Bishop to retire next year

THE Bishop of Ely, the Rt Rev Dr Anthony Russell, has announced today that he is to retire on February 28 next year. The diocese includes the whole of Cambridgeshire and parts of Peterborough and Norfolk. He is one of the longest-serving Bishops in the Ch

THE Bishop of Ely, the Rt Rev Dr Anthony Russell, has announced today that he is to retire on February 28 next year. The diocese includes the whole of Cambridgeshire and parts of Peterborough and Norfolk.

He is one of the longest-serving Bishops in the Church of England and was installed as the 68th Bishop of Ely in the year 2000 after serving as Area Bishop of Dorchester for 12 years.

Bishop Anthony's ministry will continue publicly and fully until 23 January 2010 when members of the diocese will say farewell to him at a service in Ely Cathedral, a diocesan spokesman said today.

Dr Russell has been a member of the House of Lords since 2008 and during his time at Ely he has taken a keen interest in rural affairs and in the farming community. He has been a well-known speaker and commentator on agricultural affairs in a wide range of capacities and was President of the Royal Agricultural Society of England from 2004 until 2005.


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He has been closely involved in the life of the University of Cambridge and serves as the Visitor of St John's College, Jesus College and Peterhouse. He was Chaplain to HM the Queen from 1983 until 1988.

Coming from a farming family, Bishop Anthony is no stranger to the practical skills and hands-on approach needed on the land. He was driving a tractor on the day he went to theological college. He continues to take a keen interest in rural affairs and in the farming community. He has been president of Cambridgeshire ACRE and many other Cambridgeshire organisations.

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"It has been a privilege to serve the diocese for 10 years," said Bishop Anthony. "My wife and I have made many friends, and greatly enjoyed living in Ely. The diocese of Ely, with the Fens and Cambridge, is a lively and special diocese, which this year celebrates its 900th anniversary."

The Dean of Ely, the Very Rev Michael Chandler said: "The Bishop of Ely's retirement means that the diocese, including the cathedral, will lose a wise pastor whose quietly effective style of leadership has enabled us to get on with our mission confident that there is a steadfastness of purpose, and real Christian maturity, at the heart of all our activities.

"Having worked alongside Bishop Anthony for nearly six years, I have greatly appreciated his understanding of the cathedral and its ministry, and I know that many others also appreciate his wise counsel and guidance," he added.

The diocese hopes a new Bishop will be named later this year and take up his duties in 2010.

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