There are several ways to understand the title for this blog. The first, is that our seasons of autumn, winter, spring and summer are changing, which of course they are. We are slowly moving towards spring and there is much evidence that the daffodil shoots are out of the ground and that the snow drops have bloomed. That, however, is not the changing season I am talking about. It is the change of season in the Diocese as we say goodbye to Bishop Paul and to Kate on Saturday at their leaving service.
Bishop Paul has served this diocese for eight years. Over this time he has developed and built upon the growth agenda begun under Bishop James. During the years Bishop Paul has given a clear lead in the diocese as we have asked God for a Bigger Church Making a Bigger Difference, more people knowing Jesus more justice in the world. Bishop Paul has offered us a way to live through the Diocesan Rule of Life where we are encouraged to pray, read, learn, on the inner journey and to tell, serves and give on the outer journey.
Bishop Paul has been an inspirational leader through some challenging times. He has led the Diocese to new places, he has spoken out for the poor and oppressed, he has worked tirelessly with our Ecumenical partners and he has supported the clergy and people of this diocese. This short blog does not do justice to Bishop Paul’s achievements. As a person Bishop Paul is a man of integrity, he is a man who lives by example, he lives what he believes and he has a great pastoral heart.
So as we say our farewells and our thankyous on Saturday in the Cathedral we do so with both grateful and heavy hearts. We will miss him, but his legacy will live on.
As this season comes to an end we know deep within ourselves that God will continue to walk with us and God will continue to walk with Bishop Paul. The green shoot of spring will come for both Diocese and Paul and Kate.
May God bless us as we journey on.