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Diocese of Carlisle
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Diocese of Carlisle
World News

Bishop of Carlisle to retire in August

by Kelly Valencia

The Bishop of Carlisle has announced his plans to retire after a decade in the role and over two in ministry.

Rt Rev James Newcome became the 29th Bishop of Carlisle in 2009, seven years after becoming the suffragan Bishop of Penrith.

On Wednesday, Bishop James sent a letter to all Diocese clergy and Church of England schools in the area communicating his decision to step down in the summer.

He wrote: "Having served here as Bishop for the last 21 years I need hardly say how much I have come to love this beautiful county and its wonderful people.

"It has been an immense privilege to live and work in Cumbria, and while it would be a slight exaggeration to say that I have enjoyed every single minute of my ministry here.

"I can honestly report that these have been among the happiest and most fulfilling years of my life, for which I am profoundly grateful.

"I was astonished when God first called us to this Diocese: but am now so very glad that he did, and I have particularly valued his gracious provision of outstanding colleagues and so many kind and loyal friends."

As Clerk of the Closet in the royal household, a role Bishop James has held since 2014, he advised the Private Secretary to the Sovereign on the names for candidates to fill vacancies in the Roll of Chaplains to the Sovereign.

The post also led him to have an essential role at the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

During his ten years leading the diocese of Carlisle, Bishop James also held several other roles, such as national chaplain to the Royal British Legion and co-chairing the Archbishops Commission report on reimagining social care.

He was also the Church of England's lead bishop on health and social care in the House of Lords.

The Archbishop of York, Most Rev Stephen Cottrell, said: "It has been an absolute pleasure to have served alongside Bishop James. His love for Jesus Christ shines through in all he does.

"As the lead bishop on health and social care and medical ethics, he has been a voice for the most vulnerable in our society for many years, serving the communities across Cumbria and beyond.

"As a co-chair of the Reimagining Care Commission, Bishop James has helped set out a vision for social care in which everyone, regardless of age or ability, can live a flourishing life.

"I have hugely enjoyed my visits to the diocese of Carlisle and also want to thank Bishop James for his personal support for me as archbishop.

"I offer my heartfelt thanks and prayers for his faithful service over many years and wish him a blessed and fruitful retirement when it comes."

A special service of thanksgiving for his ministry will take place in July at Carlisle Cathedral.

Bishop James will officially retire on 31st August.

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