New bishop is ordained at abbey as Suffolk prepares big welcome
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The man chosen to lead the Church of England in Suffolk for the next decade was yesterday ordained as a bishop in readiness for his new role during a service at Westminster Abbey.
Martin Seeley, previously a canon and who has been serving as principal at one of the church’s leading theological colleges, Westcott House in Cambridge, will become the 11th Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.
More than 1,600 people were in the abbey for the service led by the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby.
Bishop Martin will have an audience with the Queen on June 2, before his Enthronement at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, on June 20 at 3pm .
Bishop Martin, 60, who is married to Jutta Brueck, a priest in Cambridge, and has two children, Anna, 14, and Luke, 12, said he is looking forward to serving Suffolk for the next ten years.
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He said: “I am thrilled to be coming to a diocese where the Church is so engaged with the life of the whole community. A diocese where churches open as winter night shelters, run food banks for those in need, and in countless other ways are agents of Christ’s love.
“This is a diocese where people are committed to working together for the good of all. The Christian gospel is about reconciliation and new life. Our working together for the good of everyone is an expression of that.”
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Bishop Martin, whose interests include cooking and learning to play the tenor saxophone, read geography and then theology at Jesus College, Cambridge.
He trained for the priesthood at Ripon College, Cuddesdon and Union Theological Seminary, New York, serving as a curate in Scunthorpe and then in New York.
The Very Rev Dr Frances Ward, Dean of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, said: “A bishop is ordained to give the Church necessary leadership and oversight in a historic tradition that goes all the way back to the first apostles.
“It’s an important day for Martin and his family. It’s an important day for the Church in Suffolk too, as we witness the approach of Martin’s ministry amongst us as our bishop. It will, with God’s grace, be a long and fruitful ministry.”
Bishop Martin served from 1980 to 1990 in the US, first as curate at the Church of the Epiphany in New York City and as assistant director of Trinity Institute at Trinity Wall Street; and then as director of the Thompson Center, an ecumenical continuing education centre, in St Louis.
Before becoming Principal of Westcott House, he served for ten years as vicar of the Isle of Dogs, a large east London parish, and before that worked in the selection and continuing education of clergy at the Advisory Board of Ministry in Church House, Westminster.