Change of Gear

Change of Gear

After many years of lively, friendly lay ministry with the Church of England, Paul Bregazzi will no longer be wearing Reader gear in church having decided, aged 85, to stand down this month from the responsibilities of leading services or preaching. Dr Paul Bregazzi’s long ministry was celebrated in Ballaugh Church on Sunday 15th November at an informal celebration lunch to thank him for his faithful commitment to ministry in the parish and the Diocese of Sodor and Man.  Many contributed to the lunch which was co-ordinated by June Young and the people who gathered to celebrate Paul’s significant input included Treasury Minister and MHK for Ayre and Michael, Alf Cannan, and his father, former MHK David Cannan. 

Celebration lunch in Ballaugh Church
L to R (seated) Barbara Bregazzi and Paul  Bregazzi
(standing) David Cannan, June Young, Alf Cannan MHK, Rev Iaen Skidmore

Paul has worked tirelessly for the Parish, in particular for Ballaugh Parish Church and Ballaugh Old Church, and has delivered many sermons for churches within the Parish of the Northern Plain which now includes Sulby, Andreas and Jurby.

Churchwarden Carol Ainley said: “I have personally sat through many of Paul’s sermons, always with a feeling of pleasure when I realised that he would be preaching.  We thank him for his many sermons over the years, for his humour in the pulpit and for always being so very welcoming to each and every one of us.”

Churchwarden Carol Ainley shares a toast with Paul and Barbara Bregazzi

“We’re really pleased that he’s still going to be around” said the current Rector, Rev Iaen Skidmore.  “Paul is deeply appreciated for his intelligent, friendly disposition, and all of us in the church family benefit enormously from his spirit of integrity and humour.”

Paul Bregazzi has participated in various aspects of parish and Diocesan life.  Before the Parish of the Northern Plain was formed, Paul took Ballaugh Parish Church through a vacancy when it was in a Parish with Kirk Michael.  He drew up the order of Holy Communion booklet for Ballaugh to help the conduct of Communion services during that time and it was used for many years until earlier this year.  With a vision to the future, Paul was also a key player in fund raising for the community rooms at the back of Ballaugh Church.  He is a creative and witty man, and people attending the Ballaugh Hollantide Fair loved the virtual Treasure Hunt that Paul invented and masterminded each year until recently.

He has been a key player in the northern area and was a member of the Northern Mission Partnership in the early days of its inception.

In the Diocese Paul served as the Bishop’s Mission Advisor and was on the Bishop of Sodor and Man’s Advisory Commission on Mission and Ministry set up in 2009 to review the diocesan vision for mission.  He was one of the ten Bishop’s Nominees on Diocesan Synod.

As a Reader he was a Diocesan representative on the Church of England Reader Board, and in the Diocese was a member of the Reader selection board.

This adds to the testimony of an intellectually inquisitive and gracious man who started his professional life as a scientist.  Paul Bregazzi’s doctorate is in Marine Biology, and he has many captivating memories of his days with research teams working on ocean beds in the Rendezvous Caye reefs.

Paul Bregazzi (in hammock) and the research team at Rendezvous Caye reefs

Dr Paul Bregazzi was a pupil of King Williams College in the 1940s.  He did his National Service with the Royal Artillery, studied at Cambridge, taught at Cheltenham College, and studied for his Masters degree at Swansea.  That led to four years with the British Antarctic Survey, spending some months in the Antarctic, through which he gained his doctorate on sub-Antarctic crustaceans.  Paul was principal of King Williams College from 1979-89.