Thinking Anglicans

Bishop of Liverpool announces his retirement

The Bishop of Liverpool, Paul Bayes, has announced that he is to retire in March 2022.

In a letter to clergy, churchwardens and other ministers, the bishop writes:

I’m deeply grateful to God for the years spent ministering alongside my outstanding colleagues and friends here in Liverpool Diocese. 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.

But for me the time has come to prepare for a new chapter in life and ministry, and to contribute in a different way. Accordingly I have informed the Queen and the Archbishop of York that I intend to resign the See of Liverpooand to retire at the beginning of March next year. God willing, my farewell service in the Cathedral will be on Saturday February 12, 2022.

From next March I hope to spend more time in prayer and reflection and stillness, in resting and writing and reading and thinking. Please pray for Kate and me as we prepare for this change, and for the Diocese as it sustains its ‘long obedience in the same direction’, a community of people living in Christ and seeking the good of the world.

 

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FrDavidH
FrDavidH
3 months ago

He’s got his support for same-sex marriage just in time. Had he voiced such views some time before, he wouldn’t have been acceptable as a bishop in the first place.

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  FrDavidH
3 months ago

I thought he had voiced that a long time ago. I don’t know him at all other than following him on Twitter, but I’m sure I’ve known for a long time that he was in support of same-sex marriage. Did I just dream that I’d heard that? Honest question here.

FrDavid H
FrDavid H
Reply to  Tim Chesterton
3 months ago

Bishop Bayes may have supported inclusivity for some time. However, the BBC News website says “In a speech on Saturday, the Bishop of Liverpool, the Right Reverend Paul Bayes said he wanted to see ministers allowed “to bless same-sex unions”.
Announcing his retirement, Bishop Bayes said it was “time for a new chapter” A TA commenter (below) says it is “cynical and highly inappropriate and disingenuous” to mention the timing of this recent call. Being a member of the CofE makes one cynical. “Retiring Bishop wants change”. What a news story!

Tim Chesterton
Reply to  FrDavid H
3 months ago

Rico Tice seems to have been in no doubt about where Bishop Paul stood three years ago: https://www.premierchristianity.com/home/rico-tice-why-ive-left-justin-welbys-evangelism-team-over-same-sex-relationships/2146.article

SkepticalObserver
SkepticalObserver
3 months ago

To be expected!
Light blue touch paper and retire (to a safe distance). But the firework is left to fizzle out and later be made safe by smothering with a bucket of sand to exclude the air.

Evan McWilliams
Evan McWilliams
3 months ago

‘Oh, a grenade… best lob this before I retire so it doesn’t blow up in my face.’

Charles K
Charles K
3 months ago

Actually – shame on you three for these cynical and highly inappropriate and disingenuous previous comments. Bishop Paul is not lobbing any kind of grenade, or lighting blue touch papers. He is a man of huge integrity and with a vision of inclusion, who has for years stood up for the rights of LGBTI people and many others who have been marginalized by the church. He is a man who through care, grace and a large portion of the prophetic has not been silent, but has spoken out with great sensitivity on a number of issues. A rather more constructive… Read more »

Kate
Kate
Reply to  Charles K
3 months ago

Well said, Charles

Fr Andrew W
Fr Andrew W
Reply to  Charles K
3 months ago

Totally agree Charles K. I am a priest in the Liverpool Diocese (about to retire) and Bishop Paul has never been ambiguous in his support (in very practical ways) for Inclusion in his diocese. How can we expect any bishop to speak out if they are met with cynicism and ridicule? I wish +Paul a very long and happy retirement.

Andrew Lightbown
Reply to  Fr Andrew W
3 months ago

Absolutely Charles, Bishop Paul has been a prophetic voice over a sustained period. He has born the brunt of criticism with dignity and good humour. I for one will miss him.

Fr John Harris-White
Fr John Harris-White
3 months ago

I thought we were Thinking Anglicans’, not sarcastic observers. Bishop Paul has been a faithful servant to the Diocese of Liverpool, and the wider church. We wish him and his wife well in their retirement.

Fr John Emlyn.

Father Ron Smith
3 months ago

I wonder if critics of Bishop Paul’s situation here have reflected on the fact that, sometimes, bishops inside the Church of England may have so many restraints put upon them by other bishops within that exclusive H.o.B., that they may be actively discouraged from voicing their real opinions on matters of conflict like the active support of LGBT+ people? Could it be that the Bark of the C. of E. may be very difficult to divert from the trajectory of its conservatively-led leadership at this point in time? I think that any Bishop on the current Bench may find it… Read more »

Last edited 3 months ago by Father Ron Smith
Simon Sarmiento
Reply to  Father Ron Smith
3 months ago

“A House that could support the appointment of the [bishop]”
Members of the House of Bishops in England have no voice in the appointment of their own membership. Unlike some other Anglican provinces.

Father Ron Smith
Reply to  Simon Sarmiento
3 months ago

Thank you, Simon..Perhaps, then, the C. of E. might, profitably, NOT follow other Provinces which need the agreement of ALL its bishops to approve of any new appointments to the H.o.B. Then they can’t be blamed for any mis-matches. So, who, one wonders, was responsible for the Winchester appointment?

Last edited 3 months ago by Father Ron Smith
Janet Fife
Janet Fife
Reply to  Father Ron Smith
3 months ago

It’s rather an elaborate procedure involving a number of people. It’s explained here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appointment_of_Church_of_England_bishops

Surviving Church also has several articles about the Dakin/Winchester situation.

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