The Bishop of Guildford steps out on a farewell pilgrimage around the diocese
People have been asking why I have decided to do my prayer walks in my last weeks in the diocese. I decided that I would not go to further committees after the end of September because frankly, an outgoing bishop is a bit of a spare part. It would not be sensible for me to make serious strategic contributions at this stage. That is now for Bishop Ian as far as bishops are concerned. But I have loved my time as Bishop of Guildford (almost all the time!) and have an affection for this busy and talented diocese, and for the beautiful countryside we live in. I also enjoy walking and so the idea of a farewell prayer pilgrimage arose. The common purpose of our diocese is to seek spiritual maturity, to grow in numbers, and to engage with the communities around us. I shall be praying for all those things as well as for Bishop Ian and all those who will lead the diocese during the Vacancy, and for those with the onerous responsibility of choosing the new Bishop to succeed me in due time. But I also enjoy conversation. I have very much enjoyed meeting the people of the congregations and communities of Surrey and North East Hampshire and this will be a chance to meet a few people who happen to be free during the day and can walk with me or meet me for a breakfast, lunch or a cup of tea and prayer at the various points of call.
Life is a pilgrimage. I am moving on in my pilgrimage with Hilary. Therefore I depart from the diocese in pilgrim fashion, walking and praying. But pilgrims also enjoy the pilgrimâ€™s way, as I shall, literally during these prayer walks. Please pray for me as I change gear for retirement, together with Hilary, but pray for the family of the churches of this diocese and our Common Purpose together.