The Sunday Morning service was introduced by Bishop Richard of Bedford with the words “This is a Bitter Sweet occasion”. The Bishop was of course telling everyone that this was to be the farewell service to the Rev Gill Smith as she and husband Bob, retire and move away from Potton to their chosen retirement home in rural Norfolk. Bishop Richard recalled all the sweet times from the last eleven years, that Gill has been our Rector and that her service to Potton and the other two Parishes, Sutton and Cockayne Hatley, had been a caring, loving and dedicated time for her Parishioners, always going the extra mile when the need arose. He recalled the many times he had been involved with events in Potton and the warm welcome he always received from Gill and her Ministry Team, and the masses of cake that always seemed to be available!
The service continued with the giving of Communion and during this time, the NightLight Singers, Heather and Sarah sang ‘King of Kings’ followed by the St Mary’s Church Choir who sang three favourite anthems of Gill, ‘God so Loved the World’ from Stainer’s Crucifixion, ‘Ave Verum Corpus’ by Mozart and ‘View me Lord’ words by Thomas Campion. Earlier in the service before the Communion, children from Sutton School led everyone in the singing of the popular children’s hymn, ‘Come on and Celebrate’
Following the service, the capacity congregation were able to witness the giving of many farewell gifts which ranged from garden furniture and Gnomes, a hand painted St Mary’s Potton Rock, pictures of many subjects and lastly, a “Bicycle Made For Two”, a tandem. When this was presented, the choir led the impromptu singing of the well known song of that name! A fabulous final service for Gill and Bob and with many memories all round. We wish them both a Happy Retirement.