Grand ceremony to welcome new bishop

IPSWICH'S new bishop today spoke of the 'tough times' faced by the people of Suffolk as he prepared for his enthronement.The Rt Revd Nigel Stock was today due to officially take his seat as Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich at a ceremony in Bury St Edmunds.

IPSWICH'S new bishop today spoke of the 'tough times' faced by the people of Suffolk as he prepared for his enthronement.

The Rt Revd Nigel Stock was today due to officially take his seat as Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich at a ceremony in Bury St Edmunds.

He said: “Suffolk has had a tough time in the past few weeks. There has been the recent threat of a tidal surge and agriculture has suffered the double blow of bluetongue disease and avian flu.

“But as a newcomer I am struck by the peoples' resilience and that this is a part of the world full of opportunity, with a wonderful heritage.”

Bishop Nigel, 57, previously served for six years as the Bishop of Stockport in the diocese of Chester and his appointment was announced by the prime minister's office in May.

During the first enthronement to be held in Suffolk for ten years, Bishop Nigel was this afternoon due to officially take his seat, which is known as the cathedra, in the high altar sanctuary of St Edmundsbury Cathedral.

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During the service, conducted by the Dean of St Edmundsbury, the Very Revd Neil Collings, Bishop Nigel was set to receive the mandate of the archbishop of Canterbury that he is enthroned as bishop.

He will pay tribute to the Queen before making the declaration of assent, and taking the oath to observe the statutes and 'laudable customs' of the cathedral church.

He will then be enthroned by the archdeacon of Canterbury and blessed by the dean, before receiving his pastoral staff and preaching his first sermon as bishop.

The Very Revd Collings said: “This is the moment when we welcome our new bishop and friend. It will be a day of great joy.”

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