John steps down after 40 years
A well-known priest who has worked across faith and denominational boundaries for decades has retired from parish ministry.
The Revd Canon John Barnett was ordained 40 years ago on 3 July 1977 and has held various roles in Lichfield and Birmingham dioceses.
He retired as interfaith advisor to the bishops of Lichfield and Wolverhampton last year and, on Sunday, said farewell at Beacon Church in Pheasey where he was priest-in-charge.
Beacon Church hosted a large gathering of people from each of the parishes John has served, mostly in Birmingham but also All Saints Darlaston in Lichfield Diocese.
The preacher at the celebration communion service was Father Adam Romanis who had come to John as a student, was curate in the same parish as John, and is now vicar of a next door parish, St Matthew's Perry Beeches.
John presented flowers to his wife Janice and daughters Louise and Helen and thanked them for their part in his ministry.
He said: "Ordained ministry brings with it its own fears, frustrations and sorrows, but, for what it’s worth, I have found it a blessed estate. I can’t really imagine having spent my days doing anything else, and have found Jesus utterly reliable, even on the many occasions when I haven’t been."
Beacon Church is a Local Ecumenical Partnership and John's successor, the Methodist Revd Andrew Brazier, will be licensed on 10 September, so Beacon folk are now getting ready for his arrival and the next stage of church life in Pheasey.
John was interviewed last year for a TGI Extra video about practical approaches to interfaith relations.