I have some very sad news from the diocese at this time.
The Revd Verna Verity, the Assistant Curate in the Greater Athens Chaplaincy, died suddenly on Friday. Deacon Verna was ordained in July this year in Lisbon, where she had served as a Reader. She requested that in her ministry as a Distinctive Deacon she be sent to wherever she may be of use to the Diocese. It was with great joy that we found a position for her in Greece, working with the Chaplain of Greater Athens, the Revd Canon Malcolm Bradshaw. It is so sad that this promising ministry has been cut off so shortly after ordination, by her tragic death.
Before moving to Athens, Verna had an active and fruitful ministry, serving many years as a Reader in Lisbon. She was a valued colleague to the former Chaplain there, the Revd Canon Michael Bullock. She leaves behind many friends and former parishioners in Portugal who will be shocked to hear this news. Verna was also well known throughout the Archdeaconry of Gibraltar as she had served as the secretary to the Archeaconry Synod.
We commend Verna to the love and mercy of God, and pray that she may now enjoy the fullness of God's promises in His Kingdom. We pray also for friends, family and any who were touched by her ministry in so many places, that they may be comforted in their sorrow.
Lord our God, you give and you take away. You blessed us through the life and ministry of Verna. Help us, in our mourning, to glimpse your hand at work, to bring blessing out of sorrow. May she now share in your promises of happiness, light and peace in the kingdom of your glory for ever.