The Rt. Rev. Paul Bayes, who retired in early 2022 as Bishop of Liverpool in the Church of England, will serve as a visiting bishop in the Diocese of Virginia while the diocese prepares for the consecration of Bishop-Elect Mark Stevenson on December 3. Stevenson was elected in June, and in early August, the diocese was notified that he had received the necessary consents from at least half of bishops with jurisdiction and diocesan standing committees.
In announcing Bayes’s appointment, the Rt. Rev. Susan Goff, bishop suffragan and ecclesiastical authority, noted that Bayes is familiar with the Diocese of Virginia through the Triangle of Hope, a “covenantal community” among the Virginia and Liverpool dioceses and the Diocese of Kumasi in Ghana. His appointment in Virginia runs from mid-September through December 5. Bayes has been a strong advocate for recognizing same-sex marriages in the Church of England.
Goff served as a visiting bishop in Liverpool from 2015 to 2019, visiting the diocese for two to three weeks annually. “I am delighted that we now bring this dimension of our relationship full circle as Bishop Bayes joins in our ministries for a season,” she said.
Assisting Bishop Porter Taylor retired in June, and Bayes will support the diocese through church visitations and other episcopal ministries. The diocese is the third largest in the Episcopal Church, ranked by membership, with more than 170 congregations and 66,000 members. The Diocese of Virginia was founded in 1785 and is one of the nine original dioceses of the Episcopal Church. It originally encompassed the entire state, but now shares the state with the Diocese of Southern Virginia and the Diocese of Southwestern Virginia.
— Kirk Petersen