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On Sunday 1st December 2013 the Venerable David Meara, Rector of St Bride's and Archdeacon of London, announced that he will be retiring from office at the end of July 2014. He will then be 67 years old, and will have celebrated 40 years as a priest in the Church of England. He will have been Rector of St Bride's for 14 years, and Archdeacon of London for 5 years. He feels that after a full and varied ministry this is the right time to retire and hand over the baton to someone else.
He has greatly enjoyed his ministry at St Bride's, during which the church has maintained and grown its links with the newspaper and wider media industry, completed a successful £3.5 million re-endowment appeal, expanded its involvement with the City and Livery Companies, grown its volunteer base, and maintained and enhanced the Sunday worshipping congregations served by their splendid professional choir. The fabric has been conserved and improved, and the first phase of an ambitious £2.5 million restoration project successfully completed.
As Archdeacon of London, David has overseen the development of thematic and pioneering ministries in a number of City churches, modernising their governance structures and raising the amount raised by City churches towards the Common Fund to nearly 100%.
He believes that he leaves both St Bride's and the City Archdeaconry in good heart and ready for a new stage of ministry and mission. He will be sad to leave such as an exciting and varied area of ministry but is looking forward to a new stage of life and priestly ministry with Rosemary his wife when he retires next year. He and Rosemary will live in Kidlington, just outside Oxford, which has many family and sentimental associations, as David was born in Oxford, went to Oriel College Oxford, met Rosemary there, and trained for ministry at nearby Cuddesdon Theological College. He also spent 27 years of his ministry in the Oxford Diocese and is an Honorary Canon Emeritus of Christ Church Cathedral. Both Rosemary and he have enjoyed their time in the City of London and will leave with many happy memories.
He is announcing his retirement well in advance so that the process of appointing his successor can begin as soon as possible. To that end he will be formally retiring as Rector of St Bride's at Easter 2014, but will remain Archdeacon of London, with permission from the Bishop of London to exercise pastoral care until 31st July 2014, when he will move to Oxford. The churchwardens will manage the process of planning for a successor, and the Bishop of London and the Patron, the Dean and Chapter of Westminster, will be kept fully involved. Meanwhile, the work of St Bride's, serving its varied constituencies and promoting the Gospel, goes on.