The Parish of St Cuthbert with St Aidan, Durham

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Farewell to Fiona and Neil

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This is the text of Fiona's final letter in a special edition of the Interchange magazine (available in full on the site).

We start with two pictures.....

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"There's something about a cloak”

 There are very few folks who have ever seen the attached and rather blurred polaroid photograph, taken of me on the day I began my nursing career back on 1st September 1980...exactly 39 years ago.  I had always wanted to be a nurse and at 18 years old I began training for that vocational occupation.

As student nurses, I recall how we all had the moment captured, as we proudly wore our brand new uniforms, including the distinctive nurse’s cloak. Little did I know then, just how significant that cloak would become, because on 9th September 2019, I begin a new chapter of my ministry, returning to life in the NHS as a Chaplain serving the RVI and Freeman Hospitals.

I find it intriguing to discover that the term ‘Chaplain’ is derived from the Latin word for cloak, namely a ‘Cappella.’ I believe that God has called me back to my heartland to wear a cloak of a different kind, as I serve Him in this next season .

It has been a privilege to wear that nurse’s cloak and more recently a clergy cloak, made especially for me during my curacy. Today, as I write this the first of my farewells, the image of the cloak seems to be a very significant sign of God’s hand upon my life.

So it is with sadness and yet a very thankful heart that I prepare for my last services in Durham North Team on Sunday 1st September. (10am St Aidan’s & 4pm St Cuthbert’s) As I journey on, it is hugely reassuring and comforting to recognise there is “something about a cloak” that will continue to shape my life and ministry.  

With my continued prayers and God’s blessing for this community.

Revd Fiona Collin


Farewell to Fiona and Neil
Rev. Fiona Collin leaves for a new role on 1st September
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