WHEN the bells ring out in honour of Archdeacon Frank Hetherington at Holy Trinity on Saturday it will be a bittersweet sound marking the archdeacon’s retirement.
Sweet because it was Archdeacon Hetherington who, supported by a group of passionate parishioners, was the driving force in bringing the bells to Orange to be installed in the tower.
In recognition of the hard work and dedication Archdeacon Hetherington has brought to the parish over 14 years, a group of Australia’s most proficient pealers are giving up their time to travel to Orange for the occasion.
The ringing of the 5000 sequence three-hour peal will be truly unique for the church but will be tinged with sadness as parishioners say a fond farewell to the popular man who has led the church through some enormous financial challenges over the last 14 years.
Those challenges have involved securing the funding for Orange’s garrison church to ensure the church, which was badly in need of major repairs, was preserved for future generations.
Parishioners will not only miss Archdeacon Hetherington’s kindness and compassion but also his wonderful sense of humour.
He will be the first to acknowledge the work of the parish council who has been close beside him through the ups and downs of parish life and the challenges of balancing the books in the parish.
Archdeacon Hetherington and his wife Marilyn, who attended the church during their teenage years when they were courting and went on to marry under the historic roof, have also been wonderful custodians of the equally historic two-storey rectory, which has been their home during their time at Holy Trinity.
Farewell Archdeacon Hetherington and enjoy a well-earned retirement.
There is sure to be a tear or two shed at Sunday’s final service for Archdeacon Hetherington.