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Bishop John to retire

Published: 2nd May 2024

Bishop John standing in front of the River Severn in WorcesterBishop John has announced that he will retire in October.

Bishop John was enthroned as the 113th Bishop of Worcester on 1 March 2008, coming here from the Diocese of Ely where he was Bishop of Huntingdon. As Bishop of Worcester, he has been the Chief Pastor for parishes across Worcestershire and Dudley as well as serving in the House of Lords since 2012 and as Lord High Almoner to HM The Queen and then HM The King from 2013.

Bishop John will withdraw from ministry in mid-September with a farewell service in the Cathedral at 4pm on Sunday 29 September, to which all are welcome. His retirement will then formally come into effect on 9 October.

He said: “Being Bishop of Worcester has been an enormous privilege. By the time I leave I shall have been here nearly 17 years, the longest I have lived anywhere in my life. I have lived through the best of times and the worst of times in my personal life during those years and am more grateful than I can say for all the love and support I have received. I am not anxious to retire – I am deeply attached to Worcestershire and Dudley and love being Bishop here! However, I shall be 70 in February and feel, under God, that now is the right time to leave.”

Following Bishop John’s announcement, the process will begin to find the next Bishop of Worcester. This will be led by a small group of people from across the Diocese as well as from the national church and will involve wide consultation with those in our parishes. During the vacancy, the Bishop of Dudley, Martin Gorick will become Acting Diocesan Bishop. Further information on the process for selecting the next Bishop of Worcester will be available shortly.

Bishop John will be retiring to Wiltshire with his wife H-J Colston-Inge.

Bishop John’s biography

Bishop John Inge attended Kent College in Canterbury and studied for a BSc in Chemistry and then an MA and PhD in Theology at Durham University. After completing a PGCE at Oxford University, Bishop John taught Chemistry at Lancing College in Sussex before studying at the College of Resurrection, Mirfield and becoming ordained deacon in 1983 and, the following year, ordained priest in the Diocese of Chichester.

Bishop John was appointed as chaplain at Lancing College and then Harrow School, where he also continued to teach.

He then spent six years as vicar of St. Luke’s Church – an inner-city church on Tyneside – before moving to the Diocese of Ely in 1996 where he became Residentiary Canon of Ely Cathedral, with responsibility for education and mission. He became Vice Dean of the Cathedral in 1999 and Bishop of Huntingdon in 2003 before being enthroned as the 113th Bishop of Worcester on 1 March 2008.

As Bishop of Worcester, Bishop John provides leadership across the whole diocese and also has a number of specific national responsibilities and roles.  He was introduced to the House of Lords as a Lord Spiritual in 2012, and has a particular interest in Culture and Heritage, International Development, and Media and Communications.  Bishop John is Chair of the Archbishop's Examination in Theology and has previously Chaired the College of Evangelists. In September 2014 he was appointed lead bishop for cathedrals and church buildings and in February 2013, he was appointed Lord High Almoner to Her Majesty the Queen.

Bishop John is fascinated by international affairs and cultural variety and has taken groups to Africa, India, South America, Russia and the Holy Land. He fostered Indian and African links while in the Diocese of Ely and has been a passionate advocate for the Diocese of Worcester’s links with Tanzania, Peru and Germany. He has also fostered strong links with the Roman Catholic Church as Bishop of Worcester.

Bishop John has published books on the Christian Theology of Place and the Christian message in Alexander McCall Smith’s No 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series of books.

He is married to H-J and together they have four children.

Page last updated: Thursday 2nd May 2024 12:34 PM

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