Palma.—The Anglican and British community here in Majorca will be saddened to learn today that the Reverend Robert Ellis has decided to retire this year.

Those members of the congregation at the Anglican Church in Palma who receive the Reverend's “occasional letter” will already know, but for the most part of the wider community, his decision may be unexpected.

However, yesterday the Reverend admitted that he feels it is time that he steps aside and makes room for a younger male or female “with different talents and skills to mine. “I have been the Chaplain here in Majorca for the past 11 years and I have been ordained for 40 years.
New gifts “I am now 63 and, to be honest, I am beginning to show my age,” Ellis said. “Since I arrived here, I have clocked up 210'000 kilometres in the chaplaincy car, conducted more that 500 weddings, 117 baptisms and 305 funerals so, I think it's time to make room for someone else who will bring new gifts and skills to what has been a very fulfilling ministry for me personally. “Together, we have achieved a great deal over the past 11 years,” Ellis said referring to both the infrastructure of the church, the new lift for example, and its finances. “I will be leaving the church in a financially stronger position,” he said. “And, we're conducting more weddings than ever,” Reverend Ellis added.
He has also reached out to a much wider section of the community and improved relations with the Catholic Church.
In 2005, Ellis was also the “star” of a fly-on-the-wall documentary A Parish In The Sun.
There has never been a dull moment for the Reverend who yesterday said that he has no regrets whatsoever about coming to Majorca. “Not for one minute,” he stressed. “I have enjoyed my time here immensely and we are going to be keeping our Majorcan home. “But, we will be back home in Staffordshire for Christmas. “That's where the family house is and we haven't lived there for 11 years, so it is in need of some serious care and attention,” Ellis explained. “So, for the time being, our primary concern will be getting our house in England back in order, quite literally,” he added.
But, finding a replacement is not going to be easy.
Apart from the appointment procedure being quite long, whoever is chosen for the post will have some serious boots to fill. “It's a very extensive procedure and I doubt a priest, be it a man or a woman will be elected until Easter next year. “However, in the meantime, a locum priest will be coming to fill in. “The retired Reverend Paul Southern is due to arrive on the island on November 25 and he will be ably assisted by the Canon Mel Smith in Pollensa and the parish assistants here in Palma,” Ellis revealed. “I would expect the church council to draw up a detailed job description over the coming weeks and then the position will be advertised in the usual places. “Then, as applications come in, a short list will be drawn up and eventually a final decision will be made. “It could be a man or a woman, but as far as I am concerned, I have no preference.
Important “What is important for me is that the best priest for the job is selected,” the Reverend added.
Ending his “occasional letter” this week, the Reverend, who has written a weekly column for the Bulletin for the past 11 years, concludes: “After discussion with the Church wardens my last Sunday will be 6th November and it would be lovely if you could join us on that day. So, whether you live here on Majorca, are one of our swallows, or simply someone who visits us when you are on holiday, this comes with greetings and best wishes from all of us here.”

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