Bishop Alan Chesters is leaving our diocese towards the end of year.
Bishop Alan, who was Bishop of Blackburn until 2003, has lived in retirement in Tarvin.He has remained active in ministry, as an Honorary Assistant Bishop in the dioceses of Chester, St Asaph and Europe.
He is also licensed to officiate in the Diocese of Liverpool.
The Chesters are moving to a flat in The College of St Barnabas, a home for retired Anglican clergy and spouses.
The community offers daily worship and libraries.
It also has a hospital wing.
Bishop Alan said it would be a tremendous wrench leaving our diocese and his home in Tarvin, but that medical and other facilities offered at the college would benefit Jennie, who has a fractured hip and other health problems.
The Bishop of Chester, the Rt Revd Peter Forster, said: "'Bishop Alan Chesters has played a very important role in the Diocese of Chester since his retirement as Bishop of Blackburn.
Bishop Alan said of the highlights of his time in our diocese: Its been a tremendous joy to be a member of the Chester Cathedral chapter and also be allowed to celebrate and preach there etc.
The exciting thing has been trying to help the cathedral find its proper role in the 21st century.
The fact that it is a place to which people are already drawn, many from outside the worshipping life of the Church, means it has immense opportunities to present the Gospel and to present the Church as a living community.
Bishop Alan continued: Ive also felt that I was called to a ministry of encouragement in Chester diocese.
Its been great to work with the parishes and with the University of Chester and with Bishops High School, supporting people the best I could and affirming them.
He is a member of the universitys council a governor at the school.Alan Chesters was born and raised in Huddersfield but his family came from Cheshire and north Wales.
Both Jennie and Alan consider themselves to be northerners.
Bishop Alan 73, has had a long interest in education, ever since being asked as a young man to help teach religion in a school in a disadvantaged area.He was Director of Education in the Diocese of Durham, chairman of the Archbishops Councils Board of Education, and spokesman in the House of Lords on education.
The bishop has also taken a big interest in rural matters.
He is a former chairman of the Countryside Commission, and also served on its successor body, the Countryside Agency.He persuaded the General Synod to create a Rural Bishops Panel.
In his time he: chaired the North West Rural Affairs Forum; became an honorary rural adviser to Bishop Peter; and has been active as president of the Cheshire Local Councils Association.
The story of my life really has been meeting people whove asked me to do things and Ive said yes, he said.
Bishop Alan was asked what he thought of the future facing the Church of England.He said: I think maybe we are at a period in Gospel terms where the Church is going to become smaller, but maybe by doing that it will become more authentically Christian, and we are going to have to learn to be the leaven in the lump.
Bishop Alan Chesters was Bishop of Blackburn from 1989 to 2003.He is now retired and is Assistant Bishop of both the Diocese in Europe and the Diocese of Chester.
He was chairman of the Church of England Board of Education and the National Society, and Diocesan Director of Education for the Diocese of Durham for thirteen years.He brings us a great wealth of hugely relevant experience.
Bishop Alan Chesters, as Chairman of the Church of England Board of Education, and Archbishop Vincent Nichols, as Chairman of the Catholic Education Service, have issued the following joint statement in response to today,s announcement by the Secretary of State for Education and Employment, the Rt Hon David Blunkett MP.
Alan Chesters, has consented to become President of Christian Rural Concern.The Bishop has held several educational appointments during his career, including that of Director of Education in the Diocese of Durham.Prior to becoming Bishop of Blackburn in 1989, he was Archdeacon of Halifax.
Bishop Alan has also been a Member of the Countryside Commission since 1995, and lists among his recreations railways, hill-walking and reading. Students, Tutors and Friends of CRuc will have an opportunity to meet him at our gathering at Offa House in September, which Bishop Alan has agreed to chair.
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