Tributes as the Bishop of Ripon to step down

THE BISHOP of Ripon, the Right Reverend James Bell, is to retire next April.

He has been Bishop of Ripon since the creation of the new Diocese of Leeds in 2014.

He was previously suffragan Bishop of Knaresborough in the former Diocese of Ripon & Leeds.

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The Bishop of Leeds, the Right Reverend Nick Baines, said: “Bishop James has served the national church, the diocese, episcopal area, his colleagues and the people of our rural communities with faithfulness and theologically informed wisdom.

“And as an episcopal expert on rural affairs he has helped shape the Church of England’s approach to both ministry and mission across the country.

“Bishop James will retire in the knowledge that he has served diligently and faithfully, and he will leave the diocese with our gratitude, blessing and prayers. Please pray for him as he prepares to retire and move into a new form of life and ministry.”

Bishop James said: “It has been really exciting to be part of the shaping up of our great new diocese, and a deep joy to have a particular care for the Ripon Area.”

Bishop James was ordained in 1975 in the Diocese of Oxford before becoming Chaplain and lecturer at Brasenose College until 1982. He served in the Diocese of London before joining the former Diocese of Ripon as Director of Ministry and Training, then Director of Mission. His farewell service will take place at Ripon Cathedral on Sunday April 30 at 3.30pm.