After 8 years serving as Bishop of Liverpool, The Rt Revd Paul Bayes has announced he intends to retire in February 2022. His farewell service will be on February 12th 2022 at Liverpool Cathedral.
In a letter to clergy, churchwardens and other ministers, the bishop said “I’m deeply grateful to God for the years spent ministering alongside my outstanding colleagues and friends here in Liverpool Diocese. For me the time has come to prepare for a new chapter in life and ministry, and to contribute in a different way”
Bishop Paul, who joined us from St Albans Diocese where he served as Bishop of Hertford, has steered the diocese on our journey as we seek to grow and serve our communities. Adopting the growth agenda on his arrival, he helped us think as a diocese on how we ask God for a bigger church to make a bigger difference with more people knowing Jesus and more justice in the world. In consultation with the Diocesan Synod he developed and framed our thinking around a Rule of Life for our spiritual disciplines with the inward journey of pray, read, learn matched by the outward journey to tell, serve and give.
The bishop has spoken out on a number of social justice issues including matters of food injustice and debt and is a prominent speaker and activist for inclusion – particularly for LGBTQIA individuals and communities.
Bishop Paul said: “I look forward to the next few months as we work to sustain our parishes, schools, fresh expressions and chaplaincies as communities of worship and mission through the pandemic and into God’s new future.
Across the whole Church of England we are on the way together into that same future. I shall continue as best I can to contribute to a faithful, open, joyous, light, inclusive and just Church - a community that is true to the poor carpenter who made it; one that honours those on the edge of things; one that conveys the amazing reality of our loving and living God to England as it actually is.”
We will publish more details regarding the bishop’s farewell service later in the year.
Vacancy in See
Following the bishop’s announcement, we will be putting together our plans for continuing our obedience to the mission of God whilst the diocese is in vacancy. The work to discern the next bishop of Liverpool cannot start until February but it will be overseen by the Vacancy in See Committee. Under Church of England canons the membership of the committee, a diocesan synod committee, who carry out this process are those who are on the committee when the announcement is made.
While the diocese is in vacancy the Bishop of Warrington, Rt Revd Bev Mason will be the episcopal lead.