement later this year.
For the past few years he has doubled up as minister of Cross and Stable Church in Downs Barn as well.
Andy is to take up a voluntary role with the Christian conservation charity, A Rocha, working as Community Engagement Officer for Foxearth, a small nature reserve on the Suffolk-Essex border near Sudbury.
During Andy’s sabbatical in 2015 he and his wife, Jane, spent two months volunteering with A Rocha in Southall.
News of Andy’s decision was announced to members of the congregation at Bradwell Church’s annual meeting.
Since his appointment to succeed the Rev Peter Worthen, Andy has built strong links for the church in the community – serving on Bradwell Memorial Hall management committee, holding positions of school governor and being welcomed at sheltered housing units in the parish.
He has helped set up the Room’n’Ate men’s group for men in the Stantonbury Ecumenical Partnership and is also chair of the Cross and Stable Charities.
Andy says: “We have been prayerfully considering God’s leading for our future ministry together and have made a big decision … to take early retirement in order to take up a voluntary role with A Rocha.
“Our role will be as Community Engagement Officer for Foxearth, a small nature reserve on the Suffolk/Essex border, near Sudbury. This is a step of faith for us as the role will involve finding somewhere to live in the Sudbury area and finding other part-time work to provide some income until we can depend on pensions.
“A Rocha would like us to start before the end of this year. They originally proposed a start date of October 1, but after discussions have agreed to adjust this to a start period between the beginning of October and the end of December. So we expect our last Sunday in the Partnership to be mid-October and then to move in November. This all depends on finding a home to move into.
“We approach the move with very mixed emotions. We feel sure about this being the way God has been leading us, but will be very sad to leave friends here and the ministry we have put our hearts into,” he says.
“Our great hope is that the churches we have had a part to play in will be strong in love and faith and hope, holding together with courage and confidence in God, in love for each other and in vision for the future.”