Much loved Nailsworth vicar the Rev Stephen Earley to retire
SOLICITOR turned priest the Rev Stephen Earley is about to take another change in his life as he approaches retirement at the end of the month.
Mr Earley has been vicar of St George’s Church in Nailsworth with Horsley and Kingscote for the past 11 years.
"It has been a privilege to serve this community and I will have to wait to see what God opens up for me next," said Mr Earley, 65, who will continue to live in the town. "Nailsworth is a really special place.
"It is such a vibrant town and it is a very close community where everybody works together.
"But I am looking forward to spending more time with my family," said Mr Earley, who has been married to his wife Helen for nearly 40 years and has six children and 14 grandchildren, with two more on the way.
After more than 10 years as a solicitor in Stroud, Mr Earley’s conversion came after he and his wife went to watch a Christian speaker at Stroud Sub Rooms.
"We started to get more involved with the Church after that," he said.
"I then took a 10-week sabbatical with a Christian organisation and when I came back to work it just wasn’t the same.
"I made the decision that God was calling me, it all seemed to make a lot sense to me."
Mr Earley was ordained deacon in 1993 and was first a curate at Holy Trinity Church next to Stroud Hospital before becoming assistant minister at Warden Hill in Cheltenham.
He took over as vicar of St George’s in Nailsworth in 2002 and has been heavily involved with Nailsworth Primary School and for a while conducted services at the Forest Green Rovers ground.
Mr Earley's final service at St George’s is at 10.30am on Sunday, September 29, at which all are welcome.
The Rev Canon Michael Irving, a former rector of Minchinhampton, has been appointed interim minister at Nailsworth.
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