This is the third time I have moved out of a clergy house.
The first time I moved in was when I was still an ordinand. The Bishop of Chichester let me 'borrow' a Vicarage. The Church was in an interregnum and in return for answering the phone and pointing undertakers to the next vicar along I was allowed to stay there for free.
I asked the Bishop of Horsham what he intended to do with the Church before I left, he looked at me astonished.
"I answer to God for that Church, it is not your concern."
Two months after I had left the Vicarage to get ordained he closed the Church and sold the Vicarage.
I then moved into a much smaller curates house. Despite complaining for 4 years that it wasn't really big enough they left me there, until I finished my curacy. They decided at that point that the house was not suitable and sold it. Of course they said they were going to buy another one for the next curate but there was no curate after me.
So then I came here, the house I looked round on interview day was initially offered to me and then just before I was supposed to move in they decided it was too big for a chaplain and instead would be reserved for the next Bishop. So I moved into 24 Butterfield Road just off campus (you can find it on google street view, sadly I have a blue car not a yellow one) The Bishop told me that they had finalised the housing for the Southampton Chaplain and my successor would absolutely live there.
Here I am moving out of another clergy house and they are going to rent it.
Will they sell it? Well unless they discover a whole bunch of money down the diocesan sofa they aren't going to need it for a stipendary chaplain.
SO three times I have moved out of diocesan property and I have a hundred percent record for being followed by closure. Fortunately this has very little to do with what I actually did in the place....but still it is all very sad.
See you on the other side.