Bishop Farran's last service today 

BRIAN Farran didn’t expect an easy ride when he became the  Bishop of Newcastle eight years ago. And he wasn’t disappointed.

On the eve of his last day on the job Dr Farran said he had dealt with the highs and lows of the office the best he could.

‘‘I’m feeling pretty OK about everything,’’ he said yesterday. 

‘‘I’m thoroughly privileged to have been Bishop of Newcastle.’’

About 700 people are expected to attend today’s farewell service at Christ Church Cathedral, which starts at 11am.

By far the greatest challenge had been the  high-profile sexual abuse cases that have plagued the church.

‘‘There have been some big issues and I’m sorry I had to face those. It’s taken a lot of emotional energy but they have had to be faced, but that comes with being a leader,’’ he said.

‘‘You have to face those. I owed it to all of those people who made complaints that we had the most transparent processes possible for them, to protect them.’’

As for the future of the church in Newcastle, Dr Farran said he was excited by the prospect of the University of Newcastle’s city campus and the suggestion that a second university was interested in operating  in the city.

‘‘Newcastle has got beautiful established buildings and it could have a whole student precinct, which would revitalise the centre of Newcastle. I think the church could be well positioned because we have a great church down at Cooks Hill. The cathedral is such an iconic building, I think dynamically the church could really engage well with Newcastle if all of that happens.’’

Dr Farran is looking forward to retirement with his wife Robin in their new home at Morpeth.

‘‘It [Morpeth] is a really romantic place for me because I trained at the theological college there,’’ he said. 

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