The Archdeacon of Chichester, The Venerable Douglas McKittrick, has announced his retirement from the post with effect from 1 July 2018.
Forty-one years since his ordination as deacon and having served principally in two dioceses - Liverpool and Chichester - Archdeacon Douglas is looking forward to retirement to Kirkbymoorside in the North Yorkshire Moors where he will continue to enjoy his love of walking in the great outdoors with his two dogs Jack and Toby.
After training at St Stephen's House, Oxford, Douglas was ordained in Southwark Cathedral, first as deacon and then as a priest. He served his title in Deptford, South London, an experience which inspired him to take up a further calling to urban ministry in Liverpool where he served in three parishes including being Vicar of two parishes in Toxteth from 1981 to 1997.
"Those Liverpool days were hugely rewarding and I will never forget the warmth and enthusiasm for the Gospel during some extremely challenging times for Toxteth and the wider region," said the Archdeacon today.
It was in 1997 that Douglas made the long trip to the Sussex Coast where he was first Vicar of St Peter's with The Chapel Royal and Rural Dean of Brighton before taking up the post of Archdeacon of Chichester in 2002. For sixteen years Douglas has provided support and encouragement to clergy and laity in his patch alongside two bishops of Chichester.
Bishop Martin said today: “Douglas has had a distinguished ministry in this diocese, bringing to us so much of the vitality of his previous experience in Liverpool and Deptford.”
He added: “As an archdeacon, and more particularly as a priest and pastor, we shall miss him greatly. “We assure him of our prayers and good wishes as he moves to Kirkbymoorside, hoping that he and the dogs are very happy in that stunning part of North Yorkshire.”
Archdeacon Douglas said: “I thank God for calling me to ministerial priesthood and for the grace given to fulfil what is undoubtedly a joyous, though demanding vocation. I have made so many friends over my 40 years as a priest, people from all walks of life who have enriched me both as a person and a priest. I am grateful beyond words for the commitment of men and women, lay and ordained, who day by day witness faithfully to the Good News of Jesus Christ. I love Sussex and being part of this great Diocese of Chichester.
“It has been a tough decision to return to the North, though I believe it to be a right one. As I leave I do want to say thank you to all those in the Chichester Diocese with whom I have been a partner in the Gospel. I wish the Diocese well for the future and may you remain faithful to your call as a Disciple of Jesus Christ, making him better known in all our communities.”
There will be a Eucharist in Chichester Cathedral on St Richard’s Day, 16 June, (3 pm,) to give thanks for Douglas’s 40 years of priestly life and to say farewell to the Diocese. More details will follow in the eBulletin next month.