Outgoing Bishop of Ely preaches last sermon at Ely Cathedral after 10 years

CHURCHGOERS from across Fenland packed Ely Cathedral to hear the Rt Revd Dr Anthony Russell preach his last sermon as the 68th Bishop of Ely on Saturday. Dr Russell retired from Ely after 10 years as pastor and leader, overseeing the affairs of the Dioces

CHURCHGOERS from across Fenland packed Ely Cathedral to hear the Rt Revd Dr Anthony Russell preach his last sermon as the 68th Bishop of Ely on Saturday.

Dr Russell retired from Ely after 10 years as pastor and leader, overseeing the affairs of the Diocese.

The Bishop also celebrated Holy Communion, after which tributes were given for his ministry, leadership and outstanding contribution to diocesan life. His wife, Sheila, was also thanked for her support, friendship and hospitality.

In his sermon, Dr Russell thanked everyone for their kindness and support "in such a generous and affirmative way" during his time in the Diocese.


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"It has been a particular privilege to be the 68th Bishop of Ely and to serve during the period in which the Diocese has been celebrating its 900th anniversary," he said.

"I pay tribute to all those who have played a part in organising local and diocesan events, clergy conferences, exhausting walks to Cambridge, the visits to the Diocese from both Archbishops, the Royal Visit in November, enjoyable events in schools and with children in parishes, and a host of other local occasions.

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"I am grateful to the parishes for the enthusiasm with which this initiative has been taken up."

The Archdeacon of Ely, the Ven John Beer, and Archdeacon of Wisbech and Huntingdon, the Ven Hugh McCurdy, presented Dr Russell with a cheque and other gifts from members of the Diocese.

They thanked him for his encouragement and support as well as his leadership during last year's 900th anniversary celebrations of the Diocese. Mrs Russell was given a large bouquet.

At the close of the service, the Bishop placed his pastoral staff on the altar symbolising the relinquishment of his office. The Bishop of Huntingdon, Dr David Thomson, blessed the Bishop and Mrs Russell.

Dr Thomson will oversee the Diocese until a new Bishop of Ely is installed. It is anticipated that the new Bishop will be named in July 2010 and be in office by the end of the year.

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