William and Sidney Sanders Conference on Orderly Transitions

This five-day course is designed for bishops within two to three years of planned retirement and their spouse/partner. Typically held on a biennial basis, the conference offers a theological, spiritual and practical framework for bishops and spouses to prepare for the transition into retirement.  It includes:  

  • A theological and spiritual framework for approaching retirement and post-retirement living
  • Some prevalent attitudes, pre-conceptions and expectations about retirement
  • Retirement as a time of transition
  • The impact of retirement on long-term relationships – marriage, family, friendships – and new ones
  • Financial planning and the Church Pension Fund
  • Practical issues relating to post-retirement living (e.g. location, staying busy – or not, self care)
  • Institutional concerns – retirement of the Bishop and transition for the Diocese
  • Time for personal reflection, relaxation and easy conversation  

The conference provides bishops the opportunity to focus on their upcoming transition and to benefit from the thoughts and experiences of friends and colleagues doing the same. Over the years, many bishops and bishops’ spouses have found this time away a valuable and unique experience. 

Bishops and spouses have taken away the following from this course:

  • Renewed and new friendships
  • Hope for the future
  • Good conversations with spouse
  • A more positive opinion of retirement opportunities
  • A broader perspective on options
  • Common goals/expectations with spouse
  • Experiences/anticipations of other bishops & spouses
  • Clarity regarding finances
  • Trusting God’s presence and plan in all this
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