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Church ‘must reassure in troubled times’, says retiring Bishop of Lynn

todayJanuary 30, 2021 19

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The Bishop of Lynn has delivered his final sermon before retiring after more than four decades of ministry.

A farewell service for the Rt Rev Jonathan Meyrick was held at Norwich Cathedral on Sunday, with only a small number of people present as most worshippers watching the event online.

He said he had been “blessed” to have the support of so many colleagues and friends throughout his career in the church.

The Rt Rev Jonathan Meyrick delivering his farewell sermon at Norwich Cathedral (44164191)
The Rt Rev Jonathan Meyrick delivering his farewell sermon at Norwich Cathedral (44164191)

He said: “This is the kind of job, ministry, that you can’t do without support.

“You this afternoon, here in this cathedral, and you, watching on stream, online, represent a whole host of people that have enabled me to do what I have been able to do, such as it is, and I thank you all very much.”

Bishop Jonathan, who has been in his current role since 2011, announced his decision to stand down last summer.

He reflected on a varied career of almost exactly 45 years, which stemmed from experiencing a calling when he was just 15 and has taken him to many parts of the world.

He said the message of good news offered by Jesus was particularly vital now as communities struggle to come to terms with the impact of the coronavirus on our lives.

He said: “Right now, that’s what we, as the church, need to be doing: assuring the people of this nation, of this world, that despite the exhaustion and the despair faced by so many in context of isolation, of anxiety, of pandemic, despite all that, God remains on our side, desires our good and will bring us beyond it.”

And, for the man known as the Singing Bishop, his last sermon wouldn’t have been been complete without a song from the pulpit as he assured worshippers things will “turn out well.”

The service was streamed on the Norwich Cathedral Services YouTube channel.

A live chat offering viewers the chance to offer their best wishes to Bishop Jonathan and his wife Rebecca, who are planning to move to Oxfordshire.

The wellwishes included messages from the United States, where Bishop Jonathan began his church career in the 1970s.

Daphne Sampson, of Lynn’s Christian Aid group, wrote: “Thank you so much, Bishop Jonathan, for all your support in so many ways – to us at St Faith’s in Gaywood, King’s Lynn and to our Christian Aid support group.”

The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham Usher, said the couple would be “deeply missed” in Norfolk.

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