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After sixteen years of involvement with the Diocese Celia Irving, currently our Director of Safe Communities, is retiring on 15 November this year.

A farewell was held for Celia in which she shared the story of the confluence of events and encounters with people that formed her path into various roles at the Diocese over the years.

Since becoming involved with the Diocese Celia has been a presenter for safe ministry training from 2002, an author of Diocesan safe ministry training materials from 2004, presenter at clergy conferences and clergy equipping workshops from 2009, Professional Standards Director from 2010-2015 and Director of Safe Communities Unit from 2015-2018. She has also been an Honorary Lay Canon of the Cathedral since 2006 and Diocesan representative on the Tri-Diocesan Interest Groups for Safe Ministry from 2008-2014.

A vast number of people across the Diocese, both clergy and lay, will have met and been trained by Celia in safe ministry practices throughout her time with us.

Celia recently undertook an enormous amount of work, and presented an equally enormous amount of material, which served our Diocese well, in response to summons from the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse.

As Bishop Trevor has said:

‘I think the Diocese owes her a huge debt for indefatigable pursuit of safe ministry in this Diocese. Ever since I came to this Diocese in 2003 and probably before, she has used her extensive gifts and experience to make sure this Diocese has been at the forefront in protecting children and vulnerable people. As a former Chair of the Professional Standards Reference Group I am aware of the substantial and wise contribution she made to ensure our protocols and processes were cutting-edge. She has conducted relevant training throughout the length and breadth of this Diocese; lovingly supported clergy and parishes through difficult relationship issues; been a reliable counsel of advice for the bishops; worked closely and collaboratively with the Chancellor and been an absolutely faithful advocate and diligent supporter of the victims of child sexual abuse. We honour her and give thanks for her contribution to our Diocesan health.’

Celia Irving with Gaynor Eldor, Safe Ministry Administrator

The roles Celia has held have at times been very difficult and unpleasant and she is grateful for all the prayer and support she herself has received while in them.

Celia and her husband Peter are gladly taking up the mantle of grey nomads and beginning retirement by travelling around
Tasmania, where she is looking forward to an absence of emails and phone calls. She then hopes to spend more time with her 11 grandchildren, study, do some consulting work and have more time to grow vegetables and knit.

The Diocese wishes Celia every blessing in the next stage of her life.