“All the world’s a stage:”
Thus wrote William Shakespeare in his play ‘As you Like it.’
The quotation continues;
“And all the men and women merely players: they have their exits and their entrances; and one man in his time plays many parts, His acts being seven ages.”
Those seven stages he describes as; the helpless infant, the whining schoolboy, the emotional lover, the devoted soldier, the wise judge, the old man still in control of his faculties, and the extremely aged, returned to a second state of helplessness.
I have lived some 33 of those years in the Nar Valley first at Narborough and its associated parishes and then, in addition, amongst the Acres for the past 24 years. As you will read in the message from the Churchwardens I shall reach the age of 70 at the end of November – aged yes, but hopefully not helpless yet. For the church this means compulsory retirement for me – although Susan may continue her support in different ways for a while.
There will be opportunity for me to write further about these years and all that it has meant to us as a family. For now I share that marker that lies ahead this year as we prepare to move to our retirement home in Swaffham. Life this year has already been very different with Covid restrictions and the loss of our son. Now I must up sticks and move home saying farewell over the coming months to friends and to the special pieces of furniture and possessions which speak of our journey through life and ministry.
It is a beginning of an exit but beyond lies another entrance this time into the world of retirement. People tell me I shall wonder how I found time to work and re-assure me that I shall enjoy it. For now it is a simple but heartfelt thank you for the privileges of ministry you have allowed me in marrying, baptizing and burying and simply being your parish priest.
Fr. Stuart Nairn