Bishop of Dover retires

The Rt Revd Trevor Willmott has retired as the Bishop of Dover.


He served in this role for nearly ten years, taking on additional responsibilities for the Channel Islands in 2014. Bishop Trevor concluded his public ministry by preaching and presiding at a service of Holy Communion in Canterbury Cathedral on 12 May.

In a final message to the Diocese, Bishop Trevor 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, 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.”

Paying tribute to Bishop Trevor, the Most Revd and Rt Hon Justin Welby, Archbishop of Canterbury, said “You've given yourself - body and soul - in prayer, in preaching, in serving, in loving, in caring, in presence to this diocese." Archbishop Justin praised Bishop Trevor for his "profound and deep care for those on the edge.”

“We are deeply grateful to Bishop Trevor for his ministry in this place over the past nine years,” added Diocesan Secretary Julian Hills. “Time and again, he has drawn us back to our core purpose as Christians – to make disciples of Jesus Christ. He has led with courage and hope into the next stage of our diocesan strategy as we consider afresh the call to be transformed by Christ. We are committed to building on his legacy that we might transform the lives of our families, friends and communities across Kent.”

Bishop Trevor will continue in his role of Bishop to the Channel Islands, as an Assistant Bishop of the Diocese of Winchester.

About Bishop Trevor

Trevor Willmott was ordained deacon at St Mary’s Church in Luton in 1974. Having served his curacy in the Diocese of St Albans, he became assistant chaplain of Oslo with Trondheim before moving to become the chaplain of Naples with Capri, Bari and Sorrento from 1979 to 1983. He served as Officiating Chaplain to the British and American forces in Southern Europe from 1979 to 1983.

In 1983, he returned to the UK as Rector of Ecton in Northamptonshire, and warden of Ecton House retreat centre. He became Diocesan Director of Ordinands and of Post-Ordination Training in 1986. Alongside that role, in 1989 he moved to become a Residentiary Canon of Peterborough Cathedral, a position he held until he became the Archdeacon of Durham in 1997.

He was consecrated Bishop of Basingstoke in 2002, and became Bishop of Dover and Bishop in Canterbury in 2010.

Photo: Bishop Trevor receives a gift from Diocesan staff.