Farewell from Andrew Gorham
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The Reverend Canon Andrew Gorham, Interim Priest in Charge of St Paul’s Church, is leaving after three years. He will be sorely missed by the whole Jewellery Quarter community and we wish him all the best for the future.
I have had a very happy stay at St Pauls over the last two and a half years. My ‘contract’ was for three years and I will shortly be handing over responsibility to the Revd David Tomlinson who will be taking up the post of full-time Vicar of St Paul’s. David is a superb priest for whom I have a very high regard. I know that he will relish being in the JQ and become very involved in the life and activity of this busy and invigorating part of Birmingham.
I shall take away very happy memories of the Jewellery Quarter. St Pauls is a unique church – set in the heart of the JQ surrounded with a glorious churchyard. It is a place set apart to remind us all of what is important in our lives. It is a place filled with silence, music, laughter, tears and contemplation. I shall never forget the Ex Cathedra Christmas concerts, the Holocaust exhibition curated by local Academy children, the Unthanks concert, the weddings, baptisms and the growing congregation with a large number of Farsi speaking members. I will always appreciate the huge support that the church has in the JQ and the generous fundraising efforts to stop the rain entering the building. Work will hopefully commence next month to seal the guttering to prevent further ingresses of water. I will miss the day to day conversations, the inspiring heritage activities in the JQ and the many opportunities to be part of the life and work of this rapidly expanding international community.
It is sad that these last months have been so traumatic – the Covid19 pandemic has had a profound effect upon the area. But I am confident that the JQ will recover and flourish. It may take a bit of time but knowing the enterprise and creativity within this area, recovery will take place. And St Paul’s will still be there as it has been over the last 240 years – a symbol of the ideals of the JQ set physically in the heart of the city.