THERE wasn’t a dry eye in the church as Vicar Timon Singh bid farewell to more than 200 parishioners.
After four years as the popular assistant curate at St George’s Church, Waterlooville, he has finished his training and will lead his own church in London.
And there were huge celebrations and many tears at his last service as people spoke of their memories of Mr Singh over the years yesterday.
The congregation enjoyed cake and wine as they said their last goodbyes.
The 52-year-old will move on with his wife, Noreen, and three children to become the Priest in Charge at St Dunstan’s in Lewisham.
He said: ‘It was overwhelming. I’m full of emotions.
‘It’s tremendous. There are some people I wasn’t expecting and they are here because I have had an involvement with them or some sort of relationship with them in the past.’
He added that he has enjoyed his time at St George’s Church.
‘It’s been full of joy and full of parties and full of blessings,’ he said.
‘There has been lots of fun and laughter.
‘Four years have just flown past.
‘It’s a very busy church.
‘I have really enjoyed every moment of my time here.
‘I don’t know how to sum it up in words.
‘People have been lovely. People will open up to you as long as you open up to them.
‘I’m very sad about leaving. I don’t want to go – but part of the journey is that you finish your placement and you move on to your next challenge. I am looking forward to it.’
A group of around 60 people from the congregation will be travelling up by coach to support him at the licence ceremony on September 25 at St Dunstan’s.
He added: ‘I have served here four years and people are booking up a whole coach to join me. It just shows that people are so loving and God is in people.’
Mr Singh also announced that £324 was raised for The Army Benevolent Fund, thanks to a song he wrote for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee.
Mr Singh is well-known for writing poems and his final one at St George’s is printed below.
THE SHINE OF THE SON
New shoots will grow,
New buds will come;
New leaves will spring,
New flowers will blossom.
Just smile and observe, and believe,
Because love is all around.
The love that I have,
You too, have the same love.
It is felt in the scent of the air,
It flows in the colours of the flowers.
It can be seen in the winter’s snow
With children playing on a sledge.
The love that we share is the gift of God
Which is given to us through his Son.
The same love flows to us all,
So, live in the light of the Son
Who shines ten thousand brighter than the sunshine.
May the shine of the Son bless Portsmouth and its people always.
Fr. Timon B. Singh