Popular Saddleworth vicar to retire

ONE OF Saddleworth’s most familiar faces is to leave their role later this year.

The Reverend Canon Sharon Jones will retire from being the area’s team rector for the Church of England on June 30.

She told parishioners at Dobcross’ Holy Trinity, one of nine she looks after, of her decision after eight years’ service – following 10 in nearby Rochdale.

Canon Jones said: ‘After nearly eight years among you here in Saddleworth, the time has come for me to step down.

Rev Canon Sharon Jones

“My intention is to take early retirement and leave you in June.

“There are many challenges that lie ahead for the Benefice over the next few years and I believe you need someone with fresh vision and stamina to move the Team onward.

“It is a very difficult and painful decision for me but I know, like the prophet Elijah, the time has come for me to pass on my mantle to someone else.”

The Rev Sachin Awale, who as appointed to the team in April after serving in the Moss Side and Whalley Range areas of Manchester, will be assisted by other clergy once the Rev Canon Jones retires.

“I will be leaving you in the safe hands of Rev Sachin Awale and our other wonderful clergy and lay colleagues with whom it has been an honour and privilege to serve,” the Rev Canon Jones added.

“Thank you for all you give me, the ways you care for me and for sharing your lives with me.”

The move was confirmed by the Church of England with the simple statement: “The Revd Canon Sharon Ann Jones will retire as Team Rector in the Saddleworth Benefice.

“Her last day in office will be 30th June 2024.”

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