Retirement 'right move to make' for priest after 14-year service

Revd Canon Dr Paul Andrews of Church of St Peter Ely

The Reverend Canon Dr Paul Andrews (left) is retiring from his role as Priest-in-Charge at the Church of St Peter in Ely. - Credit: Michael Rouse

A priest who is retiring from his current post hopes he has “fulfilled my calling” to the people of Ely. 

The Reverend Canon Dr Paul Andrews is leaving his role as Priest-in-Charge at the city’s Church of St Peter after 14 years with the Diocese of Ely. 

He said: “I’m nearly 68 and we’ve got to the stage where this is the right move to make.” 

Revd Andrews was ordained with the Church of England in 2000 and became vicar at the Parish Church of St Mary the Virgin in St Neots in 2008. 

He was then asked by the Archdeacon of Wisbech and Huntingdon, The Venerable Hugh McCurdy, to come to Ely three years ago. 

“I was asked if I would consider coming to Ely because they needed someone extra to take on some of the work with ordination candidates,” said Revd Andrews. 

“We went into lockdown so for more than 18 months of my three years, we have been in extraordinary circumstances.  

“I quickly had to learn what was involved in moving everything online.” 

In 2019, a special service was held for the licensing of Revd Andrews at the Church of St Peter. 

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Most of his time in charge has been overshadowed by the Covid-19 pandemic, which he has adapted to, including overseeing the launch of a weekly online service. 

“When worship went online, people tuned in from other parts of the country,” he said. 

“It has been very fulfilling and a challenge through Covid.  

“But I feel if I’ve done anything for St Peter’s, it’s to keep cohesion of the place and sense the congregation is still here, even though we could not physically meet.” 

Revd Andrews, formerly of Bedford, was a former music student at Aberystwyth University and moved to Cambridgeshire after leaving his role as a vicar in Leighton Buzzard. 

He was also made an honorary canon at Ely Cathedral, and is now preparing to retire in Suffolk. 

“Ely is a lovely place and a new challenge of having a new role seemed to be something I thought would be good for me,” added Revd Andrews. 

“I hope people think I have fulfilled my calling in some way adequately in the time I’ve been here.”   

Revd Andrews’ last service at the Church of St Peter is on April 24.