Bishop Wright Retiring in August - Living Church

Bishop Wright Retiring in August - Living Church

The Rt. Rev. N.T. Wright, Bishop of Durham since 2003, has announced his retirement from that historic and influential office, effective Aug. 31.

Wright, 61, will become Research Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the University of St Andrews in Scotland.

“This has been the hardest decision of my life,” Wright said in a statement to his diocese. “It has been an indescribable privilege to be bishop of the ancient Diocese of Durham, to work with a superb team of colleagues, to take part in the work of God’s kingdom here in the northeast, and to represent the region and its churches in the House of Lords and in General Synod. I have loved the people, the place, the heritage and the work.”

“Tom Wright ranks among the most distinguished New Testament scholars in the world, and his profile as a churchman, writer and communicator is simply outstanding,” said Professor Ivor Davidson, head of school at St Andrews. “I am delighted that he will be joining us at St Andrews, where he will further enhance the long-established reputation of the School of Divinity as a major international centre of biblical and theological scholarship.”

Wright served on the Lambeth Commission on Communion, which issued the Windsor Report in 2004.

“We were set up to talk about the issues of communion, because in a sense, an obvious example, the issue of sexuality may be the fire that somebody has lit in one room that is actually setting bits of the house on fire,” Wright said after the Windsor Report’s release in 2004. “But what we’re doing is actually fireproofing the house, and then saying now we’ve got to deal with this particular fire, which happens to have broken out in this room. But we’re really more interested in long-term fireproofing the house. And of course that demands patience, because there’s plenty of people who want to say what you should simply do is go in with all water cannons as fast as you can.”

Wright is the author of more than 40 books, including a scholarly series (Christian Origins and the Question of God) and a general-readership series (The New Testament for Everyone). In Durham he promoted a popular Bible-reading program called The Big Read.

“My continuing vocation to be a writer, teacher and broadcaster, for the benefit (I hope) of the wider world and Church, has been increasingly difficult to combine with the complex demands and duties of a diocesan bishop,” Wright said. “I am very sad about this, but the choice has become increasingly clear.”

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