Bishop of Hereford Retirement

    People News
    7 Jan. 2019


    The Bishop of Hereford, the Rt Revd Richard Frith has announced he is to retire in the autumn.
    Bishop Richard has been in post for five years and has overseen a diocesan mission strategy focused on Proclaiming Christ and Growing Disciples by inspiring each generation.

    His time in post has seen a shift to intergenerational church and the successful Strategic Development Bid, which funded six intergenerational Missioners in five of our market towns, key opportunities for growth in our church communities.

    He sought to empower church members in their roles and responsibilities through the development of lay ministry, local ministry development groups and greater community partnerships through the creative use of church buildings.

    His public ministry will end with a service at Hereford Cathedral on Saturday 23rd November at 11am. All are welcome to join this service as we say thank you and pray God’s blessing upon Bishop Richard and his wife Kay as they begin the next chapter of their life together.

    Ahead of the announcement, Bishop Richard said: “I thank God daily for the privilege of being Bishop of Hereford. I love the people and the area, and I have wonderful colleagues. I shall be sad to leave the diocese, but that’s still nearly a year ahead!”

    Speaking about the news, the Bishop of Ludlow the Rt Revd Alistair Magowan said:

    “Bishop Richard has brought energy and vigour to leading the Diocese during his five years here in Hereford.

    “It has been a privilege to be his colleague and I am grateful for the way he has allowed me to share with him in leadership.

    “I have particularly appreciated being part of the ‘Follow’ evenings and conversations and sharing in the formation and appointment of the Intergenerational Missioners. These will surely be, among others, lasting benefits of his episcopacy.

    “Throughout his ministry, Richard has given a clear and sure steer shaping both our Diocesan strategy and priorities. Always mission has been at the heart of what we do. The times we are in, are not without significant challenge and Richard has never shied away from taking the hard and necessary decisions.

    “Good humour and personal warmth are hallmarks and I know that I and many will remember him for the personal care he has shown.”

    The Dean of Hereford, the Very Revd Michael Tavinor said: 

    “We feel particularly blessed at the Cathedral to have had a bishop who joins us for morning prayer each day as well as for many major services throughout the year, who meets with us regularly and who supports our work in many practical ways.
    “We have been privileged to support Bishop Richard in his ministry of prayer and teaching and are so glad that he has found the cathedral to be an important spiritual base for him.
    “It has been a great privilege as Dean to work alongside Bishop Richard these past five years and to enjoy his company, his Christian companionship and his welcome sense of humour!”

    Diocesan Secretary, Sam Pratley said: 

    “It has been an absolute pleasure working with Bishop Richard since my appointment a little over two years ago.

    “It is evident that in the five years he has spent in Hereford he has shown that he is a tremendous advocate of intentional church mission, he has given the Diocese permission to experiment and change, for individuals to flourish and has inspired the Diocese to be led into some bigger and bolder decision making that should lead to spiritual and numerical growth and a more sustainable future.

    “It has been a real privilege for me personally to form such a close working relationship with Bishop Richard, together we have consumed many cups of coffee, wrestled with every aspect of Diocesan life and strategy and very nearly finalised our version of the England batting line up.”

    About Bishop Richard

    Bishop Richard is the 105th Bishop of Hereford and moved to the Diocese from Hull, where he was the Suffragan Bishop, in 2014.

    He is chair of the Rural Affairs Group of General Synod and Vice-Chair of the Liturgical Commission. Bishop Richard has also been a trustee of the Mission to Seafarers for many years.

    Bishop Richard is married to Kay and he has four children and four stepchildren. His interests include the theatre and sport, with a particular passion for cricket.

    The process for appointing a new Bishop of Hereford will in due course follow the agreed national guidelines. The Bishop of Ludlow will shortly be writing to all clergy explaining the next steps in a little more detail, and that letter will be available to all on the Diocesan website.

    The process to choose a new Bishop is overseen by the Vacancy in See Committee, chaired by Philip Wilcocks. The full membership of the Vacancy in See Committee can be viewed on the diocesan website.


    Appointing the next Bishop of Hereford

    As part of the appointment process (Vacancy in See) people are invited to put forward their opinions and thoughts on the qualities needed in the next Bishop of Hereford. 

    Read more about the process and the committee responsible for the appointment here:


    Two public consultation events are planned for February and March and further information on these can be found on the above Vacancy in See web link.

    Comments can be submitted to the committee responsible for the appointment, The Vacancy in See Committee. You can do this in several ways and again details are on the above link, or alternatively the comments box below.

    We are also holding two Diocesan Days of Prayer on the 3 February and 4 February and ask that you consider remembering the diocese and the needs of the next generation as we seek to appoint the next Bishop of Hereford.

    Submit comments to the Vacancy in See committee