Search for new bishop begins

THE search begins in earnest this week to find a replacement for the Right Reverend Richard Lewis, who retires in the summer as Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.

By Graham Dines

THE search begins in earnest this week to find a replacement for the Right Reverend Richard Lewis, who retires in the summer as Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.

The Crown Nominations Commission will meet on Thursday to consider possible candidates.

Soundings will then be held throughout the diocese and following a shortlisting session in March, two names will be presented to the Prime Minister, who will choose which person to recommend to the Queen, as head of the Church of England, for selection.


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The Commission includes the two most senior figures in the Anglican church in England - the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, and the Archbishop of York, Dr John Sentamu.

Diocesan clergy on the Commission will be the Archdeacon of Suffolk, the Ven. Geoffrey Arrand; the Rural Dean of Ipswich and Vicar of St Mary-le-Tower, Canon Peter Townley; and the Vicar of Moreton Hall, Bury St Edmunds, the Rev Jonathan Alderton-Ford.

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Lay members representing the diocese will be Tim Allen, of Orford; Margaret Condick, of Kirton; and David Lamming, of Groton near Sudbury.

Bishop Richard, who celebrated his 63rd birthday last month, is the ninth person to hold the bishopric of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, being appointed in 1997.

Educated at King's College, London, he is a former Archdeacon of Ludlow in Shropshire, and was suffragan Bishop of Taunton in the Diocese of Bath and Wells from 1992 until his move to Suffolk.

A noted critic of the Iraq war and of nuclear weapons, Bishop Richard took his seat in the House of Lords in 2002, listing his political interests as rural and agricultural issues, economics and small business, and his recreations as brick laying and bumble bees.

He is due to say farewell to the diocese at the 3.30pm service of evensong in St Edmundsbury Cathedral on July 8.

On retirement, he will relinquish his seat in the Lords unless he is made a life peer.

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