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Bishop of Lynn announces retirement

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Bishop Jonathan will have served in full-time ministry for 45 years with nine of those spent as Bishop of Lynn.  He will be three months short of his 69th birthday.

Making the announcement to Diocesan Synod on 3 June 2020 – held virtually through Zoom for the first time – Bishop Jonathan said:

“It has been a huge privilege to serve in the Diocese of Norwich. I have been blessed in being able to work with stimulating, supportive colleagues, and in living amongst such welcoming communities.

“There have been so many individual highlights, starting with the 9 days cycling around the groups of parishes I have responsibility for in my first Lent here, but what I have valued most have been the regular acts of sacramental care that are a bishop’s lot: confirmations; blessing new ventures in churches, schools and churchyards; the deanery pilgrimages of prayer; and the annual opening of the Mart in King’s Lynn.

“Offering, in whatever ways I can, something of the love of God for everyone has always seemed to me the heart of Christian ministry. As always, I have received so much more than I have been able to give, and when the time comes, I will leave Norfolk and the Diocese of Norwich with a huge amount of gratitude and love for all its people – but of course, there are nearly seven months to go which will give plenty of opportunity for more of the same!”


Bishop Jonathan and his wife Rebecca, who is a Community Palliative Care Nurse in the NHS, based at Tapping House, will be moving to a small village in north Oxfordshire, close to where he served his curacy in the mid-1970s.

Speaking following the announcement, the Rt Revd Graham Usher, Bishop of Norwich said:

“Bishop Jonathan has served the Diocese of Norwich with much energy, wisdom and dedication, together with his own unique and joyous style.

“We still have some time before his retirement in January next year and I know that we will want to find ways to thank Bishop Jonathan and Rebecca for all that they have given in the service of Christ amongst us and pray that they will have a happy retirement in Oxfordshire.”


Before coming to the Diocese of Norwich, Bishop Jonathan was Dean of Exeter, and prior to this held the posts of Canon Pastor and Acting Dean of Rochester Cathedral.  He has also served in three team ministries in the Dioceses of Oxford and Salisbury.

He was consecrated as a bishop by Rowan Williams, Archbishop of Canterbury, at Westminster Abbey on 2 June 2011 and installed in Norwich Cathedral on 29 June 2011.

In addition to his responsibilities towards the clergy and parishes of the west and north of the diocese, he is chair of the diocesan-wide Social, Community and Environmental Concerns Forum, the Children, Youth and Families Forum, and supports the work of the Norfolk Criminal Justice Forum.  He is a trustee of St Seraphim’s Chapel in Walsingham and the Horstead Centre (a residential activity centre for children and young people), and amongst other roles, is a member of the national body supporting the Anglican Church in Papua New Guinea, with which the Diocese of Norwich has been linked for over 50 years.