New bishops' chaplain is announced

THE new chaplain to Suffolk's two bishops will be Canon Deirdre Parmenter, it was announced yesterday.Canon Parmenter, who was among the first group of women to be ordained in Suffolk in 1994, was the county's first woman to be made a rural dean in 2000.

By Richard Smith

THE new chaplain to Suffolk's two bishops will be Canon Deirdre Parmenter, it was announced yesterday.

Canon Parmenter, who was among the first group of women to be ordained in Suffolk in 1994, was the county's first woman to be made a rural dean in 2000.

She has been vicar of Haughley with Wetherden and Stowupland since 1997 and she is now expected to join the bishop's senior staff in July.


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Canon Parmenter will initially support Clive Young, bishop of Dunwich, as he takes responsibility for the diocese until the arrival of the new bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich later in the year.

She said: “The wonderful thing about our God is that he is full of surprises and my journey of service to God and Church of England in Suffolk has certainly kept me travelling on.

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“I am looking forward to the next part of my journey of service as bishop's chaplain and member of the bishop's staff.

“It will be good to assist Bishop Clive while we wait for our new diocesan bishop, and then give him all the assistance I can when he arrives among us.”

The Rt Rev Richard Lewis, bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, said: “Deirdre is a very experienced and highly respected priest and I am delighted that she has agreed to take on this role.

“She is exactly the right person to become part of the bishop's staff and help in guiding the work of the bishop's office through the forthcoming vacancy with Bishop Clive and support a new diocesan bishop coming into post.”

The present chaplain is Graham Hedger. He is moving to a new role as policy and liaison officer.

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