After almost 10 years in the role as Vicar of Boston, Canon Robin Whitehead is preparing for an emotional farewell due to health reasons.
After 12 months of intensive treatment for cancer, and on medical advice, Mr Whitehead will take early retirement from full-time ministry in May.
“I have had a wonderful happy and fulfilling time over these nine years and I am very sad to be leaving,” said Mr Whitehead, who joined the parish in 2004.
“It has been an incredible privilege to look after the most wonderful church in England, to serve as Mayor’s Chaplain and to be involved in so many ways in the life of our town.”
In his sermon at the Stump on Palm Sunday, the Bishop of Lincoln, the Right Reverend Christopher Lowson paid tribute to Mr Whitehead, 60.
“The Bishop spoke for us all,” said the Rev Dr Hugh Jones, curate in the parish.
“Robin is much loved and has been constantly in our prayers throughout this very difficult year for him. He will be sorely missed.”
Mr Whitehead’s last Sunday service will be on April 28, 10.30am, in the Stump.
“It will be a very tearful day, I suspect, but a chance for me to say thank you to everyone with whom I have had the privilege and joy to work in our three wonderful churches over these past years,” he said.
“I hope that when I have had time to get my strength back, and praying that I am well enough, I hope that God might have new and different plans for me, albeit in perhaps a more part-time way!”
Mr Whitehead has enjoyed an eventful time as vicar at the Stump, celebrating two centenary years; in 2009 the church marked its 700th anniversary and last year St Thomas’ Church turned 100.
He also became team rector of the newly-enlarged Parish of Boston in 2005.
In 2009 he was made a Canon and Prebendary of Lincoln Cathedral.
Mr Whitehead will be moving down to the south coast to be closer to his family.