THE CITY and the diocese have paid a fond farewell to the Archdeacon of Worcester, Roger Morris, who is to leave and become the new Bishop of Colchester.

Archdeacon Morris led his final service in Worcester on Sunday, June 22, at St Martin's Church on the London Road.

The service was a mixture of traditional hymns played on the organ and modern worship songs led by a group featuring the archdeacon's oldest daughter, Fiona.

His younger daughter, Imogen, read the New Testament Reading and was also involved in the prayers alongside his wife, the Revd Sally Morris.

During his address, the archdeacon thanked all those who had supported him and commented on the ‘graciousness which abounds throughout the Diocese’.

At the end of the service, the Bishop of Worcester, John Inge, prayed with Roger and his family and presented Archdeacon Morris with a pectoral cross, to wear when he becomes Bishop.

The cross is a replica of an ancient mid-7th Century cross which was found on the buried body of a teenage girl in Cambridgeshire.

Archdeacon Morris said: “I chose this design because of its beauty, but also to mark the bravery of a teenage girl visibly demonstrating her faith in a largely pagan world.”

When presenting the gift, Bishop John said: “Roger has offered a huge amount to the Diocese of Worcester and has often given the impression of omni-competence, employing a wide range of skills which are not normally seen in an Archdeacon while still managing to hold on to the bigger vision.

"I give thanks for his ministry here, as well as that of his family – Sally as a local teacher and priest and Fiona and Imogen with youth and children’s work in the Diocese. I pray for God’s rich blessing upon them as they continue their journey in Colchester.”