Bishop of Manchester announces retirement

Date published: 19 September 2012

The Bishop of Manchester, the Rt Revd Nigel McCulloch, has announced that he is to retire after more than a decade serving Greater Manchester and Rossendale, and 27 years as a Church of England Bishop.

The Bishop’s final formal thanksgiving service will take place at Manchester Cathedral on 25 November 2012, though he will remain Bishop of Manchester until 17 January 2013.

The Bishop, who will be 71 on his next birthday, will retire to Grange-Over-Sands with his wife Celia.

Bishop Nigel is one of the most respected and experienced bishops in the Church of England. He is a member of the House of Lords, the Honorary National Chaplain to the Royal British Legion and Lord High Almoner to HM The Queen. He was appointed by the Archbishops’ Council to chair the legislative drafting group to consider proposals for allowing women to be consecrated as bishops. The Bishop also chairs The Greater Manchester Poverty Commission after being asked to do so by a number of local MPs.

Bishop Nigel‘s skills as a communicator and broadcaster are widely known. In the House of Lords he has spoken frequently on media matters, sat on the Lords BBC Charter and also Communications Committees. He has been a regular broadcaster for the BBC and a religious columnist for The Times. He chaired the Church of England’s Religion in Broadcasting Group.

Interfaith issues are close to Bishop Nigel's heart. In Manchester Diocese Bishop Nigel has made sensitive and effective links with the area's ethnic minority groups and communities of other faiths. At the national level he is the Chair of the Council for Christians and Jews.

Bishop Nigel has been deeply concerned about social and poverty issues, and about those members of society who feel marginalised. He was extensively quoted on the riots in Manchester and Salford in 2011 and showed support by being with those cleaning the streets in Manchester early the next morning.

The Bishop has a reputation for his ability to be a reconciler and healer. He recently completed his ‘Run the Race’ pilgrimage which saw him visiting every church and community in Greater Manchester. The Pilgrimage ended with a unique diocesan visit by both Archbishops who then completed an extended stay in Manchester.

Bishop Nigel said; “Until my retirement it is business as usual. I have greatly enjoyed my time serving the cities, towns and smaller communities that make up this vibrant and diverse Diocese of Manchester – and will miss being with the many people of Christian faith, other faiths and no faith, whom it has been my privilege to know.”

“As I draw nearer to my retirement from serving the clergy, congregations and communities of this diocese, I am being advised that there have been enquiries about an appropriate gift that might be made to me and Celia.

"We are deeply touched by that thoughtfulness and kindness. But I hope it will not be taken amiss if we ask that any donations to mark the end of my 10+ years’ ministry in the Manchester Diocese, could be made to assist projects in the dioceses of Lahore and Namibia.

"For us the privilege of being among you in Manchester has been a more than sufficient gift to us in itself. So if you wish to express gratitude for that in a tangible way, then please send donations with the envelope marked ‘For Bishop Nigel’s Link Dioceses (gift)’ to Church House, 90 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2GH with cheques made payable to Manchester DBF.”

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