30/09/2017

Bishop of Warrington announces his retirement

The bishop made his announcement at the annual licensing of Readers

The Bishop of Warrington, the Rt Revd Richard Blackburn, has announced his retirement during the annual licensing of Readers. His farewell service will take place on Saturday, April 21st.

Bishop Richard chose this service deliberately to reflect one of the many important facets of his ministry – the care and oversight of Reader Ministry.

Bishop Richard joined our diocese following his consecration in 2009. Quickly making an impact across our diocese the bishop has established himself as a forthright speaker and champion of those ministering across our parishes. Bishop Richard has been instrumental in holding a sense of vocational ministry in all forms with his oversight of curacies, new appointments alongside his Reader Ministry. He has also been an incredibly effective Chair of the Board of Education.

Our diocese has a great deal to thank the bishop for, not least for steering our diocese supremely through the period between Bishop James retiring and the installation of Bishop Paul. Richard’s skills and experience in this area made him an obvious choice to support the Diocese of Sodor and Man during their interregnum earlier this year.

Bishop Richard will continue to exercise a full ministry up until his retirement not least supporting our diocese during Bishop Paul’s sabbatical. He is currently embarking on a tour of deanery synods to help parishes and deaneries understand a bigger picture of how they can work together to grow their churches and serve their communities.

Speaking about his announcement Bishop Richard said “I have thoroughly enjoyed my time here in Liverpool supporting and serving our diocese. The Diocese of Liverpool is a very fulfilling to minister and I have enjoyed serving alongside both Bishop Paul and Bishop James. But in particular, I have enjoyed being in the parishes and schools of our diocese, listening to the stories of the good and faithful servants across our diocese. Helen and I are now looking forward to moving back to Sheffield as we enter the next phase of our journey with God”.

Bishop Paul added: “Along with the whole Diocese I value and treasure Bishop Richard’s wisdom and experience as a pastor, teacher and leader. His humour, faith and clear thinking are precious gifts to us all. I will greatly miss him as my colleague in episcopal leadership here. But I’m delighted that we can enjoy his ministry for a few months more, and I wish him and Helen every blessing as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives in Sheffield.” 

"Along with the whole diocese, I value and treasure Bishop Richard’s wisdom and experience as a pastor, teacher and leader."

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Bishop Paul on Bishop Richard

Along with the whole diocese, I value and treasure Bishop Richard’s wisdom and experience as a pastor, teacher and leader. His humour, faith and clear thinking are precious gifts to us all. I will greatly miss him as my colleague in episcopal leadership here. But I’m delighted that we can enjoy his ministry for a few months more, and I wish him and Helen every blessing as they prepare for the next chapter of their lives in Sheffield.”