A fond farewell for popular Gary

A fond farewell for popular Gary Philbrick

Congregations and communities surrounding the seven Avon Valley Churches gathered in hordes for Revd Canon Gary Philbrick’s farewell service at Burgate School and Sixth Form in Fordingbridge last week.
Moving tributes, anecdotes, photos and hymns were shared and enjoyed by the many there to celebrate his ministry as Rector of Avon Valley Churches, throughout the parish, from 2013-2022.
Gary, right, has been rector, preacher, bell ringer, pianist, organist, composer, mentor and friend to many and so much more.
Gary was presented with a line drawing of all seven churches in the parish by artist Jen Oulton, as well as a gift from the Fordingbridge Air Cadets, just one group of people Gary supported in the community.
Conducted by Hazel Ricketts and accompanied by Tim Ruffer, the St Mary’s Fordingbridge Choir then performed a moving rendition of Gaelic Blessing, written and arranged by Gary himself.
Gary said: “I thank you, Avon Valley Churches, for the love, kindness and support you have shown me over these last years.
“I am grateful for the opportunities I have had to minister in this place. “As I leave, I carry with me all that I have learned here.”
Gary now begins a new chapter as Cathedral Chaplain at Winchester Cathedral.
He will combine his work as chaplain, in which he will be responsible for the pastoral care and support of cathedral staff, volunteers and regular worshippers, with that of Assistant Archdeacon for the Diocese of Winchester.

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