Dr Idris Jones, the Primus of the Scottish Episcopal Church - the 55,000 strong Anglican church in Scotland - has announced that he will retire at the end of July 2009. He is also Bishop of Glasgow & Galloway.
The Episcopal leader said that he would continue carrying out his duties as bishop up to the date of his retirement.
In addressing his diocesan synod, Dr Jones said: “Stepping down as diocesan bishop will not mean that it will not be possible to continue in ministry and service of the Church in some other way and I look forward to new possibilities in the years ahead.
"I have every intention of functioning fully as bishop up to the date of my retirement; and the life and work of the diocese will go on, and planning for the future will continue in those areas where the diocese needs to determine policy.”
Dr Jones has been Primus since his election in May 2006. The Church said details of the election of a new Primus would be announced at a later date.
Also retiring this year is the Rt Rev Martin Shaw, Bishop of Argyll & The Isles. He will leave his post at the end of September.
“To have the opportunity of serving in this part of Scotland has brought me experience of incomparable beauty and wonder. To have touched the soil and waters on which the Celtic Saints and their successors have travelled and lived in Christ’s mission, has been a gift that I will always treasure," he said.