On the 15 August, the Feast of the Assumption and +Brian’s own birthday, our Bishop retired. On Sunday 21 August he came back to a special choral evensnog in the cathedral to allow us to say farewell. The building was packed and regular readers might be interested to know that the temperature seemed to be above freezing for a change.
Clergy gathered in the Chapter House struggling into 39-buttoned cassocks and surrepticiously comparing academic hoods. (I think mine was most gorgeous, being purple to match my hair perfectly AND ‘with fluff’.) We gathered and we gushed and we caught up with gossip whilst checking out the ‘new boys’, of which there are many in our diocese.
Readings were done by The Very Rev’d Prof Iain R Torrance, President of Princeton Theological Seminary, an old friend of +Brian, and The Right Hon George Grubb, Lord Provost of Edinburgh. Only two of our Canons turned out to robe which is always a dissapointment that more don’t, and a certain Bishop of Argyll & The Isles was there looking gorgeous as ever. +Brian’s wife Lissa looked chic as always in a beautiful grey coat.
The Provost welcomed us and set the scene and at the end the Dean, John Armes. made a magnificent speech of farewell to a man we will miss greatly. We will miss his eccentricities, of which there were many, and his wisdom and sharp intellect, and his humour and attention to detail. When I was in hospital last year for a wee op he was there the first evening as I came out of anaesthetic. When I needed to talk, he was there and always made me feel that he was on my side.
There followed a wee reception out on the lawn with wine by the bucketload for those not driving and dainty nibbles. (These caused much hilarity with the small group from St Mark’s Portobello but the less said about that the better.)
Farewell Bishop Brian. We’ll miss you.
And who shall fill those boots? We wait and watch.