Mind the Gap!
On 1st September we officially begin our Vacancy in See. The 1st September is also Bishop Alastair’s 70th Birthday so please do remember him in your prayers as he celebrates this milestone and takes his first official day of retirement. We wish him and Caroline every happiness in their new life in Bath.
So what happens next? Well, pretty much business as usual! I will cover some of Bishop Alastair’s duties and legal and pastoral responsibilities, and so will be sharing out some of what I might usually do with colleagues. But I trust that we will, all of us, continue to pray and to ponder and to grow in our discipleship and tend to our churches and reach out to our communities – business as usual - as we wait to see whom God will send to be our next diocesan bishop.
Please pray for the process and for our representatives on the Crown Nominations Commission (CNC): Canon Mark Titterton, Kat Alldread, Molly Andrews, Revd Alicia Dring, Revd Julian Hollywell, Very Revd Dr Stephen Hance.
They will be meeting with members of the national CNC at the end of September to draw up a shortlist of candidates, and interviews will take place at the end of November. The chosen candidate will then have to go through a medical and a safeguarding check, get the Prime Minister’s approval and pay homage to the Queen, and if they’re not already a bishop, be consecrated. So it will be a good while yet before we plan the welcome services, and until then it’s full steam ahead.
My hope and prayer is that we will support, encourage, challenge and love one another as we ‘mind the gap’ so that we are ready to greet our new bishop, on our toes with our lamps lit, ready and expectant of all that God has in store for us.
Almighty God, giver of all good gifts, guide with your heavenly wisdom those who are to choose a faithful pastor and leader for our Diocese; that we may receive one who will speak your word and serve your people according to your will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Rt Revd Jan McFarlane
Bishop of Repton (Acting Bishop of Derby)