The Roman Catholic Archbishop of Southwark Michael Bowen is to retire two years early.
According to a spokesperson, the 73 year old Archbishop has made the decision because he is feeling tired and believes it is the right time to hand his responsibilities to a younger man.
Archbishop Bowen recently failed to persuade the Vatican to create a new diocese covering the Kent area of his large Southwark Diocese.
Michael Bowen, who was a wine merchant before being ordained priest, came to Southwark in 1977. A high point of his early years in SE1 was the visit of the Pope to Southwark and St George's Cathedral.
St George's Day celebrations at the cathedral have always been extra special to the Archbishop as he was born on 23 April.
The Pope is expected to announce the name of his successor later this year. Among those understood to be on the short list are Bishop of Leeds Arthur Roche and Bishop of Portsmouth Crispian Hollis.
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