It was a time of reminiscence for Bishop Stuart Robinson and his wife Jane at their final Easter service in St Saviour’s Cathedral on Saturday morning.
A wave of emotions crashed over the attendees ranging from laughter and surprise, to sadness and praise.
First there was compassion as Bishop Robinson spoke about his father’s favourite hymn during his sermon.
He fondly recalled his father playing the piano and singing ‘Standing on the Promises’, a powerful reminder, he told the silent crowd, that God is trustworthy against the “howling storms of doubt and fear”.
Later it was awe at the pair’s reach and influence.
The most Reverend Dr Glenn Davies from the NSW metropolitan recounted Bishop Robinson’s ordination as a deacon including the day he learnt of his new position as the bishop of the Canberra and Goulburn diocese.
“Your bishop is a man of action and a man of prayer,” he said.
“Your work in the diocese has been a strong contributor to the province of NSW. I thank Stuart and Jane for the contribution you both make.”
From members of the clergy to respected community representatives, all had something new to say about Bishop Robinson and his wife.
It was the understanding, the dedication, the resilience and the enthusiasm that echoed clearly in every speech.
His tireless work in the Royal Commission, lobbying for drug and alcohol rehabilitation and the awareness of alternative forms of worship.
Member for Goulburn Pru Goward said it was his lovability which made him a powerful leader and his unexpectedness which surprised the city of Goulburn.
“Stuart’s love for others and our love for him shed a light on us all ... our lives will be a little dimmer when he leaves,” Ms Goward said.
In his final speech he thanked all those who had helped him on his journey, and his wife for her unwavering support.
“I want to thank you, the people of the diocese, those apart of the Canberra and Goulburn clergy. For you are the people, you are our greatest asset, you are the people to bring transformation. Through you the love of Jesus is manifested, the community is being transformed,” he said.
“Through you, a difference is being made.”
The cathedral erupted in applause as the two walked down the aisle, smiling and warmly waving to those they knew and those they were yet to meet.
As Bishop Robinson shook the hands of those slowly streaming out of the church he was only smiling, reaffirming that he would always be there, if not as the people’s bishop than as a lifelong friend.