View of the Church of the Good Shepherd, Murrayfield.
The Church of the Good Shepherd, Murrayfield, Edinburgh. Where I had my leaving service on Sunday.

The last few days have been very special and enjoyable.


On Sunday Jane and I woke up in Selkirk (which is fine because that’s also where we fell asleep) and drove my Mum up to Edinburgh, to the Church of the Good Shepherd, Murrayfield, to attend my leaving service. Somehow it just didn’t feel like I was leaving. I’m not entirely sure why. Perhaps because I felt like I was simply surrounded by friends and family; perhaps because we’d already moved to Cellardyke. I’m not sure.

It was nice to have all five (including me) members of the team involved in the service, and to have the honour of preaching and presiding. That was very special to me. I enjoyed preaching my sermon, and from the feedback I got from people afterwards they enjoyed it too.

At the end of the service there were a couple of presentations, and then a wine and nibbles reception in the hall. I felt blessed and touched by people’s generosity. Jane and I have still to decide on what to spend the money that we received, but it will likely include a new digital camera.

Mum, Jane and her parents ended our celebrations with a meal at Tusitala. The meal was delicious, but sadly the service slower than we’ve ever experienced there before.


Jane’s Mum, her sister Pauline, husband Paul and daughter Skye visited us on Bank Holiday Monday (May Day), which was lovely. Even though they filled our tiny house it didn’t feel overcrowded. It was lovely to hear people’s voices throughout the house, upstairs and down.

Meanwhile, I was in my study still working on the SEC website documentation. I managed to get the main document (all 100 pages of glorious monochromatic A4) finished late in the evening, and get the PDF file bookmarked and linked appropriately.


And today I began my new job at the University of St Andrews. I had a really enjoyable first day.

I arrived early. My ID card didn’t arrive at all. I spent much of the day installing software on my PC (IBM 3.2MHz, dual 17″ (1280 x 1024 px) monitor, keyboard, mouse, and everything™!) and trying to remember people’s names.

It was a little odd being back in St Andrews, but odd in a nice way. My previous experience of starting a new job involves wandering around lost for the first month trying to find my way around, trying to locate particular shops, etc. It feels odd that I don’t have to think twice about where certain streets or shops are. Although they’ve moved Boots since I was studying here. How dare they!

Thanks for the prayers and supportive text messages dear friends: very much appreciated. Anyway, it’s off to bed early for me tonight.

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Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

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