“Lift high the cross, the love of Christ proclaim” is, of course, the first line of the English hymn Lift High The Cross written in 1887, by the then-Dean of Winchester, George William Kitchin. It suitably sums up the work of Christ Church Cathedral's Vincent Carey through in his lay liturgical assistant roles of MC and Crucifer, his vocational role of Parish Administrator and, more recently, through his role as Dean's Assistant for Administration.
Vincent announced in May 2021 that he would be retiring from his paid position on cathedral staff as of July 8. He and his partner of twenty-nine years, Ed Friesen, have been and remain much loved and valued members of the Parish of Christ Church Cathedral since 2000. Vincent has been a full-time employee at the cathedral since 2007 and has volunteered on the Servers' Guild since 2004. To the delight of staff and parishioners alike, he will remain with the Servers' Guild following his retirement, and he and Ed will also continue as members of the parish.
Vincent shared these words about his retirement:
“I have approached my decision to retire thoughtfully and prayerfully. It was not an easy one to make as the cathedral has been like a home to me these past fourteen years, and those there, like members of my family. I have loved my time and can honestly say that it has been my calling. It has been a pleasure to work for, and with you. I have truly enjoyed getting to know our “living stones”, from our eldest Margery Kellett, to some of the youngest. One of my cathedral highlights is yet to come as Ed and I have been asked to be godfathers for now six month old parishioner, Ellis. I have appreciated the opportunities that I have been given as I grew both professionally and personally. I am thankful for all the valuable lessons I have learned from former and current clergy, staff and volunteers. I take with me many fond memories, especially from those with whom I have worked closely, (receptionists, and the Altar and Servers' Guilds). I have greatly enjoyed the planning of the Liturgies of Inclusion and the Welcoming Lunches for Newcomers. These events provided a means for me to connect with the newest members of the parish. Ed and I will continue to be part of the ministries with which we are currently involved, and we look forward to remaining in this warm and welcoming community. See you in the pews!"
Two of Vincent’s long-time colleagues offered these words:
“The word administrator comes from the Latin-ad meaning "to" and ministare meaning 'serve'. At the heart of the work of administration is the call to serve-and in his 14 years as Parish Administrator at Christ Church Cathedral, Vincent Carey has exemplified servant leadership in support of the ministry and people of Christ Church Cathedral. Quiet and self-effacing, Vincent's work never drew attention to himself, but all that he did was to build up the community and mission of the Cathedral. Having had the privilege of working with him for at least 12 of those 14 years, I can testify to his diligence and more often than not I was deeply moved witnessing his devotion and deep faith in Christ. Miraculously he was always able to find whatever we were looking for-although how he ever did that in his uniquely organized office is truly a modern-day miracle. I join with others in expressing huge appreciation and thanks to Vincent for his excellent work, and of course he will be deeply missed by all at the cathedral and beyond-and wishing him every blessing and happiness as he moves to this new stage of his life”!
-Former Rector & Dean of Christ Church Cathedral, the Very Rev. Peter Elliott
“It was always a delight to see how 'V' brought his faith life into his work life, and made all our lives easier in the process. The Parish of Christ Church Cathedral has much to be grateful for in his ministry both in the chancel and in the office.”
-Former Priest Associate and Vicar of Christ Church Cathedral, and current Dean of King's College London, the Rev. Ellen Clark-King
Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing, Vincent, and thank you for so richly sharing your many gifts with the cathedral and by extension, the diocese, over these many years!
Photos by Jane Dittrich