Suffolk’s new bishop is ordained at abbey

The Reverend Canon Martin Seeley, new Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, left, with The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Most Honourable Justin Welby. ANL-150514-170223001
The Reverend Canon Martin Seeley, new Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich, left, with The Archbishop of Canterbury, The Most Reverend and Most Honourable Justin Welby. ANL-150514-170223001
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Canon Martin Seeley, who will become Suffolk’s most senior Church of England clergyman next month, was today ordained as a Bishop at Westminster Abbey, watched by more than 1,600 people.

He is moving from his role as Principal at one of the Church of England’s leading theological colleges, Westcott House in Cambridge,the to become 11th Bishop of the Diocese of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich after the former bishop, Rt Rev Nigel Stock, was appointed Bishop at Lambeth.

Procession at the start of the ordination service at Westminster ANL-150514-170241001

Procession at the start of the ordination service at Westminster ANL-150514-170241001

The formal start to Bishop Martin’s public ministry as Suffolk’s Bishop will begin after his Enthronement at St Edmundsbury Cathedral in Bury St Edmunds, on Saturday June 20 at 3pm.

Bishop Martin, who is looking forward to serving Suffolk for the next ten years, said: “I am thrilled to be coming to a Diocese where the Church is so engaged with the life of the whole community. A Diocese where churches open as winter night shelters, run food banks for those in need, and in countless other ways are agents of Christ’s love.

“This is a Diocese where people are committed to working together for the good of all. The Christian gospel is about reconciliation and new life. Our working together for the good of everyone is an expression of that.”

Bishop Martin, 60, is married to Jutta Brueck, a priest in Cambridge, and has two children, Anna, 14, and Luke, 12.

The new bishop, whose interests include cooking and learning to play the tenor saxophone, read geography and then theology at Jesus College, Cambridge. He trained for the priesthood at Ripon College, Cuddesdon and Union Theological Seminary, New York, serving as a curate in Scunthorpe and then in New York.

Bishop Martin served from 1980 to 1990 in the US, first as curate at the Church of the Epiphany in New York City and as assistant director of Trinity Institute at Trinity Wall Street; and then as Director of the Thompson Center, an ecumenical continuing education centre, in St Louis.

Before becoming Principal of Westcott House, he had served for ten years as vicar of the Isle of Dogs, a large east London parish, and before that worked in the selection and continuing education of clergy at the Advisory Board of Ministry in Church House, Westminster.

He was installed as an Honorary Canon of Ely Cathedral in January 2008, and since 2012 he has served as President of the Cambridge Theological Federation, an ecumenical team of theological training institutions.

The Rt Rev Dr David Thomson’s has been the diocese’s acting bishop for 18 months.