New Suffolk bishop's pledge

SUFFOLK'S new senior bishop has arrived with a pledge to minister to all the needs of the county.Rt Rev Nigel Stock will take over as tenth Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich later in the year following the retirement of Rt Rev Richard Lewis.

SUFFOLK'S new senior bishop has arrived with a pledge to minister to all the needs of the county.

Rt Rev Nigel Stock will take over as tenth Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich later in the year following the retirement of Rt Rev Richard Lewis.

Bishop Nigel, 57, is currently suffragen (deputy) bishop of Stockport in the Chester diocese.

He made a spectacular arrival in Ipswich, arriving at the town's Waterfront on board a motor cruiser.

And he said his new diocese had many characteristics of the one he is leaving: “Cheshire has the same pressures as Suffolk with development going hand in hand with big problems in the rural areas.

“The type of farming is different, but the challenges are the same.”

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He was aware of the tragic events in Ipswich at the end of last year, but had been impressed by how the community had shown compassion for the victims and a desire to help those who might find themselves lured into the sex industry.

He was impressed to hear about the Somebody's Daughter fund launched by the Star and Ipswich Council which aims to raise enough money to provide a centre to help drug addicts who might otherwise end up on the street.

He said: “That sounds like a positive initiative. I'll never forget Bishop Richard's speech about the tragedy when he said that the national media were wrong to say Suffolk was in panic.

“He said 'Suffolk doesn't do panic,' and I think that says a great deal about the community here.

“I'm looking forward to my work here enormously.”

Bishop Nigel and his wife Carolyne will be moving to Suffolk later in the year. They have three grown-up sons.