Will’s Leaving Service and Lunch

Reverend Will Gibbs is moving on from Redbourn after 16 years of service to the church, parish and village. In September he will join the team at St Albans Abbey as Canon for Mission and Pastoral Care. He, Claire, Olivia and Darcy will be moving just a little way “up the road” over the summer period.

A Service of thanksgiving for his time with us and a farewell celebration will be held on Sunday 24 July at 11.00 am, followed by a bring and share lunch.

He’d be delighted to see as many of his friends as possible on that day. The service will be outside in the churchyard if the weather is kind, and lunch will be set out in the Transept Hall. There should be plenty of food to go around, but feel free to bring your own if you wish.

The occasion will be very relaxed. If you can only come to one part of the day, or even pop in for a few minutes, you will be just as welcome as if staying for everything.

Logistical Arrangements

1.       Please bring chairs or rugs if you are able. We’d really appreciate it if some people could bring extra chairs too for visitors

2.       If you’ve promised to bring food, please label it (especially if it contains allergens, nuts, etc. or if gluten-free, vegetarian, etc), and wrap in cling film

3.       We’re trying to avoid a mad rush near to 11am when the service begins, and also to avoid pressure on parking space. So please try to drop off food, drink and chairs between 10 and 10:45am, and then if you live nearby it would really help if you could take your car home and walk back. The gates into Church End will be open, so exit that way. If you find it difficult to carry chairs, there will be people on hand to help out

4.       The drive, between the turning circle and Church End will be coned off at 10:45. Parking in the Hollybush will not be available because the service is late, and the Hollybush is expecting to be busy that day anyway. If you are bringing passengers who cannot walk far, then do drive in and use the turning circle

5.       There will be freshly-cooked meat and baps available, and we expect a fine selection of vegetarian and vegan offerings

6.       If you’re able, please stay and help clear up afterwards


As a rough guide, we expect timings to be:

  • 10:00 – 10:45   Drop off food drink, chairs, setting up for the service
  • 11:00   Service
  • 12:15 – 13:00   Leave chairs where you have been sitting. Soft drinks will be served from a marquee whilst Will conducts a Baptism in the church. Able-bodied people may be pressed into help move chairs around, or other tasks as we get ready for lunch – thanks!
  • During this time we’d love you to sign the book* that is being prepared for Will and family
  • 13:00   Lunch. Collect your food and eat it wherever you like – the courtyard, the meadow where the service has taken place
  • 13:45   Gather back in the meadow for a short presentation to the Gibbs family
  • 14:00   Dessert

If you would like to contribute to Will’s leaving gift, donations can be made by bank transfer using these details:

  • Name: Parochial Church Council of St Mary Redbourn
  • Sort Code: 40-23-11
  • Account: 51119354
  • Reference: Farewell Gift

If you prefer to donate by cash, this can be handed to any of the Churchwarden team – Paul Vernon, Michelle Parry-Slater, Stephen Gell and Catharine Pusey – when you next see us.

Will has given much of himself in his time at St Mary’s and has been greatly supported by Claire and their girls. We will miss them, but will do our best to give them a memorable send off.

2 thoughts on “Will’s Leaving Service and Lunch”

  1. I will be there for Will’s leaving service & lunch. I may possibly, but not sure yet, be accompanied by one of my daughters, Rebecca Wood, and two grandchildren.

    Jonathan Wood.

  2. Sorry you are leaving..you are simply God sent ..wish you all the best. Hope to see you on Sunday. GOD bless you always…

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