Archdeacon Douglas McKittrick is to retire 21 years after he moved to Brighton to become vicar of St Peter’s Church.
After serving as the vicar of St Peter’s and the Chapel Royal, in North Street, Brighton, and as rural dean of Brighton, he became Archdeacon of Chichester in 2002.
At the time, the archdeacon, who lives in Dyke Road Avenue, Hove, was responsible for an area that included Brighton and Hove.
That changed in 2014 when Martin Lloyd Williams was appointed to the newly created post of archdeacon of Brighton and Lewes.
Douglas McKittrick, who turned 65 last month, will retire on Sunday 1 July – more than 40 years after he was ordained.
Archdeacon Douglas said that he was looking forward to retiring to Kirkbymoorside in the North Yorkshire Moors where he will continue to enjoy his love of walking in the great outdoors with his two dogs Jack and Toby.
He trained at St Stephen’s House, Oxford, Douglas was ordained in Southwark Cathedral, first as deacon and then as a priest.
He served his title in Deptford, south London, an experience which he said inspired him to take up a further calling to urban ministry in Liverpool. There he served in three parishes including as vicar of two parishes in Toxteth from 1981 to 1997.
Archdeacon Douglas said: “Those Liverpool days were hugely rewarding and I will never forget the warmth and enthusiasm for the gospel during some extremely challenging times for Toxteth and the wider region.”
The Diocese of Chichester – a division of the Church of England overseen by a bishop – said: “For 16 years Douglas has provided support and encouragement to clergy and laity in his patch alongside two bishops of Chichester.”
The current Bishop of Chichester Martin Warner said: “Douglas has had a distinguished ministry in this diocese, bringing to us so much of the vitality of his previous experience in Liverpool and Deptford.”
“As an archdeacon, and more particularly as a priest and pastor, we shall miss him greatly.
“We assure him of our prayers and good wishes as he moves to Kirkbymoorside, hoping that he and the dogs are very happy in that stunning part of North Yorkshire.”
Archdeacon Douglas said: “I thank God for calling me to ministerial priesthood and for the grace given to fulfil what is undoubtedly a joyous though demanding vocation.
“I have made so many friends over my 40 years as a priest, people from all walks of life who have enriched me both as a person and a priest.
“I am grateful beyond words for the commitment of men and women, lay and ordained, who day by day witness faithfully to the good news of Jesus Christ.
“I love Sussex and being part of this great Diocese of Chichester.
“It has been a tough decision to return to the north, though I believe it to be a right one.
“As I leave I do want to say thank you to all those in the Chichester diocese with whom I have been a partner in the gospel. I wish the diocese well for the future.”
The diocese, which has its head office in New Church Road, Hove, said that there would be a service to give thanks for the archdeacon’s 40 years of priestly life and to say farewell to the diocese.
It is due to take place in Chichester Cathedral on St Richard’s Day, Saturday 16 June, at 3 pm.
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