Church leader to retire

Privilege: Bob Fitzharris.
Privilege: Bob Fitzharris.

ONE of Doncaster’s best-known clergymen has announced his retirement.

The Archdeacon of Doncaster, the Venerable Bob Fitzharris, has been in the post for a decade and will hang up his vestments for the last time on December 31.

The former dental surgeon, who was previously Vicar of Bentley, was appointed archdeacon in 2001 and has devoted much of his time to improving the lives of people in Doncaster and raising the town’s profile, as well as leading Church of England schools across South Yorkshire.

The Bishop of Doncaster, the Rt Rev Cyril Ashton, also retired earlier this year.

The Bishop of Sheffield, Dr Steven Croft, said in a tribute to other clergy in the Diocese of Sheffield: “Bob is known, loved and respected across the diocese and has played a key role in his care for the people and property of the Diocese, as Chair of the Board of Education and in countless other ways.

“I have personally valued his immense wisdom, grace and patience in the first period in my time as Bishop.”

Archdeacon Fitzharris said today: “It has been a great privilege to serve as archdeacon in the diocese and I have met some wonderful people.

“I am looking forward to reflecting on all that I have learned over the years and to the challenges and opportunities of retirement! Lesley and I look forward to continuing to live in South Yorkshire.”

The archdeacon was born in 1946 and graduated from Sheffield University. He had a previous career as a dental surgeon before responding to a call to ordination.

He served his whole ministry in the Diocese of Sheffield starting as Curate of Dinnington before becoming Vicar of St Peter’s at Bentley from where he was appointed as Archdeacon in 2001.

There will be a special retirement service at Doncaster Minster on Wednesday, December 14, at 7.30pm to which all are invited.

Bob and his wife Lesley will remain in Doncaster after retirement and plan to live in the Finningley area.