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Pastor Paul Clee leaves after 41-year career
12:40pm Tuesday 30th October 2012 in News
MINISTER Pastor Paul Clee said goodbye this week goodbye to colleagues and congregation at Stanborough Park Seventh-day Adventist Church as he began his retirement following a 41-year denominational career.
Graduating as a minister in 1971 his first, rather brief, ministerial job was at a youth camp in North Wales before spending nine years working at churches in Birmingham, Leeds and Coventry.
Following this, he was promoted to the Seventh-day Adventist administrative offices in Nottingham for 12 years where he headed departments establishing and promoting policies dealing with health, personal evangelism, community welfare projects and fundraising in churches in the northern part of the country.
A return to Wales beckoned when he was elected president of the Seventh-day Adventist churches in Wales, a role similar to that of a Church of England bishop, where he stayed for a further 12 years.
Having demonstrated his leadership and administrative skills, along with his commitment, he was invited to work at the denomination’s Trans-European offices in St. Albans which administers churches from the British Isles across Northern Europe and including the Middle East, Pakistan and Sudan.
He spent two five-year terms there: the first as director for personal ministries (teaching people to share their faith), health and Sabbath school (weekly Bible study services) departments and the second term as field secretary (assisting the president) with additional responsibilities for overseeing external communications and health departments.
These roles involved extensive travelling in many countries.
For the past two years prior to retirement Paul became senior pastor at Stanborough Park Church, a church which was quite literally on his doorstep in neighbouring Holland Gardens where he has lived for 12 years.
Here he was supported by his wife Barbara, who, as he says, "came out of retirement from Stanborough Park Primary School to be my invaluable helper, visitor and aide."
A proud Yorkshireman by birth who never let an opportunity slip to extol the virtues of his native county to his listeners, Paul was always happy to allow his sense of humour to feature in his church services.
In retirement Paul plans to catch up on all those postponed jobs around the home and spend more time on his hobby of photography and with his four grandchildren (two boys in Wales and a boy and a girl in Yorkshire).
He will also be remaining on the denomination’s preaching circuit for churches in southern England and be drawing on his experience developing health and other outreach activities to help smaller Adventist churches become more involved in their local communities.
Paul said: "It has been a great experience working for the Church and with other people. While I will miss the many community programmes of Stanborough Park, and its people, I am looking forward to this new chapter of my life."
His retirement gift from the church congregation was his first i-Pad.