On Easter Day, Sunday April 15, next year, nearly 11 years to the day since the then Reverend Jim Hawthorne took over as Chaplain of St Philips and St James Anglican church in Palma, the now Canon Jim is to retire after conducting his final service. Canon Hawthorne arrived in Palma on May 1, 1990 and he will officially retire on April 30 for health reasons. Canon Jim said yesterday that he intends to quietly return to England and lead a nice quiet gentleman's life. I'll continue to go to church, but as one of the congregation, but the boot will be on the other foot and I'll be able to criticise the vicar and moan about his choice of hymns and sermons. The Canon, who has been mulling over his future for quite some time, is not sad to be leaving there comes a time when one has to be realistic, the fact is that I cannot continue and a more active man is needed to cope with the increasing workload, he said yesterday. While not sad, he said that he feels extremely privileged to have been involved with so many people's lives in Majorca. Albeit visiting the prison, hospitals, conducting weddings and funerals I have enjoyed some of the greatest moments of joy and despair, he said. When Canon Jim leaves Majorca he will be taking with him memories of all the people who had nobody to lean on and none to turn to who have turned to him for help and support over the years. It is the great amount of energy and care Canon Jim has invested in helping so many people, mostly on the quiet and behind the scenes, which has generated such a heavy work load which Canon Jim can no longer cope with. Since his arrival on the island he says that he has seen the congregation change some two or three times.
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