Following a period of prayer and reflection Bishop Philip has decided that for the sake of God's mission in the Diocese he should withdraw from the appointment as the next Bishop of Sheffield.
I am deeply and personally saddened about this. This has clearly been a difficult and painful journey for the Diocese over the past few weeks as it has also been for Bishop Philip. There will be much to reflect on and there will be time to consider what lessons may be learned over the coming weeks and months.
The Archbishop of York will in due course submit the name of an alternative candidate for this diocese.
For now, I would join with the call from the Archbishop of York that we use this time of Lent as a period of penitence, repentance and reflection both individually and corporately as a Diocese. It would be my sincere hope and prayer that such a period would act as the basis for reconciliation across the Diocese as we rebuild relationships of trust and confidence and refocus on God’s mission and our Vision for growth and the transformation of the communities we are called to serve.
I would ask that all within the diocese would hold one another and Bishop Philip in their prayers, as I know we are remembered in his. I personally will continue to pray for you all and serve you as we seek God’s wisdom in discerning the next stages.
Rt Revd Peter Burrows
Bishop of Doncaster