Hundreds of people flocked to Reading Minster on Wednesday (May 1) for a joyful service to mark the retirement of the Rt Revd Andrew Proud, the Bishop of Reading.

Staff at the Minster worked hard to get the building ready for the occasion, after a flood was discovered on Wednesday morning. Everything was mopped up in time for the big event, which saw Bishop Andrew preach and preside over communion, before the moving moment when he placed the Reading Crozier and his mitre on the altar. This marked the official end to his ministry as the Bishop of Reading.

Bishop Andrew has been the Bishop of Reading since 2011. Before coming to Berkshire, he served as Chaplain of St Matthew’s, Addis Ababa and was consecrated Bishop of Ethiopia and the Horn of Africa in 2007.

An ombrellino was part of the farewell service. An ombrellino is an umbrella used in many Catholic and orthodox churches. Ombrellinos are often used in Ethiopian churches, and this one represented a a link to Bishop Andrew’s ministry in Ethiopia.

In a letter to clergy and parishioners Bishop Andrew wrote that he felt a deep sense of gratitude: “It has been such a joy to ordain deacons and priests and see them grow and move on, and to have had the privilege of baptising and confirming so many.”

The Bishop of Oxford, the Rt Revd Dr Steven Croft said: “Bishop Andrew has brought to the diocese a passion for the global Church, which has been threaded through every aspect of his leadership, and he has been a pastor and an encourager to many across the Berkshire Area.”

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