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Stourbridge Rev set to say farewell to his flock
2:05pm Wednesday 3rd October 2012 in News
A POPULAR Stourbridge vicar is set to face his flock for the final time ahead of his retirement from parish life.
Reverend Ron Curtis, who has been priest in charge at St Thomas's Church, Market Street, since 2005, will be closing his hymn book for the final time on Sunday October 14.
The 65-year-old announced his retirement at an emotional church meeting in April where he told parishioners he had made the decision after much heart seraching following his recovery from illness.
Rev Curtis said: "It has been a tremendous privilege for me to be alongside so many people in the area and to share in their joys and sorrows.
"We were warmly welcomed by the church and the community when we moved here and so much has happened in these last eight years.
"It is with sadness that we shall say farewell but we thank God for bringing us to live in Stourbridge and for the many happy times that we shall always treasure.”
Rev Curtis has overseen fundraising for major restoration work to historic St. Thomas's which dates back to the 18th century.
During his first year at the church he launched a three-quarters-of-a-million pound appeal for restoration work to the grade 1 listed building.
With support from celebrity historian Dr Carl Chinn, the church has raised more than £400,000 for work on the roof, organ and church hall.
Rev Andrew Hazlewood, rural dean of Stourbridge, said: "Not only has Ron made a huge contribution to the life of St Thomas's, and to Stourbridge in general, but he has given a great deal to the Deanery of Stourbridge - the churches in the area.
"He has been so willing to go the extra mile and help out in many churches, and I personally have been very grateful for his support."
After his retrement, Rev Curtis and his wife Claire plan to move to Oxfordshire to be closer to their family.