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Last Updated: Sunday, 11 April, 2004, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
Canon's last service at cathedral
Canon Stephen Cottrell
Canon Cottrell said he is sad to be leaving the city
The Canon of Peterborough Cathedral is conducting his final service in the city on Easter Sunday before he leaves to become the Bishop of Reading.

Canon Stephen Cottrell, a popular figure in Peterborough, said he would he sad to leave.

His appointment as bishop came after a row over the earlier nomination of gay cleric Canon Jeffrey John to the post.

Church leaders have denied claims that the appointment of the married father-of-three was decided on his sexuality.

Canon Cottrell, 45, who is also a member of the College of Evangelists, has called for the church to "listen more" to the gay community.

I've been incredibly moved when Muslim people, Sikh people, Jewish people, ordinary people come to the cathedral at times of crisis or joy
Canon Stephen Cottrell
He said he hoped to be a focus for unity.

"I will miss Peterborough hugely, but I'll carry with me lots of happy memories.

"I've been incredibly moved when Muslim people, Sikh people, Jewish people, ordinary people who wouldn't belong to any faith community, come to the cathedral at times of crisis or joy in our society, and they're kind of drawn to it," he said.

Essex-born Canon Cottrell was ordained in 1984, having trained at St Stephen's House in Oxford.

He is due to be consecrated on 14 May.


SEE ALSO:
New Bishop of Reading revealed
06 Jan 04  |  Berkshire


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