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Bishop of London announces retirement plans

The 69 year old has written to clergy across the capital to share his timetable for retirement.

His last public engagement will Candlemas at St Paul's Cathedral on 2 February.

Bishop Richard, who has been in the role for 20 years, says he'll continue his work as normal as Christmas and will hold onto the post of Dean of HM Chapels Royal until his successor is appointed.

Stephen Bruce Photography

In a statement to Premier, he said: "It has been a privilege and a delight to serve in the Diocese of London as priest and bishop for well over thirty years.

"I have seen confidence return and church life revive. The recently circulated progress report on Capital Vision 2020 is an eloquent testimony to a renewed confidence in the gospel, more strenuous compassion and more extensive service of our neighbours in the most diverse city on earth, together with burgeoning creativity.

"At the same time the annual accounts reveal that we have ended the financial year in balance for the tenth year in succession."

In recent years he's focussed on church growth with plans to increase the number of worshipping communities in London.

His links to the royal family also saw him give the sermon at the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.

He's given thanks to his team stating: "It has been a blessing to serve with a diocesan team of bishops, archdeacons and those who work at Causton Street, whose gifts are so diverse but who are united in their zeal for generous orthodoxy.

"For my part, I have tried to follow the example of St Augustine who said, 'For you I am a bishop but with you I am a Christian', and in this spirit I hope you will forgive my many shortcomings in office."

He says he wants his successor to be more at home in the digital world that we currently live in.

The need to embrace the digital world was something he addressed at Premier's 20th anniversary service at St Paul's cathedral last year.

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