Kesgrave vicar thanks parish for support
A DISABLED vicar who was forced to move out of his home has today thanked the people of his parish for helping him through a "terrifying" time.Tim Breene, former assistant minister at All Saints Church in Kesgrave, has now given up the job he loves after a lengthy battle with church authorities which began when they tried to axe his post last year.
A DISABLED vicar who was forced to move out of his home has today thanked the people of his parish for helping him through a "terrifying" time.
Tim Breene, former assistant minister at All Saints Church in Kesgrave, has now given up the job he loves after a lengthy battle with church authorities which began when they tried to axe his post last year.
After numerous meetings and appeals, including a letter to the Archbishop of Canterbury, Mr Breene was left with no option but to take early retirement on the grounds of ill health.
The Evening Star first featured his story in March when he was being threatened with eviction from his church-owned home.
Mr Breene, who has a painful muscle condition called dystonia, was left with no choice but to move out in May.
He had hoped to be given continued permission to officiate - meaning he could still continue to assist The Rev Robin Spittle in serving the parishioners of Kesgrave - but this has now been declined by the Diocese and he has been forced to move back to his parents' home in Felixstowe.
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He said: "I moved out of my home in May as the stress from everything meant my health had deteriorated and I could not continue fighting.
"At first my stuff was kept stored in Kesgrave in the hope I would be granted continued permission to officiate.
"This was not given to me and meant continuing to work in Kesgrave would not be possible."
Mr Breene says he hopes to be able to return to ministering in some form when his health improves.
He said: "It's not just a job, it's a lifestyle and I will miss it terribly.
"I have been told I should not attempt any public performance at the moment anyway but I am hopeful that, in time, I will be able to visit people in hospital and homes - the church cannot ban me from doing that.
"I would like to express my profound gratitude to the people of Kesgrave and to Robin. I am very proud they stood up and did everything they could in the interests of both justice and decency.
"Kesgrave is a lovely, real community and I hope to be able to serve its people in the future in some capacity.
"Without Robin and the community the last few years would have been a terrifying time."
Mr Spittle said Mr Breene's retirement will be a big loss for the church: "Tim is irreplaceable. He is a very special type of person and his gifts and insight will be missed.
"The church family has suffered as a result of his departure."
A presentation will be made to Mr Breene at a service to mark his contribution to the church.
The service will be held on November 7 at 11.15am at All Saints Church. All are welcome.