THE Archbishop of York gave a moving farewell tribute to the Bishop of Exeter at the July General Synod in York.

It was Bishop Robert’s last General Synod before he retires in September and he was given a standing ovation following the Archbishop’s speech.

In his address, the Most Rev Stephen Cottrell spoke about Bishop Robert’s years as a Benedictine Monk and said: “Someone once said to me of the Bishop of Exeter that ‘he’s just such a lovely, very kind person’ and that flows from your Benedictine spirit and your vows of stability, fidelity and obedience.

“We love you and we esteem you for your obedience to the call of God, your championing of rural issues, your commitment to the older generation and your fidelity to the gifts that God has given you.”

Archbishop Stephen also praised Bishop Robert for his “beautiful prose writing” and mentioned a number of the books he has written, including "Celebrating the Seasons", "Celebrating the Saints" and "The Good Worship Guide".

He added “We thank you for the way that you have brought stability to Exeter Diocese, and the comfort, reassurance and affirmation that this has brought to the parishes and clergy you serve.

“You have been a great blessing to the Church of England, the House of Bishops and the House of Lords.

“Devon will miss you and so will we.”

There will be a farewell service for Bishop Robert at Exeter Cathedral on September 17.