Standing ovation as Jan says farewell to Norwich
Bishop Jan McFarlane was given a standing ovation as she processed out of her farewell service at Norwich Cathedral last night, after 16 years of ministry in the Diocese of Norwich. Keith Morris reports.
The newly appointed Bishop of Repton was saying her final farewells in front of a congregation of some 350 people who had all been touched in one way or another by Jan.
Bishop Jan told the congregation that it was when she ordered a genuine shepherd’s crook as a crozier that her new role as chief pastor and shepherd really hit home. Jesus said to his disciple Peter: “Do you love me? Feed my sheep,” she recounted.
“Priests and bishops are called first and foremost to a ministry to pray, to preach and to pastor. To speak God’s Word and to feed God’s sheep – we are not called to be branch managers of Church of England plc.
“I give thanks that for the past 16 years I have sat at the feet of a master shepherd – I have learn more from him than he will ever, ever know. He has been the best possible role model for my future role.
"But above all I give thanks that this new shepherd is first and foremost a lamb in the flock of the big shepherd who laid down his life for his sheep,” said Bishop Jan.
“It strikes me that in these politically turbulent times when our political leaders seem to be fleeing the ship with abandon and our decision to leave the European Union has unwittingly unleashed a fresh wave of hatred, prejudice and racism, this might be an exciting time for the church to point to the shepherd who would never, ever, abandon his flock.”
Jan joined the Diocese of Norwich in 1999 as first the Communications Officer then Director of Communications. From 2001 to 2009 Jan served as Chaplain to the Bishop of Norwich and has been Archdeacon of Norwich since 2009. She has combined her role as Archdeacon with the posts of Director of Communications and Warden of Readers. She has been a member of the General Synod since 2005.
Paying tribute, the Bishop of Norwich, Graham James said: “Jan has become part of the landscape of the Diocese, becoming a familiar face on television and in the EDP and a well-known voice on local radio. Communicating the Gospel has been her mission and she has done it superbly.
“She has insight into human nature, a great faith and determination and will be a great gift to the Diocese of Derby.”
Pictured is Bishop Jan at her farewell service at Norwich Cathedral, with Bishop Graham James.