THE rector of Henley with Remenham has announced his retirement.
The Rev Canon Martyn Griffiths, 65, has been the priest at St Mary’s Church in Hart Street, Henley, and St Nicholas’s Church in Remenham since 2005.
He will step down on January 14 next year.
Canon Griffiths, who marked the 40th anniversary of his ordination in December 2015, described his 13 years at the churches as “wonderful”.
He said: “The church people are really supportive and my colleagues in the other denominations have been great fun to work with.
“Certainly, I can say the last years of my ministry in the town have been the most enjoyable.
“I’ve enjoyed living here in Henley as it is such a nice place and there’s so much going on. They’ll be a degree of sadness when I leave but at the same time I realise I can’t go on forever.
“I’ve been a parish priest for more than 40 years so that’s obviously going to be quite a change but it doesn’t stop me being a priest. I shall undoubtedly carry on doing priestly things.”
Canon Griffiths said that following his retirement he and his wife Anne, a special needs co-ordinator at Trinity Primary School, will move out of the parish.
He said: “We’re expected to move away so that we don’t interfere with our successor’s work.
“It is important that there is breathing space in order to allow the congregations to get used to another voice as well as time for any necessary work to be done on the rectory.
“We want to travel a little and make a little more time for just doing ordinary things that other people take for granted because the job is sort of 24/7, 365 days.”
As well as taking church services, Canon Griffiths also leads major civic and community events, such as the Remembrance Sunday service in Henley Market Place and the special Sunday service at St Mary’s during Henley Royal Regatta.
The church also hosts the final night of the Henley Living Advent Calendar on Christmas Eve.
Canon Griffiths has helped raise thousands of pounds for the churches and he took part in the Thames Path Challenge in 2010 and 2011 in aid of a new roof at St Mary’s. He was educated in Sutton Coldfield before attending Nottingham University and Kelham Theological College in Nottinghamshire followed by a year at St Martin’s College of Education in Lancaster.
Following his ordination in 1975, he served in parishes in the dioceses of Birmingham, Manchester and Blackburn and served on a number of diocesan committees.
From 1980 until 1984 he was assistant administrator at the Shrine of Our Lady of Walsingham in Norfolk before moving to Preston.
He applied to be rector of Henley after seeing the job advertised in the Church Times in 2004. He was inducted on January 15, 2005.
Canon Griffiths marked the 40th anniversary of his ordination with a commemorative mass attended by about 250 worshippers.