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Celebrating 50th Anniversary of Ordination

Last Trinity Sunday, 27th May, was a very special day for The Revd Alan Stockbridge as he celebrated one of those not so common anniversaries, namely his 50th anniversary of ordination to the priesthood.

A special BCP Evensong, translated into German, saw a full church on a hot and sultry evening in the small town of Ebern in Franconia, Germany, where Alan now lives in retirement with his wife Erika, and where he is active in both the Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches, preaching and leading worship. Alan himself led the service and the combined choirs of the Lutheran and Roman Catholic churches led the singing of the psalm, Magnificat and Nunc Dimittis. The sermon was preached by the Area Dean for Germany, The Revd Canon John Newsome. Although there is no Anglican church in the area, Alan at 84 plays a full part in the local ecumenical scene where he is greatly valued. He also regularly attends meetings of the Council of Anglican Episcopal Churches in Germany and helps out in our chaplaincies when there is need.

One can describe him as a veritable bridge-builder, a quality reflected in his earlier career as officer and chaplain in the British Army. He served in various parts of the world including placements in Germany, Singapore, Northern Ireland and Gibraltar. A particular emphasis of his ministry was to build bridges with the local communities and foster ecumenical ties.

The photo below shows Alan in the centre with (from left to right) Fr. Daniel (the Russian Orthodox priest from Schweinfurt), Canon John Newsome (Area Dean), Pastor Bernd Grosser (the local Lutheran pastor in whose church the service was held), and Pater Rudolf Theiler (the local Roman Catholic priest).