Cathedral packed for outgoing Bishop of St Edmundsbury and Ipswich

Bishop Nigel Stock (l) and Bishop David Thomson (r)

Bury St Edmunds cathedral was packed on Sunday for the farewell service of Bishop Nigel Stock.

Bishop Stock is leaving the diocese to join the senior staff of the Archbishop of Canterbury as the Bishop of Lambeth.

In his farewell address, he said: "I'm thankful and humbled that I'm in a county where so many organisations are so willing to work with the Church."

Making presentations to Bishop Stock and wife Carolyne, Dean Frances Ward joked that "we quite understand why the Archbishop has poached him".

"He has been a steady hand with a sense of priority and always mindful of what it means to listen to God," she said.

He passes on leadership of the diocese to the Right Reverend Dr David Thomson, Bishop of Huntingdon, who will take on the role full-time until a permanent bishop is selected.

Bishop Thomson said: "There is a great team here, and we will be forging ahead. It won't be my role to impose my ideas, but with up to 18 months before a new Bishop is in post we will not be shy of making good change together when we see it is needed.

"The Bishop of Ely has very generously released me from all my duties as Bishop of Huntingdon, so in effect this is a full-time appointment to Suffolk to serve as acting bishop.

"I have always worked in teams, all my parishes roles were in team ministry, and teamwork is in my DNA. I want to build hope and confidence in our Church's mission during my time serving Suffolk, and if I achieve this, I will be very happy."