Nick May is to retire next month, after 12 years in senior roles with the Diocese of Bath and Wells, culminating in six years leading staff as diocesan secretary. Nick joined in 2008 as diocesan accountant, becoming Director of Finance and then Diocesan Secretary in 2014.
In this period, he has overseen considerable change, transforming the diocesan support services and most recently, overseeing the move from the Old Deanery into new office accommodation at Flourish House in Wells. Nick’s commitment is such that he delayed his retirement as the full scale of Covid 19 became clear, in order to steer staff through a difficult few months.
Bishop Peter said: “It is hard in a few words to sum up all that Nick has done to lead and steer the diocese through these last few years. There have been changes and challenges in almost every area of diocesan life and Nick’s careful, prayerful and joyful approach has underpinned everything we have done. He has been patient and careful when needed; brought encouragement and energy when that was required; and has provided excellent judgement whenever there have been decisions to make. His passion has always been to see our parishes and schools thriving and to see people come to faith in Christ. He will be greatly missed but the impact of all he has done and achieved will continue to bear fruit for a long time.”
Harry Musselwhite, who as chair of the Board of Finance, has worked closely with Nick, also paid tribute. He said: “Nick for me is just how a Diocesan Secretary should be: he is firmly grounded in his faith, knows he is running a Diocese not a business and yet is totally business-like. He’s a great leader, is totally committed to growing the kingdom, the Diocese, the parishes and our people, and a great friend on whom one can rely in either the good or challenging times! He has transformed the support services and taken brave and imaginative decisions in so many areas. I shall miss him terribly but wish him every happiness in his well-deserved retirement.”
Nick felt called to the role of diocesan secretary in 2014, from a desire to put his accumulated skills and experience to use for God’s service.
He said: “I have very much enjoyed the role, multi-faceted not only in relation to its required leadership, management and governance, but also because of its reach beyond the Bath and Wells Diocesan Board of Finance to the wider diocese with its 460 parishes and 19 deaneries. I have particularly enjoyed being able to travel when I could from the diocesan offices in Wells across the county of Somerset, visiting parishes and meeting with people, seeing at first hand the furtherance of God’s mission and growth of the Kingdom.
“I am most grateful to work colleagues, friends and family for their support and encouragement, love and prayers over the years, without which I certainly would not have been able to fulfil this demanding role.
“It has been, and will continue to be in retirement, a great privilege and a joy to be part of this wonderful diocese and the Church of England.”
Nick’s successor has been appointed and will be announced next week, and there will be a short period of handover with Nick in September.