A letter from Bishop Stephen - 12 November 2021
It will be announced this morning [click here] that the Archbishop of Canterbury has invited me to be the Acting Bishop of Lincoln as well as continuing as your bishop here in Ely. I shall divide my time equally between the two dioceses. This appointment is for one calendar year, during which there will be a review.
This will mean a stretch for a number of us; but the senior team is up for the challenge. Most particularly, Bishop Dagmar is ready and willing to step up and take greater responsibility, supported by me, the archdeacons and the rest of the senior diocesan support staff. Details are still to be worked out and we are looking to strengthen the core team from within without added expenditure.
Bishop Dagmar will be responsible for the running of the diocese day to day. I shall retain pastoral and strategic oversight. I shall support decisions reached by the senior team, whom I trust implicitly. I shall continue to be fully involved in the deanery development process through 2022 and beyond. I intend still to be engaging with parishes and other networks on Sundays and for festivals and confirmations.
Attached to this letter [click here] is the press release which will be appearing on the Lincoln diocesan website today. As a relatively stable diocese, albeit with a tight budget and our own challenges, it behoves us to support and encourage our sisters and brothers as good neighbours in Christ. As my fellow bishops, Nicholas and David, say in the press release, Lincoln has made very significant progress both in imagining and setting out a plan for the future. I look forward to accompanying them and sharing our lessons learned and such wisdom as I have as seems appropriate for them. I sense a real call to respond well to the Archbishop’s request. At the same time, I am well aware that I shall need to look to my own wellbeing. I do have good support around me.
I can still be contacted easily through my office in Ely. Simon Talbott will be taking up his role as my Senior Chaplain at the beginning of the year and will be coordinating my diary with his opposite number in Lincoln.
I shall not say that I’ll be back, because I am not going away. You are in my heart, as we are all in the heart of Jesus our Lord. Please continue to pray for me, and for Dagmar and for the flourishing of the local Church in our diocese and across Lincolnshire.
Yours ever in Christ,