Two of our long-serving ministers have left Poole Bay Circuit this summer.

Rev Chris Moreton:
The Rev Chris Moreton, who is retiring from our churches in Swanage and the Purbecks, came to be minister of our church in Broadstone just a few years after the opening of our new building. He, along with his wife Liz, soon won the hearts of the congregation. His style of worship was much more relaxed than we had been used to, but we accepted that all ministers have their own style and soon we were more than happy with his ways.

He is a very caring man, and we knew that, whatever our concern or problem, we could talk to Chris, and when we needed him he was there for us. Church meetings were friendly affairs, and Chris often brought humour to what could sometimes be tedious matters of discussion.      

As a family we were very grateful to him for his caring concern when our daughter Naomi was taken seriously ill. He was at our home or at the end of the telephone almost every day, and was always ready to help us get through those early days of her illness. I am sure that other members of the congregation will have their own reasons for being grateful to Chris.

Circumstances meant that we, as a church, never had the opportunity to say thank you and farewell to Chris and Liz, but I am sure he knows that he was loved and we wish him and Liz a long and happy retirement. But as you would expect of Chris he is not relaxing and is now a member of his local council in Swanage. I guess he was never going to stop caring for people. Sheila La Riviere

Rev Dr Mark Kimber:
Mark, with his wife Sarah and family, arrived in the Poole and Swanage Circuit, as a probationer, in September 2006 at a time of exciting changes.

With Rev Fraser Smith, Mark shared responsibility for ministering to the five churches across Poole and together they accepted the challenge of bringing those churches together as what is now Poole Methodists. The churches were already worshipping together in the evenings and, in the next few years, gradually became one church in one building. The project is now complete and celebrated with the special service reported on pages 20 and 21.

His musical ability with guitar and voice has enhanced worship wherever he was appointed in the circuit and his rapport with the younger generation was enlivened by the use of “Godly Play”, which was also appreciated by the not so young.

Mark has great administrative skills and took on the role of Synod Secretary for the Southampton District in addition to his work in our circuit.

In the past few years, health issues have thrown another challenge Mark’s way. In his quiet way this has led to a determination to become super-fit and active with walking, running, swimming and mountaineering – all of which he has used as a means of supporting a number of charities through sponsorship.

Mark’s talents will be a great asset in all he does in the future as his journey continues. Brian Tucknott


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