St Paul’s Dean calls it a day

DEAN Peta Sherlock is ready to hang up her robes and move on to the next stage of her life.The St Paul’s Anglican Cathedral Dean plans to retire and will have her last hurrah at the 9am Christmas Day service in the church hall, where parishioners have been worshiping for the past three years.The Anglican cathedral has been closed since 2009 due to concerns the roof could collapse, but the building scaffolding is now up and there is hope works will begin in the new year.Dean Sherlock has no big plans for her retirement but yearns to spend more time with her grandchildren who live in Melbourne.She and her husband Charles were yesterday busy moving out of the church house in Flora Hill and into their own property in Trentham.“We’ll be half an hour closer to our grandchildren in Melbourne, which will be nice,” she said.Dean Sherlock will celebrate her 65th birthday next week and says the cathedral is ready for someone younger to take the reins.“It needs someone to take it into that next stage,” she said.“I’ve been the Dean for close to six years – five years and eight months to be exact.“My last service will be on Christmas Day but the big farewell will be at the Nine Lessons and Carols this Sunday night at 7pm.”A former school teacher, Dean Sherlock studied theology before becoming a school chaplin.“I then became a parish priest with Clifton Hill in north Fitzroy,” she said.“I was in the second lot of women who were deaconed in Melbourne in 1986 and I was priested in ’92.”Dean Sherlock spent about five years as an archdeacon in Melbourne before moving to Bendigo.“Being a priest is really quite useful because you can do locums so you can do the odd Saturday if you want,” she said.“But I’m just going to say no for three months.“I want to see the grandchildren and get on with some gardening.”Dean Sherlock’s replacement will start work in April.

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