Suffolk: Arch Bishop of Canterbury Most Reverend Justin Welby to visit county as diocese votes in favour of women bishops

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby in Aldeburgh last year

The Archbishop of Canterbury, the Most Revd Justin Welby in Aldeburgh last year - Credit: Archant

The Archbishop of Canterbury is to visit Suffolk to celebrate the centenary of the diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich.

The leader of the world’s Anglicans, the Most Reverend Justin Welby, will spend a weekend in the county taking part in two services at the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds as well as visiting a youth project and spend time walking the streets of Ipswich with the Town Pastors.

The announcement came as the diocese paved the way in an historic vote to allow women bishops in the church.

The Right Reverend David Thompson, acting bishop in the diocese, said: “We are delighted that Archbishop Justin is coming to the county as part of the centenary celebration of the diocese.”

The Very Reverend Dr Frances Ward, Dean of St Edmundsbury Cathedral, said the archbishop will preside over a Eucharist service on March 29 as well as taking part in an evensong service.


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She said: “Archbishop Justin is a man of energy and vision and we are very excited to be welcoming him to the cathedral and it will be a very special day.”

The news was announced following a diocesan synod during which clergy voted overwhelmingly in support of women bishops.

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Reverend Rosemary Rycraft, a priest whose parishes include Icklingham, Cavenham, Beck Row and Eriswell in west Suffolk, said the vote was a historic moment.

Rev Rycraft added: “I have been coming to the synod in this and other dioceses for many years and for the first time I was moved to tears. This means we are one of the first dioceses to officially support women bishops.”

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