Raymond’s very last task as Chair of the House of Clergy was to meet the three candidates who had been shortlisted for the job of CEO at Hillside House. That is the person who manages the diocesan support staff as they organise property, safeguarding, finance, HR, clergy vacancies, parish share, education and so on.

Richard used to be a Rear Admiral. Having just watched Vigil where all the naval officers were uniformly horrible, I was not sure what to expect. Someone planning to run things on military lines, brooking no opposition? “I say “Go” and he goes”, was the phrase that sprang to mind.

I could not have been more wrong. Richard is a very gentle and humble man whose main desire in life is to serve. He very successfully led two voluntary organisations after leaving the Navy – Tall Ships and Guide Dogs for the Blind. He will need our prayers. On top of all the new things he must get on top of, he joins us in the middle of the Transforming Church. Together project. He is going to be a great asset to us as a person of faith and talent.