Julian Hills to retire

First published on: 16th December 2020

After 13 years, Diocesan Secretary Julian Hills, who led with care and compassion, has announced his retirement.

Bishop Rose said: "I want to take a moment to express my deepest gratitude to him for his ministry in our diocese over many years. 

"Julian has never treated his role as a nine-to-five job. What has been so evident, even during my short time with our diocese, is how much Julian cares. Throughout his ministry with us has cared pastorally, not only for diocesan staff, but for all in the diocese with whom he has worked.

"He has made the life of our diocese his own life, and for that we are deeply grateful. Personally, I am especially grateful to Julian for the support and encouragement that he has given me throughout my first year as Bishop here. I am deeply thankful for Hilary's prayerful support, also.

"We will get an opportunity in the New Year - hopefully with the easing of some Coronavirus restrictions -  to properly celebrate and give thanks for Julian and Hilary's ministry in a special service at Canterbury Cathedral - do look out for details of that. Until we are able to appoint someone new to this crucial role, I have seconded Archdeacon Stephen Taylor from my office to be our acting Diocesan Secretary." 

"I know that you will want to join me in thanking Julian for his incredible ministry in our diocese - and I trust that you will keep him and Hilary in your prayers as they move into the next chapter of their ministry and walk with God in 2021 and beyond."

Archbishop Justin thanked Julian for his leadership, compassion and huge heart.

He said: "Julian's ministry in our diocese has been marked by his huge heart. His love of Christ has always been evident in the way that he treats others - whoever they are - with care and compassion. Julian has faithfully led our diocese throughout times of great change and enormous challenge - most notably during this past year. Throughout his time with us, Julian has also been faithful in prayer and seeking God. The depth of his spirituality has been such a gift to us - and to me."

Julian said: "The past year has been the most extraordinary time to be a Diocesan Secretary in the Church of England. The Coronavirus pandemic has affected our society, our economy and our churches in ways that we could never have predicted. One effect of this is that it has highlighted the significant work that lies ahead for Canterbury Diocese as it reimagines itself for a sustainable future serving God’s kingdom in our communities. It is clear that this work will take some considerable time and will require fresh insight over the coming months and years and therefore reluctantly, I have agreed to lay down my responsibilities as Diocesan Secretary with effect from 31st December 2020.

"My ministry in the role for the past 13 years as well as my 5 years prior to that as Finance Director, has been an immense privilege and joy. I am proud of my diocesan team and of all that we have achieved so far and am grateful to God for these years. I will be sad to step down, but Hilary’s and my prayers will continue to be with the diocese in all that lies ahead.

"At some point next year, there will be an opportunity to celebrate together in a worship service, all that God has achieved in this time."


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