He will retire on December 31, 2021, having been in the role for 10 years.
The Bishop said: “It has been a privilege to be Bishop of Lincoln over these ten years and I will always retain an affection for this part of the world: its people, its history and its geography.
“It has been a joy to accompany so many people on their journey of faith through baptism, confirmation and ordination.
“There is never a convenient moment to retire but I hope by giving this amount of notice I am providing the Diocese with an opportunity to prepare for the next stage in its life and, in relation to the Resourcing Sustainable Church initiative, the time to make important decisions with a clear understanding of my intentions.
“Bishops David and Nicholas – ably supported by the archdeacons and the Diocesan Secretary – are well established in their respective roles and I have total confidence that they will be able to lead the Diocese through the next stages of its life.
“I am grateful to all the lay and ordained colleagues who have worked with me over this period. Each of them in their own way has contributed significantly to God’s work in serving communities across Greater Lincolnshire, and I know they will go on doing so.
“I am also grateful to my wife, Susan, who has supported me throughout my ministry.”
Bishop Christopher will conclude his ministry in Lincoln with a period of study leave and retreat from October, and the intention is to hold a farewell service in Lincoln Cathedral in November, details of which will be confirmed in due course.
On hearing this news, Canon Professor Muriel Robinson OBE DL, Chair of Lincoln Diocesan Trust and Board of Finance said: “It has been a privilege to work with Bishop Christopher over the years of his ministry in our diocese.
“He brought wisdom and insight to Bishop Grosseteste University as a governor, and was a great support while I was Chair of the Diocesan Board of Education.
“An abiding memory will be joining the life-enhancing pilgrimage he led to the Holy Land. We will miss him and Susan as they move on to the next stage of their life but wish them a long and happy retirement.”
In retirement, Christopher and Susan will be living in their flat in London’s Victoria, near their daughter and son-in-law, who live in south-east London.
Their son and his family live near Brisbane in Australia.
The Bishops of Grimsby and Grantham said: “There will be plenty of opportunities over the coming months to pay full tribute to Bishop Christopher’s ministry over the last 10 years, but we were keen not to let this moment pass without expressing our own thanks to him for all he has done to encourage and support us in our respective roles.
“We wish him and Susan well in their retirement when it arrives, and we look forward to the coming months of continuing to work together to serve the Church and the people of the Diocese in all that lies ahead.”
In 2022, if not before, the process for the appointment of the next Bishop of Lincoln will begin.
In this process, conducted by the Crown Nominations’ Commission which advises the Prime Minister on episcopal appointments, the Diocese will be represented by the Vacancy in See Committee.