Bishop on Sabbatical Leave June through August

Assistant Bishop Colin Johnson will serve as commissary

Posted May 19, 2024

Bishop Susan BellNow in the seventh year of her consecration, Bishop Susan Bell is taking a sabbatical leave from June 1 through August 31, 2024.

The diocese encourages all clergy and licensed lay workers to take periodic sabbatical leaves, drawing on the Genesis stories of creation and the Ten Commandments, exhorting the observance of Sabbath rest.

“I am grateful for the opportunity to pause and reflect on six happy and challenging years of episcopal ministry in our beloved diocese and will, as ever, keep you all in my prayers,” wrote the bishop in a letter to the clergy and lay leaders of the diocese earlier this year.

The bishop said she’ll be using her time “to research and write, as well as making time for spiritual retreat.” Bishop Bell’s plans include academic study at the British Library in London and an Ignatian Retreat at St. Bueno’s Jesuit Spirituality Centre in North Wales, along with rest and refreshment while visiting family and friends.

In granting such leaves, the diocese seeks to bring renewed energy and enhanced knowledge and skill to the practice of ministry to benefit both the person taking a sabbatical and the Church. Leaves may be taken once every seven years of active ministry.

During the sabbatical, Archbishop Colin Johnson, assistant bishop, will be the bishop’s commissary, provisioning episcopal ministry throughout the diocese, and exercising full authority as diocesan bishop, as necessary.  He will be ably supported by Archdeacon Bill Mous, executive officer and secretary of synod, and Jane Wyse, the bishop’s executive assistant.