How to say goodbye


Writing to the parishes of the Diocese of Chester in the March edition of Chester Diocesan News (CDN), Bishop Libby pens a heartfelt goodbye to the diocese. A special farewell service is taking place this Saturday at Chester Cathedral.


Bishop Libby
How to say goodbye

"I’ve been trying to think of something clever and profound to write for this final article for CDN. But really all I have to say is ‘thank you’.

It’s not only four years of episcopal ministry I’m looking back on. When we moved to the Diocese of Chester 18 years ago our children were just starting school, and they are now embarked both through post-graduate study and into the next stage of life. George and I have between us over that time, in various combinations, served as diocesan officer, parish priest, chaplain and bishop. We have so much to be grateful for.

I’ve re-written this article a number of times, wanting to get just right the way to say goodbye – literally ‘God be with You’. But I couldn’t seem to get down what I’m wanting to say. So, I turned to scripture as we do so often when we can’t find the words ourselves. I have been reading Philippians as I prepare to move on - and Paul wrote all those years ago to the Christian community he loved in Philippi pretty much all that I want to say now:

‘3  I thank my God every time I remember you,  4  constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you,  5  because of your sharing in the gospel from the first day until now. 6 I am confident of this, that the one who began a good work among you will bring it to completion by the day of Jesus Christ. 7 It is right for me to think this way about all of you, because you Have held me in your heart, for all of you share in God’s grace  with me, both in my [labours] and in the defence and confirmation of the gospel.  8  For God is my witness, how I long for all of you with the compassion of Christ Jesus. 9 And this is my prayer, that your love may overflow more and more with knowledge and full insight  10  to help you to determine what is best, so that on the day of Christ you may be pure and blameless, 11 having produced the harvest of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ for the glory and praise of God.’

Be assured of my continuing prayers for you. May His love overflow in you, that your love in word and action will bear fruit. I am confident that God will bring to fruition the work being done in and through you - because our confidence is in Christ who has won the victory. It has been my privilege and pleasure to live, serve and work alongside you all these years: thank you."

On Tuesday 26 March, Church House staff held a farewell lunch for Bishop Libby


Page last updated: 28th Mar 2019 9:32 AM