Bishop Geoff to bid farewell
The Bishop of Stafford, the Right Revd Geoff Annas, has announced that he is to retire from his role at the end of November.
Bishop Geoff and his wife Ann came to the Diocese of Lichfield in 2010 to join the episcopal team led by the Bishop of Lichfield. As Area Bishop of Stafford, he has overseen a region that includes Stoke-on-Trent, Stafford, Newcastle-under-Lyme, Burton-on-Trent and many rural communities across North Staffordshire. He will leave shortly before his 66th birthday and he and Ann will return to live in Southampton, where he previously served, close to their family.
Bishop Geoff said: “We will be leaving many friends but taking with us happy memories of this special part of Britain that was previously unknown to us. The creativity and warmth of the people of North Staffordshire and the glorious and beautiful countryside make it a most attractive place to live and we are only sorry that bishops are expected to move away from the area and diocese they have served!
“When we came to the diocese, it was making plans until 2020. Now, we are starting a new Direction of Travel which looks way beyond then and, as I shall be 66 at the end of November it seems a really good time to move and allow a new bishop to work with Bishops Michael, Clive and Sarah in guiding the diocese in its exciting journey.
“I do not regard myself as ‘retiring’ but simply joining that magnificent band of clergy and lay ministers who work their socks off but for no financial payment and without whom the Church of England as we know it would collapse!”
The Bishop of Lichfield, the Right Revd Dr Michael Ipgrave, said: “Bishop Geoff has served the communities and churches of North Staffordshire faithfully for almost a decade – making him one of the longest serving Bishops of Stafford. I will be very sad to see Ann and Geoff leave but I am pleased that they will now be closer to family and have more time to spend with them.”
By way of farewell to Bishop Geoff and Ann, Bishop Michael will lead a service of celebration of the good things happening in Church of England churches and the communities they serve across North Staffordshire in Stoke Minster on Sunday 24 November at 4pm. All are welcome.