Chaplain to The Queen to retire after 20 years serving Suffolk church
- Credit: Charlotte Bond
A much-loved Suffolk Rector who serves as a chaplain to The Queen is to retire this week - but will still keep his role as chaplain for Ipswich Town.
The Revd Canon Kevan McCormack is standing down from St Mary's Parish Church in Woodbridge after 20 years, as well as six years serving Her Majesty.
The Revd Canon McCormack is one of 36 chaplains to the Monarch and has regularly preached at St James' Palace.
He described the role as a great privilege but said it is one he has done on behalf of the whole community,
Yet despite taking a step back following his 70th birthday on Thursday this week, he will continue in a number of honorary roles.
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That includes as chaplain to Ipswich Town Football Club, a role he has held since 2000, as well as being officiating chaplain to the military at Rock Barracks.
Speaking of his roles, he said: "I am just part of the overall package. It's a question of being available to them."
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During the four decades since he was ordained, The Revd Canon McCormack said the Church had seen many changes - describing it as "more flexible".
He also said it was "more ready to support vulnerable people whatever the circumstances".
More than 400 people attended his final service at St Mary's, with 200 people joining him for a special meal afterwards.
"It's unbelievable and overwhelming," he said.
Of his retirement, The Revd Canon McCormack said: "It's a real mixture of feelings. I will miss the community, but I am moving not too far away.
"I am 70 on Thursday so I feel it's time to let go."
He described working in Woodbridge as a "privilege" and praised "its openness and friendliness", adding: "What is special about Woodbridge is every kind of lifestyle is represented.
"People are so warm and welcoming. I have loved every minute of it."
The Revd Canon will formally retire on Thursday, February 13, which will coincide with his 70th birthday.