There was joy and sadness combined at a fundraising spring fair staged by members of St Faith’s Church at Gaywood on Saturday
Old friends met up to browse the stalls and sideshows while helping to raise much-needed funds to cover costs of maintaining the historic and much-loved church building which date back to Norman times.
More than £800 was raised at the event.
A large crowd had gathered at the entrance to Gaywood Church Rooms on Gayton Road to see St Faith’s Team Vicar, the Rev Dale Gingrich, open the fair and invite everyone in.
There was an air of sadness among church members manning the various stalls because it was the last fund-raising and social event to be attended by Mr Gingrich.
He is leaving the parish after eight years to take up a new appointment as vicar of a group of three rural parishes near Banbury, Oxfordshire.
During his time as a member of the clergy team at St Faith’s, Mr Gingrich has become a well-known and popular figure through his involvement, not just with St Faith’s but also through his wider responsibilities as moderator of Lynn’s Churches Together group.
Mr Gingrich, while admitting he will miss his friends and work at Gaywood, says he is looking forward to the new challenges that lie ahead for him in Oxfordshire.
“What I have loved about being in Gaywood are the ecumenical initiatives that have flourished,” he said.
He said the co-operative ministries between Methodists and Anglicans at St Faith’s have been multiplied in King’s Lynn as more churches team up to organise and support ministries like the Foodbank and CAP (Christians Against Poverty) Debt Centre.
These agencies offer help and support to those who find themselves in desperate need of good news in their lives, he said.
St Faith’s churchwarden, Richard Parr, said Mr Gingrich had made a significant contribution to the worship and social life of St Faith’s and would be greatly missed.
“In his role as Team Vicar, working with his clergy colleagues, Dale has moved us forward in the parish in our life and worship.
“We will miss him greatly but wish him and his wife, Anne-Marie, every joy and success in their new life in Oxfordshire,” said Mr Parr.
Although Mr Gingrich will preside at his final service on Easter Sunday, he will return on Sunday, April 3 to attend a farewell English afternoon tea followed by a service in St Faith’s Church starting at 6.30pm.
Everyone is welcome to attend this service and say their personal goodbyes.