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Last Updated:  Monday, 24 March, 2003, 10:42 GMT
Bishop of Gloucester to retire
The Rt Rev David Bentley
The Bishop has recently voiced concerns about the war with Iraq
The Bishop of Gloucester has announced he will retire at the end of the year.

The Right Reverend David Bentley, who will be 68 in August, announced his decision at a weekend meeting of the Diocesan Synod.

The Bishop moved to the post in 1993 after seven years as the Bishop of Lynn, in East Anglia.

His replacement will be announced by the Crown Appointments Committee - after local and national consultation - by the end of the year.

Special service

The Reverend Jeff Crago told BBC News Online: "Technically, the Bishop is appointed by the Crown on the recommendation of the Prime Minister.

"However, the majority of the work is done by the Appointments Committee in conjunction with the Gloucester Diocese."

The Rt Rev David Bentley recently told the BBC that he was "greatly saddened to hear the news that military action against Iraq has begun - in spite of all the recent efforts to achieve a peaceful resolution."

He added that he was "less than fully convinced" that sufficient evidence had been produced to justify military action.

The Bishop is planning a special farewell service at Gloucester Cathedral in October.

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