The Archdeacon of Bolton, The Ven David Bailey, is to retire at the end of this year after serving nine years in the role.

Mr Bailey, who turns 65 in December, plans to move to Ripon, in North Yorkshire, where he and wife Kathryn have had links for many years.

He took up the post of Archdeacon of Bolton in November 2008, having previously been Vicar of Beverley Minster.

Mr Bailey said: “It has been a privilege to serve as the Archdeacon of Bolton in this wonderful Diocese of Manchester.

“I have enjoyed the role enormously and I relish the challenges, as well as enjoying the warmth, openness and diversity of its people.”

He also paid tribute to the two bishops he has served under in the diocese, Nigel McCulloch and David Walker.

He said: “Working first with Bishop Nigel and now with Bishop David, it has been a pleasure to work with many amazing colleagues and friends in parishes and communities across the Bolton Archdeaconry, and with diocesan staff.”

He continued: “There is still a huge amount for me to do in the next few months, and when the time comes, it will be very hard to say goodbye, even though I will be returning to my native Yorkshire.

“I shall certainly keep praying that our faithful and generous God will enable his Church in the Diocese of Manchester to be ‘Church for a Different World’”.

As archdeacon, David is chair of the property committee, and helps shape diocese-wide programmes including Fit for Mission and the Parish Share Review.

He will continue in his role as chair of the Simeon’s Trustees, one of the largest national patronage trusts.

After 37 years of ordained ministry, Mr Bailey will retire on a date still to be confirmed around the end of 2017.

The father-of-three said he was looking forward to continuing his journey of faith and ministry in the Diocese of Leeds.