A beautiful morning on El Camino SantiagoToday I wrote to Archbishop Phillip and informed him of my intention to resign as Bishop of Dunedin on Easter Monday, April 17 2017. I also informed our Diocesan Registrar and the Diocesan Council. I am giving this amount of notice because we need to make some very important decisions as a diocese. In my opinion (and actually, in this matter my opinion isn't the one that counts, but still...) the diocese should not be subject to a long interregnum and to make an appointment as soon after my departure as possible we would need to set processes in motion in the not too distant future. Further, some very careful thought needs to be given as to how we will pay for episcopal ministry in the future and maybe some hard choices and some innovations may need to be made.
Clemency and I drove to Invercargill and back on Sunday for Evening Church in All Saints Gladstone. The church was pleasantly full and the service was pleasantly informal. As we drove down in the wind and drove home in the rain we had a good five hours or so to talk about our future. Although we intend to continue to live in Dunedin, we will make ourselves scarce as soon after Easter Monday 2017 as possible. Perhaps we will walk the Camino again, and then perhaps take a parish away from the diocese for a few months. Perhaps in New Zealand , but we both rather fancy a little stint somewhere overseas and we rather warm to the idea of a summer in Scotland. I'll send off a few letters.
After that, who knows? My participation in the diocese will depend entirely on the new bishop. And there's a few other things I imagine filling my time with:
- Offer spiritual direction to whoever wants it
- Take retreats
- Teach Centering Prayer
- Fill in in the occasional parish somewhere
- Walk Te Araroa
- Cycle the various Central Otago bike tracks
- Fix the house
- Restore something with an engine and wheels
- Greatly extend the size of our vegetable garden
- Spend lots and lots of time with our grandchildren
- Take photos
- And, despite the list above, Be rather then Do