Farewell to Reverend Giles Godber

A Fond Farewell

An accountant?!! With that disarming smile and friendly voice – Giles Godber an accountant?!!

Well, yes, that’s precisely what he was before being called to the church.  But we didn’t let that stop us taking him into our hearts and into the heart of our community. And now, after nearly thirteen years of his wise words, his quirky streak and the familiar red car, we are having to say goodbye to him as he rides off into the sunset, or should that be, into Somerset?

Giles came to Geddington as a part-time priest; we had him for just half a week. The other half of the time was spent, as a Diocesan Ecumenical Officer, travelling all over the diocese, visiting different churches and denominations, such as Baptists and Non-Conformists, in a determined effort to create unity amongst the Christian denominations. The United Reformed Church in Geddington, known simply to us as the Chapel, welcomed him and many of the services were dual, integrated services.

However, Giles was well aware of the limit of his time here and worked tirelessly to organise lay-people who could participate more in the services and work of the church. He was so successful that he some times sat in the congregation during the service. His organisational skills meant that, by the end of this February, he had a well-oiled team ready to take over the running of the church as soon as he left. The team comprises of:

Benefice Administrator: Mr Brian Giles tel: 01536 512975
From the Weekley congregation, Brian will link both parishes with the Diocese and try to ensure that there are visiting clergy to cover Communion services and weddings etc.

Wedding Advisor: Mrs Kate Drake-Lee, tel: 01536 522476
Living in Weekley, Kate will help couples with planning, sending out bills, liaising with organist, choir, bell-ringers etc.

Baptisms: Mrs Valerie Peel tel: 01536 524747
Also living in Weekley, Valerie will help enquirers and encourage them to prepare, as she has been doing on Giles’ behalf

Churchyard: Mr Brian Leaton tel: 01536 742389
Brian has a plan of the churchyard, and the burial register and can help with enquiries

Church Building: Mrs Margaret Leaton tel: 742389 and Mr Norman Johnson tel: 745733, Church Wardens, supported by Mr Richard Paragreen tel: 510478, who co-ordinate repair work.

Approximately 7 years ago, Giles was awarded the honorary title of Canon; one of the perks, of which, was his own stall in Peterborough Cathedral. However, he chose to resign from this position upon announcement of his retirement.  Giles’ last service at Weekley was on Sunday 24th February and the 9.45am service on 3rd March was his last at Geddington.

So, thank you Giles, for sharing your talents and friendship with us. We’ll miss you.  A tribute and a fond farewell to:

The Reverend Giles Godber.

And finally, from Giles and Barbara:

Dear Friends

Geddington has been our home for nearly 13 years – the longest stay of our church career. We have been made welcome by so many of you: perhaps that’s why we stayed! Thank you for all the happy times.

We have tried to foster church life. We were supported by lay-people who came forward to help and by clergy retiring to these parts. Losing some of these key people was tough.

Church life keeps us busy – and Giles was only part-time, serving as Diocesan Ecumenical Officer – so we have not been able to support every village organisation and event. You have been most understanding and kind.

Thank you for allowing us to share in the life of this busy village.  Please excuse us as we disappear to Somerset and recover. Please give your loyal support to our successor, as soon as he or she arrives.

Yours sincerely
Giles and Barbara Godber