Bishop Nigel set for new role at Lambeth
Bishop Nigel spoke of mixed feelings as he announced that he will be leaving the county he loves later this year to take up a senior role.
“The Archbishop of Canterbury has asked me to take up this role which will take effect in late October. The purpose is to support the Archbishop’s ministry with the Bishops and the National Church Institutions, General Synod and the Archbishops’ Council. This will mean being a collegiate member of the Archbishop’s senior team, which works with him to develop and implement strategies for every area of the ministry to which God has called the Archbishop.”
“As Bishop at Lambeth, I will be the main point of contact at Lambeth for Bishops of the Church of England, building and strengthening the Archbishop’s relationship with them. I will also be engaged with ecumenical and interfaith work, and have oversight for other sections of those working within Lambeth Palace. The Archbishop is aiming to work with a smaller staff at Lambeth, but is looking to make it a responsive, courteous and hospitable place from which to conduct his ministry.”
“The Archbishop is working on three priorities for his ministry: a renewal of prayer and the religious life within the country; reconciliation within the Church and the nation; and evangelism.”
“This will be a demanding, challenging, exciting, daunting and certainly unexpected prospect. I am of course only too well aware that this is a very awkward time for the Diocese to be without a Diocesan Bishop. Quite apart from the absence of a Suffragan Bishop there are also the centenary celebrations next year. However in consultation with the Bishop’s Council there will be an appointment of a bishop with full delegated powers to cover the vacancy and an announcement about that will be made shortly. This will be a temporary arrangement, and the processes for the appointment of the next Bishop will proceed as normal. In the light of this vacancy, the See of Dunwich will not be filled until a Diocesan Bishop is appointed.”
“I am sure that you will know that Carolyne and I will be very sad to leave this lovely Diocese and County. 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. I should be grateful for your prayers for the coming months as I hold you in my prayers with deep affection.”
Archbishop Justin said, “I am delighted that Bishop Nigel has agreed to join me at Lambeth Palace and I am greatly indebted to those in the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich for their patience and understanding as I am fully aware of the loss that they face. Having only last month spent a very enjoyable weekend in the diocese, preaching in the parish of St Peter and St Paul in Aldeburgh, I am sure Bishop Nigel will miss this vibrant and welcoming diocese.”
The Very Revd Dr Frances Ward, Dean of St Edmundsbury Cathedral said, “Bishop Nigel has served the Diocese with real leadership during the 6 years he has been in Suffolk. He will be greatly missed for his care and thoughtfulness towards all he has met and worked with, especially during times of tragedy. His strategic approach has meant that the Diocese is in really good shape as he prepares to move to be the Bishop in Lambeth. Archbishop Justin will find in Bishop Nigel an experienced person on whom he can rely, with sound judgement, a compassionate heart and excellent administrative ability. We wish him and Carolyne well as they move to this exciting new post.”
Mr Nicholas Edgell, Diocesan Secretary and Chief Executive Officer said, "Bishop Nigel has led the diocese through a period of significant change and modernisation. A new structure for governance is in place, central costs have been reduced and yet we have more support for parishes through the appointment of Directors for both Mission and Ministry. We will be sorry to see Bishop Nigel leave us but we are grateful for the time he has spent in Suffolk. Our newly appointed Archbishop has made an excellent choice in selecting Bishop Nigel as his Bishop at Lambeth Palace."
*Bishop Nigel, 63, has held the post of Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich since 2007 and entered the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual during March 2011. He was educated at Durham University and studied for ordination at Ripon College Cuddesdon. From 1976 to 1979, he was a curate at St Peter's Stockton in the Diocese of Durham. From 1979 to 1984, he was priest-in-charge of St Peter's in Taraka in the Diocese of Aipo Rongo, Papua New Guinea. From 1985 to 1991, he was vicar of St Mark's Shiremoor in the Diocese of Newcastle, moving to become Team Rector of North Shields from 1991 to 1998. He was also Rural Dean of Tynemouth from 1992 to 1998 and an honorary canon of Newcastle Cathedral from 1997 to 1998. He was a canon residentiary of Durham Cathedral from 1998 to 2000 and also Chaplain of Grey College, Durham in 1999 and 2000. He became Bishop of Stockport in the Diocese of Chester in 2000 before moving to Suffolk as Bishop six years ago this October.