The “very stiff problem” facing St John’s, Lewes – brought to a head by the retirement of the Rev. A H Rood (Assistant priest) was raised at the Annual Church Meeting on Tuesday.
The Rev. A P Cameron (Rector) said that when Mr Rood first came to assist him it was proposed that he should stay for a year and that year would be up in May. Mr Rood had, however, decided that he must retire at the end of March, and he had done so.
He never disguised the fact that he was in his 60s and would be unable to do more than part time duties, said Mr Cameron, and now he had gone, and they were faced with a very stiff problem.
Mr Cameron, who is under a special plurality order, is Rector of All Saints’ and Cliffe churches as well as of St John’s, but draws the living of only the first two churches, said that St John’s now had to try to find a curate, when their only certain income amounted to £247 a year and no house.
“How we can find an assistant young enough and vigorous enough who will work whole-heartedly at his job in this large parish under those conditions I do not know” said the Rector.
Under a special envelopes scheme to get financial support from the congregation, he thought they might find £350 a year, but there was still the need of a house. His plurality order, Mr Cameron pointed out, provided for such an assistant.
They were now trying to secure a house or suitable accommodation for a curate.
“This business of getting a house is the first thing,” he went on. ” If we could only get that and £350 a year the whole problem would be transformed.”
The congregation decided to send a letter to the Rev. Rood expressing their appreciation of all he had done.
(Extract from Annual Parochial Church Meeting, 3rd of April 1956)