The Bishop of Norwich, Graham Usher, said: “I am immensely grateful to Bill Husselby for his long service to the Diocesan Board of Finance and for all that he has achieved during that time. From first meeting, I have found Bill to not only be generous with his time and wise in his observations, but also a person of deep faith and immense kindness. We owe him a great debt of gratitude as he retires from being chair of the Diocesan Board of Finance and he goes with our prayers for him and Jill.”
We spoke to Bill and asked him to tell us about some of the highlights and memories of his time as Chair of the Board of Finance.
How and why did you become involved with the Diocese of Norwich?
Bishop Graham James wrote to me when I arrived in Norfolk about 16 years ago. He’d been sent a letter from a friend who told him to contact me and use my skills and expertise! I first joined the DBF and then became the chair eight years ago. I’d done a lot of work in Warwickshire for various organisations and charities and I was becoming semi – retired so I wanted to give my time pro-bono for something interesting and worthwhile. It’s been a real privilege to be involved.
What have been your highlights as Chair?
It’s an extraordinary thing to do. You have three amazing groups of people. The staff – who are tremendous and do so much hard work and then the wonderful volunteers who are giving their time for free as well as the amazing clergy.
I suppose the highlights include getting the diocese out of a deficit, which it was when I first arrived. But also as a Churchwarden, I noticed that the parishes and diocese didn’t necessarily understand each other or how the diocese could help them. I thought that some of the communication was a bit too top down so I felt we should start something to help parishes – something they would read and wouldn’t just sit in the back of the church! That’s how PCC News started.
This has been a particularly challenging year, what are your hopes for the diocese as we come through this period?
Challenging is an understatement! It’s going to be a huge ask to restore the balance after such a year! However, a wonderful new Chair has been appointed. My advice – rather than hope – is that we will need a few years to get back to a new ‘normal’. It will require us all to step up to the plate.