Bishop John preached at the service and said: "No-one knows the Diocese better than Robert, few have ministered in it as long or love it as much. One of Robert's best qualities is a love of God and a love of people - he is a priest through and through. In his new role, Robert will have a wide brief and I know he will care for churches in the Worcester Archdeaconry with great love and diligence. My prayer is that he be able to lead as Archdeacon as he did on the diocesan pilgrimage earlier in the year, not getting between people and God, but allowing God to reach people and transform them."

Robert said; "It was a very moving service and I was overwhelmed by the warmth and presence of so many people. There were lots of friendly faces who have been part of my story all the way along and it was a wonderfully affirming start to this next part of my ministry."

Robert has been a priest in the Diocese since he was ordained in 1980. After spending four years as a Curate at Holy Innocents, St John's and St Peter' s in Kidderminster, he served as Vicar of St. Francis in Dudley for eight years and then as Rector of St. Barnabas with Christ Church in Worcester for fourteen years. He has most recently been the Director of Development, heading up the team responsible for both clergy and lay training across the Diocese. In this role Robert established the popular Authorised Lay Minister programme, which has trained over 300 people in different areas of ministry.

Robert moved into the Diocese from just over the border in Birmingham when he was young and was confirmed in St John's, Halesowen in 1966. He studied languages at University before he trained for ordination at Ripon College, Cuddesdon and, as a fluent German speaker, is very involved in the diocesan partnership with Magdeburg and the Church of England's Meissen Agreement with the German Protestant Church. In his spare time Robert enjoys the odd pint of beer, walking, singing in a choir and music-making.

Photos from the service can be viewed on our Facebook page

ENDS

The Diocese of Worcester is one of 42 dioceses in the Church of England. It covers an area of 671 square miles and includes parishes in the County of Worcestershire, the Metropolitan Borough of Dudley, and a few parishes in northern Gloucestershire, south east Wolverhampton and Sandwell.

From: Sam Setchell, Press Officer for the Diocese of Worcester and the Bishop of Worcester.

Tel: 01905 20537 Mobile: 07852 302516
Email: ssetchell@cofe-worcester.org.uk