The Bishop of Derry and Raphoe, Rt Rev Ken Good, is to retire next May after almost 17 years in the position, it has been confirmed.
His decision was announced to the Diocesan Council at a meeting on Wednesday.
Addressing the Diocesan Council, Bishop Good said that before he stood down he was looking forward in particular to welcoming the General Synod of the Church of Ireland to Foyle next May.
It will be the first time the Church of Ireland’s 600-strong governing body will ever have met in the city.
Bishop Good, who is 66, was consecrated on June 11th, 2002. He said one factor in choosing the date of his retirement was his wish to ensure that there was adequate time for his successor to be elected and in place before the next Lambeth Conference, which will take place in July and August 2020.
Bishop Good spoke appreciatively about his 16 years in episcopal ministry.
“I feel blessed to have been called to serve in such a great diocese as Derry and Raphoe,” he said. “I have met so many memorable people and enjoyed so many wonderful experiences that it will be a wrench to retire. It has been a joy for Mary and me to live and work in such a vibrant community.
“I thank the Lord for the many friendships I have made, and for the great team of people with whom I have been privileged to work.
“I am confident that my successor will inherit a committed and talented team of clergy and lay people to help develop God’s kingdom in this diocese.”