[Diocese of Virginia] A historic moment in the lives of the dioceses of Virginia and Liverpool occurred May 2 at Shrine Mont Retreat Center when Virginia Bishop Suffragan Susan Goff was commissioned by Shannon S. Johnston, bishop of Virginia, and Paul Bayes, bishop of Liverpool, as assisting bishop of Liverpool.
Bayes presented the letters commissary to Goff and both Bayes and Johnston prayed over her while the room spontaneously rose to its feet with applause, love and affection. The dioceses of Liverpool and Virginia are companion dioceses, focusing on Jesus and Justice, that together, a bigger church might make a bigger difference in the world. As part of the link, Goff has visited Liverpool and her ministry of teaching and support has been very much welcomed not just by women in the diocese but by all.
“The link with the Diocese of Virginia has been important to us in Liverpool for many years,” said Bayes. “At my installation eighteen months ago it was a privilege to welcome Bishop Shannon Johnston as a guest of honor. Now, with Bishop Susan Goff’s appointment as one of our assisting bishops, we are able to strengthen our bond still further. Bishop Susan is no stranger to Liverpool and we look forward to being enriched by her wisdom as a teacher and pastor of pastors whenever she visits us.”
Among Goff’s first responsibilities in Liverpool, she will be sharing in the ordination of priests with Bayes in June and speaking at the clergy conference in July. Goff will continue to reside in Virginia but will make trips to Liverpool, in addition to using technology, to connect the dioceses and support our ministries. Her appointment deepens our long-standing missional relationship which includes parish to parish links, youth pilgrimages, sabbaticals, joint mission trips, and even a connection between two preschools.
“What I most look forward to and am most excited about in this new relationship is the ways we will teach and learn from each other,” said Goff. “We share many common experiences across our two dioceses but we also have unique experiences in terms of what it means to be the church now in the beginning of the 21st century. And I look forward to what I will learn from Bishop Paul and from the diocese of Liverpool and to the things that I’ll be able to share from our experiences here in Virginia. I anticipate through that both dioceses will grow in our strength and faithfulness.”
This appointment comes with the blessing of the Archbishop of York John Sentamu and Presiding Bishop Michael Curry.
On May 5, the diocese posted this video in which Goff explains more about her new role.