Retiring Bishop of Barking says goodbye at Newham prayers

16:43 13 February 2014

Bishop David with Mr Jonathan Dowokpor of St John

Bishop David with Mr Jonathan Dowokpor of St John's North Woolwich


The Bishop of Barking said farewell to the people of Newham ahead of his retirement in March after 11 years.

Bishop David Hawkins celebrating Holy Communion with representatives of churches in NewhamBishop David Hawkins celebrating Holy Communion with representatives of churches in Newham

The Rt Rev David Hawkins wore a fluorescent yellow high-visability vest as he led the prayers at St Paul’s Church, Stratford, for his sermon on “journeys”.

The Rev Hawkins, who has been Bishop of Barking at the Newham Deanery Synod since 1993, told the congregation on January 29 to face the future boldly, despite the changes at the diocese. Quoting from the book of Exodus, the bishop spoke about the Biblical story of the people of Israel. Their 40 year wandering in the desert led them out of Egypt, where they had been held as slaves, and into a land of their own promised to them by God.

More than 50 representatives from Anglican churches in the borough attended.

Antendee and resident Jonathan Dowokpor said: “We wish Bishop David a peaceful and happy retirement life.”

“In a conversation with him about his retirement, he said enthusiastically, ‘a priest doesn’t retire – they just stop being paid. “‘They can carry on serving the Lord for as long as people value their ministry.’”


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