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Rector to be new Bishop of Thetford

PUBLISHED: 10:24 01 July 2009 | UPDATED: 21:36 07 July 2010

A parish priest is looking forward to becoming one of Norfolk's most senior clergymen.

The Rev Canon Dr Alan Winton, 51, was named yesterday as the man who will be the next Bishop of Thetford.

A parish priest is looking forward to becoming one of Norfolk's most senior clergymen.

The Rev Canon Dr Alan Winton, 51, was named yesterday as the man who will be the next Bishop of Thetford. Currently is a team rector in the St Albans diocese, he will take over from the Rt Rev Dr David Atkinson, who is retiring this summer.

The Bishop of Thetford is a suffragan bishop, which means he assists the Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, with his work across the diocese, alongside the Bishop of Lynn. His work across the diocese will include chairing its board of ministry and its youth and children's forum. He will also take special responsibility for east Norfolk.

Dr Winton has spent holidays in Norfolk, especially on the Broads and north Norfolk, and says he is looking forward to coming to the county.

He said: “I am delighted to be coming to such a lovely place in the world as Norfolk. The diocese has a rich Christian heritage, seen not least in the many beautiful churches of Norfolk and Waveney, but also in the lives of the clergy and people of the diocese who I look forward to meeting and working with in the coming months.

“My first priority will be to get to know people here. I will be getting out to the parishes - it will be a big learning and travelling time.”

“I am very happy to be here and very grateful to Bishop Graham for the confidence he has shown in me. I feel a sense of privilege at the opportunity to serve God and serve the church in this way.”

Bishop Graham said: “Alan Winton is a very experienced and much-loved parish priest. I am sure he will quickly come to be greatly appreciated in the diocese of Norwich. He has a fine reputation as a pastor and preacher who can think well beyond the local level but has given priority in his ministry to parish work. He knows what it is to have charge of a large congregation as well as small ones in rural locations. Although I did not know him personally I've known of his ministry by reputation for some time.”

His appointment was approved by the Archbishop of Canterbury, the Queen and the Prime Minister. He will be consecrated by the Archbishop in St Paul's Cathedral in London on September 29, and is likely to move to Norfolk shortly afterwards. He will be formally welcomed to his new diocese with a special service at Norwich Cathedral in November.

Dr Winton was ordained in 1991, and previously did a PhD in Biblical studies at Sheffield University. He is married to Pippa, who is ordained herself and has worked in a hospice as a counsellor for the past 15 years. They have two daughters, Sarah, 23, and Tasha, 21, who will move with them to Norfolk. The role comes with a house in Stoke Holy Cross, south of Norwich.

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