5:46pm Saturday 1st February 2014
THE Bishop of Gloucester, the Right Revd Michael Perham, has today announced that he will retire later this year.
Bishop Michael will have served in the diocese for over ten years and is retiring in November, 38 years after his ordination as a deacon in Canterbury Cathedral.
Bishop Michael said. “By the time I retire in November I shall have completed more than ten years as Bishop of Gloucester. For me these have been happy, stimulating and fruitful years, full of blessing. To serve the people of Gloucestershire, both the churches and the wider communities, has been a huge privilege.
"I have had a wonderful team of colleagues, a talented college of clergy and legions of committed lay people helping to take forward the Church’s mission. To be a teacher, pastor, worship leader and sign of unity among them has been wonderful. I shall miss it all when it comes to an end in nine months’ time.”
Bishop Michael will continue to have a full diary until his retirement, with three special occasions taking place in his last year. The first, in April, will be a visit to Compton Abdale parish church, meaning he will have visited and lead worship in all 355 parish churches in the diocese.
The second will be a celebration of his 10 year anniversary as Bishop of Gloucester in May and then the third, a seven day pilgrimage in June. This will be his last pilgrimage, which starts in Cirencester and finishes at Gloucester Cathedral, once completed he will have walked through every parish boundary of the diocese. Over the last six years, his pilgrimages have covered 438 miles and visited 173 churches.
A special service will take place to celebrate Bishop Michael’s time as Bishop of Gloucester and to wish him and his family farewell on November 8.
He exercised a significant national role in the church before becoming a bishop, as Secretary of the Doctrine Commission, as a member of the Liturgical Commission and as one of the architects of Common Worship, much of which he piloted through the General Synod, as one of the first members of the Archbishops’ Council and as Chair of the Business Committee of the General Synod.
As Bishop of Gloucester, he has been prominent in the movement for the ordination of women as bishops and is President of Affirming Catholicism and a Vice President of WATCH.
More recently he has served on the Pilling Working Party on human sexuality. He is President of the Retired Clergy Association and of the Alcuin Club, Bishop Protector of the Society of St Francis and Chair of the Governing Body of Ripon College Cuddesdon. Throughout his ministry he has written books on theology, liturgy and spirituality and been in demand as a speaker about worship.
Within the Diocese of Gloucester, he is president or patron of a number of local organisations, including GARAS, GEAR, Cheltenham YMCA, the Star College and Emmaus Gloucester. He hosts the quarterly “Bishop’s Breakfast”, which brings together many of the civic and community leaders in the county. He is Pro-Chancellor of the University of Gloucestershire and Vice Chair of the University Council.
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