A number of you will know that I was off work for five months from early January and, part way through, was diagnosed with Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. I have just started back on a phased return, working a day a week in the office in London and some work from home. After conversation with colleagues, the following was emailed to a number of people yesterday, including the staff in Methodist Church House:
“You may be aware that we have been delighted to welcome Gareth Hill back to work after his long period of ill-health. Gareth has now begun a phased return to work which is necessarily limiting what responsibilities he undertakes. This means that for the time being the Mission & Advocacy Cluster remains under the management of the Connexional Secretary.
“As part of his recovery Gareth has, after advice from medical professionals and discernment of his own future ministry, recognised that a full return to the role of Head of Mission and Advocacy is not possible. Gareth will therefore enter the stationing process in Autumn 2014.
“To ensure he can regain as full strength as possible, he will be undertaking different duties under the direction of the Secretary of the Conference for the next year as part of his phased return. This will mean the process of recruiting his successor can begin post-Conference.
“We are grateful to Gareth for this clarity – time for thanks will come later.”
There’s a bit of Methodist jargon in that, but it means I will be stepping down from my present job in the next few weeks and entering the process for finding a new ministerial post for September 2015. The Mission & Advocacy staff in Methodist Church House are a brilliant and servant-hearted group of people and I look forward being able to work with them in a different way over the next few months.
Thanks to all those who have been praying and keeping in touch since January. The adventure continues!