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Bishop of Worcester to retire in the autumn

03 May 2024

Diocese of Worcester

The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge

The Bishop of Worcester, Dr John Inge

THE Bishop of Worcester since 2008, Dr John Inge, has announced that he will retire in October. He turns 70 next year.

He said on Friday: “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.”

Dr Inge was married to Dr Denise Longenecker Inge before her death from cancer in 2014 (News, 25 April 2014; Obituary, 2 May 2014). They had two children. He remarried in January 2018 to H-J Colston (News, 19 January 2018). Ms Colston has two children from a former marriage.

Dr Inge continued: “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.”

A farewell service is to be held in Worcester Cathedral on Sunday 29 September.

Dr Inge was originally a chemistry teacher before training for ordination at the College of the Resurrection, Mirfield. He was ordained priest in 1985. He was an assistant chaplain at Lancing College until 1986, and then a chaplain of Harrow School, where he continued to teach.

In 1990, he was appointed Vicar of St Luke’s, Wallsend, where he stayed for six years before becoming a residentiary canon of Ely Cathedral, with responsibility for education and mission, and then Vice-Dean. He was consecrated Suffragan Bishop of Huntingdon, in Ely diocese, in 2003, where he served until his translation to Worcester in 2007 (News, 12 July 2007). He was installed the following March.

Dr Inge has been the Lord High Almoner of England since 2013, and was part of the Royal Procession at the Coronation. He accompanies the monarch during the Maundy service. He has spoken on a wide range of issues in the House of Lords, most recently urging the Government restore the international aid budget (News, 20 March). He is also vice-president of the National Churches Trust.

In 2023, he wrote an open letter to his diocese, setting out why he supports a change of policy on same-sex marriage in the Church of England (News, 13 January 2023). “I desire to live my life under the scriptures, and believe that it is possible to do so whilst holding to the understanding to which I have come about same-sex relationships.”

Dr Inge will retire officially on 9 October. During the vacancy, the Bishop of Dudley, the Rt Revd Martin Gorick, will become acting diocesan bishop.

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