Don't expect the Right Reverend Ralph Spence to retire to his garden or to his flag room when he quits the top job in the Anglican Diocese of Niagara.
Spence announced last month that he'll retire at the end of February next year. But he'll be assuming new duties at Lambeth Palace, headquarters for the Church of England, in May 2008.
Spence will assist Archbishop of Canterbury Rowan Williams at Lambeth Conference, the once-a-decade meeting of Anglican bishops from around the globe. Spence, who turns 65 on March 10, will serve as an enforcer, of sorts, for Williams during the conference by disciplining bishops who have broken the law or committed a sexual indiscretion.
"If I need to sit on somebody, it will be a terrifying experience for them," Spence quipped during an interview yesterday.
He will also serve as chaplain to the 1,000-plus Lambeth Conference support workers.
And the man whose afternoon coffee break means sipping properly brewed tea from a Royal Albert bone china tea cup said he wouldn't be surprised if he's invited to tea at Buckingham Palace. He has been already, you see. During a sabbatical in 2002, Spence worked for Lambeth Palace preaching and assisting with the Queen's Jubilee service at St. Paul's Cathedral Source...