This weekend we say farewell to The Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover, who is retiring after nine years in the Diocese.
Bishop Trevor joined the Diocese as the Bishop of Dover in February 2010 and since 2014 has taken on additional responsibilities for the Channel Islands. He announced his intention to retire at the end of last year.
All are welcome to Evensong on Saturday 11 May to give thanks to Bishop Trevor for his ministry and wish both him and his wife, Margaret, well in retirement. The service will be sung by the Boys, Girls and Men of the Cathedral Choir, and will be followed by a reception in Chapter House.
Bishop Trevor will then conclude his public ministry by preaching and presiding at Eucharist on Sunday 12 May.
Speaking of the time he and Margaret have spent in the Diocese he said “Everywhere we go, we’re received with extraordinary generosity, hospitality and kindness. So when I do come to say goodbye, it will be with a heart overflowing with thanksgiving – and that’s due to the people who are in this Diocese.
“In the time I’ve been in the Diocese, what gives me real joy and energy is the myriad ways – thousands and thousands of ways – that I’ve been privileged to share in the lives of others who have discovered that God loves them. One of the great joys for me is confirmation. I love it: the privilege to listen, the privilege to serve and the sheer joy of sharing in the experience of a God searching out and loving people. If I’ve been able in any small way to help in that journey for people, then I thank God.”
As the Bishop of Dover, he holds the additional title of Bishop in Canterbury enabling him to act as the Diocesan Bishop due to the increased worldwide responsibilities of the Archbishop of Canterbury.
The Revd Tim Naish, Canon Librarian at Canterbury Cathedral gave thanks, saying “The Cathedral community is deeply grateful for all that Bishop Trevor has given to the diocese and to us within it over the last nine years: his passion for the good news of Jesus and his capacity to communicate it freshly, his willingness to engage with everyone in our communities, and his wisdom in leading us in discipleship have been a blessing to us. We recognise also the many ways in which Bishop Trevor has served the National Church.
“Today we thank Margaret as well for her many ministries in the Diocese, in her own right and together with Bishop Trevor. In turn we wish them both every blessing in their retirement, which those who know them can only envisage as ‘active’, and we hold in our prayers the process of appointing Bishop Trevor’s successor.”
The Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury added “Bishop Trevor has worked hard to foster a culture of generous hospitality to our partners from around the world, I am deeply grateful to him for his faithfulness to the people of this Diocese and his faithfulness to Jesus Christ as he has sought to offer inspiration and pragmatic leadership over the past nine years. May he and Margaret be assured of our prayers as they move into this next stage of their lives.”