Parishioners from the four Churches in Rev Tom Goode's Benefice came to St Peters, Hurstbourne Tarrant for a farewell Communion Service. "Tom and Ticia Goode have been with us for seven years, and there was a large turnout for this service, at the end of which Tom was presented with a picture of Venice by Tom Coates and Ticia was given a bouquet of flowers. "
The Benefice includes Hurstbourne Tarrant, Vernham Dean, Faccombe and Linkenholt.
I am grateful to Richard Hawkins for the text of his remarks after the service, which appear below.
"We’re here today to mark not only Tom and Ticia’s departure from our benefice, but also Tom’s retirement as a priest in the Church of England after 43 years.
After graduation from Oxford in 1964 with an honours degree in
Theology, Tom embarked on a vocation in the church, initially studying for 2 years at Cuddesdon Theological College.
From 1967 to 1971, Tom was appointed as the assistant curate of St Peter’s Wolvercote, and it is fitting to note that he started and has now finished his many ministries in two St Peter’s churches.
For much of his time at Wolvercote, Tom also took on a full time teaching role at Cherwell Secondary Modern School. A most demanding commitment for a young curate.
In 1971, Tom and Ticia decided that they would try four years in the Royal Air Force. This four years was to turn in to 26 years.
Tom’s RAF career started with a brief spell at The RAF College at Cranwell, and then Tom served in various chaplaincy appointments in the following locations:
North Luffenham in Rutland
RAF Masirah in the Indian Ocean
HQ Allied Forces Central Europe in the Netherlands
RAF Guttersloh in Germany
And then in 1991, promotion to Assistant Chaplain-in-Chief
and an appointment to St Clement Danes in London, the central church of The Royal Air Force. Tom’s final appointment was at Strike Command where he was responsible for managing the chaplaincy service throughout the command stretching from Italy and Bosnia to Tukey and Saudi Arabia. He was appointed an Honorary Chaplain to the Queen from 1995 to 1997.
Tom retired from the Royal Air Force in 1997 after this distinguished career. Tom and Ticia were then off to the Gulf for 3 years where Tom was the Chaplain of St Andrews church in Abu Dhabbi. They then came to us in the Benefice of Hurstbourne Tarrant in 2000.
Among his many passions, amateur dramatics has been a feature of Tom’s life and he was able to give his acting and directing skills and talents free rein in Gibraltar and many other RAF stations.
Tom has served his ministry here with commitment and dedication, However it must have been something of a shock for him to arrive here and find that Hurstbourne Tarrant resembles a garrison town if the number of ex-Army parishioners is anything to go by. It has however allowed him to draw on his extensive time and experience in the RAF to very good effect in our diverse and well spread benefice.
Ticia has done an enormous amount to support and raise our awareness of those less fortunate than ourselves in other parts of the world through her involvement with Fair Trade and Tear Fund. In promoting the concept and ideals of Fair Trade, she’s been well ahead of the game and there can’t be many of us who knew much about this movement five years ago. Now it is the concern of the retail giants, politicians and governments alike and we have to thank Ticia and all those in the foundation for moving the issues to the top of the agenda - to make sure that producers in third world countries are properly rewarded for their endeavours.
Her ceramic work has been much admired and enabled others to draw inspiration and gain a new skill. All this and she has also been a tremendous support for Tom during his years here.
They will shortly be off to their lovely converted mill in Marnes in Poitou-Charentes, where they look forward to a well earned retirement in a most beautiful part of rural France. They can reflect with pride on a life of service to the church, the Royal Air Force and the many thousands of parishioners who have been fortunate to be part of their ministry.
We thank them for all they have done in our benefice and wish them a long and happy retirement, with maybe the time to pursue their many hobbies and interests more fully."
In his response, Tom said that everyone was welcome to call in on him at his new home in France.