Suffolk: Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, Rt Rev Nigel Stock, says ‘farewell’ during service at Bury St Edmunds cathedral
- Credit: Archant
The new acting Bishop for Suffolk today officially takes over responsibility for leading the Church of England in the county, after joining hundreds of well-wishers saying farewell to his predecessor.
During a moving service at the cathedral in Bury St Edmunds yesterday afternoon the Rt Rev Nigel Stock handed over clerical responsibility for leading the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese to the Rt Rev Dr David Thomson, Bishop of Huntingdon.
Bishop Nigel has been asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury to become Bishop at Lambeth, part of Archbishop Justin Welby’s senior team based in London to develop and implement strategies for every area of Church life.
He said he and his wife were sad to leave Suffolk after six years and that he was grateful for the opportunity to lead the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich diocese.
“We are so grateful to God that we were called to be here, and for all the support and care that we have been given,” he said.
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The Very Reverend Canon Dr Frances Ward, Dean of St Edmundsbury, said: “Bishop Nigel has been respected by everyone for his wisdom and care, his thoughtful leadership and his friendship.
“As Bishop Nigel goes, the diocese anticipates over a year without its own Bishop, and are extremely pleased to welcome Bishop David, The Bishop of Huntingdon, to oversee the forward direction of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese in this interim period.”
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Bishop David, 61, who is married to Jean, with four grown-up children and two grandchildren, will serve Suffolk full time until a permanent bishop is selected.
Bishop David, who has wide parish experience of both rural and urban communities and who embraces new media including blogging as a way of communicating good news, said: “So many important things have been put in place by Bishop Nigel and his team and there is a really good platform on which to build.
“There is a great team here, and we will be forging ahead. It won’t be my role to impose my ideas, but with up to 18 months before a new bishop is in post we will not be shy of making good change together when we see it is needed.
“The Bishop of Ely has very generously released me from all my duties as Bishop of Huntingdon, so in effect this is a full-time appointment to Suffolk to serve as acting bishop.
“I have always worked in teams, all my parishes roles were in team ministry, and teamwork is in my DNA. I want to build hope and confidence in our church’s mission during my time serving Suffolk, and if I achieve this, I will be very happy.”
Bishop David was born into a vicarage family in Sunderland, and grew up in Sheffield. He read English at Oxford where he completed his doctorate and later studied at Cambridge for the ministry. He has a particular commitment to work with young people and his hobbies include exploring the countryside, gardening, looking at paintings, reading old detective stories and completing crosswords.