Next Bishop of Lynn to live in Dereham as Castle Acre vicarage for sale
The new Bishop of Lynn will live in Dereham as the Diocese of Norwich has decided they should live more centrally.
The Rt Rev Jonathan Meyrick will be retiring from his position on January 25 after nine-and-a-half-years serving the area.
It has been confirmed that the next bishop, who will be announced in the spring, will live in Dereham with the current bishop's residency up for sale in Castle Acre.
The Old Vicarage on Priory Road is for sale through Savills Estate Agents for a guide price of £1,100,000.
A spokeswoman for the Diocese of Norwich said living in Dereham will enable the new Bishop of Lynn to be "more central for travel around their area of responsibility."
Commenting on his role, Rt Rev Meyrick said: "Within the diocese my job is two-fold as a local bishop covering everywhere south of Lynn to south of Cromer and everything in between, and that's a huge part of the job.
"There are about 300 churches altogether so I am responsible for aspects of life of the diocese as a whole.
"The next Bishop of Lynn will retain a close interest in all of the churches of the area, which includes King's Lynn and they will be part of the life of King's Lynn, but will just be a little bit further away."
Originally from Bishop's Stortford and ordained into the Diocese of Oxford, the retiring bishop will be moving to live in North Oxfordshire in early February.
His three children have now moved on from home with one of his sons being ordained as a deacon and he began working in Fulham this year.
Speaking about the friends and colleagues he will be leaving behind, Rt Rev Meyrick said: "We have always found ourselves working with lovely colleagues and fabulous people. Fundamentally people are the same everywhere.
"Having said that, we had a really warm welcome here in Norfolk and we leave the county with huge regret about going, but taking with us really cherished friendships."
Clergy have to retire at the age of 70, and Rt Rev Meyrick will turn 69 early next year.
During his time in West Norfolk, he has worked closely with charities such as the Winter Night Shelter, West Norfolk Befriending and the Purfleet Trust.
He blessed the new Winter Night Shelter location at St John’s Vicarage ahead of the new winter season and described the enthusiasm of over 100 volunteers and co-ordinator Lucy McKitterick as being "heart-warming and encouraging".
The bishop said: "Lucy is an extraordinary young woman and I have seen the same thing with other charities here. It is the same story of commitment made by so many people who are giving themselves to improve the lives of other people which is amazing and deeply Christian.
"It is really encouraging to see it and to be a part of it."
His highlights in the county have been described as a "mixture of opportunities" from confirming a number of Christians, to blessing the historic RNLB Lucy Lavers lifeboat near Wells-next-the-sea, which was used during the Dunkirk evacuation.
The bishop has taken to the floor to sing to diners at Forget-Me-Not old folks Luncheon Club at Gaywood Church Rooms in March 2019, highlighting his joie de vivre.
He has also preached from halfway up a helterskelter at Norwich Cathedral and has helped maintain historic church links with Papua New Guinea. This included facilitating a meeting between Queen Elizabeth II and a Papua New Guinean fellow during her tour of Lynn Town Hall in February 2012 on Accession Day.
Rt Rev Meyrick said: "Most English dioceses will have links with Anglican communion places and here it has been with the church of Papua New Guinea for over 55 years. One of the very first Archbishops of Papua New Guinea and one of the first churches was in West Norfolk at Tattersett, and that's why we have the link with them going back all these years."
Regarding the recent challenges of the coronavirus pandemic, he added: "It has been a different challenge and it has been wonderful to see how many churches have risen to the technology challenge and reaching out to people. It has been an honour to be a part of.
"The extent parishes and churches provide in the life of local communities has been shown through the Night Shelter and food bank. St Faith's in Gaywood, for example, has been turning up with food from local supermarkets and it is really good to see how they have effortlessly poured themselves into that work."
Having been consecrated Bishop of Lynn by the Archbishop of Canterbury at Westminster Abbey in June 2011, the Rt Rev Meyrick can enjoy his well-earned retirement with his wife Rebecca.
There will be two farewell services for the retiring bishop, one at Lynn Minster on Sunday, January 17 and at Norwich Cathedral on Sunday, January 24. Both must be booked in advance, and they will be streamed for those unable to attend.