Monday, 4 January 2010

How I came to be here ( 2nd of 2 posts today, see # 1 below))

I have uploaded a “new” photo’ on my face book profile.  I cropped it from this photo’, which was taken in 1975.

We are pictured at the now closed Bement Camp and Conference Centre in Charlton, MA.  We had been there for a week of training to equip us to lead vacation church school in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts.

As a result of a friendship with an American seminarian who studied with me at St. John’s Theological College, Nottingham, U.K. his Bishop (the late Alexander D. Stewart) invited me to join one of two vacation church school teams for that summer. We led programmes in the cities of Greenfield, Worcester, Northboro’, and Oxford, MA.

Bishop Stewart liked me well enough to invite me back the next year to serve initially for two years at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Fitchburg, MA.  The rest is history and I am still here.

I made some what proved to be lasting friendships that year.  One such was with the Revd. Gwen W Sears, with whom I served for 16 years in Pittsfield, MA

Another friend from that summer was the late Revd. DeWolf Perry who was destined to play a crucial role in my life as friend and mentor. His wife, Kitty also played an important role in my “formation”.  (I have stayed in touch with two of their children, Dain and “Tinka”).  I saw Dain and his wife Constance last summer and “Tink” is visiting with me even as I write. She is in town for a funeral -  that of the father of her college class-mate.

Noreen Suriner (on the right) was our supervisor that summer.  She was the first woman to be ordained in the Diocese of Western Massachusetts, and was called to ordained ministry from St. Stephen’s in Pittsfield!  She and I are still in touch.

Debby Jenks was also a St. Stephen’s member but the General Electric Company moved her father from Pittsfield to Pennsylvania, and we lost touch.


  1. I had almost completely forgotten about Camp Bement. If it wasn't for St. Stephen's scholarships and Camp Bement, I would have never attended a summer camp as a kid. Bibbs and Bar (nicknames) are 2 names that stick with me to this day. I guarantee anyone that attended Bement from, I don't know, about '82ish to about '90ish would remember those 2 men.
    And oh yeah, and the youth group retreats and then the confirmation retreats with Fr. John and Luanne(?), his wife. (Orthodox now, I think?). No wonder he wanted out!! (Just kidding - kind of!)
    Thank you for bringing up Bement.

  2. The Alumni are trying to resurrect Bement and all alumni and friends of Bement are welcome. Come to and see what we are doing.

    Jim Climo