Bishop of Grimsby pays tribute to community with his final sermon
THE Bishop of Grimsby has thanked the people of North East Lincolnshire for the "privilege" of working with them.
The Right Reverend David Rossdale paid special tribute to residents as he gave his last service in the post before retiring.
The service, at Grimsby Minster, was dedicated to all of the people he has worked with since becoming the bishop in the summer of 2000.
He said: "It was an opportunity to amass the people who I have been working with to thank them and thank God for their help with all the work we have done in this happy and vibrant community.
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"People here have proven to be very resourceful, adapting to the huge changes that the church has endured over the past decade – as it should, in line with how much people's lives have changed.
"The local and wider economy has shifted hugely since I became bishop, so the church and all the people within it have also changed, but the faith we show and the help we offer remains constant."
Bishop Rossdale was instrumental in having the historic St James' Church being given the honorary title of Grimsby Minster in 2010.
He is also well-known for his work with the Diocesan Board of Education, shaping the church's role in education across the Diocese of Lincoln.
The Reverend Andrew Dodd, the priest in charge of Grimsby Minster and who was appointed by Bishop David, said the popular figure would be "sorely missed" by the local Christian community.
"He has always been very supportive of this church," he said.
"Bishop Rossdale has done a great deal of work raising the profile of the area and celebrating education here in Grimsby, for which we all thank him."
Church warden Chris Daniel added: "We thank him and thank God for all his service to this church and this area over the years.
"He has supported this church when it needed him the most, particularly when we didn't have a lead priest for a year. And then he appointed the Reverend Dodd, with whom we are all very happy with."
Bishop David, who celebrates his 60th birthday this year, has also held responsibility for appointments, pastoral care and development of clergy in the northern half of the Lincoln Diocese.
He has been responsible for 376 parishes stretching from Newton-on-Trent in the west to near Skegness in the south – a congregation spread over 1,300 square miles.
Aside from his religious duties, he played a key role in raising funds for Grimsby's The Blue Cross Animal Hospital.
He will continue as an assistant bishop in the diocese and he will be moving to his new home in the Spilsby area with his wife Karen.