This has been a very hard and sad letter to write – but it does seem the right thing. Rather than give further explanation or input, I’ll just leave it to speak for itself. It was sent to the church council over the weekend and is now going out to the All Souls church family.

This Post Has 33 Comments

  1. Marky,

    You’re the don. Praise the Lord that he uses all us weak vessels to show his strength. Praying that he would continue to use you powerfully.

    Tonnes of love,


  2. I’m so sorry about that logo. I’ve never responded to a blog post before, so I just did what I was told and ‘clicked on an icon’. Won’t be clicking on that one again!

  3. Mark – bitter sweet indeed but we have an amazing God who will continue to bless and direct your ministry and use the not inconsiderable gifts he has given you. with love from Edinburgh xx Anne

  4. Mark, you are in our prayers. As someone who has known something of the debilitating effects of depression I can empathise to a degree. May the Lord continue to bless your ministry and your family.

  5. Firstly, depression sucks. But I am really excited about this. It sounds like such a health-ful decision, and I’m really delighted that God is leading you into a more writingy and mentoringy direction. WIth love from a fellow minister (of sorts), limited by health. Praying for you all and for a new season of freedom and fruitfulness.

  6. Mark,
    Thanks for sharing your heart and for serving so many. Plenty of folks have wrestled with depression over the generations as you well know. It hit me hard about 15 years ago (when we were in Sheffield)… There is plenty of scope to come work in China if you are inclined. They love English speakers, and if you can dunk a basketball, so much the better… Lewis C.

  7. Mark – as a fellow depression-sufferer, I really appreciate the honesty with which you write here. For several years I endured depression thinking it was part of the price I paid for being a committed disciple (I know – it sounds bonkers to me too now). Since I realised that persistent depression might be a way of God showing me I needed to adjust my lifestyle I have experienced a degree of freedom and joy that I would never have believed possible. We didn’t overlap in Sheffield, but I guess I came upon your blog because of that connection. I really enjoy what you write and I am so glad to hear that you will have time to write more, and more deeply, as well as to pursue other areas of ministry where you are clearly extremely effective. WIshing you all the very best – and looking forward to reading more of your writing!

  8. Dear Mark
    Thank you for posting this. For those of us who’ve been there, we know what it is to plough the depths. You’re one of the most gifted Bible teachers around. I’m glad you’ll still be able to give time to this, in a range of ways, as energies allow. All blessings on you and the family as you venture into 2014 surrounded by our ever-present God. Julia

  9. Praying for you, brother, and all the family, at a difficult time. We thank God for you. Christopher and Carolyn

  10. All Souls’s loss is Albania’s, Bosnia’s, Croatia’s, Macedonia’s, Turkey’s, Sweden’s, Romania’s, Greece’s, and Hungary’s gain! So glad that you will be able to give more time to Langham work. In the meantime, very much looking forward to your book.

  11. Mark, this letter shows your love for the family at All Souls and for the wider Christian Family. The Lord, for sure, has plenty of good works prepared in advance for you. We’ll be praying for you as you work out what form that will take, with loads of love, Tim and Ray

  12. Mark, a huge heartfelt thank you for the key role you have played in deepening my faith and supporting my family’s spiritual development in Christ. Also for going some way toward satisfying my deep and irrational craving for intellectual rigour in my faith and worship.
    God uses our weaknesses and it’s a great wonder how He uses those as weak as us to do His work. I am filled with joy that yourself and your family are staying involved with All Souls as you would be sorely missed.
    Prayers and blessings for yourself and your lovely family!

  13. Mark, I’ve only met you once (PEB 40th) but have been hugely grateful for your ministry through Quaerentia, talks and writing. Will pray for the very best thing for you and your family as you work out the future in this tough time. Mickey Mantle

  14. Let me know if I can be of any help. Pint when I’m next down? I promise not to talk about the big D.

  15. Hey Mark, Feeling bittersweet having read this. I know you’ve been a blessing to me, usually from afar, as we’re rarely in the same locale. If we see more of you in Albania, that would be great. Let me know if there’s anything I can do at the Balkan end of things. God is good and faithful. Looking forward to the next time we meet, whenever that is.

  16. Mark, so sorry to hear ministry in church has been such an unpredictable battle. I do sometimes wonder whether expectations of clergy are ever clear enough, (as indeed, whether the same is true for the expectations for volunteers). However, it’s good that your calling is indeed being focussed (mid-life is a good time for focussing) so that you can devote more time to the areas you’re really gifted at. Blessings as you go through this change and transition to a new form of ministry.

  17. I hope it means you might make it down this way from time to time. I sometimes wonder if depression is the price of wisdom? Courage for the next steps.

  18. Praying for you and the family – that God would make the next steps clear to you and that you would know his blessing on you as you walk them.

    (Oh, and apologies for the logo thing on the left).

  19. Praying for you, the family, and the church, Mark. Thankful for your ministry.

  20. Dear Mark,
    I was going to write “I am so sorry you have had this ongoing battle…” (which I truly am), but then I found myself thinking how God has so obviously used this so positively to encourage many people (as the many responses demonstrate) including me, that my feelings became bittersweet too. The mystery of suffering in God’s plans. He is glorified through your testimony. But it will be great one day to finally arrive at that place where there will no longer be any tears or pain -suffering is not an eternal part of his plans for us.
    I am in awe of all you have managed despite our shared human frailty and thank God for your fruitful life. I am praying for you place, joy and rest as you bear Jesus’ yoke and know his gentle leadership (Matt 11:28, 29).
    With love, Liz

  21. Thanks for your honesty and transparency, Mark. Wishing you all the best for your future steps, and really looking forward to the book!

  22. God’s grace is sufficient. It will take you to the next level or where God wants you to be. Deuteronomy 31:8 says: “The LORD is indeed going before you–he will be with you; he will not fail you or abandon you. Do not be afraid or discouraged!” NET BIBLE. Keeping you in prayer, Timothy’s family

  23. thank you EVERYONE for your kind thoughts and support

  24. You’re in our thoughts and prayers my friend. Looking forward to you book and many more to follow!

  25. Deeply appreciate your heart for God and His people. Some of the men who have been most used by God have ben in the same place you find yourself. God bless you and I will be praying for you.

    1. thanks so much Brent – lovely to hear from you

  26. Sorry to hear about your struggle with depression – but glad that you are putting changes in place to make life more manageable – I respect that enormously. Will pray for the future transition and decisions on the way forward – I am sure you will continue to be a good steward of the gifts God has given you.

    Love the blog.

  27. Hi Mark – thanks for sharing your journey. Just wanted to thank you for your ministry to a distant Aussie. You were the first person I heard preach at All Souls about 3 1/2 years ago and I have had the privilege of visiting a number of time since. I will miss your voice in the regular weekly sermons from AS but look forward to following your next steps on Quarentia. God bless. Murray Wright

  28. Late to this news, but wanted to add my gratitude as well for your honesty and ministry. I’m sad that it won’t be in the pulpit anymore, but our God does all things well and I trust this move is led of God, so… I too share a tendency toward depression, which I suspect would be difficult to negotiate if I were in full-time ministry (it certainly takes its toll on attitude and even faith, so there are days and weeks that I’m glad I’m not being looked to for support and encouragement full time!). May God bless all your next things. Keep fighting the good fight.

    1. Thank you Wendy. Hopefully will still be doing some preaching but definitely not as regularly.

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