Rev. Martin Flowerdew's Farewell Function in our Parish Church School

The Reverend Martin Flowerdew became Vicar of St Osyth on Friday 29th June 2001 (click to view).
On Thursday 30th April 2009 Martin Flowerdew was invited to meet some of his friends and parishioners in the assembly hall of our Church of England Parish Primary School, for a goodbye function in an informal atmosphere.
Martin had announced in 11th January, to a stunned congregation, that after serving in St Osyth for eight years, he would be leaving the Parish later in the year for a new benefice at Hoylake, a Parish on the Wirral, near Liverpool. He said he expected the move was likely to happen at some stage in late May or early June.
The three pictures below, with some overlap, are intended to give an idea of just how crowded the hall was that evening!

Above we see centre, Tim Palmer the Head of our School addressing those present about the business to come. To the left is Martin is seated on the platform and Sonia Grantham, Church Warden and Parish Council Chairman standing to the right.

Below are four pictures, the first showing John White, Vice-Chairman of The Parish Council, our former District Councillor for twelve years, reminiscing over events involving Martin, some of which brought a smile to many faces. The remaining three pictures show Tim Palmer speaking about Martin’s involvement and support for the school, with an audience listening carefully. Many of those present will either have had their children educated at the school or currently are parents of present pupils.

To the left Yrina Morgan-Kendall, Church Warden and School Governor informing everybody that a number of ‘going-away’ presents would be made to Martin, and the people doing so would announce to all exactly what they were presenting and why, some clearly had a hidden meaning!  The fifteen presentations are shown in small thumbnail pictures above and below and where one person presented two items they are shown twice.

Amongst the items presented were an empty shopping bag to carry possessions home, a piece of twine because it always comes in handy, some pancake mix, a pair of socks, an ice crème scoop, an Airwick, an Easter Bunny, an toy mole, a trowel for digging for artefacts in the Churchyard, some St Osyth Earth, a piece of old glass, a pair of earrings, a long handled spade for gardening, a golfing handbook and golf ball, a money box shaped like a car, a wooden spoon, a chocolate cake and some wine, and the 'piece de resistance' an alarm clock that rang with Sonia the Church Warden's voice!

Mark Roberts presented a "This is your life" Red Book, prepared by Allison Bond picturing Martin on many and various village occasions.
The next three pictures show Martin and wife Julie’s three young girls, Lundy, Maiya and Eva, all born in the Parish, about to receive a small bag of goodies. Next Martin at the rostrum (not the pulpit this time) thanking those present for the evenings events. Sitting next to him are Sonia Grantham and Yrina Morgan-Kendall his two Church Wardens. The last of these three pictures shows Julie, who had been presented with a very large bunch of flowers sitting with the children who are rummaging through the presents.

The Parish Church Choir sang a special song to the tune of a well known hymn, words by Allison Bond (on the left), which drew attention to some of Martin’s idiosyncrasies. I hope to place these words at the bottom of this web page as they so aptly describe Martin’s mannerism, which we have grown to know and dare I say Love!

On Sunday 3rd May 2009 Martin led his last service in St Osyth before a crowded congregation. At the conclusion of the service Martin agreed to pose with his Church Wardens and Altar Servers outside the robing room.

Martin’s introductory photographs on the web site when he joined us on Friday 29th June 2001 were taken outside our Church. This photograph closes the chapter with Martin waving goodbye to take his leave of St Osyth.

The Vicars Lament

(to the tune Immortal Invisible)

Him ought to know better, him’s not all that wise.
With clear lack of judgment it appears to our eyes.
Most selfish, most thoughtless. Oh what’s to be done?
A new vicar surely won’t be so much fun.

For Martin is leaving, oh woe and lament.
But his time here in Toosey was very well spent.
Attendances grew and the Word was well spread,
Plus three brand new children to tuck up in bed.

With earring and beard and an old camper van,
We really weren’t certain if he was our man.
But over eight years he has sure proved his worth
Despite his obsession with large holes, and earth.

He’s often on diets and watching his weight.
At coffee he frequently turns down the cake.
He thinks he’ll try swimming and heads for the pool
At Clacton, over 60’s go free, that’s the rule!

In the vestry the choir, silent, ready to go!
But Martin’s reactions are getting quite slow.
If you’re rude to an Alto you must pay the price,
The thick ear proves that it is best to think twice.

The choir is so patient, they don’t like to nag,
But during the hymns he is inclined to drag,
So we quicken the tempo and jazz up the tune (toon)
To make sure the service will end before noon.

The flock won’t now know what to do for the best.
Is it winter or summer? Do we take off our vests?
The seasons were marked by the footwear he wore,
With sandals from springtime and shoes in the Fall.

The Vicar is leaving alas and alack.
We doubt that he ever will be tempted back.
He’s tried saving souls here with varied success,
So he’s off up to Hoylake, their sins to address!


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