Monday, 6 October 2008

The Bishop of Whitby

Biretta tip to Massinformation blog for this news. We all remember the splendid sermon and warmth that the Bishop of Whitby shared with us when he celebrated our Patronal Festival. Today it was announced that he has resigned the See of Whitby, with effect from the last day of this year 2008. Bishop Robert will then be returning to Parish Ministry, taking up the appointment as House-for-Duty Priest in the Parish of S Mary and Christ Church, Hendon, within the Edmonton Episcopal Area of the Diocese of London. In a letter to the clergy of the Cleveland Archdeaconry, Bishop Robert said, "I have long cherished the hope, if it be the Will of God, of returning to parish ministry. I believe the right moment for this has come. Bishop Peter Wheatley and Father Gwyn Clement have been prepared to offer me the opportunity to move forward in this way. “The Archbishop of York has been very supportive as arrangements for this move have been considered since I raised it with him over six months ago. I am deeply grateful to him for such personal and pastoral support. I am assured, too, of his commitment to the smooth transition of all aspects of the work that has been entrusted to me these past 9 years. “At this time of the Michaelmass Anniversary of my Ordinations, I am humbled before God in thanksgiving for the mercies He has shown me in these 27 years of the Sacred Priesthood and 9 years as Bishop." The Archbishop of York, Dr. John Sentamu said: “Bishop Robert has been a faithful servant to Jesus Christ and His Church during his episcopal ministry in the diocese of York. I have no doubt that he will continue to serve in that spirit of prayerful obedience and faithfulness in his new parish. I wish him every blessing as he prepares for the next stage of the ministry to which he has been called.” The Archdeacon of Cleveland, the Venerable Paul Ferguson, said, "In his nine years as Bishop of Whitby, Robert has been a great example as a person of faith and prayer and personal kindness. He deserves the thanks of the communities in this area for the way that he has worked, often quietly and behind the scenes, to promote projects that have brought enormous public benefit. I will greatly miss having him as a close colleague. I am sure that he and Roberta will go to their new surroundings in London with the thanks and prayers and good wishes of a huge number of people.". Bishop Robert and Roberta his wife came to the diocese of York from Blackburn where he had served as Archdeacon of Lancaster. Ordained in 1980, he served his curacy in Hythe (Canterbury) before moving north the become Rector of Bretherton (Blackburn), and later St John & St George, Preston. As Suffragan Bishop in the diocese of York, he has served the parishes of the Cleveland Archdeaconry, as well as many others across the diocese, and chaired the Diocesan Board of Education, the Social Responsibility Council and the Diocesan Forum for Racial Concerns.

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