FORMER Bishop of Horsham John Hind was joined by church leaders from across the world for his last service before retiring as Bishop of Chichester.
The 102nd Bishop of Chichester Dr John Hind held his last service on Saturday and retired as bishop on Monday after 40 years serving in the Church of England, 11 of which as Bishop on Chichester.
His successor is expected to be announced by Downing Street today (Thursday May 3)
Among the people wishing him well was the Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of Aleppo, His Eminence Gregorios Ibrahim, despite the ongoing political crisis in Syria, took a special trip to the UK to pay tribute to the Bishop of Chichester at his farewell service as Diocesan Bishop.
His Eminence was joined by other European church leaders, Bishop Polycarpus, Syriac Orthodox Archbishop of the Netherlands, Bishop Dorothea Greiner of the Lutheran church in Bavaria and Mgr Dominique Aubert, Dean of Chartres Cathedral.
Bishop John, who has lived in Sussex since the early 1980s, added: “We have lived in Sussex longer than anywhere else, but most of my ministry has been outside the county.
“I am particularly pleased to be called to be responsible for leading the mission of the Anglican Church in Sussex.
“It already feels like home and since I do not know the details or the inside story that well, I look forward to learning and meeting more people.”
On the announcement of his retirement Bishop John said: “It has been a delight and privilege to serve the Diocese of Chichester for over a decade and I am very grateful to colleagues both lay and clergy, who work so faithfully for the Gospel and the good of Sussex.
“Although I shall miss the parishes and people of the Diocese very much, as I shall be nearly 67 I think the time is right for a new bishop to take over, and I am looking forward to an opportunity to continue to fulfil my ministry as a priest without the particular responsibilities of leading a diocese.”
A portrait of the Bishop John by artist Jane Allison, which was unveiled at the service, will sit alongside the other previous Bishops of the diocese in the Bishop’s residence in Chichester.