In his final visit as the bishop of Exeter, Rt Rev Robert Atwell has blessed Devon’s cheesemakers.
Ahead of his last days serving Devon’s churches, Bishop Robert stopped by at Quickes Cheese in Newton St Cyres, near Crediton – a rural business which is “exporting Devon cheese and promoting the good name of Devon across the UK and abroad.”
After nine years leading the diocese, Bishop Robert – who is also the lead bishop for rural affairs – said he was delighted that he was able to support an apt cause before he said his goodbyes.
He said “This was my last official visit in the county as bishop.
“It was a joy to end on a high, on a farm which has been in the same family for generations and employs local people making cheese to a high standard by hand.
“It is great to end by celebrating British farming and British food.”
“The Church of England in Devon wants to do what we can to support local businesses that employ local people.”
Bishop Robert is retiring at the end of September.
Following the announcement of his retirement, he said: “Bishop Robert said: “There is no ideal time to retire, but this seems like a sensible moment. I will be 69 in August. Last year I had surgery and, although it was successful, I am increasingly conscious of how precious the gift of life and health is, and I don’t want to take it for granted.
“It has been an honour to serve as Bishop of Exeter in this beautiful county with so many historic and amazing churches served by faithful congregations. I have been blessed with a fantastic team of clergy colleagues and diocesan staff and I will miss working with them.
“I know the people of the diocese will continue to live out our vision to grow in prayer, make new disciples and to serve the people of Devon with joy.”