Bishop Richard dedicates his time and experience supporting the diocese of Sodor and Man
As another example of the Diocese of Liverpool offering our expertise and support to the national church, Bishop Richard is lending some of his time to the Diocese of Sodor and Man as they manage their vacancy. We asked the Bishop what he was asked to be involved in this work and what his ministry with them entails.
With his experience of steering our diocese through our vacancy Bishop Richard has been asked to support our colleagues on the Island following the retirement of Bishop Robert Patterson in November. Apart from sitting in the Tynwald, the Manx Parliament, Bishop Richard has the full episcopal responsibilities delegated to him.
Bishop Richard will be adding this to his responsibilities and duties as Bishop of Warrington and will still be making his presence felt across our diocese as sponsoring bishop for Ordinands and curates, helping drive our appointments process and working alongside our Archdeacons.
He will be spending at least one day a month on the Island steering their Bishop’s Leadership Team, combining those with other meetings where a bishop is needed. In addition he will be present at licensings’ and confirmations. Inevitably, this will mean the bishop will need to do some work during the rest of the time with the ever skilful Nerys keeping him on track with all his commitments. And his own energy and drive will ensure he manages this extra workload.
Bishop Richard is delighted to be carrying out this role “I love getting to know new people, ministry at its heart is about relationships and helping others to establish theirs with God. This period will be a two way street as I learn things from a diocese whose parliament, bishop and traditions long predate ours”.
The diocese will certainly be able to benefit greatly from Bishop Richard’s ministry. As he said “ its all about stability and reassurance, I hope. It’s useful to be able to say to them that I have been through an episcopal interregnum and to reflect that this is a good and happy experience, which allows for continued and flourishing ministry. I don’t ever subscribe to the view that in interregna (including those in parishes) should be times of inaction and sitting on one’s hands. The Spirit, I am glad to observe, continues to move – sometimes interregna give the Spirit extra room to do so!