Page last updated at 10:54 GMT, Friday, 8 May 2009 11:54 UK

Bishop dies on way to see family

Rt Revd Ian Cundy
Rt Revd Ian Cundy was pronounced dead at Swindon Hospital

The Bishop of Peterborough has died suddenly while travelling from Cambridgeshire to a family gathering in the West country.

Rt Revd Ian Cundy, 64, had been suffering from cancer of the lung cavity and had announced he would retire in July because of his illness.

He had undergone chemotherapy but the cancer spread significantly recently.

The bishop leaves his widow Jo, three adult children, Robert, Paul and Elizabeth, and a new grandson.

Bishop Cundy had been working during his illness and had been writing letters on the morning of his death, a diocesan spokesman said.

He was taken ill on his way to the West country and was taken by ambulance to hospital in Swindon where he was pronounced dead.

Suffragan Bishop of Brixworth, the Rt Revd Frank White, will assume his duties until a successor is appointed.

The Crown Nominations Commission is due to meet towards the end of July to consider possible candidates.

A name is unlikely to be announced until the autumn.

Cambridge graduate

Bishop White said: "Bishop Ian was greatly loved for his gentle manner, his warm acceptance of people from all walks of life and all denominations and traditions within the Christian church.

"He will be greatly missed, and our prayers are with Jo and the family at this time."

A book of condolence has been opened in Peterborough Cathedral.

Bishop Cundy was born on 23 April 1945 and educated at Monkton Combe School, Trinity College in Cambridge (where he read mathematics and theology) and at Tyndale Hall Theological College.

He was ordained priest in 1970 and served in a number of parish and academic posts until he was consecrated area bishop of Lewes in 1992.

He remained there until 1996 when he was appointed Bishop of Peterborough and he entered the House of Lords in March 2001.

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