Bishop Peter to say farewell after seven years

14th May 2021

Bishop Peter is to retire as the seventy-ninth Bishop of Bath and Wells after an online farewell service from Wells Cathedral on Saturday 22 May. Bishop Peter, who is 65, announced he was stepping down earlier this year, following treatment for leukaemia, which he began in August 2020. He has been bishop of the diocese for seven years, from 2014.

Covid restrictions and Bishop Peter's treatment, which prevents him from going into public spaces, mean his farewell service from Wells Cathedral will be streamed and will be available to view online on Saturday 22 May at 3pm via the diocesan website and Facebook page. The service begins at 3pm and will be followed at 3.50pm by a celebratory Zoom tea, which will also be streamed via the same sites.

Those watching the service online will see the symbolic moment when Bishop Peter leaves his crozier – the shepherd’s crook that signifies his role as leader of his flock. From that moment, he is no longer Bishop of Bath and Wells.

Should you wish to leave a farewell message for Bishop Peter and Jane please visit our on-line message board. Those wishing to make a farewell gift can do so on our on-line gifting page.

Tributes to Bishop Peter

The Bishop of Taunton, Rt Revd Ruth Worsley, said: “Bishop Peter has been a wonderful, warm and wise friend and colleague in the past five and a half years of ministry we have shared together in Bath and Wells.  I shall miss him terribly. Our prayers continue for Peter, Jane and the whole family.  May they know God’s hope, grace and joy as they step into the future.”

Paying tribute to Bishop Peter at General Synod, Archbishop Justin Welby said: “ I pray that you and Jane continue on the path to healing and that you will continue in confidence in the God you have served and in the love that you received from those around you.”


An online message board for anyone who wishes to say farewell message now for Bishop Peter and Jane is now available. (Anyone wishing to contribute to a retirement gift can do so online)

Short biography of Rt Revd Peter Hancock

Bishop Peter was born on the Isle of Wight and later moved with his family to Fareham, Hampshire. After studying at Cambridge, he trained for the ordained ministry in the Church of England at Oak Hill Theological College. He was ordained in 1980 and served his curacies at Christchurch, Portsdown and at Emmanuel Church, Radipole in the Diocese of Salisbury. He was vicar of St Wilfrid’s Cowplain, then Archdeacon of The Meon until he was consecrated as Bishop of Basingstoke in 2010. He was installed as Bishop of Bath and Wells in Wells Cathedral on 7 June 2014.

Bishop Peter took over as lead Bishop for safeguarding in the Church of England in 2016 and served throughout the Independent Inquiry into Child Sexual Abuse’s investigation of the Church of England.

Bishop Peter is married to Jane and they have four adult children and five grandchildren.




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