A former teacher and long-serving Norfolk priest has been named as the new Archdeacon of Lynn.
The appoinment of the Rev Canon Ian Bentley was announced by church officials yesterday.
Canon Bentley, who has served in several parishes across the county since he was ordained 23 years ago, will officially take up his new post in September.
He said: “I am surprised, humbled and thrilled to be given the opportunity to serve as Archdeacon of Lynn. I started my ministerial life as a curate in the Archdeaconry and it is great to be returning.
“I have loved every job I have been entrusted with in the Diocese of Norwich over some 20 years and I look forward to working together with the clergy and their congregations.”
Originally from Southend, Canon Bentley spent 15 years in teaching, including two deputy headteacher roles before entering the church.
After training at Cranmer Hall in Durham, he was ordained in 1995 and has served a number of parishes within the Diocese of Norwich, most recently as interim vicar of the Church of St Peter Mancroft in Norwich.
The Bishop of Norwich, the Rt Rev Graham James, said: “Ian Bentley has been an exemplary parish priest in this diocese.
“Wherever he has served, the Church has grown under his care and leadership.
“He is highly esteemed by his fellow clergy and has the pastoral wisdom and good sense which will serve us well in his new work as an Archdeacon.”
Canon Bentley succeeds John Ashe, whose farewell service before retirement was held at Norwich Cathedral earlier this month.