We’re about to see two significant retirements from the team that has kept the Bishops’ Office running for many years.
Caroline Turner has decided to retire at the end of October. As the PA who looks after the bishops diaries, Caroline has been a voice on the phone or the sender of emails to all our clergy over the 15 years she has been here. She first came to the Palace in 2002 as Peter Price was beginning his ministry. Since then she has organised confirmation and licensing dates, squeezed in urgent appointments and arranged a multitude of other Bishops’ duties for three Bishop Peters (Price, Maurice and Hancock) and for Bishop Ruth. Caroline is able to say ‘yes’ and ‘no’ with kindness and efficiency – her knowledge and advice will be missed.
Stephen Lynas has worked with the Bishops of Bath and Wells and Taunton since 2006. He has decided the time is right to retire too, and will finish his ten years’ service as Senior Chaplain and Adviser at the end of November.
Stephen’s job description includes the phrase ‘gatekeeper and bridge-builder to the Bishops’ Office and the diocese’, and many of you will know he has fulfilled that role cheerfully and knowledgeably. As well as being closely involved in the big events like ordinations, the Archbishop’s visit and ‘Maundy Tuesday’, there is much to a Chaplain’s work that is hidden and pastoral. Stephen has managed to combine the public and the confidential aspects of his role in a way that all four Bishops he has supported have been grateful for.
Please remember Caroline and Stephen (back row in the photograph of the Bishops’ Office staff) in your prayers as they adjust to a new pace of life, and pray for the two Bishops, Anne, Christine and Penny as the office re-forms and welcomes new faces.