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A Warm Farewell

On Sunday 16 July 2023, friends, colleagues and well-wishers from across the Diocese of Ely and beyond, gathered at Ely Cathedral to say farewell to The Right Reverend Stephen Conway.

Bishop Stephen was confirmed as the 69th Bishop of Ely on 6 December 2010 and was installed in Ely Cathedral on 5 March, 2011. On Sunday 16 July 2022, we said farewell as he leaves the Diocese of Ely to join the Diocese of Lincoln.

We give a heartfelt and warm thanks for all that +Stephen has contributed to the life of our Diocese over the past 12 years and wish him every success, joy and happiness in his new adventure at the Diocese of Lincoln. We will miss you, +Stephen.

Speaking at the time of Stephen’s Announcement, Bishop Dagmar, now Acting Bishop of Ely until a successor is appointed, said: “The news of Bishop Stephen leaving the Diocese of Ely is very sad for us indeed. When I first arrived in the Diocese, I was struck by the warm and generous relationships and this is in no small part due to Bishop Stephen’s leadership. Many of us will feel his loss keenly. However, he is leaving us in a good place, giving us confidence for the vacancy and beyond. We wish him every blessing in his ministry in the Diocese of Lincoln”.

The Very Rev Mark Bonney, Dean of Ely adds: “Bishop Stephen has been a splendid and much loved Bishop of Ely and it is with thankfulness for all that he has done, as well as sadness at our loss, that we wish him every blessing for his new ministry and adventure in Lincoln. Thank you Stephen!”

In Bishop Stephen’s final Sermon as Bishop of Ely during his Farewell Service, he ended with the words: “In 2021, Pope Francis told his clergy to find their true joy by living the smell of the sheep. I have inherited my father’s habitual big sniff to smell you all as the sheep that God has given me to care for and be close to these last twelve years. I have sought to follow the pattern of the Good Shepherd. I am sincerely sorry for the ways in which I have failed you; but I can say that in all these twelve years journeying with you, I have lacked nothing by God’s grace and in your company. Amen.

The Diocese now looks ahead as the process to appoint a new Bishop of Ely begins, more can be found on this process on the Diocesan website here. Until that time, Bishop Dagmar will serve as The Acting Bishop of Ely.

Pictures from the Service

Pictures from the service can be seen on the Diocesan Facebook page here. Some are also included below.


Page last updated: Monday 17th July 2023 1:15 PM
First published on: 17th July 2023
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