Letter to the community of St. Thomas à Becket – from Father Leslie

Dear Sisters and Brothers

Never have I left a position with more sadness than leaving St.
Thomas à Becket. Julie, my wife, feels the same way.

I went through much soul-searching before deciding to apply for the role of Archdeacon of Germany and Northern Europe as well as the East. I have done so at the encouragement from persons I respect, and because I felt called to offer my particular international and ecumenical experiences of working for the church to the wider Diocese in Europe. Things happened very quickly between the advertisement of the post and the interviews, the outcome of which was anything but a foregone conclusion. I received the formal confirmation on 2nd September and on 12th the Diocese announced it on its website.

This offers me the opportunity to say how much our community has come to mean to me. As your chaplain I regard you as my extended family with all the joys and sorrows, the ups and downs, the celebrations and the struggles that close and committed relationships involve.  Through my ministry here in this great city of Hamburg, and our very special church community, I have learned a good deal more which, no doubt, will inform my future ministry as archdeacon. In this role I look forward to keeping in touch.

Let us take forward the work and witness of our Englische Kirche in Hamburg during the remaining weeks before my departure. I am assured that there are so many of you who will be continuing your engagement in this spirit after I leave as your chaplain. May the next incumbent experience the same excitement and challenge in taking up his or her role among you as I did.

You remain in our prayers. God bless you all.

Leslie Nathaniel