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Bishop of Dover Trevor Willmott bids farewell as he retires

The Bishop of Dover has today retired from his post and delivered his final message.

The Rt Rev Trevor Willmott, who is also Bishop in Canterbury and lives in the city, announced he would be leaving the role in autumn last year.

Having held the position for almost 10 years, the 69-year-old concluded his public ministry by preaching and presiding at a service of Holy Communion in Canterbury Cathedral.

The Bishop delivering his final farewell (10139860)
The Bishop delivering his final farewell (10139860)

A host of dignitaries spoke in fondness of Bishop Trevor as he bade farewell to the diocese.

In his final message, he said: “Did I ever imagine I would be bishop in the Diocese of Canterbury? No. And therefore, I can honestly and truly say it has been an enormous privilege, blessing and joy.

"Even the times when it’s been hard and demanding, I’ve known that God is here with us and the one Bible text I always hold – I’ve always done from the day I was given faith and the day I was ordained – are some words from St Paul, where he says ‘Faithful is he who calls , who will fulfil the same.’

"And, of course, the ‘he who calls’ is the God of love. And I know that in due course – when both Margaret and I die and our mortal remains will lie here in Canterbury – that the God who is faithful will receive us."

Bishop Trevor's farewell cake (10140315)
Bishop Trevor's farewell cake (10140315)

He was responsible for the whole Canterbury Diocese, which also includes, wholly or partly, the districts of Maidstone, Swale, Thanet, Folkestone and Hythe and Ashford.

Bishop Trevor took up the role in 2010.

Speaking today, Archbishop of Canterbury Justin Welby said: “You've given yourself - body and soul - in prayer, in preaching, in serving, in loving, in caring, in presence to this diocese."

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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