PB Small

At the REACH-South Africa Annual Synod this past week (2-4th September, 2014), the Presiding Bishop, Desmond Inglesby announced his early retirement due to medical reasons.

This was what he said in his Presiding Bishop’s Charge:

“It is with great sadness that I need to inform you that, for medical reasons, I have decided to retire early. This means that I will be stepping down as Presiding Bishop with effect from the end of September. Unless the Lord had intervened, this decision was inevitable – but it has come sooner than I had hoped or anticipated. It was always my intention, God willing, to complete at least 5 years of my tenure, but that was not to be!!

Over the past few years my physical condition has deteriorated quite rapidly and significantly. I have made my decision on the advice of Medical specialists, and I believe it is the right thing for me to do. The physical demands required for fulfilling my role have become too much for me.

I have thoroughly enjoyed being a local church Minister, an Area Bishop and for the past 4 years, the Presiding Bishop. It has been a great joy and a huge honour and privilege to have served in these roles in REACH – South Africa.

Reaching this decision has not been easy. I have agonized and prayed over having to step down before my tenure was over, conscious that I may be “letting the side down”. The reality is – I am no longer physically able to fulfill my role in the way I believe it should be done. Although I am disappointed, I am also content with God’s will for my life. I’ve been blessed with a rich, full and happy life in Christian Ministry, and although I may be stepping down from full time paid ministry, I look forward to continued involvement in a retired capacity.

Of course, I regret that I haven’t been able to do more, and I am acutely aware of my own unworthiness to have been granted such a great honour. I also realise that what I have done has been marked by my own sinfulness, frailty and imperfection. I’m grateful that our God is a merciful God.

With Jeremiah, and to the best of my knowledge, I hope I can say ‘I have not run away from being your shepherd; nor have I desired the day of sickness. You know what came out of my lips; it was before your face’ (ESV Jeremiah 17:16).

Jenny and I want to thank you for your partnership and the incredible support you have given us during my time in office. I especially want to thank the Clergy, the Executive and Trustees for their constant encouragement and affirmation of my role as Presiding Bishop. It has been an incredible experience, and I will always cherish it in my heart.

We want to assure you of our ongoing prayers for REACH-South Africa and for those who will lead our Denomination in the coming years”