Leading clergyman steps into retirement in Yarmouth

UCS Yarmouth college Graduation ceremony at St Nicholas Minster.

UCS Yarmouth college Graduation ceremony at St Nicholas Minster. - Credit: Nick Butcher

After seven years of serving the community, the team rector of St Nicholas Minster in Great Yarmouth is stepping aside into retirement.

The Rev Canon Chris Terry arrived in November oin 2009, from the post of finance and administrative secretary for the Archbishop's Council in London.

A qualified chartered accountant, Rev Terry previously served at parishes in Apsley in Hertfordshire and Southwick in West Sussex, but said he had found a spiritual home in Great Yarmouth.

He said: 'Great Yarmouth has a much greater sense of community than any of the other places I have been.

'It is such a lovely, vibrant place. Like anywhere it has its challenges but it also has wonderful industry and a very close-knit community.'

Prior to becoming ordained in 1983, Rev Terry previously worked as an accountant for the National Children's Home - now known as Action for Children.

He added: 'Faith has always been very important to me, I was a choirboy growing up and that never really left me- it wasn't a case of me finding God, but Him finding me.

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'Wanting to do this was bubbling away inside me for a long time - when I told my father I was going to train to become a priest, he said he was wondering why I hadn't done it in the first place.'

In his time in the area, Rev Terry has taken pride in becoming ingrained in the community, serving as a governor for Great Yarmouth High School, helping with projects such as the Pathway Café, and overseeing the church's transition to a minister church in 2011.

He added: 'I think the biggest challenge was taking on having six churches in the town, and what the future for those was.

'I think this shows how faith is still relevant today - particular here. The fact you see around 1,000 candles lit here every Christmas, which is prayer just as much as attending church every week.'

In his retirement, Rev Terry will be moving to Wymondham, with his wife Jane, and freeing up time for him to spend with his three children and four grandchildren.

He said: 'I'm 65 now, retirement age, so this feels the right time for me to step aside.

'I have family spread around the country, in Ipswich, Hemel Hemstead and Newbury, so I am looking forward to having more time to spend with them.

He moves on having enjoyed seven happy years, having been appointed by the Right Rev Graham James, Bishop of Norwich.

He said: 'I think it is part of the role of the priest to step aside and let somebody else decide how to take the parish forward. But what a joy it has been.'