It has been announced that the Bishop of Ripon, the Rt Revd James Bell, is to retire on 30 April 2017.
James Bell 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.
The Bishop of Leeds, the Rt Revd Nick Baines, says, “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 says, “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.
“I give thanks for God's grace at work amongst us and look forward to serving through the next months. There’ll be plenty of time for reflections and goodbyes in the spring”.
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. He became Bishop of Knaresborough in the (renamed) Diocese of Ripon & Leeds in 2004.
His Farewell Service will take place at Ripon Cathedral on Sunday 30 April 2017 at 3.30pm.