Rev Phil Jackson's Statement  

It is with a huge mixture of emotions that I have to inform you that I have been appointed as school chaplain of Reigate Grammar school as of the 1st September 2017. This means that Steph and I will be leaving St Margaret’s.

This is one of the hardest decisions that Steph and I have had to make and we do have a real sense of sadness at leaving so soon, as this chapter of our life in Chipstead with all of you has been a privilege and in so many ways a joy. It has been wonderful to see God working and growing ministries and lives in this place and we feel a real sense of love and affection for you all. However it has also been increasingly clear to me over the last year or so that my role here as Rector of Chipstead may not be one for the long term. I have increasingly felt a call from God to return to school life, specifically a Chaplaincy calling. I have also felt that St Margaret’s needs someone as Rector who can thrive in this environment with the shape of ministry needed in this place. After much prayer and conversation with trusted friends I concluded God was leading someone else to come and be with you all in the next chapter and leading me onto something new.

There is of course sadness for us all as a family in this decision, but in God’s grace there is also an excitement that he has opened for us a new door. The job at Reigate Grammar school is a wonderful opportunity to minister on a daily basis to a community of over 1000 people. It will be a huge change bringing different challenges, but we do very much feel that God is in this and I do very much sense this call back to school life and the ministry of a Chaplain. God has gone before us and has opened this door wide and made clear to us that this is his gift.

I know that this news will have come as a shock and I am truly sorry not to be able to continue this journey with you. What I can rejoice in is what God has done here over many years and what he will continue to do in your next chapter. This is God's church, not mine or Steph's, and I have every confidence that he has wonderful plans for you. The risen Jesus will continue to walk this journey with you.

No doubt there will be lots of questions which we will have time for in the coming weeks and months. It is likely that our final Sunday will be toward the end of July. I think that is probably enough for now apart from saying thank you to all of you for your love and support over the last 3 1/2 years. This really is a wonderful place filled with wonderful people. We would very much appreciate your prayers for us a family as we go through a huge season of change, as you can be assured of our prayers for you as a church in the next exciting chapter you have ahead here.

Phil Jackson- 30/04/17