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Farewell Rev'd Pene

Rev'd Pene Kennedy, our house for duty priest, who has faithfully served our Benefice over the past 10 years, has decided to retire at the end of February this year. She will be missed by all of us. Please find letters from Rev'd Mark and Rev'd Pene below. Pene's final service will take place in church on the 27th February at 9.30am. For those who knew Rev'd Pene through Messy Church, we will also be saying farewell to her that afternoon at 4pm.

Letter from Rev'd Mark

Dear All


Pene has decided to bring her retirement date forward to the end of February. Please see below a letter from Pene explaining this. Pene will be sorely missed by all of us in the Benefice, her ministry has been a truly dedicated and pastoral presence serving our church team and wider communities. She writes of experiencing a welcome of love and of her great joy when she first arrived in the Benefice and being called to love and serve us. However,  we have benefited most from her ministry characterised by that same genuine love and joyful service.


Pene's last working day will be Sunday the 27th  February. We will have a joint Benefice service on that day to celebrate her ten years of faithful service to the Benefice and to say Goodbye. Pene has decided that she would like this service to be at St Mary’s, Charminster. We will have a buffet and drinks afterwards.


Revd. Mark

Letter from Rev'd Pene

1st January 2022

Dear Friends

As I write this at the beginning of the New Year, it feels to me that it could not be more appropriate. A new year … with resolutions, perhaps, but new beginnings and fresh starts, definitely.

It was a fresh start when I came to St. Mary’s, Charminster, in 2012. I had begun serving my curacy in the Cerne Benefice, however, as my training incumbent retired eighteen months in, Janet Smith, at the time Vicar of Charminster and Stinsford, offered to take on the responsibility and I continued serving my curacy there for the next eighteen months until it finished, then remaining as an Associate Priest.

I was met with such love … and experienced such joy exercising the ministry to which God had called me during my time in the Benefice of the two parishes.

Then, in Autumn 2017, an unexpected fresh start, when after pastoral re-organisation and the joining together of Charminster, Stinsford and the Chalk Stream Villages, the Bishop asked me to take up my current post of House for Duty priest, having day-to-day responsibility for the Chalk Stream parishes. The transition was challenging – both for me and the Chalk Stream parishes. Pastoral reorganisation, the circumstances surrounding it and the change it brings is never easy. However, more than four years later things feel somewhat different to me, not that it has much, if anything, to do with me. God has been working his purpose out there without any help from me. I hope very much that in the Chalk Stream, the parishioners feel there is a difference, too.

Now, here we are at the start of 2022, and a new beginning and another fresh start for me. It was planned that I would retire at the beginning of July this year, however, after much soul searching and prayer, I have decided to bring forward my retirement, something to which Bishop Karen has agreed. My last day in service in the Benefice will be Sunday 27th February, and Mark will be in touch with you all regarding my last service.

I came to ministry a ‘late starter’, incredulous that God should have called me to be a priest. As I followed that calling, he placed me in your midst to love and serve you. As I have attempted to do so, I have been humbled by the love and service I have witnessed you showing to others, myself included.

May you continue to love and serve in the name of Jesus Christ all those whom you meet, in the knowledge that it is what you, also, have been called to do.

With my love and prayers