The Rt Revd Trevor Willmott, Bishop of Dover and Bishop in Canterbury, has announced his intention to retire in May 2019. He has served in this role since February 2010, taking on additional responsibilities for the Channel Islands in 2014. Bishop Trevor will conclude his public ministry on 12 May at Canterbury Cathedral.
Speaking of his and his wife Margaret’s time in the Diocese, he said: “Everywhere we go, we’re received with extraordinary generosity, hospitality and kindness. So when I do come to say goodbye to the Diocese, it will be with a heart overflowing with thanksgiving – and that’s due to the people who are in this Diocese.
“In the time I’ve been in the Diocese, what gives me real joy and energy is the myriad ways – thousands and thousands of ways – that I’ve been privileged to share in the lives of others who have discovered that God loves them. One of the great joys for me is confirmation. I love it: the privilege to listen, the privilege to serve and the sheer joy of sharing in the experience of a God searching out and loving people. If I’ve been able in any small way to help in that journey for people, then I thank God.”
“Bishop Trevor’s forthcoming retirement gives me the opportunity to look back with a deep sense of gratitude for the past nine years and the focus in his leadership on spiritual and numerical growth, reimagining ministry and building community partnerships,” reflected Julian Hills, Diocesan Secretary. “Bishop Trevor has led us into the next stage of our diocesan mission strategy as we consider afresh the call to be transformed by Christ, that we might transform the lives of our families, friends and communities. I and the three Archdeacons are committed to building on his legacy and working with the next Bishop of Dover to ensure that our strategy continues to come to fruition.”
“Bishop Trevor has worked hard to foster a culture of generous hospitality to our partners from around the world,” added the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury. “I am deeply grateful to him for his faithfulness to the people of this Diocese and his faithfulness to Jesus Christ as he has sought to offer inspiration and pragmatic leadership over the past nine years. May he and Margaret be assured of our prayers as they move into this next stage of their lives.”
There will be an opportunity for the Diocese to say farewell at Evensong in Canterbury Cathedral and a reception afterwards on 11 May. Bishop Trevor will then conclude his public ministry by celebrating Holy Communion and preaching in the Cathedral on Sunday 12 May. Further details will be made available in early 2019.